Wasatch Front Airgun League Match Report – EFT and More
On August 18-19, 2023, the Wasatch Front Airgun League (WFAL) put on an Extreme Field Target (EFT) Grand Prix, 100 Yard Benchrest, and Speed Silhouette match. This report from David Stevenson describes this interesting shoot, together with a number of technical improvements that they incorporated into the targets.
Take it away, David…
Close to fifty shooters from six states (Utah, Idaho, Montana, California, Arizona, Nevada) competed in a two-day match held at the Weber Wildlife Federation Shooting Range, located in Liberty, Utah. This is the match report.
Extreme Field Target
The Utah EFT match is part of a Grand Prix series sponsored by Airguns of Arizona. Among their growing network of Precision Airgun Distribution retailers is Airgun Titans, a new addition based here locally in West Jordan, Utah.
Participants in the series win points towards a national EFT title, which is awarded at the annual Extreme Benchrest competition, held annually in October at the Rio Salado shooting range in Phoenix, Arizona.
The EFT GP series started in 2022 and has matches in Texas, Oregon, Arizona, and Utah. In 2024 and 2025 additional match locations will be announced.
Each first-time participant gets 1.0 point. Participants who attend additional matches get 0.5 points. The top finishers in these events qualify for additional or extra points, up to a maximum of 6 points. These points are added to their score at the national final.
For more details see Extreme Field Target Grand Prix – Extreme Field Target.
Participants at the Wasatch Front Airgun League Grand Prix shot the EFT course on two consecutive days. The combined scores determined the winners. The course consisted of twenty EFT re-settable, knock down targets at distances between 20 and 110 Yards.
Two new technologies were employed at this match. The first was the use of electronic re-settable targets. The second was the use of variable height target risers. Sixteen targets were reset using a string.
For those new to EFT, if you hit the kill zone on a field target with sufficient force, this actuates a mechanical level system to knock down the target. A string is used to pull the target upright, resetting the target.
Four of the targets were reset remotely or automatically. These targets were electronically reset with the press of a button, or by an automatic actuator. Batteries were connected to these targets. They are the creation of airgunner Martin Martin from Arizona. Expect to see his targets at Extreme Benchrest in October!
The second new technology was the use of variable height target risers. Northern Utah is a desert climate. Typical vegetation at the Weber Wildlife Federation shooting range consists of Scrub Oak, Junipers, Cedar trees, Sagebrush, Rabbitbrush, and various grasses, shrubs, and flowers.
The height of this vegetation obscures the view of most field targets on the ground. WFAL co-creator Monte Shosted created variable height risers for the field targets.
The risers were secured to the ground using a ground screw connected to the field target with wire. The risers performed flawlessly. They held the field targets above the vegetation without any observable movement.
This not only allowed the targets to be seen above the vegetation, but it allowed us to prepare the course without modifying the native vegetation. The height of the risers depended upon the length of the four legs made of ¾-Inch conduit. Most risers raised the base of the EFT targets by 20-24 Inches.
EFT Lessons learned?
Well we learned that certain heavy extreme field targets require a small rear-facing angle (1-3 degrees) to function properly.
The weight of the target faceplate is a factor when actuating the target mechanism on EFT targets. If you angle the target rearward, this removes the faceplate weight as a factor.
The EFT targets used at the match were purchased from Airguns of Arizona or made by locally by League shooters. The goal for properly made EFT targets is this: they should actuate using a 28-Ft/Lb airgun at a distance of 100 Yards.
Put simply, if you shoot a .22 caliber air rifle using 18 Grain pellets at a speed of roughly 850 FPS, you should be able to knock down the field target at 100 Yards. This is easier said than done!
Because some airguns have much more energy, i.e., .30 cal. airgun, shooting 51 Grain pellets at 950 FPS (102 Ft/Lbs), designing, fabricating, and manipulating targets to handle this wide energy variance takes practice and finesse.
100 Yard Benchrest Event
The shooters competed in a preliminary qualifying round in which they shot two 100-Yard cards back-to-back. The main firing range has fifteen benches. Each round of 15 shooters competed against each other.
The top combined scores for each round made the final, held the following afternoon. The rules allow airgun calibers up to .35 caliber to compete shooting mass-produced pellets.
The targets themselves were 3’x4’, containing 25 standard-sized bullseyes and 5 sight-in targets at the bottom. They were glued or stapled to 3’x4’ carboard sheets.
We introduced new target stands at this match. The stands were created using scrap steel (basketball backboards) as frame bases, with two 2”x2”x3” square steel tubes welded to the sides. We inserted wood 2”x2”s into the tubing and used hand clamps to attach the 3’x’4’ targets to the wood.
The targets were scored using .35 caliber aluminum scoring plugs. The new target bases worked perfectly!
Speed Silhouette Event
The speed course consisted of twenty targets. Four animals (chicken, turkey, pig, and ram), five (5) each, hung from swinging targets,. They were shot at four distances, namely 25, 25, 45, and 55 Yards.
The silhouettes could be shot in any order. Shooters had to hit the target to move on. Once all targets were hit, the shooter had to press a button on their bench, which recorded their speed. The shooters with the top six fastest times competed in a speed final.
We had four junior shooters (under 18) compete in the match. All did well! The top finishers and awards were:
Extreme Field Target
1st – Glen Horner ($600) (earned 3 extra EFT GP points towards the national title)
2nd – Mitch Clark ($500) (earned 2 extra EFT GP points towards the national title)
3rd – Val Simmons ($400) (earned 2 extra EFT GP points towards the national title)
4th – Cydnee Clark ($300) (earned 1 extra EFT GP points towards the national title)
5th – Kjell Pehrson ($200) (earned 1 extra EFT GP points towards the national title)
100 Yard Benchrest
1st – Jayson Barnes ($300)
2nd – Haylee Royce ($200) (junior shooter competing Pro)
3rd – Kjell Pehrson ($100)
1st – Jayson Barnes ($300)
2nd – Adam Swillinger ($200)
3rd – Matt Stajduhar ($100)
David, thanks for an excellent match report. It’s clear that the Wasatch Front Airgun League puts on a superb event and that everyone had a great time!