Not much to add to Jim’s comments other than looking back at this competition and apparently we’re not suppose to be doing that it was probably the worst I’ve ever shot since I got back into competitive target shooting! I was pretty apprehensive and you can read that as sh*t scared that this new 1/2 minute V-bull was going to cause me a lot of grief. Fortunately, I had other things to concentrate on. The Saturday started out okay at 700 & 800 yards except I couldn’t buy a V if they were giving them away for free. When we moved back to 900 meters after a bunch of shots including my sighters I still wasn’t hitting paper. Then all of a sudden I felt this kind of a kick on the sole of my foot and I thought it was the RSO coming over to turf me off the line cause they can do that and let the shooters you’re paired with continue shooting. What happened was a ground hog was trying to make a bee line to one of his holes on the position I was shooting on. He ran up over the back of my legs and then up the left side of me. Norbert Yankey was on my left and just about to take a shot when he ran under Norm’s rifle and then disappeared. I figured I’d just better get off the line because I had no idea what was going to happen next. The guys had a pretty good laugh about it as they had a great view back behind the line. I had no idea what the heck was going on at the time. This furry critter wasn’t little. He looked like Punxsutawney Phil from Delaware probably good friends with Pastor or something.

On Sunday I managed to stay on paper for all the yardages but it wasn’t a stellar performance. My v-count for both days was totally out of whack. I’ve never liked Connaught and this competition didn’t improve on my thoughts on it. It took me two seasons afterwards to figure that range out. We're not even close to being finished with the figuring either. I've talked to some noteable shooters and after fifteen years plus they tell me they're still working on it themselves. Everyone tells me that the winds there are less deceiving than Mons but every time I shot on that range something really crazy would happen.

Update Fall/2006 Looking back...
I should mentioned that I had some serious help early on Sunday or maybe we discovered it on Saturday I can’t remember cause I’m writing this part much later anyway it goes something like this... When I realized that something was seriously wrong with where my hits were going I had to try and figure out what the heck the problem was. The load I was using wasn’t so radically different than anything I had used in the past so I didn’t think the problem was there. I also didn’t think the problem was with my wind calls. I really wanted to blame the rifle couldn’t possibly be me, right? So where was the problem? I just couldn’t figure it out. I checked everything on the rifle starting first with the scope. I checked to make sure it was not loose in the rings, then checked the mounts. I checked the actions screws figuring it might be there. I checked and rechecked my elevation settings and they seemed to be right but every time I took a shot it would come up as a miss at 900. This is a very frustrating situation to be in because I was on fine or zeroed at 700 & 800. I was hitting the target. They couldn’t tell down in the pits where the shots where going either because until late in 2006 the butts had a lot of vegetation growing on it and you couldn’t see bullet splash from the firing line as well as you might have had the bullets been just hitting a sandy surface. What’s happened with the butts since then is that the lead and copper has been removed and in the process of that happening the vegetation was cleaned off the surface of the butts as part of the bonus. How long it will stay nice and sandy your guess is as good as mine but for now we can enjoy this little perk.

When I eventually exhausted everything I could think of I sought some help from Keith Cunningham. Now this was a match we were shooting not a practice. Keith really didn’t have to help me out but that’s just the type of guy he is. Keith went on to win the top honours for the TR shooters for this competition. So I went over to him during one of our breaks and tried to explain what was going on. Keith simply listened intently, he didn’t even interrupt me while I was explaining the situation to him. He patiently waited until I had completely exhausted my rant. He then took my rifle, found something relatively secure to rest it on, pulled the bolt and bore sighted it on a flag pole. Then he looked through the scope and turned to me with the kind of smile that you just
know you’re in for it! He then asked me to look through the scope. Damn the windage knob was a full complete turn or revolution out to the right. All of my shots were going way right between targets. We zeroed the windage crosshair and I was back in business. Why didn’t I see or realize this before? Dunno! Maybe I was just too close to the problem, not focused enough, too focused, too much tunnel vision, having a bad hair day or simply inexperienced. I’ve never forgotten or gotten over this one. Now when something hits the fan I try to stay much calmer. Doesn’t always work but it’s certainly a start. If you stay in this game long enough you will come up against quite a number of issues which will try to defeat your efforts to become a great shot. How you go about solving the problems which might plague you is indeed a challenge in itself. So Keith thanks again. I’ll probably never forget this one and this is a good thing!
NCRRA Long Range July 9-10 2004
National Capital Regional Rifle Association

Here are the scores of the NCRRA Long Range Match held at Connaught Ranges, July 9-10, 2004. The weather was excellent on both days, warm and sunny, with a light somewhat variable breeze. Keith Cunningham won the TR Grand Aggregate, and Dave Rumbold the F Class.

As a trial, the F Class shooters fired on the DCRA 500 yard target at all ranges. The higher scoring rings on this target closely resemble those proposed by the F Class Committee of ICFRA for International use. The small rings presented quite a challenge, since the V-bull and bull were only one-half and one minute respectively. Scores in the F Class were therefore quite a lot lower than might usually have been expected! Comments on the trial have been requested from all the F Class shooters, with the opinions to be passed on to the DCRA and posted on the DCRA web site.

Marking and range organisation were very good - and all in all it was an enjoyable weekend.
Jim Thompson
Keith Cunningham wins the top TR honours for the NCRRA Long Range Competition in July 2004
Dave Rumbold wins the top F-Class honours for the NCRRA Long Range Competition in July 2004