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Established 1929

For newcomers to precision target shooting who have never shot before.

Guest taster nights with safety briefing start at 7pm and last between 1½ and 2 hours.
Available by appointment only.

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Precision Small-bore Rifle, Air Rifle and Air Pistol Target Shooting are 'OLYMPIC SPORTS'

Precision Small-bore Rifle, Air Rifle and Air Pistol Target Shooting are 'OLYMPIC SPORTS'

What is small-bore rifle shooting?

Small-bore rifle shooting, involves the use of .22 calibre target rifles firing .22 rimfire ammunition at paper, cardboard or electronic targets at distances from 15 to 25 yards indoors and at 50 yards, 50 metres and 100 yards outdoors.

The practical skills involved are very similar to those used for both full-bore and air rifle shooting with the main difference being the type of rifle and ammunition used.

Three positions in target shooting

Small-bore Target Rifle Shooting can be divided into 2 categories, Prone and 3 Position commonly referred to as 3P. Prone shooting is obviously done in the lying down position; 3P is done in the Prone, Kneeling and Standing positions.

Prone shooting has the largest following in this country and is usually the position in which the beginner starts, unless they have started with the air rifle, which is predominantly shot standing.

Two up and coming variations of the sport are Benchrest and Lightweight Sport Rifle.

For some people shooting is a recreational sport to be enjoyed with friends. For others it is an intense challenge requiring discipline, mental control and effort, with the goal of competing at club, county or international level.

Rifle shooting is one of a small number of sports that is open to almost anyone irrespective of any disabilities, age, gender and fitness, which do not by themselves define who will be good or bad at shooting as they do with some other sports.

History of Small-bore Target Shooting

Firearms first appeared in the 13th century. Guns however did not become reliable until Reverand Forsythe produced chemical explosives which ignited when struck with a hammer and Mr Whitworth came up with a rifling system which meant bullets could travel further than a few feet.

Target shooting was needed as a means to train soldiers to shoot accurately. Using paper targets was a cheap way to test the accuracy of the soldier.

In the Boer War, many British soldiers lost their lives due to the Boers (Dutch for “Farmers”) being able to shoot British soldiers from long distances. This lead to Major-General Luard and Earl Roberts recommending that working men should be able to shoot a rifle, so that Britain could defend itself against invasion. .22 rifles were chosen as it was cheap and could be shot indoors.

This lead to the formation of the “Society of Miniature Rifle Clubs” (later the NSRA) with its British long range championship being known as the Earl Roberts.

In the First World War civilian rifle clubs were used to train the infantry.

These days the sport has become world wide and the association with the army has become less important. Target shooting has been an Olympic sport since 1894. During the last 6 commonwealth games, British target shooters have won 131 medals (41 Gold’s).

Mick Gault has won 18 medals in pistol target shooting at the last 6 commonwealth games, including 9 gold medals (a record number of gold’s for any one competitor at the commonwealth games).

The next few sections describe the path taken from the early beginnings through to the sport that is recognised today covering the events, key governing bodies as well as some of the main manufacturers of Small-bore rifles and equipment.

Pre 1900

During the 1800s shooting clubs and organisations developed into national shooting federations. International shooting competitions were first held at the 1896 Summer Olympics, and the first World Championships were a year later in 1897.

The rifles used in competitions were either military or hunting rifles and the companies who make Small-bore rifles for sports shooting today were only just starting out.

Types of Shooting at Bedford Rifle Club:

Small-bore Rifle (.22)


Small-bore Target Rifle

NSRA Longarm / Free Pistol (.22)


NSRA Longarm / Free Pistol

Lightweight Sport Rifle (.177 and .22)


Lightweight Sport Rifle

Bench Rest Rifle (.177 and .22)


Bench Rest Rifle

Air Rifle (.177 and .22)


Air Rifle

Air Pistol (.177)


Air Pistol

For the newcomer, club equipment and qualified instruction is available.

Structure of Small-bore Precision Target Shooting

Club members can shoot in club teams in postal league competitions, knock out competitions and shoulder to shoulder "open" competition shoots, club championships, national championship. They can also be picked to represent, club, county, home country and British teams.

Pyramid-structure of Precision Target Shooting

Postal address

Bedford Rifle Club
Clapham Road
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK41 6EN

Postal address

Bedford Rifle Club
Clapham Road
Bedford
Bedfordshire
MK41 6EN

Bedford Rifle Club Logo

Call us

01234 358341 (during open hours)

Email us

bedfordrifleclub@hotmail.co.uk

Call us

01234 358341 (during open hours)

Email us

bedfordrifleclub@hotmail.co.uk

2017 Bedford Rifle Club

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