SWEFTA Hunter Field Target Rules

HFT-dae

South West England Field Target Association 

Hunter Class – November 2019 Onwards 

(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 Penalties 

Rule 13 Leaving the Firing Line 

Rule 14 Range Conduct 

Rule 15 Insurance & Rules 

Rule 16 Intoxicating Substances 

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

1) AIRGUNS 

Open to any single shot or multi shot air rifle that abides by the relevant categories as defined within the current legislation. It is the responsibility of the individual owner to ensure that their rifle complies with all current statutory limits. 

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 abide by this rule will result in disqualification. 

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, monopods or crossed sticks for supporting the rifle while taking a shot is only allowed in Open class. 

2) SIGHTS 

Any form of sighting system may be used, however telescopic sights are restricted to a maximum of 12x magnification. 

The use of a laser attached to a telescopic sight is not permitted. The use of separate electronic laser range finders is not allowed. 

All parallax and magnification adjustments for each target must be made unsighted, i.e. without looking through the scope and before raising the scope to the eye. Once the rifle is mounted, no changes may be made. If the safety whistle blows after mounting and before the shot is taken, the scope cannot be altered in the period before the “All Clear!” 

3) AMMUNITION 

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

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

4) CLASSES 

SWEFTA operates three classes in HFT, the PCP class, the PISTON and the OPEN class. 

Newcomers to SWEFTA must be cleared by an official of their club before they can take part in a competition. 

4a) PCP CLASS. 

The PCP class is divided into to three grades, AA, A and B. 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. 

All new shooters will be placed in B grade. After they have completed three league shoots their grade will be re- assessed by the scores and grading secretary and the competition secretary, and a grade confirmed for the remainder of the season. 

If the person moves from B grade to A grade at this time, their scores to date will move with them. 

The use of bipods, monopods or crossed sticks for supporting the rifle while taking a shot is strictly forbidden in this class. 

4b) PISTON CLASS. 

This class includes all piston operated air rifles, including sliding action, and contra piston systems. There are no grades in the piston class. The use of bipods, monopods or crossed sticks for supporting 

4c) OPEN CLASS. 

This class allows the use of bipods, monopods and cross sticks as a means of support the rifle when taking any shot. 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. 

The use of a folding stool is permitted. 

4d) SHOOTING MORE THAN ONE CLASS. 

Shooters can enter more than one class at an event. 

Scores from all classes are eligible for the club championship, but only one score can be used towards the club championship, and this will be the higher of the two scores. 

5) ENTRY TIMES 

From the start of the 2014 season until further notice, no league shoots will commence before 09:00am. 

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 classed as not handed in. 

6) RANGE OFFICERS 

Event organisers (clubs or region) are expected to provide range officers (ROs) 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 RO will signal a cease-fire by a single blast on a whistle, horn or similar audible device. Any RO 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 another audible device. 

ROs shall have absolute discretion in attending to any matter not specifically encompassed by these rules and guidance notes. 

7) TARGETS 

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 must be of a contrasting colour to the face plate. 

Standard apertures shall not exceed 13⁄4 inches (45 mm) in diameter. The minimum distance for any target (for safety reasons) shall be 10 yards. The maximum target distance shall be 55 yards. 

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 smaller than 1⁄2 inch (12.7mm) are prohibited. 

4.The number of 1⁄2 inch apertures shall be less than the number of 1 inch apertures. 

5.All targets shall be clearly indicated and shot in numerical order. 

Where targets are included that the course setter has laid in such a way that they will be shot either standing or kneeling, these targets must not be set at distances beyond 40 yards using a full-size aperture for standing targets and 45 yards using a full size aperture for kneeling targets. Kneeling or standing targets using a 1 inch (25.4mm) aperture may be set to a maximum distance of 15 yards. 

No 1⁄2 inch (12.7mm) aperture targets to be used on posi onal shots. 

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 exceptions: 

  1. Rectification of faulty targets. 
  2. Un-sighted shots with the knowledge of partner or ROs. 
  3. In a shoot off situation 
  4. 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. 
  5. Regardless of any circumstances such as forgetting to load a pellet, not shutting the loading bolt or if the trigger is pulled before aiming at the target, if the gun goes off (air released) the shot is considered as having been taken and will be scored accordingly. If this does happen, the competitor should make sure the pellet has left the gun by dry firing safely into the ground over the Firing Line with the consent of their shooting partner. 

8) COURSE OF FIRE 

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. The use of any natural or artificial objects present within the firing area as a rifle rest is allowed except when shooting positional targets. These must be shot in the designated position without any form of external support. 

When taking all shots, some part of the shooter’s body, must touch ‘the PEG.’ This may be a separate white peg hammered into the ground, or a white mark on a post, tree, etc. In either case the peg must be completely free of any strings, nails, cleats or any other item that may impact or damage a rifle if the competitor chooses to use either side of the peg while shooting that lane. 

The white peg dimensions being a minimum of 12 inch high and either 1.5 inch round or square. 

The rifle may touch the peg but it does not have to, and the rifle alone touching the peg is not sufficient. 

The peg designates the firing line. The muzzle of the rifle must be over the firing line and the shooters trigger finger must be behind it. 

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. 

9) MARSHALING & PAIRS 

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. It is the buddy who decides if the shot was a hit, miss or plate. 

Competitors must 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 of the Shooting and Grading Rules. 

Any exceptions to the above must be cleared by the RO. 

Only a member of the shooting group is permitted to record scores on a scorecard. Under no circumstance is a shooter allowed to score his/her own scorecard. If an error is entered on any scorecard the shooting partner who made the mistake must seek a marshal who will amend this error for you and sign the card. 

10) SCORING 

Scoring shall be on the basis of: 

Miss – 0 

Hit on silhouette – 1 point 

Target reacts (knock down and requires resetting etc) 2 points 

If there is no audible or visible reaction from the target a miss shall be scored. 

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 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. 

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, due to mechanical breakdown, it is no longer possible for a competitor’s rifle to be discharged. 

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 will receive no score. 

Upon completion of the course one of your shooting partners should sign your scorecard, this is to signify that they have checked the card & agree with its scoring, the shooter should always check that their scorecard is correctly filled in & signed before handing it in as they are the ones who will be penalised for any irregularities. 

If a competitor hands in a scorecard that is incomplete, unreadable or has any alterations not counter signed by a third party their score will be amended or the competitor disqualified. 

SWEFTA organisers reserve the right to amend and adjust any shooters scorecard at any time during the series if infringements of the rules or evidence of cheating is subsequently discovered during or after the scheduled events. 

11) SHOOTING 

There are no defined shooting positions in HFT and all targets can be shot from any position, standing, kneeling, seated or prone. 

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

Seat Cushion (Bean bags) 

Bean bags cannot be more than 4’’ high when sat on. 

Bean bags cannot be used to gain extra support for shooter or rifle, they can only be used to sit on. 

The use of a mat when the shooter is using the prone position is allowed. When taking a prone shot, the only part of the rifle which may be touching the ground is the bottom edge of the butt pad, no other device, stock or butt pad extension may rest on the ground or mat. 

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

12) PENALTIES 

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. 

13) LEAVING THE FIRING LINE 

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). 

14) RANGE CONDUCT 

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. 

15) INSURANCE & RULES 

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

16) INTOXICATING SUBSTANCES 

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.