Olympic Rifle Events

Are you confused about the rules of rifle shooting? Then you’ll find this introduction to the sport useful.

An image of Olympic Rifle Events

Although exciting, Olympic rifle events can often be confusing for first time viewers. In Olympic rifle events, competitors shoot at a stationary target consisting of ten concentric rings, with the innermost being the ‘bull’s eye’. The shot targets are placed either 10m or 50m away and shooters fire from the standing, kneeling and prone positions.

The equipment for Olympic rifle events includes:

Rifles

  • Small bore (single loaded) 5.6mm calibre with an overall weight of 8kg (17.6lbs) for men and 6.5kg (16.3lbs) for women.
  • The target is 15.4cm (6.2in) for 50m competitions.

Air rifles

  • 4.5mm calibre with a maximum weight of 5.5kg (12.1lbs).
  • The target is 4.5cm (1.8in) for 10m competitions. The pinhead centre is only 0.5mm.

The five disciplines in Olympic rifle events are:

  1. 50m Rifle three positions men
  2. 50m Rifle prone men
  3. 10m Air rifle men
  4. 50m Rifle three positions women
  5. 10m Air rifle women

50m Rifle three positions men

The shooter fires 40 shots each in the prone (lying down), standing and kneeling positions at a target set 50m away.

The best eight shooters from this opening program qualify for the final, which consists of ten shots in the standing position. Each shot is evaluated in decimal tenths (10.9 being the maximum) and added to the score of the opening program.

50m Rifle prone men

60 shots are fired in the prone position at a target set 50m away.

In the final, ten shots are fired in the prone position. The decimal score is added to the opening score to determine the winner.

50m Rifle three positions women

20 shots are fired in the prone, standing and kneeling positions at a distance of 50m.

In the final, eight shooters fire ten shots in the standing position, the scores evaluated in tenth. The final score is then added to the opening score to determine the result.

10m Air rifle men and women

The pellet is propelled by compressed air from a distance of only 10m.

The men complete 60 shots and the women complete 40.

In the following final, the eight remaining finalists shoot ten shots. The points achieved are subdivided into tenths. A shot that hits directly in the centre of the ten counts as a 10.9, whereas a shot just barely is touching the centre counts as 10.0 The results from the normal program and the final are then added together to determine the winner.

Picture Credit: A.RICARDO / Shutterstock.com

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