Greg’s Guide to Field Target Shooting – Part Five

In earlier articles, we discussed what it takes to get started in Field Target in AAFTA’s Hunter Division.

You may ask “Are there other Divisions I can shoot in without sticks and use a higher scope magnification?” Why, yes you can!

This time I’ll give you a little taste of the other AAFTA Divisions that are available, AAFTA Open Division and WFTF Division (World Field Target Federation). AAFTA is the governing body for Field Target in the U.S. while the World Field Target Federation governs the World Championships.

Below are a couple of pictures, one showing a shooter shooting Open Division Piston Class and another shooter shooting WFTF Division Piston Class. Can you determine which shooter is shooting Open and which is shooting WFTF?

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

Above: Photo 1.
Below: Photo 2.

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

How about the following pictures one showing an Open Division PCP Class shooter and the other showing a WFTF Division PCP Class shooter? Can you figure out which shooter is shooting which division?

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

Above: Photo 3.
Below: Photo 4.

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

The answer is that, in both of the cases above, the shooters in the top pictures are shooting WFTF Division. That’s Photos 1 and 3. The shooters in photos 2 and 4 are shooting Open Division.

What’s the difference you ask? Well, all the shooters in both divisions can sit on a seat no higher than 6-inches and are allowed to use unlimited scope magnification. One of the main differences between the two Divisions is the power level their rifles are shooting at.

WFTF Division allows for a maximum 12 Ft/Lbs of energy at the muzzle, while Open Division shooters can go up to a maximum of 20 Ft/Lbs of energy at the muzzle.

Another difference between the two Field Target divisions shown in the above photos relates to support for the air rifle.

The Open Division PCP shooter in Photo 4 is using a harness or straps as a support whereas that type of support is not allowed per WFTF rules. The WFTF rules also prohibits the use of a thigh rest which is allowed per AAFTA’s Open Division rules.

And then there’s scopes!

All the individuals shown above are allowed to use unlimited scope magnification. But those shooting in AAFTA’s Hunter Division are limited to 12x or the next lowest factory setting as discussed previously.

Open Division and WFTF Division shooters are also allowed to adjust their scopes for both elevation and windage any time during the match as they see fit.

Most, if not all shooters, don’t adjust windage during the match unless they know they are having an issue that needs to be corrected. Once they have verified their settings at either their practice range or at the sight-in range prior to the match, there really should be no reason to touch the windage knob.

As I have shown and discussed a little in my previous articles on Field Target Shooting, a Hunter Division shooter is not allowed to adjust their scope after the match starts and uses hold-over once they determine the targets distance.

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

Above. Example of a marked side wheel.

Below. Holdover/hold under “range card”. (Note: the horizontal lines between the dots are for the user’s reference. The scope has
Mil-dots only.)

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

In both the Open Division and WFTF, shooters are allowed to determine the distance to the target by adjusting their scope’s parallax. After that distance has been determined, they are allowed to adjust their elevation or windage knobs.

Below is an example showing that a shooter has determined the distance to the target as being 45 yards. This example shows a “front AO” scope.

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

Once the distance to the target is determined to be 45 yards, the shooter then adjusts their elevation knob to 45 as shown below.

Greg's Guide to Field Target Shooting - Part Five

Being able to adjust your scope’s elevation knob allows the shooter to hold on their horizontal crosshair line. This means you do not have to deal with the “hold over” and or “hold under” that Hunter Division shooters have to deal with.

Depending on the power level the shooter is shooting at and the wind during the match the shooter may have to hold outside the Kill Zone (KZ) in order to make the shot. There have been times at Field Target matches where I have heard WFTF shooters saying that they had to hold outside of the KZ by up to 4-inches or more!

It is definitely nicer to be able to hold one reference point (the horizontal crosshair) then hold off as the shooter sees fit rather than to have to float the KZ somewhere out in space and try to reference both the vertical and horizontal crosshairs at the same time!

You would think that all shooters in Open and WFTF adjust their elevation knobs BUT you would be incorrect.

There are some excellent shooters in both Field Target Divisions that don’t click and still use hold over/ hold under. Here’s the reason. Depending on the power level you are shooting at and the height of your scope, you may have to make more then one revolution in order to cover all the target distances from 10 yards to 55 yards! By not adjusting your elevation knob you are less likely to get out a complete revolution on your knob.

There have been plenty of times where shooters missed a target due to being one full rotation out from where they should have been. Hold over / hold under alleviates this from happening. The choice is yours…

I have only touched on some of the basic rule differences between the two Divisions.

To see the complete set of rules be sure to check out the most current version of the AAFTA Handbook located here: AAFTA Handbook When viewing the WFTF Division rules in the AAFTA Handbook, be sure to click on the link to the WFTF rules where you will find more information on the WFTF’s core and comprehensive rules.

As you can see, with the two Divisions discussed in this article plus the Hunter Division I previously discussed, there is a place for everyone! Look for a Field Target match in your area, grab your rifle and join in the fun!

Read the previous part of Greg’s Guide to Field Target shooting.

Read the next part of Greg’s Guide to Field Target shooting.