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This SMALLBORE Business This Smallbore Business by Don Brooke


Ever been through a loss in form? Are you currently experiencing a loss in form?


It’s a puzzle that sometimes takes months to eradicate, or even longer. You try everything you know, yet still wonder what the hell has happened. Indeed it is a puzzling time.


I have been through a few of these situations, even giving my rifle to another team mate to see if he or she can get any results. Mind-boggling - when they drill nice little round five-shot groups with the same ammunition you are using!


I did this with Tolly (Don Tolhurst, an Australian icon of the sport) a number of years back, and he promptly shot a solid 200 on a windy day…... He rose from the firing-point and told me the problem was ‘between my ears’. Probably right too, because the following weekend I won the Victorian State titles with the same gear I could not hit a barn with if I was inside with the door shut, two weeks prior!


One other instance was I was really struggling to shoot a score in New Zealand for the Oceania Championships, so I gave my rifle to ‘Smithy’ to try out. He came back and asked if he could shoot my rifle in the matches!


I offered to stand down, in discussion with my team manager, which was refused politely, stating he trusted me to perform. I didn’t do too bad with a 593 on a dead still day but, I can tell you it was one of the hardest shoots I have ever had. I struggled and struggled, used up the whole allocated time, finishing with about ten seconds left on the match clock. Our team won, including the individual quota place and I suppose the 593 helped because any team result is no better than the low score anyway.


This problem was actually traced to sighting, with a lens rotated 15 degrees from axis and maybe this gives you an idea of where this article is going.


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