Saturday, May 22, 2010

Winterswijk - a tour of the range downstairs

Today I am taking you downstairs where all the stages were set up for the match.

I don't know how large the downstairs area is, but I can tell you it is huge. There is a very good ventilation system installed, so no worries about breathing contaminated air. I did have to dress warmly this year as it was quite cold down here.

There were two stages set up in this room. The one on the right, is one of my favorites and I had some very good times on this one. Spectators could stand outside and watch the match.

The right side stage was a good one to shoot also. For those of you who do not know anything about this kind of shooting here is a short version of the setup. There are five steel plates, one of which is a stop plate which is the last to be shot. The six stages are all set up in different configurations and distances from the shooters box, using large rectangular plates, and various sized round plates.
The shooter is instructed by a range officer to "load and make ready" "are you ready?" "standby' the shooter then hears a buzzer and can commence firing.
I love this sport, it really is a challenge, and what a rush to hear the ding, as lead hits the target (if you can hear it) and to better yourself hopefully, every time you go to a match.

Here is a better photo of one of my favorite stages. The stop plates were hanging on a red post, whereas in some matches, you have to remember which is the stop plate, because they are not marked this way.

Shooting the breeze while waiting for the next competitor to step up to shoot.

These two stages are fun to shoot

Stage four, my worst nightmare.
I drew this stage to start on, and it was awful. Usually when you come up to shoot, you have all your own equipment, everything is working as it should, so all you have to do is concentrate on the job at hand. However, this time I was distracted thinking about how I would deal with any problem which could arise due to having to use three of Mr C's magazines, as the magazines for my gun did not make it into our luggage.
When using the three mags which seemed to work best in my gun, I had to be very careful that they were firmly inserted and secured in the gun before commencing to shoot, as the mechanism for holding the magazine in our guns differed slightly, and there could be a chance that the holding mechanism would not catch and hold properly. There was also a chance that I may have a bullet or two jam, as the magazines are fine tuned to work best in the gun they are used in. Yes I did have some rounds jam, I did have a magazine which did not stay in as it should, so I muttered under my breath, cleared the problem and finished the run. This stage cost me dearly.
HERE are the scores.

Shooting indoors is a whole different experience than outdoors which we usually do. First the bays are a little narrower than we are used to, and on one stage some of the steel plates were switched so they would fit in the bays. For instance instead of two large plates being on the outside, they were switched with the two smaller inside ones. Not a huge difference but when one gets used to shooting a stage set up in a particular way, you have to adjust your mindset. Also I found the lighting to be rather intense on some of the plates, and on stage four (my worst nightmare) where the back plates are set up far out, it is hard to see if you have scored a hit and it is also hard to hear a strike.
All said and done, we had a wonderful time, and are already looking forward to returning next year.

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