Field Target Frequently Asked Questions
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- What airguns are used for field target?
- What's the lowest velocity a field target gun should have?
- What's better - PCP or spring guns?
- Can a breakbarrel be accurate for field target?
- What shooting positions are allowed in field target?
- How do FT shooters hold there guns?
- Why do FT shooters use high magnification scopes?
- How do you Rangefind with a scope?
- What scopes are being used for field target?
- How do you level a scope?
- How do you determine which pellet is right for FT?
- Which pellet weight is best for FT?
- What can I do to my spring gun before it is moved into the Modified Class?
- How do I focus the scope reticle to my eye?
- What's the differences between an airgun scope and firearm rifle scope?
- What causes accuracy problems in an airgun?
- What does the term "FAC" stand for?
- Why do you lube the pellets with pre-charged guns?
- Air Arms TX200 & TX200SR
- Air Arms Pro Sport
- Air Arms Pro Elite
- Beeman HW97
- Beeman R1 / HW80
- Beeman R11 / HW90
- Beeman R9 / HW95
- Beeman/FWB 124
- Whiscombe JW75
- Whiscombe JW60
- Air Arms RN10
- Air Arms Pro Target
- Air Arms NJR100
- Air Arms SM100
- Beeman Mako
- Daystate MkII
- Daystate CR97
- Daystate CR94
- Daystate Huntsman
- Daystate LR90
- Falcon FN19TLR
- FWB P70
- Ripley AR5
Just about any airgun can be used for field target. However, some guns are too powerful or too low power to be efficiently used. Most guns shooting less than 650 fps aren't used since the accuracy of such guns typically suffer at longer distances. Many guns shooting more than 20 ft. lbs. might not be elligable at many matches. A lot of matches follow the AAFTA recommended power limit of 20 ft. lbs. in thier competitions. Some of the more popular spring guns include:
This is by no means a complete list, but it gives you the general idea.
There isn't any official low power limit specified in the AAFTA rules. Most shooters try to shoot guns that have a muzzle energy greater than 10 ft lbs. That is about 750 fps with a 7.9gr pellet. Once you drop much below 10 ft lbs, long range accuracy starts to degrade and your knock down power drops low enough that you might not have enough power to knock over a target even on a shot in the kill zone.
Both are very good for field target. Both have advantadges and disadvantadges. A spring gun requires more discipline from the shooter to fire accurately on a repeatative basis. However, they can be as accurate as a PCP gun. The advantage of spring guns is that they are a lot less expensive than most PCP guns, you don't have to worry about running out of air or lubing your pellets.
Most shooters will tell you it is easier to shoot a PCP gun accurately. They are more forgiving than are spring guns should you make a small error in your shooting discipline. They are easier to follow through with and they can typically be set to shoot at higher powers with almost no recoil or vibration that you would get with a spring gun. To their disadvantadge is their cost, the fact you have to keep an air tank around, and to extract the most accuracy from them you almost have to lubricate your pellets.
Yes and No. A fixed barrel gun will give slightly better groups than a break barrel gun. This is because the relationship between the barrel and scope doesn't change with each shot. A break barrel moves the barrel with each shot so it isn't in the exact same place with each shot. However, todays modern break barrels are typically so well made that the differences are very small. If you have a break barrel gun, you can definitly use it for field target and do quite well.
Any shooting position is allowed in a field target match. As long as you can see the hit zone and have the gun supported only by your body, you can use any position that you are comfortable with. Most shooters use a sitting position since that offers the best stability. However, some lanes may be set up to force you to use one position over another, ie. a standing or kneeling shot.
With their hands! There are various holds that field target shooters use. Most shooters rest their right elbow on their right knee. The gun is then either rested on the left knee or on the left arm which is on the left knee or These are the most stable holds. Another hold is the military type hold military type hold or where the left elbow rests on the left knee and the gun is held in the normal fashion.
The high magnification allows the shooter to use the adjustable objective to rangefind. Range finding is the act of determining the distance to the target. The distance can be estimated by eye but using the adjustable objective can most times estimate the distance with in a yard of the actual distance. Knowing the distance to the target is key to scoring a hit. The higher the magnification scopes give more precise range finding capabilities. The scope must have very good clarity at the higher magnification to get the best rangefinding capabilities.
Range finding with a scope consists of adjusting the objective on the scope until the target is in perfect focus. The distance is then read from the objective bell. Most FT shooters don't rely on the factory yardage marking on the scopes. They calibrate their scopes by actually focusing on targets at every distance and then mark that distance on the scope objective bell.
- Bushnell Trophy 6-18x Airgun/Rimfire Scope
- Simmons 6-18x Airgun Scope
- Simmons 6.5-20x .44 Mag Rifle Scope
- Leupold 6.5-20x EFR Airgun/Rifle Scope
- Bausch & Lomb Elite 4000 6-24x Rifle Scope
- Storey 6-24x Field Target Scope
- Burris 8-32x Rifle Scope
- Storey 8-32x Field Target Scope
- Nightforce 36x Field Target Scope
- Tasco Custom 8-40x Rifle Scope
There are a wide variety of scopes available today for airguns. Here is a list of some of the most common ones used today:
This is not a complete listing, but it gives you the general idea.
To properly level a scope you will need two things, a bubble level and a plum line. A bubble level can be bought at a local hardware store. You can find small levels with multiple bubbles in it. I like to use one buble tube removed from the level for leveling the scope. A plum line can be made with about 4-6' of nylon cord and a 2 oz. lead sinker. Mount the plum line to a tree, post or other object so that it can swing freely.
To level your scope, first loosely mount the scope on the gun (your gun should be in a vice or on sand bags). Adjust the gun and scope so that you can see the plum line through the scope. Adjust the scope so that the verticle crosshair is about parallel to the plum line. Put the bubble level on the receiver perpendicular to the receiver and scope. Now adjust the gun so that it is level. Look throught the scope and adjust it until the verticle crosshair is parallel with the plum line. Now tighten the mounts screws. Check that the verticle crosshair remains parallel with the plum line when the gun is level as you tighten the mount screws.
The only way to determine which pellet is right is to shoot a variety of pellets through your airgun and see which one shoots the best. Most FT shooter use the Crosman Premiers, JSB Exact, or Beeman Kodiak Match pellets.
The is no definite answer here. A lot has to do with personal preference and the velocity of the airgun you shoot. Heavy pellets offer more resistance to wind and that is their big advantage. However you take a big hit on the amount of trajectory you have to deal with. Light pellets are best for lower velocity airguns with lower power scopes. This will give you more error in range finding and still get a hit. If you have a higher power scope and can range find more accurately, you might go with heavy pellets. If you have a higher velocity airgun, use heavier pellets to lower wind deflections.
A Standard Piston gun may have the internals of the gun tuned and modified, however the externals of the gun may not be changed, ie a new stock or external wieghts and the like. Other Standard Piston gun critirea include the original cost of the gun must be under $600 and the power of the scope used may not exceed 20x magnification.
The focus adjustment on a scope is much like the adjustment an eye doctor uses when they test your eyes for glasses. Turning the eye piece will strengthen or weaken the "prescription". Follow the steps below to adjust your scope.
- Loosen the eyepiece lock ring (if applicable).
- Rotate the eyepiece in the negative direction (check your scopes owners manual, typically counter clockwise).
- Look Through the scope toward the sky, or at a white wall about 10’ away. Rotate the eyepiece clockwise until the reticle appears sharp and black at a quick glance . Do not look through the scope as you turn the eyepiece, as your eye will adjust to the out-of-focus condition. Glancing through the scope will immediately reveal the reticle as distinctive and black when it is properly focused.
- Lock the eyepiece in place by tightening the lock ring.
Spring-Piston airguns generate heavy recoil and vibration in both the forward and rearward directions. Most rimfire and centerfire riflescopes are made to withstand only the rearward recoil of these types of rifles. Airgun scopes are made to withstand heavy bi-direction recoil and vibration. They typically also have parallax adjustment that allow closer focus. Typically these adjustments will allow focusing down to 10 yards. Recoil is typically not a problem with pnuematic airguns.
There are many things that may cause accuracy problems with airguns. Here is a list of some typical problems.
- Loose stock screws (particularly on spring guns). Clean all screws with alcohol and use a bit of Threadlocker Loctite on the threads before reinstalling. Periodically check for tightness.
- Loose barrel pivot bolt. Periodically check for tightness.
- Loose iron sights or scope. Periodically check for tightness.
- A dirty barrel. Clean the bore periodically.
- Incorrect pellet type. Test several pellet types for accuracy. Use the most accurate pellet in your gun.
- Poor shooting technique. Practice, Practice, Practice!
- Inconsistant hold of the airgun. Practice, Practice, Practice!
"Fire Arms Certificate". In England, if an airguns power is greater than 12 ft. lbs. you need to have a FAC to own it.
There are several reason. The high pressure air in a PCP tends to be very dry and often contains a small amount of moisture. Lubing pellets increases accuracy, keeps the barrel lubed so it doesn't rust, and also completely eliminates leading in the barrel.
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