An Introduction to Field Target

So, what is Airgun Field Target anyway?

 

Well, the goal of this sport is to provide the most fun possible while using an air gun!  We combine the attributes and precision of formal bull’s-eye shooting with the instant gratification of seeing targets fall.  We shoot at unmarked distances like they do in 3-D Archery.  Our matches are set up in a natural hunting type environment where the shooter must take into account varied distances and wind.  A typical lane is shown in the image below to the left (below for mobile devices).  There you have it, Air Rifle Field Target!

 

We use scoped adult air rifles in either .177, .20, or .22 calibers and limit the amount of power to no greater than 20 fpe (foot pounds of energy).  This limit has a two-fold purpose, 1, safety and 2, to minimize target damage.  Although any of the three calibers is allowed, .177 is the one most often seen in use.  BBs are NOT allowed primarily because of the safety hazard due to ricochets.

 

We shoot at steel targets usually resembling small game animals; rabbits, squirrels, crows, etc. These targets have a hole, or "kill zone" (KZ) located on the front.  The KZ may be as small as 3/8" diameter and as large as 1-3/4". Behind the KZ hole is a steel paddle that triggers the target to fall when struck by a pellet passing through the hole. The target is then reset by pulling a string that extends from the target to the firing line. A pellet hitting the face of the target (Not passing through the hole in the face.) will lock up the linkage preventing the target from falling.  The image to the right (below for mobile devices) is an example of a target that we use.

Shooters get one point each time they hit the KZ and the target falls. This sport can get quite competitive, but for many of us Air Gun Field Target is more about having fun knocking some targets down with an air gun.  The shooter with the most points at the end of the match wins.

 

Shooters compete in different divisions and classes depending on the equipment used and the shooting style chosen (see images below).

All Divisions shall abide by Common Division Rules defined in The American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) Handbook, as well as by the following rules (from AAFTA 2018 Handbook): 

Open Division Rules

 

Equipment

A. Rifles shall not exceed 20ft/lb of energy measured at the muzzle.

B. All forms of clothing are permissible.

C. Body support straps or harnesses are allowed, as long as they do not provide any means of support to the gun.

 

Sights

Any form of sighting system may be used.

 

Shooting

A single rifle sling is permitted that shall be attached to the rifle at a minimum of one and maximum of two points when a shot is taken.

 

Seating

A. The maximum height for any form of seat is 6 inches from the ground to the highest point of the seat, measured with the shooter sitting on the seat.

B. The seat can only be used as a seat and not any other means of shooting support EXCEPT as a support for the instep/ankle when shooting in the kneeling position.

 

Hunter Division Rules

 

Equipment

A. Rifles shall not exceed 20ft/lb of energy measured at the muzzle.

B. Forend depth is limited to a maximum of 6inches, measured from the center of the barrel to the lowest part of the rifle forward of the pistol grip.

C. No shooting jackets, harnesses or straps. Clothing worn by the shooter must not restrict body movement.

D. Knee pads or other forms of padding or risers placed between the arm, thigh, knee, leg and/or rifle may not exceed 2 inches in thickness.

 

Sights

A. Optical sights of any reticle style may be used, but are limited to a maximum of 16 power magnification. Variable scopes of greater than 16X must be turned to the 16X or nearest lower factory marking on the scope.

B. No Windage or Elevation adjustments allowed during the match.

C. Optical sights with parallax adjustment may be adjusted so that the target is in focus. Range (yardage) markings may be used.

 

Shooting

A. A rifle sling attached to the rifle at only two points may be used.

B. Adjustable components on the stock may not be adjusted during a match. No butt-hooks or thigh-rests are allowed.

C. Monopods, shooting sticks, or bipods may be used, but not tripods. Any such aids must rest on the ground and may not be driven or otherwise embedded into the ground or shooting pad, and cannot be attached to the gun: must release from the gun as the gun is picked up, and must not connect to the gun with studs or devices that restrict gun movement.

 

Seating

Any form of seat without back or arms support may be used, but the seat may NOT be used to support the rifle while shooting

WFTF Division Rules

 

Equipment

A. Rifles shall not exceed 12ft/lb of energy measured at the muzzle.

B. All forms of clothing are permissible.

C. No harnesses or straps are permitted.

D. Elbow pads and knee pads are allowed.

E. Butt-hooks are allowed, but not thigh rests.

F. Adjustable rifle stocks are allowed, but no adjustable hardware may be added or removed during the match except where allowed by the Match Director due to physical limitations of the shooter.

G. The Digital Side Wheel (DSW) device is not allowed.

 

Sights

Any form of sighting system may be used.

 

Shooting

Slings are not allowed in the seated position.  For other shooting positions a single rifle sling is permitted that shall be attached to the rifle at a minimum of one and maximum of two points when a shot is taken.

 

Seating

A.The maximum height for any form of seat is 6 inches from the ground to the highest point on the seat, measured with the shooter sitting on the seat.

B.The seat can only be used as a seat and not any other means of shooting support EXCEPT as a support for the instep/ankle when shooting in the kneeling position.

 

Note: WFTF shooters are hereby advised that AAFTA WFTF Division Rules may differ from rules applicable at international events sanctioned by the World Field Target Federation (WFTF). For more information about WFTF Core and Comprehensive Rules,

visit: http://www.world-field-target-federation.com/Rules

 

A typical match might be 15 lanes with two targets on each lane and two shots per target for a total of 60 shots. Targets are set at unmarked distances between 10 and 55 yards. Although a clear line of sight is required according to the rules, we strive to position the targets in as natural a setting as possible using all the terrain features, existing vegetation, and obstacles that are available to make the course as realistic as possible.  The matches usually provide two hours + of premium shooting fun!

 

The plan for our club in Ohio is to hold one Sunday match per month, May through October.  There will be a sight in period from 8-10 am, a shooters meeting from 10-10:30 am, and the shoot will start at 10:30 am.  Following completion of the match, we’ll have a luncheon and an awards ceremony.

 

All you really needed to get started shooting with us are a scoped pellet rifle, some pellets, and a bucket or cushion to sit on.  Heck, if you let us know ahead of time, you may not even need that.  One of us will probably have something you can borrow for a match.

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