Smallbore Target ShootingThose who don’t know, I’ve done my fair share of Target Shooting. I got involved in the sport when I was living in the country on my lifestyle block.

The farmer down the road who sold me some hay, said, what are you doing on Monday night? Why don’t you come down to the local Smallbore Rifile Shooting club and try your eye at target shooting?

So what is Smallbore Target Shooting?

Little did I know, the sport has very little to do with having a steady arm and a good eye, I will explain this a little further on!

So the first thing I did was I got given a Club rifle. Members of the club hunted around for a jacket that fitted me, yes you put on a jacket! This helps stiffen up your upper body so you can be more steady at holding the rifle. You also have a sling that wraps around your arm and latches onto the rifle. Next they give you a gigantic gardening glove, this is where you rest the rifle when you shoot. You also get a nice mat to lay on.

They give you some nice shiny bullets and they have a range officer watching you from behind. You get a safety briefing and then they tell you you can load and start. First you do your warmers, warmers are used to warm the barrel, apparently a warm barrel verses a cold barrel can alter where the bullet lands on the cardboard from 20 yards (18.288 mtrs). If they see your style of shooting is consistent, and you are of target, they will recommend you adjust your rear sight on the rifle and they tell you to keep shooting the same way you did (like your previous shot). You always alter the rifle and train yourself to shoot the same way every time. The first time I ever shot, I shot out of a possible perfect score of 100.10 and I scored 71.1.

Each time you shoot there are 10 counting shots on a card. The goal is to hit one of the 10 targets on the card. The closer you get to the centre of the target, the higher the score. So if you hit the target your score could be out of 5-10, however if you take out the dot it is a 10.1, the ultimate shot. The sport gets more technical the more you learn.

When everyone in the club has done their shooting you help pack away all the gear and pick up all the copper (used cartridges). Then the ritual is into the club room, drink tea and eat cookies and cakes. Normally you would be there until midnight, chatting and talking about shooting, it’s a very social activity.