Today was a day of niggling rifle troubles. I managed to average 49 ex 50 over three ranges, losing all three out the sides*, however the major issue was with the trigger on my rifle. I've had a few issues during the season with it, mostly to do with an intermittent creep**.
I started off with a mediocre 50.5 at 600 yards, just about wobbling all ten shots into the bullseye, but when it came to the traditional trigger test the rifle just would not lift the 1.5 kilogram minimum mass. After a couple of abortive attempts, I took the rifle to the range office, where it just squeaked through on the last attempt resulting in an admonition to get my armourer to increase the weight. This was something of a surprise as the trigger had only been reset two weeks previously.
My armourer had a look at the rifle and very kindly spent half an hour resetting the trigger again. And so I set off to 500 yards, where I only managed a mediocre 48.6, leaking an inner either side at least partially due to the intermittent but fairly horrific creep the trigger started developing halfway through the shoot. Another visit to the armourer ensued, who looked a bit puzzled but said he'd take it apart at the end of the day if I could survive one more range.
I managed a sensible 49.7 in the Admiral Hutton competition at 900 yards, losing one to a wind change in the aim*** while trying to get the damn rifle to go off. With the rifle safely delivered over for the trigger to be stripped and re-built I headed over to the BCRC for barbecue with the West Indies teams, who the GB Team are hosting in acknowledgement of their wonderful hospitality during last year's tour.
This feels like progress. We'll find out in the 09:15 detail of the Donegall at 300 yards tomorrow morning.
*Note for non-shooters. Losing a shot "out the side" is shooter-speak for meaning that you lost a point because you got the wind wrong rather than because you fired a bad shot. This is often seen as being somehow "better" than losing a point because you fired a crap shot. In reality, of course, it's no different to firing a crap shot; you made a mistake and lost a point. Additionally, lots of people do stick them out the side and pretend to themselves that it was a wind change. This is not good.
**Note for non-shooters. "Creep" means that you can feel when the trigger is about to go off (which is bad.) The trigger should "break" suddenly and cleanly. The cause is a poorly designed, manufactured or adjusted trigger. In this case it seems to be a minor manufacturing flaw.
***Note for non-shooters. In the pantheon of reasons for losing a point, having the wind change on you in the aim is considered one of the most unfortunate of causes. It is most definitely not the shooter's fault as they clearly fired a good shot and definitely got the wind right at the time they read it, but the pesky wind changed while they were on aim. The effect is still the same and it's usually an indicator they need to shoot faster.