The 2015 Crosman All-American Field Target Championship was once again hosted by the Crosman Corporation just outside of Rochester, New York at the Brooks Gun Club. This year the match was held a month earlier than the traditional July date. This proved to be a welcomed decision as the temperatures were cooler and competitors were much more comfortable during both sight in and the match. Although rain threatened all weekend, we were blessed with sustained dry weather until just after the last match on Sunday.
The new venue for the match was the Brooks Gun Club and it proved to be fantastic. The gun club grounds were well kept, the clubhouse featured a restaurant, bar and a great covered deck area for socializing after the match. We also found ample area for shooting with a great sight in area complete with lots of shade trees.
Competitors began arriving on Friday for the sight in day. It was great to catch up with old friends, see new equipment, meet new shooters and enjoy the events that were planned by our generous hosts. Upon arrival and sign in, everyone received a wealth of goodies from the Crosman Corporation. The freebies included a pocket knife, vouchers for free food from the onsite restaurant, and even a fine padded rifle case! Wow! what a great start to the day! On Friday a Quigley Bucket challenge was held whereby competitors had to shoot a 10 meter rifle with open sights at a 55 yard, 1.75” target offhand. The challenge is extreme given the low power level of the gun, the lack of magnified optics and the fact that it is an offhand challenge. The winner of this challenge was Joel Gupta and not only did he win, but he knocked down the target and incredible three out of five shots!
The format of the Crosman All-American match was as most Regional matches in the USA. It consisted of two days, one 60 shot match each day with a total of 120 shots. The first match began on Saturday with a shooters meeting held around 8:30 AM and the first shots began promptly around 9:00 AM. I was fortunate enough to shoot with my good friend Greg Sauve and Joe McDaniel. We were all shooting in the WFTF Division under the World Field Target Federation Rules. I found it interesting as we were also all shooting basically the same model rifle, the Steyr LG100. My gun is an old LG100 that I converted a few years ago from a ten meter model to 12 fpe to compete in the WFTF Division. Since then I have made numerous modifications to it and just continue to enjoy shooting it.
As we settled into our rhythm of shooting, my first target of the day was placed about 53 yards out into an open field. Although it was a full size 1.5” kz, my first shot went slightly low and landed squarely at six o’clock just outside of the kill-zone. I quickly re-ranged the target, verified my clicks and took the second shot. Fortunately that time the sound reverberating from the target was a satisfying solid hit within the kz and I watched it drop through my Leopold Competition 35x scope. After that first target I settled in pretty good and felt confident the remainder of the match.
My lane partner Greg Sauve really put on a good showing as he systematically took down target after target through the course. I was very impressed watching Greg shoot. As always, Greg was consistent and displayed excellent form as he moved from lane to lane. Greg had a clean round going until he was over halfway through the match. However, tricky quartering cross-winds picked up and Greg had a bad run of luck on a couple of lanes dropping a few of shots as we neared the end of day one. He quickly recovered and went on to shoot a fine score of 55/60. Joe McDaniel also shot very well and also took down some very difficult targets during the first day of shooting.
A few lanes away Jeff Paddock was shooting his Air Arms EV-2 also in the WFTF Division. Jeff, a former Piston National and World Champion shooter is always a rock solid competitor. Jeff was having more than a good day and moved through the course with ease knocking down target after target. When the day was over, Jeff had only missed one target, earning a fantastic score of 59/60! Fortunately, after I missed that first shot of the day, I also had a great day and ended day tied with Jeff for first place overall with 59/60 as well! This meant that day two was not going to be a walk in the park by any means for either of us.
As the match wrapped up, there were some great scores turned in from other competitors. One incredible score came from Matt Brackett in the WFTF Piston Division. He was shooting his Air Arms TX200 and managed to top the WFTF Piston Division with an incredible 52/60!
Day two started around 8:30 AM with a shooters meeting and lead began flying by 9:00 AM. I was assigned to shoot with Jeff Paddock and Tyler Patner. What a great couple of guys to spend the day shooting with! We headed out to our lane and got right to business. The match went well and through out the day Jeff and I stayed neck-in-neck from lane to lane. We were well into the match before a shot was missed. We found that the winds had picked up and were quite tricky at times, especially on some of the long open shots past 45 yards.
Tyler was shooting well also and made some tough shots in the wind. I am impressed to see Tyler continuing to improve his skills after recently changing over to the WFTF Division. As members of both Team Pyramyd Air and Team USA, Tyler and I discuss shooting frequently. However, this was our first time to get to shoot together, but it certainly won’t be the last. I am confident that Tyler will be winning his share of matches right away given his dedication and perseverance in the sport.
As we neared the last lane, Jeff and I were both tied with only 4 missed targets each for the day. That meant that we couldn’t afford any mistakes. On the last lane Jeff took his shots first and cleaned the lane for a final score on day two of 56/60. As I began my last lane, I encountered strong winds on a long shot at around 52 yards. I tried to wait it out, but the timer was just moving too fast. I took my first shot at the long distance target with only a minute to spare, but although I held completely outside the kz, my wind dope wasn’t enough. I missed the target, costing me a precious point and the opportunity to enter a “sudden death” shoot-off with Jeff. I finished up with a clean hit on the target and ended the day with 55/60 and a respectable match total of 114/120. Jeff Paddock was clearly the better shooter and ended with an incredible 115/120! I commend Jeff for a stellar performance and congratulate him for his fine performance at the Crosman All-American Championship Match. His score was the high match score and was achieved shooting a sub 12 fpe rifle under the World Field Target Federation Rules.
Other top WFTF shooters ended the match with respectable scores as well. Greg Sauve remained consistent both days shooting 55/60 for a match total of 110/120 earning him third place overall. Paul Cray and Tyler Patner ended the match tied for fourth place WFTF, each with scores of 104/120. These guys are all tough competitors and it’s always a pleasure to compete with them anywhere we go!
When all of the scores were in, WFTF Piston Division was topped by Matt Brackett with a score of 96/120. Hunter PCP was won by Joel Gupta with a score of 103/120. Hunter Piston was won by Greg Shirhall with a score of 78/120. Open PCP was won by Ron Zeman with a score of 105/120.
The match Director was Sean McDaniel. Sean did a fine job of keeping things going throughout the weekend. The match as top notch keeping competitors both safe and happy as we all got to knock over some metal critters. Sean and the staff of Crosman deserves a big pat on the back for their hard work, dedication to the sport and success making the 2015 Crosman All American fun for us all!