Your Thoughts on 3/8 Kill zones at the larger FT events?
Personally, I've always liked the small KZ's and have always entertained a couple at my local FT shoots. However, when you compete at a GP or National the small kills become obscure by lead about a third of the way thru the shoot. The idea behind FT has always been to give everyone a equal view of the KZ and I think the competitors that shoot them earlier in the competition get a "edge" as to exactly where it is verse those that shoot it later in the game. I don't believe the WFTF uses 3/8 KZ's and I'm thinking AFFTA might take a look at changing the smaller KZ limit especially at the bigger sanctioned events where they get shot at hundreds of times. This is only my opinion and would appreciate anyone that care to respond.
Honestly, while this is more controllable, I really don't see it any differently than the wind picking up or changing during a match. I don't worry about the difficulty of the course or the KZ's on individual targets unless I'm sitting there aiming at them, and that's one at a time. What I do HOPE course designers do is distribute the high / low difficulty targets somewhat equally between the front and back halves of the course to even out ALL these variables that occur over time with the normal staggered start.
Now, whether or not 3/8 is an appropriate KZ size in whatever situation is something else and honestly, for shortest targets I wouldn't mind seeing the occasional 1/4 inch target. They might be as big a 'separator' as the standing/kneeling lanes. 🙂
I'm not a fan of the small Kill Zones but its part of the game, my only comment on them is the small Kill Zone with a Black face plate in a dark area at 16X for me its difficult to pick it up. I would like to see light face plates with dark kill zones, this way after a few groups shoot it the kill zone should still stand out.
On a shot up target, a light pull on the target string will usually wiggle the face-plate enough to allow you to distinguish the paddle from the face-plate. Watch it through your scope when it wiggles. Remember that spot and shoot at it.
Or you could paint a cross hair on the face-plate. When the middle gets shot up, you still have a reference to the center.
Over a year ago, I switched out our Morro Bay kill zones to all 15mm, 25mm and 40mm. Good practice for WFTF. I plan on keeping those until after the 2021 WFTF World match. Then I may add some smaller ones back in. We still have 3/8" and even 1/4" when we shoot matches at John B's ranch in Cambria.
I think the 3/8" targets can make the match more interesting. Though the current AAFTA rules require that they be at 18.75yds or less. It used to be 22yds, so they have gotten easier.
I really like small kill zones, they leave very little wiggle room for error.
Being steady, having proper numbers etc are vital to those shots making them great separators.
At some of our local fun shoots we place a 1/4" taget at 10 or a little further and 3/8" anywhere from 18-28 yards. Why? Because you never know if a major match has a 3/8" at the legal limit and you need to hone your skills.
If you have three 3/8" targets staggered throughout a 14 lane course then everyone will get a chance to shoot at a target with fresh or minimaly damaged paint.
Painting the faceplates with a crosshair is quite smart, I really enjoyed it when Garrett and his team did that at his GP in Phoenix. He also paints the back of his faceplates with a chrome/ metallic silver and the light illuminating the killzone was very helpful.
If the target is well lit I don't have a problem seeing the KZ but if it is hid in the shadows it can be challenging. To me a 3/8" target is easier than a target of equal Troyer at 50+ yards because the wind factor goes away. I think that 3/8" KZ's at 15 yds or less should be common. I do not think 1/4" KZ's has any place in the game.
I really do not mind 3/8" zones out to 20 yards. I do use scopes that are 35X or higher, so seeing the zone is not a problem. At 16X, it would not be nears as easy to see.
The targets that really bother me are the ones with the reducer behind the face plate, especially if it is not centred in the full zone. Once shot up, more than a few hunters would be aiming for the centre of the zone, thinking the opening on the reducer will be there. Wrong! Very often they are off centre.
If I have my way up here in Canada, we will make it a rule that the reducer has to be on the front of the faceplate.
I agree it's a real disadvantage for Hunter class shooters when the face plate is so shot up and the kill zone color is long gone. It is all grey at some point... but Scott does offer a partial solution in some cases with the string pull/paddle wiggle thing. I've also seen at real large matches, like the 2012 Nationals we held in Grants Pass Or., where one Otten target with the rivet cup to hold the super paddle he builds, filled up with lead pellet fragments to such a degree that they made a pile that came through the face plate and mounted on top of that, until a cold line was finally called. I've also seen on target paddles that are NOT reinforced, all the shots in one spot will make a hole in the paddle... (Mostly Gamo and Remington, the "Rat on the Run" are good out of the box). None of these issues really apply when you start with 15mm at say 18 yards.. about the same troyer as 3/8 at 12ish and there is more wind to deal with.. right?
Like Scott we here in Ashland have changed two of our 52 target courses to WFTF standards, which means 15, 25,and 40mm not even close to 3/8 inch. But our average distance is far greater than when we used small Kill zones as "separators". Now our courses, like the worlds are more about ranging and the reading the wind. We kept one course with a few non WFTF targets and one 3/8 inch at 13 yds, out of 52 targets on that course.
so, bro, bottom line is I'm with ya... again:-)
My personal preference is to avoid anything less than 15mm.
After getting hit right below the eye with splatter from a 13 yd target, I'm no longer a fan of the close-in shots. I also see little use in proving that i can hold still, which is about all the small KZ tests.
As far as larger matches go, I'd like to see a format where problem targets get replaced straight off. Minimizing the number of KZ sizes makes for less backup targets that need to be held in reserve.
As far as AAFTA changing rules goes, I'm not sure I'd want to do that. If the ground available for a FT course requires a short course, that means smaller KZ's. I'd rather see more courses overall than less courses that conformed to exactly what I'd want.
I don't really care for small kill zones but they do add some diversity to a course. Not all targets should be 30 plus yards so smaller kzs work for close targets.. I prefer kill zones larger than 1/2" but we usually end up with at least one on our course. I personally believe that when you get down to kill zones under 1/2" the targets really become luck targets more than skill. Just my opinion.
Bill, I prefer the WFTF rules of using three KZ sizes( 15mm.25mm.40mm) & that is because I set up courses. To me it simplifies setting up a course. I also agree with Knobs about the short shots. I was standing right behind him when the pellet hit him under his eye. An issue that I see with the 3/8" a lot & even some 1/2" KZs is that they start peening over & reducing the opening after being shot so many times. They need to be checked & drilled out from time to time. THAGC does a WFTF style match in November & all I use are 1/2", 1", & 1 1/2" KZs. Course is easier to set up & still makes a challenging match. A side issue is that in AAFTA, we have so many different size KZs ( 3/8"-1 1/2" in 1/8" increments) if a club tries to have targets with all those sizes, it gets expensive. I know you can use reducers but personally, I hate reducers. I only use them if I absolutely have to .
I have seen major matches (Crossman c. 2010/11?) where ALL the KZ were full size. Certainly offered encouragement to the newer shooters trying FT out but the balance was that the majority of the targets were at greater distances so ranging and wind played strongly. As I recall, those courses were not cleared by anyone. Just mentioning how another MD sets the table.
I made a 1/4" reducer for one of our targets. We set it out at 20-25 yards just for the fun of it. I only set it up when we are just having an informal plinking session. I used to struggle more with the small KZ targets and that's why I made this one. It will go down with a slight split, so it plays a little larger than 1/4". Back when I could see and still shoot fairly well, I took it down 19 times in a row at 20 yards. It makes a great practice target.