HFT Diary: Best You Can!
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- Last updated: 22/05/2018
I’ve covered setting up a club a while back, and there’s plenty to consider. I set up my own Hunter Field Target (HFT) club some years back, and I’m still filled with pride at the sight of a regular happy band of enthusiasts meeting up and enjoying airguns, and each other’s company. I’ve helped spread the word, done my bit for the airgun industry, and hopefully encouraged some new blood into the sport along the way! Also, I now feel there’s a lasting legacy, of the club continuing to thrive, if I were to walk away or more likely move area. There’s a sufficient hard core of real enthusiasts to keep it going, come what may and that’s a really great achievement.
Satisfying indeed, but if a club is to really thrive, then it really is a good tip to invest in top quality kit. We’ve set out to be predominantly an HFT concern, and we set up our target course accordingly. But by the same token, I would hardly turn anyone away, just because they wanted to shoot Field Target (FT). Instead, I’d explain that we tended to shoot HFT, but that if the individual wanted to set up a few extra targets to suit themselves, then there would be no problem with that. Likewise, it’s vital to accommodate the shooter who really isn’t competitive. And if they just want to turn up and do their own thing, safely on the practise range, just shooting at paper targets, then so be it!
What is vital, however, is that the club differentiates between practise grade targets, and any actual knock-downs which will be used for competition. It doesn’t matter a damn what you use for practise, save for it not shattering over the grass, where livestock may tread. Indeed, I banned path-finder plastic markers a while back for that very reason, since it transpired that they were made of absurdly brittle and sharp plastic.
But when it comes to competition targets, it is imperative that the club use/purchase the best available, which will be about as reliable as it’s possible to be. If you stage competitions, even just among club members, once trophies and prizes are up for grabs, the targets must work as near 100% as possible, so that means buying the best.
In my experience, this comes down to two main makes in the UK, which probably dominate official FT and HFT courses around the country. Nockover Targets are the original and still hard to beat for total quality. They produce a sizeable selection, but for pure reliability when it matters, the flat-based FT model is the one. This one retails for £24.60 plus p&p, but they do come fully electro plated, painted and effectively weatherproofed.
Experienced top shot, Richard Woods is behind Flop Over Targets, and his outfit is based in Essex. His design is very similar to that of Nockover, but he offers a less expensive, but none the less quality product, for around £15 plus p&p, as it comes without string, and the steel is not electro-plated. I counted 32 different designs he offers, but stick to the larger conventional flat plate designs, and they are difficult to fault!
Finally this month, I wanted to highlight a service that Pete Sparkes now offers, with a set of Target Designation Plates, available to clearly mark out discipline shots on any HFT course. They are made of vinyl-coated steel for protection. There are nine and each is 12 x 8” x 3.5mm. Each is neatly printed with the UKAHFT logo top right, and the Air Arms one in the middle. They are specifically set up and marked for the three shooting positions as follows: PRONE ONLY, STANDING ONLY and KNEELING OR STANDING ONLY. This means that any club can now professionally mark-up lanes and designate them as required to avoid any confusion!
The quality of the set is, I have to say excellent, and well worth the £70 that it costs. That works out at just over £8 each, and if you see how well they’re made, it’s a small investment in my book, for any club looking to put gloss on their more serious trophy shoots. To purchase a set of target plates, contact the UKAHFT through the website below.
Now surely all eyes on Kelmarsh, as the World Championship results can’t be too far away, but until then happy and safe shooting.
For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, look at the following websites: https://sites.google.com/site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze.com https:// sites.google.com/site/whfta1/
In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com and www.whfto.com
Nockover Targets, 01256470094 www.nockover-targets.co.uk
Flop Over Targets, 07449895053 www.flop-over.co.uk
Pre-Season 29th April Dunfermline
R1 20th May Misfits, Rutland
R2 23rd June Rivington Rifles, nr Bolton
R3 24th June Emley Moor, Yorks
R4 21st July M.A.D., Essex
R5 22nd July M.A.D.
R6 18th August Furnace Mill, Shropshire
R7 19th August Nomads
R8 23rd September Cambridge
R9 21st October Quarry Hunters, Wales
Round 1 22nd April Cambridge
Round 2 12th & 13th May Northern Shooting Show, Harrogate
Round 3 17th June Cloybank, Scotland
Round 4 28th July Emley Moor
Round 5 29th July Rivington
World HFT Champs. 4Th & 5th August Czech Republic
Round 6 2nd September Venue to be advised
Round 7 28th October M.A.D., Essex
Master Classes Dates T.B.A. Pete’s Airgun Farm / M.A.D.