The Goal

The Goal

Friday, 9 June 2017

Shooting Jackets III, The Saga Continues

In previous posts I have shared my view on shooting jackets - What Have Shooting Jackets Ever Done for Us, and The Trouble With Jackets - I've dealt with some of the issues that I have endured over the past decade during which I have shot moderately well; however by way of a stunning irony my lovely new Kurt Thune jacket has arrived and doesn't fit.

The quality of the workmanship was otherwise superb and the materials suitably durable but however comfortable it failed in the very essence of being a shooting jacket in that it did not provide support in the right places and to the appropriate degree. After some head scratching from the folks who fitted the jacket, it looked like a manufacturing error had left the jacket with too much material in one shoulder, allowing the jacket to slide round when in the aim. It has gone back to the manufacturer; full review to follow when it returns.

In the meantime, let us step forward in time to shortly before the second of the two trials described in Trials and Tribulations. After the first set of long range shoots, it became clear that I was going to have issues at the longer ranges, where errors get magnified exponentially.

Just about held it together at 900x. A good score if not a great group.

I'd love to claim those as wind shots at 1000x but really it's mostly just a big group. Things fell apart, I didn't hold the centre.

After some thought, and a bit of a run around the block I decided extreme measures were required. I stopped in at a sewing shop in Upper Hutt and bought myself some needles and thread, and did the needful. I had heard say about running a line of stitches up the back of a jacket to take up some of the slack before, but had never tried it myself...

Stitch line running up the back of the jacket.

Close up view of my crap seamstressing, seamstressness... sewing.

Now I'm not going to claim that everything is now perfect; however pre-modifications I was just about able to touch my elbows together wearing the jacket* and this was not possible after; it also feels suitable snug, without the uncomfortable feeling of tightness. It is no coincidence also that I shot just as tight at short range, but considerably tighter at the longs.

After a bit more playing back at home on the SCATT, I put a line of stitches in the left shoulder to close things up a bit further.

Butchery. But functional butchery.
Where I am now is that I have a jacket that I would be confident with in going out and shooting SCATT; a high-level competition; a trial. With an extended trip to Belmont Range Complex next weekend** watch this space.

* This is a rough test for the fit of a jacket. Stand up, bend your elbows at 90 degrees and hold your arms in front of you so your upper arm is parallel to the ground. Squeeze your elbows together. If you can get closer than about 10cm / 4 inches of touching then the jacket is too big.

** This is, of course, assuming that the Queensland firearms licensing team and/or NZ Postal Service get me the documentation back in time.

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