Why I shoot a Thoma...
 
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Why I shoot a Thomas  

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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 2, 2020 18:24:50  
It's about the shooter. The competitor. The athlete. It's always been about the shooter. The shooter decides how much effort they are willing to put into training. Testing ammo. Face up to what are their weakness and work hard to correct it. Or not. The shooter also makes the choice of what equipment he/she deems is best for them to achieve their goals. Which is winning matches.
 
When I started FT, I shot piston class and the rifle I chose was the TX200 as I felt it was best for me. And the scope I put on top was the old Nikko... Even though everyone told me I'd break that scope on that "springer".... Two back to back National titles said otherwise!
 
I switched to PCP, the rifle I chose was the USFT. My first ever precharge and I took the dive (pun intended) into SCUBA bottles, gauges etc. 
 
The USFT was probably the best rifle for me as it was so simple to use. And most importantly it was very, very reliable! I zeroed it when I got it and never had to change it one single click! I did very well with that rifle winning every single match I shot!
 
I did get a 12ftlbs USFT and it literally destroyed the mental side of my game. The less said of that the better. 
 
I bought myself a Steyr. Amazingly accurate rifle! But from the moment I got it I had issues with reliability. I did manage to win the first ever WFTF class Nationals with it but as awesome as it was I never had confidence in it. I swear that rifle spent more time traveling between myself and AZ than I did shooting it! 
 
But I'm a stubborn ****** and I was determined to get this rifle to shoot the way I knew it could shoot. But along the way it screwed up my mental game... Again. 
 
Life got in the way and I stopped FT for a few years. But I always knew I'd return. After all, this was the sport I loved as well as the people in it. 
 
So last year I attended my first Nationals in ten years. I tested Steyr the day before I left and it was dead on. I got to Louisiana and it was off again. I apologize. This is getting waaay longer than I meant. I needed another rifle or I was quitting FT for good. 
 
I was hearing about a rifle called "Thomas" Did some internet research and I asked top shooters I knew well and they all swore by them! 
 
Physically it looked like if a USFT had aggressive sex (is there any other kind) with a Steyr and they had a child. But the kid was put up for adoption and was raised by the Anschutz family. It escaped and as brought up by wolves in Colorado. Something like that. 
 
So I ordered one. Got it March of this year. I've won every match I've participated in with it. I still get surprised when I'm sighing in at a match and it's on! Never had that with the Steyr. I'm starting to get my mental game back. I'm training hard with my Thomas and that confidence I get when I never have to worry about POI shifts means so much to me! I'm back in love with Field Target Shooting again! 
 
Are they worth the price? To me definitely! But the price of something means different things to different people. Most who purchase a Steyr send it to Allen Zasadny to either get it "quiet" or balanced or stable enough for outside competition. Thomas comes with all of that. The money I've put trying to get my LG110 to perform I could have had two Thomas's. And it's American built. And the builder is a text/phone call away for any questions or concerns. I've tried calling "Jimmy Steyr" and he's yet to return my calls! 
 
This has been my experience. Yours may differ. But my Thomas has given me my Mojo back. That alone is priceless! 
 
Paul 
 
 

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GLPalinkas
(@glpalinkas)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 104
August 2, 2020 18:55:39  

Paul, I met you at the Nationals last year. I didn't know of your prowess until several of the current batch of top shooters told me of your achievements. I agree 100% with your analysis of the Thomas rifles. Mike is a great guy and has answered my questions and phone calls whenever I've had them. Why I don't own a Thomas yet is still a mystery to me. Maybe after this Covid gets sorted out and we get back to regular and AAFTA GP competitions, I will get off the fence. I continued to shoot my RAW when I get bored but not nearly as much as I would like.

Gary
Venice, FL


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JW652
(@jw652)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 79
August 3, 2020 14:30:14  

   Still have the AAFTA Newsletter announcing the fact that you were the first ever competitor to win both the Springer and PCP Nationals. If your Mojo is back, a lot of confident shooters better watch their backs.


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 3, 2020 16:55:30  

@jw652 If you could take a pic of that and send it to me I'd greatly appreciate it!

 

Paul


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 3, 2020 16:57:18  

@glpalinkas Hi Gary! Go call Mike and order one!! You deserve it! 😀 


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carey
(@carey)
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 9
August 3, 2020 20:14:44  

Hi Paul, I wish you would have introduced yourself to me at last years nationals. Maybe you did and I don’t remember.  I’m older and have CRS !! Lol I was the match director. 

I now have two Thomas air rifles. A 20 fpe and a 12fpe. Both are spot on. Since I replaced my irresponsible Hawk scope with a Nightforce, the equipment does not miss. It’s always shooter issues and I have a few. 

Mike always answeres any questions that I may have. He’s a great guy. 

 

PS: Gary should make that call today !!!


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Dockey
(@dockey)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 25
August 3, 2020 20:44:27  

Paul, I agree with everything you said, and more. This rifle makes me look good. Scores instantly went up. I started my PCP adventure with a HW 100, then a LG 110, and finally the Thomas. I had mine out last week for the first time this season, and not one click on the scope. I like fine machinery, and this gun more then fits the bill. Yes Mike is a great guy to do business with.

   Tom

Ps: Had to sell my boat to get the gun.


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KWK
 KWK
(@kwk)
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 102
August 3, 2020 22:18:46  

A stubborn what? Please take that out. Decent folks visit here. Thank you.


shamu25 thanked
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DavidEnoch
(@davidenoch)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 367
August 4, 2020 08:15:42  

I don't shoot FT but I appreciate the precision equipment.  I can't afford to get the latest and greatest but like to buy yesterday's latest and greatest to play with.  I was thinking that maybe in 10 years a used 1st generation Thomas may sell for less than $1000 I can scoop one up to join my old first gen USFT and LD's old FT Shamal.  It did give me a laugh though, when I realized that in 10 years I will be 71 and probably shouldn't still be in acquisition mode at that age.  Maybe one of you will get so frustrated or desperate to get the next newest and greatest that you want  to sell your Thomas to me for cheap.  But, hurry up, LOL.

David Enoch


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GLPalinkas
(@glpalinkas)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 104
August 4, 2020 08:40:57  
Posted by: @davidenoch

........ when I realized that in 10 years I will be 71 and probably shouldn't still be in acquisition mode at that age.......

David Enoch

David, FOREWARNING of things to come. Lots of us who are past the "71" mark still are in acquisition mode. We are all still "boys", albeit a bit older, doing our thing. LOL 

Gary
Venice, FL


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Will Piatt
(@will-piatt)
Member of Trade
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 84
August 5, 2020 20:17:18  

At 71 my friend Gary won't even buy a green banana.


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 891
August 6, 2020 09:16:07  

A buddy of mine just had a defibrillator implanted at 80yo, and now he can't (shouldn't) shoot anything with more recoil than a 22lr. His reaction?

"OK Doc, I'm going to the gunstore to see what kinda 22s they have!"

 

That green banana comment is priceless.


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Pzhills
(@paul-in-zhills)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 64
August 6, 2020 11:27:44  

Such dedication is to be admired.  I looked up the word "leak" in the thesaurus and an synonym for it is "Steyr".  I'm surprised you put up with that so long.

Seriously, I'll be 80 next month and am still competing where I can.  I just moved recently and any competition of any kind is next to non-existent.  BAGA has shut down, I think.  The only thing I've found is the 100 yard BR at Trenier Outdoors and it's social distancing there.  Only two allowed on the firing line at once.  Usually, I'm the only one there.  I'd love to find an FT match here before winter sets in.


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DonC
 DonC
(@donc)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 161
August 6, 2020 17:17:03  

BAGA is there every Saturday.


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Mark.in.AZ
(@mark-in-az)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 135
August 6, 2020 20:39:39  
Posted by: @davidenoch

I don't shoot FT but I appreciate the precision equipment.  I can't afford to get the latest and greatest but like to buy yesterday's latest and greatest to play with.  I was thinking that maybe in 10 years a used 1st generation Thomas may sell for less than $1000 I can scoop one up to join my old first gen USFT and LD's old FT Shamal.  It did give me a laugh though, when I realized that in 10 years I will be 71 and probably shouldn't still be in acquisition mode at that age.  Maybe one of you will get so frustrated or desperate to get the next newest and greatest that you want  to sell your Thomas to me for cheap.  But, hurry up, LOL.

David Enoch

Men grow old when they stop playing.....

......men continue playing to keep from growing old.

I forget who quoted that but it makes sense.

I plan on shooting a FT match on my 100th birthday.

How's that for optimism?

I am one month out from age 69 (and still thinking about "playing"), and considering what I have to sell to afford a Thomas.  My wife (the practical one) would kill me if she knew I even considered a nice gun that cost that much.

......we'll see...........

 


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Pzhills
(@paul-in-zhills)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 64
August 6, 2020 21:31:30  
Posted by: @davidenoch

I don't shoot FT but I appreciate the precision equipment.  I can't afford to get the latest and greatest but like to buy yesterday's latest and greatest to play with.  I was thinking that maybe in 10 years a used 1st generation Thomas may sell for less than $1000 I can scoop one up to join my old first gen USFT and LD's old FT Shamal.  It did give me a laugh though, when I realized that in 10 years I will be 71 and probably shouldn't still be in acquisition mode at that age.  Maybe one of you will get so frustrated or desperate to get the next newest and greatest that you want  to sell your Thomas to me for cheap.  But, hurry up, LOL.

David Enoch

There are some good rifles and scopes out there that won't break the bank and you can be competitive if you develop your marksmanship.  AA 500 comes to mind for less than $1000.  And I've seen people compete with Mrods and do well too.  If you're 71 and waiting for a Thomas to go less than $1000, better forget that.  The sand is running out of the hourglass.


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Airgun-Channel
(@air-gun-channel)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 584
August 8, 2020 11:24:39  

Only available in .177? 


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 9, 2020 00:19:56  
Posted by: @air-gun-channel

Only available in .177? 

I believe the bench rest version is available in different calibers. Definitely .22  


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Airgun-Channel
(@air-gun-channel)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 584
August 9, 2020 02:54:43  

Cool. I will get one some day.


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 9, 2020 19:46:44  
Posted by: @air-gun-channel

Only available in .177? 

Here's one in .22 that shoots at 68ftlbs!

IMG 63631 20200809 172539
IMG 63911 20200809 172254

 


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SGT
 SGT
(@sgt)
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 4
August 13, 2020 18:04:31  

I shoot Against a couple every month in 25m, they are super accurate and never break! ( someday! )


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 16, 2020 12:22:55  
Posted by: @sgt

I shoot Against a couple every month in 25m, they are super accurate and never break! ( someday! )

What rifle do you currently shoot?

Paul


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 16, 2020 12:28:18  
Posted by: @carey

Hi Paul, I wish you would have introduced yourself to me at last years nationals. Maybe you did and I don’t remember.  I’m older and have CRS !! Lol I was the match director. 

I now have two Thomas air rifles. A 20 fpe and a 12fpe. Both are spot on. Since I replaced my irresponsible Hawk scope with a Nightforce, the equipment does not miss. It’s always shooter issues and I have a few. 

Mike always answeres any questions that I may have. He’s a great guy. 

 

PS: Gary should make that call today !!!

Hopefully if next years Cajuns go ahead, I plan on attending so I'll make it my business to introduce myself to you. Hope all is well.

Paul


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SGT
 SGT
(@sgt)
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 4
August 16, 2020 13:06:08  

@pcray RAW-BM500


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 16, 2020 14:59:57  

@sgt Nice! 


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 16, 2020 20:49:36  
Posted by: @kwk

A stubborn what? Please take that out. Decent folks visit here. Thank you.

No. I will not be censored by the likes of you. If the Mods want to alter what I said, that's fair enough as it's their place.

There used to be a time in this Country when a grown man would never dare to tell another grown man what words he could or could not use. 

You want to report me? Go ahead. Thank you. 

Paul


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Gratewhitehuntr
(@gratewhitehuntr)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 891
August 18, 2020 22:48:14  
Posted by: @pcray

No. I will not be censored by the likes of you.

I have a picture of my Grandma in my wallet, and she was extremely religious, and she would not appreciate your acknowledgement of the existence of the sexual act, so take that out too. Mmkay?

The implication of the statement "Decent people visit here" is that Paul is not decent.

I agree, he's world class!

 

There was a thread "What would convince you to attend a FT match?"

Advice from a world champ is a great start! Thanks Paul! (dude, that's a lot of hardware!)

https://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/02/talking-with-champion-paul-cray-part-i.html

https://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/02/talking-with-champion-paul-cray-part-ii.html


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Paul Cray
(@pcray)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 28
August 24, 2020 17:51:00  
Posted by: @gratewhitehuntr
Posted by: @pcray

No. I will not be censored by the likes of you.

I have a picture of my Grandma in my wallet, and she was extremely religious, and she would not appreciate your acknowledgement of the existence of the sexual act, so take that out too. Mmkay?

The implication of the statement "Decent people visit here" is that Paul is not decent.

I agree, he's world class!

 

There was a thread "What would convince you to attend a FT match?"

Advice from a world champ is a great start! Thanks Paul! (dude, that's a lot of hardware!)

https://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/02/talking-with-champion-paul-cray-part-i.html

https://www.airgunsofarizona.com/blog/2010/02/talking-with-champion-paul-cray-part-ii.html

Thank you man!

Paul


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