Gallery Rifle Shooting
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Gallery Rifle Shooting or Gallery Rifle and Pistol shooting is a popular shooting sport throughout the world. In countries such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, South Africa and Australia national and international competitions are regularly undertaken. The discipline commonly uses rifles shot at short and medium distances chambered for traditional pistol calibers such as .22 Long Rifle, .38 and .357 calibers, .44 and .45. It is popular in countries where traditional pistol shooting difficult or not possible. In the UK Long Barreled Pistols (LBPs)and Long Barreled Revolvers (LBRs) are also part of the overall discipline.
Country specific national governing bodies (NGBs) are responsible for the discipline within that country. The International Gallery Rifle Federation (IGRF) promotes the development of Gallery Rifle competitive shooting worldwide, supervises international matches and supports a common set of rules. Individual member countries who have an interest in International Gallery Rifle shooting are free to join the IGRF. It currently has five member countries.
Most Gallery Rifle events are shot at distances between 10m and 50m although a few do go out to 300 meters. There is a large selection of GR events which only require range space out to 25 meters so the discipline is easily accessible and can be shot on indoor ranges. The most common shooting position is standing unsupported but some events do test the competitor’s skills from other positions such as kneeling, sitting or from the weak shoulder or hand. Some competitions are deliberate precision events whilst others require the competitor to shoot and reload quite quickly. The targets can be stationary or turning at set intervals. Some targets are moving and reactive (e.g. steel plates).
Classification rules allow rifles to be fitted with either iron sights, scopes or red dot sights. Targets vary according to the event being shot. Targets range from traditional concentric circle 'bullseye' targets to various styles of disruptive pattern designs. Targets may be fixed facing the shooters or set on turning target mechanisms which are requires for rapid and snap shooting events.
Many events are also shot in classes or divisions which allow people to compete equally amongst their peers. The classification system is administered by the country specific NGBs.
Governance and Rules
The NRA of the UK is the governing body for Gallery Rifle Shooting in the UK and produces a rulebook which is generally adopted as the standard throughout the world. Other NGBs will inherit and modify as appropriate for local use. For other IGRF member nations governance is managed as follows:
- Ireland - NASRPC http://www.nasrpc.ie
- Germany - Bund der Militär- und Polizeischützen e.V
- South Africa - South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association
- Australia - Sporting Shooters Association of Australia
There are four main categories
Gallery Rifle Small Bore (GRSB). Most competitors use a semi automatic (self loading) rifle chambered in .22 Long Rifle. In some events, however, it is possible to use pump action, lever action, bolt action or even single shot rifles.
Gallery Rifle Centre Fire (GRCF). Most shooters use a lever action rifle in a traditional pistol caliber. Examples of the most popular calibers are .38/.357, .44 or .45 Other types of rifle, such as the AR15 in 9mm ,with lever release cocking, are gaining popularity.
Long Barrelled Revolver (LBR) With a minimum overall length of 60 cm and a minimum barrel length of 30 cm these pistol carbines are manufactured to comply with UK firearms regulations. The revolvers are available in a variety of calibers. Most popular are .38/.357 and .44 although some competitors do use the .45 ACP.
Long Barrelled Pistols (LBP) The LBPs are generally semi automatic, although single shot designs are available and are sometimes used for precision events. Like the LBRs they are modified to comply with UK firearms regulations. Often based on a 1911, with a 300mm barrel and permanently attached wire stock, increasing the overall length to 620mm. LBPs are chambered in .22 Long Rifle caliber only, and can be used for all events.
Events and Competitions
A standard set of Gallery Rifle events exists which have courses of fire and conditions defined in the GR&P Handbook. These are essential broken down into precision matches and timed matches.
- NRA of the UK
- National Association of Sporting Rifle & Pistol Clubs Ireland (NASRPC)
- Bund der Militär- und Polizeischützen e.V
- South African Hunters and Game Conservation Association
- Sporting Shooters Association of Australia