Is it a weapon or a firearm?

There were some interesting moments from the Joint Committee presentation, so I thought I’d extract them from the several hours of footage and post them up here as I went. Here’s the first, my own personal bugbear (and please note the Deputy accepting the point at the end, because the Examiner missed that bit…):

Playmobil finals hall

So obviously, when you have a kid, they need toys. And naturally, no good parent gives their kids toys untested, right?

5202 Playmobil Target Shooter
5202 Playmobil Target Shooter

:mrgreen:

Besides, this beats toy soldiers any day. (And more seriously for a moment, it’s nice to see the sport get this kind of exposure with kids). So, let’s see, need eight for a finals hall…

Over the shoulder

 

From the target line...

 

Firing line (yes, it's to scale!)

 

Note the to-scale firing line :D

 

But is this rifle or pistol we're shooting here?

 

The new finals hall :)

 

Leaving aside the giggles for a moment (if you can), our sport gets very little good publicity. Even this week, in the middle of one of the most outstanding Olympic Games in a long while (in terms of performance standards), despite the good image being protrayed, we had medal winning Olympic shooters having to tell the press that our sport isn’t connected to gun violence. The fencers weren’t asked about edged weapon violence despite a similar event happening at the same time in Bejing; boxers aren’t asked to justify their sport in the light of drunken idiots beating each other up outside the pub at closing time; dressage riders aren’t asked about stray ponies being mistreated in inner city Dublin. But shooters get vilified all the time, precisely because we aren’t a familiar, known quantity. The Olympics do a huge amount to help with this, but they’re out of the news cycle for four years at a time. So silly toys like this one, which show what our sport looks like so that we’re a familiar image from a person’s childhood; that’s not a silly end result. It’s wonderful.

Frankly, if you like shooting, I think you should go search for a few of these and buy them now, to give out as birthday and xmas presents later. It’s not like they’ll break the bank, they worked out at about a fiver each on ebay…

What I do…

Got to love internet memes 😀

 

 

BTW, there are blog entries about RIAC and Intershoot on the way – it’s just hard to find time to blog when training, competing, moving house, in a crunch time at work and when Herself Indoors is eight months pregnant. But I’ve got my notes and I’m getting through them…

Peashooters: UCD Summer Air Open 2011

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the UCD Summer Air Open 2011 is up:

Peashooters (Air Rifle) 

Shooter Club
Ray Kane DFST
Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Julian Ewers-Peters DURC
Lorcan O’Carroll DURC
Micahel Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Vladimir Untila DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Joe Thompson UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Nicolas Nalpas UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC
And here’s the Spudgun list :
Spudguns (Air Pistol)
Shooter Club
John Kinsella CIPC

Congratulations all 😀

Pressure drop

 

I said a pressure drop,
Oh pressure, oh yeah
Pressure’s gonna drop on you
-The Clash 

Ahem. Right. So the evening’s training was to try to see if I was still holding the rifle on target rather than letting it just sit there. Warmed up by sweeping up the range (no, I don’t want to think about lead dust toxicity, cheers) and then into the kit and up to the line and did about ten to fifteen minutes of holding and dry-firing before starting in earnest.

The idea was simple – go through the routine as normal, then just before firing, close both eyes and count to 1-and-a-bit in my head and fire with my eyes closed. Safety note: I was doing this alone, on a closed range, and my eyes were closed for all of about 1.5 seconds at the most – this wasn’t a case of “Use the Force, Luke” we’re talking about here, but a specific training drill.

Anyway, the results seemed relatively clear – no matter how good the initial hold and sight picture were, the shot never got closer than a high 10.0:

17.5.11 Training series 1

There was such a pronounced bias to the right that I actually shot a ten-shot string as normal, with eyes open to check:

17.5.11 Training series 2

 

Ignoring that lovely flier (which I think also proves that Matt was right and I’m muscling the rifle about still), the group was nice and tight and off to the right. So I adjusted my position slightly, and shot some more with my eyes closed:

17.5.11 Training series 3

Okay, now that’s a bit odd. I’d expect some loose grouping, even a lot of horizontal sway like that, but I wouldn’t expect all the shots to be consistently low. It was so odd that I stopped shooting that string and tried a few more shots with eyes open:

17.5.11 Training series 4

Now during this string, I’m checking buttplate position, I’m checking my inner position especially around my back, I’m paying attention to my elbow placement, looking for what the heck is dropping all those shots low. I mean, this is with eyes open, and the hold and the release all look fine (except, ironically, on the one ten shot in the string). And then eventually, I twig to the problem:

Ah-ha! Problem located!

Ah-ha! See, this is the problem with a gauge you have to look down the barrel to see 😀 Pressure’s well into the yellow, the regulator can’t get the pressure up to the standard level (Dammit Jim, I’m a regulator, not a compressor!) and so the shots all fall low. And at that point I throw both hands up in the air (metaphorically, I’m still holding the rifle and it’d be a bit expensive to replace – as in, about €2,750) and wrap up for the day.

Lesson learnt – check air before a live-firing drill…

On the upside, I didn’t realise it until later, but I was so confident in the shot routine that I was checking the rifle to find the problem, even when I was shooting with my eyes shut. That’s a major improvement on just six weeks ago.

Peashooters: NTSA National Air Rifle Championships 2011

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the NTSA National Airgun Championships 2011 is up:

Shooter Club
Ray Kane DFST
Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Frank Lavery DURC
Heather McLoughlin DURC
Ivan De Wergifosse DURC
Katharina Wilhelm DURC
Logan Hasenbeck DURC
Michael Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Claire Leyden UCDRC
Donal Bourke UCDRC
Joe Thompson UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Yuecong Wang UCDRC
Laura Cunningham WTSC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC
Susan Cunningham WTSC

 

And here’s the Spudgun list :

 

Shooter Club
Peter Friend Addiscombe RC
Joe Conroy Fermoy
Tom O’Brien MPAI
John Lancaster UCDRC

 

Congratulations all 😀

Peashooters: UCD Open II

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the UCD Open is up:

Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Frank Lavery DURC
Kate Wilhelm DURC
Michael Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Donal Bourke UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC

John (from UCD) and I were talking about this idea and we thought we should also have an air pistol version – garden peas aren’t really at the same level of difficulty for pistols, so we took the score you had to hit to hit a pea, figured where than landed on an air pistol target and walked through the vegetable bin to see what qualified, and guess what, small new potatoes do

So here’s the Spudgun list :

Tom O’Brien MPAI
John O’Brien RRPC

Congratulations all 😀

Peashooting

One of the many funny jokes airgun shooters get from people who’ve never tried the sport because airguns aren’t loud enough for them, is the title of “Peashooter”.

I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve had a fun thought.

How about the NTSA – or one of the airgun clubs – brings in something akin to the old DURC Standards, namely the “Pea Shooter” title?

See, here’s the thing. Your average garden pea is about 8mm in diameter. That’s just inside the 10.5mm diameter of the 8 ring on an air rifle target:

10mAR Pea Target

In fact, if my math is right, you have to shoot a 8.4 or higher to hit the area on the target that’s the size of your average garden pea. Which is about the 516/336 level in air rifle, which is a good point for a mid-range novice prize.

Seriously – this might be a neat way to get people to enjoy the first few months of the sport – get some badges made up, like the old DURC standards, it’d be easy enough to measure off the electronic targets, no extra prizes, just a list of “pea shooters” published in the results and rankings, that sort of thing…