Field Target at EFTCC

Monday, May 16, 2011

If you have never tried field target competition, you really owe it to yourself, as an airgun enthusiast, to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun.

On May 1, 2011, I attended and competed in a field target match put on by the Eastern Field Target Competitors Club (EFTCC) at the Dutchess County Pistol Association in Wappingers Falls, NY.

Field target is the fine art of shooting at metallic silhouettes of squirrels, rabbits, birds, and the like. These silhouettes are generally 4-12 inches high. There is a hole, called the kill zone, in the silhouette, and behind the hole is a paddle. If you put a pellet cleanly through the hole, it hits the paddle, and the target falls down. If you hit the face plate of the target or split a pellet on the edge of the kill zone, the target stays upright. What makes field target challenging is that the range to the target can vary from 7 to 55 yards, and the size of the kill zone can range from .25 inches to 1.875 inches. Further – and this is key – there is no correlation between the range to the target and the size of the kill zone. A one-inch kill zone at 10 yards is fairly easy to hit, but a one-inch kill zone at 50 yards can be downright challenging.

Normally, you score one point for each target you knock down (and no points if you fail to drop the target), but the May 1 EFTCC match was scored on a risk/reward system: you got one point if you knocked the target down from a sitting, prone, or kneeling position, but you scored two points if you dropped the target from a standing position. 

The catch in all this is that it is harder to shoot from a standing – or offhand – position. Most lanes had two targets, and you could take two shots at each, four shots in all in each lane. If you were successful with all four shots from, say, a sitting position, you would get four points for that lane, but if you were successful with all four shots from a standing position, you would get eight points. So, is it worth the risk to attempt the more difficult by higher scoring standing shots? That was the question facing the competitors.

Six classes were available for competition at EFTCC: Hunter, WFTF (World Field Target Federation), Pistol, PCP, Spring Gun, and Junior. There were entrants in all classes but Pistol.

Below is my attempt to capture the day in pictures.

The day was gorgeous: mid-70s and low wind. It started with signing up for a class to compete in.

The shooting lanes are along the left edge of the photo, the check-in table on the right.

A couple of typical field targets. Hit the yellow kill zone, and the target goes down.

Can you spot the field target on the tree?

Here it is up close.

 You could spot just about any type of air rifle in the competition.

Tom Holland took first in the WFTF class with this Steyr LG110FT.

Michael Arroyo finished second in Hunter with this Beeman R11.

Glenn Thomas campaigned a Gamo CFX.

Hector Medina took second in Spring Gun Division with a Diana 54.

Veronica Ruf competed with an HW95.

Brian Williams goes prone in Hunter class with his .20 caliber Daystate Air Wolf.

In Hunter class, Greg Shirhall reloads his custom-stocked Marauder.

Robert Bidwell shot a QB78PCP in Junior Class.

Paul Bishop won Spring Gun Division with this custom-stocked HW98.

Jerry LaRocca won Hunter class with his .22 caliber Diana 56TH.

Ron Zeman shot an Air Arms S300 in PCP Division.

Art Deuel finished second in the PCP Division with this customized Marauder.

Nathan Thomas sights in a Marauder. He won the PCP Division with it.

Your Humble Correspondent with his trusty FWB150.

Match Director and Team Crosman member Ray Apelles shot a Marauder Hybrid bullpup that was specially built for ease of transportation to the FT World Champsionship in Italy.

Ray's father Hans is co-Match Director and the other half of Team Crosman. Here he is shooting his lefthanded Marauder Hybrid Bullpup.

And a good time was had by all!

The FT match was a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of nice people, enjoy shooting for half a day, and see some interesting equipment. What’s not to like?

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

11 Comments

  1. Andy Stansbury says:

    Where can I find details regarding what rifles are acceptable for the hunter and spring piston class. Thank you.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Andy,

      The entire AAFTA rule book can be found here: http://www.aafta.org/Assets/handbook/2011/aafta_handbook%202011.pdf

  2. Rob Weaver says:

    Jock,

    NICE article! I’m going to shoot “our” Benjamin Nitro 25 in my club’s first ever Adult Air Rifle match later this month. I won’t win anything, but I’ll have fun, and doubtless learn something too.

    I know I promised you a picture or two of me with the rifle and a scan of my targets – I haven’t had the rifle and a camera out at the same time, and quite honestly, I’m embarrassed to do anything with the targets I’ve shot except use them as fire starters. I’ll take care of both soon enough…

    All the best,
    Rob

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Thanks, Rob, I look forward to it.

  3. Jim Lowe says:

    Great article and pic’s, hope to attend an event like this one day.

  4. buffalo bob says:

    Interesting! The more I learn about this sport the more fun it becomes! I’ll have to start something in southern Ohio if there’s nothing to be had already !

  5. Slinging Lead says:

    Uncle Jock

    How did you fare in the competition? Is the FWB150 your usual FT rig?

    In the last photo, Hans and Ray look ready to paint some houses.

  6. Brandon says:

    Where can i find information regarding FT matches in my area of northern California?

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Brandon,

      Try here: http://www.aafta.org/

      Click on the “Organization” Tab, and you should find information on member clubs.

  7. JJ says:

    Hi, I have a Diana 34, have not used it yet. Front sight hood shattered, and I would like to install a peep sight, and metal hood if possible. Any recomendations? Nov 29, 2014

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      JJ,

      I suggest contacting http://www.umarexusa.com on the availability of a replacement hood.

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