Submission to the Department of Justice on the Review of Firearms Licensing

What target shooting actually looks like.

As mentioned earlier, there’s a review of the Firearms Act being proposed, and we’ve already submitted our comments to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice and appeared before them about this (even with the odd funny moment). However, the Department of Justice was also seeking submissions of comments about their proposals, so here are mine. Most of this was the same as for the submission to the Joint Committee, but there are some significant changes here and there (and it’s a bit shorter too).

Here’s the pdf, as the Word->Web translation tends to mess up the formatting horribly…

Continue reading “Submission to the Department of Justice on the Review of Firearms Licensing”

Ooooo… new wireless SCATT sensor…

For home training, or for training on the range, it’s close to impossible to replace something like a SCATT (or RIKA or Noptel) trainer. However, the sensor you have to sling under your rifle or pistol is a bit of a pain – it’s fiddly to put on, fiddly to take off, fiddly to adjust, and the wire drags no matter how careful you are with it, so it can put you off.

So this looks like a very neat piece of useful kit :

SCATT WS-1
The big frame on the left is the normal end frame, most of the systems use one of these, no big deal. The sensor on the other hand, is a nice little change:

Scatt WS-1 sensor

 

Wireless. Excellent. 🙂 You could potentially mount this thing permanently to your rifle and that way it’d be the same setup for training and for competition, and you might even be able to rig up a more sturdy permanent mount too.

The only drawback seems to be the €1300-or-so price tag. Ouch…

Back on the range…

Time to dip the toes back in the water, so I went to shoot pistol at the UCD range today (only 8km away, not bad…)

Lots of old faces showing up again, some because the range is finally open again after a great upgrade to the lighting, and some because they were watching the Olympics and want back in (and welcome!) 🙂

The shooting itself was okay, I mean, I’m no great pistol shooter but I can enjoy it – I still haven’t hit my goal (four years on!) of shooting a full match with the Izzy without dumping a shot into the white, but I’ll keep plinking. Some of the others were just pounding away on the ten ring though, and with everything from Izzys to the new Walther LP400, which was nice to see. Me, I didn’t get my head back into the game until the final string, and by that time the arm muscles had given up and gone home 😀 But it was nice finding the mental still point again.

Now, to figure out how to get back to regular training. There’s probably a Rika in my future…

Some photos:

Lighting upgrade to the UCD range

New lights – 4.5kW of high frequency florescents. Makes an *enormous* difference to the shooting – it’s like a whole new range!

John giving an example of what the Izzy can do

Jim back on the line after years away

 

Caroline back for the first shoot since Intershoot

 

Liz coming back and taking second in the ladies' 40-shot...

 

Joe drilling out the ten ring

 

Firing line, detail 1

 

Firing line, detail 2

 

Aisling setting a new PB and new club record (387)

 

 

 

Playmobil finals hall

So obviously, when you have a kid, they need toys. And naturally, no good parent gives their kids toys untested, right?

5202 Playmobil Target Shooter
5202 Playmobil Target Shooter

:mrgreen:

Besides, this beats toy soldiers any day. (And more seriously for a moment, it’s nice to see the sport get this kind of exposure with kids). So, let’s see, need eight for a finals hall…

Over the shoulder

 

From the target line...

 

Firing line (yes, it's to scale!)

 

Note the to-scale firing line :D

 

But is this rifle or pistol we're shooting here?

 

The new finals hall :)

 

Leaving aside the giggles for a moment (if you can), our sport gets very little good publicity. Even this week, in the middle of one of the most outstanding Olympic Games in a long while (in terms of performance standards), despite the good image being protrayed, we had medal winning Olympic shooters having to tell the press that our sport isn’t connected to gun violence. The fencers weren’t asked about edged weapon violence despite a similar event happening at the same time in Bejing; boxers aren’t asked to justify their sport in the light of drunken idiots beating each other up outside the pub at closing time; dressage riders aren’t asked about stray ponies being mistreated in inner city Dublin. But shooters get vilified all the time, precisely because we aren’t a familiar, known quantity. The Olympics do a huge amount to help with this, but they’re out of the news cycle for four years at a time. So silly toys like this one, which show what our sport looks like so that we’re a familiar image from a person’s childhood; that’s not a silly end result. It’s wonderful.

Frankly, if you like shooting, I think you should go search for a few of these and buy them now, to give out as birthday and xmas presents later. It’s not like they’ll break the bank, they worked out at about a fiver each on ebay…

The last match…

…for a while at least. With biscuit’s due date rapidly incoming, rifle training is shut down for now, and shooting pistol in the UCD Open is the last match I’ll be in for a while, and it’s purely as a plinking match for me, a bit of fun. So I grabbed the Izzy case and wandered over to UCD, said hi to folks and set up on the firing point, and take my first sighter shot:

Sighter shot

You know what? Feck that, that’ll do 😀 Went straight into the match after that (hey, it’s for fun, right? 😀 )

The rest of the match went quite well, I still haven’t achieved my goal of shooting a full match with no shots in the white, but it was closer this time and I broke 500 so that was a good match scorewise. I forced myself to put down the pistol for 30 seconds between each shot for the first 40 shots; then took a longish break and then came back and shot the last 20 shots non-stop quite quickly; I think the results show the whole shoot-a-string-and-then-take-a-break approach beats the pause-between-each-shot approach.

UCD Air Open II

UCD Air Rifle Open II

And it’s a nice strong finish to go out on, at least for a few months 🙂

New pellets

I’d been running shy on pellets over the last while; RIAC was shot using RWS R10 pistol pellets on the principle that sub-par pellets are better than no pellets at all, but the groups weren’t spectacularly brilliant and I wanted to have better pellets for Intershoot, especially after one UCD match that saw eight 9.9s…

We’d been looking to do some pellet batch testing in WTSC for a while but hadn’t gotten it sorted out yet, so proper batch testing would have to wait as there wasn’t enough time to get that sorted. I knew that Intershoot had some Qiang Yuan pellets in stock from talking with them about batch testing, and I’d had a chance to shoot a box of them before so I knew they were pretty decent so I asked Intershoot to send me down two boxes of all the head sizes of the QY pellets they had (which at the time was just the two, 4.49 and 4.50) and I clamped the rifle into our patented Really Awful Bench Clamp, shot a few shots to warm up and then ran through ten shot groups of the RWS R10 light pellets, the QY 4.49s and the QY 4.50s.

The patented WTSC Really Awful Bench Clamp

 

Personally, I strongly suspected that there’d be a small difference, but nothing major. I was in for a bit of a surprise…

 

RWS R10 light
RWS R10 light

 

Qiang Yang 4.49
Qiang Yang 4.49

 

Qiang Yang 4.50
Qiang Yang 4.50

 

Feck me. I was not expecting the group size from the 4.49 QY pellets. Thank you very much, those will do nicely. Yes, at £35(€42)/1000 they’re pretty bloody expensive for airgun pellets. But on the other hand, the trip to Intershoot is the guts of a grand anyway.  €16.50 for pellets that might save me from a 9.9 or two didn’t seem like a bad investment to me (I’d still have to pay out €12 for a tin of R10s anyway if I didn’t get the QYs). And given that Intershoot saw 28 10.0 and 10.1 shots (which you could argue were saved from 9.9-hood by decent pellets), that works out at €0.41 per ten. Seems fair to me  😀

QY do pellets in tins like everyone else btw, unlike the 200-pellet trays that I bought:

Qiang Yuan 200-pellet trays

And RWS do their R10s in the 200-pellet trays too. So whether the QY pellets are better for FrankenRifle because they’re just better than R10s or just because they were in trays and the R10s are in tins, or – and this seems more likely really – just because the 4.49 head size suits FrankenRifle better than the R10’s 4.50 head size, is an open question and at some stage, we’re going to have to do proper batch testing with a proper bench rest. But until then — and after we’ve done it as well — I’ll be taking my own advice and forgetting about it completely. Time on the range training beats time on the range batch testing every single time…

Peashooters: UCD Summer Air Open 2011

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the UCD Summer Air Open 2011 is up:

Peashooters (Air Rifle) 

Shooter Club
Ray Kane DFST
Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Julian Ewers-Peters DURC
Lorcan O’Carroll DURC
Micahel Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Vladimir Untila DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Joe Thompson UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Nicolas Nalpas UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC
And here’s the Spudgun list :
Spudguns (Air Pistol)
Shooter Club
John Kinsella CIPC

Congratulations all 😀

Peashooters: NTSA National Air Rifle Championships 2011

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the NTSA National Airgun Championships 2011 is up:

Shooter Club
Ray Kane DFST
Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Frank Lavery DURC
Heather McLoughlin DURC
Ivan De Wergifosse DURC
Katharina Wilhelm DURC
Logan Hasenbeck DURC
Michael Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Claire Leyden UCDRC
Donal Bourke UCDRC
Joe Thompson UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Yuecong Wang UCDRC
Laura Cunningham WTSC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC
Susan Cunningham WTSC

 

And here’s the Spudgun list :

 

Shooter Club
Peter Friend Addiscombe RC
Joe Conroy Fermoy
Tom O’Brien MPAI
John Lancaster UCDRC

 

Congratulations all 😀

Peashooters: UCD Open II

Peas And Potatoes

The Peashooters list from the UCD Open is up:

Sean Baldwin DFST
Terry Wearen DFST
Aisling Miller DURC
Emily Wallace DURC
Frank Lavery DURC
Kate Wilhelm DURC
Michael Cullinan DURC
Siobhan Scarlett DURC
Cillian O’Sullivan UCDRC
Donal Bourke UCDRC
John Lancaster UCDRC
Tian Carey UCDRC
Mark Dennehy WTSC
Paul O’Boyle WTSC

John (from UCD) and I were talking about this idea and we thought we should also have an air pistol version – garden peas aren’t really at the same level of difficulty for pistols, so we took the score you had to hit to hit a pea, figured where than landed on an air pistol target and walked through the vegetable bin to see what qualified, and guess what, small new potatoes do

So here’s the Spudgun list :

Tom O’Brien MPAI
John O’Brien RRPC

Congratulations all 😀

Peashooting

One of the many funny jokes airgun shooters get from people who’ve never tried the sport because airguns aren’t loud enough for them, is the title of “Peashooter”.

I’ve been thinking about that, and I’ve had a fun thought.

How about the NTSA – or one of the airgun clubs – brings in something akin to the old DURC Standards, namely the “Pea Shooter” title?

See, here’s the thing. Your average garden pea is about 8mm in diameter. That’s just inside the 10.5mm diameter of the 8 ring on an air rifle target:

10mAR Pea Target

In fact, if my math is right, you have to shoot a 8.4 or higher to hit the area on the target that’s the size of your average garden pea. Which is about the 516/336 level in air rifle, which is a good point for a mid-range novice prize.

Seriously – this might be a neat way to get people to enjoy the first few months of the sport – get some badges made up, like the old DURC standards, it’d be easy enough to measure off the electronic targets, no extra prizes, just a list of “pea shooters” published in the results and rankings, that sort of thing…