Field Target (FT) and Hunter Field Target (HFT) airgun disciplines are popular outdoor shooting sports that simulate the challenges of hunting small game. One of the unique aspects of FT competition is target range-finding using parallax and optical focus. (HFT is limited to lower power scopes, so this type of range-fiding is not used in HFT.) Range-finding is very important because the pellets shot by FT airguns drop rapidly once they leave the muzzle (pellets can drop roughly 5″ at 50 yards). If you don’t have your scope set to the correct distance, you’ll probably miss the target high or low.
FT competitors employ high-magnification (35-55X) scopes to sight targets placed from 10 to 55 yards (7.3 to 50m in the UK). Because these scopes have very short depth-of-field at high-magnification, the target will be out of focus unless you have the scope focus/parallax control set very precisely. But competitors can use this to their advantage — once the target is precisely focused, you have effectively established its distance from the shooter. FT scopes often have large-diameter wheels on the side parallax control so the focus can be set very precisely. You can then read marks placed on the scope to adjust the amount of elevation need to put the pellet on target.
To simplify the adjustment of elevation on FT rifles, competitors will place tapes on the windage knobs with marks that correspond to distances in 3-5 yard (or smaller) increments. These marks allow you to quickly spin your elevation to the setting matching the target range established with your focus/parallax control.
Field Target Accessories
There are a variety of specialized products for FT competitors that help you set up your scope for precise ranging. First, Compufoil offers a computer program, ScopeKnob, that lets you easily create accurate elevation knob tapes for your scope. ScopeKnob even comes with a built-in Ballistics Module that will calculate the pellet trajectory for you and plot range settings for your tape. Chairgun.com also offers ChairGunPRO, specialized airgun ballistics software that lets you simultaneously compare four different pellets, or different scope heights.
In the past, the A-Team offered replacement elevation knobs optimized for use with yardage marking tapes. These were offered in two versions, one which replaced the existing turret altogether and a second which clamped OVER the factory turret. Shown at right is the larger-diameter version in place over the factory turret. Unfortunately we don’t know a current source for this product, but this may help you crate something similar on your own.
Last but not least, Pyramid Air offers large-diameter parallax control wheels. According to Pyramid: “The enlarged sidewheel is the most popular FT scope accessory of all. It lets you put white artist’s tape around the rim to mark the actual distances at which the scope focuses”. A 6″ sidewheel provides over 18″ of space on which to inscribe yardage, and that means you can have a meaningful separation between 18 yards and 20 — where there is a huge parallax and trajectory difference. Though the ranges are already engraved on the rim of the wheel, field target competitors will measure them again on an actual range and write the markings on a strip of white artist’s tape.
Tips on Field Target Scope Set-Up
The creator’s of the A-Team knobs suggest taking your time when setting up a scope for Field Target competition: “We normally take from three to four hours preparing a scope to be mounted on a gun. We mark the scope in 1-yard increments from 9 to 40 yards, then to 55 yards by 3 or 5-yard increments depending on the scope being calibrated.”
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Got a minute — one minute and six seconds to be precise? Then you should watch this excellent “trailer” video from the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) TV channel. You’ll see virtually all the major Olympic/International shooting disciplines. Even if you’re not a skeet/trap shooter you’ll enjoy the clips of shotgun champions at the top of their game. And the footage of position rifle shooters reveals the intense concentration required in that discipline. We really enjoyed this short clip. The MTV-style editing and soundtrack holds your attention, and the cameramen did a great job of capturing the exact moments when shooters took the winning shot. Enjoy.
Great Video — Highly Recommended — Shows Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun Champions…
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The creators of the Firearms Guide DVDs have launched a huge online database for firearms. This new, subscription-based web resource, Firearmsguide.com, includes over 61,000 firearm types from 902 manufacturers. It’s easy to find just about any gun — search by manufacturer or other variables such as caliber, action type, country of origin, and vintage. In addition, the gun entries are cross-linked to a large ammunition database so you can find factory ammo for any type of firearm.
You Can Search for 61,000+ Guns Using 14 Variables:
Think of this as a digital encyclopedia of guns — the mother of all gun reference guides. The sheer amount of information (text, photos, and schematics) is mind-boggling. Firearmsguide.com currently covers 61,000 models of rifles, pistols, shotguns, air rifles, and air pistols from 50 different countries. Subscription plans start at $49.95 per year.
This new database is a gold mine for gun collectors and gunsmiths. For most of the firearm entries, there are full specifications and up to 12 high-rez color photos. In addition, the database features 5500 printable schematics along with parts lists. Collectors will appreciate the inclusion of gun values for both modern and vintage firearms.
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Creedmoor Sports is having a big sale on printed books. On sale now are many of the most popular training and competition books. If you are looking for some good reading material this winter, check out the Creedmoor Book Sale. Gun books also make great holiday gifts for your shooting buddies.
We congratulate Rebecca Richards of Australia for her incredible shooting in the recent RBA Benchrest Grand Prix at the Sydney International Shooting Centre. Consider this, out of the five (5) benchrest classes competing (two air rifle, and three rimfire) Rebecca won four classes outright while placing third in the fifth class. Wow — that represents complete and total domination. Remarkably, Rebecca dropped only 10 points in four days of shooting.
Rebecca’s amazing 4-day performance was near perfection. Overall, she scored 2740 out of a total of 2750 possible points. She shot four of 11 targets with perfect 250/250 scores, and six more with 249/250. Over the course of the event she hit 152 “dots” (center bulls) out of a total possible 275. That’s pretty amazing if you understand how small those center bulls really are. Take a look at the target photo below — the center dot is tiny.
All in all, this was a performance for the ages — one of the best combined airgun/rimfire benchrest performances in Southern Hemisphere history. Kudos to Rebecca for her brilliant performance.
Here’s the modern Sydney International Shooting Centre…
We like air rifles both for fun shooting and for competition. However, so many options are now available that is easy to get over-whelmed with the choices. Thankfully, there is a good book that helps air rifle shooters make informed decisions about air guns and gear. Steve Markwith’s new title, Air Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide offers a wealth of useful information. This 154-page paperback book is now available for $12.95. The book is also offered as a FREE Kindle download for Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited members. Check it out — you may be able to get the book for free.
Read Free Sample Chapters Online
If you go to Amazon.com and click on the cover of this book, you can view a FREE preview with extensive samples from many chapters. The book covers all the most important types of air rifle systems, both pre-charged pneumatics and other self-charging guns. Markwith reviews the wide variety of pellets available, offering suggestions for particular applications. You’ll also find a useful discussion of Airgun Power, Range, and Accuracy. This will help you pick the right air rifle for your application.
Markwith explains the many attractions of airguns. They are not considered firearms (in most jurisdictions) so they can be purchased at local shops or mail-order outlets without FFL fees or background checks. You’ll find a huge online selection of airguns at PyramydAir.com that can ship direct to you — no FFL required. Air rifles are also quiet and very inexpensive to shoot. While .177 and .22 caliber air rifles are most common, there are also larger-caliber airguns offered for hunting or special applications.
“This is a very informative book explaining the ins and outs of air rifles, their capabilities and limitations. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering purchasing an air rifle for marksmanship practice or small game hunting.” – L. Stanek, Verified Amazon Reviewer
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Here’s a cool video from the University of Mississippi Womens’ Shooting Team. The gals from Ole Miss challenge their marksmanship skills with a variety of tiny targets — grapes, pencil erasers, and playing cards on edge. The results are filmed with ultra-high-speed cameras so you can watch the moment of impact. This is a fun, feel-good video. Enjoy.
These young ladies will be competing at the Ole Miss Invitational Tournament in Oxford, Mississsippi on October 3, 2015. For more information, visit OldMissSports.com.
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We’re not much into computer or video games, but here is an interesting App for shooters that might actually help develop your visual skills and concentration. The new ShootingWorldCup-SWC interactive game simulates an Olympic-class air rifle competition. The soon-to-be released App for smart-phones and mobile devices is highly realistic. You can select a variety of high-end air rifles, adjust your sights, choose your shooting gear, and complete a World-Cup style match. As players “shoot” at regulation World Cup targets, the App plots shot impacts and records scores. You can even engage in multi-player tournaments, competing against other shooters around the world.
Video Previews Features of SWC Interactive Shooting App:
App lets you select a variety of premium Olympic-grade air rifles.
Sorry, this App has not yet been released, but you can go to www.shootingworld.com and request to be notified when the App is finalized.
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Three-Position (3P) Air Rifle Shooting is the most popular and fastest-growing form of shooting sports competition for junior shooters (High School age and younger). The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) conducts two different 3P Air Rifle events. Precision Air Rifle is modeled after Olympic-style shooting and allows the use of specialized target rifles and equipment. Sporter Air Rifle is designed for new competitors or those who desire to compete with a minimum of equipment and expense.
In both types of shooting, competitors fire at targets at a distance of 10 meters in three different positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Three-Position Air Rifle provides young competitors with competitive shooting sports opportunities that can be offered on a wide variety of easily accessible or easily constructed ranges, with equipment that is commonly available at affordable costs.
The CMP actively promotes Three-Position Air Rifle shooting as a premier youth marksmanship competition by providing low-cost equipment and pellets as well as training materials and competition activities. In addition, other air gun events for juniors and adults are hosted by CMP throughout the year. CMP facilities have Open Public Shooting evenings, and matches for air rifle and air pistol take place at the CMP Marksmanship Centers.
The 2015 edition of the Crosman All-American Field Target Championship (CAAFTC) is set to take place June 12-14 at Rochester Brooks Int’l Skeet and Trap Club (Rush, NY). The CAAFTC is the largest shoot sanctioned by the American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) outside of the national championship. The event is open and free to the public, making it a great opportunity to watch the nation’s most skilled field target shooters.
Our Aussie friend Stuart Elliot of BRT Shooters Supply recently filmed some interesting videos at the QTS range in Brisbane, Australia. Stuart told us: “I was shooting in an Air Gun Benchrest match here in Brisbane, Australia. I finished my target early and was awaiting the cease fire and took a short, slow-motion video of windflag behavior.” You may be surprised by the velocity changes and angle swings that occur, even over a relatively short distance (just 25 meters from bench to target).
Here are windflags in slow motion:
The flags show in the videos are “Aussie Wind Flags”, developed by Stuart Elliot. These are sold in the USA by Butch Lambert, through Shadetree Engineering.
What’s the best part about the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits? Well, if you’re a kid (or a kid at heart), the answer is the indoor shooting range. Every year, the first place we visit at the NRA Show is the Air Gun Range operated by Pyramyd Air. There you can try out, for a nominal fee, many different kinds of air pistols and air rifles. It’s fun, and its great to see so many young people learning about marksmanship is a safe, supervised setting. (Photos courtesy Pyramyd Air.)
Arsenal of Air Guns
A host of air guns will be available to shoot under the guidance of qualified instructors. You can get your hands on new models from Air Arms, Air Venturi, AirForce, Beeman, Beretta, Benjamin, Crosman, Remington, Swiss Arms, Stoeger, Umarex USA, and Walther.
One of the rifles at the Air Gun Range, the Stoeger Arms X20S, even has a suppressor.
Pyramid Air-Sponsored Air Gun Range Hours and Location
The “Pyramyd Air” Air Gun range will be located in room 103 in Music City Center. The air gun range will be open the following hours:
Thursday, April 9: 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, April 10: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 11: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 12: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
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Just a week after securing a third straight NCAA Rifle Championship, the West Virginia University (WVU) Rifle team has notched another impressive team victory. At the 2015 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships, the Mountaineers just won the Smallbore Rifle competition, compiling an aggregate 2116 team score (out of a possible 2400). Now WVU hopes to win the combined Smallbore and Air Rifle events to secure the overall Championship.
After clenching the Smallbore Championship, the Mountaineers carry a 17-point lead into today’s Air Rifle competition at the USAMU’s facility at Fort Benning, Georgia. In second, with their eyes still on the Championship trophy, is Clemson University at 2099. Penn State rounds out the top three with 2084.
With the high price of reloading components, and the limited availability of .22 LR rimfire ammo, perhaps it’s time to consider an air rifle. Modern air rifles can be very accurate, and, the last time we checked, air was still free (the government hasn’t figured out how to tax air yet).
In the world of air rifles, you’ll find a huge range of products, from low-cost plinkers to $5000.00+ Olympic-class position rifles. If you’re looking for a high-quality air rifle in the $1200.00 range, consider the Air Arms S510 Xtra FAC. This versatile rifle received exceptionally high marks from Hard Air Magazine (HAM), a specialty website for air gunners. HAM’s editors gave the Air Arms S510 a 93% total score, the highest score of any air rifle the magazine has tested to date. Accuracy was outstanding with the heavier pellets in the standard HAM test range. HAM tested a .22 caliber version, but Air Arms also offers the S510 in .177 or .25 caliber. The .177 version is suitable for Field Target Competition.
Here’s the best use of a convention center we’ve seen yet, thanks to the CMP. A section of the Phoenix Convention Center was transformed into an indoor shooting range for the 2015 JROTC Service Championship. This week (February 19-21), approximately 231 JROTC cadets will compete in Phoenix utilizing the CMP “Mobile Range”. This is a complete 60-station air rifle range that can be trucked from venue to venue and set up in a few hours. That’s pretty slick. Concurrently with the Phoenix event, USMC and NAVY JROTC cadets will be competing in Anniston, Alabama. Results from Phoenix and Anniston will be posted at on the CMP Competition Tracker webpage.
The CMP’s state-of-the art, mobile air gun range boasts 60 electronic MEGAlink targets produced in Norway. MEGAlink is the same target system used at CMP North and South stationary air ranges. The MEGAlink target “boxes” are each connected to a lift system than can raise and lower the targets for 3-position shooting. All of the components are designed so that the range can be quickly assembled by 3-4 workers. A large trailer can haul all 60 targets plus all the related monitors, computers, tables, chairs, and hardware in one load-out.
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It may be cold and wintry in Camp Perry, Ohio. But it’s warm inside — inside the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center that is. And dozens of competitors will be there for the next three days (Jan. 16-18) at the Ninth Annual Camp Perry Open Air Gun Tournament.
The Camp Perry Open is one of the biggest mid-winter air gun events in the nation. This year’s match will include a three-position air rifle competition, a 60-shot standing air rifle event, a 60-shot Air Pistol event as well as a Clinic. The 3X20 plus final three-position air rifle competition will take place on Friday, 16 January 2015. A clinic for interested junior shooters will be held on Saturday afternoon. The 60-shot international events will be fired on Saturday and Sunday (January 17th and 18th).
Electronic Targets with Results Streamed Online
The Gary Anderson Center boasts state-of-the-art electronic targets that record scores the instant each shot is fired. Shot-by-shot feeds are then displayed online through as Live Target Images that can be viewed anywhere there is an Internet connection. CLICK HERE to See Live Target Feeds
How Electronic Targets Work
Each electronic target is equipped with four microphones — one in each corner of the target. As the pellet strikes the target, it generates a sound wave that propagates to the microphones. The sound waves are used to determine the shot location by calculating the amount of time it takes for the sound to reach the microphones. That’s physics so the results are precise — machine-calculated shot locations are accurate to one hundredth of a millimeter.
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Mark your calendars for the “Mother of all Airgun Matches”. The 33rd Annual Canadian Airgun Grand Prix, the largest airgun competition in North America, will be held in Toronto on February 6 – 8, 2015. Competitors from several countries will be in attendance. All events will take place in the International Plaza Hotel conveniently located only 5 kms from the Toronto Pearson airport.
70-Position Shooting Range with Electronic Targets for Finals
The main shooting range for the Canadian Airgun Grand Prix features 70 positions for air rifle and air pistol, including positions designated for access by adaptive athletes, with electric target carriers on all positions. This will provide state-of-the-art hardware for the competitors.
See How Electronic Targets Work:
The Grand Prix Finals will be shot on SIUS electronic targets and will follow the new ISSF format. The top 8 in each of the Men’s and the Women’s events, including International Juniors and Sub-juniors will compete in Finals to determine the “Open” winners. For more info and updates, visit the Canadian Airgun Grand Prix Facebook Page. Competitors can register at: http://nfap.ca/cagp/cagp.nsf.
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Think 3-position shooting is a dull game? You may think differently after watching this “must-see” video from the 2014 European Shooting Championship in Moscow. Great imagery, superb editing, and a stirring sound-track combine into one of the most uplifting shooting videos we’ve seen. If you love competitive shooting, you should watch this video, which features dynamic movement and fast cuts, like a movie trailer. Most footage is from the Women’s Air Rifle competition, but Men’s Air Pistol events are also featured. We recommend viewing in Full-Screen HD. Enjoy!
Watch Video from European Shooting Championship (Movie Trailer Style):
NOTE: Click the Full-Screen Icon to Watch in 720p or 1080p High-Definition.
Do you shoot an air rifle or air pistol? Want to test your skills against other shooters across the country? Then sign up for a fun new “Aces” postal match in January. The CMP’s inaugural “Aces” postal match offers airgun marksman a nation-wide competition with Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Para-Air Rifle/Air Pistol events. Match Registration opens on January 1, 2015 for the initial January-March (Q1) match period.
COURSE OF FIRE
All 3×20 courses of fire are 20 shots prone, 20 shots standing, and 20 shots kneeling in integer format while all other rifle courses of fire are 60 shots in decimal format. All PPP courses of fire are 40 shots with the rest of the pistol events in 60 shots, both in integer format.
Special “Aces” Event Poker Chips — One Per Quarter
Every competitor in the CMP “Aces” Postal Match will receive a specially- designed participation poker chip. There will be a different color each quarter, so collect all four!
Quarterly matches can be shot on Orion paper targets or electronic targets. Orion targets must be requested from the CMP and will be mailed to participants. All Orion targets must be returned for scoring at CMP. Current National Standard Three-Position Air Rifle Rules and USA Shooting Air Rifle and Pistol rules apply. CLICK HERE for more information and schedules.
Modern competition air rifles are decidedly high-tech. Check out this Feinwerkbau:
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The 2015 NRA National Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships start January 1, 2015. Unlike the NRA’s National Matches at Camp Perry, the Indoor Championships are shot as a postal match, through multiple sectional tournaments all across the country. This means you can join the action from the comfort of your local range. The scores from shooters around the nation are compared by the NRA, which names the winners in each classification.
The Indoor Rifle & Pistol Championships include a variety of disciplines: Air Pistol, Rimfire Pistol, Air Rifle, and Rimfire Rifles. There is even a BB gun class for Juniors. The Indoor Championships involve multiple sectional tournaments, held in a variety of states from January through mid-April. This is like a super-duper postal match. Winners will be announced by the NRA in late May. There will be nearly 300 sectionals in 2014, so you’ll probably find an event close to home. Here are dates for 2013:
Open Sectionals: 1/1 – 3/18 | Collegiate Sectionals: 1/1 – 2/12 | JR. Sectionals: 1/1 – 4/15
The 50m Free Pistol is one of the events in the NRA National Indoor Championship. It takes skill — the pistol is shot one-handed, with iron sights, and the Ten-Ring is only 50mm (about 1.97″) in diameter. A competitive world-class score is 560 or better out of 600 possible points. Learn more about this challenging discipline in this USA Shooting video: