Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 09:50 GMT, Monday, 6 March 2006
Guide to shooting

Rifle guide

Shooting events at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games fall into three general categories.

Competitors shoot with either rifles, pistols or shotguns.

The guns come in many different shapes and sizes, and the type of target also varies from event to event.


Full bore events are staged at the Commonwealth Games, but not at the Olympics.

Male and female shooters compete against each other in both singles and pairs competitions.

The rifles used in full bore competitions have a 7.62mm calibre, and are purpose-built single shot target rifles. The maximum weight is 6.6kg with the rifle being supported by a sling.

Competitors shoot from the prone position at a paper or plastic target on a wooden frame, with a round, black aiming mark on a white background.

There are six scoring areas, from the 'bull' scoring 5 to the 'hit' scoring 1. Inside the 'bull' is a smaller ring (the V-bull) which acts as a tie-break when scores are level for all positions. The 'V-bull' is extremely small, and requires great skill in holding the rifle steady.

The strength and direction of the wind plays a big part. Even a gentle breeze will blow the shot out of the 'bull'.

There are wind flags to help. It is only in the Pairs Match that each competitor can have a coach providing information on wind direction and speed.

After each shot, competitors use a telescope to check the position and value of their shot. The values are shown by a score panel along the bottom of the target, while the position is shown by inserting an orange 'spotting disk' into the shot hole using a pin.

The firing distances for Commonwealth Games events are 300yards, 500yards, 600yards, 900yards and 1,000yards. Competitors shoot a total of 81 rounds.


There are thousands of shooting clubs and ranges in the UK.

Most clubs welcome anyone wanting to learn or to develop their shooting skills.

A good place to start is the British Shooting Sports Council website, which covers all shooting disciplines.

The International Shooting Sport Federation has good information covering the sport across the world.

The National Shooting Centre is based in Bisley, England, and covers all disciplines. Its website has details on courses and plenty of contacts and links.

For more specific information on rifle shooting and clubs, you can visit the National Rifle Association's website.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites