Newsletter Archive

The passing of our friend Mike Culbertson

It is with great sadness that the Sacramento Valley Field Target Club has lost another outstanding friend and fellow field target shooter to cancer this winter. Michael Culbertson died Feb, 17, 2019.

Mike was part of the SVFTC since year one and also traveled with many of us to outlying state championships and AAFTA Grand Prix events these past few years.

A true gentleman and always soft spoken, his contributions and presence will be missed by all who knew him.

The loss of a quiet gentleman
It is with great sorrow that we must report the passing of Dana Fitzpatrick, an avid field target shooter from the Bay Area and great friend to both the Sacramento Valley Field Target Club and Diablo Rod and Gun Club.

Dana passed peacefully and without pain Feb. 3, 2019 after an extended battle with cancer. 
He took part in Bay Area matches right through mid-January, so our buddy kept his hand in play right to the finish. 

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Dana, you will be missed.

Schneider earns crown as 2018 AAFTA Grand Prix Hunter PCP Rifle Champion

Pleasant Hill, North Carolina (Oct. 5, 2018) -- Scott "Motorhead" Schneider, SVFTC co-match director and air gun tuner extraordinaire, capped his 2018 season by winning the AAFTA Grand Prix for Hunter PCP Rifle with an aggregate score of 298.9 out of a possible 300. 

Cameron Kerndt came in second for WFTF Spring-Piston. Riz Marquez claimed second in WFTF PCP. And Jim Cyran earned third place in Hunter PCP.

Tremendous effort for the season, folks!! Check out all the scores HERE.

Marquez medals in AAFTA National Championship

Pleasant Hill, North Carolina (Oct. 5, 2018) -- That ever-smiling globe-trotter and ambassador for the SVFTC, Riz Marquez,  brought home a medal from the 2018 AAFTA National Championship, hosted by the Tar Heel Air Gun Club of Pleasant Hill, North Carolina. 

Riz earned Fourth Place in Limited Pistol with a score of 33 out of a possible 40. 
Medal scores from Limited Pistol are shown below.
For a first-person recap of Nationals weekend, follow the link below to enjoy a story from Tyler Patner.

Sac Valley shooters earn AAFTA GP points at California State FT Championship 

Angeles Shooting Range, California (Sept. 29-30, 2018) -- A few familiar Sacramento Valley shooters did right well for themselves during the State Field Target Championship hosted by CASA down south in LA LA Land. These are semi-unofficial results, pending the match director's full report.

Jim Cyran won Hunter PCP with 88 hits out of 104 for the two-day Grand Prix. 

Cameron "Team USA" Kerndt won WFTF Spring-PIston with 87! (Are we SURE there's really a spring in his rifle??)

And Riz Marquez brought home second place in WFTF PCP with 82.

Below are all the scores, as posted on the CASA forum: 

Kelly Hawe     96/102  1st
Hector Alfaro   95/102   2nd
Terry Eannetta  64/102 3rd
Carlos Lglesias  53/102
Daniel Barroso   37/102
Perry Haberman 21/102
Scott Hull     56/102   1st
Rick Rogers  48/102    2nd
Jim Cyran       88/102   1st  shootoff
John Knapp    88/102   2nd
Chris Lovitt      85/102  3rd
Russ Cronk     79/102
Al Padilla        78/102
Mark Barroso  37/102  1st
Cameron Kerndt   87/102
Jim Poh                27/102
Larry Durham    84/102  1st
Art Burciga         74/102  2nd
Jim Ziegler         70/102 3rd
George Doganis  84/102  1st
Riz Marquez        82/102   2nd
Randy Ebersole   80/102   3rd
Wayne Burns        69/102
Randy Ebersole     37/40  1st
Wayne Burns          35/40  2nd
John Knapp            28/102 3rd
Riz Marquez            37/40  1st
Scott Hull                 37/40
Cameron Kerndt      33/40     
Submitted by Ron Jobbes

Jim Cyran medals at 2018 Pyramyd Air Cup

New Philadelphia, Ohio (Sept. 21-23, 2018) -- Jim Cyran, our SVFTC co-match director, earned second place in the hotly-contested PCP Hunter division of the 2018 Pyramyd Air Cup. The PA Cup continues to grow in popularity with this fifth annual event attracting the best shooters from around the country.

How tight were the finishing scores? Well ... here's how the top five finished in PCP Hunter.

Morro Bay hosts 2018 West Coast WFTF Trials AAFTA GP
"I hear it gets windy near the coast"

Morro Bay / San Luis Obispo, CA (Aug. 17-19, 2018) -- Yes, sir ... the wind CAN blow in Morro Bay. 

And it can switch direction every 10 seconds or so. 

Or not. 


Scott Hull and the rest of the crew from Morro Bay Airgunners "put the big pot inside the little one" in terms of hospitality and fun for this event. Sac Valley FTC shooters were well represented among the contestants.

Scott Schneider tied for overall high score for the weekend.
Cameron Kerndt used the challenging conditions for a last tune up before heading to Poland for the 2018 WFTF World Championship.

And some of us just held on to a tree root so we'd be within walking distance when the lunch bell rang.

Read the full contest report HERE.

Sac Valley shooters carry home medals from 2018 Oregon GP

Ashland, OR (July 22, 2018) -- A caravan of SVFTC shooters brought precious medals back to our valley via the Oregon Trail after placing very well in the 2018 Oregon State GP.

Son Lu and Jim Whittlesey were tied for overall high score for the weekend at 95/104. Scott Schneider added another medal with a win in Hunter Class and a second high overall score of 94/104.  Gabe Lucero earned second in WFTF PCP with his 92/104 and Riz  Marquez was close behind in 3rd WFTF PCP with a 91/104.

Hunter class PCP was dominated by Scott Schneider, but a tight race developed for second between Jim Cyran and John Knapp.  John shot a great score of 44 on Sat. but had a tougher day with a 38 on Sunday.  Jim shot consistent both days with a 42 and 41 to edge out a 2nd over John by one point, so the MD from NorCal just beat out our elder match director from CASA in SoCal, who got 3rd.

The Combined Piston Class was a pretty close match, but Hunter class shooter, Mark Weidert  aced out Cameron Kerndt in WFTF 12fpe Piston class with a 76/104 and 72/104 respectively.

In Open class PCP, Jim Whittlesey won by a good margin with his tie for high score of 95/104 and Jessica Kerndt falling off a bit on Sunday, but still holding on for a solid 2nd in Open PCP with an 87/104.  Chris Merritt took 3rd with a 78.

Pistols, Basic Break Barrel, wild pig ribs ... you better just read the full report!
Sacramento Valley FT Club gets 8 new targets!

Thanks to a Donation / Contribution by our own Dave C who is now manufacturing the RHINO type targets.  
* Rhino is no more, BTW. (Actually, Rhino were copied too.)

These are 100% steel construction with 3/16" face plates, bolts/lock-nuts having no clips or pins holding them together ... they are MONDO ROBUST!

These came in the RAW without paint so the backs got painted first in HIGH REFLECTION Chrome Silver ( you can see the Orange paddle reflection on back side view). This helps bounce light onto the paddle when viewed from the front.  8)

Rattle can paint job with a bit of hand painting has them ready to be assaulted by the SVFTC gang.

* On the back NOTE made on Kill Zone size and range to be used at for a "Moderate" to "Expert" while not going past "illegal"  .... this info sure helps when setting up future matches.

The Sacramento club * SVFTC  just keeps growing and getting better gear for our matches every year .... Thanks in large to our selfless membership.

Thank You, David, on behalf of ALL who will be shooting at them in the near future !

Scott S & Jim C
SVFTC Match directors

"Are You Tough Enough?" 
The Nevada Grand Prix experience

Battle Mountain, Nevada (June 3, 2018) -- Match Director Lonnie Smith promised to bring the "field" back to field target. He delivered in spades for the 2018 Nevada Grand Prix with incredible high desert scenery, targets mounted high up on sage-covered canyon walls and swirling twirling afternoon winds.

If there was a shooter who was NOT highly challenged by the event ... we didn't meet them. If you didn't go this year, you need to put this one on your calendar for 2019. 

Lonnie's full match report is posted HERE.

"Humility Hill Challenge" proves to be accurate name
A Grand Prix that was definitely on a decline ... and incline!

How steep was it? This steep.

Ashland, Oregon (May 20, 2018) -- A posse from SVFTC headed up for The Humility Hill Challenge, an AAFTA Grand Prix at Wayne Burns' field target compound on May 18-20, 2018. We enjoyed warm hospitality, beautiful green mountain scenery and CHALLENGES!

This same lovely course, minus the green leaves on the trees, is described in Cameron Kerndt's article on the WFTF bootcamp from December 2017, posted down below on this same page.

Riz Marquez won First Place in WFTF PCP and posted High Match Score with 84 out of a possible 104. Jim Cyran won Hunter PCP with 83 kills. Mike Culbertson placed third in Hunter PCP with a score of 68. Chris Merritt won Open Class with 82. Bob Kidd took home second place in the Combined Piston classes with a two-day score of 56.

Son Lu and Jim Poh also shot, but left before the group photo, those scamps. The full contest report is available HERE.

Sac Valley Shooters Earn Medals in Arizona

Phoenix, Ariz. (April 15, 2018) -- Sacramento Valley Field Target Club shooters brought back three medals from the Sonoran Grand Prix, April 14 & 15, hosted by the Phoenix Airgun Club.

Riz Marquez won first place in WFTF PCP with a two-day score of 88 out of a possible 104, beating second-place Mike Niksch by just ONE POINT!

Cameron Kerndt earned second place in WFTF Spring-Piston with a score of 73. He was bested by our buddy from San Luis Obispo, Scott Hull, who won with 77 hits. And Lonnie Smith, a longtime regular at SVFTC events, won third in the division with a two-day score of 65.

Great shooting, men! Here's a link to the score sheet.

WFTF Training Event: Firsthand Impressions and Lessons Learned

Hey all! I'm Cameron Kerndt, a second-year student of the game.

About a month ago I read online that Keith "Knobs" Knoblauch and Mike Niksch were hosting a WFTF training event in Ashland, Oregon. Not really knowing what I was getting into, I jumped on the opportunity to get together with some experienced shooters and try to learn as much as I could.

Course descriptions:

Day 1: Beautiful open field, slight upward angle 4-10mph winds. 44 shots.

Day one and blue skies

Day 2: Hilltop, light winds with some extreme angles. 50 shots.

My partner for day two and three, Lonnie Smith

Day 3: Same course as day 2, but 8-14 mph switching winds with gusts even higher. 50 shots.

Day three, Lonnie and me on The Hill


Synthetic HW97K .177 785fps with 8.5gr
VORTEK 12fpe kit
Hawke 6-24x56 sidewinder
BKL High Doublestrap Rings
H&N FTT 4.52mm Pellets

Here are a few lessons I learned from my personal experiences at this event.

Lesson One:
When your rifle is shooting well, don't make any major changes unless absolutely necessary.

I learned this the week before the match when deciding to swap Scopes on my HW97K. Bad choice. Didn't have time to run all the numbers and test them in the field. Ultimately had to reswap Scopes two days before the match and thankfully everything worked perfectly.

Lesson Two:
Set aside plenty of time for practice once at the match location.

I try to get to the location of a match at least the day before to check my zero and run my gun over a chronograph to make sure I'm close to my base settings. This gives you time to build confidence in your gun and make adjustments.

Lesson Three:
Practice shooting in every position you might encounter at your upcoming match.

Standing shots and kneeling are a given, but sometimes shots will require a higher or lower position to clear objects in the line of fire. Experiment with all positions; you never know when you will be out of your comfort level on a difficult course trying to achieve a clear view of your  target.

Lesson Four:
Don't be a fair-weather shooter.

Learn your gun in windy and less desirable conditions, not only open field wind. Try to find a place to shoot where the wind is blowing from different angles both uphill and downhill. Day 3 was very windy and there were many steep shooting angles on a hillside. All of us were affected by it. 
It took me way too long to see how much the wind was lifting my pellet at long range. This leads to the next lesson learned.

Lesson Five:
Memorize the faceplate / paddle.

If you can master this you will be able to compensate a lot more accurately for a similar shot in the future. This information is very useful to see if you held just enough for wind, too little or if you ranged it correctly. Read the faceplates to see where most of the hits are on the paddle and the trending misses on the faceplate. This can very useful information you can use for your shot. 

Lesson Six:
Consider wasting a shot.

If you can't seem to hit a target and you're getting confused and frustrated (me on day three) take a breath and try to figure out what's happening. Find a clean part of the faceplate and aim for it. Most of the time you will see where you need to compensate. Yes it's a miss, but it is better to miss one or two shots trying to rezero or learn the hold for wind than to miss a majority of the targets ahead.

Lesson Seven:
Check your gun's POI / velocity in various temperatures.

Hot or cold. This match was held in Southern Oregon. Although the afternoon temperatures were great, the mornings were frosty. Luckily, I have a range at my home and can test my guns at different temperatures. I try to zero my guns at around 70 degrees, then test the gun at the lowest and highest temps I'd expect to encounter at a match. 

A big thanks goes to Mike N and Keith K. The course was a challenge, to say the least. Also, a shout-out goes to Wayne Burns and the Ashland Crew for allowing this event to be staged on some very difficult yet beautiful terrain. 

Schneider wins Hunter PCP and High Match Score! Kerndt is Top Female Shooter! 
Marquez wins Pistol Limited! And even more medals for SVFTC shooters!
Results from the 2017 AAFTA National Championships

Rio Salado Sportsman's Club, Ariz. (Nov. 5, 2017) -- It was a big weekend for SVFTC shooters in Phoenix.
Scott Schneider won top honors in Hunter PCP division with a two-day score of 106, and that was also High Match Score! 

Jessica Kerndt was Highest Scoring Lady with 91. 

Riz Marquez won first place in Pistol Limited, a one-day match, with a score of 48, winning a tie-breaker over Tyler Patner, one of Riz's Team USA teammates.

Cameron Kerndt, earned fourth place in Pistol Limited with a 46.
Jim Cyran won fifth place in Hunter PCP with a total score of 94, after winning a tie-breaker round! 


For all the scores, including several other SVFTC regulars, click below