by Iain Harrison - Thursday, March 29, 2012
By Iain Harrison
After the departure of Tim Trefren, falling to several well placed atlatl darts, the red and blue teams team found themselves with an equal number of members. I must confess, I have no idea why my friend Bob Vogel was chosen as the expert for this week, other than he’s an absolute ninja with any handgun, current World IDPA champion and all-round good guy. Come to think of it, those are probably sufficient qualifications for any of the current crop of shooting shows.
The red team practiced first and the standout performer of their session was Gabby Franco. The diminutive Venezuelan showed that while she was an Olympic pistol shot, she could turn in a solid performance with a 10/22. On the blue team, William Bethards likewise showed all-round competence, but was unwilling to consider shooting anything other than the pistol, which was the cause of some friction with his team members, particularly Terry Vaughan. While team cohesiveness is undoubtedly important, due to the nature of this week’s initial challenge, the lack thereof didn’t hurt so much as crappy individual performances.
The challenge’s first bowling pin shoot seemed a little easy, but Chris Cheng managed to pull out an early lead for the reds using one of Remington’s new R1911’s. Greg managed to get his excuses in early after losing 1-2 against Kyle, again shooting pins. Terry and Gabby performed equally, shooting bottle openers with the Volquartsen 10/22, which meant that Gary had a mental edge going into his contest with Dylan, who failed to score at all on his aerial targets.
After much foreshadowing during individual interviews, William managed just one out a possible 4 targets in what appears to be 10-15 mph wind, which meant that red team won by default without even sending their final shooter up to the line. As a side note, whenever I’ve been on the property where the show is filmed, there is always a 10-15 mph wind blowing and it seems like the producers site each challenge so that it’s blowing at full value. Did anyone else notice the continuity error during the slow-motion shots? I’ll have to mention to the editors that 10/22’s don’t typically launch 55grain FMJ bullets.
Blue team’s loss meant that Dylan and William faced each other in elimination, with the rest of the team members consolidated around the decision. At the elimination range, the effect of William’s attempt at intimidating his opponent by shooting strong hand only was somewhat diminished when he forgot to take the safety off. I’m pretty sure there were a few chuckles from the bench at that. Robert Vogel Bob returned to school our shooters on the SIG 229 & Browning Buckmark, in this case decked out with a nifty lightweight barrel from Tactical Solutions.
William used both firearms to good effect during the elimination challenge, remaining calm enough to make consistent hits while Dylan adopted a spray & pray philosophy, proving once again that you can never miss fast enough to win. With blue team once again one man down, next week sees the debut for a couple of British firearms that are close to my heart. I had a lot of fun showing the competitors the Webley MkVI in .455 and of course introducing them to “rule 303,” but the outcome wasn’t quite what I’d anticipated.
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