Saturday's DIFTA Fantasy Shoot was spectacular, as always: spectacularly fun and spectacularly humbling. Andy and AJ went all-out, hand-building a huge number of brand-new target holders, and giving us a diabolically sadistic course with almost no repeat challenges from previous years! Super nice Fall weather, too.
The course was an absolute candyland; Top Shot turned up to eleven; AAFTA rules on anabolic horse steroids. I'm still a little post-traumatic about it and may be blocking some things out, but I think the course consisted of eleven lanes with three challenges each, some taking more than one shot to accomplish. Shooters had six shots per lane to use as they saw fit in an attempt at the three points available. Simple, right? Oh, wait. Every time you hit a target's faceplate, that's minus one point for you. That's right: negative scores were a distinct possibility. Aim small, miss small, I suppose. And combine a nice 8-11 mph breeze with a healthy selection of targets dangling from strings and swaying with the breeze. Oh, and I almost neglected to mention that we were all restricted to 10x magnification on our scopes. I'm not sure that Al realized his March 8-80 went down that far! On lane 11, the near target was at I think 55 yards: paintballs on horizontal golf tees; followed by walnuts at probably 60-odd; followed by end-on soda cans at I think 80 yards. I believe the soda can bottoms were successfully engaged by zero shooters.
I mean, you can hit a 3/8" paintball on a golf tee through a half-inch gap at 25 or 30 yards, right?
This shooter managed it, but that dent in the faceplate means he walked away with a net of zero points for that one. Poor fella.
This one looks like a -2 to me:
I guess this one's a net of zero. Was the dent in the dazzling hard drive platter down to incorrectly doping the wind, or incorrectly doping the sway and rotation of the target holder in the breeze? Oh, and that lead in the wood beneath the targets was another -1 for somebody:
Nice shot here, but no points for you. You didn't sever the popsicle stick, and the lead weight below did not fall. You have saddened and enraged AJ and Andy.
Unsurprisingly, Mark Martin and Dale Benson attempted to match the Stephens' sadism with their own masochism, by shooting the course offhand!
We had three first-timers in Will Vandenberg, Dylan Beatty, and Dave Drummeller, and two juniors in Will Vandenberg and Christiano Gioacchini. The juniors and novices received no special scoring breaks.
First place went to Jeff Deyesu after Al Otter predictably conceded the tie, thus depriving us of whatever special madness AJ and Andy might produce for a Fantasy Shoot shoot-off. And at the risk of overplaying the proud father card, third place went to my novice, eight-year-old William. Since the Marauder Pistol carbine I tried preparing for Will is a lemon for the moment, Will was forced to use Dad's badly oversized Marauder rifle, shooting, er, "prone?" with the fixed bipod. I shot first and did the clicking for Will using my dope, but the wind doping and marksmanship were all Will's. The kid just couldn't seem to hit a faceplate!
The full results:
Optisan Viper 3-12x44
March X 8-80
Daystate Air Ranger
Walther LGV 2013
First place "award" to Jeff from AJ and Andy:
I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to say a massive thank-you to Andy and AJ Stephens for putting together these shoots! I can hardly imagine all the work that goes into it. Also hard to imagine a better way to spend a Saturday! THANKS, fellas!!!
The next DIFTA match is on November 8, followed by the final match of 2014 on December 13. See the chapter calendar for the full schedule.
-AJ, Andy, Paolo, Jan