F-tr faq

XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
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#1
F class FAQ and general information

Since this forum was opened there have been a number of recurring themes regarding F class. I’ve asked Mike to sticky this as a FAQ and general information thread for F class shooting. Hopefully it will answer some questions and help folks to understand the game. I’m mostly going to write about F-TR. F-Open has its own unique set of things to understand, and as a beginner, that’s probably not the place you want to be. That said, someone on another board who has been an F-Open shooter and was recently trying to shoot F-TR wrote that “we refer to people ‘moving up’ to F-Open, I’m not sure that it’s not ‘moving up’ to go from F-Open to F-TR”. Shooting a 308 to 1000 yards at a 1MOA target is certainly challenging.

First, What is F-Class?
F class is a division of NRA Highpower shooting. The rules governing F class are found in the NRA HP shooting regulations found here -> Rules… <- Reading the rules is a good place to start. They answer a lot of common questions, but I’ll hit some of the highlights later on.

“F”-Class?
The F stands for Farquartsen. “F-Class shooting was the brainchild of Canadian George Farquharson and the "F" was derived from his last name. Mr. Farquharson came up with the idea of F-Class to enable he and other older shooters to continue competing alongside "iron sight" shooters who used a sling. Basically, he replaced the iron sights with a scope and replaced the sling hold with the option of using either a front bi-pod or a rest. F-Class is shot from the prone position where the shooters lay on a mat. He convinced the Canadian NRA (DCRA) to approve his idea and F-Class was begun as an official shooting sport in Canada in the 90's. This idea caught on fire and very quickly spread to the British Commonwealth, Germany, France, Netherlands and to the United States.” – from USFclass.com

F Class evolved from the original idea to take a Palma rifle, put on a bipod and a scope and shoot.
In F Class shooting today there are two (2) classes, F-Open and F-TR. F-Open is pretty much unlimited racing, you can shoot any rifle you want up to 35 caliber, you can use a mechanical front rest, a rear bag, and the rifle can weigh up to 22 lbs. T-TR is one design (ok, two) racing, the only calibers allowed in F-TR are “chambers of unmodified 308Win/7.62NATO or 223Rem/5.56x45 NATO cartridge cases”. Rifles are limited to 18.18 lbs (8.25 Kilos) and anything attached to the rifle is included in the weight including the scope and bipod.

Most F class shooting is done at long range. The National championships are shot at long range. F class uses a reduced size HP target, each ring on the target is ~1MOA (IPHY)larger than the next, so the X-Ring is 5”, the 10-Ring is 10”, the 9-Ring is 20”, the 8-Ring is 30”… The aiming black is the same size as a long range HP target.

Now for some of the rules. First understand that F-TR is F-Target Rifle not F-Tactical Rifle. Common misconception, I even heard it announced that way at Camp Perry last yr. F-TR is shooting round targets on rectangular fields; there is nothing remotely tactical about it. If you recall that the class was started by putting scopes and bipods on Palma rifles then it should make perfect sense that the specialized F-TR rifles used today look like evolved Palma Rifles with heavier barrels.

Because F class is a part of NRA HP all the HP rules apply except as modified in section 22 (2013) of the rules. There are some common surprises in the rules for guys who bring their precision rifles out to play F-Class. Without getting into the why-fore’s and reasons just be aware, they are the rules:


  • No brakes
  • No suppressors
  • Single feeding required, (i.e., No feeding from mags)


Does that mean you can’t shoot if you have one or more of those, maybe, maybe not, depending on the match director? The match director may allow you to participate in the match, but if you are allowed to compete your score will not (should not) be reported to the NRA to receive a classification in Long or mid range F-Class depending on what you shot. Cans will likely be OK, they don't bother anyone. Single feeding is probably considered a safety concern and probably will be required, brakes bother the guys to both sides of you and are often prohibited.

That’s the history, the basic rules, and some of the things that are sometimes not understood.

Now for some of the FAQs. Most of this is based on questions surrounding shooting 1000 yard matches, because that's what most matches are, the distance at which the National Championship is competed and it's a lot harder to get a 308 to work at 1000 than at 600 or less.

What scope do I need?

Search here there have been a whole lot of posts about it, and after you read those go and search over at accurateshooter.com and you can read a hour or two. I know that there are personal tastes and budgets to consider. I’d guess that 90% of the 200+ scopes on the line at the 2012 Nationals were Nightforce 12-42s with 1/8 MOA clicks. The eighth min clicks are invaluable for getting your elevation tuned in the 10 ring. If your shots are grouping slightly high and you have ¼ min clicks one click and you are now grouping slightly low. You are shooting at a known target at a known distance with rings that correspond to MOA (IPHY) measurements, you need all the magnification you can afford with a reticle that you like, that is thin enough not to cover too much of the ½ MOA X-ring at max magnification. You do not need (or want) a FFP reticle, they are too thick at high mag, they increase cost and they serve no purpose on a defined target at a known distance. If you hit low and right in the 9 ring you can look at the target and see that you need to come up ¾ and left ½ and having turrets that will get you there is good. Mil turrets are going to make your life harder, and you don’t need a reticle measure anything, the target is laid out so you should know the distances. That doesn’t mean you can’t come out and shoot with anything you’ve got, the guy shooting next to me yesterday was having a blast using a 10X SWFA. Nightforce 12-42, 8-32, or the new 55x competition scopes are all popular, for less money the Sightron SIII 10-50 or 10-60 are good scopes, some folks are running March high mag (50x, 60, or even 80x) scopes. All are SFP scopes.

Is there any limit on triggers?

No, as long as you don’t get accidental discharges it can be as light as you want it (but not a release trigger).

Rear Bag and Bipod?


Rear bags and bipods are personal choices, get one you like. There are a number of bipods specialized for F-TR, they all work, it is doubtful that the bipod is going to make or break you for a long time.

What barrel?

You can come out and shoot with anything. I’ve seen 18” barrels on the line at 1000 yards. Purpose built F-TR rifles will usually have 30” or more. In general Heavy Palma contours are the most bang for the ounce that will let you still make weight at 30”. A 1:12 will stabilize up to 185gr bullets, if you plan to try to shoot heavier bullets get a 1:10.

Reloading

Reloading is one that gets a lot of people wrapped up early on. The first thing you need to do is get out and shoot. You will learn about reloading as you go and as your skill at reading wind improves your reloading should too, but it will not matter if you can build bullets that will hold .1MOA vertical if the wind is pushing you 8 ring to 8 ring, and it will in the beginning. You will not get any wind reading practice at the bench. You need a bullet that will stay super sonic all the way to 1000 yards.

Understand that there is no 308 load being shot at this time that will hold the 10-ring on a center hold in a 1MPH full value letoff. Before you get into all the myriad number of things to make perfect bullets get yourself a good FL die, a good seating die (Forster or Redding), and a Lee Collet die, a set of calipers and a Hornady OAL tool and start making bullets. … Think about that, 1MPH. At the 2012 Nationals I believe Jim Crofts (2012 Champion) only dropped 4 points total for 3 matches the first day. It ain’t the bullet.

Spotting scopes,

yes, you need one, and you can spend a king ransom on some of them. Like a lot of things all you can afford, but starting out affording a high end spotter can be hard so justify when you are already spending thousands on a rifle and a scope. Once you get one you would be well served to talk to some sling shooters about reading mirage. Flags seldom tell the whole story. It is a hugely useful tool and one that the spotter in the 8 ring will remind you that you forgot to use time and time again. Seeing a letoff or a shift and watching the guys on both sides of you miss it is a good feeling, much better than watching their targets come up with yours and taking the consolation prize that it caught them too.


Bullets – the trend is to heavier, though there are a lot of people running 185 Bergers at the time I write this. About the only thing that is a concrete is DO NOT USE 168 SIERRA MATCH KINGS. They have a design that becomes unstable when they go transonic and they go all over the place. The BC is too low for you to get them to 1000 supersonic with a 308, so they are going all over the place, literally I have seen them hit sideways, or hit randomly all over the 72x72 target frame. For factory stuff I’ve seen guys shoot 600 yards with Southwest Ammo and do OK. I’m sure Black Hills Match would be OK for a starting trip to a 600 yard match; they would probably both get you to 1000 too I’ve just never seen it.

There are some other good threads from the early days of this forum being started last yr or so. I’ll try to dig a couple up and get them stickied too. There was a really good one once about “what else to bring” (other than bullets and a gun)

F-Class is one of the fastest growing competitive shooting sports, and possibly the fastest growing class NRA shooting sports. We were included at Camp Perry in 2012 for the first time. This year at the Nationals at Raton there are over 360 shooters registered. There were over 200 registered last year.
 
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Nov 6, 2013
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Southern New Jersey
#5
Hi XTR, this is an excellent post! I learned some background and I am appreciative. I freely admit, when I was at Perry in 2012, I was fighting a bum arm to keep my 03A3NM on target (and losing quite well, thank you) to realize that '12 was the inaugural year for F class at Perry. When I was at Perry in '13, I was struggling (as a sling shooter) against injuries to make my long range AR work, and making the commitment that when I walked off the line, it would be my last sling match. I vowed that I would be shooting F class from that point on, and I am not really looking back. I noticed a number of F class shooters present (including Mid Thompkins on the score board).

My question ... is there a dedicated F class national championship in addition to the F class being fired at Camp Perry, as inferred by your sticky? If this is the case, are the F class shooters at Perry being appeased and there to see how they fit in with their brethren or what? I am not being critical, I am just trying to understand! I am not knocking the shooting ... after being away from the sport for 4+ years, I am trying to catch up!
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#6
Excellent post. I agree completely about the step from F Open to F T/R being a step up. I did my F Open shooting with a .260 Rem from a rest. Switching out to a .308 and bipod definitely makes things more, and not less, interesting.

Greg
 
Mar 4, 2012
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Middle TN
#7
Good post and info. I was searching F/TR info and came across this post.

Just to quick follow up on your comment about never seeing Southwest Ammo at 1,000 yard F/TR match. You did. My 14 year old son son shot the June 2013 match and shot a 522 his 2nd time ever shooting a 1,000 yard (182 in 1st relay) match in F/TR. He did pretty darn good for his age and using box ammo. We have since moved to handloads and some better equipment.

Looking forward to shooting at ORSA next year!
 

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Mar 2, 2010
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Ohio
#8
I see you say that 168 gr MK's are no good for 1000 yards. But how's about for 600 yards?
My limited experience at 600 yards seems to show that the 168 gr MK's seem OK at 600 yards, but I would like your opinion.
Thanks
 
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XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
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#9
I see you say that 168 gr MK's are no good for 1000 yards. But how's about for 600 yards?
My limited experience at 600 yards seems to show that the 168 gr MK's seem OK at 600 yards, but I would like your opinion.
Thanks
The 168 Sierra is a good bullet out to 600, thought there are better today, it is an old design.

The problem with the 168 SMK is the steep angle of the boat tail and a lower BC add up to a bullet that loses velocity comparatively quickly out to 1000 yards, and then becomes unstable when it goes transonic.
 
Apr 9, 2013
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Phoenix, Arizona
#10
Because F class is a part of NRA HP all the HP rules apply except as modified in section 22 (2013) of the rules. There are some common surprises in the rules for guys who bring their precision rifles out to play F-Class. Without getting into the why-fore’s and reasons just be aware, they are the rules:


  • No brakes
  • No suppressors
  • Single feeding required, (i.e., No feeding from mags)


Does that mean you can’t shoot if you have one or more of those, maybe, maybe not, depending on the match director? ...Single feeding is probably considered a safety concern and probably will be required...
First, great write-up. Thanks:)
I'm going to be competing in my first F-class match (600 yards), and my question pertains specifically to the single-feed rule. My rifle is magazine fed, will they let me compete without a magazine if I single feed them? Or is that a question for the Match Director?
 

Denys

F-TR Competitor
Mar 26, 2012
642
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Spring, TX
#11
I am the match director at our club and I have no problems with magazines being in the rifles, when on the line. You would need to single-feed however and not from the magazine unless it was a CRF instead of a push-feed. You would also need to remove the magazine at the completion of firing.
 
Apr 9, 2013
237
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Phoenix, Arizona
#12
I am the match director at our club and I have no problems with magazines being in the rifles, when on the line. You would need to single-feed however and not from the magazine unless it was a CRF instead of a push-feed. You would also need to remove the magazine at the completion of firing.
Cool, thanks:)
 
Jan 4, 2014
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#13
Hey look its my first post!

I am starting to shoot F T/R with .223 out to 300 yds, I have a Savage Model 12 F T/R with 7 twist

I would like to have some suggestions / comments on factory match ammo. I have been buying a few of each type available and plan to record my results.

I have some of both 69GR and 77GR SMK from these manufacturers:

in 69GR Remington, Winchester, Fiocchi, Federal Gold medal and these in 77GR Norma, Federal gold, Fiocchi

any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe at some time I will reload but not yet.
 
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Aug 10, 2012
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Towandaa,Pa
#17
My opinion only...We have f class shoots here 300 and 500 only..I guess they are informal shoots...There are some many other calibers being used
instead of the 308 or 223...This makes it very hard for others to play the game du to cash on hand issues...Again my opinion only..I think it should
be restricted to the rules..223 OR 308...I really think you will see more shooters and put everyone on a more equal keel....When shooting with
a 223 against 6brs or 30 brs..Who has the edge...Appreciate other opinions on this as well..
 

XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
1,762
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Lebanon, NH
www.onlinehumidor.com
#18
My opinion only...We have f class shoots here 300 and 500 only..I guess they are informal shoots...There are some many other calibers being used
instead of the 308 or 223...This makes it very hard for others to play the game du to cash on hand issues...Again my opinion only..I think it should
be restricted to the rules..223 OR 308...I really think you will see more shooters and put everyone on a more equal keel....When shooting with
a 223 against 6brs or 30 brs..Who has the edge...Appreciate other opinions on this as well..
If you are shooting 308s and 223s against anything else someone is running the matches incorrectly. Probably a sling shooter MD who doesn't like or understand F class, or you don't have enough shooters to consitiute an F-TR class (most times it takes 5) then all F class shoot together.


F-TR (F-Target Rifle) is 308 and 223 with a bipod and a weight limit of 8.25kg , F-Open is anything off of a rest or over 8.25kg and under 10kg. Any caliber other than 223 or 308, limited to calibers 35cal and under. (so a 6mmwarpshooter on a bipod is still F-Open)

NRA HP Rule Book link is below

http://competitions.nra.org/documents/pdf/compete/RuleBooks/HPR/hpr-book.pdf
 
Sep 29, 2017
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#19
New member here. Great thread on an interest of mine. I am interested in the F Class. According to info here, Magazine fed rifles are only allowed if single fed and the round is 'grabbed' and chambered, rather than 'pushed' (up from the magazine) and chambered. I've a Rock River Arms AR 10 platform. RRA states to not hand feed rounds into the chamber. And its magazine / bolt combination 'push-feed' the ammo into the chamber. What I am wondering about is if I could use my RRA AR10 by: loading one round into the magazine, the magazine then into its well, then release the bolt carrier group and chamber the round?

I suppose if allowed it would be handy to have a few magazines each loaded with one round. Thanks in advance, LG :)
 

XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
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Lebanon, NH
www.onlinehumidor.com
#20
F Class is a subset of NRA Highpower and the matches are Slow Fire Prone so yes, you have to single feed.

I'm going to guess that RRA's problem with single feeding is probably bolt slam with no resistance from stripping the round out of the mag. With the floating firing pin in an AR platform they are probably worried about slam fires. It is why you have to use hard cup primers in an AR15.

You can either push them in mags, or I'll bet you there is a single feed follower that you can get for your 308 mags that will slow the bolt. I know they are out there for the 223, I use an aluminum single feed follower in a metal mag for my AR15 that I shoot in XTC. The AMU shoots the M110 (military version of the AR10) in slow fire NRA and CMP matches where they have to be single fed, so there is a solution out there.
 
Sep 29, 2017
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#21
Thanx XTR. In addition to your thoughts and suggestions, I can also contact RRA and see what they say. Appreciate your reply :) LG
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
5,436
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#26
I've a Rock River Arms AR 10 platform. RRA states to not hand feed rounds into the chamber.
Rock River's claim is bullshit and you should ignore it.

AR15s (including theirs) have been single fed in the slow fire stages of NRA Highpower for decades without an issue. AR10s are no different.
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
5,436
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#27
First, great write-up. Thanks:)
I'm going to be competing in my first F-class match (600 yards), and my question pertains specifically to the single-feed rule. My rifle is magazine fed, will they let me compete without a magazine if I single feed them? Or is that a question for the Match Director?
If your rifle has an AICS magazine, leave the magazine in and place a round on top of the feed lips then push it slightly forward with your finger. Then close the bolt. You have plenty of time to do this.

I truly do not get why this single-feed rule causes so much anxiety and heartburn.
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
5,436
3,254
113
#28
My opinion only...We have f class shoots here 300 and 500 only..I guess they are informal shoots...There are some many other calibers being used instead of the 308 or 223...This makes it very hard for others to play the game du to cash on hand issues...Again my opinion only..I think it should be restricted to the rules..223 OR 308..

Please go back and re-read the initial post and the NRA F class rules over and over until you understand that what you're asking has already been done long ago
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
5,436
3,254
113
#29
Hey look its my first post!

I am starting to shoot F T/R with .223 out to 300 yds, I have a Savage Model 12 F T/R with 7 twist

I would like to have some suggestions / comments on factory match ammo. I have been buying a few of each type available and plan to record my results.

I have some of both 69GR and 77GR SMK from these manufacturers:

in 69GR Remington, Winchester, Fiocchi, Federal Gold medal and these in 77GR Norma, Federal gold, Fiocchi

any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe at some time I will reload but not yet.
No one can guess what will shoot well in your rifle. You have to go test and tell us.
 

Rocketvapor

Sergeant of the Hide
Dec 10, 2018
174
72
28
#32
I understand this is an old thread, but it has been brought back to life and some still have questions.
If I shouldn't post here I'll understand.

I just recently started F-Open with a Kitchen Built AR in 28", 21lb, 22 Nosler, and the wife F-TR with a 22" 223W.
She sort of stresses just because it's a "competition", I love it.
I'm an experimenter so working up loads, and getting to see results is my new hobby.
So far I've made 4 local matches, 600 only. Each time I have beat my previous score, even with some ugly conditions.
Couple more matches and I'll probably have a rating.
Being competitive in F-Open with a souped up .223 is out of the question, but I can still try to beat me.
Learning wind calls is a lot different than shooting at 100yd targets.
I've moved up to the 88ELD (@ 2880) as it gives me a little benefit in the wind over the 80ELD (@2990)
Hey, an inch is an inch.

All I can say to those that haven't tried F-Class is-
It's a blast.
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,754
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Arizona, good place for me...
#33
I'm enjoying reading about your progress.

I did something similar with F T/R using a 24" 223 Factory AR (Stag Model 6), strictly for 600yd MR stages. It was a ball in mild conditions, and really fun challenge when the winds got gusty (HDY 75gr HPBT-Match Handloads).

I'm shooting two types of rifles with two twists (Savage 1:9", Stag 1:8", and I want to use a generic load; so I standardized on the 75gr HPBT Match, and charge, 24.4gr Varget. There are probably better ones out there, but this one is cheap and easy, and I'm not really contending for trophies anyway).

I also have a restocked Savage 11FV .223, and an identical 11FV 308. The .223 shot 600yd F T/R comp right alongside the Stag. Like you say, .223 at 600yd is fun, but not trophy fun. Still fine by me.

Replying to above, I use both the Bobsled, and a Single Feed Follower, depending on which Stag. They both work fine.

Health disappointments cut that escapade too short, but I still have the rifle(s, two identical Stags, two shooters in the house), and they can be fun competing just the two shooters at 300yd, all I've got distance-wise locally.

I also fully understand that 'beat myself' concept.

Stay at it and keep us posted, at least one of us is enjoying the saga.

Greg
 
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