View Full Version : I'm new and want to find out how to start.

02-20-2008, 05:59 PM
I have many rifles but all of them are for hunting, I just bought a FN SPR-AG3 chambered in 308.
Since I reload and love shooting, I want to find out more about getting into the competition thing.
Obviously, my rifle is coming out of the box and I'm not expecting to pull off any miracles, I just want to have fun with a beginners type scene (if there is such a thing).

I live in Martinez CA. My local range only has a 100 yard bench.
I would sure appreciate anyone helping point me in the right direction.

Rich Allen

02-20-2008, 06:58 PM
You are located near the (to me anyway) F-Class shooters dream location, the Sacramento Shooting Center. See their web site at: http://www.sacvalley.org/

During March they host 'March Madness' during which matches are held 4-9, 12-16 and 19-22 March. Go to the range and fine Ed Eckhoff. Show him your rifle and I am sure he will tell you all you need to know. Heck, tell him I sent you! I am sure he will still talk to you. Ed may be shooting and busy in the pits or helping to run the matches, so plan on being there awhile.

This is a major internationaly attend competition so you won't be able to shoot during the match, but going to a place like this at a time like this will educate you beyond what anyone can tell you here. Don't let the appearance of most of the rifles and equipment keep you from trying F-Class. Once you do you will love it. Your rifle will most likely fall into the F/TR class.

02-21-2008, 07:40 AM
Larry, thank you for the information.

I will head up to Sacramento this weekend just to check it out.

The range should be open for normal shooting.

Thanks again,


02-22-2008, 12:30 PM
Bed the rifle properly. Put on a MOA base either from Farrel or other quality maker. Burris rings w/inserts for additional shimming and tuning. I use their tallest rings. Lighten the trigger as much as possible. Make up handloads that shooting 1/2 min or under in round groups or sideways footballs (wide but short).

Put on a Harris, or Skipod and come on out. A good solid rear bag is a must - protecktor is most readily available. Make sure that the optics and stock height are comfy for your body while prone. I found that the cheek rest had to be raised quite a bit for me to be comfy. Length of pull was actually shorter. Change anything to make it fit - duct tape and foam rubber if necessary. You will be shooting very long relays and having sore necks doesn't help with scores.

F class was a very easy event for me to figure out my first time out. You have so much time during the relay and every shot is scored so you know what just happened and learn from it. With a drop chart and hopefully a day to sight in, you just dial up and start shooting. Look at the conditions and learn how to dope the winds.

Look over the conditions/flags, take your best guess on what the winds are doing, aim, fire, get scored, diagnose why what you thought would happen didn't, reaim and start the process over again. With an accurate/consistent rifle (1/2min) in light air, you may just pick off a few X's.

That will be too bad cause now your HOOKED :D

It really doesn't have to be complicated. Just get out there and have fun.

I like mil dot reticles for holding off (not a scope clicker for windage). I use Elite 4200 6x24 AO mil dot scopes. They work, great glass, well priced.

A great scope if your matches only cover a moderate distances like 300 to 600, or 800 to 1000yds. You can set up the scope to cover that range. However, not ideal if you have to go from 300 to 1000 in the same match.

Testing their new Tactical (much more elevation and suitable for one scope set up for all normal distances) and will eventually get their 6500 30X. If budget is a concern, the 4200 is a great bargain.


02-23-2008, 09:51 AM
Hi Jerry,
Thanks for the great reply. My rifle has a leupy 40x45 scope with badger ordinance rings.
I need to learn how to read the winds... I've been doing some reading about it and it seems challenging. It must be very challenging or it wouldn't really be hard would it?

I'm confused about the different types of F-class. Some you shoot with a rest and bag and others you shoot prone.
This weekends rain and 40mph winds will close my local range. That sucks because I wanted to fire this new rifle.


02-23-2008, 11:13 AM
There are two main classes. F open allows anything within cal and weight restrictions. Otherwise, it is WIDE open. See rules for fine points on stock widths, etc.

F F or F TR uses only the 308 or 223 in set bullet weights (US rules are more open so check those- see NRA site). US rules require a bipod useage in this class. Cdn rules don't. This class is lighter but essentially the same format for rifle.

The rifles will look very much like a BR rifle in stock shape as this is best for recoil management over the bags. Higher combs are very common to adjust for the different head position.

The Savage F(Open) rifle is a good example of a F rifle. Their F(TR) has a lousy stock shape.

We all shoot prone, however rests vary from bipod only to pedestal joystick rests with custom rear bags. I use a pedestal front and rear bag as I am in F(O). End of the day, you have to be as stable as possible and repeatable in your follow through.

The 40X is a decent scope but that much power may be tough to use as a beginner. Give it a try but if you get 'bounced' around too much with mirage, consider going down to a 24X scope.

The lower mag also lets you see more of the range to monitor flags and other targets. You don't need to see your bullet holes as you are scored every shot. With a scope of decent resolution, 24X is plenty for me. I really like being able to use the scope as a field scope, not a spotting scope for my target.