View Full Version : Getting started with F-Class
May 16, 2009, 06:26 PM
I would like to begin shooting F-Class in the near future. I am shopping around for a rifle and a scope to begin with. I'm thinking a Remington 700 SPS Varmint in .308. I would appreciate any advice on make, models, and calibers or any advice on F-Class all together. Thanks
May 17, 2009, 07:49 AM
I am a casual occasional recreational F-class shooter so be prepared to ignore me if a real expert comes along.
I don't know the alphabet soup on Remington model designations, but you need a long heavy barrel and a good stock. I have seen a number of Remingtons of that general description doing quite well.
Also, Savage makes a factory standard F-T/R (and F-Open) rifle that gets good reviews. I have a Savage that looks like that but is an earlier model with some gunsmithing.
There are others you could use, but you either get something that is not well supported with parts, accesories and gunsmithing, or you get something that runs the cost way up.
A .308 puts you in F-T/R where everybody is shooting .308 (or .223) so you are on a "level playing field." Any other caliber will shoot in F-Open versus heavier, more refined, more expensive rifles where the guys are paying for tighter groups and especially less windage.
You need a good scope. I use an 8.5-25X Leupold Target. There are others at higher and lower prices that I can't comment on except to say that you need a good clear scope with as wide a range of adjustment as you can get and with proper target adjustments. I was struggling yesterday with hunting rifle dials, mushy clicks, and poor tracking on a .22 yesterday and it was no fun.
If you will be or anticpate shooting at 1000 yards, you will likely need a scope base with some extra elevation built in. Very few scopes have enough internal adjustment to go from 100 to 1000 yards. Bases with 20 moa taper are readily available and will usually be enough. Most scopes will adjust from 100 to 600 yards, so if all you expect is midrange shooting, a flat base will be ok.
Harris bipods are very common. You can do better but you will pay a lot more for it.
Otherwise, you need a mat to go prone on and all the usual accessories for serious shooting. Check out the experienced shooters and see which gadgets are really used before you spend a lot.
Shooters are very helpful, but give them something to work with. When you go out for the first time, have your rifle zeroed dead on at 100 yards if you cannot do it at the range the match is being shot at. Use real match ammo, you need the accuracy and the ballistics are well known so the "come ups" for different ranges are pretty well standardized. Bought or handloaded, the 175 grain Sierra .308 is a known quantity and worth starting out with.
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May 17, 2009, 08:52 AM
I too will most likely be a "casual occasional recreational F-class shooter". This bascially going to be a new hobby. I appreciate your help and will take into consideration all of your advice. Thanks much.
May 17, 2009, 07:22 PM
I shoot conventioal (sling), but shoot with the F-Class guys, so my comments are what I see used and winning at matches in the F-class classification.
I agree with Jim on about everything he says. If you are on a buget, I don't see anything better than the Savage set up for F/TR. The Team Savage took box stock rifles, and are winning or placing real high here and around the world. They have posted anwers to questions on after market gunsmithing, and they say they didn't need any.
F-Class mathes start at Mid-Range which is 600 yards, you could get by with a .223 real easy, but wouldn't be the best choice for the 1000 yard matches. The only choice over all would be the .308, unless you want to go open class.
Another option is to pick up a used rifle, there are always rifles for sale. Some guys are always looking for the "magic rifle" and trade often. I bought almost all my competition rifles that way. I also have a Savage that I'm real impressed with.
May 18, 2009, 09:53 AM
How about scopes? Any preferred brands or models? What has a great reputation in this kind of shooting?
May 18, 2009, 08:21 PM
Optics are pretty critical to this game (that 1 MOA 10-ring is awful tiny @1,000yds) If you go to a reasonably large match to watch (highly recommended) you will likely see a majority using Nightforce scopes. They are pricey, but there's a reason so many folks use them for F-Class.
May 18, 2009, 09:16 PM
Again, I am a mosly a Palma shooter, so I use iron sights, but am just saying what I see.
Eric is correct the Nightforce is extreemly popular, next are the Leopolds, then a few T series Weavers.
An entry level scope I see on the line is the Super Sniper. They are inexpensive, have very good optics, are rugged and waterproof. Cost about $300. But, they sure ain't a Nightforce.
May 18, 2009, 11:26 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. I am not really on a budget as of now. I am basically in the research mode and looking to see what I am going to need to spend to be competitive. I have a buddy who's cousin shoots and he said he has $2,000 into his rifle but has regrets about what he has. What is the average amount of moola that people shell out for their setups?
May 19, 2009, 09:30 PM
Makes my head hurt figuring the cost. I'm going to pull approximate numbers out of my head, so anyone please correct me if they are off base.
Custom rifle around $3500
Nightforce scope $1500
Sinclair or Werks bipod $150 if F/O a machine rest $300
Back bag $50
Scope base $100
On a budget:
SuperSniper scope $300
May 20, 2009, 09:28 PM
In my last post I was attempting to show the range of what it cost for F-Class. These were the top and bottom end prices to be competitve. There is a big range in between. I'm not sure if thats the way the post implied.
May 20, 2009, 09:41 PM
I understood what the post implied. Thanks again. I am sure I will end up somewhere inbetween. I've heard a lot of good things about the Savage F/TR. I was thinking about that with either a Nightforce or Nikon scope. I talked with the president of my gun club today. I think I'm going to shoot a variety of matches this summer and get some first hand experience to see what I like before I invest too much on one class.
May 28, 2009, 09:04 PM
i shoot f-class with an open sighted ar15 service rifle. set up it was $250 for the lower, $650 for the woa floated upper with a wilson 1/7 and pinned sights, $100 for the woa trigger and $50 for a turner sling. it is a very competitive package. the spotting scope and stand cost more.
May 28, 2009, 09:53 PM
I have to ask...with the package you posted, why did you shoot F-Class when you were shooting a service rifle with sling?
June 6, 2009, 10:29 AM
hip replacement. can no longer get into the sitting position. the local ranges do not allow kneeling, or standing for the sitting stage.
June 23, 2009, 08:25 PM
old Sneaky Pete here: I switched from a Variable 8X32X44 to a Weaver "T"-36X40 for <$400.00 which is about 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of a Nightforce and besides the "Marketing" appeal I can't see the reason to spend that much more for a scope. The Weaver has a "Lifetime" Warranty, is made using Japanese optics and when I "Boxed" the scope it came right back to my Zero and commenced to shoot sub-1/2MOA 10 shot groups -supported. It has 1/8MOA adjustments and an 1/8 MOA dot redicle--BUT it also comes W/a fine wire redicle. I have found that SOME Variable scopes SOMETIMES have optical problems at the HI-end powers--I found that I preferred using 24X on that 8X32X44 CUZ the picture was clearer than it was @ 32X( extra lenses and moving parts). Weaver makes really good scope but it doesn't have the "Market" appeal that some other Name-Brands do.. THANX--SNEAKY :)
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