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Thread: Foltskytte - Swedish Pistol Shooting

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    Lightbulb Foltskytte - Swedish Pistol Shooting

    The most popular and exciting branch in Swedish pistol shooting is without doubt an outdoor activity called FALTSKYTTE or "field-shooting." Ask any Swedish pistol shooter and you will, in all likelihood, heal the same response. That FALTSKYTTE, unpronounceable though it be, is the most varied, exciting and popular branch within national pistol shooting as a whole.

    It often takes place on military or former military fields, mainly because they can provide the larger areas which are required and also because the Swedish Sport Shooting Federation, the SVENSKA SPORTSKYTTEFORBUNDET (SPSF) (from its inception back in 1936) also happens to be a voluntary defense organization. That said, nobody in Sweden today is under the illusion homeland security could or should be assured by pistol shooters.

    On the contrary, all targets in field-shooting are neutral and all "human figures" have long since been removed. Besides, in Sweden you can only obtain a license for a handgun for target shooting and not for self-defence. The law requires you to be a member of a shooting club for a minimum period of six months, to have completed a training course; which in turn is followed by an examination to be awarded a "green card" for competitions. In fact, the green card, somewhat bizarrely, happens to bear the blue and yellow colours in keeping with the Swedish flag!

    What's So Fun?

    What then, might account for the popularity of FALTSKYTTE? First and foremost, field-shooting is an outdoor competition where the shooters set off in six, eight or ten-man patrols, depending on the size of the competition. At championships and also at competitions near Sweden's capital city of Stockholm, (with a population of 2 million), there are patrols of 12 shooters starting together at 10-minute intervals.

    In such competitions shooters will account for between 450 to 550 "starts" (or relays) in different calibers a day, mostly Sundays. In the countryside, however, these competitions will see between 150 to 300 starts. And, in field-shooting you only count the hits (holes) in the target no matter where you hit it. There're no scoring "rings" or areas.

    Shooters can start in a number of different weapons categories, A, B, C and R. "A" is for large-caliber pistols with full metal jacket amino, like SIG 210, 7.65 or 9 mm, "B" is also for large-caliber pistols, but with lead-bullets, like .32 WC or .38 WC. "C" is for small-calibers like the .22. This is the biggest competition-group because it's the least expensive and easiest to shoot. "R" is revolver, from .32 and up, but not including the magnums. There are separate and special magnum-field-shooting-competitions (long range, 80-140 meters) for all the different magnum-caliber groups.

    More Complicated


    The shooters are then divided into a further three different classes:

    Class 1 for beginners (in their first and second years). Class 2 is the next level up, and Class 3 groups together elite shooters who have the right to participate in the Swedish Championships. In group C (small caliber) there are also classes for juniors (up to 20 years of age), women and two different classes for veterans (younger vets from 55 to 65 and older vets from 65 and above). So when you are an elite-shooter and start with a revolver you would be R3. A beginner in small caliber is shooting in C1. A girl or woman in Class Two is shooting in DAM 2 (Ladies 2), and so on. No, really, it's easy once you understand it!

    Along the field-shooting route there are normally some eight stations where you shoot six shots each (a total of 48 shots), but in championship competitions there are ten stations with 60 shots all-together. Without a doubt the most exciting and enchanting aspect of the shoots are the variety of targets, the difference in distances (from about 10 to 80 meters) and of course the variety in time that makes the whole more difficult.

    There can be fixed targets where you must start shooting from 45-degrees from the ground, or targets which suddenly appear before you. Many targets appear or disappear, or both! There can also be stations with a running or swinging target or a pendulum. About half of the stations in the competition are shot with one hand, the rest with two.

    Ready, Set, Go

    Once the shooters are lined up, weapons are inspected, everybody has his or her paper with the shooting conditions, the range officer duly wishes them good luck and off goes the patrol to the first station. Before every station there is a STOP-sign and the patrol must wait there until the range officer (chief of the station) tells them to line up behind the numbers for every shooter at the shooting-line, The range officer then asks the shooters if everybody understands the conditions for the station. He also reveals the targets for the competing shooters, even the disappearing ones.

    Then, in his impeccable Swedish, he commands "LADDA" (load) and enquires after some 30 seconds "ALLA KLARA?" (all clear?). Assuming nobody calls out "NEJ" (no) he then says "TIO SEKUNDER KVAR!" (10 seconds left). As you can imagine, it's well for any US citizen contemplating a field shooting holiday in Sweden to brush up on his Swedish!

    Three seconds before firing comes the two final words: "FARDIGA" (ready) and then "ELD" (fire). Three seconds before the shooters must stop shooting one hears "ELD UPPHOR" (cease fire). This command must be three seconds long and any shots fired after that period of time will not be counted.

    After the "cease fire" there is a control of all weapons and then the range officer says "MARKERA" (mark), perhaps the easiest word to understand, which means all shooters are now allowed to go forward to the targets and help to register the hits (holes). The range officer fills in the results in the book. If, for example, there are six holes in four targets on the station, the book will record: six shots in four targets = 6/4. If a shooter missed a shot and a target his result would be 5/3, and so on.

    If someone shoots at the wrong targets it's a humiliating 0/0. If, for example, there are 24 targets on the eight stations, and the shooter hits them all, then the overall result would be 48/24 or 60/24 in a championship with 10 stations, It sounds rather complicated, but in fact it is quite straightforward.

    The Field Course

    The designer (Banbyggare) of the field shooting course does his best to construct a course with such a degree of difficulty that only a few shooters (the best) will manage to "shoot fully" (that is to say to hit all the targets with all shots). Should there happen to be three shooters who have hit all targets, then they must later have a shoot-off at a "separation-station" to find out who is to receive the gold, silver and bronze medals.

    Needless to say such a play off is very exciting and nerve-wracking for the shooters, and great fun for the public to watch. In championship matches there are always separation-finals for the medals. The club or clubs arranging the competitions on behalf of the SPSF continuously display the preliminary results throughout the day. A field shooting competition with between 300-500 starts will usually last from morning to evening and is held somewhere in Sweden almost every Sunday, except during the coldest winter months. And you can rest assured that if it's too cold for the hardy Swedes, then it's cold indeed!

    After the field-shooting-competition there follows the distribution of prizes and medals. Should any prize-money happen to be sent to the competitor's club, it will in all likelihood be used for the shooter's applications to the next competitions. In other words, they shoot not for the money but for the pleasure. Prize-lists will then be sent to all the participating clubs and, more recently, are also posted on the internet.

    Tough Competition

    Field shooting is so popular in Sweden that many average shooters have a hard time earning the right to participate in the annual "SM," the Svenska Masterskapen or Swedish championships. Out of the 17,000 active shooters, only about 1,500 to 1,600 are likely to qualify, so competition is fierce.

    This prestigious national championship is held one year in the east of Sweden, then the following year in the west, then the south and north, and so on. This championship always lasts a minimum of three days, and sometimes even four. It's a major shooting festival and its popularity ensures it receives wide coverage in the mainstream press.




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    Senior Member Uwe Jens Lornsen's Avatar
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    Fältskytte

    Proper spelling is 'Fältskytte' : Fieldshooting .

    Articles I had found handle rifles , and not pistols .
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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