How do I explain F-Class shooting? I am very fond of using analogies, so here I go. Let’s say the powers that be tell race car teams and drivers, “You people can do just about anything you want as long as the car only weighs so much and you don’t strap a jet engine on it.” Imagine how interesting race day would be! From racing to shooting, welcome to F-class competition.
F-Class shooting is divided into two groups F-Open and FTR. F-Open is shot from the prone position, aka, lying down in the dirt. You are allowed to have a rifle up to .35cal and a top weight of 22lbs. Other than that you are only limited by your skill and ingenuity. From amateurs to engineers, everyone can test their rifle designs and skill in competition.
The other group is FTR. (F)arquharson (T)arget (R)ifle it is also shot from the prone position. It is limited to two different calibers (223 & 308) and has an attached bi-pod. You are allowed 18lbs 3oz (8.25kg) weight which includes everything that comes with the rifle when lifted straight up from the shooting position.
There are no restrictions on optics in F-Class. That’s helpful because your X-ring is a little bigger than a soft ball 1000 yards away. (Over a half mile). Most people can’t even see the target with their naked eye. There are no restrictions on front rest in F-open. You will see rests that are simple in design to something that looks like it’s from the Terminator movies.
I have spoken to several event coordinators about the popularity of F-Class. They have reported that matches are not only filled up but there are often waiting lists to get into them. Most matches are booked up several months in advance. They have seen a sharp attendance increase over the last five years.
So why has F-class grown so big and fast? One reason is F-class is shot prone. Clubs don’t need much special equipment to hold a match. This allows smaller clubs to host matches and more people get a chance to get involved. A second reason F-class has grown, is that you will see service rifles, sling, and Palma shooters all lined up side by side with F-class shooters at matches. So it’s perfect, several shooting sports can compete at the same event.
I hope this article has been informative and you didn’t blank out a few sentences into it. F-Class is a great sport but I believe all shooting sports are. No sport is better or worse than the other. Each shooting sport presents its own unique set of challenges for the shooter. The question isn’t if you want to be challenged but how to be challenged?
By Mac Ahnen, F-Open Master