CLASSIC, not plastic – that’s the attraction of SSAA Queensland’s Combined Services competitions, where shooters get to bring out the guns of yesteryear and engage in competitive target shooting with them.

Whether it’s the iconic SMLE Mk III* .303 rifle that’s seen Australia and the British Empire through two World Wars, the M96 or M38 Swedish Mauser rifles prized for their accuracy, the rugged Mosin-Nagant M91/30 that equipped the Soviet Union during WWII, or even a single-shot .22 training rifle, they’re all welcome at a Combined Services match.

The key component of the event is the Three Position (3P) Core match, which involves engaging targets at distances of 100, 200 and 300 yards respectively while switching between standing, kneeling and prone positions.

Other matches shot as part of a Combined Services event include 300m Deliberate fire events (iron sights only!), Rapid Fire competitions, and the “Action M” event that involves changing positions several times during each engagement.

While World War I and World War II bolt-action rifles are by far and away the most commonly encountered firearms in a Combined Services competition, there are categories for muskets, black powder arms, accurised or modified rifles, and even modern day police, military and tactical scoped rifles as well.

Vintage sniper rifles also have their own event, as do their modern-day counterparts.

As a general rule, firearms must be either “as issued” or faithful reproductions, with sporterised, accurised or modified firearms being shot in separate categories to issued firearms.

The Combined Service Discipline isn’t just about longarms either, with handguns being an important element of competitions too.

Handguns are divided into five classes:

  • Class One (Military Issue)
  • Class Two (Police Issue)
  • Class Three (Modified/Accurised Class One or Two handguns)
  • Class Four (Rimfire versions of class One, Two or Three handguns)
  • Class Five (Black Powder military handguns)

A complete list of approved handguns can be found here.

Several SSAA Branches around the State run Combined Services competitions and it is one of the most popular disciplines for shooters of all ages.

The State Titles are held annually, usually over a long weekend, and there is always a fascinating array of old firearms taking to the Firing Line and still performing as accurately today as they did when they were first issued – in some cases more than a century ago.

Combined Services Events

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