Any F-Class shooters here?


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Justin
December 4, 2006, 02:30 PM
While working on the THR Competition List (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=236788), I received a request to add info on F-Class long-range rifle shooting.

I know absolutely nothing about this, other than that it seems to cover 1,000 yard shooting done with scoped bolt-action rifles.

I've Googled some info up, but if anyone here has firsthand experience and can give a short description of the sport as well as a couple of relevant links, I'd appreciate it.

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Jim Watson
December 4, 2006, 03:00 PM
I am a casual occasional recreational F-class shooter.

F-class is a version of Long Range shooting where scope sights and artificial support are allowed; instead of the peep sights and slings of Conventional target shooting or the scopes and slings of Any/Any events. It originated in Canada and has spread around. It started as a way for older shooters whose eyes were no longer sharp enough for irons and whose arthritis interfered with slings to keep shooting, but is catching on as a separate event for anybody interested.

There are two subdivisions.

F-T/R is limited to .223 or .308 caliber on a bipod with rear sandbag allowed. Weight limit is 8.25 kg = 18+ lbs with scope and bipod mounted.

F-Open guns can be of any caliber under .35 - the US national team shoots 6.5x284s - and on any rest except that it cannot have mechanical return to battery or connection between front and rear rest. Weight limit is 10 kg = 22 lbs and that does not include the front rest as long as it is not attached to the rifle.

F-class is usually conducted at the longest range available to the match; 1000 yards is desirable but there are plenty of shorter ones.

The usual course of fire is 20 shots for record and unlimited sighters in a block time of 25 to 33 minutes depending on range. There will usually be two or three such matches in a day's shooting.

For 2007, NRA has drawn up specific F-class targets to reflect the expectation of greater accuracy with scope and rest. The ten ring is one MOA and the X ring is 1/2 MOA; a ten-inch ten ring at 1000 yards. This is about half the size of the standard Long Range targets for Conventional shooters and used by F-class until the new targets became available this Fall.

There is an F-class forum and some links to NRA rules etc. at
http://www.long-range.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

Fosbery
December 4, 2006, 03:41 PM
F-Class is very popular here in the UK and is supported by the National Rifle Association of Great Britain.

Here is the winner of last year's F-Class Queen's Prize, Jo Wright, 82, and his rather unlikely looking rifle.

http://www.nra.org.uk/common/photos/imperial05/imp05-37.jpg

I've tried it once or twice but it didn't grab me. I've never competed.

USSR
December 4, 2006, 05:21 PM
Justin,

Jim pretty much covered it. Have seen many cartridges used in the 4 years that I've shot it, with the various 6.5mm and .30 calibers being the most popular. I shoot a 6.5x55 and the venerable 7.62x63, and have had good luck with both. The wind is not your friend.

Don

Dr.Rob
December 4, 2006, 07:30 PM
I could be an F-Troop shooter.

Seriously it sounds like a 'bring your deer rifle' kind of competition on the LOW end, and on the high end a techo-gun nut's playground.

Jim Watson
December 4, 2006, 07:41 PM
I would agree with the first if there is an F-class shoot at 600 yards or under.

The rules change at 1000.
Most scopes do not have enough elevation to get from the usual 100 yd zero to 1000; you need a tapered base or at least Burris Signature rings with the eccentric insert kit.
Don't bother taking 168 gr .308 or '06 to a 1000 yard match, they won't make it supersonic which means they won't hit the target. That used to be called the "International" bullet because it was meant for ISU Free Rifle at 300 metres. Most F=T/R shooters use the 175s. The 168 is OK at 600 but the 175 is better. Theoretically you could use the 155 Palma bullet driven fast with a long barrel and heavy loads, but I don't see many.

I see the F-Open guys with a wonderful variety of ammo in high tech rifles. There are a few tough guys still shooting .300 magnums, but the trend is toward smaller calibers with high BC bullets at high but not screaming velocity. Bunch of 6.5s and some 6mms. I read about 7mms but haven't seen one where I shoot.

USSR
December 4, 2006, 09:34 PM
Jim,

I've seen a couple straight .284's on the line, and the guys have done well with them.

Don

Gewehr98
December 4, 2006, 11:31 PM
I run a 6.5-06, but I have to take my muzzle brake off and put a threaded false muzzle on it - so if you want to run your recoil-compensated rig, remember it's not legal.

I've seen more than a few 6.5x.284, 6.5-06, 6mm-06, 6.5x55 Swede, and 7x64 Brenneke/.280 Remington variants out there. The idea is to keep the recoil down, hence the move towards slippery sub-.30 caliber rounds vs. the big belted magnums. By means of high BC, you can still stay supersonic instead of relying on the brute force method. ;)

Jim Watson
December 5, 2006, 12:09 AM
Yes, but those slippery bullets - friend of mine has a wonderful target rifle in straight 6mm Remington - put you in F-Open. The colloquial term for that is "belly benchrest" and the high-end gear is fabulous.

I did not want to put in the money, time, or study to be competitive there, so I stay in F-T/R with my .308 (and my .223 when I am brave) where I can get off the bottom at a recreational level of effort. The big difference is that those calibers have about 50% more wind drift than the 6.5s. If you get caught by a change in the wind, you might get a wide ten instead of the X you were holding for. I would get a 9 or even an 8 on the new small target. And so will the next guy with a .308. But the third .308 shooter who was paying attention and adjusted or waited still gets his X.

bullzeye
December 5, 2006, 02:39 AM
I have competed with a .30-284, and a .300 Win.
I know the current rage for the very long range guys is in the 6mm and 6.5 mm area, but I just love my .30's.
There are no muzzle brakes allowed as stated earlier, so the bigger calibers get a little tiresome to shoot.
Overall I think I have more fun at the F shoots than any other. I have shot them from 200 yards to 1000, and just about everywhere in between. Just depends on the facilities.

Sunray
December 5, 2006, 03:15 AM
Hi. The DCRA(Dominion of Canada Rifle Assoc) shoots F-class. Go here and scroll down for the rifle rules. http://www.dcra.ca/welcome.htm
Essentially, any rifle up to 8mm, less than 22 lbs, including scope, bipod, sling, etc.
Contact them. I'm sure they'll help you. (613) 829-8281, office@dcra.ca
I think it's like NRA unlimited class. Mind you, I'm guessing about that too.

Justin
December 7, 2006, 02:19 PM
Cool, thanks for the info, guys.

db_tanker
December 7, 2006, 03:14 PM
reading stuff like this makes me wonder why the 6.5mm Remington Magnum didn't take to this kind of shooting?

D

USSR
December 7, 2006, 05:13 PM
reading stuff like this makes me wonder why the 6.5mm Remington Magnum didn't take to this kind of shooting?

Lack of quality brass.

Don

Jim Watson
December 7, 2006, 06:06 PM
Passed by before the trend to Long Range calibers below .30 caught on.

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