Northern Ireland Field Target Association
What is field target?
Field target shooting first became popular in the early 1980’s. It is a discipline of shooting targets outdoors in woodland or open fields, as opposed to the popular indoor 10 and 25 metre disciplines, and hence the reason it became known as “Field Target”.
The targets are of the metal knock down variety, originally shaped in the silhouette of animals or now also in basic shapes (e.g. circle, diamond etc). Within the silhouette is a central hole, referred to as the “hit or kill zone”. Behind the hole is a paddle, which when hit directly, results in the target falling flat and a point is scored. A full course of targets normally consists of either 30, 40 or even 50 targets, placed within lanes, normally consisting of two targets per lane.
In Field Target, there are three standard diameters of hit zones used on the targets, 15mm, 25mm, and 40mm (which is full size). The targets are placed between ranges of 8m to 50m, and can be on the ground or elevated within trees. The smaller size targets, 15mm and 25mm are restricted to a max distance of 25m and 35m respectively.
In Northern Ireland there is a variation of Hunter Field Target which has some different rules from the traditional Hunter Field target.
The range (distance) to the target is not given to the shooter, and they must estimate this by eye (in Hunter Field Target) or using the telescopic sight’s parallax feature (Field Target). The shooter, if participating in HFT, will then calculate the required amount of hold over/under, windage required for wind drift and then take the shot. You only get one shot per target before moving on to the next lane.
Field Target competitors will usually adjust the scope elevation turret by dialling in a pre determined setting that correlates with their parralax mechanism. In other words, they use the front parralax ring on their scope or, more common, a side parralax wheel with distance reference markings to accurately rangefind the target by focusing on it at high magnification. They will then have a list of range settings that they can dial in on their elevation turret in order to hit the centre of the kill zone. This may sound extremely difficult but it is surprisingly easy after a few goes. Only if it was that easy though as at sub 12ft/lb power the little .177 calibre pellets drift in even the slightest wind, so a major factor is the allowance of wind in FT. A tricky skill that only experience can develop and one that still haunts even the best shooters!
There are currently two clubs located in N.Ireland but there are many all over the UK and there are many different countries all over Europe and the world competing, it is fast growing as an extremely popular shooting discipline with 30 different countries affiliated to the WFTF. This demonstrates the potential gain within the sport, but for most of us, its an enjoyable Sunday morning hobby.
More information on Field Target shooting can be found here: