ABOUT FULLBORE RIFLE SHOOTING

Fullbore Rifle shooting is similar to smallbore in the fact that it is predominantly carried out in the prone position. The rifles are by and large specialist target rifles (although old Enfields etc., can be, and do get used quite a lot). For the majority of people open sights are used, and the only support allowed is that of a sling as in smallbore shooting. The main difference is in the calibre of the bullet, usually 7.62, and the distances fired over, generally between 300 and 1000yds.

Unlike most other shooting disciplines in which a bullseye scores 10 points, a bullseye in fullbore only scores 5 points. You are usually  limited to 2 sighting shots as well. Generally a fullbore shoot consists of  2 sighting shots and 10 shots to count resulting in a 'possible' score of 50 for 10 bulls eyes. The main bullseye also contains a smaller  inner ring known as a 'V bull'. This is used to break ties as top shooters will regularly achieve maximum scores. In such an instance the winner will be the one with the most shots in the V bull. Sometimes 15 shots to count are fired and on occasion only 7.  A score of 49.7 ex 2 and 10, means that the competitor fired 2 sighting shots and 10 to count. 9 shots hit the bullseye with 7 of those in the V bull. A score of 50.0 i.e. All 10 shots in the bullseye but with none in the smaller inner V bull, would still win - V bulls are only for deciding ties.

Of all the various shooting disciplines, some consider fullbore the ultimate challenge.

The basic principle is to shoot a piece of copper jacketed lead, weighing approximately one third of an ounce, which leaves the rifle at nearly 2000 miles per hour, to hit a target over half a mile away, which has a bullseye the size of a dustbin lid. The reason many find this such a challenge is because this difficult process is made considerably more difficult by the effect of wind. When shooting at 1000 yards, a 5 mile/hour gust of wind can "push" a bullet sideways five feet by the time the bullet reaches the target, resulting in a zero score.

As these bullets can travel approximately 3 miles, it is necessary also to have 3 miles of "dead" land behind the target. This requirement means there are only a limited number of ranges in the U.K. where fullbore rifles can be used to their full extent. The cost of ammunition is considerably more than with smallbore and therefore many people find it difficult to 'practice' as much as they would like.

The governing body for fullbore rifle shooting in the U.K. is the National Rifle Association which has its headquarters at Bisley Camp, Woking, Surrey. There are ranges available for hire at 300, 500, 600, 900, 1000, 1100 and 1200 yards.

Watford O.C.A. (1944) Rifle Club hires a firing point and marker at Bisley Camp on average thirteen Sunday mornings a year to shoot at a variety of ranges up to 1000 yards.