Reply To: Good Starter gun for FT?

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davecole
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I started shooting FT a few years back. Mostly local and some travel. I'd like to do more but I have a life, a wife and two college age kids. I could afford to go "top shelf" but I've elected to stay simple and fun. I don't want my hobby to own me.

But I digress….

For starters, you will need to pick a class. My suggestion is to consider Hunter class.. It's an affordable beginner class where you can learn, have fun, be successful and not have to take out a second mortgage. WFTF Open IMHO is the money class. You need the best money can buy to be competitive (skill is on you) 

As for what gun, I'm fairly sure, well, almost positive, the following brands will be recommended; 

Steyr

RAW

FX

Daystate

Air Arms

Thomas

(did I leave any  >$2000.00 guns out??)

You had mentioned the Marauder and the fact it's not regulated. You can get it regulated in the Field and Target model. Or you can install a Huma or equal regulator for about $100 plus about 15 minutes of your time. The bolt is reversible and I too am left handed but have left the bolt on the right-hand side. The only thing I have done to mine is to turn the velocity screw in 1/4 turn to bring it below the 20FPE rule. And in doing so, I get almost 40 shots without hardly any drop in POI at 45 yards. You don't have to go the whole match without having to put additional air in the gun. I carry a 90ci pony tank and bump the pressure back up at about half way though a 60 shot match. 

The Marauder has a superior trigger to the Gauntlet out of the box. As for caliber, I've shot both and it does seem the .177 has a flatter trajectory with less hold over/under throughout the target distances. 

As for the optics, the UTG 3-12 I don't think it is the best magnification nor reticle. Great scopes just not a FT scope.

I have those scopes on other guns and for one, the mildots are just too big to be practical shooting at say a 2" KZ at 55 yards. You really need a much thinner reticle (etched is strongly recommended) and the max allowed magnification is now 16 power. Personally I have a Hawke Sidewinder 1/2 mildot 6.5-20 (the half mildots are a nice feature) I bought used. A scope with a large sidewheel will be a huge plus so you can mark up a yardage tape for range finding (don't rely on the factory yardage on the sidewheel) This really helps with determining correct hold over/under. But there are plenty other scopes to choose from. Let your AmEx be your guide.

Best of luck, keep us up to date on your decision and experiences.