Other Shooting Disciplines
There are a lot more shooting disciplines available to the shooter, which not all clubs on the Island cater for. We have therefore compiled a list of the other disciplines available, along with a brief description of what is involved.
F ('Farquarson') Class evolved from Target Rifle (TR) shooting in the mid-1990s. Whereas the usual calibre for TR is 7.62mm, F Class may be fired in any calibre up to 8mm. This new variant of TR was introduced in 1997 and allows other calibres and also bipods, telescopic sights etc. This class was originally intended to allow TR shooters with eyesight or other physical problems to carry on in the sport by allowing greater freedom in optical sights, rifle rests etc. It has now, however, developed into a new discipline in its own right.
Match Rifle has long been regarded as a premier discipline, and the Elcho, first shot in 1862, is one of the oldest international team matches in any sport. Like Target Rifle it is usually fired with the 7.62mm cartridge, but at longer distances from 1000 to 1200 yards. Experimentation and innovation have always played an important part in the discipline. Telescopic sights and hand loaded ammunition are used, and the specification for rifles and the firing positions allowed are more open. Whilst the majority of shooters shoot prone, a few still adopt the 'supine' position, reclining on their backs with their feet pointing towards the target!
Service Rifle is a discipline similar to the old SR(a) which was the norm, using a bolt action rifle with fixed sights, until the Armed Forces adopted the self-loading rifle (SLR) in the late '60s. Courses of fire are based on those fired by the Armed Forces, and usually involve a physical element (e.g. a 500 to 100 yard run down firing a number of shots every 100 yards). Matches may involve deliberate, rapid fire and snap shooting, and will usually involve firing from a variety of positions including prone, sitting, kneeling, standing and from a fire trench. Competitions are usually fired on representative figure targets such as the Figure 11 and Figure 12 figure targets. For service competitors the matches are fired with the current military issue rifle (the SA80 for British Forces or, for overseas competitors, that of their own country). For civilian competitors firing in matches alongside the military competitions a rifle with a telescopic sight and a magazine capacity of at least 10 shots is advisable.
Practical Rifle evolved as a discipline to replace the old Service Rifle when the Armed Forces adopted the self-loading rifle (SLR) in the late '60s. Courses of fire are devised by the individual match organiser, and usually involve a physical element (e.g. a 500 to 100 yard run down firing a number of shots every 100 yards in different positions). Matches may involve deliberate, timed and snap shooting, and may involve rapid reloading or changing of magazines. Competitions are usually fired on disruptive pattern targets. A rifle with a telescopic sight and a magazine capacity of at least 10 shots is advisable.
This discipline is the only NRA discipline governed by International Sport Shooting Federation (ISSF) Rules. It is fired at only one distance, but the rifle may be 'Standard' or 'Free' and in any calibre up to 8mm. Matches may be Prone only, or Prone, Standing and Kneeling (PSK). Firing is from a covered firing point, and a metric target with smaller scoring rings than TR is used. Many more shots are fired than in most other disciplines, usually 60 shots prone or 3 x 40 PSK (40 shots from each position). Unlike TR and MR, ladies fire fewer shots, only firing 3 x 20 in the PSK event.
The Gallery Rifle and Pistol (GR&P) discipline covers events shot at short and medium distances by various rifles and pistols. Many of the events are classified so competitors shoot against others of similar ability.
There are four types of firearm and the most commonly used are semi-automatic .22 rifles, lever action rifles, semi-automatic .22 long barrelled pistols and long barrelled revolvers. The majority of events are shot at distances between 10m and 50m, with a few going out to 300yd. There is a large selection which only requires a range of 25m.
There are four open meetings each year at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley. These include the Phoenix Meeting in late May and the National Championships at the end of August. The Phoenix Meeting is the premier meeting in the year. It attracts over 500 competitors and has a very wide range of events on offer. The National Championships Meeting is a little smaller but hosts the GR Home Countries National Match. There is a Great Britain team and England, Scotland and Wales also have GR teams.
This is now one of the few permitted forms of pistol shooting in the UK. Muzzle Loading Pistols are potentially as accurate as their modern counterparts though their rate of fire is much slower. Shooting may be conducted with original period pistols or with modern replicas. Matches may be fired under International Standard conditions at 25 metres with single shot flintlock or percussion pistols (best 10 shots from 13 fired in 30 minutes) or with percussion revolvers in a range of matches, many under the same conditions as previous cartridge pistol matches.
Muzzle Loading Rifles are again potentially as accurate as their modern counterparts though their rate of fire is much slower. Shooting may again be conducted with original period rifles or with modern replicas. Smooth bore muskets may be used for matches at 50 metres. Most ML rifles (other than those using spherical balls) are capable of accurate shooting up to 600 yards. For the long range shooter specialist rifles in .451" calibre shoot well out to 1000 yards
Shot with rifles from a sitting position at a bench. The rifle can be supported both at the front with an adjustable rest or bi-pod and at the rear with a bag rest. The targets used for this discipline are very small and although this sounds an easy way of shooting the level of accuracy required makes for a serious challenge. The event is scored on the size of the group rather than the value on a target
Introduced after the pistol ban to replace small-bore practical shooting. With the emphasis on safety this involves fire and movement. Shooting from various positions and overcoming obstacles placed to hinder the shooter. The target size is almost the size of an A4 sheet of paper. It is shot at from 50m down to 10m depending on the course of fire. It would be all too easy to shoot straight A's, so in practical shooting you are also against the clock. The score is divided by time taken. If you miss, it has a penalty of minus 10 points. Normally, the highest two shots in each target count.
Using pump action or semi-auto multi-shot shotguns only legally available on a firearm certificate. Multiple shooting positions using solid slug and shot at distances from 15m to 200m
A combination of Target shotgun and Mini Rifle, this is a fire with movement competition using FAC only multi-shot shotguns. As with mini rifle shooting from various positions and overcoming obstacles placed to challenge the shooter. Shot against the clock the score is divided by time taken.
Formal Clay shooting consists of a number of disciplines:
Skeet involves a shooter shooting at targets fired horizontally from a low and high house both as singles and pairs. Each round consists of 25 targets.
Trap shooting has targets fired away from the participant at different angles as well as different heights. The targets are also quicker than Skeet. As with Skeet, a round consists of 25 targets.
Down the line is a great discipline for beginners. A round usually consists of 25 targets, which are fired away from the shooter. The shooter stands behind the firing house, where they will fire at the rising targets which rise at a constant angle. However, the targets are fired randomly across the horizontal plane.
Sporting Clays (simulated game) uses a number of different types of clay targets. Combining different speeds and angles along with the different types and sizes of targets makes the sport very challenging. The targets might be crossing, climbing, incoming, outgoing, quartering away, streaking high overhead, or any combination of the above. Throw in some good topographical features, and you can simulate almost any game bird or field condition. Sporting Clays is indeed a discipline that truly tests a shotgun shooter's abilities.