What is it?

Target Rifle (TR) is the NRA’s heritage and how the shooting sport started. TR competitions are shot at every level from an informal challenge between two individuals or clubs through County, Home Country and National team competitions, up to the World Long Range Championships for the Palma Trophy and the Commonwealth Games.

Target Rifle (TR) evolved from Service Rifle (SR) shooting in the late 1960s. Previously the .303″ caliber No. 4 Service Rifle was used with the addition of precision sights that were adjustable for elevation and windage. When the armed forces adopted the Self Loading Rifle (SLR) at the end of the 1960s, target rifles retained the single shot bolt action of the old Service Rifles, but started to evolve into precision made firearms that are extremely accurate and optimized for target shooting. They have sights which are fully adjustable for elevation and windage, but retain the ‘iron sight’ principle (i.e. do not use telescopic sights). To ‘level the playing field’ as much as possible without stifling progress, the rifle, or all its component parts, must be ‘readily available in quantity’. The standard caliber is .308, but .223 is also used.

TR involves prone single shot precision shooting using aperture iron sights at ’round bull’ targets at distances from 300 to 1000 yards, with each shot carefully scored, recorded and analysed. As well as being able to hold a steady aim, the key challenge is being able to judge and allow for the strength of the wind, especially at the longer ranges.


To compete in TR you need a Target Rifle (a single-loading 7.62/.308 rifle with adjustable non-magnifying sights), and the kit to go with it. Minimum: sling, glove, spotting scope. Highly desirable: shooting jacket, mat, hat,  ammo box, small clipboard, rifle tools and a bag to carry it all in. 


TR competitions are shot at some combination of 300, 500, 600, 800, 900 and 1000 yards in the prone position at a static round-bull target. For individual competitions, each shot is fired and each shot is scored separately. Competitors keep score for each other and each competitor is responsible for their own wind judgement and sight corrections to center their group. A single competition or stage normally consists of 2 sighting shots and 10 or 15 scoring shots, though there are exceptions.

For team matches, each target generally has a dedicated wind coach, who is responsible for judging and allowing for the strength of the wind and centering the group, by adjusting the shooter’s sights, so that the shooter merely has to aim at the center of the target and fire good shots.

How to get involved

Best way is to come out and meet the people at you local shooting club (for example come out for one of our events). There you will meet people that are willing to help you and you can see first hand what we do and equipment you might need to get started. Also coaching can be available for the less experienced and shooting community is always eager to help new shooters.