Several years ago the Himes brothers arrived on the scene and have quickly shown us what can be done in HFT with crazy high scores (57, 58). Having shot with them many times I have come to consider them good friends and just good people in general. For the past couple of years they have asked me to come visit them and spend the weekend shooting down in Lewis Run, PA. I made the time and visited them this past weekend.
I had heard for years stories of their standing courses and how they go out several times a week and shoot them. And while some may have doubted the stories they are all true:
a piece of wire at 15 yards, a small propane tank at 120 yards, a pellet tin at 70 yards, a 1/4" socket at 35 yards. What they have put together is something that you will (hopefully) NEVER experience at a field target event because it makes you realize that you should have stuck with the blue pill.
When I got there Friday night we went over my FX Streamline to determine if anything needed to be done to it. Saturday we got up and went out Tom's back door and started shooting one of his courses in the woods behind his house. The entire time they are having to point out this tiny target painted orange that you would have totally missed were it not for the large orange paint mark on the tree next to it. Most times I couldn't see the target until I put the scope up to my eye...really, a piece of wire hanging between two trees <argh>!
So once you figure out where the target is, and just how damn small it is, you let your heart rate settle a bit and you take your shot. Their "game" is to hit the target within two shots for a point. So each target only offers 1 point and each course might be 18-25 targets. My first time on Saturday yielded I think 6/18 while Dennis and Tom were up in the 12-15 range. Saturday afternoon we went over to Dennis' house and shot his field target course and compared notes then shot the same course kneeling. Again, trying to hit a 55 yard target kneeling is a LOT harder than it is sitting but it can be done and is a real thrill when you do.
Sunday we went over to Dennis' house first thing and shot one of his standing courses and I actually saw an improvement over the prior day with 15/25 but again at the back of the pack with Tom and Dennis getting 19 and 21 or something silly like that :)
While I was frustrated at times (okay, almost the entire time) during Saturdays standing course I definitely saw the improvement when I shot on Sunday. So this told me that shooting at crazy small targets at longer distances was helping me improve my standing skills.
What I took away from this weekend was that it's not hard at all to take your shooting to the next level. What amazed me is that I actually hit a propane tank at 120 yards (10 mil-dot hold over), I hit a pellet tin at 70 yards (3 mil-dot hold over), and I actually hit that damn piece of wire at 15 yards. Yes, it will be frustrating, but each time you practice you should see some improvement. And for the cost of a cheap socket set, wire, and some ingenuity you can set up your own standing course to frustrate your friends with!
So try setting up a course like this, take the red pill, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes...