This information is provided as a guide only and is not a definitive source of competition information, full rules and competition formats will be available from the event organisers.

There are many types of Smallbore Target Rifle Competitions, each with a well-defined and detailed set of rules and instructions. It is not necessary for a person to be able to have a full in depth understanding of the rules to shoot in a competition but some idea of the basics will certainly help. The most likely starting place for competition shooting will be at a club as part of a team. Clubs can provide the support and guidance that help a shooter find their feet in competitions.


Most events are shot with competitors being split into classes based on their ability (usually assessed from their average). A shooter can work out their average as either the average of all the scored cards they have shot or more commonly the best 10 of the last 12 competition cards. For a person who has never shot in a competition their average should be taken from the last 5 -10 scored cards shot.


Postal competitions (Paper or Card Targets)

A team or an individual shoots a competition target which is usually marked by a sticker affixed to either the front or back of the target. The shot targets are then signed by the shooter and an independent witness before being posted to the official scorer. The results are returned by post or email at a later date. There are both local and national postal competitions in which teams can shoot against a club 5 miles down the road or 500 miles across the country. Postal competitions can also take the form of a knockout tournament or a league.

Shoulder to Shoulder matches (Paper or Card, WSRA Competitions are shot on Electronic Targets)

Two or more teams, or individuals, shoot against each other on the same range at the same time whilst lying next to each other, quite literally ‘shoulder to shoulder’ on the firing point. The scores for the event are assessed when the shooting is finished.

Open matches (Paper or Card, WSRA Competitions are shot on Electronic Targets)

An extension of the shoulder to shoulder match, this is where a club, association, county or country hosts an event which is open to all shooters who meet the entry requirements.

National competitions (Paper or Card, WSRA Competitions are shot on Electronic Targets)

These can be run as either a postal or an open event with competitors travelling to a single location. Sometimes the first few rounds can be done by post with the final being held as a shoulder to shoulder event.

Indoor competition (Normally Paper or Card Targets)

Usually shot at a distance of between 15 and 25 yards using standard ten diagram competition targets. Sometimes 50m events are held indoors however this is rare because most 50m ranges are outdoors.

Outdoor competition

Usually 50m, 100yds, or both, using standard competition targets with competitions usually comprising one (or more) of the following event types:

  • English match – 60 shots to count fired at 50m with a total score out of 600

  • Scottish match – 60 shots to count fired at 100yds with a total score out of 600

  • Dewar – 20 shots to count fired at 50m and 20 to count shots fired at 100yds with a total score out of 400

  • Double Dewar – 40 shots to count fired at 50m and 40 shots to count fired at 100yds with a total score out of 800

Electronic Scoring

If competitions are shot on electronic targets each shooter has a monitor and can see where each of his shots goes. The monitors also show a running score and also the amount of time remaining. All monitors are controlled from a central position where an overall view can be seen. All scores where shot on electronic targets can normally be seen live online through the target manufacturer’s website such as Megalink