An Introduction to Full-Bore Rifle Shooting for Prospective New Members

Darwin Rifle Club Introductory Sessions to Full Bore Shooting

The Darwin Rifle Club conducts a three-week introduction to full bore rifle shooting course twice a year, generally around April and August.

In the second half of 2020 we will trial a new format.

The introduction sessions will be conducted for three Sundays at the 300m range and three Saturdays the first Sat. at 300m the second Sat. 400m and the third at 500m. The Sunday sessions will commence at 10am each morning and the Saturdays will commence at a time determined by numbers attending.. At the completion if new shooters continue they will join the competition at the 600m range in the afternoon at 1pm. All rifles and equipment are provided by the club.

Targe rifle shooting is a precision outdoor activity which is challenging, competitive and recreational. Rifle shooting is a sport for both men and women.

equipment and safety demonstration for prospective members

By taking part in these lessons, it is presumed that you are interested in learning more about target rifle shooting as a sport.  The purpose is to broaden the awareness of full-bore rifle shooting through the provision of training in a relaxed, friendly environment for persons of variable capacities who have no knowledge or skills in the sport.

What is Full-Bore Rifle Shooting?

A variety of rifles and sighting systems may be used in competition.  The Standard Rifle is as defined in "Standard Shooting Rules".  It is a centre-fire rifle capable of safely firing one of the following cartridges: .308" Winchester; 7.62mm NATO; 5.56mm NATO; or, .223" Remington.  There are rigid restrictions on the weight of projectiles that may be used. 

Standard Rifle competitions require the use of iron peep sights or telescopic sights, although there are provisions for in-built lenses (in the iron sights) designed to correct an eyesight problem or to enlarge the sight picture using a system known as an "Eagle Eye".

Each shot is taken from a prone position (unless disabled or incapacitated), shooting off the elbows, using only a sling and adjustable shooting jacket for support and padded shooting mat for comfort.   Darwin Rifle Club members participating in this discipline are graded in A, B and C categories.

The F Class category is based on centre fire rifles up to 8mm in calibre and with an overall weight, including any sighting system, of no more than 8kg.  Telescopic sights are typically used.  These competitions also allow the use of any form of support, such as sandbags, bipods, and portable stands. Basically, anything goes provided it is safe. 

Australian Outback (Sierra) factory ammunition is available for Standard Rifle competition.  Many competitors choose to hand load their ammunition, principally to achieve cost savings. 

Standard Rifle  and F Class competitions are typically fired over distances ranging from 300 metres to 900 metres.  To score a central bullseye the shooter must judge the wind strength and direction, aim, and release the trigger without moving the rifle more than 0.254 mm (1/100th of an inch).

Is it Safe?

Contrary to popular belief, rifle shooting is one of the safest sports available; injuries are virtually unheard of.  Whilst a firearm used improperly can be a dangerous weapon, safety is a paramount consideration of the rifle range.  Participating in organised shooting is undoubtedly the best way to learn firearms safety.

Shooting is carried out under strict safety conditions and in accordance with a prescribed code called the "Standard Shooting Rules".  You will be instructed in the safe handling of firearms. 

taking a shot

What is the Challenge?

Most sports have a number of innate qualities that attract participants.  The desire to compete, mastery of a challenge, companionship.  Likewise with rifle shooting.  Full-Bore however offers a deeper level of involvement.  Those with a practical or mechanical bent may find an extra challenge in the maintenance and tuning of equipment, while the scientific mind may prefer experimentation and analysis of technique and psychology.  Indeed the self control and discipline required to become a marksmen differentiates Full-Bore from most other sports.  An adrenaline surge or an attach of self doubt at the wrong time can be costly!  Rifle shooting is also non-adversarial, you compete against yourself.  There is nothing you can do to influence the performance of another shooter.

Tuition, practice and dedication are required to reach a high level of proficiency.

In long distance shooting the wind, mirage and distance affect the path of the bullet to varying degrees.  This presents additional skills to be learnt so the shooter can adjust the sights to compensate for these variables.

Who Can Compete?

Rifle shooting is one of the few sports where people can compete on an even basis regardless of age, sex, fitness, or physical disability.  In open competition, shooters are graded only on ability.  In State and National team or individual events women compete alongside men, teenagers alongside octogenarians, and perfect physical specimens alongside those who have had triple cardiac bypass surgery.  Target rifle shooting is enjoyed by both men and women from the age of 14 to some who are in their eighties.

What are my Opportunities to Compete?

Full-bore is a sport of the Commonwealth Games.  There is a gradual representative path that extends through Club and District teams, to State and National levels.

The pinnacle of the rifle shooting movement is to win a Queens Prize Competition.  The Queens Prize is the title of various state and international events, which are held on an annual basis.  The Darwin Rifle Club is proud to have achieved three Queens Prize winners.

Full-Bore caters for individuals and teams events for open, juniors, women and veterans competitions. Competitions are open and are conducted under a grading or divisional system so that all may compete. All participants of the Darwin Rifle Club introduction to Full-Bore lessons are automatically graded into the C Grade category of the club.

The Darwin Rifle Club currently has eight regular active members competing in the F-Class grade of the Club.  The Darwin Rifle Club has F-Class equipment available to new shooters who are interested in pursuing the sport through F-Class.

F-Class is an integral grade of the Full-Bore movement as it enables many members of variable capacities and ages to participate in the sport.

Can I become a member of the Darwin Rifle Club without having my own equipment?

Darwin Rifle Club rifles are available to new shooters, together with expert tuition from existing longstanding club members.  The calibres are 7.62mm (.308) and 5.56mm (.223).  Rifle makes are numerous using bolt actions with target quality barrels fitted with adjustable "peep" micrometer rear sights.  Ammunition used is the .308 Australian Outback with 150 grain Sierra projectiles and cost $37.00 for a bag of 24. A $5 equipment hire fee may also be charged.

f-class instruction

What is next?

To take part in the introductory sessions, participants will be required to pay $20 (subject to change)  initially for the six week course, which covers range fees and ammunition used.  The club will provide all equipment for the duration.

Topics covered over the coming weeks will include safety, technique, elements (including wind and mirage), marking, scoring and rifle cleaning.  Please feel free to ask any of our volunteer club members questions at any time.

Post shoot everyone is invited back to the clubhouse for lunch to enjoy a sausage sizzle, drinks and a chat about the days activities.  A nominal fee of $1 per sausage and $1 for softdrinks apply.

If you decide that you would like to participate in the sport, we would ask that you become a club member and commence participating in our weekly club shoots.

The Darwin Rifle Club meets every Saturday from 1p.m. and competes at various ranges expanding from 300 metres to 900 metres, however the range actually extends to as far as 1100 meters.

Membership of the club costs $140 annual subscription and includes memberships of the Northern Territory Rifle Association as well as the National Rifle Association of Australia.

The club would be happy to provide equipment to you in the interim of you obtaining your own.  In the past the club has assisted many new shooters in obtaining their own equipment at an affordable price.

Whilst attending the range for the coming weeks, we ask you to consider becoming a member of our club.  The Darwin Rifle Club is a successful club, which promotes a meeting place for fulfilment and enjoyment to members of the sport.

Should you need to contact me away from the range, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Welcome and enjoy!

David Mickel, CLUB CAPTAIN