Field target is an outdoor competition where competitors use air guns to shoot at steel targets 9–50 m away. The competitors shoot from various positions – prone, kneeling, sitting, and standing.
In field target competitions, steel targets with a hole in the face plate are used. They are usually animal shaped. The hole is called the kill zone – if the shooter hits this area (with a certain force), the target trips over thanks to the paddle installed behind the hole. If the shooter hits the face plate, the target does not fall.
The shooters are not given the information on the distance to the target. It is up to them to determine it with the help of their riflescope (more information can be found below). No laser rangefinders are allowed at the competitions.
Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56 Field Target II (silver)
An adjustable parallax is the most important feature of a riflescope designed for field target competitions. To cover the distances on which the targets are put, it must be settable from 7 m onwards.
Riflescopes designed for field target shooting boast high magnification power which is important for distance evaluation. Only at high magnification can the user successfully estimate the distance with the help of the parallax.
Tactical turrets are common – it is important for the user to have the elevation and windage adjustments at hand as POI adjustment with the help of turrets is essential in the field target competitions.
Generally speaking, most features of these riflescopes are identical to the ones on F-class riflescopes.
In field target shooting, the competitor estimates the distance to the target with the help of an adjustable parallax.
Participants mark their scope with distance marks – when the image is in focus, the shooter knows the distance to the target. This is done only once for each riflescope before participating in competitions by setting the target at various distances with the help of a long tape measure or a laser rangefinder. Many shooters use a marked tape to write the distances down on the parallax of the riflescope.
A sidewheel makes this procedure easier for two reasons. With it, you can set the parallax much more precisely. Furthermore, you are provided with the surface for applying the marked tape. Most riflescopes with an adjustable parallax have the parallax knob on the side, hence the name ‘sidewheel’. Kahles K1050i FT 10–50x56, for example, has the parallax knob on top, at the base of the elevation turret – in this instance, the term ‘topwheel’ is much more suitable. A universal term used for this accessory is ‘parallax wheel’.
Certain field target riflescopes feature additional equipment such as bubble level to provide the most accurate distance readings.
Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56 Field Target II's sidewheel
Field target competitions require the shooter to be extremely accurate. When competing in high temperatures, the accuracy of the riflescope can be compromised. For this reason, many optics manufacturers offer silver field target riflescopes. These do not heat up in the sun as much as classic, black riflescopes.
F-class riflescopes are identical to field target riflescopes feature-wise which is why an F-class riflescope can be used for field target shooting. At the beginning this was the only way – it took a while for the manufacturers to introduce riflescopes designed specifically for field target. The development of these riflescopes was based on the features of F-class riflescopes.
This is possible though not ideal as parallax on certain field target riflescopes cannot be set beyond 100 m. The reticles used in field target are not best-suited for the F-class shooting.
Schmidt & Bender 12.5-50x56 Field Target II's bubble level
The popular field target riflescopes are made by the following manufacturers: