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Thread: What is the appeal of F Class?

  1. #1
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    What is the appeal of F Class?

    I have asked this question in the past and did not receive an answer. What do people competing in F Class find appealing about it? How did you become interested in it and once involved, what kept your interest? Not trying to be a wet blanket but just a curiosity I have had for a long time.

    Thanks,

    Pete

  2. #2
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    Pete, this is my take on F-class. I donít shoot it exactly, but I have helped run our clubs F-class matches for a number of years by keeping the stats and helping to score when needed. What I do shoot is what we call G-class or F-class from a bench (we do 300 and 600 yard matches). I have seen it refered to as F-bench on occasion. Some of us are just too old to shoot prone.

    We tried shooting 600 yard benchrest matches for one summer, but they did not go over very well. What i disliked about benchrest style shooting is no feedback on each shot. After the sighter period the record target is run up and you shoot 10 shots and wait for your target to see how you did. It seemed to boil down to how fast can you load and shoot before the conditions change. In F-class each shot is scored and marked. This instant feedback makes it easier for the beginer to learn wind reading and mirage skills that you donít get from benchrest style shooting.

    Thatís one opinion, anyway.

  3. #3
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    Essentially, yes. The gun still needs to be fairly accurate, but after a certain point, having a gun that shoots 0.2 instead of 0.3 becomes a moot point. Taking that 0.3 gun and going out and practicing in different conditions will do way more for your score agg than shaving that extra 0.1 off your group size.

    Plus, with the longer strings (15-20 shots) it becomes more difficult to shoot them all in one condition. (difficult, but not impossible - depends on the range/location) To not just put them in a small group, but in a specific small area... despite shifting mirage, lighting changes, wind changes, having to pick up and move your gear between relays and yard lines, and limited # of sighters (depending on the venue)... it takes some of the emphasis off the loading bench and puts it back on the shooter reading the conditions accurately. Good gun handling is a must regardless whether shooting from the bench or the ground.

    Then you have some masochists that actually enjoy handicapping themselves as far as caliber and/or rests i.e. F/TR vs. F-Open. Still very accurate guns, kind of like Hunter BR vs. Varmint For Score, but it adds some additional level of difficulty to the gun handling aspect.

  4. #4
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    All the people are great. And they mark every shot you make.

  5. #5
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    I got into benchrest about 10 years ago after shooting Palma for many years. Palma is shooting prone at 800, 900 and 1000 yards. You generally wear a thick heavy shooting jacket, sling and glove. Not great at 90 degrees plus. Your gun was bolt action .308 shooting a 155 grn bullet. And you used metallic match sights. Also, you had to take your turn in the pits heaving huge target frames up and down and marking and repairing them. One year while at a Palma match at the Whittington Center I noticed that there was activity at the Coors Range and decided I needed to see what was going on. I had a free day as I wasn't shooting on a team so I went to the Coors Range to see what was going on. I went into the building and saw shooters reloading, shooting the bull and generally having a good time in the shade. When it was time for them to shoot, they took a few rounds and their gun to the covered bench and fired their shots in a few minutes and then go back into the building while some one else took care of their targets. So I said to myself, self, I think these guys broke the code here. Within a couple of months I bought some used equipment at the Coors and got started in benchrest.

    However, before leaving Palma shooting I observed that some F-class shooters had started participating in the Palma matches. I think one of the factors that got some of these guys into F-class was the ability to use scopes. Also, no shooting coat, sling or bullet weight restriction. There were many things that had to be considered when having both types of shooting in the same match but they were eventually worked out. I'm considering getting my Palma rifle configured for F-class. My eyesight is such that I can't see through match sights anymore and I'm having to put scopes on all my guns. Another factor is the basic difference between shooting for a group and shooting to hit a point. After shooting benchrest for about ten years I think I plateaued about six years ago. Early on I won a little wood but nothing substantial. I still shoot benchrest because I enjoy it and the people involved. But in a game where .0003 can make the difference between 1st and 5th I don't hold my breathe about ever winning a match. I've got a lot of other guns that are gathering dust and I intend to use them in the F-class environment. The only problem is that I haven't tried to shoot on my belly in over ten years. I've had both knees replaced and six lag bolts screwed into my lower back, so I'm not sure I can do that either. As soon as the weather breaks I'm going to give it a try.

  6. #6
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    Need mo information

    What are some of the more popular calibers for F-Open? Are there guys that shoot F-TR and F-Open during the same match or do you shoot just 1 class?
    How many rounds do you shoot at each yardage?
    Whatís the cost to shoot on average?
    I think I have some of the gear and only need to pickup a mat, and a scope stand and of course a new barrel for one of my benchrest rifles.
    Whatís the max weight for an F open rifle?

  7. #7
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverwolf1 View Post
    ...I think I have some of the gear and only need to pickup a mat, and a scope stand and of course a new barrel for one of my benchrest rifles.
    Whatís the max weight for an F open rifle?
    Your questions can be answered (in writing) by looking at the NRA Highpower rulebook at http://rulebooks.nra.org/documents/p...R/hpr-book.pdf .
    NOTE: While there is a separate section for F-Class in the rulebook, parts of the ENTIRE rulebook still apply to F-Class.
    Best place for answering equipment questions is at a match, or better yet, after the match at the local "watering hole".

    An additional benefit of attending a match: You may find that some has an extra rifle, ammo, or additional gear which they are more than willing to loan you to get you to try the sport. (BE CAREFUL!!! It's addictive!)

    Best of luck in getting started.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverwolf1 View Post
    What are some of the more popular calibers for F-Open? Are there guys that shoot F-TR and F-Open during the same match or do you shoot just 1 class?
    How many rounds do you shoot at each yardage?
    Whatís the cost to shoot on average?
    I think I have some of the gear and only need to pickup a mat, and a scope stand and of course a new barrel for one of my benchrest rifles.
    Whatís the max weight for an F open rifle?
    Usually shoot 20 rounds plus 2 sighters which are convertible. Match fees vary dependent on location and length of match. For example the F-Class National Championship held at the NRA Whittington Center was a four day match and match fee was $200.00 Here's a link to the program for this match which is going on right now. http://www.baldeaglesrc.org/resource...v.2132018).pdf

  9. #9
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    I think F-class is one of the great shooting sports, although I was never very good at it. I have learned more about rifles and ammo and reloading from bench rest, and I think any potential F-class shooter would benefit from some bench rest experience.

    I quit F-class because of skin cancer and because I moved farther from the venue. The pace of the day was a factor too. 8 hours in the sun and always rushing between yardages and the pits so we could be done by 4 PM. It made my real job (programming) seem like more fun. When the requirement came down to pre-register for every match, that sort of put the finishing touches on it. Bench rest and egg shoots are more fun for me and not as exhausting.

    More power to the guys still doing it. I think the under-50 crowd will get more out of it than the over-60 crowd.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtmarmot View Post
    I think F-class is one of the great shooting sports, although I was never very good at it. I have learned more about rifles and ammo and reloading from bench rest, and I think any potential F-class shooter would benefit from some bench rest experience.
    Couldn't agree more. I wish I had the knowledge I've gained in benchrest when I was shooting Palma and Fullbore. I may not get far in F-class now as I turn 78 tomorrow.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    I turn 78 tomorrow.
    It's all good while we keep turning. Best wishes.

  12. #12
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    As Lou wrote ďAll the people are great. And they mark every shot you make.Ē I shot a bit of LR BR back when and even set a 5-shot NBRSA 1k record in 1999. Have also shot NMC, Palma, 3 Postion, air rifle and MS, plus various shotgun disciplines. In 1999 I switched from Palma to FC and havenít looked back. I enjoy the challenge of putting a bullet into a 5Ē X-ring circle. Hopefully 20 times in a row someday! I like the feedback we get from the target as opposed to none from LR BR shooting. The challenge of reading the wind over 20 shots, while waiting on the target to come back out of the pits to show you how your last shot was placed makes it a never changing chore. The plus, as Lou wrote is the people! Having shot FC all over the world I can say the people are the same. Great!
    BTW, I am 77, going on 107 and still win my share.

  13. #13
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    I am 71, and while the FC has appeal, too many broke bones from earlier in life endevourss and too many SS screws holding things together preclude me from shooting prone.

    I suppose that is why I enjoy Benchrest.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Wass View Post
    I have asked this question in the past and did not receive an answer. What do people competing in F Class find appealing about it? How did you become interested in it and once involved, what kept your interest? Not trying to be a wet blanket but just a curiosity I have had for a long time. Thanks, Pete
    I can drive for three hours from where I live and, as far as I know, not find any open-to-the-public rifle-based matches other than the occasional three gun events, something which holds no interest for an old guy well into his 70's, with the exception of one club which holds a monthly 600 BR event. Truth be told, it's not one of those anal style BR matches. Many of the same people from the Saturday F class match come back on Sunday to shoot their F class rifles from a bench. Nobody has ever reloaded on the firing line, for example, so it's not ultra serious BR shooting.

    So if you're not into running around, F class is the only event nearby my house where I can test my marksmanship. Quite a few ranges hold monthly matches at both 600 and 1000 yards.

    Full disclosure: Most places I shoot F class will also accommodate prone sling shooters. But very few guys are insane enough to don that heavy coat in 90 degree weather and 70% humidity and those who do are required to be returned to the mental institution before sundown. I don't even like to look at those jackets so for me and anyone I know, sling shooting is out of the question.

    Bottom line: I shoot F class because for guys like me who are either too old for 3 gun shooting or don't find that kind of competition appealing, F class is the only way we can compete.
    Last edited by Mozella; 09-26-2018 at 04:58 AM.

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