Intershoot 2010 Qualifiers, take two…

So this morning was the second of three qualifying matches for Intershoot 2010 (the third is now confirmed for January 3 as I understand it). And for me, it was a particularly fustrating disaster. Again.

The timing wasn’t as large a problem today. Got to the range in time, and was up and running in time. I did run into time issues during the first 20 shots, but it was because of the larger problem, rather than being an issue in itself (I finished the match with about two seconds left on the clock, hence the awful flyers in the otherwise tightish groups on the last strings).

Whatever the problem was, I couldn’t lock it down. The position was good – it felt just like it did in practice, it was nice and stable, I didn’t feel like I was letting my back sag or collapse, and I caught one or two poor setups and aborted when I spotted them, so that seemed fine. And the hold seemed fine as well – I was getting a good two to three seconds of stable hold, with the target just sitting there as if it was prone shooting.

And triggering felt fine too – not perfect, I just changed the trigger blade to the MEC and I expected it to feel different and unfamiliar, and it did – and I should probably see about adjusting the trigger weight slightly, it’s become more difficult to feel the break at the moment – but it wasn’t a problem.

I think whatever it was was back to something in the sight alignment. Getting the foresight centered in the rearsight was proving hard, and at times it did feel like I wasn’t getting my head position right at all. And it’s about all that I can think of that would explain the randomness in where the shot landed compared to everything else. Unless, of course, it’s my actual eyes. I really must schedule an eye exam to be sure.

It didn’t help that I showed up all ready to record the whole match on video for post-match analysis only to find that both cameras had flat batteries. Gah. Another item for the day-before checklist…

There will have to be a trip to WTSC tomorrow night to do some work on this. And the camcorder and camera are both charging as I type. Then down to KK for the xmas hols, with the rifle for some dry-firing, and back out to WTSC for more training when we get back up before the Jan 3 final qualifying match.

It’s very fustrating – I can see the hold and position are better, I know I’m shooting better than I have been for years, but I just can’t aim the damn rifle because of something to do with the line of sight. Argh!

Intershoot 2010 Qualifiers

Just in case anyone’s missed it by now…

From the NTSA website

Qualifier for Intershoot – Sunday 20th PDF Print E-mail
Written by ntsa
Thursday, 17 December 2009

INTERSHOOT 2010 – 10m Air Rifle and 10m Air Pistol takes place in The Hague, Holland between 3rd-6th February 2010.
There are Three competitions over Three days.

A number of people who had expressed an interest in qualifying for this event could not attend the previously scheduled match.

An extra qualifier will be held at the UCD Range, Belfield, this Sunday at 11.00

There will be one detail. Pistol and Rifle will be accommodated in the same detail.

Pre-booking is not essential, but an email to indicating your intention to compete would be appreciated.

Please take note of the qualifying scores required below:

Air Pistol
Air Rifle

AP60 AP40 AP60 JM AP40 JW
AR60 AR40 AR60 JM AR40 JW

Qualifying 548 356 533 347
573 384 568 378

Practice time…

The next Intershoot qualification match is this Sunday, so the rifle setup is now static. All that’s left is the practice, and there was another few minutes of that this evening.

I’m still having to fight the jacket (not to mention how unflattering it looks 😀 ), but the position feels a lot more stable now, even when not in full kit. But the initial mounting of the rifle still feels off. More practice required!

New trigger, new weights

So the MEC trigger arrived this morning less than 48 hours after ordering it (thanks again Ryan!).

And yes, that’s a lot of photos of something so small, but feic, it was a lot of euros too 😀

So this evening it was off to the range (couldn’t get there yesterday) to install the new trigger and the new weights (to shift the CoG of the rifle back towards me). The existing trigger is the second trigger blade I’ve had on the rifle, so it’s turning into a right patchwork frankenrifle at this point. You can see where I had to dremel away the pistol grip to avoid the trigger hitting the grip when pulled past the first stage.

The problem with this trigger is that there’s no index point, so I’m never certain if my finger is on the same point each time – and the curve of the blade means that it feels more or less the same no matter where I touch it unless I’m actually hitting the end of it. With the MEC, the blade is straight and there’s an index point with the rubber band (you get three, I’ve taken two off but I think I might put one back on. I’ll shoot with it a while and see).

Doesn’t look bad; feel pretty good actually. And I know precisely where my finger is on it now.

Now, if my hold was any good, that’d be of some use 😀

Working on the hold, I wanted to move the CoG of the rifle back a wee bit. There was 270g to play with on the rifle before I hit the ISSF weight limit of 5.5kg, so I added 180g, bringing the rifle up to 5.38kg for now, and leaving me the option of adding a bit more later on. The tyre weights are a good quick way to do this… but they don’t half look odd!



The feel of the rifle wasn’t too bad, the CoG is back at least two inches. I want to get some proper training in full kit in before I figure out if I should add more weights though.

That’s basicly it for the rifle tweaking on the list of things to do from Kuortane now. There’s only the buttplate carrier plate left to do and I’m still trying to source that or come up with a smarter way to do it. So now it’s just down to training. And with two more qualification matches being run for the Intershoot team before the end of January, there’s good reason to train…

Yet more postal shooting…

So two new bits of kit in the post today. First off were the weights for the rifle.

They’re just standard car tyre balancing weights with a self-adhesive backing. Easy to break into known weights, easy to attach. Nice and simple.

So about 250-270 grams worth is going on the rifle. The rest gets to go to the club.

The second thing was a new camera. The old one is fine, but a bit bulky – this is one of the cheap compact models so I can throw it into the bag and take it anywhere without much fuss. Handy for when you’re on the range, want a photo to record a position change or an equipment change or the like. And like everything electronic, it cost a quarter of the older model’s price, it does twice what it used to do and it takes up a third of the room while doing it.

Not bad for about €70 including shipping. Ebay can be a useful place for shooters 😀

Decisions, decisions…

Finally, after three threads of discussion on three different shooting forums, and bothering a lot of shooters, and trying a stopgap measure or two, I’ve decided on what new jacket to get. After a bit of a chat with Jozef Gonci (thanks Jozef!) I decided to go with the Kustermann Monaco Subratex jacket:

Now I just need to get measured and order it. Expected cost is around €600 🙁

And measuring is a bit involved as well – you need all of these to be taken and to be correct…

That last one isn’t even nice!


An hour on the range this evening in full kit, dry-firing away. It’s been hard to find any time to train this week, work’s a bit mad at the moment so I’m just getting a half-hour here and there. I’m going to have to find more time somewhere, there’s another two qualification matches coming up between now and January for Intershoot.

I did find this evening though, that training in DURC (for me at least) isn’t easy – the roof’s so low that when I try to mount the rifle, instead of the way it was done in Kuortane (raising the rifle up high so that my left elbow blocked my view of the target, then lowering it vertically down), I have to curtail the raise because of the roof. End result, I don’t get a good elbow position (it’s too low) and I collapse my spine trying to make the position work. Bad thing to train for. So I step into the corridor and practice holding there. Somewhat unorthodox, but since there’s no air in the rifle or pellet either, perfectly safe – and now I can train the position I want to train instead of something daft.

Here’s what the shot routine should look like…


Far too tired for proper training tonight. Stripped the rifle down, took the compressed air to it and blew the dust and dirt off it and out of the sights, then reassembled and cleaned out the barrel with the “blue crap” (DURC’s technical term for VFG cleaning paste), and then lots and lots of felt pellets, then fired a few VFG abrasive pellets through it and then a half-dozen ordinary VFG felt pellets. It’s just prep work for doing proper training later, but it’s got to be done every so often and coming back from Finland seemed to shake every particle of dirt in the case into the rifle itself.

Reading Air Rifle Shooting I noted the small point that not cleaning the air rifle after every match will open the groups up by 0.2 millimetres, and not cleaning it at all will open it up by 0.5mm or even further. 0.5mm doesn’t sound like much, but it’s the difference between 9.9 and 10.1 so it’s worth a minute or two of work every so often I guess. But beyond firing a VFG pellet or two through the rifle after shooting, I don’t think I’ll be investing a huge amount of time into it just yet, it’s too much like batch testing.

Air says you should batch-test your pellets, because the group size for 5 shots might be 4.5mm but for 60 shots it can wind up being as much as 7mm (or more with bad pellets). Personally, I hear that and I keep thinking of the really gimmicky measures we’ve seen down the years, like pellet sizing tools and the like, and I keep hearing Matt and Geoff’s often loudly unstated opinion that if we spent half the time on the range that we do fooling about with this sort of small stuff, we’d be picking up twenty or thirty points instead of the one or maybe two that you can pick up by fooling about with some small technical detail (it’s called “hex key shooting” round these parts and it’s not a good idea!). So I think the batch testing can wait until I have a hold that’s solid enough that batch testing might give a return that’s higher than the background noise level. Meanwhile, it’s just time spent wall-watching and working on hold. Basics first.