RIAC 2011

So there’s been a few bad matches in UCDRC (some truly awful, some just really bad), but training there outside of a match showed that whatever’s causing that was to do with the range itself; and the standard of shooting in WTSC has remained at the 97/98 average. So next tuesday, I get on the plane with Ray Kane and we go meet Peter Friend in Luxembourg to shoot in RIAC 2011, and in a rather unexpected twist, this won’t be as club shooters, but as the official Irish Team for the match, which will be the second time I’ve gone abroad on an Irish team and the first as a shooter.

RIAC 2011 Senior Rifle Participants List
RIAC 2011 Senior Rifle Participants List

Seeing your name up there like that – Woot!

RIAC range in 2010
RIAC range in 2010
Shooting in RIAC in 2010
Shooting in RIAC in 2010

The range looks nice and well-lit and clean, the target systems are all electronic, and though the field isn’t very wide, it’s going to be quite deep – I’m looking forward to watching James Huckle shoot in particular. And if I can keep my smartphone working during the trip, I should have a few nice photos for the blog during or after the match. Watch this space…

Petition to call for a review of the Firearms Act and to extend the remit of the FCP

Click here to sign the petition

We wish to call for a review of the Firearms Act and to have the remit of the Firearms Consultation Panel extended

Firearms law in Ireland is currently spread across 19 Acts, 2 EU directives and well over 60 Statutory Instruments, before case law and the Garda Commissioner’s guidelines are taken into account. It is estimated that fewer than two dozen people in the state have a working understanding of Irish firearms law as a result of this.

Since 2006 – since which time three acts, approximately twenty statutory instruments and an EU directive have been added – the Law Reform Commission has been calling for a restatement of the Firearms Act to simplify this situation. High Court Justice Peter Charleton has stated, in McCarron-v-Kearney, “the piecemeal spreading over multiple pieces of legislation of the statutory rules for the control of firearms is undesirable. Codification in that area is almost as pressing a need as it is in the area of sexual violence.”

Since 2006, an expert panel has existed, consisting of representatives of the target shooting and hunting community, their insurers, the firearm dealers trade, the Gardai, the Department of Sport, and chaired by the Department of Justice. This panel, the Firearms Consultation Panel, has advised on technical aspects of firearms practice and how that practice and firearms legislation can best coexist. However that Panel’s remit was only to oversee the implementation of the 2006 and 2009 acts and as such is now coming to a close.

We, the undersigned, wish to call upon the Minister for Justice to review the Firearms Act and the Law Reform Commission’s call for a restatement of that Act, and to extend the remit of the Firearms Consultation Panel to become a permanent advisory panel to the Firearms Unit of the Department of Justice. We believe that the current state of affairs with regard to firearms legislation in Ireland is unacceptably complex and that dismissing the Firearms Consultation Panel at this time would be a significant mistake in light of that complexity and the urgent need to address it.

Click here to sign the petition

UCD July Airgun Open 2011

Not a great match at all for me, this one. Hit the MQS (570) a few days earlier, and expected to get a decent shot at it this time as well. It didn’t go that way…

 UCD July Airgun Open

UCD July Open 2011
UCD July Open 2011

You can see the standard devolving through the strings – string 5 is particularly bad. There were some external problems – I couldn’t get sight alignment reliably because of the range lighting – there’s a plank across the back of the range above the targets which acts both as a mounting point for the target numbers and a baffle for the lights at the target end of the range; but the plank is not as well lit as the back wall the targets are mounted on. When you look at it with the naked eye, it’s not so bad, but when you look through the sights, that plank is very, very dark and the effect is that you get a black bar across the top of your sight picture and instead of centering the foresight in the circle of the rearsight, you’re trying to center in that circle with a big chunk taken off at the top. Ray and Paul have managed to do this; I’ve not got the hang of it yet.

There were internal problems too – I didn’t handle having sight alignment problems very well at all, and it felt like I’d gone from an environment where I had a good technical setup and coaching support to one where I had neither. Both of which aren’t external, they’re internal problems. There’s a deep need here to work on the mental side of things now and Matt’s been moving towards this a lot of late. Technically, there’s only one major thing left in my setup (my trigger finger alignment) and a few very minor tweaks (my right leg position, my match logistics & prep, that sort of thing) – the main thing holding me down right now is securely located between my ears.

UCD July Open, Relay 1
UCD July Open, Relay 1



Still, as Liam said on the day, “every day’s a schoolday”…

UCD Open 12.6.11

UCD Summer Air Open 2011 MD

Megalink target


Pretty much sums it all up really.

No idea of what went wrong. Shot routine was fine, certainly nothing as bad as the results suggested. Sight picture was good, though I had to crank my rearsight up to 1.3-1.4 to get enough light in. Foresight was at 4.2. Position was good – no significant back pain after a short break around shot 16 or so to hike up the trousers a bit. Rhythm was a bit off but not enormously so. Mental game was mangled, but that was done by the results rather than anything else. Had plenty of time pre-match, was doing holding exercises ten minutes before prep time started. Blinders worked fine, all the reference points worked fine.

Just no clue as to what went sideways. Have to watch the video.

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 😀

NTSA National Air Rifle Championships 2011

Discussed how to approach the Nationals with Matt in training on the friday beforehand. We both know that the new position and shot routine isn’t fully ironed out yet – in every session I keep learning one or two more of the little things about the new setup that I knew backwards about the old one, like what goes wrong, what to watch for that’s not obvious from within the position and so on. And the jacket, well. That jacket is the bane of my life at the moment, and has a date with a BBQ pit, a pint of petrol and a match when the new one arrives – at the moment, I’m damn near shooting without a jacket for all the lumbar stabilisation it gives me. So I wasn’t expecting an MQS from this match, just an improvement on the last day and maybe to get a good view of what the position can do, and maybe to learn some new things to watch.

And for the most part, I got that:

Air Rifle Nationals 2011 overall shot group

Looking at the match string by string shows the progress the training has made with the new position and routine so far: Continue reading “NTSA National Air Rifle Championships 2011”


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…

NTSA Air Rifle Classification List March 2011

The new NTSA air rifle classification list is out. From the NTSA website:

The latest NTSA Air Rifle Classification List is now available, valid from 1st March 2011.

It’s neck and neck between DFST and WTSC at the top of Class A, with Defence Forces’ Ray Kane currently the top shooter in the country.

Class B is dominated by the college clubs, with by UCD’s John Lancaster leading the way and a hatful of both DURC and UCDRC shooters snapping at his heels.

Full list available to read here.

I’m just scraping into Class A at the moment, but I’m improving…

1 (3) Ray Kane DFST 96.6 A
2 (1) Laura Cunningham WTSC 95.0 A
3 (2) Susan Cunningham WTSC 94.5 A
4 (4) Paul O’Boyle WTSC 93.8 A
5 (5) Paula Cunningham WTSC 93.8 A
6 (6) Sean Baldwin DFST 92.8 A
7 (8) Mark Dennehy WTSC 92.3 A
8 (7) John Lancaster UCDRC 91.5 B