Over so soon, well such as it is with many things life… Once again a Field Target season has come to an end with just a little time for some reflection before starting all over again.
I spend my winters competing in the Midlands Field Target Association Winter League and while the competition may only be open to MFTA shooters it is a very competitive and hard fought league. AA, A, B, C, Piston and Open classes are catered for and a Silhouette competition is available for those with a masochistic streak.
Obviously the weather plays a huge part in the competition and shooters need to be able to cope with all the conditions a British winter has to offer. We have avoided the snow and in the run up to Christmas the weather was very kind to us. The rain unfortunately restored some balance during the second half of the season, meaning a strip down for the rifle after three consecutive shoots. The final round at least stayed dry, but ever increasing wind throughout the day left many of us wishing it had rained!
Maintaining concentration when rain is running down your neck or your fingers are turning blue is quite a feat in itself. But, rifles, scopes and pellets suffer too in the cold and wet weather. Familiarity with how your equipment performs in differing conditions is paramount if you are to have a successful winter. One particularly cold event caught me out leaving me convinced I had a real problem with my kit and the temptation to drop rifle, scope and all into the wheelie bin on my return to centrally heated comfort was hard to resist. Fortunately, after a hearty pie the world seemed a kinder place and subsequent testing revealed that I had just been caught out by changes caused by the particularly cold day, so hopefully a lesson learnt for next time, I really ought to keep notes!
Full results can be found on the MFTA website www.mfta.org.uk, along with other Midlands FT related information. AA grade winner and overall champion is once again Andrew Gillott. It is becoming a habit for Andrew winning this competition and despite a few results he wasn’t too happy with over the winter he made up for that with some superb shooting with 5 individual round wins. For my part I was runner up, not a position I am too happy with but I have shot reasonably well and consistently over the season, I’m just lacking that edge at the moment that is needed to take the wins.
The A grade winner was someone you may have seen around the Air Arms website, Andy Watkins. He has shot superbly over the winter and finished sixth overall beating many AA grade shooters; which of course is where he will be competing form now on! Air Arms Field Target team members Phil James and Ian Stoddart both made the ‘Frayed Knot’ team to compete against the NEFTA team, while Sue Swift’s season perhaps didn’t go as she had planned but that’s how the winter works sometimes. To round off I will just mention the Silhouette competition, because I won that!