This is the fourth consecutive Oregon State Field Target Championships that I have attended. It’s one of the top fun West Coast FT matches. Alan (my son), Jeff Carmello (fellow piston competitor), and I made the trip to the 2015 Oregon State Field Target Championships. It was Alan’s second Oregon State match and Jeff’s first. We packed into Jeff’s extended cab Toyota pickup for the ten hour trip. The weather was predicted to be unusually hot for Oregon. When we arrived Friday evening, it was indeed hot, AND humid!
Match day arrived with temperatures rising quickly. The course consisted of 17 lanes, 3 targets per lane, and only one shot per target. There were 51 shots per day. I was squaded with two other piston gun shooters, Jeff Carmello, and Jim Poh. It was pleasant enough in the shade but it was bright, hot, and humid in the sun. This was the first test of my 24x scope with higher mounts under higher temperatures. I have not shot this setup in temperatures over 80 degrees. I was getting some issues with point of impact (poi) shifts. The higher temperatures may have been part of my problem. I ended the day with 35/51. I planned to make up some on Sunday’s course. There were some great scores shot for the day with Larry Durham (49/51) and Alan Hull (50/51) battling it out.
I was looking forward to the pistol match and shooting my experimental 12fpe Marauder hybrid pistol. I figured shooting my 12fpe pistol would give me an advantage in the wind, but the day was very calm. And then, at the site-in range before the match, I found out my fair weather pistol could not take the heat, either. I was disappointed. A couple of the the other competitors offered to share a pistol, so I teamed up with Scott Schneider. He had a very nice shooting pistol, so I was able to enjoy competing in the pistol match. Rizalde Marquez was the easy winner of the match with 36/40 points. Scott S was not going to let me beat him with his own pistol, so he got second with 32 points. Mark G and I tied for 3rd with 31 points each.
On day two of the rifle match, I re-zeroed my rifle and hoped for the best. The course was similar to Saturday’s course with a few variations in the lanes. My rifle did better in the cooler temperatures of that day. My zero held good until later in the match when the sun came out. The poi shift happened fast and I missed my last three targets. I did 5 points better than the day before so I had to be happy with my 75/102 score. The Diana 54 performed OK but I know it can do better. Jeff, shooting his Diana 54, shot a great match hitting 89/102 in the piston competition. He was close behind the piston winner, Kevin Yee. Alan, shooting his trusty Benjamin Marauder, had the overall high score for the match. Alan, Jeff, and I loaded up the pickup and we went home happy, with plans to return next year.
Photos taken at the event. Click for a larger view.