F Class Competition in Australia

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#16 Postby sungazer » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:37 pm

Mike youve taken me the wrong way. I said nothing about expecting to win. My only point was that a person that turns up with his 223 on a Harris type folding bipod as Scott said should be able to join in and even go to an OPM. You learn so much more when you get out there on the mound by yourself for the first time. OK as Scott said they could compete in F/tr. I would like to see the F Standard rules a bit more inclusive. F/tr is a bit bigger league. At least the gap between the guy shooting 55grn super Roos and the F class competitor shooting 80grn is a bit less than a F/tr competitor.

Rules should be there to keep the top level competitors on an even playing field or at least within some boundaries. They should not be there to restrict access to the sport.

I said Nothing about being club champion, nothing about winning an OPM. I mean look at how far they are disadvantaged for a start with the equipment. Just give the sport some room to welcome new members.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#17 Postby pigdog » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:37 am

I don't shoot F class nor any type of competitive shooting. I do however have appreciate the knowledge and skills that f class shooters and prs/bench rest shooters have and freely pass on to those of us who just like to improve our accuracy in a recreational environment. So please take my 2 cents for what you paid for it.

Firstly I don't give a damn about getting my ass kicked. I however haven't seen anyone ever mention one of the primary concerns I have about rolling up to shoot f class with my "field rifle" and that is as far as I'm aware f class shoots 2 sighters and a 20 shot string in 20mins?? Please correct me if that is wrong. There is no way in hell I'm putting my rifle through that sort of punishment. My rifle is not a paper thin hunting barrel nor is it a thick target barrel but a shot every minute on average for 20mins is way too much torching of the throat for me and I simply don't have the funds to replace barrels at a rate that would be required to regularly shoot at that rate. This would mean an entire new rifle with a target barrel to deal with this again more $$$$. The other smaller issue is the non allowance of muzzle brakes this however is not a deal breaker.

Anyway just thought id share my thoughts as someone who the f class community is probably trying to attract.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#18 Postby Brad Y » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:44 am

The thing about rocking up Ana shooting those 55gr sierras is you will make 600y barely then no further as they will go subsonic. Have done this. Good fun, but you will get caught in bad wind with a poor bc. Pretty much similar to all hunting bullets. We don’t let hunting guns past 500m at our club as we don’t want tumbling bullets causing et damage. If they are set up with fast twist barrels and shoot bullets capable of the distance then that’s fine. Club shoots are there for fun. Nothing else. Clubs can do what they want to attract new shooters, I think it’s a worthwhile exercise running a tactical or hunting rifle class. If someone is good enough to dust up ftr or open guys with a hunting gun (seen it done with a Tikka) then good on them. Nothing wrong with taking that gun to an opm. US f class nationals was won years ago with a tactical style build and a Harris bipod. It can be done. All down to the shooter and his wind reading skills.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#19 Postby johnk » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:45 am

Then there's the issue for ranges with ETs - nobody likes to see expensive equipment shot up just to satisfy a fleld shooter who's rifle "will hold MOA all day out to 1000 yards".

Come to think of it, if the 2016 QRA Queens results were anything to go on, not many TR & F class shooters can hold Minute of Target Face in atypical conditions.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#20 Postby bsouthernau » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:00 am

No mention so far of club rifles. Be honest with ourselves and admit that continued participation inevitably costs money. I don't think the cost of a second hand Omark is ruinous compared to other forms of recreation - what does a set of golf clubs or a motorcycle cost these days? A few shoots with the club rifle under a wind coach who explains the decisions and they can tell whether they like it enough to warrant the outlay.


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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#21 Postby scott/r » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:16 pm

That's our next step, Barry. Introducing the new guys to a decent target rifle. Once they show any sort of ongoing interest, we offer the use of the club rifles to have a shot from. Granted they have to pay for the NRAA Winchester ammo, but we had 2 rifles made (both are Barnard actions in cronk stocks) under full coached conditions for their first one. Or if they are lucky enough, one of us might offer our rifle and ammo for a go. They are also available for the new member to hire for club shoots if they have a rifle being built. They also get used once a month for come and try days. So, yes there are club rifles around, and I know we aren't the only ones doing this sort of thing.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#22 Postby sungazer » Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:24 pm

I dont see much future for the discipline at all when a suggestion to make the sport more inclusive is met with personal attacks. Even more so for something that was not even said or insinuated.
Lawn Bowls would have gone the way of the dinosaurs if they didnt realize there outlook and make some huge generational changes to the traditions and rules, regulations of the sport. The ladies used to have to have there fingernails inspected for cleanliness even there undies. whites had to be white. Now there is casual dress even bare foot lawn bowling and they have survived even attracted some younger players.
The current trend is downwards many OPM's are running at a loss. So either continue in the vain this is the way we have always done it and continue to get the same results, or get off your high horse and think of other ways things could be done.

What harm to the status quo would it be to change a rule like the bullet weight to read. The projectile weight must not exceed 80grns.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#23 Postby Gyro » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:19 pm

Over the ditch here a class called "Hunter Class" has been started. To cut a long story short I'd suggest it's going nowhere. Way too many dumb rules and restrictions to what the shooters can compete with.

Having said that I believe the declining shooter numbers is a lot about the different world we live in now ...... and people seem to want quicker results for thier time ??

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#24 Postby Wal86 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:06 pm

Every sport you compete in has its own unique set of rules. All of these rules are not discretionary and generally create challenges for the competitors... Why is it people feel the need to keep changing rules..
It is complete BS..

Fact is you can never accommodate everyone, especially at higher level shoots...
Ive never seen a new shooter be turned away from a club/practice shoot.
How many classes/grades do we need? SERIOUSLY
I believe FOPEN accommodates all new comers that don't fit into the other categories... its up to the individual weather or not she/he wants to pursue the sport..
I think the current classes FTR, FS, FO have been carefully thought out as you could possibly shoot all classes with the same rifle just by changing barrels etc...

I think more time needs to be spent in promoting the sport, sponsorship etc.. Get charities involved large businesses to sponsor prize/ promote there product/ their buisness through fclass with proceeds going to charity.. there are plenty of avenues you just need to think outside the box..
Create prizes shooters will come...

Last edited by Wal86 on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#25 Postby AlanF » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:17 pm


I don't know how long you've been familiar with F-Class shooting but I think your criticism is unfair. There has been a steady evolution in our sport over the last 20 years. Over that time we've had the introduction of all 3 F-Class disciplines, and several major rules reviews. Contrary to your assertion, F-Class is not in decline, and OPM attendances in well run clubs are fine. At my range we have made several attempts to attract hunters/varminters/tactical shooters, which have not been particularly successful. And I've finally realised what the main problem is. In my experience there is not enough agreement about what these shooters want. Some only want to visit the range once or twice a year to zero rifles at less than 200yds, others want to shoot longer ranges but not too long, some don't want a competition format, others do, some think F-Class is too expensive, others want more expensive options than currently allowed, some want less restriction on calibre size, shooting at steel targets, etc. etc. I don't believe there is any easy answer to providing what these people want, because there is little hope of getting enough with the same idea of how it should be. In the meantime, F-Class will go on, providing a great deal of enjoyment for a large number of shooters.

As I suggested above, more flexible membership options would be good to keep costs down, and attract occasional shooters, but I agree with some other posters above that if you are passionate enough about this sport, then you will find ways of being able to have competitive equipment.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#26 Postby UL1700 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:47 pm

As a young(er) (34) shooter and having recently started out in F class I thought I would give my perspective...

I had heard about a local range (Lang Lang) and one day plucked up the courage to ring the captain and find out what happens. It turned out that every shoot starts out with a 100 Yard sighting in and for a nominal sum I was able to turn up and loose off some rounds. The next Saturday I turned up with my Tikka T3 hunter in 223 with the factory 1:8 barrel Harris copy bi-pod 55 grain factory ammo and nothing else. With a little help I managed to hit the centre and with $20 well spent I felt like a hero! What was more important was that I also found a group of friendly welcoming people who were more than happy to explain what was going on and help me out with the equipment I had. That day moved onto a 600 yard club competition and yet they still found the time to put me behind a rifle and let me pull the trigger. From that point on I was hooked!

I had shot 25 yards .22 in the UK and fox out to 100 yards or so in Australia so to hit a target at 600 was something totally different. The next week was 300 yards and also the maximum non-members can shoot at Lang Lang so I dutifully turned up with the 223, borrowed a rear bag from the club and brought my own tarp. Again I had a good time but quickly realised that more then 5 rounds at a time was a no go due to heat build up. Next I joined the club and shot with the same setup at 500 and realised I needed something better just to shoot.

Now I had three options buy a factory target or varmint rifle, find something second had, or build my own. Now I wanted to shoot so time was a factor but I'm also a competitive bugger. I liked the idea of a internationally recognised class and I had never hand loaded so I discounted f open and f standard and set out to build a F TR rifle. I spoke to club members asked here on the forum and spoke to suppliers and decided to build a Barnard. The cost for this was approximately: Action 2k, Barrel 1k, Stock 1k and I got a second had Nightforce BR scope with rail and rings for 1k and second hand dolphin bipod for $275 all up less then $5.5k. With a bit of tweaking I am now shooting 59 and 60s at up to 600 yards. I want to shoot further and more competitively but spare time is a serious factor.

I started this monologue thinking that a F "factory" class would be the way to get people started but a factory target rifle is going to cost 3k plus scope and rests. This leads me to think that ranges need to welcome hunting rifles and then help new shooters build the right gun! In reality 5.5k is not a bad price to start a sport tor hobby. This is especially so when it is at level where you can be competitive nationally! In my time I have rock climbed, canoed, sailed and breed and ride horses and all of these will take that kind of money to start that alone allowing one to be competitive!

The idea of changing rules to make it more attractive seems slightly absurd to me as for two of the classes we basically have no control (F TR and Open) and standard is what it is. Two of the classes already allow for the most common hunting rifle calibres if wanted and if not shoot F open who cares you will soon be building something to suite anyway. Ultimately the sport is what it is and don’t think that slight technical changes are going to make people start or otherwise.


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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#27 Postby sungazer » Mon Dec 11, 2017 7:55 pm

Alan I don't mean to criticize the sport in anyway. I would like to see the shooting sports grow esp F class. What you say about some of the other shooters mot knowing exactly what they want I also think is correct. At the moment they dont have a path that would concentrate what they want collectively. I do think that they are a big resource that need guidance and funneling into category's. I am not really in favor of more classes within F class.
I do think that if the State RA's do not provide a avenue for them they will form their own.(already happening) For instance the Long Range competitions events for 50 calibre at 1000yrd this could of been incorporated into F open.
More Flexible membership options are a very good idea there are quite a few people that just want to shoot at club level and the VRA fee the NRA fee and then the club fee is too much. We have lost newcomers for this very reason. They were happy to pay double the club fee, however the other fees which they perceive very little value if any to them.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#28 Postby Old Trev-39 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:22 pm

One must remember that some of the "other fees" goes towards insurance cover which is an association expense not club expense. If there was no head body organisation to administer our sport we would not have one. There are expenses to do this so other than club fees have to be paid. For what we get for our association side of fees is reasonable.

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#29 Postby GSells » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:33 pm

Gyro wrote:Steve, aren't you saying you don't agree with the way F Standard ( which I don't shoot ) has evolved but best it is left alone just so some don't get pissed off ?

I went to Trentham last weekend and we shot all long range and all on E Target marking. My loose plan for the weekend was NOT to "chase the spotter" just so I might learn something from the flags/mirage in view of our upcoming Nationals being on Manual Marking, but when I abandoned that stategy and just mindlessly sent them all down there I got my best score. Interesting ?

Any Secrets about Trentham ya want to share ?? :lol:

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Re: F Class Competition in Australia

#30 Postby UL1700 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:48 pm

sungazer wrote: For instance the Long Range competitions events for 50 calibre at 1000yrd this could of been incorporated into F open.

Yep I'd sign up for that :D but at the same time whilst it might keep people who are lucky enough to live near 1000 yard ranges interested I don't think it is a serious contender to get people interested / started in f class. If the $$s are to high already 50cal is a whole diffent level if what I have heard is true.

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