Why Long Range Target Shooting?
Long range target shooting is a very precise and exceptionally technical sport. At the higher levels, it involves preparing the rifle for competition, preparing and testing hand loaded ammunition, shooting practice – breathing, trigger control, wind reading, shooting process, etc, both on range and at home (no actual shooting).
It is a very mental sport! 80%+! Even though you are competing against other shooters, you are doing it from an individual perspective, even in coached team shoots!
By mental, we mean managing the process so that each shot is a duplicate of the previous. Once a shot has been fired, whatever the score, you need to move on to the next and not let a bad shot upset the next one!
Because it is individual, we have shooters from 14 to 80+ years of age, both male and female competing head to head in both Traditional Target Rifle and F-Class. There is no other sport where this happens! Being honest, even though only 20% of the shooters are female, they represent a much higher percentage of the best shooters in the country!
Competitions – Individual
Competitions are conducted at many levels. The most basic is a club shoot each week with a trophy for the winner, usually based on a handicapping system.
The clubs also have a club championship, conducted over a set 12 month period. These are usually for both Off-Rifle and Handicap honours and are usually in grades set and managed by the club handicapper.
The next level is a what is called a Prize Meeting, where members from a number of clubs compete together at a given rifle range. These are usually 1 or 2 day competitions and are conducted in grades. The shooter gradings are managed nationally.
The next level is a State Championship or “Queens” Prize Meeting. These attract shooters from all over the country and are also grade based.
There is also a State Champion of Champions shoot each year where all the Club Champions shoot off for State honours.
Then there are the international competitions in the likes of Australia, NZ, UK, USA, etc.
Competitions – Teams
Team shoots usually consist of 2 to 20 shooters and are almost always coached. This means the coach is watching the wind and “all” the shooter has to do is fire a good shot 🙂
First level teams are between clubs, usually as part of an arranged pennant series.
Next level is district where teams are assembled from multiple clubs in a district. They usually compete at the State range in Bendigo once a year.
From there there are State Teams with competitions held in different states each year and and shooters are selected from the best in the state.
Then there are international competitions between countries with one country being the host. One of these is of course the Commonwealth Games! Shooters compete to be selected in one of these prestigious teams.
Finally there is Bisley in the UK. Shooters go there both as individuals and as part of a team and compete in various matches over a couple of weeks… Getting a badge at Bisley is on most shooters bucket list!