Fullbore Target Rifle (T/R)
FullBore can trace it's origins back to the reign of Queen Victoria during the 1860's when, in an attempt to improve the ability of Britain's marksmen, she inaugurated the Queen's Shoot with a first prize at the time of £250. Much has changed since that event but the Queens shoot remains today.
Modern Target Rifle (T/R) evolved from Service Rifle (now S/R or Military ) during the '60s with the adoption of the NATO 7.62mm or .308 cartridge by Australian and international militaries. In it's earliest days Aperture or "Peep Sights" were fitted initially to the SMLE No. 1 .303's and later to the SMLE No. 4 .303's. With the shift to the .308 in Australia, existing supplies of .303 ammunition were transported out to sea and dumped. Handloading was not in common practice at the time so people couldn't continue to use their SMLE's and were forced to adopt the 7.62mm or .308. The Omark rifle was produced in great numbers to enable shooters to adopt the new cartridge and it's 144gr bullet.
Today T/R involves prone shooting of single shot rifles chambered in .308 and .223 caliber using aperture iron sights at targets ranging in distances from 300 to 1000 yards.
T/R shooter using open peep sights
Along with the caliber restrictions there are ammunition restrictions also; bullet selection is controlled by the T/R rules. For the .308 you are typically restricted to the 155gr bullets by Sierra, Dyer and Nosler but 144gr bullets can be used. For the .223 you're typically limited to 80gr bullets by Hornady (Amax), Sierra and Nosler and 69gr/68gr bullets by Sierra/Hornady.
Fullbore Target Rifle shooting is contested at the Commonwealth Games. At the last Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia won the Gold Medal, its first medal in 20 years in this event, thanks to the effort of James Corbett, who has 20 Queens wins to his credit.
The Mecca of fullbore shooting is Bisley in the UK. Australia sends teams to compete there on a regular basis.
On the local scene, there are numerous interstate teams events held annually.
Target Rifle shooter
Course of Fire
The standard course of fire for our club is 2 details each consisting of 2 sighters and 10 scoring shots. Good sighters can be kept as scoring shots. The absolute centre of the target is scored as a V with 5, 4 and 3 and 2 rings present on the target. Typically the remainder of the target area is considered to be worth 1 point (a hit) but this does vary from target to target. The maximum total of 50.10 points per detail with a total of 100.20 points being the highest possible total for both details
On paper targets for each shot fired, the target is pulled down and the shot marked then raised so the shooter can observe where the last shot landed and the scorer can record the score. With the switch to electronic targets for club shooting there is no delay in marking the targets. The shots appear on the shooters screen just a few seconds after the bullet hits the target.
As a club we take turns to shoot on one or more targets (depending on numbers) and we share the range with many other clubs who will have their own target(s).
Because our club has both F-Class and T/R shooters and the targets are the same for both disciplines the F-Class and T/R shooters all shoot together.
The targets vary in size for each distance but do so in a way that doesn't significantly alter their appearance to the shooter.
As can be seen in the diagram below the targets, when adjusted to angular measurements, appear very similar in size relative to the shooter.
The actual dimensions are listed in the following table (dimensions in mm)
Note: ROT = Rest of Target
What's a V?
Many will argue this but the principals hold true... The accuracy of the target rifles with their open peep sights is such that the 5 ring is intended to be the highest scoring ring. For open sights the innermost circle is considered to be too difficult for T/R shooters to hit repeatedly but it does provide a good mechanism for count outs when shooters tie on points alone.
What's a Super V?
The Super V is an F-Class scoring ring. It's marked as a V in T/R. It's listed here because it's visible on the targets
Example: Three shooters shoot a single detail of ten shots with the results shown in the table.
From these results shooter B wins with 50 points and 2 V's. Shooters A and C are tied on 49 points but Shooters A's total V count of 8 V's puts them second.
There are pro's and cons of this system but it works. The greater importance of not scoring 4's as opposed to getting V's makes T/R slightly more cerebral during big matches like the Queens shoot.
Basic Equipment for Fullbore T/R:
- Rifle chambered in .308 or .223
- A set of foresight rings
- A rear Aperture sight (peep sight)
- Shooting Jacket
- Shooting mat
- Spotting scope and stand
- Gun Case or Bag
- A range box or some other way of carrying your gear.
- Ammunition case. (e.g. MTM cases. For non reloaders it saves messing around with boxes of ammunition on the line).
- Ear muffs (plugs might seem ok if you're planning to shoot a .223 but the guy right beside you might be shooting a .308)
- Cleaning accessories
- A good hat
For a detailed listing of equipment that is suitable please see our Equipment section.