Fullbore target rifle
|Highest governing body||International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations|
|Country or region||Worldwide|
Fullbore Target Rifle (TR) is a precision rifle shooting sport governed by the International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations (ICFRA). The sport evolved as a distinct British and Commonwealth of Nations discipline from Service rifle (SR) shooting in the late 1960s and is governed in the UK by the National Rifle Association of the United Kingdom (NRA UK).
Fullbore Target Rifle Shooting has been established formally in the United States and is administered by the National Rifle Association of America. The annual National Championship is currently held during August at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio. Other membership associations of ICFRA include the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association, National Rifle Association of Australia, National Rifle Association of New Zealand, Jamaica Rifle Association, Royal Spanish Olympic Shooting Federation, Lithuanian Long Range Shooting Federation and the Channel Islands Rifle Association.
Nordic fullbore rifle is a variation of fullbore target rifle arranged by the Scandinavian rifle assoctions the National Rifle Association of Norway, the DGI Shooting (formerly De Danske Skytteforeninger) and the Swedish Shooting Sport Federation (formerly Frivilliga Skytterörelsen). Nordic field shooting competitions are shot at varied distances out to 600 m.
To level the playing field as much as possible without stifling progress, and to make it possible for riflemen of all budgets to compete seriously, the rifle or all its component parts must be 'readily available in quantity'.
Modern target rifles are extremely accurate, and have aperture sights which are fully adjustable for elevation and windage. They developed from the observation that the eye when viewing through a circular aperture will naturally centre the black circular target, on a white backing. Initially this was accomplished using a standard 'post' foresight at the muzzle of the rifle, which over time developed into a tube with a circular ring aperture so that the black 'bull' would be viewed within the foresight ring which in turn was centred in the rear aperture. This arrangement improved the accuracy as the sight distance was increased with the aperture sight closer to the marksman than that of the military 'iron' rear leaf sight fitted directly to the barrel.
Fullbore Target Rifle involves prone position single shot precision shooting using adjustable aperture sights at 'round bull' targets at distances from 300 to 1000 yards, with each shot being carefully scored and analysed. The usual calibre used was .303 British (standard military) up to the late 1950s when the NATO countries adopted the .308 Winchester/7.62×51mm NATO as the new military interoperable choice of ammunition. The .303 British calibre is still in use by Service Rifle shooters and was exclusively used by Fullbore in the Short, Magazine Lee–Enfield (SMLE) No.1 Mk. III and No. 4 rifles. Often this aspect is forgotten or overlooked.
Modern target rifle shooters commonly use specialised stiff leather or canvas shooting jackets to maintain a stable prone position. Riflemen also widely wear shooting gloves on their support hand to stabilise the rifle and to protect the hand from a single point sling.
In the UK, the 'home' of target rifle shooting (and match rifle competition) is the National Shooting Centre at Bisley, Surrey. The worldwide influence of Bisley on the sport is illustrated best by the South African terminology, where Target Rifle is called "Bisley Shooting", the governing body is the South African Bisley Union (SABU) and almost any target shooting competition is known as a "Bisley". In Canada, target rifle competitions at the national level are regulated by the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association.
Match Rifle shooting is a long-range target shooting discipline for civilian riflemen shot at 1,000 to 1,200 yards (approximately 914 to 1,097 meters), peculiar to the UK and several Commonwealth of Nations countries, and run according to rules set out by the National Rifle Association, UK. Elcho Shield is an example of such an annual fullbore Match Rifle competition.
Match Rifle can be thought of as an extreme, experimental version of Target Rifle (TR). Whilst the same calibres are permitted (.308” Winchester / 7.62 x 51 mm NATO and .223” Remington / 5.56 x 45 mm NATO), Match Rifle starts at 1000 yards where TR finishes, and goes up to 1500 yards but 1200 yards is the usual maximum range in most competitions. Telescopic sights are permitted, as is hand-loaded ammunition (typically for .308 / 7.62 with bullets weighing between 190 and 230 grains, as opposed to the 155 grain bullets normally used in TR); unlike TR, a rest may be used to support, or steady, the hand supporting the rifle (a sling as used in TR is also an option), but the rifle may not be directly supported by a rest or bipod. Whilst most people shoot Match Rifle prone, a sizeable minority shoot supine (“back position”), and a small number (who would be unable for medical reasons to shoot prone or supine) shoot seated at tables. Most shoots involve 15 or 20 shots to count (usually with two convertible sighting shots permitted) at each of 1000, 1100 and 1200 yards. With few ranges extending back to Match Rifle distances, most shooting in the UK takes place on Stickledown at Bisley.
- International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations
- High power rifle and Civilian Marksmanship Program, U.S. variants