|What is FT||Rifles||Scopes||Other kit||Targets|
At our club you will generally find two types of rifle, spring operated and pre-charged
(PCP). Both work equally well in good hands The PCP has no recoil but requires filling with air using a pump or divers bottle.
Rifles come in all shapes and styles but two main types are the sporting and FT styles
The biggest advantage of a full FT air rifle over a sporting type rifle is how it fits you. Most sporting air rifles come with a one size fits all stock designed to be a reasonable fit for the majority of people. In reality they fit most people fairly poorly and it will compromise your ability to shoot consistently. Dedicated FT air rifles generally have fully adjustable stocks allowing you get an exact fit to your body which significantly improves your accuracy. Assuming you have a well maintained rifle from a reputable manufacturer, a good stock will make the biggest single improvement to your shooting. The other big advantages are a 'match trigger' which can be adjusted almost infinitely for reach, pull and weight on both stages making them lighter and more predictable than a typical sporting trigger unit and a regulator which improves the rifles shot to shot consistency.The accuracy of modern FT air rifles is incredible, and with the benefit of a regulator (a device which measures the amount of air used to fire the pellet more accurately than the valves found in most rifles) the shot to shot consistency is also very good.
There is no clear best air rifle, in competition you see a variety of old and new rifles all performing very well. The weight, balance point and general characteristics can make the difference between a rifle that feels natural or not and this varies between different people. The best advice is to try out a variety and decide which you like most.
The only other thing to be aware of is the choice of calibre. Everyone in competitive FT uses .177 calibre because of the much flatter trajectory and although the rules allow you to use .22 you'll be at a real disadvantage. You should also be aware that in both HFT and FT you may not have a magazine fitted between lanes. If you intend to compete it's worth looking at rifles that are either single shot, or can be used without a magazine. You also need a rifle that can fire at least 40 consistent shots from one fill. Non regulated rifles exhibit a power curve where the first few shots from a full fill and the last few are fired with less power making them hit low. On these rifles we've found that under filling them by about 10-15 bar below the recommended pressure gives a far less pronounced curve, so if your rifle manufacturer recommends a 180 bar fill, just put in 165 bar. You'll get fewer shots, but they will be more consistent. Regulated rifles don't suffer from this characteristic.