Tuesday, May 15, 2012




Version 1.0 – April 2012

World Field Target Federation Shooting Rules.


A short history of Field Target Shooting (FT) - acknowledgement to Dale Foster of England.

FT first started on the 7th September 1980, the first event being held on land behind a pub called the Red Lion in Magham Down in Sussex. Over 100 people attended this inaugural event, armed with air rifles varying from a Webley Vulcan in .22 calibre to an FWB 300 match rifle. It was originally started as an informal sport for anyone with an air rifle. The original targets were not the knockdown type we know now, but simple metal silhouettes of the common quarry species, to which orange stickers were affixed as hit zones.

The new sport quickly gained popularity and spread across the UK. By the mid 1980's the sport had grown massively in popularity, with the familiar knock down style targets being introduced. The introduction of the Weihrauch HW77 was a pivotal point in the sport, as this rifle quickly established itself as the rifle of choice, either out of the box or in a custom form from specialist tuners such as Venom Arms and Airmasters.

At some point in the mid 1980's, FT shooting was adopted by the USA, initially hosted stateside by only a handful of small clubs across the country. As more shooters joined the legions of devoted weekend "hunters", there appeared a need for a national organization to oversee the growth of the sport. Thus, the American Airgun Field Target Association (AAFTA) was born in 1987 to manage the sport. The US rules differ slightly from the UK version.

By 1987 the sport had reached comparatively massive proportions in the UK, with attendances in excess of 300 at the national shoots. 1987/88 saw the first serious use of pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) rifles and high magnification scopes in FT, which would ultimately have a profound effect on the sport.

The first international FT events started taking place somewhere in the mid 1980's, with UK shooters being invited to attend events in the US. Shooters such as Richard North, Tom Walton, Terry Doe and others travelled to California for various events around 1987/8.

The first formal world championships came about at the end of the 80's into the early 1990's, with the venue alternating between the UK and the US - these two being the only major players at this time.

Over the 1990's other countries started to appear on the scene. Norway was one of the first with Germany following at a later date. By the end of 2011 the WFTF (World Field Target Federation) already consisted of 30 member countries.


Hamster – A support that is affixed to the underside of the rifle stock and rests on the shooter’s hand or knee, depending on the shooting position.

Kneeling – a shooting position where there shall be only 3 points of contact with the ground (2 feet and 1 knee). The rear foot shall be upright and straight in line with the knee. A legal seat may be used to support the rear foot and/or ankle, or to keep the knee clean provided that the foot has contact with the ground. The leading hand will support the rifle and from the wrist forward be unsupported by the knee. A single rifle sling and/or butt hook may be used to steady the aim.

PCP – pre-charged pneumatic air rifle.

RGB – Representative Governing Body, the organisation that represents a member country at the WFTF.

Single rifle sling – a sling used to carry the rifle or as a means of steadying the aim. Such a sling shall be attached to the rifle at a minimum of one and maximum of two points when a shot is taken. The sling may be unclipped from the rifle when not in use.

Springer – air rifle in which power is generated by a large spring/gas ram and piston.

Standing – a shooting position where the shot is taken in a standing position without the aid of any support, but a single rifle sling and/or butt hook may be used to steady the aim.

Worlds – the annual World Field Target Championships hosted by a member RGB under the auspices of the WFTF.


These rules will apply to all World Championship, International or other major field target events. RGB’s are urged to apply these rules to all field target competitions that are hosted under their auspices.

1. Equipment

1.1 Airguns. Air rifles (PCP or Springer) with an output not exceeding 12 ft/lbs (16.3 Joule), and which are in safe working condition may be used. No power adjustments may be made to an air rifle during a competition. In host countries where higher power air rifles are allowed, the latter may participate in a separate class. Fully adjustable rifle stocks are permitted to accommodate various shooting styles and positions. The surface of the hamster (and knee pad) must be flat and not shaped to provide lateral support to the rifle.

1.2 Ammunition. Any design of pellet that is completely made of lead, lead alloy, zinc or zinc alloy, or a similar material may be used.

1.3 Sights. Any form of sighting system may be used with the exception of laser sights. No built-in or separate laser range finding device may be used.

1.4 Rifle accessories allowed.

 A single rifle sling - no additional straps are allowed;

 Butt hook;

 Spirit level;

 Sunshade on scope;

 Scope enhancer (rubber);

 Thermometer;

 Wind indicator (non-electronic);

 Inclinometer.

No additional equipment, electronic or other, may be used to assist the shooter in evaluating the wind or other weather conditions.

1.5 Clothing. Any type of clothing, glove or footwear is allowed provided it is not a hazard to the shooter or others. Clothing may be padded to reduce the pressure of the rifle stock resting on the arm or knee. Separate pads may be worn over non-padded clothing. Gloves may not contain any rigid material extending beyond the wrist.

1.6 Seating. The maximum height for any form of seating is 150 mm (6”) when flattened between 2 boards. The seat may only be used as an aid in sitting or kneeling shots.

1.7 Targets. Metal silhouette “fall when hit” targets resettable from the firing point shall be used. The hit zones shall be circular and of a contrasting colour to the faceplate. The use of simulated hit zones on any other part of the faceplate is prohibited. Standard hit zones shall be 40 mm in diameter. A limited number of targets may be fitted with reduced diameter hit zones of 15 mm or 25 mm. These reducers shall be painted the same colour as the faceplate and shall be fixed to the side of the target facing the shooter.

2. Shooting Range.

2.1 Terrain. For field target shooting events a suitable field/forest terrain should be identified and prepared. For the annual World Field Target Championship event this terrain should ideally allow for three courses of 25 lanes each with 2 targets to be erected per lane (total of 50 targets per course). Lanes of these three courses must alternate (e.g. red/blue/green course) along the terrain. For non-Worlds events 3 targets per lane may be erected.

2.2 Target placement and numbering. Targets shall be placed at distances of between 8 metres and 50 metres from the firing line. All targets shall be clearly numbered (per course from left to right) at both the target and the firing line. Targets may be placed at higher or lower elevation to the firing line, but must at all times be fully visible from all shooting positions and face the shooter at a 90° angle (plus or minus 5°).

2.3 Positional targets. The basic/free shooting position is sitting/prone, but some lanes may be designated as ‘standing’ or ‘kneeling’. The total number of targets designated as standing or kneeling may not exceed 20% of the total number of targets on that particular course, and these positional targets should be divided as equally as possible, e.g. 3 standing and 2 kneeling lanes or vice versa. The maximum distance that positional targets may be placed at is 40 metres. A clear sign at the firing line shall indicate kneeling or standing lanes.

2.4 Reduced diameter hit zones. The total number of targets with reduced diameter hit zones may not exceed 25% of the total targets on that particular course. Maximum distance limitations for such targets are as follows:

Reducer size

15 mm

25 mm

Non-positional targets

20 metres

35 metres

Positional targets

Not allowed

20 metres

2.5 Practice/sighting in range. A safe practice area shall be provided for the competitors at least one day before the World Field Target Championship event. Shorter periods may apply at other events (e.g. one to two hours). The practice area should be in close proximity to the competition range. Multiple paper targets should be placed at the different competition distances (between 8 and 50 metres). The range should be large enough to accommodate all competitors. Compressed air should be available for competitors and a Deputy Marshal shall be present whenever this range is open for practice. All the normal range safety rules will apply.

2.6 Shooting line. The shooting line/position is indicated by a clear line on the ground or two posts between which competitors must shoot from. When shooting, the barrel of a rifle may be in front of this line, but the trigger must remain behind it.

3. Safety

3.1 As is the case in all shooting sports, safety on the range is of the utmost importance.

3.2 No rifle may at any time be pointed in the direction of people or animals.

3.3 Except whilst shooting, no rifle may be loaded. Rifles must face down range whilst being loaded.

3.4 When a ceasefire is signalled (one whistle/horn) and a rifle is loaded, the shot must be fired into the ground in front of the shooter.

3.5 When carrying a rifle it should be pointed up or down, unless in a closed case or bag. If carried in an open rifle carrier, the cocking lever/bolt shall at all times be in the open position.

3.6 No non-participants are allowed on the shooting line.

3.7 No children or pets are allowed on ranges during a competition, unless accompanied by and under control of a responsible adult.

3.8 No alcohol or drugs may be consumed before or during a day’s competition until the last shot had been fired. This excludes prescribed medication.

4. Administration

4.1 Entries for Worlds are normally invited shortly after conclusion of the previous year’s event. A web site is usually opened by the host organisation on which a log of entries received (plus other relevant information) is reflected. Other major events may accept entries at a much later stage or even on the day of the event.

4.2 Categories for competitions at Worlds are PCP and Springer (both limited to 12 ft/lbs or 16.3 joule). If a host country’s laws allow higher power air rifles, an additional high power category may be entertained.

4.3 Classes of entry for Field Target shooting are as follows:

 Junior (not yet 17 on 1st of January);

 Senior Ladies;

 Senior Men;

 Veteran (60 years or older on 1st of January).

4.4 In both categories national teams consisting of a minimum of 4 (four) and maximum of 8 (eight) competitors can be entered. A minimum of 4 (four) teams in any category is required to constitute a competition at Worlds. Team scores will be derived from the top 4, 5 or 6 scores (determined by the team entered with the smallest number of shooters) per 50 target match, added together at the end of the event.

4.5 Teams at Worlds must be entered 24 hours before commencement of the first day of competition, and the organisers must post all teams on a notice board at the range. Each senior/sole RGB is entitled to enter one team only per category.

4.6 Shooters grouped together on a shooting lane should ideally not consist of members from the same country/area/club. In events spanning over more than one match, the shooters per lane for subsequent matches may be grouped according to accumulated score ranking. Where there are multiple ranges used, each shooter must shoot on every range once. Score cards indicating the shooters’ names and starting lane, timers and pens must be prepared (per shooting lane) and handed to all participants before each match commences.

4.7 A Chief Marshall and a sufficient number of Deputy Marshalls shall be appointed. All Marshals shall be well versed in shooting safety, FT rules and especially the understan-ding and handling of field target failures. Where ever possible, they should also be able to speak and understand English. There must be enough Deputy Marshals to cover the complete range within view of each other, and they shall be supplied with identifying vests, effective two way communication equipment and whistles/horns.

4.8 Competitors that cannot, for whatever physical or medical reason, comply with a particular shooting position, shall inform the Chief Marshal before commencement of a match, and obtain permission to use an alternative position or aid, providing that no unfair advantage is gained. All Marshalls shall be made aware of such arrangement.

4.9 Emergency services in the form of an ambulance or qualified first aid staff must be present on the range during at least all Worlds and international events.

4.10 Insurance. Each competitor is responsible for his/her own personal accident insurance. In addition to this the host organisation (in countries where this is permitted) shall take out event insurance at Worlds and international events.

4.11 A copy of these Rules shall be kept on the range during matches, accessible to all present.

5 Competition

5.1 A full course of fire at Worlds consists of 50 targets per day over 3 days. A full course of fire must be completed for a score to be deemed valid excepting for circumstances listed below under paragraph 5.10. During 2011 the majority of RGB’s voted in favour of an additional practice match on the day before commencement of the Worlds competition.

5.2 All rifles shall be chronographed daily. It is preferable that on day one these tests be done before commencement of the competition. At this first test rifles that exceed the 12 ft/lbs or 16.3 joule limit, may be adjusted for a re-test before the match starts. The Marshall shall personally load each pellet, ensuring that it is not deformed or damaged. Tests on subsequent days may be done at any point along the course as determined by the Chief Marshal. Any failure at these subsequent tests will lead to disqualification. Each time a unique sticker shall be attached to every rifle that has passed the test and the chronograph speed recorded is noted on a master sheet held by the Deputy Marshall in charge.

5.3 A match starts/course re-opens with the sounding of two whistles/horns by the Deputy Marshals. The course is then open and safe for shooting to commence/continue. Any timers that had been stopped for a ceasefire are immediately restarted.

5.4 Competitors are allowed one minute for preparation plus one minute per target on a lane. Timing starts when the competitor sits down/kneels or brings the scope to his/her eye for ranging in the standing position.

5.5 A score is indicated on the score card by an X for a knock down or a 0 if the target remains standing. Only shooters grouped together on a lane or a Deputy Marshal may handle score cards. Any changes to a score card shall be counter signed by a Deputy Marshall.

5.6 A shot is deemed to have been fired if air is discharged from a rifle. A shooter may however fire a shot into the ground after declaring this to his/her lane partners.

5.7 Targets are addressed in number sequence. If an incorrect target was shot at, the shooter scores a 0 and carries on with the following target on his/her score card.

5.8 A course (or section thereof) is closed when a single whistle/horn is sounded. All timers are immediately stopped and any loaded rifles are fired into the ground in front of the shooters. No participant may move towards a target (unless requested by a Deputy Marshall to do so), range-find a target, or do any other preparation until the range is re-opened.

5.9 Any disputed score must be challenged immediately after a shot is fired. Under no circumstances should the competitor touch the reset cord until the dispute has been resolved. Targets should be checked by the Marshal whose decision is final. Any target found to be defective should be repaired or replaced immediately and may be re-shot by only the shooter who had challenged the shot.

5.10 Competitors may only leave the firing line under the following circumstances:

 Voluntary abandonment of the shoot, in which case the score up to that point will be accepted as a valid result;

 To repair equipment that has been rendered unsafe or is incapable of firing a shot by whatever means. This excludes zero-shift of optical equipment or poorly zeroed systems. The competitor may replace the offending part or equipment with the permission of the Marshal. No visit to the sighting-in range by the competitor or any person on his/her behalf is allowed;

 For any other occurrence deemed valid by the Marshal.

In all the above cases the competitor’s score card must be handed to the Marshal and the latter’s permission obtained to leave the firing line, with a stipulated time for return. The time of departure and intended return will be recorded on the score card and any card not claimed within the designated return time will be submitted as final score for that match.

5.11 As soon as a match is completed, all score cards, duly completed and signed by both the shooter and scorer, must immediately be returned to the registration officials.

5.12 In the event of tied scores for award winning positions, final placements shall be decided by a shoot-off. A lane containing targets within positional shooting parameters (standing/kneeling) is selected, and competitors with tied scores will shoot off as follows:

 One round by each tied competitor from the sitting/free position;

 If undecided, one round by each remaining competitor from the kneeling position;

 If still undecided, one round by each competitor from the standing position;

 If still undecided, competitors continue shooting from the standing position until all awards placements have been determined.

5.13 Unacceptable firing line conduct will not be tolerated. Coaching or barracking of a competitor in competition is prohibited. Rifles will NOT be shared on the firing line.

5.14 The penalty for an unsafe practice or any form of cheating is disqualification, with the organisers reserving the right to take further action.