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Education / Training B.B. visits a new field target club

B.B. visits a new field target club

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Before I begin, I want to remind you that there are two airgun shows this month. On April 12, there’s Flag City Toys That Shoot in Findlay, Ohio. I’ll have a table there, so please stop by and say hello if you can. For more information about this show, go to their website at flagcitytoysthatshoot.com.

On Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26, the Arkansas airgun show will be held in Malvern, which is near Little Rock. Email show organizer Seth Rowland for more info or to reserve a table. I’ll also be there and hopefully have a table, too. So, stop by and say hello. Remember, these airgun shows happen just once each year, so they’re worth driving the extra miles to see.

Last Saturday, I visited a brand new field target club that started here in Texas. The experience was interesting because I haven’t been to a match in years. Many things had changed!

The club was started by Craig Martin in the gated community where he lives. The Pecan Plantation Archery Club allowed him to use their range facilities on this day, and Craig set up 8 lanes.

I was surprised by the turnout. There were 30 shooters on this first day. I remember having less than 15 when we started the DIFTA club in Maryland almost 20 years ago. One of the shooters told me he drove down from Oklahoma just to attend the match, and I know others who drove several hundred miles from remote locations in Texas.

Blog reader David Enoch was there, competing with a .20-caliber USFT. The match was restricted to 20 foot-pounds or less, so some of the powerful PCPs had to be dialed back.

The day began informally, with the opportunity to check the zero of your gun. But when the match began at 10, I was surprised by several shooters who hadn’t yet sighted in their rifles.

checking zero
Shooters could check their zeros at this range before the match began.

Craig set the match up with a minimum of rules. He wanted all shooters to feel relaxed, so he awarded one point for hitting the animal faceplate and two points if you hit the kill zone and knocked it down.

He also squadded those shooters who identified themselves as beginners with a shooter who had some experience with airguns. Not everyone had shot field target before; but once you see a target fall, you get the idea pretty fast.

As I surveyed the crowd, I estimated the average age of the shooters at something north of 45 years. This is in line with what I’ve seen in other airgun sports. Younger people don’t usually want to shoot airguns when there are firearms around; but after a person has satisfied their curiosity, the ease of shooting an airgun becomes more evident.

sighting in
One of only a couple youngsters who attend the match sights in his breakbarrel. No, I didn’t tell him about the artillery hold.

One thing that surprised me was the different types of airguns being used by the shooters. Of course, that was due to this being a first-time event for many shooters; but I saw inexpensive spring rifles, air pistols and even one multi-pump pneumatic I’ll tell you about in a bit!

This shooter uses a Benjamin Marauder pistol with the shoulder stock.

Another thing I saw really floored me. Most of the shooters were resting their guns on shooting sticks, and they were sitting in chairs! I’m so ingrained in the old-school AAFTA (American Airgun Field Target Association) rules that the rifle may not be in contact with the ground that I was unprepared for this, but it appeared all the shooters were comfortable with it. I read the current rules and see that bipods (sticks) and seats are now a part of the hunter class. This is certainly an easier way to shoot, and I think it’ll appeal to many more shooters than before, when you had to shoot from an unsupported offhand position.

Before the match began, Craig gave all shooters his match director’s briefing. It covers the layout of the course, the rules of the match, assembling the shooters into squads and safety.

Since there were 8 lanes, he formed 8 squads from the 30 shooters. Some squads had 4 members while others had 3. Craig wanted all squads to have at least one experienced shooter to help the beginners. Of the 30 shooters, perhaps 12 had placed themselves in the beginner class.

Match director's briefing
Before the match starts, the director explains the rules to all participants.

Each lane had 3 targets — one close, one at the middle distance and one that was far. The shooters shot twice at each target, so that makes a match total of 48 shots. Hits on the faceplate scored 1 point and targets that fell scored 2 points.

Craig told me afterwards that there were things he forgot to mention in his briefing. I told him that’s par for the course. It takes a couple matches before you know what’s important and what’s not.

One thing he had that was a great idea was a barbecue for the registered shooters. It was part of their $10 match fee. The remainder of the money will go toward the purchase of new targets. That’s pretty much par for the course, as well. It’s how a club gets formed.

The site had excellent facilities, which is essential. At the DIFTA club we had facilities (restrooms), but they were located several hundred yards from where the shooters were. That was a major complaint I heard at every match.

shooter 1
This shooter is on the course engaging targets. The use of bipods (sticks) was widespread at this match.

shooter 2
This shooter chose to shoot from the prone position. That can make some of the kill zones hard to see depending on the terrain.

shooter 3
A few shooters used the traditional AAFTA seated position.

Ron Robinson drove all the way up from Dripping Springs, Texas, to support this new club. And he was the guy who shot the multi-pump pneumatic. It was a Sheridan Blue Streak with a rocker safety and a vintage scope. I told him the only other time I had ever seen a Blue Streak in a field target match was back at DIFTA, when airgunner Singson Tiu brought one out. I remember him grabbing the scope as he pumped the rifle and, after a loud chorus of “NO” from the gallery, he decided never again to shoot that rifle in a match.

Ron grabbed the stock at the pistol grip to pump it. He told me that after estimating the distance to the target he consulted a cheat sheet for the proper number of pumps. “That looks like a five-pump shot to me,” he said with a sly grin. And then he dropped the target — shooting offhand…unsupported! Okay, remind me to never get into a match against him!

Robinson 1
Laugh if you want, but Ron Robinson dropped this target.

But he also had sticks that he used for the longer shots. Through my binoculars, I watched him shoot a split on one target. When I told him about it, he adjusted his aim and dropped the target with the next shot.

Robinson 2
Robinson settled into the sticks for the far shots.

The day was beautiful and the event was a success. The main reason I decided to report on this match is because several of you have asked me how to find a club in your area. It may be field target you seek, or perhaps something else, like 10-meter target shooting. Whatever the case, now you’ve seen how it’s done. When you can’t find a club to shoot with, start one!

It takes land, permission, targets–but most of all, it takes people. Many of the shooters attending this match were not airgunners and many more had never seen a field target match. They simply came because they were interested. Craig Martin reached out to whomever he could to get this match (and club, we hope) started, and he found there was interest. Once the word got out, the people came. I seem to remember a similar line from a movie about something like that.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

115 thoughts on “B.B. visits a new field target club”

  1. Did anybody kneel one one (right) knee, kinda sitting on the foot, left knee up at 90*, forward hands elbow locked into the raised knee? When I go hunting I instinctively crouch down, lock the elbow into the knee and from there can engage targets up trees or any which way. Is there a name for this position? It works and is very fast to get into and steadily shoot from.

    • The fourth position is the “sitting”,, in it,, you put your elbows on each knee. Generally,, it is done with your legs crossed and heels pulled as close to your butt as you can get them. That makes them much steadier. When done this way,, I had to perch the rifle on the tips of my fingers to get a high enough line of site,, People who shoot 4P regularly, usually have a palm rest that extends a couple inches or more, below the barrel line and they use it in standing, too.

      • I have used this position and it is very effective, especially in situations provide for a back prop. I guess the military just didn’t want us sittin’ on our duff’s while we were supposed to be fighting!

        • Yeah I guess its effective, and natural which makes it so effective. After posting that I went to find what that position was called and learned its very intricately named “Kneeling”, lol. I found exactly that, an army training guide webpage that was showing this way of setting up and didn’t explain any other positions. I would love to start an airgun match/club, that was where the M.A.S.A. was supposed to be going but I don’t know. Ricka was the only other person in the worcester area and we haven’t kept in contact. There are a couple rod n gun clubs near me but haven’t checked them out… Slackin’!

  2. BB
    I really enjoyed this article. Its a nice change of pace from your tests in such. And I have never been to a field target match so this was a very interesting read.

    I have to say that me and my daughters tend to shoot and plink based on field target practices. The way we set up targets and make games when we plink. And when I shoot I usually sit on the ground with my legs crossed and I have my left knee kind of pointed at a 45 degree angle to the right and I use a bi-pod that I think came as a bonus with my 54 Air King that I rest the stock in. It is really a very stable natural position if you try it. Well that’s when I’m shooting around the house. If I go in the woods shooting I can’t count the different types of positions I have shot in.

    But one of the things that kind of caught my attention with this match that you just wrote about is that it seemed like it was a layed back relaxed day of shooting. And it was a nice idea to put a experienced shooter in each group. ( I will never forget the rushed atmosphere of the first Radio Controlled airplane race that I competed in. Pretty nerve racking actually.)

    And I just love seeing a person like Ron Robinson shoot. First off best that can be said that pump gun I will bet has been a true friend of his for a while. And there ain’t nothing like controlling your trajectory with your velocity. But I also have a feeling he is one of those people that can pickup any gun and shoot the heck out of it. Either way I bet he has some info stored away that would be amazing to hear.

    Anyway sounds like it was a fun time.

      • Whats up Reb.
        Yep the test and tune nights are definitely more layed back.

        We got a event that happen at least once a month and sometimes twice a month at the local dragstrip. Its called Midnight Madness. It starts about 9 pm and goes to about 3 am. Its a heads up run what you brung type of deal. And they usually have a band playing. Then they also have a small drift course set up. Pretty fun time.

        That’s usually the type of events I find myself participating in. Seems like the competition stuff tends to get heated at times if you know what I mean. That’s why I really enjoyed this topic BB did today. It looks like it was a enjoyable event to be at.

  3. BB
    This was a nice change of pace from your normal tests in such. I have always been interested in field target but never have shot a match. So this was a good read. I enjoyed it a lot.

    When me and my daughters shoot we usually shoot and plink kind of based on the field target principles. If I’m shooting at home I will sit on the ground with my legs crossed and my left knee pointed at about a 45 degree angle to the right ( I shoot right handed ). Then I set the gun in a bi-pod to the left of my left knee. Its actually a pretty stable position. But if I’m in the woods shooting I can’t count the different positions I have shot in.

    And it sounds like it was a layed back day of shooting and that was a good idea of putting a experienced shooter in each group. I will never forget my first Radio Controlled airplane race that I competed in. It was a very rushed atmosphere and was actually pretty nerve racking trying to find out when your up and were your supposed to be at then try to concentrate on the race your about to have. Same with the drag racing. I would rather go on a Test and Tune night then on a day of a actual event to race.

    So I would enjoy a field target event like this without a doubt.

    And I have to comment about Ron Robison. I don’t know him but I wish I would know him. I bet he just has all kinds of info stored away. And it sounds like he is one of those gifted people that can make something do what they want no matter what. I could watch him shoot all day.

    And I’m thinking that gun has been a good friend to him for awhile. And I think that’s great that he uses the velocity to control his point of impact. I was playing around doing that with my 1377 that has the .177 Discovery barrel and the 1399 stock with the See All Sight mounted on it. Its zeroed at 35 yards with 6 pumps. So I have been shooting groups at different amounts of pumps and learning were the pellet falls. Pretty exciting way to see how that affects the distance the gun shoots at for a given amount of pumps and the sighting distance. And the sight is working very well I might add in the 40 yards or closer range. I’m glad I found the right combination for the sight to work the best for it and me finally.

    But anyway it sounds like the event was a fun time.

    • See. I wish I knew why the post don’t show up sometimes. One was at 3:34 am then I waited to see if it posted. And it didn’t so I posted again at 4:22 am.

      Edith or Tom
      If I post from my phone then come home and post on my laptop. Does it not get recognized the same. Maybe throwing it into a different folder like as if its spam or something. I’m just throwing something out there not up on the computer terminology.

      Do you have a idea why that could happen? Just curious to know. Kind of gets frustrating when you take the time to writr something and it don’t show up then you post again and you still don’t see it. If it would of been earlier than it was I would of probably tried to submit a third time. And yes I did the math right. So just looking for a answer to the problem so maybe I can keep from double replying in the future. Maybe its me or the lap top or phone. But just kind of funny that it only happens every once in a great while.

        • Thanks Edith.
          And what is the ISP. Remember I said I was computer illiterate. And I don’t think I said anything wrong. They are both posted just like I wrote them. Oh well at least it don’t happen all the time.

          And I always go to the PA website to pull up the recent topics on their home page. I have the PA home page saved in my favorites on my lap top. Which is what I was using on the posts I made we are talking about. When I post from my phone I just click on the high lighted spot that is on the e-mail I get and it directs me to the topic. And I’m registered on my lap top so who knows. But thanks.

            • Edith
              Local cable company as always. And havent been on any other sites. And no unusual emails.

              One of my buddies that I grew up with works on / biulds computers as his biusness for a bunch of years is going to check some stuff out tonight. Will see whats up I suppose.

              • GF1,

                5 of your comments were caught by the spam filter last night. I’ve now included your email address in the list of people who shouldn’t be caught by the spam filter. As long as you sign in when you comment, you shouldn’t be caught in the spam filter (I hope).


                • Edith
                  Thanks for putting me on the list. And I brought my lap top to work last night and my buddy stopped by and checked it and my phone also.

                  Everything looked good but the phone was probably setting things off in the simple terms that he was using to tell me. Its my phone provider the way it receives the emails. So if I pull up the PA site through my email that I receive PA probably thinks its spam. If I pull up the PA site through the Internet on my phone things were good then. But if I do it through my phone email then go to the PA site on my lap top its still probably is associating my email address as spam when I make a reply.

                  So now I will not use my phone email to pull up the PA website I will go through the Internet connection. If that makes any sense to you Edith. And thanks again for the help.

      • You should do the registration. I also used to have numerous problems that appear to have disappeared once completed. Still gotta figure out the pic thing but in no hurry there.

  4. What I like is in none of your photos do I see a FT rifle although you did mention one guy had a USFT. You also mentioned that it was very relaxed. That is how something like that should be. When someone starts taking it serious, it quickly heads south. It should always be about having a good time.

    • RidgeRunner,
      I am the guy that used the USFT. I was going to use my S200 but I was having trouble with it. I had only gone to 2 Field Target events before this one so I am not an experienced Field Target shooter. My USFT Hunter is a 20 cal and was set up with more power but I was able to turn it down to below 20 fpe. I didn’t buy the gun to shoot Field Target. I bought it used at Malvern a couple years ago just because I liked the gun and thought it would be neat to have a real accurate rifle. I thought about using one of my springers since there would be a lot of new guys there but I decided that the new people might enjoy seeing a gun like the USFT. With the USFT I can more easily explain how a PCP works. The reservoir is obvious, it has an exposed hammer and valve stem. I had questions about the gun all day.

      And besides, I love shooting this gun. I love the exposed hammer and the swivel breech. I love opening the breech, loading a pellet, closing the breech, and then cocking that big hammer.

      David Enoch

  5. B.B.

    I wondered if you were going to just drop in at the Findlay show on your way up toward Cleveland, or if you were going set up for the day. Guess I got my answer.


      • B.B.

        I don’t know.
        I was there a few years ago just to see what they had. No intent to buy anything , just looking. Was pretty crowded. I was expecting a much bigger place for some reason.
        About an hour from here. Would have to consult my gps to find out. I am near Tiffin east of there.


          • RR

            Moral support ??? More like immoral support.

            I hate to make plans do anything, because something usually louses it up.

            On the other hand, I am still trying to get my car through the break in period . Need more miles before I can really put my foot into it.

            Might have to leave pretty fast when B.B. finds out who I am in person. If I catch him sitting down behind a table, I will have a bit of advantage at a fast getaway.


  6. “It takes land, permission, targets–but most of all, it takes people” BB, in the DFW area you have this backwards. The thing we have the most of is eager people. We have a list of over a hundred guys eager to shoot but without a place to shoot. Targets are easy. Land and permission are all but impossible to find.

    I really enjoyed the event. I was surprised and happy to see you there. The thing I liked best about this event was the easy laid back attitude of everyone there. There were people who strictly followed the rules for either open class or hunter class rules but a lot of they guys hadn’t even heard of Field Target or read any of the rules for the game. I think the modified rules with one point for face plate hits is a good idea. It lets everyone score some points. These new guys had a lot of fun. I think that a dozen or more of the new guys are going to be hooked. Craig has already scheduled next month’s event.

    David Enoch

    • David
      It looks like good times to me. And that was cool that BB did the write up on it. I wish that he would do more reports like this. I can see different guns everyday if I want. But I don’t get to see different events everyday. And it was a welcomed surprise to see a event about air guns. More than one way today’s topic was great.

  7. Very good read. I liked reading about Ron Robinson shooting that old pumper and dropping the target! I’ll bet his arms were in better shape than most of the younger shooters there! I could hit very well with my Benjamin (Crosmans & Daisys too for the matter) but after a while, I’ll get tired and start wiggling from all that pumping. Thanks again B.B.!

  8. I hope everyone there appreciates these beginning days of the club. The relaxed atmosphere and BBque, the variety of guns and shooters. I really remember the beginning days at DIFTA fondly. Once the serious competition and arms race starts and the kill zones shrink to pea size at 40 yds it gets difficult to bring new shooters in and the relaxed social atmosphere starts to disappear.

  9. We have plenty of land for a club, targets, and the interest.How do you allow for liability for a club, as in insurance? Or do you have too? Remember not all of us are located in gun friendly Texas.

  10. Why was I not informed of this event? JK, I tried to Google it but this is all the info I could find about it. is there any list of events that could be referenced? Where was it held? I am working on getting my foot in the door at a local indoor archery range here in Brownwood, for this purpose. I also have a friend that lives on about 20 acres, I have hunted there. It would take a little work but I’d be willing to do everything I can to get a club started in the Brown Co. area.
    If anyone lives close enough gimme a call 325 643 2181.


    • Reb,
      I will try to call you later. If you, or anyone else who would like to attend next time have an e-mail address I can add you to our mailing list. We sent the invite out to the North Texas Airgun Militia mailing list plus the Yegua Field Target list. Craig, the person behind the event, invited the people in the community. The next scheduled event is May 10th at 9:00 AM at Pecan Plantation. You have to get on a list for the guard to let you into the community.

      David Enoch

  11. Looks like the beginnings of a fun club. Also looking forward to meeting Tom and anyone else at the Findlay show. Would it be too corny to ask Tom to sign my blue book of airguns? Hope everyone’s well….

  12. Well, Ya’ll wish me luck! Goin’ into the 392. I got some Crosman pointed 14.3 to try out, the 1st group looked promising 3/4″ @ 10m, when I started pumping for the 2nd group I felt heat building up in the pump tube, I had left my Secret Sauce inside and when I had retrieved it the 2 pumps I had in the gun were gone. It’s now leaking through the exhaust valve. I’m guessing a little piece of rubber’s caught up in there.
    Yeah, Two Talon, I got the riot gear on so let em fly!
    I think Tim sells a machined valve half and his steroid exhaust valve but can’t find it on his site so I’ll call him in a couple of hours, it’s probably about dawn there now.

    • Update; Found the exhaust seal had pulled outta it’s cup in the stem, got it back in and everything else looks good, gonna do some light deburring and polishing before reassembly.

      • Well, got ‘er flingin’ ’em again. It’s a good thing it only pulled out 1/4 of the way around! I talked to Tim, he won’t sell me a steriod valve so I’m gonna get a Crosman valve, to play with while I’m shooting this other one. 1rst shot went high opening the group but 3 grouped under 1/2″@ 10m, Dead in the bull! Next is 5 5shot groups.


      • Forgot to add, I got the brass valve! I will eventually be trimming back the check valve to open more air volume, trimming back exh. return spring and adding the ole washer/lightweight check valve spring. We’ll see how the Grackles like this setup!

  13. B.B.,

    I loved reading this report so much, it almost brought tears of joy to my eyes.

    You’ve brought up the issue of the invisible airgunner, and like many of us I choose to be invisible because of the reaction non-airgunners often have to the hobby. But I also often choose to be invisible even among other airgunners. I have never sought out a competitive shooting group in my area because even though I’ve been at this for a while now, I have been confident I would be made to feel unwelcome by the seriousness, competitiveness, and impatience of experienced shooters/competitors once they saw my degree of ineptitude.

    Too many people get so serious about competing that they lose track of two exceptionally important things, one of which is that it is supposed to be about having FUN.

    The second is that it is so easy to create an atmosphere at any event in any hobby/interest that is intimidating to newcomers and novices. If newbies are made to feel uncomfortable to even be there, let alone ask questions and make mistakes, why should young people get involved?

    I am not young, and I’m hardly a newbie, but I am a complete novice when it comes to competitive airgunning of any kind. It has never, ever seriously crossed my mind to go to, let alone register for, one of these events because I feel I would not belong and be made to feel welcome once my degree of ineptitude and inexperience revealed itself.

    But here I see folks with all different powerplants, guns and optics that cost less than a thousand dollars, and various holds, and it looks FUN. Unlike other photo sets of competitive shooting vents, this looks like fun was actually the intent. Every other series of photos I’ve seen of competitive air gun competitions have turned me off. Everybody looks so serious and intimidating and unwelcoming.

    THIS gathering, on the other hand, would make me want to dip my toes in. Unfortunately, I doubt that such an informal, laid-back, inviting thing like this ever happens in my neck of the woods. But I still have my basement range, where nobody ever rolls their eyes at me or snicker my awkwardness!

    Thank you so much for bringing us this report. I’ve already read it three times. It is great to know that such events exist.


    • Michael,

      I think and feel much the same way about competitive air gun matches. I’ve only been shooting air guns for about two years and am still very much inexperienced and low skilled. If I were to participate in a field target match, I would want to do it strictly for the pleasure of the experience rather than out of any serious attempt to win. Like you I am presently happy with my basement shooting range where I don’t have to be concerned about shooting to make an impression on someone else. At one time I did see a forum page for a St. Louis Air Gun Club that was involved in field target, but I also read somewhere that they disbanded within the last few years. If you don’t mind my asking, where is your “neck of the woods”? You wouldn’t happen to be in the St Louis, MO area would you?

      • Charles,

        No, I’m in the far, far west suburbs of Chicago, and as far as I know there is nothing nearby or even within 150 miles round trip. And those in rural America should remind themselves that 10 miles of suburban driving is about the equivalent of 40 miles of driving in, say, rural Texas or even rural Missouri (where I went to school and know well). 150 miles is about five to six hours of driving where I live and work.

        Field target is a phrase, well, I teach at a school with hundreds of employees and thousands of students, and I’ll bet I’m the only one of all of ’em who knows the terms “Field Target,” “Ten-Meter Olympic Air Rifle,” and “10-meter Olympic Air Pistol.” That might give you an idea.

        Even paintball can’t survive around here. A place will open up somewhere and will inevitably close up six months later.

        4500 HPA fills? MAYBE at one or perhaps two locations in all of the metro Chicago area, but they are club-operated dive shops with irregular hours or hours by appointment. And if you wanted to fill 80 cubic feet at 4500 psi, they’d probably say, “No one on earth has a need for 80 cubic feet of 4500 psi air; you’re crazy.” “I have a pre-charged pneumatic air rifle.” “Oh, (chuckles). You’ll shoot yer eye out, kid!”

        I’m not a powder-burner, but there are three indoor handgun ranges, each 20 miles of suburbia away from me and one summer-only outdoor rifle range 45 miles west of me.


        • I’ve had no problems getting a 4500 psi fill from this place. By the way, I completely sympathize with how hard it is to find anywhere to shoot in Chicago land (there are no options).
          DJ’s Scuba Locker, Inc., 9301 Ogden Ave, Brookfield, IL 60513

    • Two reasons,,, the first is disposable income,, when you are older and your kids are gone,, you find you have more money,, and more time on your hands,, .. And the more time on your hands means you have the time to do the organization and set up required. When you are younger,, all your money and time are tied up in your kids,,, as it should be.

      Even when you look at the “junior” leagues,, it is usually the “older” set that keeps the thing going. And I’m not talking about the parents,, because 98% of them will never be back once their own kids lose interest.

    • Thanks for the reply guys. You guys made it sound like, having kids takes up all your spare time and money. If that is the case, why even have kids? What does one get in return for raising kids??? Unlike pigs and cattles, you can sell when it gets big enough, for a profit.

        • Les,
          Live must be good to you. Too bad everybody don’t feel the same way as you do. I know many that struggle to make ends meet working 2 jobs. Come to think of it, I think maybe I should have a kid, watch him/her grow up, and enjoy seeing him/her struggle in life.

          • Joe,

            Struggling to raise children is just a part of the human condition. Life is good to me now in retirement, but it was an uphill fight for many years. I’m sure it is that way for almost everyone in this country.

            We try to help our children whenever we can (and they for us). Do my children struggle to raise their children? Of course. That is normal for middle-class people.

            I have three daughters with their own families. Life is not easy for any of them. Would they give up their children for an easier life? No way.

            I also have a son. He does dangerous work in SE Asia. I probably will never see him again. He has chosen to follow his own path. Life for him is hard and a real struggle. But he is doing what is important to him.

            Three of my grandchildren live in the same town I do. I like to take them shooting, and have done in a lot of it with them in the past few years.

            It is not enjoyable to watch your children struggle through life, even if you had to do so yourself. But it does help them to mature and appreciate what they do have.


      • Joe
        Im in my early 50’s right now and I have two teenage daughters. I have shot in one form or another with different types of guns since I was about 6 years old.

        But I have done I would say more shooting in the last 8 years since they started shooting when the oldest started shooting at 7years old. So my kids actually got me more involved in shooting airguns than I ever have been. They ask me when are we going to shoot. So thats been kind of nice.

  14. Yikes, at least tell the kid not to rest the barrel of his springer on the support. Shooting sticks look like a significant aid, but someone said that they actually take a lot of skill. Never tried them myself.

    I take it that nobody announced that one of the foremost authorities in airgunning was walking among the crowd. Here’s further proof that you just never know who you might be dealing with in any environment…


    • Im surprised at the sticks too, its not easier in my opinion. I think gripping the stick and floating the forend in your hand is the only way I use any kind of rest, even a bag my hands gonna be under the forend in a floating hold. I would call myself proficient in marksmanship, I’ve shot one thing or another most days of the last 20 years, and Im 27 this year. Its always been a part of my life, I loved it since day one, but I will always be open to learning new ways to shoot more efficiently. If it works for you then it can’t be said to not work.

      • RDNA
        Im not crazy about the shooting sticks.

        But I do like the adjustable bi pods. But not the type that attaches to the gun. I like the kind that you rest the gun in. They work pretty good for me.

        • There’s a local army supply shop that has a picattiney vertical foregrip that you push a button and the the bi-pod legs shoot out, so cool, but couldn’t spend the $60 the guy wanted for it. He says its military issue. Probably worth it but don’t like hard resting and only got breakbarrels so mounting would be a chore but man is it cool. CLACK!! Those things jump out. Its like a 5″ handle and 4″ legs, compact and solid. Be sweet on a pcp blackgun.

          • RDNA
            I got a nice flip out bi pod that came with the sniper aitsoft gun that I have. I gave it to a guy at work a while back. I just dont like something attached to the gun.

            • You got something there, frivolities I think they’re called. Keep it simple, that push button bipod snaps so fast and loud you wouldn’t find a place to rest it before critters’d be gone. Man even a scope used to be an extra, now there’s no way to get irons on em! Danged evolution….

              • RDNA
                One of my favorite sayings is.

                Simple But Effective.

                I have used that thought process for a long time. In a lot of things I do. It seems the more you add to something the more you have to worry about.

        • Gunfun 1,When I made my custom stocks for my airguns,I have designed at the end of the forearms of each rifle a special type of hook design to accommodate shooting sticks.This is so the airgun can rest on the sticks without ever falling off when I’m waiting for the squirrel to volunteer for the frying pan.One Airforce rifle has a rattlesnakes head and neck that I carved that sets over my shoulder and a walnut and white oak shooting stick holder so my hands are free until I need to make the shot.I never take a shot while hunting without these sticks.Why,because I can’t hit free handed.Never could, never will be able to like some of my family and friends.But with the sticks,critters fear me.

          • steve
            Maybe thats been my problem with the store baught stick I tried. Its not fitting the gun right.

            But usally when Im shooting in the woods I prop against a tree or something. And if I shoot at home I shoot sitting on a picnic table with a rest that I made from some 2x4s. Then sometimes I use the bi pods that have that rubber piece in the middle and you cross the legs and set the gun in.

            And it sounds like you got a nice setup on your guns and shooting sticks. I should give that a try and make me a shooting stick

  15. I am new to the blog so I have 2 comments.
    1- You got me good yesterday.
    2 This is a great post. I liked the fact that it appears that the rules were relaxed and the shooters were using everyday guns. I am just getting into this sport and would love to find a relaxed club like this one in Illinois. Maybe I’ll have to take your advise and find some shooters and start one.

    • rongol,

      Welcome to the blog!

      You along with others who like the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of a casual shoot have sent a big wakeup call to all the field target match directors.

      People want to shoot field target & want to go to the clubs, but they’re intimidated by what they perceive as strict formality that sucks all the fun out of gathering with like-minded people and enjoying a day of shooting. It’s supposed to be fun!


  16. Do the field target rules include an open class that would allow .22 caliber CO2 powered repeater rifles? I have a .22 caliber Hammerli 840 Air Magnum rifle I might want to try in field target.

  17. There is a “World Federation” and they have a set of rules. I found it by googling field target rules.

    They have a 12fp limit, but don’t limit repeaters. PCPs are okay,, but, unless multi pumpers are considered PCPs,, they don’t seem to be mentioned.

    I always like to know the rules,, even when I don’t plan to abide by them.

  18. Hello, all,

    Missed the blog yesterday…good to see you at the shoot, Tom! Craig is an enthusiastic shooter, his father and son both shot (and did well) with vintage rifles. Craig had never shot a FT match (much less organized one), but he would have been competitive anywhere. I was squadded with Craig, and his enjoyment of that day was obvious.

    Ron Robinson is the usual director at the Yegua FT club in Somerville, TX. Several of us have been driving 3 hrs from the DFW area to shoot there. The level of competition at Yegua is world class, but the members are very friendly and open. Ron has authored two (?) books about airguns. He is a canny shooter, but generous with advice. His sense of humor and good nature make the Yegua events fun.

    Bob Dye and Paul Bracaglia are working to begin a new FT club in Dallas. This new club is called Dallas Lone Stars FT Club http://www.onlinefieldtarget.com The first match will be at Elm Fork Rifle and Pistol Club, on their archery range – Sat June 12 at 10 AM. I feel sure Craig and a few of the Yegua members will be there, and it will be friendly to novices. You must have some rules, but there is plenty of room for fun, friendly ribbing, and support for those of us who don’t quite have the details nailed down.

    I find FT shooting somewhat frustrating at times, but like a round of golf, you remember cleaning that lane and knocking down that target up in the tree the other guys missed. It adds a challenge to airguns that requires some effort. On the other hand, you see novices get out there and do pretty well on the very first try, so it is not THAT serious.

      • 1. The Website is a prototype. We don’t even have a url nailed down yet. All is subject to change.
        2. The match fees are not set. Elm Fork R&P club initially wanted $20 per shooter, and a guaranteed minimum of 30 shooters. We are still negotiating the facility access fee.
        3. If it turns out to be $20 ($10 for Elm Fork and $10 for the club), it will be the same match fee as at the only other longterm club in Texas, Yegua, in Somerville. They use 100% of their match fees for expenses and improvements. We will be able to recoup only half of that.
        4. Wanna shoot for less, then find us another venue that doesn’t want to charge a day pass access fee.

        • Here in San Francisco Bay area, we shoot at the Diabolo gun club, $7 match fee if you are a member. Annual membership fee is $25/year. I starting to see the light now, because when people tell me how expensive living in California is, I just laugh.
          I once knew a guy that runs a monthly Silhouette match in Southern California, $15 match fee, and he always drive back home after the match with at least $200 in his pocket (net profit), and is all his. I guess some of these Pro-gunners or so called “do good-ers” are just looking out for themselves.

          • I used to (when I got around to it) shoot at the Los Altos range, up on Skyline…

            Something like $15 for a whole day, move around to any station (pistol, rifle, paper target, tin can).

            Imagine my shock at finding the ranges near Grand Rapids are getting $10-20 per HOUR.

      • You found us out. We are going to be rich, and then take all the money to that gun friendly and inexpensive California and buy some land. Now THERE is a laugh, Joe.

        Now, your gun club membership annual renewal is $25..but $50 to join. And we propose to charge a match fee $20 vs. your $14 without membership. This is intended (and needed) to help buy more targets (supplementing those we bought from our own pocket) and to cover the $10 per person charge from the Elm Fork people for the use of their archery range. They are paying a person to come in on Saturday to provide oversight. This is not at all a permanent arrangement, only a trial.

        We might be able to do it for less if we had membership fees coming in. At this stage, we are simply trying to get off the ground.

  19. I went to the Demascus field target shoot. And I had a really great time. The weather at least for me was perfect. The guys welcomed me and let me try out there guns. I also had the opportunity to talk with the shooters and see som amazing shots. I am looking forward to the next one.

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