Appendix 6

Target shooting competitions for handguns



The Appendix to the first submission by The Scottish Target Shooting Federation provides information as to the variety of competitions in which handguns are used, with an explanation of the rules as to the types of handgun and ammunition, targets and shooting procedures. That Appendix may be referred to for further detail but in brief the competitions can be considered by reference to the following groups:

A.       UIT

These competitions are run under the rules of the Union Internationale du Tir (UIT) which regulates shooting events at the Olympic Games. It has also become the world governing body for a set of disciplines shot in continental championships, world cup series and the Commonwealth Games. The main types of events comprise:

    1. Free Pistol (.22 rimfire single shot only);
    2. Rapid Fire (.22 short rimfire, five shot semi-automatic pistols only);
    3. Centrefire (five shot semi-automatic pistols or revolvers within a certain range of calibres);
    4. Standard Pistol (.22 rimfire, five shot semi-automatic pistols or revolvers); and
    5. Sport Pistol (.22 rimfire, five shot semi-automatic pistols or revolvers).

B.       Muzzle Loading

These events are run under the rules of the Muzzle Loading Association of Great Britain. They cater for antique firearms (or modern reproductions) of various types such as flintlock, percussion, single shots and revolvers. In general the firearms are of a type in use before the last quarter of the 19th Century. The events are held at levels up to international and world championship.

C.       Classics

These events are shot under the rules of the Historic Breechloading Smallarms Association and cater for firearms made before the end of the First World War or those of identical type. The various classes of event are defined by reference to calibre, type (pistol or revolver) and the physical size of the firearm.

D.       Long Range

These events are shot at distances of 100, 200 and 300 yards under the rules of the International Long Range Pistol Shooting Association. The various classes cater for pistols of differing types and calibres, ranging from blackpowder muzzle loaders through modern service and other pistols to specially built rifle-calibre firearms.

E.       Police/Service

These events derive from police and army training procedures.

Police pistol 1 is shot at 25, 15 and 10 metre distances; and police pistol 2 at 50, 25 and 10 metres. These events were originally designed as revolver competitions. With changes in police firearms use policy they are now commonly shot with semi-automatic pistols. They are designed to test shooters' ability to shoot at various distances, in a variety of positions and under varying time constraints.

1,500 police pistol C is a more recent multi-stage development of police training procedures in the United States. It consists of five separate matches for revolvers shot at 50 metre down to 10 metre distances with a variety of shooting positions using either hand under time constraints.

The maximum number of shots in any one series within any of these competitions is 6.

Service pistol competitions call for the use of a 9 mm Browning semi-automatic pistol "as issued" in the British Army. Service pistol A is derived from the current army training course of fire. It consists of 40 shots in series of 10 with movement towards the target as part of the procedure at the commencement of each stage after the first. Service pistol B is derived from the former army training course of fire and consists of 30 shots fired in a series of 6. This competition is shot at levels up to international. To cater for shooters with other types of pistol the Open A and Unrestricted B classes have been developed.

F.       Action

This is a group of competitions which do not fall easily into any of the above groups. It includes Practical Pistol which is for any pistol or revolver and is run under the rules of the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association and internationally under the rules of the International Practical Shooting Confederation. International competitions are at all levels up to continental and world championships.

The courses of fire vary from standard exercises to individual procedures developed for specific events. The emphasis in this branch of shooting is on accuracy, speed and power. Results are calculated from a factor of score on target allied with time taken. Scoring on anything except a central hit is at a reduced level if the ammunition used is of a lower standard than "major" power factor, established from a formula taking into account bullet weight and velocity.

Man vs Man consists of two competitors shooting falling targets simultaneously against the clock in a knock-out league. There are separate classes for revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.

The Bianchi Cup, which is for any centrefire pistol, comprises of four separate matches consisting of various types of target, shooting positions and distances all designed to test a shooter's ability to shoot with either and both hands under a range of conditions.


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Prepared 16 October 1996