Dutch field target association

Information in English, why?

Recently, DFTA has had a number of questions from UK-based HFT-shooters, inquiring about the possibilities of shooting FT or HFT during a short holiday. Of course, most of the information you need is on this website, but it's written in Dutch. And although Dutch isn't too hard to read, we think you prefer English. And also, there are some things we Dutch take for granted, but isn't really that obvious if you're from the UK. That's why we made this page, to help you find the info you want.

To begin with

Well, let's start with a few common things you need to know if you think about shooting FT or HFT in the Netherlands.

  • We shoot FT and HFT combined in one course. We just don't have enough shooters to separate both worlds. That makes it a little harder for the course-setters. Shooters are just used to it. But yes, we make jokes about "the dark side" and FT-shooters always being so slow. But that's just part of the fun.
  • HFT is much more popular in Holland than FT. In Belgium, it's the other way around.
  • There is no legal limit to the power of airguns in the Netherlands. You just have to be 18 to own one. When shooting FT or HFT though, we have the same limit as you have in the UK: 12 footpounds. Or 16,3 Joules, that is.
  • We are not allowed to pollute our environment with lead. That means we have to use boxes to catch pellets that miss the target. In one club they have even stricter rules, for they are located in a protected area. At that club you need to shoot non-toxic; you are not allowed to shoot lead pellets at all.
  • No camo clothing! The Royal Dutch Shooting Association (KNSA) is very concerned with the appearance of the sport to the regular public. And, to regular Dutch people, camo clothing is just too military. Just deal with it, and wear something else. It saves you time checking through customs, too.
  • We normally shoot 40 targets for HFT, and 50 for FT.

Our clubs

We now have 5 clubs in the Netherlands where you can shoot FT or HFT. But just one club that's dedicated to FT / HFT, most of our clubs are firearm ranges where a small percentage of the members shoot FT or HFT.

FT Schalkhaar near Deventer. This is our one dedicated FT / HFT club, though they also have the facilities to shoot 100 meter airgun. Airguns only. They organise 4 open competions a year, and 2 HFT night shoots. They have excellent grounds, part forest, part field. The forest is only used for competitions. Practice sessions are on the field only. For practice, they are open every Saturday afternoon and every Tuesday evening, whatever the weather. Except for a few Saturdays a year, when there's an archery competition on the field. These exceptions will be announced on the website. Practice sessions are open for visitors, too. Call or mail before going.

NFTI Maasvlakte is also an airgun only club; next to HFT they're very keen on shooting 100 meter airgun (right, the heavy stuff). They use the same grounds as a clay pigeon shooting club. Apart from the open 4 competition dates each year, they are usually open for practice every first and third Sunday of the month. These practice sessions are for members only, but if you give them a call or mail them, you're probably welcome to join them.

De Helm in Helmond is basicly a firearms range, where some of the members shoot FT or HFT. They use the field next to the indoor firearms range as a shooting ground. If it wasn't for the very unpredictable wind, it would be rather boring. Five competition dates a year, and a Christmas shoot where you can expect the unexpected. Practice opportunities for members only.

Robin Hood in Woerden is basicly a firearms and 10 meter airgun range, where some of the members shoot FT or HFT. As a shooting ground they use the roof of the indoor firearms range, a asphalted archery range and partly even indoors! What they lack in terrain they make up for in enthousiasm and passion for the sport. Four competition dates a year. Usually the're open for practice on Saturday afternoons; indoor or outdoor depending on the weather. Call or mail before going.

Oranje Nassau in Den Haag is one of the oldest shooting clubs in the Netherlands, dating back to 1875. They have a 50 meter firearm range and an indoor 10 meter airgun range. As for HFT, they are the new kid on the block. In 2015 some of the members started shooting HFT to try something new, that attracts younger shooters. These guys have a terrain even the largest British clubs could only dream about, located in the dunes North of Den Haag. The only drawback is that this is a environmentally protected area. No lead pellets. Non-toxic only! Oranje Nassau organises two matches a year. Although they only just got started, they're very eager to learn.

Addresses and contact-info for these clubs.

Belgium

Belgium isn't far away, and both Belgian clubs are very close to the border. There are 2: Target .177 in Neerpelt and 't Mikpunt in Maasmechelen. Target .177 is airgun only, 't Mikpunt is mostly a firearms range. Airgun laws in Belgium are different from those in Holland, but mostly the same. The most important difference: you can not have a silencer, whether attached to your rifle or not.

Adresses and contact-info for the Belgian clubs.

Germany

Germany has a 7,5 Joule limit, about 5,5 footpound. To shoot FT or HFT in Germany, you must have a 7,5 Joule rifle (for which they have a separate class), or you need to have a Firearms License. Conclusion: Germany is off limits for UK shooters.

When to shoot

When you're coming over to the Netherlands, the best thing of course is to join in our competion. See the shooting calender to learn about the dates in the Netherlands and Belgium. Registration is mandatory. For that, we use the Dutch airgun forum, called luchtbuks.net. Shoots are announced on the forum about one month before the shooting date, and you need to register through the forum. Most Dutch airgun shooters have an account on the forum. If you don't, you can also mail the club you're willing to register.

Transport

The best way to travel is by ferry; Stena Lines Harwich-Hook or DFDS Newcastle-IJmuiden. That saves you a lot of paperwork for checking in your rifles for air travel. Another thing you need to know is some hotels in the Netherlands are not very happy about having weapons in the house. Better let them think they're musical instruments. Not wearing camo helps, of course.

Gun shops

If you think about combining your trip to the Netherlands with a visit to a gun shop, there is a useful list on luchtbuks.net. Pellets are a lot cheaper than in the UK. Always check before going, the list might not be accurate.

Anything else?

If you want to know anything else that's not mentioned on this page, just mail us at info@dfta.nl.