Target Rifle shooting requires a high degree of concentration, personal discipline and fitness. Above all else, it is not a sport which is reserved for or dominated by any particular group of society; it is probably the only sport whose membership covers the entire spectrum of age, gender, occupation, profession, trade and even physical disability.
Male and female participants compete on equal terms at various levels ranging from B Grade at Club level, to provincial level, national level, and international competitions, including World Championships and representatives at the Commonwealth Games. Competitions are also held in various age groups, e.g. U19, U25, Open class and Veterans (above 60 and 70).
Target rifle shooting is conducted over distances of 300 to 900m (or 300 to 1000 yards) using single shot rifles specifically designed for the sport. Rifle calibers permitted for standard full-bore target shooting are either 7.62mm (.308Win) or 5.56mm (.223Rem).
Handloading of ammunition is permitted, and is the norm if high levels of repeatable accuracy are desired. The rifle has no maximum weight limit, but triggers must have a safe pull weight of 500g or more. The maximum bullet weight for .308 is 155gr (nominal) and for .223 the maximum bullet weight permitted is 80gr (nominal)
Modern target rifles are extremely accurate, and have sights which are fully adjustable for elevation and windage.
To ‘level the playing field’ as much as possible without stifling progress the rifle, or all its component parts, must be ‘readily available in quantity’. TR involves prone single shot precision shooting using aperture iron sights at ’round bull’ targets, with each shot carefully scored and analysed.
Competitions are conducted in individual and team matches. In team matches “coaching” is permitted by a dedicated wind coach.
Once the fundamentals are learned, much of the challenge is mental discipline and “reading” the effects of wind and light. At distances up to 900m, this can be quite a challenge!