A far cry from the break-open single-shot rifles older generations grew up with, modern air rifles are accurate, specialised pieces of sporting equipment capable of surprising accuracy at ranges equalling that of some rimfire firearms.

The competition in its modern format started in the UK in the 1980s and has evolved since then, remaining popular in Queensland despite legislation treating airguns the same as cartridge-firing guns and requiring a firearms licence to own or use one. Rifles used in competitions can either be spring-loaded or use pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) gas systems.

The Air Rifle discipline in Queensland comprises three main events: Metallic Silhouette, 10m Standing and Field Target.

The metallic silhouette event is shot standing, with scoped air rifles engaging small steel targets at ranges between 20-45 yards. 40 rounds are usually fired during a match.

The 10m standing match focuses on precision, being fired from a standing position at a target 10m away. Pretty much any air rifle can be used in this event, with Olympic-class guns, telescopic sights and specialist clothing all making an appearance on the firing line.

In the Field Target competition, competitors shoot at targets ranging from 7 to 50m, set into lanes cut into bush, scrub or grass.

Rifles in this competition are divided into two classes – International, with a maximum of 12 ft-lbs of energy, and Open, which has no power limits.

There are no position or stock restrictions for air rifle matches and any type of sight except laser sights may be fitted to guns used in the competitions.

A copy of the rulebook can be found here and for more information, contact discipline chair Heather Dale on 0418 873 258 or email airrifle@ssaaqld.org.au

Further Information

  • Discipline Chairman:
  • Heather Dale
  • Phone:
  • 0418 873 258

Rule Books*

* May be shot Subject to Range Approval. Approved firearms must still comply with Qld State Laws & Regulations.

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