FT AND HFT a beginner’s guide.

In Field Target, FT, you shoot at metal knockdown targets which have a hole in the faceplate. If your pellet goes through the hole, the target falls, and you score one point. The hole, or “kill zone” is a circle, diameter 45mm, 25mm, or 13mm. If you hit the faceplate, and the target doesn’t fall, or you miss altogether, you score zero points. On our 40 shot FT course, the perfect score is 40 points. No one has yet achieved this!

The maximum distance allowed is 55 yards, and the minimum, 8 yards. (We still haven’t gone metric!)

Most shots are taken from a sitting position, but there will be some compulsory “Standers,” and “Kneelers.”

FT is a bit like Formula One racing, it can be very expensive. Top shooters use rifles which may cost £1000 upwards, and telescopic sights, the same. Unlike HFT, FT shooters use huge side wheel scopes to range find the targets. This range is then dialled into the top turret of the scope.

HFT uses simpler equipment. Ordinary shooters wanted to shoot targets with cheaper rifles and scopes used for hunting, (hence “Hunter Field Target,”) £500 will buy you kit that can compete with anyone. The ranges and kill zone sizes are the same as FT, but there are several important differences. If the target drops, you score 2 points, if you hit the faceplate, you score 1 point, so the perfect score on our 40 shot HFT course is 80 points. (No one has achieved this either!) On each “lane” of 4 targets you will see a white wooden peg hammered into the ground. Some part of your body must touch the peg. Your trigger finger must be behind the peg. Touching the peg means that you are forced to take the shot from that position. A tree, branch, or brambles may be in the way, you have to decide whether to shoot prone, (lying down,) sitting, kneeling or standing, so that you can see the target.

The buddy system. For both FT and HFT you need to shoot with a partner. (Unless you’re practising on your own.) Your partner fills in your card, and you fill in theirs. For FT, you enter an “X” for a hit, or “O” for a miss. For HFT, you score 2, 1, or zero.

Regional Competitions. There are 9 clubs in the South West which put on one major competition each year. You score points, and can gain grades which count towards your final position at the end of the year, when trophies are awarded.

You can shoot National Comps, Europeans, or even Worlds. (a DM member came second in the Worlds a few years ago.)

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