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Advice for Hunter Field Target Rifle


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(@nhairgunner)
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

I would like to get involved in this sport but am overwhelmed with the choices out there.  Also I live in NH and have limited access to matches in my area. 

From what I have read it appears that .177 is the most common caliber used.  

I sounds like PCP guns are preferred over Springers due to having little to no recoil and that 16X is MAX magnification either fixed or adjustable. 

What are your thoughts on single shot vs magazine guns?  

12 ft/lbs vs 20 ft/ibs muzzle velocity? Was looking at an Air Arms HFT 500 but am not sure due to the lower velocity and not sure I want to spend that kind of money.

Would an Air Arms S 500 with the adjustable power levels give you the best of both worlds? 12 ft/lbs on low and 20+ ft/lbs on high?

The Benjamin Marauder looks like a good value but I like the idea of a cocking lever over a bolt.  Also there are several upgrades available and if done could greatly increase the price.

Is the Crosman barrel good enough or is the Lothar Walther barrel worth the increased price?

Would an Airforce Condor SS be a good gun for HFT? Again several upgrades available and my be needed to be competitive for HFT.

Is a Springer that much more difficult to shoot? A premium Springer is priced much less than a PCP and no air source is needed (I have a Benjamin hand pump.)

Should I spend my money on a higher end scope and middle of the road rifle?

Looking for something with a two stage trigger.

Any advice would be very helpful.

Thanks,

Ron

 

 

 


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 bvan
(@bvan)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 65
 

Hi Ron,

Best advice I can give you is to attend a match and see what others are using. Most shooters will be more than happy to chat about their setups and most will let you shoot them so you can see for yourself what you like or dislike. Being in NH there aren’t a lot of matches real close but there are many matches in the northeast. Here is a link to matches in the NE,

http://www.bcsportsmen.org/ft/schedule.html

Brian


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(@nhairgunner)
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

That sounds like good advice!

Thank you,

Ron


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TwiceHorn
(@twicehorn)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 9
 
Posted by: @nhairgunner

I would like to get involved in this sport but am overwhelmed with the choices out there.  Also I live in NH and have limited access to matches in my area. 

From what I have read it appears that .177 is the most common caliber used.  

I sounds like PCP guns are preferred over Springers due to having little to no recoil and that 16X is MAX magnification either fixed or adjustable. 

What are your thoughts on single shot vs magazine guns?  

12 ft/lbs vs 20 ft/ibs muzzle velocity? Was looking at an Air Arms HFT 500 but am not sure due to the lower velocity and not sure I want to spend that kind of money.

Would an Air Arms S 500 with the adjustable power levels give you the best of both worlds? 12 ft/lbs on low and 20+ ft/lbs on high?

The Benjamin Marauder looks like a good value but I like the idea of a cocking lever over a bolt.  Also there are several upgrades available and if done could greatly increase the price.

Is the Crosman barrel good enough or is the Lothar Walther barrel worth the increased price?

Would an Airforce Condor SS be a good gun for HFT? Again several upgrades available and my be needed to be competitive for HFT.

Is a Springer that much more difficult to shoot? A premium Springer is priced much less than a PCP and no air source is needed (I have a Benjamin hand pump.)

Should I spend my money on a higher end scope and middle of the road rifle?

Looking for something with a two stage trigger.

Any advice would be very helpful.

Thanks,

Ron

 

 

 

Going to a match or two and seeing what people shoot is great advice.  Tends to be a friendly community and someone is highly likely to let you shoot the match with their gun.

Some very general answers:

.177 is preferred because target sizes are smaller, also, the higher velocity has some ballistic benefits

 

PCPs generally are easier to shoot with high accuracy than springers; it's the hold-sensitivity, which is a byproduct of the recoil or movement of the rifle in a shot cycle that makes springers difficult; note that most matches separate by not only class (Hunter, World Field Target Federation, Open), but by PCP and Springer, so that like shoots with like

 

16x is the max magnification permitted in HFT, the other classes are not so limited (HFT=Hunter Field Target and characteristically employs a bipod)

 

Magazine/single shot is a matter of preference, accompanied by some superstition

 

12 vs. 20 ftlbs is largely dictated by class; 12 is the limit for WFTF class; shooting close to 20 ftlbs in .177 has some advantage in wind-resistance and a flatter ballistic profile, so less holdover, which somewhat reduces the chance of error

 

The S500 is a fine field target rifle, used to great effect by numerous shooters; most find that the power adjustment is too imprecise and introduces "error," so is not usually relied upon in FT (you set it up for the velocity/energy you shoot and leave it alone)

 

The Marauder is also a fine rifle, particularly at the price point; most rifles are going to take some tinkering with to optimize FT performance,  a Marauder may take a little more than some other guns; Crosman barrels can be fine, but there is some variation, Lothar Walther is probably worth it

 

Can't say on the Condor; it's a nice rifle, but like most AirForce guns, kind of set up for hunting; I'm not aware of anyone that shoots one in FT, but I'm sure there are a couple

 

Yes, a springer is hard to shoot accurately and repeatably over the course of 40-60 shots of a FT match; it is a good way to get started for a relatively low cost, minimal fuss FT rifle; generally speaking, you probably want an underlever as opposed to a break barrel

 

As with all shooting endeavors, you probably cannot spend too much money on optics; there are some peculiarities associated with good FT scopes that make some really fine, high dollar hunting scopes unsuitable (for one thing, ability to focus to 10 yards)

 

Much more to know and learn, but these answers should get you oriented a bit


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(@nhairgunner)
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thank you for the advice.  I will be attending the match Saturday at CAGC.


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Bill Day
(@bill-day)
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 236
 

Ron, My name is Bill and I live in the Southern part of Maine. E-mail me at dayjd@sacoriver.net and maybe we can get together and shoot or talk. I have my own FT course and having been playing the game since 2006. Be a pleasure to help you if I could.  


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