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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
As I've no rapid fire suitable pistols (Baikal 46m, Pardini K10, Webley Tempest and Senior) I won't be participating in any such competitions, but yesterday at a small competition I did have a couple of semi-relevant experiences.

Seemingly owing to a misinterpretation of the new ISSF rules, the officials had us shoot the final in 2-shot runs after the initial 2 x 3-shot runs, but with 2 shots in 50 seconds rather than as the rules state, which is 1 shot in 50 seconds but in sets of 2 used for eliminations. I was far from alone in finding 50 seconds not quite adequate for 10 meter air pistol. A few times there'd be 2 to 4 shots ringing out just as the official called TIME, and I think one or two shots went slightly past the limit. Seems for precision shooting at least 30 and preferably 40 seconds per shot should be allowed, and yeah, it was just a mistake. Everyone's getting used to the new rules still.

The other, more relevant experience was a demonstration set up where we could try the new laser shooting air pistol with an electronic target, as used in modern pentathlon. Very slick apparatus, as it ought to be for about $1,200... that's an attachment put into the place of the barrel on an existing $2,000 air pistol. Anyway, the object in pentathlon's combined running/shooting event is to get 5 hits in a maximum of 50 seconds on a target which is the size of the black circle in normal Olympic style air pistol. That's a hit anywhere from a 7 value up to 10, no difference, it's a hit-or-miss sort of thing. The athlete who demoed it for us said how this new laser version was going so far, especially noting that the top competitor is a woman hitting the bull 5 times in approximately 8 seconds. The pistol has to at least touch the table between each shot, so she bounces it off the table while cocking the lever and just bangs them out super fast, just 1.6 seconds per hit. Then the pistol goes down and she runs another 800 meters! Amazing stuff. Owing to the unusually low sight adjustment preferred by the pistol's owner we mostly had trouble hitting the black with it - I'm a centre-aim guy, but even the sub-6 hold folks were struggling. Still, it was weird and cool shooting a brief burst of weak laser light at a black dot and seeing it light up a green LED on the target edge. Something I could see really being popular for home shooting if the price point came way, way down. It still uses a PCP cylinder to trigger the laser, so there's a bang, but there is no barrel and the laser is very low power and brief, so rather a safe sort of gun to wave around. He told us that owing to the early generation hardware in the targets there are a lot of glitches still, and techies are often right up at the targets fussing with them while shooters are practicing at competitions. No worries about getting shot.

My personal rapid fire nemesis is at the PNE every summer. I try once usually, though last summer I forked over another $5 and tried a second time with the machine-BB thing where you try to clean the red star out of the paper target. Frustrating as heck. I've come pretty close, twice leaving just 1 tiny red point, but still can't master what's needed to do it completely. Anyone got any theories? Ring around the star maybe? Or trying to 'draw' a 5-pointed star with the tommygun?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:50 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:18 pm
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Location: near Ottawa
Some of the UK action pistol shooters switched to airgun alternatives after handguns were confiscated there. A common action shooting scoring systems is called 'comstock' - points divided by the time it takes you to shoot.

http://www.actionairshootinguk.com/

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:17 am 
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GerardSamija wrote:
Seems for precision shooting at least 30 and preferably 40 seconds per shot should be allowed, and yeah, it was just a mistake. Everyone's getting used to the new rules still.

That would totally throw me. Including loading time, rest-time to settle the breathing and clear the mind and then the raise/lower/hold/squeeze time I think I'd struggle to do less than a minute. I think I average about a minute 30s normally - I know I'm on the slow side.

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The pistol has to at least touch the table between each shot, so she bounces it off the table while cocking the lever and just bangs them out super fast, just 1.6 seconds per hit. Then the pistol goes down and she runs another 800 meters! Amazing stuff.

Indeed that is an amazing ability, but the thought of someone bouncing a precision pistol off the table just makes me feel so bad. Beautiful pieces of engineering art being abused!!

On the other hand, the technology sure sounds neat. I wonder what it would take to replicate that at lower cost. The sensor must be interesting, but might not be too hard. Another thing for my ever expanding list of 'when I'm not so busy' projects.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
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Location: Vancouver
Likewise I found his description of a shooter bouncing a finely made pistol off a bench rather unnerving, even offensive. But I guess with sponsorship money and a free pistol, if that's the case with the shooter in question, there's less of a worry.

Optical shooting goes back a long time in a crude sense. I remember shooting infrared at a piano player's butt and various other targets in Disneyland in 1970. It was a hoot, and when I last tried it at the PNE (same exact layout I think - a licensed Disney thing?) it was still fun. But the precision of using a laser seems potentially much more interesting. Might be particularly attractive for youth shooting programs in community centres or boys/girls clubs. The fear factor of actual projectiles combined with the expense of a serious PCP pistol or rifle makes shooting somewhat of an exclusive sport in modern times. Making it electronic wouldn't eliminate the core skills involved, only the danger. And it seems likely a laser pistol with a good plastic grip could be made for under $500, with an electronic bang instead of an air cylinder. They could even build in a tiny piston to emulate the subtle recoil of the real thing. That's something which is missing in the example I tried - a Morini 162ei with the barrel swapped for this gizmo. Feinwerkbau has an entry level PCP for kids, as does Pardini, but those are still $1,000 or more, largely owing to the need for precision manufacturing of high pressure vessels and related connections. A purpose-build laser weapon would only need such high standards in the sights, trigger, and the laser itself.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Yes, there seem to be lots of possible advantages to a laser based system. Not least of which is completely side-stepping all the legislation around firearms. But there is also the elimination of pellet variation, shot to shot velocity variation, the worry of running out of air/co2, a completely flat 'flight' trajectory, elimination of toxic (lead) waste. The list seems quite substantial if it could be well implemented. Of course, shooting crackers would be a bit of a let down.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Not necessarily. Just swap out the sub-5mW laser module for a 1Watt purple laser or similar, then BURN those saltines. Which gives me am excellent laser-plinking target idea. Popcorn.


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