A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

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A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Scotchmo » Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:19 am

I think that it is time to revamp the top AAFTA Division. Open would be the logical choice. If the consensus is to leave Open Division as it is, then we could have a Freestyle Division.

If we really want to "advance the state of the art", than we should have a division that allows laser sights, separate range finding devices, and separate wind gauges, including electronic devices.

You don't really need the expensive, high power (40,50,80x) scopes in order to sight and shoot targets at 50 yards. Major matches have been won by shooters with 12x scopes. The reasons from those using exotic, high power scopes is to get a range finding advantage.

Spend $$$$$$$$ for a scope that range finds well, or spend $ for a separate range finder that can do the same job. It should be an easy decision for what to use in the field. The current rules do not advance the state of the art. The rules encourage shooters to spend way too much money and too much time on inappropriate technology for the problem at hand.

A top level class would allow for easier consolidation of the other Divisions as well. It's going to happen (it already is) outside of AAFTA. Here is what our club uses for allowed equipment/shooting style:
http://www.slsba.org/airgun/FT-rule-chart.htm

I would like to hear from other match directors. For or against going in this direction?
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby richard » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:31 pm

I have made my feeling know before about added divisions under AAFTA rules. I am not in favor of new or different classes/divisions. Furthermore there seem to be very few issues regarding rules for the open class(so leave it alone). Most issues are in the Hunter class/division. If folks want to run additional classes or divisions at their club matches that is perfectly okay. I run several non AAFTA classes/divisions at our matches if there is enough interest but most times there are not enough shooters. Even now most times we end up combining classes.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Bill Day » Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:58 pm

The open class has been declining ever since the advent of the WFTF and the HFT class. Open piston is almost non existent.

I would support a freestyle/Unlimited class but allowing the latest and greatest technology could create a equipment race by itself. Making it more easier for everyone to shoot it would be my acid test. Any position, now allowed under AFFTA rules, same with equipment, but the ability to use a rangefinder included in the rules. This is just a quick opinion on the subject but definitely something I would support if we can keep the equipment from getting ridiculous.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Scotchmo » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:43 pm

Bill Day wrote:The open class has been declining ever since the advent of the WFTF and the HFT class. Open piston is almost non existent.

I would support a freestyle/Unlimited class but allowing the latest and greatest technology could create a equipment race by itself. Making it more easier for everyone to shoot it would be my acid test. Any position, now allowed under AFFTA rules, same with equipment, but the ability to use a rangefinder included in the rules. This is just a quick opinion on the subject but definitely something I would support if we can keep the equipment from getting ridiculous.


Bill,
I believe that it would reduce the cost needed to be competitive. Why do you think that top competitors are spending thousands on the high end scopes? It's to get a range finding advantage. A $200 range finder can range nearly as well as a $2000 scope. Electronics are the future. Over time, their performance will improve as the cost goes down. Why rely on range finders built solely around optics when optical range finding is a dead end technology. The only way to get really good range finding performance with optics, is to spend a lot of money.

Cheap electronic wind meters now cost less than the mechanical ones, and they are easier to find in more varieties.

I was hoping for more shooters in Open/Piston for this year. Last year their was no Open/Piston and No Hunter/Piston at the nationals. This year could be the same. Maybe a Piston Division should be the first test of Freestyle. Combine the existing three Piston classes into one Division. If I'm going to practice and compete all year with a particular rifle and style, I would like to be able to shoot that way when planning to attend the Nationals.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Bill Day » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:41 am

Scott, I agree that those $3000 + scopes make the elite classes much more expensive to play and I've been advocating range finders for years, and finally freestyle / unlimited has made a place for them. I own a cheap digital wind speed indicator but it looks ridiculous hanging off the end of my shroud and it's a bear to see when it start spinning. :>) Not sure what else is available out there but my 8" of yarn tied to a cheap tie wrap does a pretty good job if I pay attention to it. As I know you know the best equipment available is nice to have but if you don't do your part it will still be hardtop to compete at the top level in the class.
The game we play is not growing. The total participants in the different classes has changed a lot but our overall numbers have not increased. I'm wondering if a new class would bring in more new shooters or just spread what we have out now a little more.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Scott_Allen » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:13 pm

If we are going to assume that AAFTA WFTF is always going to follow along with the WFTF rules (and I see no reason that won't be the case with the growing ranks of our AAFTA WFTF shooters), the issue is how we make the other divisions work for shooters and how entry to the sport looks to those wanting to give it a try and give shooters options for very distinct shooting experiences across the divisions that AAFTA does recognize.

Our Open division is kind of like WFTF but with higher FPE and harnesses. If we want to further set it apart from WFTF and make it different and appealing to different kinds shooters than those drawn to WFTF, it wouldn't bother me at all if it was truly "Open" and allowed electronic devices like rangefinders and wind meters. I say this as a guy heavily financially invested in Open as it exists now.... with a big expensive scope and a couple of nice rifles for Open. However, I'd happily sell my 8-80x to someone who shoots WFTF or I'd start shooting WFTF if I found out I didn't like using an electronic rangefinder in competition. I agree that the only rationale for an 80x scope is the range-finding advantage thus I do think electronic rangefinders would make Open more accessible and folks would not feel any pressure to buy the expensive glass. This would put the cost at getting equipment somewhere between hunter and WFTF, and that would not be a bad thing.

Just my 2 cents.


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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Leo Duran » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:09 pm

This seems like a great topic for the National meeting.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby ateamray » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:39 am

There is a major problem that I see if this goes through that will intern effect all of the other classes in a detrimental way.

I am not against this change or advancement but there is an aspect that should be considered so as not to hurt the other classes. so please read to the end.

BY allowing laser range finders and electronic wind gauges the shooting will become potentially more precise. It will be harder to differentiate scores that will come close to cleaning every course.

In turn the courses will then become harder and this is where it will effect and hurt all the other classes.

In order to have the best shooter take all of the advanced data into account and actually use it without effecting the other classes there needs to be put a limit on something and this is power. Limit the advanced class to 12 ftlbs just as the WFTF class is limited. With the advanced knowledge acquired electronically the shooter should be able to use that data and make those shots in the wind with the same excessive hold overs that the WFTF shooters are required to do every day without the advanced knowledge.

If the power limit stays at 20 ftlbs for this advanced class you will end up with true bench rest in the woods. People will get everything setup without barely any contact to the gun and make all adjustments then just reach around and touch the trigger because most 20 ftlb shooters rarely have to hold out of a KZ. The sub 12 ftlb shooters have to do it all the time and most do it quite successfully once they stick with it for a while.

So be very careful in what you wish for with just one class as it can effect all of the other classes detrimentally.

Again I am for all of the advanced tech in this class only, but it should have a price to pay for having the extra data and that is having to use that data to the extremes. 12 or 11 ftlb limits are that price in my opinion. And since it is my opinion I know that no one will go for it and a reduced power limit for this class won't happen. Someone prove me wrong please.
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby richard » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:36 pm

Ray,
There is nothing wrong with your opinion and you bring up some interesting points I had not thought about. I think the courses are too difficult already and it is only going to get worse. Father Rodney once told me that if I wanted to shoot offhand I could shoot silhouette. I would extend that theory and say that if you want to use all of the info and gadgets then shoot benchrest. I could carry it even farther and say why not simply make it a computer game so we can do FT remotely and not even have to go to a match! Where is this going? No skill or experience required as long as you can read the instructions and make all of your gadgets work properly. That's not what FT is or should be!
FT is currently a combination of skill, experience, luck and yes, some gadgets. I'd like to see it stay that way for awhile at least!
Let's go out and shoot what we have and have a good time.
Rick Bassett
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Re: A revamped/new top level Division in AAFTA

Postby Scott_Allen » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:51 am

Good points Ray. Your predictions are certainly possible outcomes but until it's tried there is no way to know for certain the impact of those aids in open at 20fpe and on MD's course setups.

I suppose one option to address your concern would be to run a season with a new AAFTA open division where open shooters have two choices: (1) keep their current setups with no electronic aids and shoot 20fpe OR (2) use electronic aids but must shoot at 12fpe. They still compete in the same open division. What do you think about that? That way open shooters who like to shoot what they have for years can carry on, and open shooters who want to experiment with gizmos and gadgets can do their thing too (but with a 12fpe limit). Once we have some data we can see where the advantage is between the two options, if any.

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