Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by Danladi, Jul 16, 2009.
Maybe you get luckier when you actually get out and shoot more
I used to think it was luck, now I need the wind to shoot well!
Granted you will have times when the wind just drops the moment you pull the trigger, although with more practice you will know when this is about to happen! How? The tree's & surrounding environment tell you! It's about being at one with nature along with a mixture of all your senses rolled into one, talking of rolled, I'm gonna have to lay off smoking these lead free pellets!
Sure, there's always wind thats difficult to read, but there are time limits in FT and HFT... and if the wind is flicking or gusting over tricky terrain then there are still things to combat that. Normally time works against you, and personally I don't find time a factor because I tend to take the shot when it's right for me... that could be on a low breeze, but it might be on something quite strong.
I think we've all had those unjudgeable days... you can work with experience, make an educated guess, and have a bit of luck, or you can just not hit a barn door. Those are the days though that I wouldn't be taking long shots hunting and to be honest, I don't like it past 35yds for a whole gamut of reasons.
I'd say the biggest problem with quarry at that distance, is the distance... at 45-60yds, theres 3.5 MOA of drop on my rifle which is a massive elevation change to bracket an animal in, and the wind would be very different at 45 and at 60... on such a small target such as a squirrels head, in tricky wind, i'd be getting closer. As much as you don't have a target that could move in FT & HFT, one of the downsides is you can't get closer to ensure the shot .
Jamie, get up to Quarry and shoot as much as you can, I'm sure you'll find your "Luck" improves greatly!
Ask to shoot a round with Mark Wall or Sparky on a windy day and see how "Lucky" they are.
I've shot with mark wall man and i dont personally find a problem with wind either, but alot of people have told me that they believe wind is played alot on luck, me personally - Anyone from quarry will vouch on this, I've never complained about the wind, If i get it wrong then its just a part of the sport, learn from it and move on.
The links in this thread won't work anymore as I've moved my hosting account.
(Edit - the links on this thread do work, I've fixed them)
p.s. If anyone uses the ranged mildot zeroing targets, there's a new updated version available on the Anston website www.anstonftc.co.uk/targets
I'm in the process of re-writing the range finding manual - more information on how to use your parallax to assist rangefinding by eye etc.
But I'm hearing more and more people claiming that Mildot Bracketing is impossible now because of custom faceplates, so I've put my thinking cap on and developed an iPhone App which will allow you to bracket targets even if you don't know how big they are. (albeit not the first time you see the target).
It's available from the App Store from this morning, and I'll release it on Android in the week when I get some spare time.
But for the time being, if you'd like to know how the app works and what it looks like
Have a read of this.. http://www.anstonftc.co.uk/hft-mildots/
Or to view it on the Apple App Store -
I've had to put a price of £3.99 on it I'm afraid to cover the cost of an Apple developer licences and a Google Play licence.
Just hope people don't buy the app and hope to use in a comp, otherwise be £4 down the drain
The app prints out a bracketing chart
That's ok as long as we don't see phones coming out on a shoot and people typing in all will be fine
I was only sending a text Pete, honest
The HFT Mildots app is now available for Android too, sorry for the delay.
I'm still writing the next couple of articles in the HFT Novice to Ninja series - the next one covers rangefinding using a combination of scope parallax and the Mk1 eyeball, and the one after that will cover mildot bracketing in depth.
But before those are available, you might want to start capturing some custom faceplate bracketing information using the app.
Thanks to everyone who's purchased the app so far, interestingly a larger than expected percentage of the sales so far have been outside of the UK. Bracketing at clubs that normally host UKAHFT events is becoming increasingly more difficult with so many custom faceplates (although not impossible) but if you're shooting HFT outside of the UK you might be able to gain an advantage until the course setters catch up.
There's a new article in the Novice to Ninja series covering rangefinding using your scope's parallax -
This is the 2nd part in the series of rangefinding articles which updates the old manual linked to at the start of this thread.
The next article is going to be an update on bracketing
Thanks for that Brian. I always enjoy reading your articles.
It's very very similar to the chain method I've used for 10 years. That works well for me.
I must admit it does make me giggle a little. I remember 10 years or more ago when HFT kicked in ( in it's organised form ) and there was a determination that this would be for standard kit with ranging done by eye and none of this devilry of high mag scopes being used to rangefind( like those technology obsessed FT boys ). Now we see Star Wars looking target rifles and multi aim point scopes ... and pieces of software that can be used to store rangefinding info on pocket computers. This is to knock down tin chickens out to 45 yards.
... but God forbid ... no little piece of wool hanging off your barrel to tell you which way the wind is blowing ( but smoking is fine ).
All good fun eh!
Thanks Brian, I always enjoy reading your articles
ah, a Cricket fan then
I suppose HFT was always going to become more and more kit oriented, but I guess it's also true of FT - you can throw money at a sport to buy the latest gun, scope, butt hook, target jacket etc, but that won't necessarily buy you the results.
The idea of these articles is to try to give newcomers from all over the World, a bit of a leg up. Afterall, none of these techniques are new and they've all been used from the very beginnings of HFT, people just preferred not to let on that they were using these techniques.
It'll be interesting to see where both sports are in another 10 years time (if airguns haven't been completely banned by then)
Yeah ... the old joke of what English sport has bits of wood at both ends and a chain in the middle.
35 years of playing on them, cutting them and inspecting them has branded 22 yards into my brain. So I just estimate a pitch from the peg and then it's either 2 x for 45 yards ... 1.5 times for aim bang on ( @ 35 ) or somewhere in between for 40.
I do enjoy reading your articles Bri and they must be of great value to shooters of all levels ... so many thanks.
I really have no problem with sport moving with technology and no problem with folk spending their money on whatever kit they wish. Like you say, it will always be the shooter and not the kit that wins comps.
I choose to shoot the old boinger with a 30/30 ret and just use the mark 1 guessometer to range. Then aim up a bit or down a bit.
To be honest, especially for my caveman brain, it can all get too complicated. 2 years ago I was doing quite well and then felt I was missing out on something with all these multi aim point rets and ranging techniques. So I got a half mil dot scope and read up about bracketing etc. At each peg you could see the smoke coming out of my ears as I second guessed my initial thoughts. My scores went down and down. I presumed it was just because courses had become much harder with more 15mm kills and 25mm at 40 yards etc ... and that may still be the case ... and the fact I'm not that good.
A few weeks ago I decided to go back to 30/30 ret ( also thought the half mil dot was losing zero ) and just go back to the chain method and just enjoy. Since then my last 3 knocks have been ok. Probably very lucky and a low 40's score is probably coming up next. ... but it seems basic suits me.
Ah I think you're selling yourself and your caveman brain short there..
A skill you've learned over 35 years of experience, is a skill to be proud of and it'll always score more points on a course than any piece of swanky kit you could buy.
The problem is... for a newcomer to the sport, they want a shortcut to that 35 years.. they don't want to squeeze it into just 10 years either, they want it in 6-12 months (actually much sooner than that, but they'll settle for 6-12 months)
So what can you do to speed up the process?
That's the idea behind the articles, to get people up to a reasonable level as quickly as possible. Experience and practice will trump expensive equipment every time, but while you're gaining that experience it helps to have a bit of a leg up. Some of it might be a bit technical, but it's down to the reader to decide which bits they want to use and which bits they'll ignore or perhaps come back to later on.
Another good post. It is very satisfying when one can help a newcomer to any sport and give them advice, especially a youngster ... and especially if they take it. Quite often it can be frustrating as they often know best despite you trying to stop them making the same mistakes that you've made yourself over the last 35 years ... but that's life.
I suppose there are reasons why shooters don't post their own ranging techniques on the internet for youngsters and newbies to learn from. Maybe fear of embarassment ( in case it's wrong ) or maybe not wanting to give away any 'secrets'.
I could waffle about my methods in the hope that that may help young 'uns but you are far better at it than me ( the explaining and probably the ranging ).
Here's a couple of, not so much techniques of ranging, but guidelines that I'd suggest ...
Learn your own method and then stick with your own estimations on a course. DO NOT get fooled by listening to your shooting partner or from overheard gossip around the lanes. You may decide a shot is 35 yards. You may hear your partner say ... " That's definitely 40 yards ... yep I'll be shooting that for 40 yards". You convince yourself he must be right so you shoot it for 40 and miss high ... because you were right ... it was 35. At the end of the round he'll probably of scored 43/60. So you've been listening to a guy who's missed 17. Similarly you may hear the shooters leaving the lane in front of you saying " Well I shot that for 35 and missed low so it must have been 40 ". No ... it probably was 35 and they missed just because they aren't that good and they've just missed low. So ... Golden rule number 1 ... switch your mind off from the gossip you hear on the way around the course and go with your own decisions.
Don't ever aim edge of kill ... I can explain that if someone wishes ... but it's so obvious when you think about it and I'm sure most decent shooters know that anyway. It's got me so many more targets since I've been doing that.
I've thrown together a little mildot bracketing test page for a bit of fun and to illustrate how to bracket a full faceplate.
It's not easy, as you'll learn if you take the test.
There are nine targets in total, how many can you get right?