(Hammer Gun Tankard)
(Powder Horn Trophy)
About Muzzle Loading
26 April 2015 - Club Shoot
Those of us who are sometimes lucky enough to be able to sneak off for an extra shoot between our regular monthly ‘club shoots’ missed out in April, so were pretty keen by Sunday. As usual the Cambridge Gun Club gave us a friendly welcome and reserved our usual stand, in spite of the shooting ground being packed with serious looking competition shooters with those funny new-fangled over and under guns that people nowadays seem to have taken up with – I'm pleased to say that none of us think they will catch on!
We seem to be shooting mostly singles these days, with only Tosh and Paul shooting doubles, although I was shooting a double gun at singles in the (forlorn) hope that I'd hit something occasionally. Viking Pete and Martin topped the singles with 23/30 each with Dave a good runner up on 20/30. The Viking also won the prize for ‘best above average’ with a jump of 7 on his previous average. It was good to see Peter Dann back who, having not shot for several months was in good form with a 16. There is always one clay that gives us all problems – in this case it was the 'F', a right to left battue that some of us didn't see until the last second, if at all!
We also welcomed two newcomers, Graham and Kathryn (Kathryn being the first of the few on the day to hit the tricky ‘F bird and twice to boot!) Really great to see some fresh faces.
We can now look forward to next month's shoot on Saturday 16th May - and for those that are more competitive, there is the added excitement of a trophy to win.... The Trevor Watling Double Barrel Cup – hoping to see you there.
16 May 2015 -
Trevor Watling Memorial Trophy
Peggy and Molly presenting Bev with their fathers memorial trophy.
A very happy Phil after his outstanding +9.
Tosh's collecting his prizes from Martin - 2nd highest average (+7)
Paul collecting his 'thirstquencher' for - 3rd highest average (+5)
Brother & Sister, Rob & Peggy Watling enjoying the day.
Peggy Watling having a go with her late father Trevor's gun.
When drastic surgery is required - Ed's your man!
The Trevor Watling memorial trophy is always a special event and this year it was even more so for two reasons: - It was to be the first official competition shot using our new name ‘The Anglian Muzzleloaders’ and more importantly we were delighted to be joined by some of the Watling family, Trevor’s son Robert and daughters Peggy and Molly.
Robert’s wife Lisa and Peggy’s partner Martin had also come along to witness the spectacle. We were pleased to see that Robert had brought his father’s gun along and was going to shoot with us.
Martin divided the shooters up into 2 teams ‘A’ and ‘B’ The idea being that all the people that knew Trevor and used to shoot with him in the early days at Lakenheath, would be together in Team ‘A’.
The shoot was based around 3 stands. On two of the stands we shot 8 pairs, 4 pairs from one set of traps and 4 more pairs from a completely different set of traps. On the final stand we shot 2 pairs from one set of traps and 2 pairs from another set giving a wide variety of targets and making the grand total of 40 birds. None were too easy and some were wind-affected making what were meant to be 25 yard targets more like 35 yards. But all were hittable and within comfortable range of our muzzleloaders. A fair but challenging layout would sum it up.
It was good to see Clare, who after recovering from her foot operation, is now back in action and put in a good score. Robert was also shooting well considering he has not shot a muzzleloader for some time. He unfortunately suffered from some dramatic hang-fires towards the end of the shoot which did not help his score, but regardless of that he was obviously enjoying himself.
It was nip and tuck throughout the competition with the lead changing after every stand. Bev finally secured the trophy by one clay over Shane and Martin.
Special mention must be made of Shane who surprised us all by making the long trip from Cheshire. Shane, the first winner of this trophy back in 2011, almost took it home again! Thanks for coming Shane, always great to see you.
At the end of the shoot Peggy and Lisa had a shot or two and I believe I saw a clay break! I have since heard that the Watling family enjoyed the day so much that they intend joining us again and that Peggy is keen to learn how to shoot. Great news!
I would like to thank Dave’s wife Joy who, before she knew it, had been employed as scorer and button pusher for team ‘A’ ! Bev reporting for team 'A'
After a quick rub down with the 'Black Powder mag' squad 'B' headed off to our first stand under the auspices of our 'controller' for the day 'Sandra' - otherwise known as Mrs Tony.
Now - whether it was due to the fact that our squad contained none of the current British team is up for debate - BUT other than the overall winner of the Trevor Watling Trophy (Bev) - every other achievement of note on the day came from this squad. Highest overall average in the singles - Phil with a whopping +9 , 2nd Tosh with +7 and Paul with +6.
The Viking and Tony remained frustratingly consistent both on +2 in the doubles, Ed's first doubles outing of 2015 gave him a 21, which will be a 'watch this space' - as he has no average to shoot against yet. While Archie was in the 'proper' doubles competition there was a separate competition between himself and Tim - this obviously spurred Archie onwards for a +5. Tim for once, more than occasionally finding the targets ended on +4. Their private competition ended in a draw - BUT Archie was declared the winner as he was shooting 'True Pairs' while Tim was making up the rules as he went along.
A special mention must go to Carol - who 'straighted' her last 12 clays. Excellent shooting. Tosh reporting for team 'B'
Using the 3 stands and being divided into 2 groups, meant that the competition was completed by lunch time, allowing the more masochistic of us, after a bite to eat and trophy presentation, to do a little more clay busting in the afternoon. All in all a very enjoyable day - and again special thanks to our scorers and the Watling Family.
13 June 2015 -
Tosh 'can but dream' whilst handing over Martins well deserved Winners trophy.
His excuse for coming last was that he was using the 1/2oz scoop upside down!
Dick shot an incredible plus 8 on his average!
Newcomer Graham wins second highest average prize with a very nice +7.
Pete Dann awards the 'Hot Cross Bunny Beer' to newcomer Mike who (allegedly) struggled to hit a rabbit!
CAPTION OF THE MONTH - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - You choose!
This was our 'ONLY' entry from Bev - as Delia would say C'mon where are you?
05 July 2015 - Club Shoot
02 August 2015 - Club Shoot
Graham on his way to a well deserved win in the 3 man shoot of for 2nd place in the averages.
Young Pete taking a fine steady 2nd place in the shoot off. Some say he's like a 'coiled spring - just waiting to be released' - others say Mmmmmmm?
Ups and downs...ups and downs... Despite achieving top score in the doubles to give him +4 tosh managed to come last in the shoot off...
Another ‘healthy’ turnout enabled us to split into 2 groups this month.Group 1 consisted of Martin, Clare, Neil (our tame pet northerner), Viking, Graham, Mike, Archie and Robert. Group 2 Tosh, Carol, Phil, (SP) Pete , Bev, Derek, Tony, Dick,
Group 1 started on the outside layout and group 2 under cover - both squads were mixed with some shooting singles and some doubles. Those shooting doubles shot their pairs twice and the singles also doubled targets - this helps those who may have missed on their first attempt to ‘re-appraise’ their approach to the targets - rather than waiting until the cycle came round to a specific target again - these are ‘practice’ days after all. Saying that it didn’t really help Carol as she has it ingrained into her head (by me) that unless the scorer says Loss or Miss - then the target is a kill - so she merrily went through the first session thinking (because she never heard ‘LOSS’ that she was hitting all the targets so not adjusting. When she realised it was tooooo late - but almost trebled her first round on the second. SO basically don’t assume you’ve hit it - if in doubt ASK!
I’ve decided to take a slightly different approach to this month and have a little look into the scores - I looked into who shot what, where and how we all compared. So here goes…
The following nine - Tony, Derek, Archie, Martin, Viking, Carol, Phil, Small Pete and Dick - in varying degrees appeared to favour the outside targets.
The foursome - Tosh, Mike, Robert and Graham (4) - showing no preference - shot the same on both layouts.
Going against the grain the final three - Bev, Clare and Neil - appeared to favour the undercover layout.
What does this tell us - NOT A CLUE but it gives you something to think about!
Back to the day... we had a bit of a change in the afternoon - there was a 3 way tie for second place in averages between Tosh, SP (Pete) and Graham - as is the way straws were drown for batting order with Tosh drawing the short straw and being put into bat first. PULL - MISS….. considering that he’d missed the last 7 targets in the morning session - this came as no surprise… In walks Graham - Pull - KILL, then SP - Kill - fortunately the shoot off was over 5 targets and it ended all square - so it was sudden death - YIP you guessed it - Tosh died first…. SP and Graham continued the battle with Graham a worthy victor in the end.
As I said - great turn out - great targets and great company - Next shoot is 19th Sept - See You there…. Tosh
19 September 2015 - Club Shoot
Bev thought the sky could do with a couple more clouds... so out came the double flinter!
Looks like newcomers Rachel and Dave (the hairy shooter) have been 'press ganged' by Martin to become molly dancers!
Small person 'chillaxing' after a frustrating morning. Man and machine were not in unison - exhausted due to his 'Secret' midweek Skeet practice perhaps? Mmm...
Robert ('Mr Consistant' in Sandras squad) trying to hide his prize for 3rd in averages with a 'no change'.
"...and it dont seem a day to long..." Derek and Pete (our Flanagan and Allen tribute act) - spontaniously burst into 'My old dutch' - on hearing that Tony and Sandra were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary.)
Mike somewhat taken aback by winning this bottle of Vino for his +1 on the days averages.
Dick with a 'Proper Mans' bottle of wine for coming top in averages with +2
“Ed collecting materials to construct his scorers’ sun shelter”.
Dave and Carol 'a huffin and a puffin' at their birthday cake. And beautiful it was to. thanks to Chef for doing at such short notice.
'Bugger' ...caught red handed scoffing the Birthday cake.
An excellent turnout of 21 shooters on this fine day, with plenty of early autumn sun proving very awkward for some of the birds, especially on the pond stand (but no excuses!!).
The Anglian Muzzle Loaders welcomed new member Rachel (the significant other to Dave “The hairy shooter” Corneby). She was a natural and has definitely caught the blackpowder bug, we look forward to seeing her next time with her new gun that Dave has promised to buy, allegedly!!
The members split into two squads, Clare’s and Sandra’s, and proceeded to have a good morning’s competition over three stands.
Clare’s squad report...
Clare’s squad had ten shooters: Dave “The hairy one”, Ed, Mark and Mike shooting doubles at 40 birds and Clare, Rachel, Martin, Bev, Derek and Dave 'E' shooting 30 birds with singles. Within Clare's squad, there was a hotly contested flinter mini competition going on between Bev, Martin and Dave E, it was close with final scores of 15,18 and 17 respectively. Dave E had a mechanical problem on the first stand after only four shots (sheared screw on his flint holder) so had to change guns- had this not occurred, maybe Martin would have been pegged- who knows?
The pond stand:
Mike decided to set up his table away from the water’s edge this time, fearing a repeat of the sinking case incident of recent times!
Eight quite challenging targets were shown, the quartering away rabbit to the right of the pond proved difficult for most as did the low quartering away bird dropping low over the water from behind, and landing just to the far side of the pond.
Ed became increasingly frustrated with his piece and unfortunately retired early with nipple problems. (We knew the piercings were a bad move!)
The singles shooters performed reasonably well on this stand, the doubles not so good. Mike was exceptionally poor on this one and was heard to mutter constantly about the sun, but no excuses!
Due to Ed’s unfortunate retirement from shooting for the morning, he kindly volunteered to be resident scorer for the rest of the competition. Well done Ed. Some say he scored better than he shot, but I could not possibly comment!!
An interesting stand, simultaneous pairs for the doubles proved entertaining. Someone must have slipped a little something into Mike’s e-cig tank, as he only missed one of the ten birds on this one!
Dave E killed five of the seven singles targets in good style. Everyone else, doubles and singles, was struggling.
Remember that lightning fast L/R crosser and that pesky going away edge-on wabbit, both caused problems to most of the squad.
Both Martin and Derek managed five out of eight kills in the singles and Dave C shot five of the ten targets in the doubles, everyone else performing somewhat poorly on this one!!
Injuries: Beware the spent percussion cap flying back and lodging between your palm and the wrist of your stock - it bloody hurts!! No photo added as it was only a woosy injury apparently with no blood!!
MIKE - Clares Team Correspondent.
Sandra’s squad report...
Team Sandra comprised 11 guns - Tosh, Tim, Paul and Robert shooting pairs and Viking, Archie, Carol, Dick, Small person (Pete), Phil and Tony shooting singles - all percussion - we left the ‘big boys doing the 'flinting'.
We started on Stand 2 and to say we got off to a bad start would be an understatement. Between us we only managed to hit 22 of the first 96 targets - YES the first 96 targets. We were of a mind to pack away the guns and head for the clubhouse and a nice cup of tea - but decided that in the words of that familiar muzzleloading song - “Things can only get better”. - But would they?
Stand 3 was slightly better with a total of 38 kills from 96 - this was mostly down to the singles chaps - as we doubles boys started playing silly buggers with 'sim pairs'. Well.....! When the last shot was fired on stand 3 there was no sign of the other squad - but we could hear an occasional blast coming from ‘yonder’ - so like an army of dejected sloths we upped-camp, and using the tracking skills of his ancestors, the Viking led us in the direction of muzzly sounding gunfire.
Our trust in the Viking paid off - and we all ended up (eventually) at the pond. Here we were greeted by 'moans 'n groans' from Clares squad regarding how the targets were 'sun effected' ... blah de blah de blah so we were not expecting to improve on our earlier scores. BUT other than the last target - the sun didn't come into play as 'allegedly' it had earlier. Did we improve I hear you ask?
Well YES - mostly, other than Tim, Archie and Tony whose scores hinted that they preferred the earlier targets. The rest of the squad either equaled or improved on the previous 20 shots, with Carol, Tosh and Small Person almost doubling their earlier totals. So we ended up on the pond with.... Wait for it...wait for it... 56 for 178..... so the pond was much better for us.
Just goes to show how the same targets can be affected by 'the elements' at different times of day... we were 'right place - right time'!
Tosh - Sandra's Team Correspondent.
11 October 2015 - Big Bore Trophy
'This years trophy winner Bev who was doubly chuffed at stopping Martin getting the trophy for the 3rd consecutive year - with 'Injured' runner up Viking - god help us all when he's fit!
Bev and Martin having a 'giggle' at the inscription on Bev's mug. Proof of age required before the inscription can be divulged!
Viking, Phil, Liam and Robert ...full of the 'joys of spring' on their way to the start..... but only one of them would return... still smiling!
Tosh (in full referee mode) discussing as to whether or not the Small person had indeed hit the target on this range or some distant one!
"That haggis basher is talking a load of rubbish as usual! 'Course I hit it!"
Someones very clever 'alternative' Non Toxic Shot!
Looks like Tim somehow managed to do a quick oil change on his car between stands!
The 'birthday boys' - one of those guys is celebrating turning 75! Nope - neither could I!
Truely magnificent cake courtesy of Pete D's daughter who very kindly designed, baked & decorated this at very short notice. Well done, it was lovely. Some say the guy in the boat looked just like Derek!
Another excellent turnout of 18 shooters on this fine autumn day, cool to start with but rapidly warming up. There was plenty of early autumn sun but cloudy periods too, so the “Observers’ book of missed clay pigeon excuses” had to be brought out yet again!
The Anglian Muzzle Loaders welcomed Robert's brother Liam, who is 17, and had a few shots - we look forward to seeing him next time if he’s caught the bug!!
15 shooters got their big bores out (ooh err missus) and entered the competition. Clare and SP Pete opted for lesser weapons, it was rumoured that this made Clare an honorary member of the small person club!
Kevin shot very well to achieve 20/30 with his 8, but being a new-fangled breech loader, was not allowed on the rostrum.
The members split into two squads, Clare’s 8 (+ 2 latecomers - who cannot be named for legal reasons, but were Derek and Graham!) and Sandra’s 8 all proceeded to have a good morning’s competition of 30 birds over four stands.
Sandra had her squad very well organised and they finished in record time, well done Sandra.
Tosh, allegedly “all shot out” due to continued fiddling with his eye dominance problems, kindly volunteered to be trapper/scorer for Clare’s squad (he is a qualified referee hence him sometimes getting 'Tetchy' regards scoring - but he was on best behaviour on the day, thanks Tosh.
The furthest walk and those very slow, should have been easy to hit birds?
Top scorers were Bev, Tim and Robert all with 7 out of 9. Bringing up the rear was Paul with 2. Strangely, Tim and Robert both having shot very well on this stand, both struggled on the other 3.
Martin and Mike both got maximum 6’s on this one. Several struggled with only 1’s and 0’s.
Kevin scored an excellent 8 out of 9, and the Viking hit a fine 7. Again, several struggled with only 1’s and 0’s.
Bev had top score with a splendid 5 out of 6. Again, some with only 1’s and 0’s
The Viking was one of the 0’s, what might have been Pete!!!!
Some notable moments of the morning:-
Kevin extracting his spent cartridges with a ramrod, knew those breech loaders wouldn’t catch on!!
Dave E asking Martin to come up behind him!!
Paul have problems with his gun, 5/30 as testimony. When he shot a test clay on the bank, it peppered everything around it and did not leave a mark on the clay he was shooting at!! Thoughts that the powder was blowing the pattern out - too much powder or not enough lead perhaps????
Mike firing a rather generous load of Martin’s Swiss #4 through the 8 bore- still nursing the shoulder!!
Derek and Clare discussing the length of his ram rod!! Well It was rather excessive and even the gun was taller than him anyway!! It was good to note their equal scores this time, so no passing of the £10 note was observed!!
Small Pete after breaking a clay long gone.
All in all a most enjoyable competition and mornings shooting. The scores were perhaps lower than would have been expected, but probably down to the challenging targets on the day, or too many bevvies the night before!!
Anyway another great day under our belts - now time to start loading up some cartridges for the Hammer Gun competition on 22nd November!
Cheers - Mike
22 Nov 2015 - Hammer Gun Tankard
And the winner is..... Kevin with a masterful 33/40.
A gentleman of 'nordic' descend (we believe) receiving a bottle for a very impressive +12 in the averages. Obviously his new 'sleek physique' is allowing more fluidity to his gun swing. (Can you smell something?)
'Graham with his prize 'Gentlemans Pursuits' (ahem) for an outstanding +11 in the averages.
"The doctor said if it swelled up again I had to put 'something' on it!"
Not 100% sure how Tony's new 'cartridge extracting device' will go down on Dragons Den!
Some of the boys heard they were doing secret auditions for the next 'Dads Army' movie!
Kevin and his 'minders'!
Oh - so that's how you're supposed to do it? If she beats me again - in future she can load her own bloody cartridges!
Now we've only 4 more shots to go and Bev's only one ahead - you never know!
What Bev likes about Ed is his undying optimism!
Ed didn't let his defeat by Bev in their unofficial 'grudge match' dampen his excitement at his winning '101 Shooting Excuses' for his +8 in the averages . I'm sure there must be one in there that would explain his narrow loss!
An excellent turnout of 21 shooters on this fine but rather cold day, temperatures not rising much above freezing, but at least it didn’t rain or snow during the competition.
18 shooters produced hammer guns and 17 entered the 40 bird competition (Carol was shooting as singles), Clare and Graham S opted for muzzle loaders on the day, so were not eligible for the competition.
After becoming increasingly frustrated with his new-fangled breech loader (breaking only 4 out of 12 targets) Dave E changed to his trusty flintlock and proceeded to kill 19 out of his remaining 28 birds. Well done Dave, there must be a moral here somewhere?
Due to a Registered Sporting competition happening on the same day, we were restricted to the single compact sporting stand, which due to the large number of shooters, made for a long event with lots of standing about in the cold between shots - however, we had a good competition.
There were several sub-competitions - Kevin & Graham B, Bev & Ed, Tosh & Carol and the usual duel between Derek & Clare (not sure if the transient tenner went back to Clare this time, as Derek had to nip off, something about an appointment with a pub takeaway!!)
All in all another most enjoyable competition, with some excellent shooting and scores, Kevin taking the trophy over Bev (r/u) and Graham B (3rd place).
Thanks again to Sandra for doing a sterling job trapping for everyone in the uncomfortable conditions.
Also a welcome to John - who had several shots with a variety of black powder guns - we look forward to seeing him again, if he too has caught the bug!!
Some notable moments of the morning:-
• Archie and his broken glasses, Martin coming to his aid with a spare pair.
• Tony with his crossover development gun, requiring a ramrod to extract his spent cartridges!!
• Tosh, after finally getting a higher score than Carol on one of the stands exclaiming “look who’s wearing the trousers again!!”
• Pete SP, killing birds just before they left the range (again!!)
• The coughing and spluttering of the Sporting Competition shooters as they walked past us to their next stand.
• A splendid quote “Quality remains long after the price is forgotten” – how very true of some of the fine guns we still shoot and love.
And last one for 2015 is on Sat 12th December - The Brad Randall Powder Horn - 30 bird singles followed by Xmas luncheon in the clubhouse – PLEASE notify Clare ASAP if you wish to reserve a seat.
Cheers 'Mike the scribe'
12 Dec 2015 - Brad Randall Powder Horn
"I told you not to look - but would you listen!"
"One day this could be yours Bev - one day - but not today!"
"Go on - pull my little finger - go on!" No way was Bev going to 'just' give the hairy shooter his prize for highest average (+4).
Tony receiving his gun cleaning solvent for coming 2nd highest in averages with +3 - Bev also has some H&S data regarding solvent abuse!
Xmas came early this year for Sandra with a greatly deserved 'thank you present' for her scoring throughout the year. (kindly donated by Phil).
Not 100% sure who's the most surprised here with Sandras other 'thank you' present of a Hamper. Bev was just as excited when pulling the crackers - bless!
Sandra's beautiful 'Thank you' hamper (kindly sourced by Viking Pete).
Mike pulling his Christmas cracker - will it go off... won't it?
The 'muzzleloaders nativity' - with the three wise men trying to look 'WISE' and Mary and Joseph disracted by the Xmas Hamper!
Mike found a plastic bird in his cracker - he called it 'peppa' was a bad omen for what was to come!.
One of the 'wise men' turned out to be not as wise as first thought! Pepper anyone?
"Whatever you do - dont mention 'the pepperpot'!"
Of course you don't look stupid in that hat Bev - "Trust me - I'm a doctor!"
Cheers to 2015, absent friends, and a 'cracking' 2016!
Another splendid turnout of 18 shooters for the last competition of 2015. The forecast was wet, wet, wet so we all got cosy (and deaf!) under the covered stand. The two plinkers must have wondered what the hell was going on!!
We proceeded to have a very good competition of 33 birds, of which some were considered easy, some average and some bl**dy hard! But a very good mix which seriously sorted the men from the boys. Remember that long going away springing teal? Only Martin, Phil S and the Hairy Shooter hit it first time round (HS twice!!) and Viking, Tony, Phil S and Paul D each hit it once at the end.
Clare was also somewhat indisposed for this shoot (2nd foot op), so the usual duel between Derek & herself for the transient tenner, was put on hold. She did busy herself with the finances and Xmas lunch arrangements though, get fit soon Clare.
Another most enjoyable competition, with some excellent shooting and scores, Martin retaining the trophy over Dave E (r/u) and Dave HS (3rd place).
The competition was followed by a splendid Christmas dinner, prepared by the Cambridge Gun Club, and was enjoyed by all, an excellent end to the 2015 meetings.
Thanks again go to Sandra for doing another fine job trapping and scoring for everyone. (Ably assisted by Rachel in the latter stages). Sandra was presented with a bottle of wine (kindly donated by Phil) and a fine mini hamper (kindly sourced by Viking Pete).
Some notable moments of the day:-
• Derek: “The DTL boys are showing us how to do it….not!!!”
• The hairy Shooter after clipping the front edge “You don’t eat it’s head”
• The hairy Shooter after clipping the rear edge “You don’t eat it’s arse”
• Mike becoming increasingly frustrated with his 8b singles’ intermittent ignition (sincere apologies for the foul and abusive language!!)
• Bushey having a little flask measure trouble. Martin: “I’ve been doing this a long time, and that’s more than 2 ½ drams!!!”
• Mike and the Great pepper incident at the meal table (he’s had better days!!)
Competition results (33 birds):
Dave The hairy Shooter with +4 (Caps)
Tony with +3 (Gun cleaner)
Next Meet - Saturday 9th January 2016
Club meet - no competition - shot either singles or doubles - whichever flavour weapon gives you pleasure!
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a 'muzzling' new year, Mike.
(Evenings, before 9pm please)
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