Target Rifle & ‘F’ Class
There are two main disciplines for shooting fullbore target rifles, Target Rifle (aka TR) and ‘F’ Class. As members of SPRPC you have already shot TR & ‘F’ class, probably without knowing the historic details. Target Rifle (aka TR) is one of the older disciplines in the world of shooting sports, evolving out of the Service Rifle discipline which used the Lee Enfield No. 4 chambered in .303”. Nowadays any calibre can be used but .308” (7.62mm) is the most popular, and certain matches held at Bisley require that calibre. Distances are typically 600-1000m from the prone position.
Here’s the kicker, no telescopic sights are allowed in Target Rifle… we’re talking old school Iron Sights, well the modern equivalent of these called Diopter Sights. Other restrictions apply. This is where the distinction between TR and ‘F’ Class comes in, what is allowed and not allowed.
‘F’ class was invented by George Farquharson of Canada, that’s where the ‘F’ comes from. Getting on in age, with his eyesight not as good as it used to be, he slapped a telescopic scope on his target rifle and rested it on a sand bag. The rest, as they say, is history.
You may think that a .308” (7.62mm) round isn’t much good for precision target shooting at more than 600m or so. As a rule of thumb you’d be correct, but in the hands of a good shooter who can read the wind and combined with competition grade equipment you’ll be amazed at the results.
- Any calibre, but some matches dictate the use of .308 (7.62mm).
- Prone unsupported position
- Iron sights only (although they are adjustable and very modern)
- Slings are allowed.Special shooting jackets are allowed
- Any calibre, subject to range restrictions (so .50” calibre isn’t technically an issue)
- Prone position (sometimes bench rested is allowed)
- Artificially supported (bipods, bags etc)
- Telescopic sights
What do they have in common?
Targets and scoring are common between the two. The physical size of the target and the scoring zones are adjusted for distance, getting larger as you get further away. Generally speaking, you can shoot two sighting shots and then ten shots to count for score. Sometimes called a 2+10. Therefore the highest possible score is 50 points.
Variations of this abound, but if you ever shoot it you’ll be told what the format is in the briefing.
Due to the high standard of shooting it wasn’t unusual to have multiple shooters with perfect ‘50’ scores. Therefore the ‘5’ zone was split and the centre is called the “V Bull”. It’s still worth 5 but we can now differentiate between two shooters both with 50 but by counting the number of V Bulls.
Where can I do ‘F’ Class shooting and what do I need?
You’re already doing it, well the entry level version of it.
Remember F Class is the unrestricted version of Target Rifle, so if you don’t have your own yet use one of the clubs Howa 1500 (available in .223” (5.56mm) and .308” (7.62mm) with telescopic sights and bipods).