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Club News 2017
8 January 2017 - Club Shoot
The 'Elvinator' is at it again......
The Viking chappie would also appear to be 'still' in good form... long may it last!
Yes - but how long 'IS' a piece of string - theoretically it is.....
A cold January morning welcomed the intrepid 9 shooters, some say that the festive excesses for some took some getting over, hence their non-appearance. I could not possibly comment. For the latter part of the shooting, some unexpected sunshine broke through, all in all a pleasant day.
We had one squad only, mixing the singles and doubles shooters, all percussion. Two stands were used, all sporting birds from the skeet and ABT ranges. DIY trapping and scoring was the order of the day. The doubles shooters had some different on-report pairs this time just to make it more interesting for them!!
For the single barrel guns, Dave Elvin shot magnificently, only dropping one bird on the skeet and two on the ABT to take top gun on the day with 27/30. Clare had an average start but despite a last minute run of five kills, could only make 2nd place. Mike too had an average sort of day shooting nine on each stand. Pete (SP) scored an eight on the first stand and started well on the second, but then missed all six of his final birds- what might have been Pete!! Dick too made a reasonable start with nine kills, but alas only five on the ABT. Blame it on the sun!!
Shooting their double barrel guns Viking Pete and Bushy both had cracking starts with thirteen kills apiece. The first half of the second stand saw Viking surging ahead of him, and despite a valiant effort from Bushy in the second half with his final nine birds all killed, Viking managed to hold his own and finished two birds ahead to take top gun. Well shot the Viking!! Tony had an average day with a nine/nine and was the only shooter to take that pair of pesky wabbits!! Well shot Tony! Tim was struggling a bit today, scoring a six then a nine.
Some notable moments/quotes of the day:
• Dave E: “I ‘ope I shoot like that on Tuesday at the game shoot at Banham” - we are pleased to report that he certainly did, using his double flinter!!!
• Tony was trapping - “a C and D please Tony”, “a B and E?” replies Tony, “No a C and a D” the patient response, “a G and a B?” confirms Tony again, “ No Tony, a Charlie and a Delta....!!" Thankfully we got there in the end!!
Saturday 4th February at Cambridge gun club. Club meeting so bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.
Mike “dabs” Wootang of Ashbourne
4 February 2017 - Club Shoot
Bev trying to explain the 'principles of Bell Ringing' to Tosh.....
A Rose(s) between two thorns.......
And this months winners were... Mike with +5 - Archie +3 and Paul R +2.
A cool, but thankfully dry and wind free, February morning greeted the 17 shooters. The afternoon’s shooting was particularly pleasant, with some fine sunshine which made it almost spring like. Dave E deserves a mention, turning up just to deliver supplies whilst obviously under the weather and then returning home to bed - thanks and get well soon Dave.
We split into two squads, all singles in group A, and all the doubles shooters and two singularists (new word for the dictionary) in group B. The singles, apart from Graham who shot his flintlock, were all percussion. The doubles all shot percussion.
A welcome return to the “old concrete path” stands for the shoot, with sporting birds from stands 2,3 and 4 being shot. DIY trapping and scoring was again the order of the day. Some different and interesting targets were shown, with no wabbits this time which pleased many!
A notable target was bird E on stand 2, a fast L-R quartering away clay which beat many of us, no one in the singles hitting it more than once out of three, and only newcomer Little John in the doubles killing it twice. Needless to say, the afternoon session had a few further attempts on this one!
The lower than normal scores reflect the testing nature of some of the targets shown. Clive and Ted suffered from the dreaded misfire which doesn’t aid good shooting - and Grahams trusty 'flinter' never missed a beat.
Both Clare and Martin got off to a cracking start on Stand 4 - killing all 8 targets, everyone else dropping scores. Stand 3 - Mike and Paul take over, only dropping 2 from 8. And finally on to Stand 2 - Mike kept up the pressure, dropping only 2 from 14 to take high gun on the day, narrowly beating Martin and with Paul in 3rd place.
A close run thing with only 3 birds separating the top 4 shooters. The simultaneous pairs on stand 4 particularly suiting The Viking and Derek, both dropping only 1 from 6 targets. Stand 2- Little John and Archie make good starts with 11/16 and 12/16 respectively. Stand 4 - fairly even with Viking taking 8/12 and John, Bev and Tim all on 7/12. Archie only scoring 5 on this one. And finally stand 3 - Archie and the Viking battle it out, both scoring 9/12 with Derek on 8 and Little John on 7. As I said it was very close, but the final scores showed Archie taking high gun over The Viking and Little John both in equal 2nd place.
Mike with +5 and chose the wine, Archie with +3 and Paul with +2 who chose the caps and chocolates respectively.
Saturday 4th March at Cambridge gun club. Club meeting so bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.
Mike “I beat Crixy at last” Wootang of Ashbourne
4 March 2017 - Club Shoot
Close up of "Nobby's" fine hammergun - being shot by Derek as a mark of respect for Nobby's sad passing.
Derek shooting Nobby's hammer gun.
Some of the crew - just before the ship was abandoned due to the onslaught of loopers.
Ted winning the whisky, kindly donated by Bushy. Presented by Martin.
Paul receiving his average prize - caps, and Bev his wine.
Ancient Mariiner Tony having a go shooting Archie's double 8 in the afternoon.
A pleasant March morning greeted an excellent turnout of 24 shooters. We managed to miss the forecast rain, which was a great relief, and there was even some sunshine which caused a few problems for some of the targets!
We split into two squads, singles and doubles shooters in each. Most of the single guns were percussion, however there is growing interest in flintlocks and on Saturday, Graham, Martin, Bev, Dave E all shot flintlock, as well as Paul R who used the opportunity to shoot his newly acquired flintlock!! Derek and SP Pete (Lt. Dan), shot BP cartridges in their hammer guns. Derek hadelected to shoot his hammer gun in memory of Nobby Clark, one of the club's founder members, who had sold his gun to Derek.
For today’s shoot, we shot at all sporting birds from the pond and main stand 2.The ‘B’ squad had the good fortune of Sandra trapping and scoring for them, the ‘A’ squad were not so lucky!
A good mixture of targets were shown, with several loopers which caught out many and which sparked an impromptu ‘how to hit them’ session in the afternoon for some. Several crows, the odd bunny and some tricky overhead targets were also present. Mike brought Big Bore Bertha out to play, and firing big loads, was ineligible for the averages. He has however laid down the gauntlet for this year’s National “Big Bore Bowl” competition to be held at Yorkshire next month.
Some tricky targets kept the majority of scores down today. Martin, Dave E and Bev had their own mini comp in squad A, with Martin & Bev coming out with 21/30 apiece to take joint highest score. (We won’t mention Mike with the big 8, possibly he had an advantage with 2oz loads? Surely not?) Tosh and Dick in squad B had their own tussle, taking 3rd and 4th places respectively with good 20 and 18 scores. Good to see Dick returning to form. Dave Elvin struggled with the loopers and to put the icing on the cake, his powder flask broke towards the end of the session! Paul Revere shot a respectable 10, which he was pleased with for a first time out with a flintlock and Graham scored another 8 with his. I’m sure he will get the hang of it soon! Carol, taking a break from her running, managed an 8. Simon’s son Sam, was under the weather hence his score, but I’m sure he will bounce back. Get well soon Sam.
Again, some lower than normal scores, Archie couldn’t quite match his last month’s performance and Tim scored his usual. Derek and Lt. Dan, even shooting hammer gun, couldn’t get into the top 3. Ted shot exceptionally well to take high gun with 31/40. Viking Pete continued his 2017 rampage with a fine 26 to take 2nd place and Bushytook 3rd place with a 24.
Bev & Paul D (Snappy) tied for the averages with a +3 each. Bev chose the wine and Paul the tub of caps. We tossed a coin and Paul took home the Wooden trophy until the next shoot.
Saturday 1st April at Cambridge gun club. Club meeting so bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure. I can’t attend this one as I’m travelling back from holiday, so if anyone would like to scribe a report for the day, please let Clare know.
Mike“let the cannons roar” Wootang of Ashbourne
1 April 2017 - Club Shoot
Viking & Pete (SP) tied on averages with a +4. Proudl;y showing their prizes - kindly donated: the champagne from Ted & cartridges from Bushy.
Viking collecting his 'Fools Gold' as winner of the double competition.
Helen & Robin from N Norfolk...all together now "you need hands....."
Bev showing Tim a pin fire cartridge (Well he was until he realised the camera was on him - "Cheese"!
Paul & Ted - the AML Siamese Twins!
Paul D winning the averages with a +6 collecting a nice bottle of wine & the monthly averages trophy.
On April Fool's Day we had a turnout of 23 shooters, which included one new member Tim, and two guests Helen & Robin from North Norfolk. We also had the company of Tony from Bushey Hertfordshire, who having shot clays on the Have a Go stand at Fenland Game & Country Fair, wanted to watch the process and see if shooting muzzle loaders on a clay range would appeal to him. After the usual breakfast and chat we split into 3 squads and gradually filtered out onto our various stands at 10am. As the weather had predicted heavy showers, course setter Martin (ably assisted by Dick & Dave E) decided to stick to the three undercover compact sporting stands set up on the ABT range, the skeet range and 'over the pond'! Even though we regularly shoot on these compact ranges, many of the targets are changed regularly and vary from month to month. The weather conditions also play a part in the presentation of some targets. The ABT layout had a good mix of loopers, crows & crossers (including one particularly fast curling & dropping R to L). The 'over the pond' stand had its usual low fast looper to challenge us, as well as an incomer and crow that if you missed, made a loud 'SPLASH' as the clay hit the water! The first bird out on the Skeet range was a high, fast R to L battue.... not enjoyed by many!! The intermittent bouncing rabbit also gave several of us a few problems! Visiting Tony from Bushey enjoyed his morning, and has asked us to thank everyone at Saturday's shoot for being so helpful and friendly and making his visit so enjoyable.
As for the results, almost everyone finished on a plus on their averages!! Notable performances were from Viking Pete who put in an excellent score of 31/40 to take the High Gun for the doubles, well done Pete! Martin's guest, Robin, shot a score of 25/30. Robin owns an 8b muzzle loading Zoli that he very occasionally uses for his pigeon shooting and wild fowling, but for his first time at using a muzzle loader for clay shooting Martin loaned him his own 11b Holden single barrel, which Robin shot particularly well to clinch the high gun for the single barrel. Martin, who also shot 25, did not compete as he was shooting his big bore. Congratulations to Paul D who shot a +6 on his average and to runner up Clive, who shot a plus 5.
After the shoot, we all adjourned to the clubhouse for a warm drink and sustenance where the day's winners were announced and prizes given out. As it was April Fool's Day, as well as our normal averages prizes, Viking had very kindly made two special awards for the high gun winners - a very cleverly created clump of 'Fool's Gold'!! Little did Viking know at the time of donating these awards that he would be one of the recipients! I am also pleased to report that Robin, who won the singles, tells us that his 'Fool's Gold' has pride of place on a shelf in his lounge - a truly wonderful keepsake of his day!
On this, the 10th anniversary year of our Muzzle Loading Club, it is nice to reflect on why we actually do this? What pleasure do we get out of muzzle loading? Why do we bring out these old guns to shoot 30 /40 birds and then spend time at home cleaning them for the next time? Why are our hands and fingernails coated in engrained black dust? In a thank you ,message to Martin after this shoot, Robin and Helen summed it up when they emailed us to say - "today we felt so privileged to come and spend time with you all today. We cannot thank you enough for letting us use your beautiful guns, again such a privilege, you can really feel the history and magic. We both enjoyed loading them as much as pulling the trigger!"
Paul Dixon (Snappy) won with a +6 and he chose the wine. Paul also takes home the wooden trophy again! Clive was next highest with a +5 and he takes home a tin of biscuits! SP Pete chose the cartridges and Viking the bottle of champagne - our thanks go to Bushy and Ted for donating these prizes for this shoot.
The next shoot is on Sunday 14 May and for those who wish to compete, the Trevor Watling Double Barrel competition will take place which will be shot over 40 birds. If you would like to join us for the shoot and not take part in the competition, then bring whatever gun gives you pleasure - targets will be set for single and double barrel guns. It was good to see that everyone arrived early at the last shoot which gave us an opportunity to sort the squads out evenly, so thank you. We anticipate that we will divide into 3 squads again on the next shoot - so, if you can arrive by 9.45am that would be most helpful. We look forward to seeing you then.
14 May 2017 - Club Shoot
As the throng gathers the Viking is poised like a coiled springl! "On your marks...."
Nice to see the return of Bill - who brought along Jon - who's only recently been drawn to the 'Dark Side' that is muzzleloading.
Not sure if it was that last pint or the pickled egg - but I aint looking forward to the journey home!
Robert, Molly, winner Robin, Liam & Peggy-Sue.
Winner of the averages with +7 Paul R with the 'Averages Trophy' and blackpowder cartridges.
Today's Club shoot included the first annual competition of the year - The Trevor Watling Double Barrel Cup.
This particular trophy was named in memory of Trevor Watling, an early member of the Anglian Muzzle Loaders, who suddenly and very sadly passed away in 2011. The longer serving members of our group remember Trevor with some affection, that is why it is always lovely to welcome Trevor's family to our shoot, and today was no exception. As always, Trevor's son Robert chose to shoot his fathers double barrel muzzle loader for the competition. Also, as what has become a tradition, following the competition the whole family presented the trophy to the worthy winner.
We had a fantastic turnout of 26 shooters on a lovely fresh Spring morning, of which, 23 were shooting in the competition. It is so encouraging to see not just our regulars, but new black powder shooters coming to shoot with us, and the old ones returning. It was good to see Bill again as he has not shot with us for quite a while, he was shooting a recent acquisition, a Pedersoli Mortimer percussion single barrel. Bill also brought along his very old friend Jon, who has very recently been introduced to the joys of black powder at Bill's birthday game shoot. Jon was shooting his newly acquired double gun for the very first time.
The shooters were split into three squads with the targets spread across three compact ranges, two of the squads were lucky enough to have dedicated scorers - a real luxury!! Our thanks and appreciation go to Sandra and Rachel for doing this for us. Martin & Clare had a delayed start after Clare locked her keys in the van - the only set they had with them that day!! Ooops! With the help of Ground Manager Jonno and his mighty DeWalt drill driver - the bulkhead was swiftly removed from the cab and returned back to its original position with some haste. Thank you Jonno!
The targets were varied and mixed on every stand, with the double guns shooting just two pairs of each before moving on to the next combination. A total of 40 birds were shot by the double guns, and 30 for the single barrel. High gun for the singles was Bill with 20/30, and high gun and trophy winner of the double barrel competition was Robin, after he beat Clare in the shoot off after both had scored 31/40. All in all a lovely day. Our special thanks go to Cambridge Gun Club who prepared the targets for us, thank you.
Over half the shooters finished with a plus on their averages, with Paul R surging ahead with a plus 7 - Paul chose a fine prize of a box of 25 Black Powder cartridges, very kindly donated by Bushy. The next highest with the averages was Mike with a plus 6, he chose a tub of caps & a bottle of beer, kindly donated by Robin, and Archie on a plus 5 was left with a nice bottle of red wine.
The next shoot is the Recession Trophy - the half ounce! Shot will be supplied with our specially custom made scoops (thanks Dave E). If you have not tried cutting back your load, give it a go, you will be amazed at how well those targets break!
We are sorry to say that due to logistic problems we have been unable to do reports for June thru Sept.
28 Oct 2017 - Big Bore Shoot
Tim slightly concerned as to how he was going to manage to eat his lunch. They say Black powder is a fine laxative!
An there was I thinking that it was 'always the Bridesmaid'!
And the winner is - Martin with Runners up Derek and Mike (Derek took 2nd place on countback).
A cool and breezy October morning greeted a good turnout of 17 shooters, and the cloud kept the sun at bay, which was a great relief. 15 of the shooters got their large pieces out to compete for the splendid big bore trophy, which proved to be a testing 30 bird competition. It was lovely to see the big guns in action, and various passers-by stopped to marvel at these fine old guns.
We split into two squads and shot 10 targets over 3 stands, all up the “the concrete path”. A good mixture of crossers, loopers, incomers, rabbit and a pair of particularly nasty quartering away birds on stand 1, which caught many out and with only Martin, Derek and Tim hitting more than 3 out of the 6. The competition was closely fought, and calls of “here piggy piggy” could be heard from the contenders as the final birds were shot. Martin took the trophy with a fine score of 24, Derek and Mike not far behind with 21 apiece.
Notable moments/quotes of the day:
• Martin’s unfeasibly large Vaseline tin caused much amusement and comment, none of which may be repeated here!
• Bushy experienced a prolonged series of misfires half way the competition. Much prodding, nipple removal, adding powder through the nipple hole and retrying failed to make his gun fire. On finally pulling the load and tipping the gungy contents out of the muzzle, it became apparent that our Bushy had suffered a senior moment when it was discovered he had in fact loaded shot/ wad/ shot with no powder!! Little wonder it did not go off!! But a good lesson for us all: concentrate when loading your gun………………..
Saturday 25th November at Cambridge gun club, for the Hammer Gun Tankard. 40 birds, black powder cartridges only. Closely followed by the Powder Horn singles trophy on Saturday 9th December also at Cambridge. For those not entering the competitions,still come along and bring and shoot whatever gives you pleasure.
The AML Christmas Meal - this will take place on the day of the Powder Horn shoot - Saturday 9th December, starting at 3.30 at a cost of £20 per head - so best be pencilling it in your diary now!!
Mike “I really need to practice those quartering away birds!” Whiting