Quote Originally Posted by jackie schmidt View Post
After reading this thread, I did a search on this class, and found some of the results rather amusing.

Most amusing was the requirement that you must shoot off of a bi-pod, rather than a fancy front test. But then someone is actually manufacturing a joystick front by-pod. Sort of defeats the spirit of the class.

It's turned into a equipment face, just like everything else. That being said, I have seen the out of the box Savage FTR in 308 shoot pretty consistent "three's" and clean 20x's in VFS.
It's interesting to look at the original requirements for "F" class shooting (as written by the founder, George Farquharson) and compare them to what they have become. The original requirements were for any rifle, any sight, fired prone from any rest whether a tripod, bipod or a sack of horsefeathers (I never tried horsefeathers but do still, on occasion, use a sack of sawdust). Plainly, these rules were just too simple to endure and it wasn't long before they evolved into what we see today. F-O is BR without the bench while F/TR is the same rifle, somewhat lighter, saddled with a bipod. I have, personally, never understood the reasoning behind the bipod requirement unless it was intended to limit the amount of weight which could be put into the barrel. I had once advocated simply limiting the rest to whatever could be carried to the line in one trip (including the rifle). I, with my sack of sawdust, would have been fine but some others could not have carried their front and rear bags in one trip so it wasn't reallu a viable rule.
From the outset, shooters have complained whenever someone with different equipment was winning. I recall one match where the man with whom I was squadded was complaining about the proliferation of specialized rifles with custom actions. I was, at that time, comfortably in the lead shooting my rifle which was based on a Model 70 so I didn't see his point. Later, when the shooting was beginning to tighten up, I did have to build a more dedicated rifle but I'm not convinced that more practice would not have served me as well. I still have that Model 70 but I now mostly shoot it with a sling. It still shoots well though and would probably still work OK for F/tr. I truly feel, when any sport devolves into an equipment race, the sport suffers unless the equipment race was the original intent of the sport. Regards, Bill