Photo showing the prone shooting position with both left and right handed shooters

Target Fifle

This is rifle shooting conducted on approved rifle ranges, under strict standard shooting rules, at distances from 300 yards or meters, to 900 meters and even 1200 yards.

Shots are fired singularly from the prone position. In this posture the shooter is laying face down on the ground looking towards the targets, wearing a shooting jacket, and the butt of the rifle positioned firmly against the shoulder.

The rifles have open/peep sights and a sling is used for support so you are not holding the rifle up.

Target shooting is one of the few sports where women and men compete without favor or discrimination for the same grades and prizes. It doesn’t require exceptional fitness or, surprisingly, perfect eyesight. Older and physically impaired people can enjoy successful participation like any other shooter.

Some of the best shooters in the country are over 50, as success is more to do with experience and knowledge.


There are different classes of fullbore shooting. TR class is target rifle, “F” class shooting or Field Class, this allows the shooter to lie down or use a bench to shoot off with telescopic sights fitted. In Optical Class shooting, the shooter lies prone, uses the normal sling set-up, and has a scope mounted to the rifle. For shooters who enjoy shooting military bolt action rifles, Military Bolt is a further option.

 Picture of F Class shooters, note the scope mounted to the rifle, and the rifle supported at the front and back  Bench rest shooting. Usually shot at longer ranges up to 1200 yards


Within the target shooting sport of rifles there are a number of disciplines you can participate in. There is however a “new kid” on the block which is really starting to gain support and a following for a number of reasons.

The class is the Sporting/Hunting Discipline, also know as Sporter/Hunter or “SH”. The SH class was originally introduced into the target class shooting as a means to encourage new shooters, or shooters with existing hunting style rifles to participate in target shooting. This has further developed into competition levels of SH up to state level.

The Sporter/Hunter type rifles have also made their way into other competitions such as the Precision Rifle Series (PRS).

The basis of the SH target series is that you can use and is a requirement that the rifles are factory made practical walk around rifles. Like any competition, modifications can be made to a standard rifle provided it complies with the National Rifle Association of AustralSH classia standard shooting rules, Chapter 23. As such if you already have a hunting rifle or if you are new to the sport and want to start off with a more basic setup then the SH class might be for you. Telescopic sights are also utilised

This then leads into the question of what are some of the differences with the SH category vs other target style rifles? Well you are limited to a 26inch barrel, this may seem long already however other competition style barrels push past this and even into the reach of 30 inches. The front of the rifle can also be supported utilising a basic bipod, such as a “Harris” style bipod as opposed to a platform style stand. SH does however provide flexibility around calibres where plenty of choices are available (subject to your local range rules)

So if you are looking to get into target shooting and want to try something a little different, take a look into the Sports/Hunter Category.

A variety of approved rifles may be used and they broadly fall into the category of a single shot action (no magazine) fitted to a stock that is comfortable for the shooter. The calibres allowed are 7.62 *51mm NATO (.308 Winchester) and 5.56 *45mm NATO (.223). To ensure even competition and fairness, the action, barrel and stock must be manufactured within strict limitations of weight and dimension. There are also rules governing trigger weight and ammunition types.

This is a fiberglass custom made stock fitted with a Millennium action and Tru Flight barrel. Wooden thumb-hole stock, Davies action and trigger

Typical older style target rifle. Angel 80 action fitted to a timber stock featuring adjustable cheek piece, butt pad and hand stop

In Fullbore target shooting there is a lot of choice available to do with rifles, stocks, sights, jackets and ammunition, just to name a few. The list of combinations is endless to take into account desired shooting level and affordability. Some of Australia’s best shooters still rely on rifle manufacturers that have been around for many years.

The ammunition we use can be either factory Winchester rounds (made by machine) or hand loads (made individually to suit each rifle). Hand loads can use different cases, primers, powder and projectile combinations, which are again governed by the Standard Shooting Rules. Loading your own ammunition means that you can fine tune the rounds to suit your equipment.

Two examples of .308 (7.62) rounds. On the left is a Lapua case loaded with a Dyer projectile. The right hand case is a Winchester with a Serria  projectile.

The targets we shoot on at are Electronic targets made by Hex Systems.  The target size is increased with increased distance. Regardless of that, the bullseye remains a challenge to hit and requires a considerable amount of skill, both in holding the rifle steady, and releasing the trigger at the right moment. In addition the wind, and mirage can play havoc in your efforts to get a good scoring shot in the centre of the target, particularly at longer ranges.

Picture of the 14 targets at Hornsby Rifle Range, notice the wind flags on each side.
The Hornsby Butts Gallery showing the electronic targets.
Target values.
Centre bull (count as Five, marked as “V”),
Bull Eye (Five),
Inner (Four)
Magpie (Three)
Outer (Two)
300m targetTarget is 1200mm/1200mm square. Aiming mark 600mm, Centre bull 70mm, Bullseye 140mm. 400m target Target is 1200mm/1200mm square. Aiming mark 600mm. Centre bull 93mm. Bullseye 186mm.
500m target Target is 1800mm/1800mm square. Aiming mark 1000mm. Centre bull 145mm. Bullseye 290mm. 600m target Target is 1800mm/1800mm square. Aiming mark 1000mm. Centre bull 160mm. Bullseye 320mm.
700m target Target is 1800mm/1800mm square. Aiming mark 1120mm. Centre bull 255mm. Bullseye 510mm 800m target Target is 2400mm/1800mm. Aiming mark 1120mm. Centre bull 255mm. Bullseye 510mm.


Our shooting year starts in July and goes through to May, with June set aside for range maintenance and for the Champion of Champions Shoot, where club winners shoot off to decide the District Champion.

Weekly fees:

  • $20.00 Club Fees (Range fee)
  • $78.30 Ammo cost (For Factory Ammo, Club Supplied)

TOTAL: $98.30

Annual fees:

  • Full Membership $600.00
  • Under 21 $400.00
  • Associate $190.00
  • Pensioner $490.00

There is no joining fee. Other sports like golf have joining fees and their membership fees are a lot higher.