American Field Target Competition Takes Root In Arizona
American Field Target is a new form of airgun shooting competition. It first started several years ago at Extreme Benchrest. Now it has caught-on with shooters in the South West US to the extent that regular monthly matches are being held in the Phoenix, Arizona area.
So what is American Field Target? Basically, it’s a form of “hunting simulation” shooting with knockdown targets.
“Isn’t that the same as regular Field Target shooting?”many will say. Well, yes there’s a lot of similarities, but there’s one big difference – American Field Target (AFT) can be enjoyed by the rapidly-increasing number of airgunners who have high power PCPs.
Conventional Field Target competition is limited to air rifles with a Muzzle Energy of 20 Ft/Lbs (or even as low as 12 Ft/Lbs depending on Class). Effectively, .177 caliber is a must to compete. 50 Yards is the maximum range.
The problem is that the overwhelming majority of PCPs being sold today in the USA are:
a) Not in .177 caliber and…
b) have more – make that much more – power than 20 Ft/Lbs!
AFT raises the power limit to 100 Ft/Lbs, accepts calibers up to .30 cal and increases the range out to 100 Yards. There’s Classes for those shooting pellets and slugs.
Basically, you’ll need a .22 caliber – or larger – PCP to complete in AFT. A minimum of 28 Ft/Lbs Muzzle Energy is required just to knock down the targets!
This makes it much more in line with the interests of airgunners in the 2020s and the capabilities of their airguns. The traditional Field Target format has its origins as far back as 1980 in England, when airguns, scopes and pellets had very different capabilities.
Ben Spencer is the Match Director who is behind the American Field Target Southwest Challenge. It’s supported by Airguns of Arizona. The company also sponsored this video to bring American Field Target to a wider audience.
Take a good look at the video and see what you think. This could well be THE Field Target competition of the future. It would not be surprising to find AFT competitions sprouting-up across the country in 2021!