October 5, 2015
Air rifle field target is, quite simply, one of the toughest shooting challenges that any target shooter can face.
At the Crosman All-American Field Target Championship (CAAFTC), held this past June, competitors had to drop four targets within four minutes on each of 15 lanes (for a total of 60 targets) on one day, and then do it all over again the next day on different lanes for a total of 120 targets over two days.
The championship, now in its sixth year, welcomed shooters from seventeen states and Canada with 75 rifle and 20 pistol competitors. In the past, the match was held at Crosman headquarters in East Bloomfield, NY, but this year, the Rochester Brooks International Trap and Skeet Club in nearby Rush, NY, hosted the event.
Shooters compete with air rifles and pistols of .22 caliber or less, at distances of 10 to 55 yards. This includes spring-piston break-barrel and underlever air rifles, as well as pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles in which an on-board air reservoir must be charged using a high pressure pump or SCUBA tank. PCP rifles typically will deliver 5-shot groups at 50 yards that are well under one inch, while spring-piston air rifles are more difficult to shoot accurately because of the unique whiplash recoil that occurs when the shot is triggered. Shooters typically compensate for changes in trajectory at different ranges by using hold-over points on mil-dot reticles or by clicking the elevation knobs on their scopes.