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Thread: What is the appeal of F Class?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Tualatin, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by KC57 View Post
    Can someone answer three questions regarding F-Class please?
    While there are dedicated F-Class matches, most events are fired alongside NRA Prone Matches. Courses of fire are typically identical to those fired by prone shooters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Asa Yam View Post
    Your questions can be answered (in writing) by looking at the NRA Highpower rulebook at .
    NOTE: While there is a separate section for F-Class in the rulebook, parts of the ENTIRE rulebook still apply to F-Class.

    A list of upcoming NRA Highpower matches can be found at Hope this helps.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Wenatchee, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by KC57 View Post
    Can someone answer three questions regarding F-Class please?

    1. What does a typical match consist of? (scoped rifle kind of F-Class)
    Quick description of what position, yardages, number of shots,
    times at the firing line, target types, scoring, target feedback etc.?
    This varies somewhat because of distances available, what country you're in, and then the local 'flavor'.

    Highpower Rifle (and by extension, F-class) matches can be held at ranges varying from 300 yds on out to 1000yds, in general practice. Technically there are some HP matches at even shorter distances, but F-class switches to rimfire under 300yds, as its too hard to score otherwise.

    One range may only have 300yds, and no 'pits', so they might have what we call 'walk-n-paste' matches - they put up two target bulls for the shooter - one for their 'sighter' shots (might be a shoot-n-c or something similar) and then a regular 'official' MR63-FC target. For 'mid' range (600 yds and less) you get basically (up to) one minute per record shot. So if the string of fire is 2 sighters and 20 record shots, then you get 22 minutes to shoot. You can shoot as slow or as fast as you wish inside that 'block' of time. Then they go down and either pull down the targets for scoring, or paste them up (if you didn't do so good) and walk back. Hence 'walk-n-paste'. Everybody shoots usually at least three strings, rotating so that your equipment gets a chance to cool off, and everybody gets their turn in the barrel as far as wind

    Another range might only have 500yds, but they have target pits (carrier mechanisms on which the targets can be raised up from behind a protective berm). Here, they'll probably split the shooters into three groups - one to shoot, one in the pits to run the targets, and one on the line behind/beside the shooter to keep score. The shooter gets the same amount of time, but now when they fire the shot, the person in the pits will pull the target down, insert a scoring plug / marker, move a value disc along the perimeter of the target frame, and run it back up. The person scoring will announce the score, and record it on the score card, and then the shooter fires again. The person in the pits pulls the scoring plug, puts a paster over that hole, puts the scoring plug in the new hole, moves the value disc accordingly, and runs the target back up. On average, that little 'cycle' takes about 10-15 seconds, each shot. If you have someone exceptionally fit and motivated, it might be as little as 5 seconds (if you put all your shots in the 'X', they don't have to hunt around for the hole or move the value disc, so...) or if you have a new shooter who hasn't worked out an economical series of motions or you're slinging them all over the place in the wind and they have to go hunting for the hole every shot... it may take 20-30 seconds. Again, similar course of fire - 2 sighters, and 20 shots for record. Each shooter typically fires three strings, so there will be a rotation so everybody shoots, everybody scores, and everybody pulls targets.

    At longer distances you get 1.5 minutes per round for your record shots, and possibly multiple distances. One common course of fire is called 'Palma' and involves sighters plus 15 record shots each at 800, 900 and 1000 yards. Others may be a Palma course, followed by another 20 shot string @ 1000. Yet other ranges or matches may be just 2 or 3 strings of 20 @ 1000 yds.

    Hopefully you begin to see why there isn't really one comprehensive 'this is it' description - there are just too many variations. Throw in that some matches may not have enough shooters show up one day to have three relays, only two... so they have to score in the pits (you're not allowed to score for your self, obviously), where another might have so many shooters they have to work 4, 5 or 6 relays and *someone* has to herd that batch of cats through out the day...

    As far as scoring, the targets are generally decimal targets with a 1/2 moa X-ring that serves primarily as a tie breaker. Then a 1 moa 10-ring, a 2-moa 9 ring, etc. The exact dimensions are listed in the NRA rulebooks. If the shot touches the line, the shooter gets the next higher value. The scoring rings run from 10/X down through 5; anything outside a 5 is considered a 'miss' and is scored as zero points. In reference to the X being for ties, it goes like this: if competitor A shoots a 200-5X, and competitor B fires a 200-9X, they both shot a 'clean' (no points dropped) but the higher X-count wins. If competitor C fires a 199-12X... they still come in third, because they didn't 'clean' the target (i.e. they dropped a point).

    2. Where are some ranges where these matches are shot in the MD, PA, DE area?
    (Links to range websites that might have match dates?)
    I'd start off contacting the state NRA affiliate in those states. They can probably point you towards the person or persons running the state Highpower Rifle match schedule (if they have one) and they *should* be able to get you in touch with local ranges hosting matches.

    Next best bet:

    Lots of posts (pages) to wade thru, but it should give you some idea.

    Short version... asking about F-class on 'Benchrest Central' isn't really your best source of information. 'Benchrest' and 'NRA' are two entirely different worlds, however much it might *look* like there are similarities.

    3. Are any association memberships required to compete in a match, or just entry fees?
    Again, it varies. Local club matches that are either NRA 'Approved' or not sanctioned at all, may or may not require NRA membership. It is usually strongly encouraged, as they are the sanctioning body, and $4.50 of your entry fee will be forwarded to them for record keeping, etc.

    Larger events that are 'NRA Registered' matches usually require membership in the the state NRA affiliate association (in my case, Washington State Rifle and Pistol Association) and/or that of *your* state association if you are from a nearby state (i.e. Oregon Shooting Sports Association, etc.). NRA membership is again not 100% required.... but the only place you can set national records is in an NRA Registered event... and if you're not an NRA *member*... well, hopefully you can figure that part out

    4. Link to a website that has the above information?
    (Iíve Googled and not been able to get good info.)
    There is no one unifying place that has *all* the match info, *and* a comprehensive description, *and* is willing to answer any and all questions you might have.

    The closest you are going to find is going to be the forums @

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Thank you all for the information.
    I understand Bridgeville DE just had an F-Class meet with 600 & 1000 yardages. I will likely head that way for the next scheduled F-Class event.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Even though

    F class is shot prone, the rifle is supported by a front rest and rear sandbag....a far cry from real prone shooting where your arms and hands support the rifle.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by glp View Post
    F class is shot prone, the rifle is supported by a front rest and rear sandbag....a far cry from real prone shooting where your arms and hands support the rifle.
    Spare me...

    And Moto GP is a far cry from the Tour de France where your legs pedal the cycle........

    Two different less.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Dunwoody, Georgia

    Part of the appeal of F-Class

    is that you can start out by shooting what you probably already have.

    You can shoot F-Class with any cartridge that's .35 caliber or below, provided you're shooting a bullet that can reliably hit the target at whatever distance you're shooting at. I'm glossing over the rules about F-Open and F-TR rifles, maximum weights, etc., but you can read all about it starting at page 67 of the rule book:

    For example: if someone has a .223 with a barrel twist that stabilizes bullets in, say, the 69-80 gr. range, a Harris bipod, a sandbag or even a beanbag to stabilize the rear (or they can just use their hand if they want), and a riflescope or spotting scope that can resolve a 1.5-inch diameter spotting disc at 600 yards, then they can shoot F-Class. A mat or thick blanket is good, too, so you're more comfortable in position. You don't need to spend $5000+ on a custom gun, scope, fancy front rest, etc. And if that hypothetical shooter enjoys it and wants to do better, he or she can rebarrel that .223 with a custom barrel. At 600 yards, a 24X scope and a rifle that shoots in the .3s will be competitive.

    In other words, F-Class has a low barrier to entry.

    Yes, shooting F-Class is easier than shooting with sling and jacket, but that doesn't mean it's easy to win. A benchrest rifle is the epitome of something that's easy to shoot, but it's still hard to win a benchrest match. And while attaining a good F-Class position is easier than attaining a good sling position (not to mention being easier on the body), shooting a good score in F-Class still requires a good position, trigger control, wind reading, and shot strategy.

    After spending some Georgia summers shooting with sling and jacket on an uncovered firing line, I made F-Class my summer highpower sport and enjoy it immensely.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Augusta, Maine & Palm Coast, Fl

    I'm wit you Jackie

    Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
    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.
    I shot a couple of CMP matches and couldn't get up from the prone position without help and was very uncomfortable when in the prone position, which was the genesis of my question I guess. Don't know why people would want to be uncomfortable when they were shooting or better said, shoot at something that was uncomfortable.


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    West central NH
    I used to do push-ups and thought I liked it. Last time I tried it I fell on my face and almost broke my nose.

    Went skiing last year for the first time in about 8 years. I learned the meaning of "I've fallen and I can't get up."

    The irony of F-class is that when you are old enough to see it as a good alternative to Service Rifle Across the Course, you may be too old to want to shoot from your belly at all.

    I'm not ashamed of liking a solid bench, a good seat and a roof to keep the sun off. My dermatologist now has me on 6 months recall for the rest of my life.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Reade Range in Pa. shoots F class.... Jim

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Attraction of F-Class

    I shot High Power across the course with a Grand from the mid 80's till mid 2000's. Finally couldn't see the front sight, cataract but didn't know it then, so I scoped it and continued the local matches, which they let me shoot just not eligible for trophies, no scopes then. Got tired of getting beaten up by the Garand, it made my nick hurt after every match. so quit. Kind of enjoyed the comradary of the pits then.
    Read about benchrest for years, in Precision Rifle, and was intrigued by it. But knew I didn't have the time, money or patience to shoot, or reload for it, at anything but the duffer level. Then F-Class came along. I like the idea of shooting farther and shooting with great precision and accuracy at the same time. I only get to shoot at the local club 300 yd matches, time and money again. but love it and the challenge, Doesn't beat me up like the 30-06 either.
    1st rifle at a match? 6.5x55 Swede with a Choate sporter stock and a 7x scope. Used a sand bag on top of a tool box for a front rest and a sand bag at rear. No I didn't win. But I had a ball. Found the guys were fun, helpful and welcoming. Shot it a few times. Then due to job changes couldn't for few years. Returned with a Ruger No. 1 in 6mm Remington. Another uncommon rifle on the F-class line. It's an accurate rifle but that sporter forend made precision tough. But I really enjoy shooting a Ruger No 1. BTW during all this I was learning bunches about precision reloading too. Then I stumbled on my dream rifle a f-class stocked Ruger No. 1 in 6.5 Grendel. Always been intrigued by the cartridge and now have it in a rifle I love to shoot. That's what I shoot in our local matches. Haven't won any but that's not beyond possibility as I get better on the bags and now have a much better front rest and scope than before. Local matches a perfect score is 300-30x End of last year shot a 296-7x hit 292-11x this year so far.
    Attraction? Enter with anything you want. Shoot your best. Learning the techniques. The people. At 69 I can still lay down and get up on the line. The challenge. We now use electronic targets - No pits! I can shoot in the shade, if I bring my own. Can I out shoot myself last week. Oh yeah, matches only an hour from home.
    Thought about going over and shooting a benchrest match. But what do I do when they say to remove the bolt from your rifle? Mine doesn't have a bolt.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Manhattan & Sag Harbor, N.Y.


    Back in the 60s, I shot 50 foot RF and still have all those shinny metals. Then when the program was made available I started shooting 500 yard Prone, Sitting and Offhand with a Springfield O3-A3 and metal sights, until we were able to buy guns through the government. Still have my M-1 Garand National Match that I paid $25.00 for and the M-1 Carbine that was $15.00, plus we got 300 rounds of .30-06 Match Ammo a season free. Got me into longer range shooting.

    My understanding is that only SOME Palma matches restrict projectile weight to 155 grains, though some matches require that you shot the ammunition they supply so that every one is working with the same ammo. I had a Palm Rifle Built and though it is now 5 years old, I have yet to shoot it, but I have shot my F-Class rifle in a military caliber (.308) so it can shot in more than one class as I understand.

    Then I have a 1,000 yard bench rest rifle and custom builds for 100, 200, 300 and RF too. Never shot in a sanctioned match though, but like to beat the guys at my local club shooting with their hunting rifles. And I have had fun shooting at Cherry Ridge during Bob White and Harley Baker's Benrest Seminars. Maybe after this Covid thing really calms down I will finally get together with Harley at Mid-South Jersey Rifle Club to have a one on one training session.

    Then there is Bullseye Pistol, which I should with a number of different pistols, and Free Pistol - Who would ever want to take 2 hours to shoot 60 rounds of Rim Fire Pistol?

    What does that leave. I do shoot registered Skeet, some trap, some bunker trap, some sporting clays and some 5 stand.

    Not great at any of these, but since I retired, I have more time to shoot and every new game I try gives me a reason to buy or have built a new firearm. How does the saying go? "Jack of All Trades, Master of None!" That's me.

    And F Class did give me an excuse to buy a set of optional F Class Feet for my SEB NEO rest!

    Just like how the world is changing, my shooting is all about Diversity!

    Last edited by rkittine; 06-20-2020 at 07:53 AM.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Wilcox, PA


    Quote Originally Posted by kc57 View Post
    can someone answer three questions regarding f-class please?

    1. What does a typical match consist of? (scoped rifle kind of f-class)
    quick description of what position, yardages, number of shots,
    times at the firing line, target types, scoring, target feedback etc.?

    2. Where are some ranges where these matches are shot in the md, pa, de area?
    (links to range websites that might have match dates?)

    3. Are any association memberships required to compete in a match, or just entry fees?

    4. Link to a website that has the above information?
    (iíve googled and not been able to get good info.)

    thank you.
    check benchrest central

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