SWEFTA Field Target Rules


Field Target Class – 2018-19 season
(Regional Rules & Guidance Notes)

Rule 1    Airguns
Rule 2    Sights
Rule 3    Ammunition
Rule 4    Classes
Rule 5    Entry Times
Rule 6    Range Officers & Chief Marshal
Rule 7    Targets
Rule 8    Course of Fire
Rule 9    Marshalling & Pairs
Rule 10  Scoring
Rule 11  Shooting
Rule 12  Timing
Rule 13  Penalties
Rule 14  Leaving the Firing Line
Rule 15  Range Conduct
Rule 16  Insurance & Rules
Rule 17  Intoxicating Substances
Appendix 1: BFTA Main Shoot Rules (7 Course of Fire)

If the FT course includes firing points and / or targets that are also used by the HFT course, and the shooter intends to shoot both FT and HFT, then the HFT course must be shot first.

Competitors may use any air rifle that abides by the relevant categories as defined within the current legislation. It is the responsibility of the individual person in possession at the time to ensure that their rifle complies with all statutory limits.

There will be no limitation on the design of the rifle. The rifle may be fitted with a fully adjustable stock or incorporate such home-made or other after-market modifications as deemed suitable by its owner. A single rifle sling, separate or otherwise, and/or a butt hook are permitted as a means of steadying the aim.

The use of bipods (or other devices that touch the ground) for supporting the rifle while taking a shot is not allowed, however they may be used for resting the rifle (with the muzzle facing in a safe direction) when not in use.

Where multi-shot magazine fed rifles are used, the magazine must be removed from the rifle between lanes. Rifles that are fitted with non-detachable magazines should only be loaded with sufficient pellets to complete a lane. Failure to comply with this rule will result in disqualification.

Any form of sighting system may be used.

The use of a laser attached to a telescopic sight is not permitted.

Any design of pellet that is completely made of lead or lead alloy may be used.

Pellets made from other materials excluding steel may be used provided that there is no risk from rebounds, ricochets or fragments returning to the firing line. Due to the high risk from rebounds and ricochets steel ammunition must not be used.

SWEFTA operates three classes in FT, the GRADED class, the PISTON class, and the OPEN class. Newcomers to FT competitions must be cleared by an official of their SWEFTA club before they can take part in a competition.

The graded class is divided into four grades, AA, A, B and C.  Existing shooters are placed in a grade at the start of the season, by the scores and grading secretary. Grading rules are detailed in a separate grading document. Shooters may elect to shoot in a higher grade, if they do, they will remain in that grade until the end of the season.

Scores from the graded class will be eligible for the club championship table. In the graded class, all standing and kneeling targets must be taken in the specified position.

This class includes all piston operated air rifles, including sliding action, and contra piston systems. There are no grades in the piston class. Scores from the piston class will be eligible for the club championship table. In the piston class, all standing and kneeling targets must be taken in the specified position.

This class includes all air rifles, PCP and piston based. There are no grades in the open class. Scores from the open class will be eligible for the club championship table. In the open class, there are no compulsory standing or kneeling targets and all targets can be taken in any of the defined legal positions: prone, seated, kneeling and standing. No other positions are permitted.

Shooters can enter more than one class at one event, but competitors who enter the graded and piston classes can have their score allowed for grading and team positions for one class only; this must be nominated when booking in, and shot first. Competitors who enter the open class and another class must shoot the open class second. Only their first score will be valid for grading and team positions. The second-round score counts for the day only.

No league shoots shall commence before 09.00am. It is intended that shoots will run on a shotgun start basis, with pairs commencing at each lane simultaneously. Late arrivals will be fed in as circumstances permit. Priority will be given to those pairs already on the course.

Last entry into any competition will be accepted at 12.00 noon. Scorecards must be submitted back to the organisers by 3.30pm to be considered valid for the day’s competition. Any cards submitted after that time will be void.

Event organisers (clubs or region) are expected to and will provide Range Officers (ROs) & a Chief Marshal (CM) to ensure safe and efficient running of the event. The ROs should be clearly identifiable by the use of armbands or high-visibility vests.

In the event of target related problems or any other down range problem the ROs will signal a cease-fire by a single blast on a whistle, horn or similar audible device. Any ROs may request assistance from any person on the firing line to ensure rapid clearance of any problem encountered. When the problem has been rectified, the firing line will be reactivated by a double blast of a whistle or other audible device.

ROs shall ensure that rules are observed and the CM shall have absolute discretion in attending to any matter not specifically encompassed by these rules (or the guidance notes).

Reactive targets shall be used. In this context the term reactive means that following a successful hit the target will give some visible indication, whereby a change in target profile, movement of the target or fall of the target occurs. The trip plate shall be of a contrasting colour to the faceplate (course builders should allow for shooters affected by colour blindness or other visual impairment). Target kill zones must be circular, clear and unobstructed.

The faceplate will be of a highly contrasting colour to the trip plate, preferably white or yellow. If the target is in a dark location the faceplate shall be light and the kill-zone dark.

Standard apertures shall not be less than 1½ inches (38mm) nor exceed 1¾ inches (45 mm) in diameter. The minimum distance for any target (for safety reasons) shall be 10 yards (9.1 metres). The maximum target distance shall be 55 yards (50.3 metres).

The course may also contain targets with reduced diameter apertures, provided that the total number of such targets does not exceed 40% of the total number of targets in the course with the following limitations:

  1. Apertures of not less than 1 inch (25.4mm) may be used on freestyle targets to a maximum distance of 45 yards (41.1 metres).
  2. Apertures of not less than 1/2 inch (12.7 mm) may be used on freestyle targets to a maximum distance of 25 yards (22.9 metres).
  3. Apertures of 1 inch (25.4mm) may be used on positional targets to a maximum distance of 20 yards (18.3 metres).
  4. No reduced apertures are permitted on any targets over 45 yards in distance.
  5. Apertures smaller than ½ inch (12.7mm) are prohibited.
  6. The number of ½ inch apertures shall be less than the number of 1inch apertures.

Course designers should bear in mind prevalent conditions when using small aperture targets. A maximum of 40% of reduced targets, should allow effective use of most areas of land where the number of distant targets is restricted due to lack of space, while allowing good usage of close terrain without making courses too easy or placing too much emphasis on the need for high price range finding scopes.

Kneeling and standing lanes are to comply with Article 7 of the BFTA Main Shoot Rules. (See Appendix 1).

A full course of fire shall consist of not less than 25 targets. A full course of fire must be completed for a score to be deemed valid excepting any circumstance under Rule 14 (Leaving the firing line).

All shots must be taken from within a designated firing area.

All targets shall be clearly numbered in sequential order and must be shot in numerical order.

In the case of lanes comprising mixed freestyle and positionals the shooter may elect to take the positionals last, but must inform his marker beforehand.

In the event of a target being shot out of sequence, the competitor shall forfeit the omitted target, being credited with a ‘miss’ and resume shooting at the target immediately following it.

Out of sequence shots involving targets on another lane require the above procedure to be followed. In this case the target shot out of sequence shall be shot as normal upon reaching that lane.

Shots taken at any one lane should not exceed the total number of targets in that lane with the following exception of un-sighted shots taken with the knowledge of a partner, RO or CM.

The use of any electronic device, including phones, tablets, laptops or other similar device to run ballistic, windage, elevation, range finding or other related applications or programmes is not permitted.

The normal marshalling system shall be the “buddy” type where partners score each other. Normally this will be based on pairs, however should circumstances dictate, groups of three can be allowed.

Competitors are expected to find different partners from match to match. Partners shall be from different clubs. An exception will be allowed where a junior is partnered with a parent or guardian to fulfil the legal requirement of supervision by an appropriate person of over 21 years of age. Supervision of shooters who are under 18 years of age will be in accordance with current legal requirements (a shooting partner in competition does not necessarily constitute supervision of a shooter under 14 years of age) see Rule 2.1.1 of the Shooting and Grading Rules.

Exceptions to the above must be cleared by the CM.

The same pairs must not shoot together more than twice in a season. If pairs choose to shoot together more than twice both will be awarded a score of 0 for that competition and each repeat occurrence during that season.

Shooters who do not have a pre-arranged partner for the event should be willing for the Competition Secretary or the stats office on the day to allocate a partner.

Scoring shall be on the basis of:

  1. 1 point for a hit where the faceplate falls and requires resetting.
  2. 0 points for a miss where the target does not fall.

Hits shall be marked on the scorecard with an X and misses marked with a 0.

Any challenge to the above must be made prior to leaving the target. Any dispute not resolved at that time shall be referred to the RO or CM whose decision shall be final.

Any target found to be defective shall be repaired / replaced and re-shot. However, if upon examination, the trip plate has moved to a point where it has to be reset, the target shall be scored as a hit.

In the event of tied scores, the use of designated eliminator targets shall decide the final placings.

It is compulsory to hand in scorecards, regardless of whether the full course of fire has been completed or not. The only exceptions to this are if for medical reasons, the competitor is no longer able to continue; or if it is no longer possible for a competitor’s rifle to be discharged due to mechanical breakdown. Shooters not handing in their cards will receive no score.

Cards when handed in must be marked in ink, not pencil. Any mistakes, such as marking the wrong target or the wrong card, shall be corrected in such a way that the original mistake is still clear to be seen, but leaving no doubt as to the correct marking. Alterations should be witnessed by a third party signing adjacent to the correction.

Defaced cards, or cards that prevent proper audit of corrections will be treated as not handed in and credited with no score.

The use of a seat (bean bag) is allowed; the maximum height for any form of seating is 4 inches (100 mm), including any backrest. The seat may be used as an aid to sitting or kneeling shots. Bean bags cannot be used to gain extra support for shooter or rifle. Variations on this rule may be applied to at the discretion of the event organiser in recognition of a competitor’s disability, providing that no unfair advantage is gained.

Any type of clothing, glove, or footwear is allowed provided it is not a hazard to the shooter or other competitors.

Lasers or electronic range finding devices are not allowed to be used.

Definitions of shooting positions:

Freestyle: This can encompass the sitting and prone positions. No part of the rifle or any attachment may touch the ground or artificial / natural features for support. In the prone position the supporting arm forward of the elbow may not touch the ground or any object for support. Use of a sling is acceptable.

Kneeling: There shall be only 3 points of contact with the ground (2 feet and 1 knee). The fore-end of the rifle must be supported by the weak hand, and that wrist must be unsupported and take the weight directly. A legal seat may be used to support the rear foot or ankle, or to keep the knee clean provided that the foot has contact with the ground.

Definitions of shooting positions continued:

Standing: Any shot taken in a standing position without the aid of any support other than a sling if the competitor wishes to use one.

In all cases, competitors:

  1. shall not gain extra support by resting their feet against any post, tree or similar adjacent object or structure on or around the course. Equally, the competitors back must not rest against any support that is not part of the competitors’ seat (bean bag, sit mat).
  2. shall not use a bag in the prone position for resting rifle or the forearm.
  3. shall make it known to the event organiser or CM prior to shooting if they are unable, for whatever reason, to comply with a particular shooting position and obtain permission to use an alternative position provided no unfair advantage is gained.
  4. i) adopting the same rules as the BFTA, the disabled positions for standing & kneeling shots are no longer applicable; competitors should now shoot in the Open class.
  5. ii) adopting other marshals shall be made aware of any special arrangements with a competitor.

There are no formal timing devices provided in SWEFTA competition as no one is routinely timed, however, 3 minutes is deemed as a reasonable amount of time from addressing the Firing Line for a lane with two targets. A further minute would be added for each additional target in that lane.

If any competitor believes someone is delaying the shoot by repeatedly taking too much time, they should in the first instance time them with a personal device. If they are found to be taking more than 3 minutes, they should be politely reminded of rule 12. Alternatively, or if no personal device is available or they persist, a RO or the CM may be approached who may remind the competitor and time them in a subsequent lane if they believe it appropriate.

Only during an officially timed lane by a RO or the CM may any target not taken within the time be recorded as a 0.

The penalty for un-safe practice or any form of cheating is disqualification, with the club or regional association reserving the right to take further action.

The competitors may leave the firing line under the following conditions:

  1. Voluntary abandonment of the shoot, in which case their score to that point will be presented as a valid result.
  2. To affect a repair to equipment which has been rendered unsafe or incapable of firing a shot by whatever means. This does not include zero shift of optical equipment or poorly zeroed systems, an exception to this being should a rifle take a fall or severe knock on the firing line (e.g. by failure of sling or similar). The CM or RO can allow a competitor to replace the faulty part or equipment, but no visit to the zeroing range is allowed, unless permission is given by the CM or RO.
  3. Any other occurrence, which is deemed valid by the CM or RO (e.g. extreme weather conditions that may cause a safety hazard).

Competitors must be aware of muzzle sweep. The muzzle/barrel must be kept pointing down to the ground at all times; this includes moving in and out of the Firing Line.

Guns will only be sighted, shouldered or discharged on a recognised Firing Line.

Guns will always be kept unloaded and un-cocked when not in use.

In the event of a ‘cease-fire’ order; guns will be discharged into the ground a minimum of 10 yards forward of the Firing Line, the muzzles dropped and actions left in the open position.

Targets must not be sighted during a cease-fire.

The host club shall display a current and valid Certificate of Insurance and also a current copy of the regional rules.

The possession and/or consumption of any intoxicating substance (alcohol or illegal drugs) on the Firing Line is strictly prohibited. If the organiser, RO or CM discover that any competitor is believed to have consumed and/or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, will be asked to leave the Firing Line/club premises.

The club and/or region reserve the right to pursue further action following any such misconduct.

Appendix 1:

BFTA Main Shoot Rules

All positional lanes must be situated on as flat an area as possible. i.e. the shooting area between the lane pegs must be as flat as is reasonably possible on the course.

All targets should be clearly visible down to a height of 21cm measured at the centre of the gate on firing line.

The total number of targets designated as standing and/or kneeling must not exceed 20% of the total of targets on that particular course and these positional targets should be divided as equally as possible.

For example:
On a 30-target course (4 standing and 2 kneeling targets or 2 standing and 4 kneeling targets)
On a 40-target course (4 standing and 4 kneeling targets)
On a 50-target course (6 standing and 4 kneeling targets or 4 standing and 6 kneeling targets)

No enforced positional shots shall be set beyond a distance of 45yds.