All About FT


FT does not involve shooting any kind of animal, in fact all BFTA affiliated clubs ban the shooting of live quarry on their ranges and will suspend any member that ignores this rule.

Field Target

We're primarily a field target club and spend most of our Sunday mornings shooting metal targets.  It's a fairly technical sport that does require some fairly advanced equipment to fill the trophy shelf but it's something you can enjoy with fairly modest kit on club days.  We only shoot metal or paper targets, we don't shoot live quarry and anyone taking a pot shot at anything other than designated targets is likely to be banned from the club.

Origins of the sport

The exact origins of FT have been lost in time, but it is generally accepted that the first field target competition took place in the early 1980's in the South of England.  Rumour has it behind a pub.  The early competitors used a variety of rifles, usually with open sights or very basic telescopic sights to shoot small round paper targets that were stuck onto boards.  After each shot everyone would go and see if it was a hit or miss, the score would be recorded and the next target would be shot.  During this period Derek Peckover developed the resetting Nockover target which has become the standard ever since.  Over time rifle technology advanced and the availability of higher powered optics started to take over from the rifles used to control vermin and the sport became what it is today.  Although originating in the UK, FT has spread across the world and is found in the USA, Poland, Russia, South Africa and a number of other countries as well.  One of the issues with FT as an international sport is that local legislation for air rifles varies tremendously from country to country and although the format is common, the power of the rifles and the size of the targets are not.  It's because of this that it's remained a fairly low key national based sport (although each year there are European and World championships) and does not feature in high profile international competitions such as the Olympics.


How can I get started?

This section is intended to give you an insight into FT, the equipment and various types of shooting.  SBFTC has all the targets and general equipment that you'll need, we also have club rifles available for use.  Most of the members are very happy to allow you to try out their kit, so even if you don't have your own rifle you'll almost certainly get to shoot.  If you already have a rifle bring it along (so long as it's below 12ft/lb) and get a taste of FT but don't rush out and buy anything until you've been to a club.  Rifles are fickle things and you can end up spending a small fortune on something that's never going to give you the results you want. We don't sell rifles and we have no association with any manufacturers or retailers but we do have a number of massively experienced shooters that are happy to share their experience and help you find the right rifle.  Not everything we do is centred on FT and many of us shoot a variety of 'non FT' equipment so we have a really good view of equipment at all levels and can help you make an informed decision. 

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