Field target (FT) shooting originated in England and became popular in the early eighties. It is a discipline of shooting targets outdoors in woodland or open fields, as opposed to the popular indoor 10 and 25 metre disciplines, and hence the reason it became known as “field target”.
The targets are of the metal knock down variety, originally shaped in the silhouette of animals, or more recently, in basic shapes (e.g. circle, diamond etc). Within the silhouette is a disc, referred to as the “hit zone”. A strike on the hit zone results in the target falling flat and a point is scored. Depending on the type of competition, a course may consists of either 30, 40 or 50 targets, placed within lanes, normally consisting of two targets per lane.
Three standard diameters of hit zones used on FT targets are 15mm, 25mm, and 40-45mm which is termed as full size. The targets are placed between ranges of 10 to 55 yards, and can be on the ground or elevated within trees. By tradition, measurements are given in yards.
The range of the target is not given to the shooter, so is usually determined by using a telescopic sight’s parallax feature. The shooter will then calculate the required amount of scope adjustment or hold over / under, and aim off for wind direction then take the shot. You only get one shot per target before moving on to the next lane. Any shooting position is allowed, but mostly taken sitting as this position offers a good compromise of stability and accuracy, however some lanes may be designated as ‘standing’ or ‘kneeling’ shots only.
There are clubs located all over the UK and Regional Associations organise competitions and leagues within geographical regions so you get the opportunity to shoot at other clubs. Participation in these events is purely down to the individual. Over the summer a number of national events take place, called the Grand Prix (GP) Competition Series. The top qualifying shooters from the GP Series go on to a final “Showdown” shoot. A grading system based on performance is used which allows shooters to compete against other shooters within there grade. As higher scores are achieved during competition, the higher a shooter will move up through the grades. We have shooters regularly attend European competitions and a World FT Championship is held annually and is hosted by alternate countries.
The great thing about FT is that on the firing line you will see a mixture of old and young, male and female, and the not-so-able, all competing against one-another, a truly level playing field.
The choice is yours: an enjoyable Sunday morning out in the fresh air of the country side with like minded people, or move up through the grades and develop your skills and strive to be the next FT World Champion!
Find a club near you using the club location tab on the top menu.
Below is a good Q&A interview on FT and the lower video is of a National Competition.