Back out to Wilkinstown yesterday at 1500 to continue the rebuild. Several photos taken of the new position for training (but not on my digital camera, which has managed to get itself lost somewhere in the house, so it’ll take a while before the photos are processed and developed and scanned in). Lots of shooting a few shots and then breaking position and rebuilding it up. One of the problems with the new position is eye relief and head position. I need shooting glasses to get a sharp focus on the foresight ring and my Anschutz rearsight iris is anodised orange (it seemed like a good idea at the time when buying it). Thing about the orange is that while it seems many people got good results from using it, it just doesn’t work for me 🙁 So it was starting to look like I’d have to paint it matt black again. Up to now, I’d been using a black rubber cup over the iris, but that resulted in the overall length of the iris assembly being rather long; which meant my head had to be an inch or two back from where we’d like it to be.
So, throw money at the problem. New rearsight iris from Centra. The thing is about an inch and a half shorter than the current rearsight iris, it’s much simpler (no polariser, only one bank of coloured filters), so it might not be as useful for smallbore shooting, but for air rifle, it’s perfect. And best of all, my head is now in a better position, my rifle is further back towards me and thus more stable, and my glasses aren’t hopping off the back of the iris all the time.
Unfortunately, that was the moment the ESB chose to cut power to the entire area, so training was cut short before I could spend much time with the new iris. And I learnt it takes a lot longer for me to strip my rifle and pack it and my gear away in the dark 😀
One of the things we were chatting about afterwards was the idea of getting the five or six top shooters in the club to pick one night a week and to come down to WTSC and train together that night so we have a greater sense of competition. Right now, in Ireland, there’s no real sense at the higher levels of olympic shooting of having any real competition in this country. And that has horribly bad effects on shooting – we keep seeing shooters get up to the 570-580 level and then finding that they’ve reached the top of the heap, and just losing interest in staying there because there’s nothing for them in this country to justify the effort – noone for them compete against and no prizes worth winning. We’re hoping that by getting a reasonably sized squad to train together that the inter-squad competitive spirit will drive the performance levels up. It’s not a new idea, but it’s been a while since there was sufficient motivation in the shooters to try it. More on this later, and hopefully it’ll lead to a few medals – we’ve certainly got shooters good enough to come home with several medals in both the Mens and Women’s Air Rifle event!