Shoot Blog

Beginning of 2018: a new year

Time for soul searching after last year. SFC had introduced new requirements for National and Developemnt team status and also the ability to travel. I was on the Development team, but with only one qualifying score, I was not eligible to travel to World Cups.

SFC also introduced a new system for qualifying which includes 5 opportunities for qualifying scores, 4 of which are mandatory events and one is of the shooters choice. The HPTT events are a 250 bird match in Vancouver, BC (in May) and the 250 bird match of the Canadian Nationals. The Canadian Nationals were finally set for Edmonton, AB for the second week in August.

These two events are the team trials for the Championships of the Americas (know as CAT games); my new primary focus for the year. The CAT games are being held in Guadalajara, MX in the fall (OCt 31—Nov 6).

I got a clean bill of health from a complete physical, except for high uric acid levels (which leads to gout). But rather than take daily medication I have opted for controlling these levels with diet and exercise. I am gout and pain free.

I also got some excellent news that my score in Acapulco the previous year was good enough for me to be awarded one of 5 AAP cards that were alloted to SFC for 2018. Helps a lot with training and competition expenses.

2017 Year wrap-up

I had high hopes for this year. I planned on an extended period of training in Phoenix at the Ben Avery Shooting facility (ended up being about 5 weeks!) and a SFC High Performance training camp in Tucson at the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club (TTSC) before going to Acapulco for the first World Cup of the year. I was familair with the range in Acapulco so I was not planning on arriving very early, but I miss calculated and arrive a day later than ideal, so I was unable to practice on one of the fields, this would later prove problematic; when I did not have a firm eyehold for that range and shot my lowest score on the way to a 116/125 for the match.

The next World Cup was back in Larnaca, Cyprus; a range I really enjoy. I was high by a lot of over thinking and decided to change my approach to eye hold at this range and struggled with seeing the birds and timing and I also got into my own head and had issues knowing when to pull the trigger. Not a good result here.

Starting with a High Performance camp at the PanAm legacy facilty in Cookstown at TITS I began to suffer from periods of gout. Gout in your big toe feels like a red hot knife has been pushed into your joint…ouch is right! I came second to Curtis Wennberg so took home the title of Open Champion.

Gout stayed with me as I won another Manitoba Provincial Single title.

It was with me at the World Championships in Moscow, Russia in September, except this time the gout was joined by a bad chest/head cold. My first time in Russia. Results were below average at 106/125.

So ended the shooting year.

I got a complete physical, some gout medication that is approved for shooters and decided to go to Tillar, Arkansas for the USA SHooting Fall Selection match. One of those wierd matches where I could not hit a left going target to save my life.

Competitive shooting was over in the fall as the snow begins to fly at home, now it is time to turn to improving my coachine credentials. In November I successfully completed (with a mark high enough to take the A course in the future) the ISSF B level coaching certification that was held in Finland. In December I whent to Dallas, TX to be cetified as a Mental Management Systems Instructor by Lanny Bassham.

Before 2017 eneded I filled out an application for Sport Canada Athlete Asssitance Program Carding for 2018…wait and see

Victory Ammunition factory visit

In reality G&L Calibers Ltd, P.O. Box 22198 Nicosia CY-1518

I was greeted by the Managing Director: Evelthon Psimolophitis and was given a tour of the production facility in the Ergates Industrial estates, located at GPS coordinates:

N35° 352.74, E33°1324.92

To ensure the highest quality and most control of the cartiridge loading process, to produce the highest quality ammunition possible, this company makes, in house, the plastic tube, plastic base, wad, ‘brass’ base cap and thus assemblies to hull which they prime with imported primers, load with oneof 16 different types of powders and the selected shot.

I was very impressed by the facility whihc employs 19 people and will produce on average 25 million cartridges per year, surprisingly to me the ratio of competition cartidges to hunting is almost 50:50.

I ahve been using the Victory Compak for the last 3 weeks and thinkthey are a great cartridge for a variety of clay target activities.

What I found interested in the testing station was the velocity the cartidges were at significately lower pressures…yes, less recoil, and their competitors.

Ready….one shot kill….second shot kill


What can be better than reading the word “Victory” everytime you load a cartridge?!

Grand Prix: Larnaca, CYP

Not sure if it is Larnaca or Larnaka, either way back to Cyprus.

The Grand Prix and World Cup are at the range in Nicosia, but I have rented a condo 3km from the Larnaca range so will be training there mostly to avoid the crowds. Still need to get some volume shooting done at the start of the year.

2016 Redlands California

The start of a new shooting season takes me to Redlands California with my travel/shooting companion Primo.

This is the first time for the Golden Bear and Maple Leaf shoots since the bunkers at Miramar were cosed.

Steve Lakatos and the gang have made two very nice bunkers.

Taking 4 months off shooting, never thought it would be that hard, after the first day of training,,,9 rounds, I hurt all over.

Oh…forgot, I had let my form 6nia expire so had put my ill fitting stock (thanks to more weight loss) onto a borrowed (from Primo) MX-8. I quickly realized I had to do something about the stock…enter a good friend…David Senter, who always has the latest and coolest stuff…TSK fully adjustable stocks from Italy. I begged him to sell me RIGHT NOW, so he did and it went on my gun. Okay good way to start the year…out of shooting shape, borrowed gun and new stock…sounds like a receipt for success…not!

Got feeling better the last three days and stopped adjusting the stock…it now shoots where I point it…patterning plates are wonderful..came second in the Golden Bear.

World Championships: Lonato, ITA

Not much to say, Lonato is Lonato, technical it is Tiro a Volo Concaverde.

Great place to shoot, can’t say I noticed a whole lot of difference with the new Matteralli throwers installed.

I stuggle with poor gun fit again.

It was nice having my fellow Cdn shooters, Curtis and Drew there representing Canada. They shot well. Curtis renewed contact with Mauro Perazzi.

World Cup: Gabala, AZE

August 6 to 16, including travel.

Arrived early with Primo to stay a few days in Baku to training at the brand new shooting centre made for the European Games. The business of getting our guns was somewhat confused, in time we got our guns and left to put them in the Baku Range amore where we would practice but in the middle of the night they knew nothing about this and the inability of us to communicate might we just took the guns to the hotel.

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Not going to drive here. Baku is the capital and has very nice hotels and restaurants: some good sushi believe it or not.

The new shooting range was closed, but they opened it each day for us and managed to find us enough trap shells to use…fine Russian made @ 15 Euros per box.

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Primo and I set a couple of tables on thebunkers and practiced for 5 days.

Then hired a car to traveled the 4 hours to Gabala, a ‘resort’ town in the mountains.

Great range with excellent background, the trend towards high scores continued.

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Food and water were making many people sick, not a place many people want to go back too.

This was good food for breakfast.

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Met up with a coach of Vadim’s and gave him a Cdn hat and t-short from Vadim.

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World Cup: Larnaca, CYP

April 24 to May 4 Welcome back to Cyprus.

I sort of remembered what is like to drive on the wrong side of the road.

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Practiced at Nicosia for a few days while the Larnaca range was mostly used for Skeet and Double Trap. Nice range in Nicosia. Managed to get husselled for a cappuccino by Satu MAKELA-NUMMELA from Finland, Olympic Gold medalist in 2008. She was practicing very hard, shooting lots of rounds and it paid off for her. She won the WC in Larnaca and with it an Olympic Quota spot for Rio.

Only 4 trap ranges, but great wall and flat grass area in front of bunkers, target visibility excellent. I can’t seem to find my pictures? Well there is a WC there in 2016, so I will tke some pictures then.

World Cup: Al Ain, UAE

I am a little late on getting these blog entries completed…but here goes from memory.

Acapulco was a great event, although I was kicking myself all year for how I finished…need a strong mind, don’t chnge what has been working is the moral of that story!

Al Ain was special because my good friend Primo Scapin was there for his first ever world cup.

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We had good practice sessions together, but when it actual came to the first shoot of the WC, Primo said he was shaking so much be could barely get the cartridge inot the chamber, we all can remember that feeling.

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I flew Emirates and arrived in Terminal 2, nice and quiet.

World Cup: Acapulco, Mexico

I competed in the first World Cup of the year in Acapulco, nice place to start the year.

I was home for one and a half days from Cyprus, before leaving for Acapulco.

Pictured are the new ranges 1 & 2 in Acapulco…they were still under construction during practice rounds when I first got there.

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Range 2

Just got back from Acapulco yesterday afternoon, overnighted in Houston. Houston to Acapulco is the ONLY way to go.

A friend that flew though Mexico City missed his flight because the Police were so slow in clearing his gun…he had a 6 hour layover and needed 8 hours!

Avoid Mexico City.

Another interesting thing happened…as we all know you can carry 5kg (5 boxes) of ammunition with you if you want on the airplanes (I never bother because it is not enough to be useful), but what I found out is that there is a max the aircraft will take…25kg, so the Italian team got to the plane and used the ammunition allotment and the British team could not get theirs on, so they rented a car and drove 4.5 hours from Mexico City to Acapulco.

As we know a shotgun shell has little power and primer, the weight is mostly lead…a flat of Kemen had an interesting label…see attached. If the airlines would agree to this assumption then we could take enough ammunition for a match.

I shot the Mexican shell Aguila…#8 for first barrel and 71/2 for second…1350 fps They worked good.

Day 1... 24/25+25/25 = 49/50

Day 2... 23/25+24/25+21/25 = 68/75

Total of 117/125 good for 54th of 89 shooters….great start to the year.

I have a plan to correct the dropped targets.

I leave in 7 days to go to the second World Cup, this time in UAE…nice and HOT there. In UAE will have to shoot either RC4 or Fiocchi.

There is a trend to faster shells for International (Olympic) trap shooting overseas…normals are becoming between 1370 and 1450 fps from the major brands.

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