Field Target is a safe and modern shooting sport suitable for people of a wide range of ages and physical abilities. Field target competitions are carried out under rules laid down by the British Field Target Association.
Air rifles with a power output not exceeding 12 ft-lbs are used in field target shooting. These may be purchased and owned without a licence by over-18's who do not have significant criminal convictions in mainland Britain. Field Target is equally open to under 18's who may use but not own air rifles, and to under 14's who may only possess or use air rifles under adult supervision. Air guns are tegally classed as firearms, and the appropriate firearms laws must be observed.
Two types of air rifle are commonly used in FT and HFT competitions. One is the pre-charged pneumatic (PCP), which is recoilless, and are charged with air from a diver's bottle. The other is the recoiling spring-piston rifle in which the barrel or lever is pulled to cock a spring which then compresses air to propel the pellet by means of a piston. PCP rifles are more accurate and easier to use, however they are more expensive. .177 calibre is preferred for target shooting due as the pellets have a flatter trajectory than .those used in 22 air rifles. Telescopic sights (scopes) are always used in Field Target shooting. Before purchasing a rifle it is well worth visiting a club, where there is the opportunity to try a variety of guns under supervision. Many clubs also have rifles available specifically for visitors to use. While top-end competitors tend to use expensive rifles, it is possible to get started in FT or HFT with a much more basic and affordable rifle.
Field target competitions are held outdoors, making use of the varied terrain of farmland and woodland with targets positioned out in the open, uphill, downhill or in trees. so as to form varied and challenging shooting courses. Metal knock-down targets, of various shapes are used. The target has a circular "kill zone" between 25mm and 45mm in the centre. When a pellet hits the kill zone, the entire target falls down and a point is scored. The target is then reset from the firing point by pulling an attached string. A field target course consists of 40 knock-down targets, positioned at ranges of between 8 and 55 yards. (Grand Prix shoots use 50 targets). These are grouped into 20 lanes of two targets each. Most can be shot from a sitting position, however a few lanes must be shot standing or kneeling to add variety and challenge to the shoot. The close-in targets are relatively easy to hit, hitting these targets gives the new shooter a sense of achievement and confidence. The distant targets, however are much more challenging. To successfully hit them the shooter must accurately assess the target's range and aim an appropriate distance above the target, due to the fact the the airgun pellet follows a curved trajectory. This, along with the need to allow for the effect of wind on the pellet, and the need to master sitting, kneeling, standing and prone positions makes Field Target shooting a fascinating and challenging hobby.
Field Target is also a very sociable hobby, indeed half the fun of visiting a club or entering an FT shoot lies in enjoying a shared interest with like-mined shooting enthusiasts.
Field Target competitions have a series of classes, each with their own prizes. These allow shooters to compete against others of similar ability, and put the potential to win a prize within reach of all.
SARPA Member Clubs will host the SCOTTISH FIELD TARGET LEAGUE and SCOTTISH FT CHAMPIONSHIP in 2011 details on Competition Calendar page.