2011 Temecula FT Challenge, The FT Legacy Continues!!! - PICS

2011 Temecula FT Challenge, The FT Legacy Continues!!! - PICS

Joined: November 5th, 2003, 8:29 pm

May 19th, 2011, 5:33 pm #1

First and Foremost, a tremendous thank you to Larry and Andrea Durham for opening their home and hosting this fine airgun event again! It's a huge undertaking to invite a bunch of people to your home to camp, cook and shoot airguns for an entire weekend or morel Yet your love and dedication to the sport and your friends has kept this tradition going for over a decade now and it is greatly appreciated by those that attend and have attended in years past!

It's Thursday morning around 9:30a.m., May 12th, and Mike Abers aka Boomer Mikey are heading down Highway 5 to begin our epic adventure to Temecula, CA for the largest and longest running Field Target events on the West Coast, The Temecula FT Challenge. This Airgun Event has grown to become more than just a Shooting Competition. It's a Time AND Place for friends to gather and spend quality time, sharing and shooting airguns, talking airguns and life in general. In particular for me, it was also a time to decompress, relax and have FUN with friends that I don't get to see very often, be they local, from So Cal or out of state. Since last year, I took some of LD's advice of just having fun, not practicing, pretty much just showing up at shoots and pulling the trigger as best as possible, win, lose or draw, we don't win a dime in FT so train and treat it like you're going for or won Olympic Gold every match? Seeing and hanging out with friends and fellow airgunners was the Mission Objective all year long and wasn't gonna change this weekend!!!

Rolling down the highway, the soft purr of the 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel in the back ground, Boomer and me are talking up a storm about what else, AIRGUNS and every related topic, be it Silhouettes, FT, 10m, etc., lol!!! A rumbling is starting to interfere with the conversation at hand, fortunately its not mechanical, its the need get food. A quick detour to Carl's Junior tops off the fuel tank with premium fuel for the traveling airgunners!

Back on Highway 5, the Garmin GPS is talking away and Boomer says we're gonna take an alternate route via Highway 99 to save fuel as we have a 33' trailer in tow and 99 is flatter than Highway 5. As we veer onto the detour, heading East, we're chatting up a storm as is the GPS with its Recalculations to get us to Temecula. Apparently the GPS caught Boomer's attention as he, we talked, and he followed the GPS route which after about 30 minutes brought us back to Highway 5 South, lol!!! Let's chalk up another memorable "Boomer's Scenic Tour" for the history books, lol! I could tell ya about the famous 2 hour, estimated, drive to Modesto that landed him in the state of Nevada but that's another story all together!!! Just teasing ya Boomer)

With the late start and the detour, we are finding ourselves in SoCal Traffic!!! I tell ya, the traffic made me think of when I graduated from USC way back when..."I am not going to live here, its too crowded with too much traffic, but I'll visit!!!"

As the sun is slowly setting, we finally pull onto LD's road. Rabbits, ground squirrels and quail are actively running about and all I could think of is "Live Field Target"!!! After pulling up to his house, LD comes out to greet us. I don't get to see LD as often as I'd like so it sure was good seeing him. Apparently we were the first to arrive, which made maneuvering and setting up the trailer a bit easier so we could hang out and relax before calling it a night.

Waking up Friday morning in Temecula was a treat knowing that the festive reunion of a weekend was beginning! Bobby Corcoran from Arizona and Terry Depew from Nevada trekked over night and were on site. Bobby is an Open Class PCP shooter that has won state matches and the Temecula FT Challenge a few times over the years and Terry is a tremendous spring piston shooter and tuner that has also won his class in Temecula. These guys are a couple of airgunners that ya just look forward to seeing and being around. They love airguns, be it shooting them or shooting the breeze about them and when it comes to events like Temecula, they appreciate it and care about it enough to arrive early to add some sweat equity to help make the event happen. Through their example, I started showing up early for the event beginning last year to help out with setting up and taking down the event as well. Arriving next was Matt Saenz, an accomplished Airgun Bench Rest Shooter that is getting into the FT game as well. Matt's another airgunner like Bobby and Terry that are a pleasure to see and talk with.

After eating breakfast, we were getting targets painted, lubricated and set up so they could be placed on the course along with lane markers. LD decided to change things up on us this year in mapping the course layout. Forgoing much of the Upper course that had been used in years' past, he gave us some new areas and angles to contend with in target placement that would be challenging as the wind brings its influence to the game at hand. As the course took shape, all I could think is wow, we're stretching the distances and shrinking the zones this go round if my memory serves correct!!! :-0

With the course set, it was time to hang out and relax a bit before the scheduled Bench Rest Match at 4pm or so. Today's Bench Rest Match was going to be an official 25M that would serve as qualifying scores for shooters aiming to make the World's Airgun Benchrest Match this year. In the rush of getting my gear together for this trip, let's just say I got a little careless and brought one of my test mule USFT's that had a relatively new barrel and forgot to pack pellets for it
! :-0 Fortunately for me, I was not taking this weekend seriously from a competitive standpoint AND Rich Woods had some JSBHs he could loan me, lol!!! Some pics from the BR Range prior to the start of the match:

Rich Woods:

Bobby Corcoran:

Larry Durham aka LD:

Wayne Burns aka Wacky Wayne:

The Line:

Matt Saenz USFT BR and JJ Industries Rest:

After the match it was time to start relaxing and getting dinner in order. After firing up the bbq, I started cooking Kalbi aka Korean Style Short Ribs and Hot Links accompanied with Kim Chee and pickled Jalapenos, Carrots, Potatos. A mix of Mild Sweet and Spicy that will either put a smile or frown(ok only the spicy stuff put frown's on some folks face, lol!) on one's face!!!

As night drew upon us, many of us decided to get prepared for the strenuous next day by Carbo Loading and increasing our electrolyte levels with lots of Corona, Fat Tire Ale and Plinking at Bell Targets and Bobby's resettable target with multiple killzones inside LD's garage. Got to bed a bit late and the morning came much sooner than later to put it mildly! Crawled out of my sleeping bag, got dressed and went to see what was going on. LD's home was bustling with activity, folks were already sighting in, people arriving, food was on the table, kind of reminded me of the surfing days, going to do dawn patrol and buds arriving to pick me up and I just got outta the shower trying to wake up, lol...

Anyhoo, I needed inspiration and sustenance so I grabbed coffee and grub. Today I am paired up with Wayne Burns and Boomer Mikey. This is Boomer's first trip to Temecula and I was excited to see how he likes the course but was also cautiously concerned about the physical demands it would place on Boomer as he has an ongoing battle with a busted up back from a motorcycle accident and 2 recent hip replacements which he tries his best to NOT let them interfere with his love of shooting. Due to Boomer's physical condition, he shoots FT Off Hand but has considered HFT and the use of a bucket.

Wayne is a good friend and incredibly good soul that traveled all the way from Ashland, OR to join the fun. He is truly a breathe of fresh air and asset to the airgun community. He is the Match Director of the Ashland Air Rifle Range and will be hosting the:

Oak Alley Grand Prix Event- Memorial Weekend Shootout May 28th - 30th.

For info. on this event contact:

Wacky Wayne Burns,
Match Director,
Ashland Air Rifle Range
541-552-1441 email wayne.burns@naturalyards.com

If you're in the area or can be in the area to enjoy one of his fine shoots, they are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, his airgun range is more like an airgun amusement park with all that it offers!!!

The weather is cool with patchy clouds and increasing winds with lots of surges. We start on Lane 3 which is a steep uphill lane that has a perennial favorite love/hate target that LD concocted on his own. Its a "floating paddle target" where the small paddle, is floating in a full killzone, thus you may miss the paddle but not hit the faceplate! To the right of it is a generous killzone target to help one get their confidence back if the first target rattled it just a bit!!!

Lane 3:

Wacky Wayne Burns:

Boomer Mikey:

Seeing Boomer hit these targets off hand is amazing. He neither makes any claims to FT Fame nor seeks FT Fame, he's out to shoot, hang out with friends and fellow airgunners and if he can knock a few targets down, he'll gladly take the points!

Lane 3 was a convergence zone of FT Shooters, on the trail above us which leads to Lane 3 are Brad Stevens from Utah and Terry Depew:

Walking to Lane 3 was the father and son team of Ron and Daniel Marcoe that shoot with CASA and whom I first met up at Wayne Burns Oak Alley Memorial Shoot last year:

After hittin' a few and missin' a few, we make our way up to Lane 4 where Vince Pacheco and his fiance Fan are slinging some lead! Vince is a long time CASA member and FT competitor and collector that is a joy to see and hang out with whenever possible.

Lane 4 was another steep angled uphill lane with one of those interference designs that forces ya to choose another position other than seated to break your shots on the first target:

Wayne was first on the lane and took down the Off Hander, look at the smile as he resets it!!!

Perspective of the target angle and the wind(Notice the tape in the wind and Wayne's hat on the ground?!?!)

The second target isn't too bad, NOT!!! This Big Red Mouse has a tiny kz that just makes ya cringe, lol!!!

Elsewhere on the course, I run into Casey Robertson aka Casey in SD and Eric Ailor aka EzyE(No, not the EzyE of NWA fame for all you hardcore west coast gansta rap fans!)

Casey and Eric are relatively new to the FT scene but they clearly have a passion for shooting and/or collecting airguns and clearly, the FT bug has bit them! It was truly a pleasure to meet these two guys that I have only known from the Airgun Forums and email!

Me and Eric:

Eric and Brad S.:

Casey Robertson with his MAC1 Prepped Marauder:

Over on Lane 3, Ron Jobbes aka The Champ and Bruce Adamson were having fun with the angled shots! Ron is a long time CASA member that shoots and collects airguns along with interests in Archery and Fishing.

Ron Jobbes:

Bruce is a relatively new FT shooter at CASA that got bit by the FT bug pretty darn good! In refining his MAC1 Prepped MROD, he bought a Boyd's Uninletted Stock Blank and prepped and finished it himself, including quite a bit of weight reduction to get it just the way he wanted!!!

Bruce Adamson:

Lane 5 consists of a pair of bell targets with a 30degree spread between them for the shooter aiming uphill:

Yours truly on Lane 5:

Team Marcoe spending quality time together and for those of you that aren't in the know, the kid CAN SHOOT!!! :

After ringing some bells on Lane 5, we walk over to Lane 6 which has more bell targets but now we are facing into the wind for the most part! This lane is situated next to the Bench Rest Range Targets which means there's some funky wind swirling coming down from the hillside to the left of the targets! The angled face on one of the targets adds to the excitement as the kz appears less than round!!!

We're having a bunch of fun talking and shooting, taking our time along the way, walking past the sight in range to Lane 7 which has a classic Temecula FT Challenge Target aptly known as the Terrorist Target! It's a silhouette with a very generous Killzone with a slightly smaller paddle floating in it! For those of you that think FT is normally shot at 55yards max, think again!!! Since I came here for fun and not real competition, my sidewheel only had 55yards as its highest range, and let's just say there was about 3/4" more to go from the 55yard mark when I had the Terrorist Target focused! A SWAG with the clicks yielded one hit on this target which is one of those REALLY SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW to fall faceplates, lol...

The wind is picking up steam as the day is getting warmer which is making for some interesting shooting for all of us.

Lane 8 is more relatively level shooting but due to the angle of the targets, its gives the shooter a varied angles for the wind factor!

Lane 9 is more flat shooting with the targets closer together width wise but wind is ever present and reminding you that you need to hold off...

After relaxing a bit, I'm about to head to the truck to get more pellets as I'm almost out but Wayne graciously offers some of his cleaned and sorted CPH Die #D to save me the trip but I had to ask, are they lubed? The last time we shot at the AZ State Match, he offered me some pellets which shot horribly in my gun, despite being the right Die/Lot and I found out his were lubed with Coconut Oil, lol!!! Luckily that happened while just practicing/sighting in but I wanted to make sure this time!!! Ok, cool, unlubed, poured some into my pellet container and rolled them around to get some of the Krytech off my remaining pellets onto them.

Now the trek uphill to Lane 10 which gives us a new to us area to shoot from high up, aiming downward from an area with boulders at some bell targets! Wayne was able to see it from a seated position behind the pole. Unfortunately I couldn't and I didn't want to shoot off hand or kneeling so what could I do? Sit on top of the rock, lol! Not the most stable position and it reflected on my scorecard, lol!!! Lesson learned...

Lane 11 was a short walk to the left of Lane 10 and on solid ground thankfully! Nothing too complicated but I managed to miss a few!!!

Walking to Lane 12 was a short circling left and uphill walk to the lane. The first target was a short 17yarder with one of those itty bitty floating paddles!

Lane 13 represented another relatively long lane that had a few of us wondering, "what in the heck is up with these targets?!?!" The far target at 50ish yards had the same appearing small kz as the close target, lol!!!

It was amazing, Boomer was having a trend of problems with short targets and success on the long targets and sure enough, he missed the close one had was able to hit the farther target!!!

Now we begin the comparatively long trek from Lane 13, past LD's home and down hill to Lanes 1 and 2 to finish our day.

Lane 1 is a steep off hander facing uphill with wind blowing left to right, this shot made me wish I had a variable power scope, lol, 2 cups of coffee plus a fixed 35x scope wasn't an ideal combo for this lane!!! :

Lane 2 was a short downhill walk and provided 2 challenging targets for us. A short small floating paddle target at around 17yards and a long uphill shot with the target at the base of a rock outcropping. Lots of wind to add to one's shooting pleasure!!!

With our day of FT over, it was off to clean our rigs and put them away for the day and grab some grub and begin the festivities with friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After washing up, grabbed an ice cold Corona to perform some value added reporting at the grill!!!

Matt Saenz was busy cooking the Durham's famous Carne Asada(which IS reason enough to attend the Temecula FT Challenge all by itself!!!)

There's MUCH LOVE in the Carne Asada, YUMMMMMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More and more food is being prepared and brought out to the table by Andrea Durham and their daughter, be it various chips, dips, pico de gallo, salsa, stuffed jalapeno peppers, baked beans, fruit, ambrosia, etc.!!!

As such the crowd was starting to grow with others finishing the course!!!

After what seemed like endless trips to get more Carne Asada and Cornona, it was time for dessert
and that Pink Colored Ambrosia and Fresh Watermelon was calling me!!! I never had that type of Ambrosia before which had cherries in it and I tell ya, it bit me good! After finishing what I had, I waited and watched to make sure everyone had a fair chance at getting some before going back for more. Then I had at it and more watermelon as well, man it was THAT GOOD!!!

For most of us, it was time to relax and enjoy festivities and the fellowship of some excellent airgun brethren, others were down on the sight in range til dark fell upon us or to the tunnel for testing. On this trip I had brought my FX Independence to plink with and to share with others that I had talked with at the Pacific Airgun Expo about it as well as others. At the Expo, I had talked with Brad Stevenson and Terry Depew about my Indy and its accuracy and let them know I'd bring it to Temecula for them to check out. I had also explained to Terry that he's the driving force for me buying that rifle as every time I attended Temecula in years past, I was amazed at how Terry, with Rolex consistency, would be found on the corner of LD's patio after a match ended, shooting his Whiscombe rifle at long range targets from 75 - 120plus yards til dark fell! I always thought how cool to have a really accurate springer with the power to do that in that wind. I figured I could save up for a Whizzer or I could buy an Indy and have factory support, parts/servicing via AOA now that the Indy is out...it was a no brainer!!!

So I pull the Indy out and a tin of 18.1gr Exacts and introduce Brad to it which caught Bobby's attention as well as Terry's and let them have at it from the porch/patio! To put it mildly it was well received and even got the hardcore springer shooter Terry to say "This is the only airgun in years to excite me!!!"

Dark is upon us and that only means one thing, MORE AIRGUN FUN!!! Bell Target Shooting/Plinking, Campfire, More Carne Asada, Fancy Sodas and Fancy Grape Juice and good ole conversation amongst friends

Bobby brought his Sharp Target Rifle and one of his home made targets that had various sized killzones to try and shoot, a hit results in a flag popping up behind that killzone! As the night progressed more air rifles and pistols came out to have at it in everyone's hands:


Steve Wan aka McGuyver is a creative inventor/fabricator of sorts that has built up some fantastic electronic triggered air rifles and pistol that have amazed all that have seen and shot them. Given his skillset, he's gonna take a shot at fixing LD's FWB 90 that stopped working:

Another airgun I brought down for people to check out and shoot was an IZH 46M that I converted to front and rear aperture sights for silhouette shooting, using Taco Hold. To put it mildly, it surprised people as to how well it worked and how easy it was to use:

It was funny, as we're hanging out, a field mouse runs into the garage and Art Burciaga grabs his P17 to get ready. Next thing you see is LD going to get his mouse gun, a Crosman 38T that was up on a shelf and takes position in a chair. I ask him are you sure its got C02 and pellets?!?! He takes a couple shots at the bell target and its out of gas, put a new cartridge in, pierce it and its dumping it all out, getting a laugh or two out of all of us sitting there! Now he grabs a Crosman 357 and after installing a new cartridge and loading the magazine, its holding and ready to rock. I had to ask, Is it sighted in?!?! A couple shots on the bell target show its about 3" high, so he hands it back to me to adjust the sights(I guess this is what I get for opening my mouth and being the younger guy, lol(It's all good)!!! Well its sighted in after maxing out the elevation screw but that mouse is fast and taking cover as quick as he shows himself, he knows he's in a war zone!!!

Finally he starts moving around in the open next to a file cabinet, somewhat slow and carefree movement...Art and LD are getting a lock on him and iirc, Bobby asks "What's in the blue jugs behind him?" LD says "Motor Oil, we don't want to shoot that!!!" So the great Road Runner Mouse Hunt is over for now, lol!!! Exciting times for sure!!!

We were hanging out, shooting and talking airguns as well as seeing a bunch of airguns including LD's Big Bore Project Airgun that he built years ago. Now talking about one stout air rifle that felt like the Barret of Air Rifles in terms of its size and weight! It's approaching 3am, time to get to bed or else we're gonna be pullin' an all nighter!!! Lord only knows we're gonna need to be awake for tomorrow's shooting as the weather predictions showed a cold front moving in bringing 20+mph winds with gusts over 40mph and some rain to boot!!!:-0

Sunday morning breaks earlier than I'd like, lol, with Boomer saying "you might wanna get up!!!"
As usual, LD's house is stirring with activity with people on the sight in range, getting gear together and eating breakfast. Oh that coffee was calling again, not the best accuracy enhancer for me but I NEEDED IT and it sure did taste good with the food at hand!!!

Now that my vertical orientation was stabilizing, it was time to grab the gear and start the day with Boomer and Ron Jobbes on Lane 1. We figured it would be easiest to work are way from top to bottom today. As we're walking down the grade towards Lane 1, the unimaginable happens as Boomer is pushing his Gun Cart...he forgot to wrap the bungee cord around his Air Arms S400 FT Rifle and it tips out of the cart, from a vertical muzzle up position, and falls on the ground taking a bounce or two!!! :-0

Given its orientation, all the force hit the muzzle and Hawke scope leaving scratches and abrasions on it! Boomer took it in stride saying something to the effect of "This is gonna be interesting!!!" He didn't want to go back to the sight in range to check his zero and decided to work through it on the course via Off Hand shooting!

It was cool and windy to put it mildly!

Coming up to enjoy the fun of Lane 1 is Bobby Corcoran and LD:

Bobby Corcoran:

Larry Durham aka LD:

Heading down to Lane 2, we meet up with Wayne Burns and Bruce Adamson:

Ron Jobbes changed horses today, shooting his beautiful 13fpe Falcon TRL Rifle instead of the springer he had on Saturday:

Down below us on the lower part of the course, folks are having fun with the cool temps, wind, and steep angles that Temecula offered us!

Terry Depew from Nevada:

Brad Stevenson, another Temecula regular who flew in from Utah to join in on the fun again! Brad's an airgun hunter that enjoys pesting with his hunting buddy Reed whom couldn't make it out this year:

Dave Fredericks, CASA President, having fun trying to deal with the surging wind conditions that make breaking your shot under a consistent condition quite evasive!!!

Steve Wan, McGuyver, the inventor/creator extraordinaire with his D9 Rifle!!!

The rain is off and on again, enough to get things wet then break to dry off and rain again!

Luckily as we're rounding the course to where we begin going uphill again, the rain is gone for good and we meet up with legendary airgunsmith Tim McMurray from MAC1 and Art Burciaga. Art is a retired small appliance repairmen that did sideline work on the P17 Pistol Line for Beeman's Don Walker. To put it mildly, he knows the P17/Marksman 2004/P3 models inside and out and shoots Air Pistol Silhouette with his customized P17.

Tim McMurray with his faithful sidekick Cali:

Art Burciaga:

The breaking sun was a welcomed change from the cold wet morning, no doubt about it!

With the days shooting over it was time for more food, cold refreshments and hanging out with everybody. As the scores were tallied, the final results were as follows:

It was a fine weekend of FT, embodying the spirit of FT, combining Airguns with Friends, Food, Camping and a LOT OF FUN!!! A huge thank you to LD and Andrea for hosting this event again. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all of us that attended and we look forward to attending the event in the future.



Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 3:22 pm

May 19th, 2011, 10:24 pm #2

Temecula is right in my backyard.

Those look like some serious airguns!


Joined: November 5th, 2003, 8:29 pm

May 20th, 2011, 10:47 pm #3

Definitely an event you want to attend in the future!



Joined: October 3rd, 2010, 3:22 pm

May 21st, 2011, 8:40 pm #4