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Back in the Field for July Match

(Match Report by Tyler Patner) July 23, 2023

The July match at Northeast Ohio Airgunners was held on Sunday the 23rd and was highlighted by a beautiful day for some open field shooting. Temps were in the mid-80s, with mostly sun but some occasional cloud cover through the day. Bill and Jeff set up our field course for the first time this year, and it certainly delivered some interesting challenges for everyone. Pop up tents provided some shade between lanes, and plenty of water was on hand to keep all 31 shooters hydrated. Aside from the temps and sun, there was definitely some sporadic and shifting wind through the day, as is normal in the field.

Nestled into old vine rows, about a third of the lanes are well shielded from the wind. But there are two treacherous open field sections with 3-4 lanes each that can be a true challenge to shoot well. On the 15 lane course, 10 of 30 targets were over 40 yards, less than is normal for our matches. The troyer before wind was factored in was 31.8T, and with wind just under 33T. While the numbers don’t sound too tough, there was a good mix of shorter range, technical shots along with the longer ones. Both require shooters to factor the wind, especially mid-range (30-40yd) 1” kill zones.

There were two cold lines for target protests, and one for a shot string. Both protests were splits, so no target issues to speak of. We did have a new shooter, Tyler Cellini, who was shooting his first match with a Seneca Dragonfly Mk2 multi-pump rifle. This is noteworthy for two reasons, 1) he was using a scope that did not have a parallax adjustment or marked reticle and 2) he was varying the number of pumps based on his estimated distance to target. Considering that, his 20/60 score was very impressive and he seemed to have a great time. Hopefully he will be back with a more appropriate scope and continue to improve.

In Hunter PCP, birthday boy Bill Rabbitt delivered a commanding 59/60, missing just one positional shot. His nearest competitor was Mike Gann on a 53. I did want to give special mention to Steve Hockenberry, who is shooting in just his second or third match and posted a 51. Great shooting Steve! In Hunter Piston, Dan Putz threw down an impressive 47 to take the top spot. All three Hunter Piston shooters were running Air Arms TX200’s this match with Eric Jones recently making the switch and I think it worked out well for him. In Unlimited, Rick Smelko shot a 56 to take the top spot there.

On the ground in Open PCP, Larry Gromacki took first with a 51. Interestingly, we had 8 shooters in WFTF PCP, which may be our highest count at a monthly match to date. Both Ted Andro and Chris Oldfield had their new Air Arms XTi-50s on display, which got a lot of attention, and many tried them out on the sight in line before and after the match. Tyler Patner posted a 59 of his own with his Thomas, followed by Keith Walters on 53 with his RAW HM1000.

1st Place Hunter PCP

3rd Place Hunter PCP

1st Place Hunter Piston
1st Place Open PCP
1st Place WFTF PCP

2nd Place WFTF PCP

3rd Place WFTF PCP

1st Place Unlimited

Thanks to everyone that came out, and to all of those that helped out with setup and tear down of the course. We appreciate your help! We have one more match before the Pyramyd Air Cup next month and hope to see you there. And don’t forget to sign up for AAFTA Nationals, which will be held at NOA on October 14-16th. You can find the sign-up info on our website; you’re not going to want to miss this one!

Until next time, stay safe and we will see you on the lanes.


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