We were talking about AAFTA rules. Those rules are for the Nationals. I don't really feel the Nats are for newbies, it makes a mockery of the concept of a "National Match" to be setting it up to cater to non-serious competitors.
A serious competitor will do what it takes, within reason, to make sure he can do ok, even if it means going to the range to practice more, or getting a short gun that's still quiet enough for him.
If its just club matches, well then some clubs allow longer barrels, some don't. If your club doesn't want rifle length barrels on pistols, you either conform or don't shoot.
I figger a FT pistol can be easily purchased that's plenty quiet and be useful for practice at home in a residential neighborhood unless you are NEEDING normal air rifle-like power (6-12fpe_, or worse yet, OVER 12fpe.) Perhaps you are unaware that many top pistol shooters do tons of dryfire practice at home, and that such dryfire, or even very short range practice on paper apparently gives much of the benefit of field practice for many good shots?
The average airgun newbie has never heard of or seen a magnum air pistol, but if he has the initiative to want to compete in Pistol Field Target, and can FIND a club where its regularly played, he will notice the number of suitable standard pistols available with barreled LONGER than 15" is pretty small. It should be easy enough to avoid those models (whatever they are) if he truly wants to play at a club that requires shorter than 15" barrel one, and STILL be able to practice at home if he's determined.
I have found over the years that a regimen of serious hand-holding of the newbies nearly ALWAYS results in most of em dropping out once their hand isn't being held. So I no longer get in line with the theory that the rules need to be strongly weighted toward the newest entrants to the game.
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