From the Lions' Den - A freestylers' journey.

LionOfNarnia

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SUNDAY REPORT

Didn't record scores, just spent the afternoon (until the cloudburst!) enjoying the new 'Sjef' sight - Yes, at 60 yds you really do feel you can choose which part of the gold to aim for :D

- just a shame I'm still too 'wobbly' to keep it there :(

Seriously though, I'm LUVVIN' it!

The tiny green dot is perfectly bright even in changing light conditions (from bright sun to threateningly overcast) I never even thought about tweaking the rheostat & the swapable aperture (I used the smallest) kept me focused on the yellowy bit. SO nice not to have to worry about bending a flo pin every time I picked up/set down the bow too (I've wrecked at least 4 since April) too.

It took AGES to adjust my marks for the 44# limbs - In fact by the end of the session I was still tweaking. Some decent groups, just not centered on the spider. YET!

- With 36# the mark was 71. Currently on 55, which is just below centre on the extension bar. I may even move the sight-bar back to the central position, it's currently one screw low. In fact, thinking about it, I'll pretty much HAVE to - at 20 yds with the old limbs I was hard against the top stop & still having to aim low, going by that I'd have to do something of a 'reverse barebow' to keep the sticks low enuff to stay in the target ;)

Very happy that I got through the session without any feelings of 'biting off more than I could chew' about the new limbs - Yes, obviously they are harder work than the old ones, yes I'll still be doing daily SPTs, but no creaks or pains or collapses. A wee bit stiffer than usual right now, kinda expected that, but I've only had 2 Tramadol & one can of lager so nothing I can't handle. They are much more 'unforgiving' though - an even slightly 'imperfect' shot would bury itself in the green. Except one. Buried itself so deep in the (top left of the) frame that it took about 8 ends worth of not-too-vicious wobbling to free it up with no damage. There were 4 of us shooting in that direction, me & our star barebower on the 60 (He got his 2nd score for his 252/60 - I'm thinking it's just too damned easy for BBers, only having to score 180-ish. How can it still be called a 252? He's a decent guy though so I don't begrudge him it really. Honest!) & his two sons shooting 30 yd 252 so I didn't want to spend TOO much time each end wobbling away, I'm slow enough up & down the range as it is! Good job I had 7 arrows with me. (The 8th was at home waiting for a hen to be re-fletched. Done now.)

I did grab the club arrow saw & fletching jig before I left, so I'm ready for when the X-Busters arrive - apart from one little thing.
- The locking screw at the blade end of the cutter is a weird size & I haven't found an Allen key to fit it yet. Not among the collection of keys I've amassed from risers, sights, buttons, stabilisers etc & not in my own set of metric ones either - 3mm is too small & 4mm is too big so it has to be around 1/8th inch. Could be 'pair-of-pliers' size if I can't get hold of one before the 'busters arrive!

Bedtime now.
 


LionOfNarnia

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(Very Wet) Monday Update

Turns out that screw WAS pair-of-pliers size after all ;)

First job - shorten the 6 Avalon Classics to ~28 1/2", they've been sat gathering dust for too long since I cracked the pile-end of one being not gentle enough extracting it from a frame. They are the reason I was so careful yesterday. Goggles & dust mask found & cleaned, ready for action!

Saw.jpg

Actually, that's the 2nd job, I've already moved the sight-bar back to the middle position on the extender but that hardly counts as 'work'.

I'll prolly glue in the pins & collars on the 'busters today too, as I've had it confirmed that the 5 were posted on Friday - Hopefully they'll arrive in the morning, but I didn't get a tracking link :(

The other 'major news' is that after a few emails with their club secretary, I'll be heading to Newburn on Friday evening (weather permitting) to give them their 'final audition' to become my new club for 19/20. The 'final straw' was when our coach admitted yesterday that not only did we not have an indoor venue sorted out yet, but also that the possibility list was all but exhausted. Seems the places we could afford aren't available when we need them & the others are far too expensive to be affordable for such a small club.
 


LionOfNarnia

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The five X-Busters arrived this morning.
Not particularly well packed.

Busters 1.jpg

The feathers are in poor-ish nick & they have socks with the previous owners' name.

Busters 3.jpg

So they're getting stripped to the shafts & done from scratch with new socks & red/black Bohning Zens.
I'll keep my Gateway feathers for another day.

Good to have something to do today as the weather doesn't augur well for any shooting tonight.
 


LionOfNarnia

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Running late due to it being such a big sports day - including the World Cup finals from Moscow ofc. Halftime in England v Bulgaria (soccer) atm so using the time wisely ;)

FRIDAY REPORT

My 'final audition' of Newburn Archers. I won't make an unnecessary drama out of it, they passed with flying colours :D
I'll inform Tynedale tomorrow that I won't be re-joining them for the 2019/20 season. It won't be easy but far better to do it sooner rather than 'carry the load' until the AGM on 22nd.

Newburn has a nice venue, facing east across the Tyne towards Newcastle/Gateshead. Parking is right behind the tent-line, they have foam targets & a 4-wheel trolley to ferry them out.

It was SO nice to be shooting with 2 other freestylers! (Compared with weeks of being the only one :( ) I had a good few ends at 30 & 50 yds just to get some sight-marks for the new configuration & was probably shooting well enough to have had a go at the 252/60.

Everybody I met was welcoming & re-assuring, I met 4 of the 6 coaches I'll have available to me & had a good chat with the club secretary about the admin bumf.

My only 'regret' about it all is that of the extra money I'll be investing in my archery career, the vast majority of it will be going to petrol companies & HMG taxes, not back into archery.
 


LionOfNarnia

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SUNDAY
A strange but satisfying day

An 11 am Facebook message saying that today was going to be 'official practice' for the year-ending "Triple Crown Handicap" event.
Arrived 5+ mins late due to a) Not being able to find the tiny Allen key to adjust centreshot for the X-Busters & b) somewhat recalcitrant contact lenses. 8 barebowers had already started scoring. More time lost explaining situation to coach & finding a suitable key, tweaking the height of my magnetic rest for the XBs.

- I wasn't far off a round behind by the time I'd set up.

Took AGES to get even a rough mark for the sights - It was only the last 2 ends of the round when I starting feeling that I was getting somewhere, after a couple of 'grab a small spanner & pliers' breaks to either adjust or tighten the horizontal.

The second round went smoother, with just one pliers-break, and the third - I really started to feel 'in the groove'. Although by the time I was shooting the last 4 ends, the range was rapidly disappearing around me!

By the final dozen, there was just me, my boss & a shooting line. Everything else had been stashed & everybody else was either driving away or clustering around the captain as he calculated the handicap results. By the time I'd finished off, the provisional results had been announced - but I handed my sheet in anyway. A few minutes later, while dismantling, I decided now was the time to inform el capitano of my 'big move' to Newburn.

When I approached him, he waved my sheet & said "I think you probably won that on handicap" then immediately launched into a moany (& uninformed and needlessly aggressive) tirade about the time I had taken with sight adjustments etc & how it would reflect badly on the club if I was pulled off the line at a putative indoor competition.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I retorted with "Well it won't be THIS club that'll get it in the neck, I'm not renewing my membership for next year".

Harsh, but fair I thought.

"Well, it's your decision I suppose" he mumbled, head down & unable to meet my gaze.

I went off to roll one in the car then returned to explain to him & coach in detail as to why this move had been on the cards for a while, and all the reasons for it. Well, most of them anyway! I kept it 'diplomatic' ;)

Wednesday will be final practice, the Triple Crown is due to be competed for next Sunday. Lovely engraved silver plate for the winner.
- It's a Stafford (30m) & a FITA combined 25m & 18m, 36 arrows/round.

I shot:-
197 for the Stafford - should have been 60 points better, minimum, with established sightmarks.
304 for the FITA 18 &
303 for the FITA 25 for a total of
804

I've no idea what that means, but I felt like I was shooting good tight groups by the end of the day so I'm happy. The X-Busters performed as advertised & were worth close to a point/end in extra linecutters I reckon - especially on the FITA 25 for some reason.

So, that's my 'winter load-out' tested - 36# limbs & X-busters. I've added 1 oz to the long rod too.

3 more shoots to go at Tynedale. I'll leave after the AGM on 22nd, should be at Newburn in good time for their Sunday shoot. It would be nice to think I might have a chance at the Trophy, I'm not afraid to win, but really it comes down to the handicap system, which is black majik to me!

If I can begin next week like I ended today, I won't be far away :D
 


LionOfNarnia

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WEDNESDAY (Final practice for Triple Crown)

Patchy conditions - gusty wind, occasional showers, not exactly warm.

Only 7 shooters present. We set 2 bosses at 18m with 2 faces on each & shot a full FITA 18 in 2 details.

I was quite chuffed to improve my 6-end score from Sunday by 8 points, but even more so to post a final total of 518, only beaten by coaches' 534 - I'm sure I'd have whupped him on handicap! - which is good enough for a "C" classification indoors (where it's drier, warmer & less windy!)

My 'unchuffing' came when a 4th gold was demoted to an 8 by a Robin Hood - my first - which shattered the nock & scored the pin. Not sure if it's salvageable at this point (opinions welcome!) but I'll have a good look in daylight & under a magnifier. Either way, a) it's only a pin & a nock at worst & b) that's why I have 7 of them anyway ;)

Busters 5 RH.jpg
 


steve

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(Everybody sing!)

WHO YA GONNA CALL?

View attachment 7708


X-BUSTERS!
Forget all that stuff in the foreground, you have a Mosquito hanging from the ceiling. The aircraft that can be mentioned in the same breath as the Spitfire and Lancaster. Of course, all powered by Merlins. The same engine that transformed the Mustang from an "also ran" into a fighter that could do everything the Spitfire could, except over Berlin rather than the South Downs.
 


LionOfNarnia

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...have a Mosquito hanging from the ceiling.
LOL Ya mean my favourite aircraft in the whole wide world?
The reason my wee canine is called Merlin?
Like why my bestest Dutch buddy got me this sent from the states?

Blueprint.jpg

The Mozzie was my first aeromodel in about 30 years, bought it for chrimbo, finished it by Ishtar.
 


LionOfNarnia

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BTW it looks like I spoke too soon with my 'maximum damage' thang earlier. On close inspection, I found the hitter was in far worse nick than the hitee. The carbon around the point shaft has slightly delaminated, hence it's no longer safe to shoot on 2 counts. It'll become a wall-trophy come daylight.

Busters 6 RH.jpg

By cannibalising both I have 6 good arrows, but that's not a comfortable margin with the compo coming up in 4 days.

I think/fear I may have no choice but to make the 110 mile round trip to Merlin 2moz for 2 more complete arrows.

No idea right now whether I can afford it, this is the time of the month when all the bills come out. Complicated by the fact that if I want them identical I'll have to bring them home cut but unfletched (so I can give them socks!), which means either forking out for a jig on top or trying to fletch them on the club jig on Sunday - which means they won't be dry enough to rely on if they're called upon.

I'll sleep on it!
 


jonUK76

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Commiserations on the arrow! Considered using 3 spot targets?

It's a perennial problem with indoor shooting but shooting in 3 arrow ends, at individual targets is probably the safest way. Here's one I did last year with one of my Avalon Tec Ones.... The arrow of course was fine but the pin was dead...

 


LionOfNarnia

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That one looks like it's taken more than a single shunt?

As I'm leaving the club in a fortnite there's little point in 'making suggestions' to them. I've no idea about my new clubs' indoor facilities atm.

In truth, it makes me feel good that I'm now shooting to a standard where this has become a serious issue :D

I've just consulted my account, I can just afford the 'emergency Merlin trip' but it'll mean no more baccy for 2 weeks & a week of beanz-on-toast. 25p beans on 55p bread at that! (My wee companion, also called Merlin but for different reasons, has enough meat, crunchies & treats for another month, so don't worry he will never suffer for my 'addiction' ;) )

I'm about to phone Merlin (the shop!) to make sure they have a brace of X-Buster 600's in stock, if so it's an early BLT & onto the road.
 


LionOfNarnia

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Mission accomplished

...and for £3 less than my maximum, including fuel :)

Maybe enough to upgrade to beanz'n'chips if I'm lucky.

Time to sock & fletch - after a big mug of builders' brew & a 'countdown-to-zero' smoke of course!
 


jonUK76

Member
That one looks like it's taken more than a single shunt?

As I'm leaving the club in a fortnite there's little point in 'making suggestions' to them. I've no idea about my new clubs' indoor facilities atm.

In truth, it makes me feel good that I'm now shooting to a standard where this has become a serious issue :D
Feels good but not so good for the wallet :) Yep it was a single hit, the arrow is very skinny (~5 mm) and the incoming arrow split the nock down the middle and caused the pictured damage on the pin.

3 Spot targets like this 60 cm are good once you get to a point that you're regularly breaking nocks. I understand they are within the rules for a Portsmouth round.
 


steve

Member
Ya mean my favourite aircraft in the whole wide world?
I first encountered a Mossie many years ago when my dad took me to the Shuttleworth collection more years ago than I care to remember (late 60s?). We were driving through hedge lined country lanes in the family Triumph Herald when there was a growling roar and a Mosquito shot across the road at about 30 feet. I've never forgotten that sound. I was gutted (I hate the use of the word but it's applicable here) when the only flying Mosquito crashed and elated when an American (Americans are good like that) got one back in the air.
For some reason I've always liked twin engine planes.... Mosquito, Beaufighter, P38 Lightning.
I was at Shuttleworth during the numerous commemorative displays for the Battle of Britain. A Spifire did a pass in front of the crowd line and climbed away doing a slow roll. Several old chaps in berets wiped tears from their eyes while their wives continued knitting without even looking up. I thought "You Madam, have no soul".
 


steve

Member
junior school headmaster
My school, late 60s early 70s, was full of "old officer" types. There was a history teacher called George Offler. Of course he got christened Offler the Waffler. It was a recognised tactic to get him talking about his days in the army to sidetrack him from what we should have been learning. Years later you realise we should have been hanging on every word he said. He happened to have been a Captain in Burma during WW2. Facepunch.
It's like when you're 15 you think your parents are idiots. When you get to be 30 you realise who was the idiot.
 


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