Field Target Rifle Set-up

By Garrett Kwakkestein

Equipment list:

Throughout the process keep the rifle in as stable of a temperature as possible, preferably the same temperature as you would be shooting. Discharge the rifle about 20-50 times to warm it up before proceeding.

If you are using a Hamster, be sure to keep it in place during the test. Rest the rifle weight on it or near it if able.

  1. Install enlarged scope focus wheel and pointer
  2. Determine what class you what to participate in
  3. Set scope to the magnification you will be shooting in. Do not adjust. You may want to mark this or secure with tape.
  4. Record ambient temperature and altitude
  5. Determine FPE is less than 20 (or 12 FPE if shooting WFTF)
  6. Make sure settings on gun are at a level you want to keep
  7. Enter data into Chairgun and determine trajectory apex
  8. Staple target to cardboard 2 feet lower than rifle testing height. Laser level can help with this
  9. Set target at 25 yards or at apex if different.
  10. Verify target distance with tape measure
  11. Focus the scope to this distance.
  12. Verify distance on scope parallax dial
  13. Mark the exact spot on the RIFLE with masking tape where 25 yards is measured from the target to rifle. This is the point you will always be measuring too.
  14. Now measure 10 yards and check parallax reading and focus point (you just taped in previous step) on scope and point of focus sight ensuring actual target distance is correlating
  15. Check 50 yards as well.
  16. Bring target back to 25 yards (or trajectory apex) and scope check again
  17. Take some shots and Zero your scope at this distance
  18.  Reset your turrets to appear zero for both elevation and windage without clicking
  19.  Take the masking tape and cover the scope wheel distance numbers, so you can mark the distances as you focus.

Now you are ready to start the shooting portion of the test. At this point you need to determine if you want to shoot using the Holdover technique, or the Scope-clicking technique.  Each method has its own merits. However, if you are just starting out, the holdover technique has greater fail-safe properties during competition.  

Holdover

  1. In your notebook, draw the reticle that appears in your scope. Preferably, use a pen. Take up the whole page with the reticle size.
  2. Shoot the first bull.  You should be already zero’d in at 25 yards ( or apex) and your target should be at 25 (or apex)
  3. Move the target back to exactly 24 yards. (Or to an even number closer if apex is elsewhere)
  4. Refocus the target in your scope to be as crisp as possible
  5. Mark the distance (24-, or other) on your scope wheel with your sharpie under the pointer.
  6. Shoot the bull. Note the lower point of impact (if there is any) in the reticle and with your pencil, write the distance (24) with a line and arrow in your notebook on the left side to the correlating spot in your scope's reticle that you already drew.
  7. “Measure. Move. Focus. Doc Dist on wheel. Shoot. Mark in book. Repeat”
  8. Move the target back 2 yards, (every 1 yard if you are very detail orientated) and repeat the process.
  9. Do this until you reach  15 yards. Then move back every yard. Move half a yard at a time from 11.5 until 10.
  10. Now move your target to 26 yards. Repeat process moving out to 60 yards. This time write the numbers on the right side of the reticle in your notebook.

Turret Clicking 

  1. Shoot the first bull.  You should be already zero’d in at 25 yards and your target should be at 25.
  2. Move the target back to exactly 24 yards.
  3. Refocus your scope.
  4. Mark the distance (24-) on your scope wheel with your sharpie under the pointer.
  5. Shoot the bull. Note the lower point of impact (if there is any) in the reticle
  6.  From the zero mark on your turret, and your rifle stabilized, turn your turret until your crosshairs meet the POI
  7. Document the number on your turret. (Another method is to document the number of clicks i.e. +5)
  8. Verify your shot. Add or subtract clicks as necessary
  9. Reset your turret to zero
  10. “Measure. Move. Focus. Doc Dist on wheel. Shoot. Mark in book. Repeat”
  11. Move the target back 2 yards, (every 1 yard if you are very detail orientated) and repeat the process.
  12. Do this until you reach  15 yards. Then move back every yard. Move half a yard at a time from 11.5 until 10.
  13. Now move your target to 26 yards. Repeat process moving out to 60 yards

The space on your wheel should get tighter, as you move out.

Finishing up.

  1. On your label maker, print out all the distances you measured in this format: “24-” (with the dash). Use the smallest height. Preferably ⅛” high.
  2. Cut the numbers out so the tape is a hate bigger than the numbers
  3. Slowly pull back tape on your wheel replacing the tic marks with the correlating labels. (Using a sharp knife or tweezers helps significantly)
  4. You can transcribe your info written in your notebook to a index card (and laminate) to keep with you in competition

Bear in mind every time you change elevation, temperature, and shooting locations, you may experience a point of impact shift.