What is F-Class competition? 

Well, it is sort of a cross between Palma-style shooting and conventional benchrest. You shoot from the ground, like Palma, but you use a high-power scope, front rest (or bipod) and rear bag, like benchrest.  Scopes allow the shooters to wring the full accuracy out of their guns at long range. F-Class is shot prone at distances of 300 to 1200 yards. Competitors may use almost any caliber rifle up to a .338, a scope, and a front and rear rest or bipod. F-Class shooters use targets half the size of (and often shoot concurrently with) the world’s long-range Palma shooters. F-Class is an ideal sport for beginning competitive shooters, male and female, young and old.

F-Class History – An Additional Category of Rifle Added

F-Class was officially started in Canada by the late George “Farky” Farquharson, after whom the sport is named. Mr. George Farquharson, a older Canadian Full-Bore shooter, started F-Class as a place for people who didn’t have the eyesight to see the 1000-yard target nor the physical stamina to shoot from their elbows in a slung-up prone position. The class has since evolved into a highly competitive game in its own right.

George was a railway man who was one of the most skilled debaters of his day. Sitting at Franny Moore’s place, the late George Farquharson of Kamloops B.C. and a group of fullbore prone shooters talked about the concept some years ago, in approximately 1986. Farquharson figured, that older shooters would be able to continue long-range shooting longer if their eyesight and bodies could be augmented by allowing them to use a scope and a rest to shoot, allowing these shooters to continue shooting alongside of the people they had been competing with for most of their lives.

The first time F-Class was fired was 26 years ago at Victoria B.C. in 1989.

In 1990 to 1991, George convinced the Canadian NRA (the DCRA) to approve his idea and F-Class was named after him. It was started as a fun class. In the beginning, it was mostly old time shooters, who put a scope and bipod on their rifle and shot along with the rest of the TR shooters. F-Class, the newest addition to Long Range shooting, is the fastest growing long-range shooting sport in the world, and it is sure to continue growing as more and more people become familiar with its unique advantages and challenges.

F-Class has migrated to the rest of the British Commonwealth and also to Germany, France, the Netherlands and the USA. The first US shooter to try F-class in Canada was Bill Wylde in the early 1990’s, followed by JJ Conway in 1996. The Queensland Rifle Association held Scope class (Now called F class open) competitions first at the Australian Shooting Games in June 1997 and subsequently at the Queensland Rifle Association Queens in the same year.

It’s first national sanctioned appearance was in 2000 at the 118th DCRA CANADIAN FULLBORE RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS matches in Ottawa were a handful shot this new style. A few even shot F-T/R as well and in 2001, the F-Class had its own scoring aggregate results at the 119th DCRA CANADIAN FULLBORE RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS matches in Ottawa.

Prior to 2003, there was only one class of F-Class rifles in the Canadian (DCRA) Championships, that being F-F, which stands for F-Class Farquharson (F-F) and meant you used a scoped rifle in 308 with 155g Sierra Match Kings or in.233 with 80g Sierra Match Kings and you could use either a bi-pod or a rest as your front support and can use a rear bag as your rear support. In 2003, the DCRA they changed the rules to include F-F, as described above, and F-Open (F-O) for all other caliber or bullet combinations. In 2008 or 2009, it was again changed, removing F-F and renaming this class to FTR, were you had to use a bi-pod and could no longer use a rest in the newly renamed FTR class. In F-Open, you can use either type of front support still to this day.

For more information, such as the types used today and the rules that apply to these types of rifles, see the rule book section on our site.