• Advertisement
Kiehberg.in -  Outdoor gear and sports equipment

A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Past and future planned - events/ outings/ training sessions/ offline meets/ camps/ matches etc.
User avatar
Vikram
Posts: 4130
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Tbilisi,Georgia

A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Vikram » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:44 am

I have been itching to burn some powder for quite sometime. When the email from http://www.monadire.com , a Georgian hunting/shooting forum, arrived, I for some unknown reason had it translated instead of binning it. It was an invite to participate in a sporting clays tournament. Did I jump at the chance? Ask me how fast and how high. The Mrs immediately emailed back and got the organiser’s number who informed that I was most welcome to join in. I joined them that evening for a discussion in a local park. The organisers could not have been a nicer bunch of guys. The shoot was to be held on 30th June i.e. last Sunday.
Since it was going to be hot, we were to start early. Zurab picked me up from the same place in his brilliantly decked up Toyota at 07:30 on Sunday morn. While we were en route, Zurab tells me about his passion for firearms and hunting. If anything else, the way he adorned his Toyota is a testimony to his passion.

Image

I will not give out the number of guns he has.

We arrived at the range, just outside Tbilisi and near the popular Lisi Lake. Surrounded by hills and no residences nearby, one could see many setting up targets and having a go at them with their rifles all over the place, Of course, with great care to back-stop and safety.
By 08-00 most of the eager participants and cheerful spectators arrived and soon the stands and a drinks station were set up. All in all, there were fifty participants, with the ages ranging from 18 to 60+. The youngest spectator was about six years of age.

The guns were mostly Baikals, Stoegers and Turkish.But, that was not because they preferred them. Because they are the most affordable. There were a few upmarket guns too, a few Berettas, Brownings and a couple of Perazzis.

Soon, we were all made aware of the safety requirements, rules and regulations of the game and put our signatures on a paper to state our responsibility for our safety and actions. All guns were to be carried safe at all the time- semis with the bolt pulled back and displaying an empty chamber and the doubles with the action broke open. Cartridges were to be handed over one after one just before the shooter was ready.

You need to understand that this place was not a dedicated regular sporting clays layout. The organisers managed to get a regular trap and a jumping rabbit trap and a little power generator to work them. We were to shoot from five stations so that a varied target presentation was achieved. The first station was a right to left crosser with the shooter on the left end- five shots. The second was a combination presentation with the rabbit from the left and the crosser from the right- ten shots. The third was a crosser from left to right- five shots. The fourth was one that flew straight away from you- five shots. And the fifth was one that came straight at you and flew over your head to the left-five shots.

We went on to draw our numbers and as luck would have it, I drew number 2.

Image

Just as we were about to commence, an insouciant herd of cows descended upon the range and the volunteers rushed after them. I joked with my bystander that I did not know that we had “Driven Cows” on the agenda and if the number 9 shot was enough for them. The joke was lost.
Image
Image

Soon the game was on.
Zurab in action with his Browning Cynergy. I mistook it for a Baikal until I took a close look. As an aside, I read from a knowledgeable source that the Baikal did provide a lot design inspiration for the Cynergy action. I am not sure of that but can only write of what I read. A very nicely built gun and looks much better than the much vilified earlier version.
Image
Image

This gentleman, one of the organisers, having a go with his Perazzi MX-2000

Image

Guga, another organiser, with his Baikal O/U in action

Image

As the match went on, a lone horseman appeared on the horizon, silhouetted against the skyline.

Image

Whoever said that shooting sports are not spectator oriented is wrong. The enthusiasm of the spectators and participants was unabated and remained high from the beginning to the end. Whenever a shooter did well in a particular round or a difficult shot was successful, there was always cheering and clapping and shouts of “bravo.”
Spectators and participants keeping a keen eye on the game.
Image
Image

Notice all the guns being carried safely. The bolt on this semi is pulled back displaying the empty chamber.
Image

A Tula/ Toz SXS Hammer gun. Built well and built very strong. Only, it felt damn heavy and chunky in the hands.
Image

The temperature soon hit 37oC and the windless dry heat began baking us. The only thing that kept us going is this thoughtful station of free mineral water and lemonade.
Image

I used to spend the entire days in the cricket field impervious to the 45oC heat at home. On that day I realised how delicate I have become.
Tbilisi in the distance
Image

However, I was not the only one who was feeling the heat. A few folks brought their bird dogs along, probably to get them used to gun shots.
This pooch having a focused go at a much appreciated drink of lemonade.

Image

During the small breaks, one of the volunteers, a girl, wanted to have a go at the targets. You can imagine the good natured banter and the loud cheers that went up whenever the young lady busted a clay. She was a very good sport alright.

Image
Image

When the last round eventually came up, to set the target that came at you to fly over your head, an impromptu committee meeting commenced with everyone offering his opinion, the clay is too fast, too difficult, too easy etc.
Image

Earnest debate going on

Image

Soon, the opinions agreed and the match recommenced. This was the last station and everyone has been at it from the morning. Still the spirits were not dulled and some of these gents were still keen to have a good view of the clay. They were keen to practice their mount and swing behind the shooter. It made a slightly comic view from the distance and of course a lapse in the safety procedures. But, do not hold it too hard against them as you could still see the semi’s bolt held back and the finger off the trigger on the O/U. Still not an advisable practice.

Image
Image
Image
Image

This elderly gentleman had a stance of his own and a very low gun hold and yet shot brilliantly. He just blasted most of the clays dead centre.
Image

When the scores came in, the first place had to be fought for through a tie breaker. Zurab and another young lad in his early twenties were to battle it out. They kept pulverising the rabbit target one after another and the tension among the spectators steadily rose. At one point, three cartridges misfired in Zurab’s Cynergy and yet he manged to keep his nerves steady and so did the other lad who had a bit of an issue with his Fabarm semi. Finally, Zurab missed a target and the tournament came to a conclusion.
The winners
Image

Everyone present congratulated the winners and handsome gift hampers were also presented along with trophies.
We were there from morning 0730 to evening 0630, almost 11 hours in the unrelenting heat, only with the drinks to keep us going. But the enthusiasm remained constant throughout the day and we were all uniformly glad that we took part in the event.

Now a few things about Georgian hospitality. Georgians are well known for their hospitality, which they take very seriously and with pride. This event was no different. When they found out that I was an Indian and that I wanted to participate, they went to great pains to be as hospitable as they can. Guga and Kakha, the organisers, wanted to arrange transportation for me as the place is off the beaten track and unknown to me. There were so many people offering me their guns to shoot in the tourney. I used a Beretta A400 Xplor semi. It was a very well built gun and shot brilliantly. If only I could shoot well.

Image

When the prizes were being handed out, I heard my name called. Guga and Kakha pressed me to come forward despite my protestations and presented me a bag that had a nice knife and a wrist watch! They introduced me to the cheering gathering that I was a guest from India and that they were very pleased to have me. I was left speechless. There was little need for them as they did not need any publicity than what they already had. There were so many enthusiastic participants and they did not need one piddly Indian participant for publicity. They just wanted to be nice because they were nice people. It was one of those days when you are treated too well than you deserve and you come out feeling helpless that there is very little you could do to give something back. Another lesson in kindness.

Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

Grumpy
Posts: 2651
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Grumpy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:02 am

Great stuff Vickers !
I loved the multiple shots of the synchronised guns ............
Nice photo of the English Setter enjoying a glass of lemonade as well.
Now all you have to do is to take your Georgian driving test ..... and sort-out certain pains in the butt in Armenia .......


Make a man a fire and he`ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.
( Terry Pratchett )

Katana
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:22 pm
Location: Gujarat

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Katana » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:56 am

Amazing day! It is such meets, off the straight jacketed 'official sporting' meets that really get a man to hone his skills. And, the idea that one enjoys it too, is welcome.

Do tell me if the Georgians have an affinity towards Russian or Turkish guns or are they carried over with big name brands too? Personally, I rate the Baikals fairly high.


Justice alone is the mainstay of government and the source of prosperity to the governed, injustice is the most pernicious of things; it saps the foundations of the government and brings ruin upon the realm - Sher Shah Sur, Sultan-ul-Adil.

User avatar
xl_target
Posts: 3395
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:47 am
Location: USA

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby xl_target » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:15 am

Vikram,
It sounds like you had a great day. That looks like a lot of fun.


“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill, Oct 29, 1941

User avatar
Vikram
Posts: 4130
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Tbilisi,Georgia

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Vikram » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:36 pm

I am glad you liked the story, gents.


Katana wrote:Amazing day! It is such meets, off the straight jacketed 'official sporting' meets that really get a man to hone his skills. And, the idea that one enjoys it too, is welcome.

Do tell me if the Georgians have an affinity towards Russian or Turkish guns or are they carried over with big name brands too? Personally, I rate the Baikals fairly high.


Katana,

You are very right about these informal events contributing much more to the popularity of sport and pitting a lot more individuals to match their skills with each other. As can be expected from such congregation, the performance varied from the outright novices to the extremely good types. But, the over all skill was fairly high, given the expensive nature of the guns, cartridges and the equipment itself. What was uniformly high was the enthusiasm and passion for guns and the sport. I did not see one uppity snob in the crowd that one often comes across.

The affinity for Russian and Turskish guns is not because they find them the best. Because the rest of the guns are more expensive. Enthusiasm for guns is quite high here as they have a culturally important role. A small country neighboured by three giants, Russian, Ottoman and Persian empires. And they managed to preserve their Georgian Orthodox Christianity over centuries.

Even the national dress reflects their martial nature.

Image from here

Image

Re the Baikal, an acquaintance of mine, a Greek gun writer with an engineering background, is a great proponent of the Baikal. While conceding that the raw gun feels chunky and inert, he explains the design and material advantages of the gun and the scope it offers for customisation. You will have to use Chrome to translate the Greek text.

http://www.oplognosia.com/opla/opla.php

There is a gunsmith in Greece who customises Baikals.

http://hephestus.gr/index.htm

I discussed this with Grumpy a few times. While he agrees that the Baikal is not as bad as it is made out, the effort and expenses needed to customise/improve the gun can easily be offset by buying an already decently made gun. Opinions vary, I think.


Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

Grumpy
Posts: 2651
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Grumpy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:14 pm

There`s a French gunmaker who builds custom rifles using the Baikal action .... and I`m sure the CZ/Brno O/U double rifles and combination guns are based on the Baikal action. Baikals aren`t very elegant and tend to be heavily built but by `eck they`re tough ! The Cynergy owes nothing to the Baikal and is, in no way, based on it. That was a silly rumour put about when the Cynergy was first introduced. Probably because the Cynergy action looks a bit like the Baikal O/U ..... It`s actually very different and considerably lower/smaller, lighter.


Make a man a fire and he`ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

( Terry Pratchett )

sa_ali
Posts: 880
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:50 pm

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby sa_ali » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:53 pm

thats gun owner dream outing, all green surrounding, like minded ppl and lot of of shooting :)



User avatar
brihacharan
Posts: 3112
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:33 pm
Location: mumbai

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby brihacharan » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:57 pm

Vikram wrote:
There were so many enthusiastic participants and they did not need one piddly Indian participant for publicity. They just wanted to be nice because they were nice people. It was one of those days when you are treated too well than you deserve and you come out feeling helpless that there is very little you could do to give something back. Another lesson in kindness.

>Thanks Vikram for sharing your wonderful experience & the pics.
>Going through the above words I was reminded of the 'Anthem' , the members of Round Table (a worldwide social organization dedicated to serve humanity) sang at the beginning of every meet... It went like this...
" If we could consider each other
a neighbor, a friend or a brother,
It would be a Wonderful World
Oh boy it could be a Wonderful World"!!!
:cheers:
Briha



User avatar
airgun_novice
Posts: 1138
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:15 pm
Location: Mumbai-Thane, India

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby airgun_novice » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:05 pm

Thanks for sharing a nice write-up and lively pictures, Vikram.



Katana
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:22 pm
Location: Gujarat

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Katana » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:34 pm

Even the national dress reflects their martial nature


I see a similarity of dresses here. Before the influence of the Mughal court in India, most Rajputs warriors wore a 'choga'. It was a long tunic, anywhere from knee to ankle length, made either of cotton or raw silk. The choga then gave way to the 'angarkha', a more refined garment and more tuned towards use for horseback riding. These days the 'choga' refers to the long knee length 'tail' of the safa turban.

Was wondering what those cigar like stuff is on the breast :?:


Justice alone is the mainstay of government and the source of prosperity to the governed, injustice is the most pernicious of things; it saps the foundations of the government and brings ruin upon the realm - Sher Shah Sur, Sultan-ul-Adil.

Grumpy
Posts: 2651
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Grumpy » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Those cigar-like items on the breast are bullets - the cartridges are held in narrow `pockets`.


Make a man a fire and he`ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

( Terry Pratchett )

User avatar
Vikram
Posts: 4130
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:14 am
Location: Tbilisi,Georgia

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Vikram » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:07 pm

Katana wrote:
Even the national dress reflects their martial nature


I see a similarity of dresses here. Before the influence of the Mughal court in India, most Rajputs warriors wore a 'choga'. It was a long tunic, anywhere from knee to ankle length, made either of cotton or raw silk. The choga then gave way to the 'angarkha', a more refined garment and more tuned towards use for horseback riding. These days the 'choga' refers to the long knee length 'tail' of the safa turban.

Was wondering what those cigar like stuff is on the breast :?:


Katana,

Guess what? I thought I typed the name of the dress. It is called "Chokha" here. In Telugu, my mother tongue, a shirt is called "Chokka." I wonder if the word has Turkish origins.

Those cigar like stuff are supposed to be powder cartridges to be used in the muzzle loaders. Now, purely ceremonial.

There is a theory that Gurjars in India could be from Georgia. I do not know how far it is true. However, surnames like Kapadia, Kaneria etc are extremely close to the surnames of the Samagrelo region in Georgia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurjar


Best-
Vikram


It ain’t over ’til it’s over! "Rocky,Rocky,Rocky....."

Katana
Posts: 1004
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:22 pm
Location: Gujarat

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Katana » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:23 pm

Vikram,

There is a theory that Gurjars in India could be from Georgia. I do not know how far it is true. However, surnames like Kapadia, Kaneria etc are extremely close to the surnames of the Samagrelo region in Georgia.


Tend to agree with you here.

In my home state, Gujarat a shirt is called 'khamees', maybe from the French chemise. :)

And, ever wondered how Gujarat got it's name? The first of the Rajput kings to settle Gujarat, Vanraj Chavda, named it Gurjar Rashtra, so obviously there would have been a sizeable Gurjar population here. Gujarat is a corruption of the same term. His capital being Anhalwad Patan, now called just Patan, in north Gujarat but in the late 9th. century when Gujarat was established it stretched from Marwar to Kalyan and Malwa to Sindh.


Justice alone is the mainstay of government and the source of prosperity to the governed, injustice is the most pernicious of things; it saps the foundations of the government and brings ruin upon the realm - Sher Shah Sur, Sultan-ul-Adil.

winnie_the_pooh
Posts: 1583
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:49 pm

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby winnie_the_pooh » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:23 pm

Thanks for sharing Vikram.That is a nice way to spend the day.


Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.

User avatar
Moin.
Poster of the Month - Sep '11 & Apr '13
Poster of the Month - Sep '11 & Apr '13
Posts: 1718
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 11:10 am
Location: Gujrat

Re: A Georgian Sporting Clays Tournament

Postby Moin. » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:01 pm

Great writeup specially the last para. :) How strict are the gun laws in Georgia and how expensive is indulging in shooting sports.

Regards
Moin.


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Camus


Return to “Events and Outings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest