It’s Back To Basics Field Target

Back to basics Field Target. What’s that? It’s an interesting new take on a long-established type of airgun competition…

The sport of Field Target airgun shooting began back in 1980 in the UK. At that time, it was conceived as a way for friends to get together, shoot air rifles and have fun. It was all pretty informal!

Over the years – more than 40, in fact – Field Target has developed and expanded. It’s become more sophisticated, more structured. Rules, Categories and Divisions have multiplied. Equipment has become highly specialized.

Yes, shooting Field Target is fun. But it’s a different kind of fun from the original concept. So, recently, there’s been a move to back to basics Field Target.

It’s Back To Basics Field Target

HAM Field Target Editor Greg Shirhall explains what he has been doing at his local club – Broome County Sportsmen’s Association – in up-state New York. It’s Field Target with low powered guns, no scopes and very few rules…

For quite some time I have wanted someone to try shooting our FT pistol match with their 10 Meter rifles.

So back in October of 2019, I figured I’d set the pistol match with all full size targets and all painted black with contrasting kill zones. So I made an announcement that we would have a low powered non-magnified rifle match running concurrently with the pistol match.

Eleven people took me up on that offer and had a blast! Plenty of old 10 Meter rifles plus some current turned down ones were used. The rules are simple. Try to keep the energy to 7 Ft/Lbs at the muzzle or less, an un-magnified sight (Peep, Open, red dot, etc.) Shoot from any Field Target position AND HAVE FUN!

Here’s the course of fire we used.

There would be 20 targets ranging from 10 Yards to 35 Yards. I pulled out 20 brand new targets consisting of both Remington and Air Venturi. All the targets were tested and were going down with hits of just 2 Ft/Lbs. This was gonna be fun!

The only rule was all sights used were to be un-magnified and everyone was encouraged to keep the Muzzle Energy at 7 Ft/Lbs or less.

Originally, we were going to alternate month to month with one being a pistol match and the next being a 10 Meter match but thought why? Run them side by side all of the time!

Now we are using all white targets with black kill zones. It is definitely a fun and relaxing time! Guess the yardage… guess the hold over/under… take the shot!

It’s Back To Basics Field Target

I’m not sure what kind of difficulty factor should be added for un-magnified sights, so it was probably a little more difficult than it shows! To add to the difficulty level, a few brave competitors have decided to shoot all the targets standing with an open-sighted rifle!

For those looking to try something different, ask your local FT Match Director if you can shoot a FT pistol match with your 10 Meter or low-powered open sighted rifle. It is definitely a fun and relaxing time!

Guess the yardage… guess the hold over/under… take the shot!

This part of the match has been very well received! Plenty of comments like “this goes quick”, “I did better on the standing lanes with this than my FT rifle” etc.

So that’s back to basics Field Target. Why not give it a try too?