Eric Brewer Reports On The 2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals – Part Two

Eric Brewer brings us Part Two his personal account of the AAFTA 2021 Field Target Nationals in San Luis Obispo, California. Part One of the story is here.

So it was back to the range in the morning on Saturday!

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

The day started with a large group of people at the zeroing range. Shooters were saying that the wind at the zero range was definitely affecting your pellets at anything past 25 Yards.

After getting things set with our guns everybody wound up getting together for the safety meeting.

Then we all moved down to the lanes to knock down them targets!

I was lucky enough to be partnered up with Lauren Parsons. Man, that lady can shoot well! I would get up to the lane and shoot my four targets – missing all or most of them.

Then she would follow up behind me and hit every one of them down over and over.

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

Lauren was shooting her Daystate Red Wolf Field Target LPR.

Previously I had looked at the targets on the walk through and thought that they wouldn’t be too hard. Looking through the scope I found out that they had very small kill zones. That was quite a concern with the wind…

The course was very windy at around 7 mph to 18 mph and quite variable. Sometimes it was left to right, sometimes it was right to left, sometimes it was from your back. It was certainly affecting the pellets.

Everyone was having the same issues with the wind. The winds on the zeroing range were from left to right. Now there were head on, tail winds and frequently quartering winds.

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

The scores that were posted were very low. But some of these professionals out here didn’t let the wind fool them.

One time I would have a right to left wind and hold to the right of the paddle face. When I fired it would still land on the left side of the kill zone!

Other times there was the same wind and I would hold off and the pellet would go right where I shot.

Sometimes the wind would move the pellet and sometimes it wouldn’t. That’s frustrating!

So I wound up with a pretty sad 20 out of 60 shots. Lauren, of course, wound up getting a 51 which is absolutely outstanding!

It was great to see how she simply addressed each lane as it was, adjusted as necessary and shot her target. It was a pleasure to shoot with her at the AAFTA 2021 Field Target Nationals.

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

After walking away with my tail between my legs, I decided to figure out what was the problem. Was it me or the gun?

To find out, I went over to the zero range and spent most of the evening there.

First I looked over the gun to see if there were any issues. I checked the stock screws and they were tight. Scope mounting screws? Ditto.

But then I found out out that the ocular on the back end of my scope was screwed out quite a bit. I had set it at home and locked it but I didn’t think it would move again. Now I knew…

So I re-set the locking ring again for my eyes and this time got some tape to tape it solid. This would – of course – change my distance measurements because the ocular movement made the targets clear at a different distance than was actually on my scope.

There’s always something with a Springer!

The result was that I had to modify the wheel numbers. I changed my drop card and I also changed pellets from JSB 8.44 to some Air Arms 8.4 that I had. After leaving the range at around 6:45 that night, I drove back to the hotel.

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

On Sunday I got to the range around 7 o’clock to find that there were a lot of shooters already there before me trying to get down their settings. My plan was to get a spot in line to see if the changes I had done on Saturday stayed where they were supposed to.

I was glad to see the wind was down to near zero in the sight-in range. This allowed me to get a good zero on my gun. I’m sure everyone else was pretty happy too since the previous days wind had really stopped us from doing that well in the morning.

Leaving the range, I felt pretty good and wound up heading off to the shooters meeting. This was done in typical fashion, with all the rules that were necessary being given.

As soon as I sat down at my first lane, of course the wind kicked up to make our day delightful! Today at the AAFTA 2021 Field Target Nationals I had Jim Ziegler as a shooting partner. I had found out on Friday that Jim had decided to move from California to upstate New York. He will soon be attending our matches at RBGC and I will be glad to have him.

Jim and I had a frustrating but good shoot together for the day and I wound up with a 34. That was better than Saturday but I still didn’t know if I was good enough to move up in my ranking.

So I went back and packed my gear in the car and waited for any shoot offs to happen if there were going to be any. There in fact was a few of them!

After the shoot offs we went down to the range clubhouse to find that we had a home cooked meal waiting for us before the awards were presented.

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

2021 AAFTA Field Target Nationals

There’s a great group of people out there and I really appreciate every one of them that put time in for us to have a really good AAFTA 2021 Field Target Nationals!

Goodbye to beautiful California…