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Field Target



It's the second Saturday of the month.  The season is from October/November to April.

See the Calendar tab

Times may change due to weather. To stay on top of any schedule or match changes, be sure to subscribe to our email list to be notified of the latest match info. 


Our typical start times: (this may be earlier if the weather is forecasted to be warm)

7:00 am    Setup Volunteers welcome to come and assist in the setup of the range. Registration opens after setup is complete.


8:00 am    Registration Opens near the OETC Building. Parking will be at the Training Center lot, and overflow on the other side of the road.                          


9:30 am    Registration Closes You may Sight-in after you sign in. It is located behind the big building. 


10:00 am    Competition begins, immediately after lane assignments and safety briefing. 

What is Field Target?


Airgun field target is a popular shooting sport that involves using air rifles to hit metal targets, approximately a foot tall, placed at various distances and positions within a natural outdoor setting. The objective is to accurately shoot the targets, which are typically small metal knockdown targets, often shaped with unique designs.

In field target competition, shooters move through a course laid out here on the range in the pristine natural desert environment. Each lane along the course features a different shooting position and a set of targets placed at varying distances and heights. The targets may be set at different sizes and shapes, presenting challenges in judging distance and wind conditions. The target distances range from 10 to 55 yards (9 to 50 meters). The course typically has 12 to 15 lanes with two targets each. Here, in the USA, targets are typically shot twice. Internationally, a typical course has 25 lanes with two targets per lane, and each target a shot only once.

Participants must use skill, precision, and knowledge of their equipment to hit the targets while successfully dealing with factors such as wind drift and changes in temperature. The sport requires concentration, accuracy, and strategic thinking over an extended period of time, making it both challenging and rewarding for enthusiasts of all skill levels. A match typically lasts three to four hours.

Field target shooting emphasizes marksmanship and technique, often attracting shooters who enjoy the outdoor environment and the thrill of competitive shooting in the natural setting.

What to expect:

The course sits atop sixteen acres of beautiful Sonoran Desert nestled near the Usery Mountain State Park area at the Rio Salado Sportsman's Club.  


The course is approximately 1/8th mile in length.  It begins about 200 feet from the parking area of the OETC (aka "Airgun" building) to the first shooting pad.   There is a total of 16 shooting pads.  Each pad is roughly a 12 x 12 ft area.


During an average match, we may choose any number of pads from the 16 available.  We may set up and shoot two lanes from both corners of that pad or just one.  When the two lanes per pad are utilized, this will be the typical setup during larger matches such as the Grand Prix or Nationals.

The main course trail is approximately a 6-foot path that meanders from pad to pad, each is separated by about 10 to 20 yards of lush desert foliage.  The beginning of the pathway has a slight incline and is hardened gravel,while the rest is flat. 


In the middle of the course, you will find the community air station.  We provide complimentary air during the matches.  The tank is fitted with the universal Foster fitting. 


During monthly matches, the sight-in area is located to the southeast of the OETC building. We provide a 10 to 55-yard area that is marked with targets at 10, 11, 13, and 15 to 55 yards at five-yard increments.  You must check in with the match director prior to sighting in.  You must enter this area from behind (south side) the building.   

During our monthly matches, the targets are visible from somewhere within the pad area. It's your job as a hunter... to find the target.  Of course, it’s easy to follow the string. But, both the targets may not be visible from one spot or position. You may have to scoot to find the next one. Yes, it may take some greater effort, but it adds to the variability of the match.  During our larger sanctioned events, we will have the course set up to regulation specs. 

Restrooms and drinking water is located inside the OETC building. 



Competition fees:

Rio Salado Members: $15

Non Members: $20


PayPal accepted 
































How to Participate:


Here is a summary of what you need to participate:



Your rifle must be less than 20 FPE. Most .177 caliber airguns fall in this category. 

This is crucial as to not damage the targets. 

If you have a .22 caliber, it must be <20 FPE, and be set at this level.

i.e. if you have a rifle with an adjustable setting, it must be set to < 20 FPE, or custom-tuned to the appropriate power.  



YOUR AIRGUN MUST HAVE AN EMPTY BREECH INDICATOR AT THIS RANGE. This will be enforced, especially when guns are carried in totes. These will be available, complementary. It is acceptable if you prefer to bring your own type.




Rio Salado Range Safety Rules



It is recommended that you use a scope that can range find from 10 to 55 yards. Side wheels do help. See classes for limitations. You will need to be able to sight in your point of impact from 10 to 55 yards. This is crucial for your success.  See the chart below for the sizes of the kill zones you will be shooting at these yards. 


Classes: Three main classes are AAFTA Sanctioned: Hunter, Open, and WFTF for rifle.  Unlimited class is a local class that we host.  Each (other than Unlimited) has its own separate Spring/Piston sub-class. 


The major differences between the classes: SEE REFERENCE CHART AT BOTTOM OF PAGE

"I'm new to Field Target... What class should I start in?" If you are new, start in Unlimited. In this class you can shoot with whatever assistive devices you need to learn the ropes. You can use a range finder, wind manometer, tripod, etc. Once you get the hang of it, you can migrate into a competitive class that you feel comfortable in. You are never "stuck" in a class. Read below to see all the details. 

WFTF (World Field Target Federation) Class:  This class is typically shot by competitive shooters that want to adhere to the world standard. Your rifle must be 12 Foot pounds or less.

Hunter class: you may use a seat (i.e. a bucket) to sit on, and shoot from shooting sticks (two-leg only, not tripod use).  The Maximum scope power in Hunter class can only be set to 16X (was 12x, changed in 2018) and you can’t "click" using your turrets.  You can only focus your scope to help you range find. Hold-overs are how you compensate for your pellet drop at distance. 


Open Class: you can have any power scope, and you can click for pellet drop compensation. 

Straps (Harnesses) are allowed, but your seat height is limited to 6”, and no shooting sticks. See Links Below


Unlimited Class: (Also known as OFC, Renegade, California class, Freestyle, etc.)  This is a Non-Sanctioned Class.  You can use a laser range finder, chair, tripod, gyroscope, underwater satellite phone, pretty much anything goes here.  Still limited to <20 FPE. No armor-piercing rounds, tracers, or depleted uranium. Typically you will find this class suitable for beginners.


**Refer to the link below for the official rules!**


AAFTA Official Rules:

You will need to sight your rifle in prior to competition day.  Here is a difficulty scale (Troyer Scale) for Rifle and Pistol that you can use for reference to practice the distances needed to pull off the shots. It goes without saying, the farther out the target, or the smaller the KZ hole, the greater the difficulty level.

Levels of Participation:

Once you've competed on a local level in Field Target, you can transition to compete in matches beyond the local club.  

Field target is one of the most popular airgun sports in the world.  Travel to other clubs in Arizona, California, the Southwest, the West Coast, nationally, and internationally can be an exciting adventure.  So you'll see clubs that host Field Target, typically have local monthly matches during the season.  Then once a year, every club may host its showcase event. This is typically called a Grand Prix event. Some clubs host a "state championship", (but it may not meet GP criteria).  A GP is an AAFTA sanctioned multi-day event that which a shooter can earn points to become ranked nationally in the GP series. There are about ten GP events held across the country every year.   (There is no separate ranking for state championships within AAFTA unless they meet the GP criteria.)  So you'll find shooters often travel to other clubs to experience FT beyond the local level.   Nationally, the GPs and the "Nats" recognize the three main AAFTA classes: Open, Hunter and WFTF.  Each class is broken down to either PCP or piston powerplants. Some clubs may host an Unlimited-type of class typically used by beginners or those with limited abilities that still want to participate with unrestricted assistive devices, or by those that just want to use all the gadgets possible. Unlimited is not an AFFTA-recognized class.

Every year one member club is selected and honored to host the National Championship (which is also a GP). Shooters from all over the world travel to these flagship events to compete for the top spot. Nats is also the culmination of the GP series (most of the time) and the final match of the season.  

Then if that's not enough, on the international stage there are the World Championships.  The "Worlds" as it's called is hosted yearly by a rotating host country. This is sanctioned by the World Field Target Federation. These are by far the biggest FT events, where you could see numbers of well over 300 competitors.  

In the WFTF (12 FPE) class, it is considered to be the most challenging. This class is where you will typically see the most skilled shooters eventually migrate since it is considered the world standard.  

Each level of competition has its following.  You will find shooters that travel to all of these events, or just stay local. You will get to know shooters from all over the world that do the circuits, the Nationals or the Worlds.  Field Target provides you the opportunity to compete on the world stage if you desire.   Check out the respective websites to see what it's all about and where to go. 

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Opening Day: January 17th 2015

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