FT Going retro...

Discussion in 'Hunter (HFT) & Field Target (FT)' started by RobF, May 30, 2018.

  1. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall
    As pointed out above, there are two distinct issues coming out of this thread:

    1. Bringing newcomers into FT

    and

    2. A 'classic' division.

    Taking the first point, I would see the primary drivers of bringing new blood into FT is the clubs, these should be acting as the training grounds to get new shooters hooked.

    If it is a case of saying the national competition circuit should be altered to accommodate the newcomers, I would have to suggest this is the wrong way of looking at it. There are already grades based upon ability for these competitions I honestly don't see what else could be done. After all the concept of the national GP series of shoots is to challenge the best shooters rather than to stroke the ego's of the rookies, apologies if this sounds harsh as it isn't intended in that manner.

    FT has a fairly steep learning curve and there is no instant success recipe, even if a shooters pockets are deep enough to afford the most expensive kit out there, the clubs need to be nurturing their new members and avoid pushing them into the major competitions until they are conversant with the elements of the sport, by way of analogy if someone got interested in motor racing, they wouldn't be jumping into the likes of F1 straight off.


    FT is a fairly unusual shooting sport in that it has not introduced much in the way of equipment classifications unlike many other target shooting sports. For example IPSC (practical shooting) recognised many years ago that an arms race was developing with competitors going for higher capacity magazines, compensators and red dot sights so they introduced equipment classifications. This hasn't stifled development in that sport, the Open division shooters still push the limits of technology and those who prefer to compete with fairly basic kit are not disadvantaged.

    Would such a thing have worked in FT? - at this point in time who knows, it is far too late to consider any classifications, that boat got missed probably 30 years ago.

    In terms of what has been called 'retro' or I think a better term would be classic, I think there may be some merit in this as there must be a lot of older FT rifles still around that seldom see the light of day.

    If such a division could be offered the biggest hurdle would be defining what constitutes a classic FT rifle.

    In regard of pre-charged pneumatic rifles, I would be inclined to suggest that it should be defined by saying that any rifle adapted or derived from a 10m rifle design should be excluded, so RN10/Pro-Target and its descendants are out as are Steyr's, Walther and FWB etc pcp's.

    This would in effect leave the likes of Daystate from Huntsman through to CR-X, Air Arms Shamal and 100 Series, Sportsmatch GC2 all marks, Ripley AR3/AR4/AR5 and AR5S, Airstream Mk1 and Mk2, Titan and Falcon rifles, plus any other production or small volume rifles.

    I would suggest no alloy chassis stocks - just wood / laminate designs.

    If adjustable elements form part of the design then they should be allowed to be used.

    Butthooks are possibly a more tricky item, whilst less prevalent on the older FT rifles they have been fitted.

    Here is a late 1980's advert for an Arimasters FTS HW77 that is 'fully loaded' including butthook:

    [​IMG]

    An Airmaster FTXS stock for a GC2:
    [​IMG]
    Comes with Adjustable foot and a period Anschutz butthook. This rifle was originally Tom Walton's, I acquired it from him but sold it a few years ago.

    Airmasters rifles from 1988:
    [​IMG]

    Air Arms Shamal serial no 013 fitted in a factory target stock:
    [​IMG]

    Factory supplied multi adjustable stock on the NJR100:
    [​IMG]

    Target stocked TM100:
    [​IMG]

    Anyway moving away from the eye candy, the other issue for a classic class is what to allow in the way of scopes?

    I would consider it appropriate to suggest the use of a period scope, however they can be a bit difficult to find, so perhaps setting a magnification limit of 32x would allow modern scopes but retain a specification that would have been relatively available at the time period when these classic rifle rifles were popular. Ironically two ideal classic scopes sold on here in the last 24hrs - a pair of Burris 8-32x44 RA's.

    Summing up I would like to see a classic division in FT to see some more of the old timers getting an airing, I think it would be both fun and interesting to see how they fare against the current crop of rifles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    bootneckbob, nurek and Darron like this.
  2. NeilM

    NeilM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    Nth Somerset
    Club:
    Shebbear
    I'm lovin the idea of a classic class, but I'll bet collectors around the UK are rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of demand rising for their gun cabinet beauties.

    I believe one collector has, or recently had more than 10 x Sportsmatch GC2's, at £750 plus each.... yummy!

    I'm kinda wishing I had kept one of the many NJR / 100 series rifles I had back when I first started FT.
     
  3. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Neil,
    Undoubtedly there will be some who are motivated by profit, but there must equally be a lot of older guns squirrelled away with those who are interested in shooting.
     
  4. NeilM

    NeilM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,015
    Location:
    Nth Somerset
    Club:
    Shebbear
    If a Classic class brings back some of the shooters who were active in the 80's and 90's, complete with their original kit then I would regard that as a massive WIN. But, I know quite a few 'classics', including one that I owned, that are now in the hands of collecetors.

    Don't get me wrong, I would much prefer a classic be kept polished and in good working order with a collector, than slowly rusting away in the back of a shed somewhere, my point is that for those who are interested but don't own a classic, acquiring one may not be particularly cheap.

    Personally, I'll slap a 24 mag scope on my s300, I think that just about qualifies.
     
  5. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    621
    Location:
    Hockley, UK
    Club:
    ETL / TEGC
    Talking of classic John Chopping competes with his SM100 and recently retired Burris front PA scope and did extremely well with it, though I think it's the duffle coat that is the real secret advantage...;)
     
  6. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,139
    I'm not convinced that the Nationals ( FT and HFT ) is only shot by shooters that have reached a certain level, or that the concept is to just challenge the best shooters. They aren't AA Grade comps where people have moved through the ranks at local level to earn the right to shoot a National. There are a lot of shooters in B and C Grades that attend GPs.

    I think FT and HFT at all levels is well supported ( numbers made up ) by a large number of lower ability shooters that just love being part of the circuit and attending and shooting comps ... and love the tea, burgers and banter as much as the shooting. Most will keep coming no matter how tough the courses are because they are more interested in just being a part of it than the numbers on their cards.

    From comments on here on many occasions it's obvious that courses are going to stay the same and the kit war horse bolted a long long time ago.

    A 'Classic' or 'Basic' class will therefore be a case of shooters being disadvantaged with lower mag scopes shooting the same courses as the 40, 50 and 80x shooters.

    I think good experienced shooters would do very well in it even on modern courses. The one thing that it may do, as a positive, is show potential newcomers that one can take part in FT and do well without using a 40+ mag scope. Maybe that's one thing that does put people off and why they go to HFT or stick with HFT because they believe FT is a mega mag scope only sport. That really isn't true. One could take part in FT and do quite well using basic kit and a lower mag scope. HFT seems to have that as a major recruitment factor ... that you can come along and just use what you have and do well. You can also do that in FT. There are lots of targets up to a range where a lower mag scope will range close enough for you to knock loads down, and knocking over the 55 yarders is a real buzz. So maybe a class with people using lower mag scopes and doing ok ( even if it's experienced shooters doing some Retro stuff at first ) will show newcomers that you can take part and do well with that sort of kit.
     
  7. dave croucher

    dave croucher ÃŒch bin ein Meister Man

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    dartford
    Im not against anything that gets bums on seats but how do you define retro?
    As i see it you cant just say "20years"etc.
    Pretty soon stuff like anschutz 2002s and custom shops for example,will fall into such an age bracket.
    This kind of stuff has won world championships and can still hold its own against the latest shiny kit.
    Trust me its a long way back from germany with a new world champ in the car;)
     
    AndyS likes this.
  8. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Well, I made a suggestion in my post above, perhaps you missed it.
     
  9. RobF

    RobF Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    11,686
    Location:
    Poole, Dorset
    Club:
    Parkstone Gun Club, South Dorset FTC, Southampton Buccaneers
    Just to nudge this along... think Jon Chopping dropped 4 with his SM100 yesterday...
     
  10. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    621
    Location:
    Hockley, UK
    Club:
    ETL / TEGC
    Yep that's actually a bad shoot for him two dropped is his usual. At least these days he uses a modern scope, it was even worse when he used to cream everyone in the Winter League with his front PA Burris. I'm guessing the duffle coat stayed in the car Sunday, if so that's why he dropped so many...;)
     
  11. JerryD

    JerryD Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Rutland (it's titchy!)
    Club:
    Hereward FT&ARC
    Love the pics: always wanted an Airmasters 77FTS (anyone got one spare - no? Money waiting....).

    The idea of FT Classic is really appealing, seeing some of the older kit getting an outing. Love to see more Greasers, old Rippers and such out there, a proper gun has wood! Where do you draw the line though? 20 years is only 1998, and there were sidewheels aplenty back then, and the Pro-Target/RN10 was "the" gun to have. Strange to think the 100 series and NJRs pre-dated this; how time flies....

    Also, how would you separate Spring and PCP, or would this be a PCP only class? The aforementioned 77FTS or a Venom 77 is a match for any current springer.

    Scopes make a huge difference. I'd suggest front focus scopes only to 24x max; that brings in the Leups, Simmons, the tasco TRs, WC and Varmints and the Zeilers, but excludes the Burris 32x and B&L/Bushnells which are still being used by some, me included, and favoured by current springer shooters.

    Now, to dust off the GC2 or the Ripley Cougar......


    .
     
  12. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall

    If you read the post as well as dribbling over the pictures, you would have spotted this:

    "If such a division could be offered the biggest hurdle would be defining what constitutes a classic FT rifle.

    In regard of pre-charged pneumatic rifles, I would be inclined to suggest that it should be defined by saying that any rifle adapted or derived from a 10m rifle design should be excluded, so RN10/Pro-Target and its descendants are out as are Steyr's, Walther and FWB etc pcp's.

    This would in effect leave the likes of Daystate from Huntsman through to CR-X, Air Arms Shamal and 100 Series, Sportsmatch GC2 all marks, Ripley AR3/AR4/AR5 and AR5S, Airstream Mk1 and Mk2, Titan and Falcon rifles, plus any other production or small volume rifles.

    I would suggest no alloy chassis stocks - just wood / laminate designs.

    If adjustable elements form part of the design then they should be allowed to be used.

    Butthooks are possibly a more tricky item, whilst less prevalent on the older FT rifles they have been fitted.

    Anyway moving away from the eye candy, the other issue for a classic class is what to allow in the way of scopes?

    I would consider it appropriate to suggest the use of a period scope, however they can be a bit difficult to find, so perhaps setting a magnification limit of 32x would allow modern scopes but retain a specification that would have been relatively available at the time period when these classic rifle rifles were popular. Ironically two ideal classic scopes sold on here in the last 24hrs - a pair of Burris 8-32x44 RA's.
    "
     
  13. skires

    skires Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,139
    It seems from the comments and counter comments on this brief thread, that trying to determine what would and wouldn't be allowed would be too big a nightmare for FT to manage. The kit war within a class would kick in from day one.

    The other interesting point ... Plenty of people saying this would be great. Er ... it's already absolutely legal for anyone to use the older kit right now if they so wished to do so. Yet virtually no one does. So if people want to enjoy shooting retro FT then they can do ... but they don't. So what's the attraction ... a plastic gonk for choosing to take part in a smaller class? Ah ... so trophy hunting ... always a good reason to put a load of effort in to try something else.
     
  14. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    388
    Location:
    Scunthorpe, N.Lincs
    I think you're missing the point. As mentioned before there are two sort of separate threads running within this thread. There's the "retro" side and the "classic" class.

    If you have a scan back a few pages I made a comment in favour of an additional class (classic) and to summarise what I said it would basically enable new comers to compete in a levelish playing field whilst learning the basic fundamentals of FT. Therefore potentially increasing the chances of retention and transitioning into mainstream FT.

    Surely something that could be implemented for relatively low cost would be worth a try.
     
    luddite, RobF and NeilM like this.
  15. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall
    I don't think it would be overly difficult, at its simplest:

    No rifles that are modifications of, or derivatives of designs originally intended as 10 metre rifles and rifle design must pre-date 1995. Maximum of 32x magnification scopes.

    What's bloody difficult about that?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    nurek, Steve Hebby and luddite like this.
  16. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    388
    Location:
    Scunthorpe, N.Lincs
    Personally I think by doing this pigeon holes the entire proposed class. To be completely honest FT does not have the following to make a "retro" class sustainable. Simply put there probably aren't enough "retro" rifles readily available also. For a one off shoot or a mini series then absolutely a great idea but for the greater good of FT ,currently I don't think it has enough legs in it.

    Now the "classic" class idea definitely has the potential if acknowledged and managed correctly to generate a greater more skilled following. Here's how I'd do it;

    Any rifle can be used irrespective of its background e.g. 10m rifles allowed etc. (Legal obviously)

    Maximum scope magnification used x25 (larger magnification scopes can be used provided they are set to x25 maximum for the competition)

    Any adjustable parts of the rifle must set prior to the shoot and not be altered for the duration

    Full blown butt hooks are not permitted, paddle type pads can be used e.g. MEC III

    No 10m jackets

    That's the loosest concept I could come up with. This basically ensures that literally ANY rifle could be used competitively.

    I do think it'd be worth conducting a feasibility exercise to see how achievable it is. Like I mentioned before for very little cost and with some careful collective management and marketing the potential reward for FT far outweighs the effort.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    Dave Ramshead and luddite like this.
  17. Dale

    Dale Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    272
    Location:
    Cornwall
    Well from my point of view what you are proposing is not a 'classic' division.

    In the world of firearms target shooting 'classic' means historic firearms and it has a strong following.
     
  18. Bellerophon

    Bellerophon Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    388
    Location:
    Scunthorpe, N.Lincs
    "Classic" wasn't necessarily the proposed final name. I agree with you completely reference what the term classic means in the world of firearms. I've competed in a few competitions using "classic" service rifles in the past.

    ATB Kieran
     
  19. EELS

    EELS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Kent
    Club:
    Kent Woodsmen FTC
    Its an NJR 100, with an XM sticker
    Now mounting a big nikko.
    Duffle coat was in full effect on Sunday.
    Bloody good shooting.
     
    C.Eaton, RobF and Dave Ramshead like this.
  20. C.Eaton

    C.Eaton Confirmed Anschutz Nut...

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Messages:
    621
    Location:
    Hockley, UK
    Club:
    ETL / TEGC
    Agreed, I just love the way he rocks up and shoots so well.
    I think he's missing out on a trick with pellets though, should be extra kudos for either skanking random pellets off people or doing a Calpin and picking up windfalls off the zero range before the shoot...;)
     
    Dave Ramshead likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice