Also known as Field Steel, Field Shooting, Field Target Shooting, Practical Shooting, Gong Shooting and a few other things, Field Shooting is a practical form of shooting involving long guns where you are faced with real world positions and targets to shoot at – it’s the shooting sport closest to hunting and as such, appeals to both target shooters and hunters.
Field Shooting is an opportunity to get up out of the prone position on the range, and test your ability to shoot in situations closer to those you will find hunting. For hunters then, it’s great practise for the important shot.
For competition shooters, field shooting departs from the flat range – forcing the shooter to have to think quickly, and often make the best of less than ideal shooting conditions.
Its the world of tactical style shooting, modern firearm technology and distances from 50 meters to over 1000 and more.
From new to experienced shooters – Field Shooting provides an exciting challenge – and is one of the quickest growing shooting sports in NZ.
With several organisers around the country now putting on events, you will be able to find something (fairly) local and get involved.
What do I need to get started?
Realistically, not much, but like any sport, once you get hooked, there is always something else to get!
Rifle and Scope
Many hunting rifles, in principle are a good starting point – but many competitors will look to upgrade their scopes to something that lets them dial in ballistic solutions. It’s not always a case of bigger being better, but certainly, scopes in the 5-25 zoom range are not uncommon.
Cartridge wise – it depends a little on the particular match. Some competitions have velocity and muzzle energy limits – often to protect the steel targets from being belted around by magnums.
However, the 6 and 6.5mm calibres are popular, with some of the longer range shoots favouring the additional weight of the 7mm or .30 cal. The very long range shoots (often the domain of the South Island) will see plenty of .338 and bigger.
This style of shooting is really the realm of the bipod and rear-bag. In addition, because there are often barricades and other positional shooting – all kinds of additional supports are brought in for use. Though not common, tripods are starting to make an appearance as well.
In addition, ranging equipment, and ballistic calculators like the Kestrel Elites are helpful in quickly ascertaining the environmental situation and providing ballistic solutions to the shooter – as often the distances and targets and not your standard 100, 300, 500 meters.
Where can I get more involved?
You can find out all about upcoming events over here. But also included are some links to the guys putting on field shooting events in NZ. In addition, many of the hunting clubs (Deerstalkers) also hold club level events.
- Gillice Practical Rifle Events
- Taranaki Sports Shooters Association
- Alpine Long Range Shooting Matches
- The NZ Mountain Challenge
Want to know about upcoming events? The quickest way is to just subscribe, then we will let you know!
Training & Resources
There are now so many options out there – but here is a good start, all content I personally own and recommend.
- Long Range Shooting from Scratch
- Long Range Shooting 2
- Rifles Only Online Training
- Snipers Hide Online Training
- Applied Ballistics – The tome of ballistics – Bryan Litz – deep
- The Long Range Shooting Handbook – Ryan Cleckner – great intro
- Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals – Brian Enos seminal work – more mindset
- Practical Shooter’s Guide: A How-To Approach For Unconventional Firing Positions and Training – Marcus Blanchard
Really not sure where to start?
Get in touch. We can help. One-on-one training and coaching – no matter where you are on the journey of precision rifle shooting.