Air Rifle Field Target
Air Rifle Field Target is a simulated field-shooting discipline that caters to springer and precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle shooters. The discipline includes five firearm classes: Open Air Rifle, Open PCP, Open Springer, International PCP and International Springer, with shooters aiming to hit reactive ‘fall-when-hit’ targets of various sizes at often unknown ranges from 8 to 50m. As the name suggests, Air Rifle Field Target lends itself to being contested in a bush-type environment, although it may also be held on a more traditional range line.
Air Rifle Field Target was introduced as a new SSAA discipline in late 2012. The discipline aims to promote all Air Rifle Field Target shooting, using air rifles capable of sufficient accuracy and that can hit the reactive ‘fall-when-hit’ targets of various sizes at ranges from 8 to 50m. The challenge of the discipline comes from shooting a relatively low powered air rifle at targets at distances that are unknown to the competitor. The success of the competitor therefore depends on their marksmanship skills and ability to accurately estimate range.
The first official Air Rifle Field Target shooting event was held in 1980 in Magham Down in Sussex, England, with more than 100 people attending the inaugural event. It was originally started as an informal sport for anyone with an air rifle, but the targets used were not the knockdown type as used today. Rather, the original targets were simple silhouettes of common game species to which orange stickers were attached as ‘hit zones’.
The sport quickly gained popularity across the United Kingdom, and by the mid-1980s, the presently used fall-when-hit targets were introduced. Around this time, Air Rifle Field Target was taken up in the United States by several small shooting clubs, which led to the formation of the American Field Target Association in 1987. By then, the sport had reached significant numbers in the UK.
The first international Air Rifle Field Target events took place in the mid-1980s, when UK shooters were invited to attend competitions in the US. The first formal World Championships were held in the early 1990s, with the venue alternating between the UK and US and only these two major countries competing. In the 1990s, other countries began to appear on the scene, with Norway being one of the first and Germany following later. By the end of the 2012, the World Field Target Federation comprised more than 30 member countries, with SSAA National recognised as the regional governing body for Australia.
View the World Field Rifle Federation Comprehensive Shooting rule book for international rules.
Matches and firearms
Air Rifle Field Target is a simulated field-type event that lends itself to a bush-type environment, though it may be contested on a more traditional range line. The range is set up with at least 10 ‘lanes’ up to a maximum of 25 lanes, with a minimum of two and a maximum of three targets per lane.
Targets must be the fall-when-hit type and may be made of wood and/or steel and be of any configuration. The ‘hit zone’ must be circular and of a contrasting color to the faceplate. Targets must be resettable from the firing line. A match shall consist of no fewer than 30 targets.
Scoring is awarded on the basis of one point for each hit and a zero for a miss. A hit is awarded when a target falls. Any movement of the plate which does not result in the target or hit zone falling is scored as a miss. All targets are to be shot in numerical order, and any targets shot out of sequence are scored as a miss.
Air Rifle Field Target caters for both springer and precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles, and includes five firearm classes: Open Air Rifle; Open PCP Air Rifle; Open Springer; International PCP; and International Springer. Springer air rifles generate their power via a large spring/gas ram and piston. Alternatively, PCP air rifles generate their power by means of an onboard chamber of compressed air or gas. The chamber of compressed air/gas may be pressurised by any means, including refilling from a high-pressure air source such as a bulk supply tank (scuba tank or carbon dioxide bottle), high-pressure compressor, manual hand pump or an on-rifle/integrated pump. Rifles which employ a permanently attached remote feed system to separate bulk supply are not permitted.
Any shooting position is allowed, with the basic positions being offhand, sitting/kneeling or prone. Any stock of any configuration with no limit as to its design is permitted and it may be adjusted to accommodate various shooting styles and positions. Additional attachments are not permitted to be added or removed during competition. Butt-hooks are permitted, as are single rifle slings in either single- or two-point attachment so as to carry and help steady the rifle while aiming. Shooting mats and ground cloths are permitted for use at the firing line.
Any form of sighting device may be used, with the exception of laser sights. No built-in or separate laser rangefinding device may be used. Spotting scopes are not permitted on the firing line during competition.
Air Rifle Field Target INTERNATIONAL TEAM SELECTION CRITERIA
There are two selection methods for SSAA International teams:
- Invitational Team:
The National Board or President may appoint and approve an Invitational or Presidents Team. The selection of this team may be done with advice from the National Coaching and Discipline Supervisor and National Discipline Chairman.
- Selection Criteria:
The National Discipline Chairman submits a Team selected according to the Selection Criteria to the National Board for approval. The selection is based on merit and must be approved by the National Board.
To qualify for a SSAA International Team a person
- must be a current financial member of SSAA
- must be eligible for, or, hold a valid Australian passport or have an exemption from the SSAA Inc on our Australian nationality requirement.
See other details in the document “SSAA Inc Information and General Requirement for SSAA Team Members” as approved by the SSAA Inc Board.
Discipline Selection Criteria
Selection will be based on a disciplines Annual National Championship, with competitors from a minimum of two SSAA State and Territory Associations.
Selection will be based on the top ten placings at a disciplines Annual National Championship in the core match or matches and/or the match or matches relevant to the international competition to be contested.
The core match or matches and/or match or matches relevant to the international competition will be determined for each Discipline. Contact the National Discipline Chairman for this information.
Any Annual National Championships may be used as a selection shoot. If a disciplines Annual National Championship is held six months before the scheduled date of an international event, that National Championship will be used as the selection shoot. If a disciplines Annual National Championship is held less than six months before the scheduled date of an international event, the National Championship of the previous year may, with approval, be used as the selection shoot. Any variation to this requires approval by the National Coaching and Discipline Supervisor or National President or Board.
There is no guarantee that a SSAA Team will be sent to an international event.
All SSAA International Teams are subject to the approval by the National President or Board and discipline funding.
A competitor can notify the National Discipline Chairman if they wish to be considered for selection as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after the finish of the National Championships. If notification wasn’t given a competitor must indicate their acceptance or rejection of their team position within two weeks of being officially informed of their eligibility by the National Discipline Chairman. Any variation to this requires approval by the National Coaching and Discipline Supervisor or National President or Board
The Team Selections should be completed by the relevant National Discipline Chairman as soon as possible after their Annual National Championship and submitted to the National Board for approval.
All Team Members selected according to the Discipline Selection Criteria must be approved by the SSAA National Board before the selection process is complete.
Approved by the SSAA National Board on 18 November 2018, for implementation on 1 January 2019