Hunter Field Target shooting continues to attract shooters from all walks of life. Rhian Jones shares her experiences
Sometimes life can take you in unexpected directions. Rhian Jones’ interest in shooting began in the most casual way possible, but she went on to develop her skills to a national and international level. Here she explains how she got there…
Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got into shooting.
I’ve lived in North Wales all my life, and I’m a nurse in a local hospital there. The shooting started back in 2011, out of the blue really. I just went to see what all the fuss was about, after my husband had taken it up, and was quite excited about it. I really enjoyed it, and before I knew it, I’d bought my own rifle.
Back then I had an awful lot to learn, since I had never picked a rifle up before, and had no idea what I was doing. I’ve really enjoyed the journey, though, learning along the way. I’m a member of the Fort Airgun club and that has been great, as there are a lot of good shots there to spur you on.
Have you tried other disciplines?
I love HFT and spend a good deal of my time competing in that, so I just haven’t felt the need. I’m not sure I’d have time anyway.
What’s your favourite rifle?
I’ve not found any other rifle that fits like the Air Arms MPR – so much so, that I currently have two of them! They aren’t too heavy, yet the accuracy is brilliant.
One of mine is pretty much factory-standard, but the other has had a regulator fitted to it. They’re just great. It’s a real shame that Air Arms doesn’t make them any more.
And what about scopes? We see you’ve taken the Connect route, with its super-short eye relief. They seem to be everywhere just now in HFT.
Yes, that’s right. It’s an MTC Viper Connect SL. They are very popular on the HFT circuit, but I just find on the whole, it works well for me – well worth a try if you’ve never used one.
What’s your most satisfying moment in HFT to date?
I’m a member of the Air Arms team, which has meant a lot to me, but I was very proud to qualify for the Welsh team for 2016 and 2017. The ladies circuit is very competitive, but a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed shooting in the open category in 2016. But winning the Ladies title in the UKAHFT National Series in 2015 took some beating. I’ve also had several other local and North West Gauntlet Ladies wins along the way, which has been great.
You’ve had a good run, then…
I’ve had lots of fun shooting HFT and met lots of people, many who I now consider friends. Anybody can take part at any level and have a fun day out. That’s the beauty of the sport – and we’re often shooting in really pretty country locations, through a wood, or across fields.
You’re right. It does seem to appeal across the board. Have you got any parting advice?
As a new shooter, listen to the advice people give you, then decide what works for you. There are a lot of shooters out there with a wealth of knowledge, and most are friendly and keen to help. Most importantly, though, if you have a bad day, try to take something good away from it, as it’s not all about the scores. Everyone has to start somewhere.
But don’t keep changing everything. Find the kit that works for you, and stick to it.