The 2024 FT season begins

3 May 2024  |  Air Arms

The 2024 FT season begins

The 2024 FT season begins

The main 2024 Field Target season got off to an early start this year with the EFTA (English Field Target Association) squeezing in their Open in March. Hosted by Anston, it gave FT shooters the chance to stretch their FT legs on a 50-target course after competing in regional winter leagues that typically consist of 40 targets. 

How was the event?

Over 70 competitors gathered for the event and they were treated to a first class course that lived up to the expectations of those who know what the Anston crewe are capable of doing. The weather was fair, with a definite hint of spring in the air and a wind that was tricky enough to test the best.

After a quiet season last year by his usual standards, Air Arms’ own Jack Harris reminded us just how he can shoot with an excellent score of 48, leaving the majority of the field well behind. Usually, the BFTA Championships is where shooters catch up with friends from around the country after the winter, so it was odd to arrive at this event after seeing everyone only a couple of weeks previously at the EFTA Open. 

Jack with his EFTA Open and BFTA Championships trophies

No holding back

Still, the event held at Emley Moor gave us all plenty to talk about, and that talk centred around the wind. Stealing a phrase from another sport, the Championships was definitely a game of two halves. The morning squad of shooters by no means had an easy time of it, but as the afternoon squad prepared to start their round, Storm Kathleen made an annoyingly accurately timed appearance and made it almost impossible to predict the effect of the wind on the flight of the pellet.

As the afternoon got underway, it was clear that the top score would come from the morning session, as the contrast in conditions was so great. However, that shouldn’t take anything away from the winner, who scored an excellent 38 ex 40 to win the BFTA Championship title for the first time. Jack Harris made it two national titles from two events.

Beautiful, Woodland Terrains

The backbone of the FT summer is the BFTA Grand Prix series, which got underway at Redfearns, where everyone hoped to get off to a good start in the league. The bluebells were out in force in the beautiful mature woodland that makes up the course at Refearns, with a tricky breeze circulating through the wood, making the course challenging but very enjoyable. 

In fact, the standard, of course, laid on for competitors this season has been absolutely top-class, with something for all shooters to enjoy and be challenged by. The Redfearns course had targets out in all directions, along with both high and low targets, making the most of the terrain offered and taking shooters just that little bit out of their comfort zone whilst trying to break the trigger cleanly.

Steve Carter, New Air Arms Spring gun team member, shooting through the bluebells at Redfearns

On that note

Now, I hope this isn’t going to get too boring this year, but once again, Jack Harris posted the top score (47 ex 50). At least he was matched by fellow Air Arms team shooter and defending Grand Prix champion James Osborne and John Oldroyd. The GP series is where the Air Arms team members' scores really count, and everyone had a good start. Most notably, Simon Poulter and Richard Shepherd posted excellent scores of 45 and 44, respectively, for their team in division 2.

Results and information can be found via the BFTA website and Shooting-the-breeze forum.