After dropping off the wife and kid in Brooklyn (thanks again, Opas!), I arrived a little early to Long Island's Brookhaven Shooting Range. With quite a lot of snow on the ground (about 5"), I plopped my equipment and started laser ranging the sight-in targets, I was using my 0.20" cal D54 that I had taken out of mothballs a month before and just slapped an AEON scope in ZR mounts to be able to shoot it, this time I would be shooting the pellet that the barrel was designed for: the JSB 13.7's. No DOPE, no proper re-tuning. All part of an extended experiment that started at EFTCC's last shoot of 2016 where I shot an N-Tecc'ed D34 and continued at FTRPA's closing of the season shoot for 2016 where I shot the rifle using H&N's FTT at the maximum allowable speed. But, that is material for a future entry. Suffice to say that so far the experiment has been enjoyable. Above all because the conversations that it has started, LOL! ​ Picture Picture Yup! That is a GinB FT stock. As much as I tried, Long Island's sight-in range defeated me. It always poses a peculiar set of conditions, it is perpendicular to the usual directions of shooting, it has a berm over which there are peculiar currents and waves of wind when the wind come in from the front, and there are noticeable lifts of the pellet when the wind comes from behind. USUALLY, I have a little more data from other ranges to detect what info is good and what is crap, but on this occasion, for my life, I wasn't able to elucidate what was happening. Once the sighting in was done,we had to adjourn to the lanes. Snow was everywhere! LOL. And where there was no snow, it quickly became mud. The first time that I plopped down on my bumbag (which I was originally happy to have taken the waterproof bottom'ed one) and slipped back about 4", I said to myself: "self, this is going to be a workout". Picture I was squadded with Mark M and Nathan T, both good shooters and friends. We all had a blast. At times I did envy Mark's high seat and Nathan's youth, LOL! but we did have a blast. Picture Nathan started to tell me how he wanted to put some waterproof material in the bottom of his bumbag, but I do think he fared much better without it. Having to sit on a slippery surface with almost no friction to the ground implies that you get no help from the ground or from friction to hold your position. All the effort is done by your abs. and back. Perhaps I should contact Daniel in Spain and see if they can make a bumbag with spikes! ROFL! Though maybe I should contact WFTF first and ask because at the rate things are going, anything that is not "PC" according to the leadership's ideas becomes illegal swiftly and mercilessly. But that is another subject. Here Leo observes Glenn getting into his Open Harness, not without some sympathy: Picture Here John Eroh fights his new-to-him "Chuntsman" and celebrates his return to HFT, while Brian Van Lieuw observes and gets ready to take some of his first shots under WFTF rules. Tom W seems happy with the attendance. Picture What was ice at the beginning became frosty mud and then a quagmire. Should have taken my Pacboots, or, like Mike some Wellies. Whatever you do, do NOT drop your pellets! LOL! Picture Apart from the weather, which was unseasonably warm and balmy, it is worthwhile noting that there was NO SINGLE INCIDENT of a cold line. Congrats' to Tom for setting up a course that had no hangups and all the targets worked well! By the end of the day, the bunch of first timers (almost all of us were trying something new), ended the shoot a little more enlightened about what our rigs were doing than when we arrived. It was truly an interesting and illustrative shooting session! For the record, and I guess out of habit, Tom distributed awards and the customary pictures were taken: Picture Our Right Honorable Match Director. Tom Wade Picture First Place Open PCP Glenn Thomas Picture First Place HFT PCP, John Eroh Picture First Place WFTF PCP Brian Van Lieuw Picture Second Place WFTF Piston, Leo Gonzales Picture High Score of the Match and First Place WFTF Piston, Nathan Thomas. Picture I had a lot of fun in the sun! Learned a few things and got good material for my experiment. Picture We were all happy to have spent a day in the beautiful outdoors with good friends, flinging some lead at the steel critters with whom we have a profound love-hate relationship! Thanks, Tom! 1 Comment Nightvision Riflescope for Springers 12/7/2016 13 Comments Picture Another DISCLAIMER, courtesy of our legal counsel: Hunting pests at night is a specialized activity. It is NOT for the beginner. Make sure that what you are planning on doing is legal in YOUR area. When hunting pests that are "publicly recognized" as pests, still make sure that the Fish and Wildlife authorities share the public's perception. Hunting pests in the dark carries some inherent dangers, take EXTREME safety precautions. IF you hunt in a group make absolutely certain that you and everyone else knows where everyone else is at all times. Last, but not least: In no way are we recommending night-time pest hunting as a first recourse. It should be taken up by knowledgeable persons capable of holding the highest standards of safety not only for the party that shoots, but for everyone around them. Be even more vigilant of having a solid backstop BEFORE taking ANY shot. Be ABSOLUTELY certain of your target BEFORE taking ANY shot. Do NOT aim a rifle at ANYTHING you do not FULLY INTEND TO DESTROY. UFF! Glad that is over with. Well, having said that, let's get down to business: ​Up until a few years ago, the idea of using a photomultiplier equipped riflescope in a spring-piston gun would have been met with disbelief, warning cries and downright derision. Nightvision scopes were simply NOT made for spring-piston air rifles. Even before they were labelled with a "Generation something" I've been involved in photomultiplying so, I know how delicate the photomultiplier imaging tubes were, and some still are. Over a decade ago now, I had an Aries Warrior that proved VERY useful in some pest eliminating tasks. BUT, as good as it was, the scope simply was not designed for the forward recoil of the spring-piston air rifle, so we had to design and build rigs on PCP's, either a Steyr LG-100, or a Talon SS Many agreeable outings we had getting rid of all size of pests between belfry pigeons that threatened Colonial era architecture and art, to feral dog packs capable of attacking humans. My experiences and ties to nocturnal pest control are some of my best memories. Not all of them were sedate, peaceful and bucolic, but all were good. Picture Picture Times change. And with change comes new technology. Among the new kids on the block there are several "night/day" scopes that intrigued me. Until last year there was no model that could really be applied to spring guns because their large size and weight negated much of the spring gun advantages. Then there was the price. At around $700-800 all in, they were not for everyone. Lastly, there was the issue of energy efficiency. It is no fun having to lug around battery packs. VERY recently, our good friends at SightMark came out with a peculiar scope they call the "Photon XT". The Photon replicates the general architecture of a normal scope except the large objective now present in many scopes is replaced by a squarish video unit: