My Lessons Learned

My Lessons Learned

Joined: May 3rd, 2017, 1:19 am

August 13th, 2017, 1:12 am #1

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
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Joined: January 3rd, 2006, 2:12 am

August 13th, 2017, 5:26 am #2

Ray,

Don't be disappointed by the low scores to start with. You will find that it's very typical for almost all shooters beginning with airguns. Even if you have shot with hi-powered rifles before. This is a whole new ball game. I shot in the service back in the 50's and with .22 cal. after that. Airguns was my first competitive shooting sport and the first time I was exposed to using a scope. I've been in FT with airguns for about 8 years now and I still seem to learn something new pretty often. It's a great sport and you will meet some great people who are willing to help. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Just shooting with and around some of the top shooters will help you.

Hope you enjoy,

Pat
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Joined: February 28th, 2011, 4:45 pm

August 13th, 2017, 10:20 am #3

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
Everyone has to begin the journey somewhere. Stick with it and you will see your personal bests get eclipsed over and over and that is the reward that keeps us coming back. I think you will find FT shooters as a group are very willing to share their shooting knowledge with you. My first season I went to nationals shooting HFT class and was squaded with the shooter that won open class. I learned so much that day- about shooting FT and how little I knew. You looked like you were adapting fine to new equipment and a new class under pretty tough conditions with the humidity and heat.
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Joined: October 10th, 2012, 3:20 pm

August 13th, 2017, 11:53 am #4

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
Glad you came out to shoot Ray and thanks again for bringing the cooler filled with water and soft drinks.

Finding the target is something that will come to you. Part of it is finding that natural point of aim with your body before you even put the rifle on your knee to range. I also generally reset my magnification to low power and zoom in after I find the target to my max magnification to rangefind. Then I shoot at 40x. I always range at the same magnification that I set up the yardage distances.
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Joined: February 23rd, 2015, 1:44 am

August 13th, 2017, 12:11 pm #5

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
figured out an issue and corrected it on the fly. If you just kept shooting, and not trusting your prep, you would have not done so well.

Telling you to lower the mag was just something I figured out at one point in the past. Simple enough to not think of it.

You will pick up plenty of tips from fellow shooters, especially since we shoot with the likes of Will Piatt and others in our club. The heat proved intense yesterday and most had faded near the end.

You picked up your game after you figured out you issue.

Oh and don't fib! I did congratulate you on your shooting when we were done... In case you forgot...Great job Ray! Lol
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Joined: February 4th, 2016, 5:10 pm

August 13th, 2017, 3:09 pm #6

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
I also added a handle to the power adjuster. Not only does that help with leverage, and make it easier and faster to adjust... it also acts as a marker. When it's straigt up, it's at 20 power for "finding the target", then when locked on the target, I just move the handle down to level, and it's at the 40 power I range and shoot at. I don't have to look at the dial... saves time and worry.

Get into a pattern of your process. Do it the same everytime. My process for my USFT is:

1. Load a pellet, cock my gun, close my breech.
2. Look down the side of the barrel and get the gun pointed as close as I can at the target.
3. lower the scope power, find the target, raise the scope power back up.
4. Range the target, evaluate the wind, break the shot.
5. Open my breech, and get the heck out of the shooting box for the next guy.

Always do it the same. That way you don't forget to load a pellet, or close your breech, which could cost you a point if you break your sear with out a pellet in the breech:-)

Welcome to the process... and enjoy the journey along the way. You might or might not get to the top of your class, so it's best to enjoy to journey:-)

Wayne Burns,
Match Director,
Ashland Air Rifle Range
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Joined: May 3rd, 2017, 1:19 am

August 14th, 2017, 3:04 am #7

Ray,

Don't be disappointed by the low scores to start with. You will find that it's very typical for almost all shooters beginning with airguns. Even if you have shot with hi-powered rifles before. This is a whole new ball game. I shot in the service back in the 50's and with .22 cal. after that. Airguns was my first competitive shooting sport and the first time I was exposed to using a scope. I've been in FT with airguns for about 8 years now and I still seem to learn something new pretty often. It's a great sport and you will meet some great people who are willing to help. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Just shooting with and around some of the top shooters will help you.

Hope you enjoy,

Pat
Pat,
Thanks for the help and comments. I'm not at all worried about myself or shooting low scores, I just want to learn, share and grow in the sport. I totally agree about meeting great people in FT. I already have.

Raymond Hawkins
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Joined: September 1st, 2012, 10:04 pm

August 14th, 2017, 3:08 am #8

I shot my first open class match today which was held near Raleigh NC. My eyes were opened to a few things I didn’t understand about my optics and wanted to share some lessons learned. The information I’m about to share is intended for the beginning shooter or anyone making the swing to other classes where ranging and clicking is within the rules.

To start I was having a really hard time finding many of the targets. It seemed like it was taking forever. In some cases I gave out holding my rifle up while looking through my scope. My fellow shooting competitor saw my struggles and suggested I turn the power setting on my scope to a much lower setting. Doing this completely opened up my field of view making it easier to get into position and quickly locate and range my targets. This technic will defiantly serve me in several ways in the future and hopefully you or someone you know may find this helpful.

For example after I started doing this I noticed my setup and range time began to decrease, the stress and fatigue from not being able to locate a target in a timely manner was reduced significantly. However…. My misses increased.

Why, because my scope data was based on the scopes highest magnification and I had started ranging at the lower magnification. This makes a huge difference to the number of clicks required to hit the target. Before long I had lost my trust for the data I had worked so hard on. I soon reverted back to holding off based on my prior misses. Somehow, after locating my targets on the lower power then ranging at the higher power as it was intended. Those targets starting falling and for a short time I felt like a shooter.

So the light has come on for me and hopefully what I learned today will be of value to another. Then again I may be the only one in the world that didn’t know this.

Anyway, I had a great time, learned a lot by shooting with or in close proxcimadey to many of the best shooters in the country. If all this wasn’t enough I ate two hot dogs and turned in my personal best score. No one congratulated me because my best was only good for last place. I don’t know what's wrong with me but I feel I like the big winner today.

Adding these positive changes my routine is going to make me faster on the range and hopefully a better shooter too. Give it a try.

Raymond Hawkins
Cut to fit any diameter, and ring bump on your scope. Reasonably priced.

https://www.amazon.com/MGM-Switchview-U ... hrow+lever
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Joined: May 3rd, 2017, 1:19 am

August 14th, 2017, 3:39 am #9

I also added a handle to the power adjuster. Not only does that help with leverage, and make it easier and faster to adjust... it also acts as a marker. When it's straigt up, it's at 20 power for "finding the target", then when locked on the target, I just move the handle down to level, and it's at the 40 power I range and shoot at. I don't have to look at the dial... saves time and worry.

Get into a pattern of your process. Do it the same everytime. My process for my USFT is:

1. Load a pellet, cock my gun, close my breech.
2. Look down the side of the barrel and get the gun pointed as close as I can at the target.
3. lower the scope power, find the target, raise the scope power back up.
4. Range the target, evaluate the wind, break the shot.
5. Open my breech, and get the heck out of the shooting box for the next guy.

Always do it the same. That way you don't forget to load a pellet, or close your breech, which could cost you a point if you break your sear with out a pellet in the breech:-)

Welcome to the process... and enjoy the journey along the way. You might or might not get to the top of your class, so it's best to enjoy to journey:-)

Wayne Burns,
Match Director,
Ashland Air Rifle Range
Wayne,
I really appreciate you sharing your routine with me. Not only is it beneficial to me but believe this kind of information would be very helpful to so many others out there. I'm a golfer and know how valuable having a repeatable routine is. This is what's been missing in my shooting. I don't have a good repeatable routine. So glad you shared your process with us new shooters.

I also totally agree with you saying "I may not reach the top of my class and to enjoy the journey". That's great advice. I'm so privileged to shoot with some of the absolute best shooters in world. They are so helpful and I believe each would help you in any way they could to help you win. For me to win others would have to loose and I'm not feeling so special. I will find my nitch and hopefully that will be helping others.

Raymond Hawkins
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Joined: May 3rd, 2017, 1:19 am

August 14th, 2017, 3:49 am #10

Cut to fit any diameter, and ring bump on your scope. Reasonably priced.

https://www.amazon.com/MGM-Switchview-U ... hrow+lever
Terry,
Very nice too. I can see this being extremely helpful. This idea makes the operation easily done with one hand. Thanks for sharing.

Raymond Hawkins

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