Afterthoughts on the March 21 Match

Forums Reese Bottom Chat Room Afterthoughts on the March 21 Match

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    • #6745
      Ron Lewis
      Participant

      First of off, I want everyone to know how much I enjoyed shooting the match Saturday.

      I know everyone has some concerns about the craziness going on in the world and that social distancing is the current theme. That being said, If I missed speaking with any of you at the match, just know that I was glad to see you even from a distance.

      There were some very good scores shot and I want to congratulate Wynne on shooting his first 200. I got to watch him shoot every shot of that target and that last shot took him a while to get down range. He clearly was feeling the pressure and winds were changing for him. He held tough and slammed it home. A great target by a very good shooter.

      I have a suggestion, that I think would improve the match for some shooters. On several occasions, I saw shooters getting distracted from their target when other shooters were moving equipment either getting ready for the next relay or finishing up removing their equipment from the previous relay. I have been at some other prone matches that had the first two relays setup their equipment at the beginning of the match then start the match and have relay 1 shoot , then step back from the line leaving their equipment in place, then have relay 2 shoot and upon the competition of relay 2 have all of those guys remove their equipment.

      Then they bring relay 3 and relay 4 to the line and setup and repeat the same procedure.

      It might be something that you might want to try at Reese Bottom. It wasn’t an issue for me because Bobby and I were sharing equipment, so we only had to move our cartridge box and rifle, but others were having to make a couple of trips back and forth.

    • #6746

      Good point Ron, I had a hard time trying to shoot and stay focus on my target and wind flags when I had people setting up on both sides when I was shooting my relays. I feel if we are shooting, there should be just the shooters on the firing line shooting their relay. I also don’t think we should be rushed just to try to make the match faster and if we slow down just a bit we would enjoy our day at the range a hole lot more. We have 4 targets and should have only 4 shooting mats on the line and spread them out to give the shooters more room/space to fire on their target and not feel like we are in a can of sardines.

    • #6752
      Wynne Echols
      Keymaster

      To both Ron and Surrell, you have both leaped to the top of my list. Thank you both for your comments, they have made my day. This is the kind of feedback that I long for and definitely appreciate. To be honest, yesterday I sensed a lot of the same things that you two talk about above. I will try to explain some of why we do as we do. TIME. I never imagined that Reese Bottom would sustain for so long a period of time. At least two people have told me that the good shooters would disappear after a period of time and a competitive match would not be possible. Looking back over the life of Reese Bottom, a lot of good shooters have passed through and for one reason or another fallen off the map. To have twenty eight sign up in February and twenty four in March[some no showed or withdrew] is so gratifying to me and is something that I am very proud of. Looking back, I have tried to incorporate new things that would encourage good shooters to attend the matches and I think that some of these things have paid off. Last year our average attendance was less than we have had this year so far. To try to grow things to a specific point knowing that we are limited by having only four targets has been a tuff challenge. The result, preregistration. Running out of space. To be continued. WWE

    • #6753
      Wynne Echols
      Keymaster

      Continued. We are limited here too. With growth comes growing pains and opportunities to learn and make changes. Again about time. For some reason, I have always put pressure on myself to get her done. Not sure why! Saturday, with the lunch break we took roughly six hours or say to 3:00 pm. If everyone that attends will agree to not let time be an issue, then we can do things a little differently and add a little time to the matches. I love Ron’s suggestion to set up relays one and two, etc. Not so sure about just having four mats at a time though. In my opinion, an empty space or a mat void the shooter would occupy the same space and could be handled in a way that there would be separation between the good shooters. Yesterday caught my eye that we have several large shooters and several really like to get side ways to the mat. The hill at 500 yards really limits the useable width of the range, esp. toward the right side of the firing line. Some of the space issue is caused by the second bench. Yesterday, I was selfishly guilty of cramping the line with my mat by trying to avoid an uneven expansion joint in the concrete. Thanks again for mentioning this and I pledge to see that things get better in these regards. If there are other comments that might improve our match experience, chime in. WWE

    • #6754
      Wynne Echols
      Keymaster

      Just had another thought. If the planned two man match happens next month, I think that I will have to beg forgiveness for a crowded firing line one last time. My wish is that the two shooters will lie side by side and discuss the condition before each shot is fired. Please, bear with me through this and let’s see what happens. Consider it a social experiment. WWE

    • #6778
      Ron Lewis
      Participant

      Wynne,
      I just want you to know that I really appreciate you and all the work that has been put in at Reese Bottom. I have shot hundreds of matches over the last 40 years and seen many ranges come and go. Most folks have no idea how much time is involved in keeping a range squared away. It saddens me as I see the average age of shooters going up, amazingly the average age of benchrest shooters is now over 60 yrs old. My peers and mentors of yesteryears are almost all gone. I remember being the youngster in the crowd when I was in my late 30’s and early 40’s. I cherish the days and nights riding with Alan Hall, James Messer and Doc Dodgen traveling all over the USA shooting. Having dinner with Ed Watson in Charlotte then seeing him again in the winter down at Manatee.
      These days, I’m proud to be teaching some juniors the art of reading the wind and watching them learn and grow excites me more than shooting myself. My old knees and feet have a rough time when shooting prone, but at least the Good Lord still allows me to go to the range.

      Today,As I watch the storms track across the Southeast, I reflect on how much my shooting friends and family have mint to me all these years. No matter where I go, I’m seldom more than 100 miles from one of those guys. It’s a family that always has given more than they have taken and have always been ready to lend a helping hand. All of them are still very much alive and well in my memory.

      One day we will all meet up again, in that place where we all understand the wind and shoot straight through it hitting that x ring.

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