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High Power Rifle

Affiliated to:
- South African Practical Shooting Association

The Target Shooting Sport for the owners of service (military style) rifles

Introduced to South Africa in 2003, the American National Rifle Association (NRA) discipline of High Power Rifle provides a sports shooting home for the owners of bolt-action and self-loading military style rifles (such as the 303 Lee-Enfield, 303 P-14, Mauser, FN, Garand, LM4/5, Mini-14 and AR15 etc). It also caters for bolt action hunting and sporting rifles

The NRA term "High Power Rifle" is often misunderstood by those not familiar with this major target-shooting discipline. "High Power" is a misleading term that is the American equivalent of what elsewhere is called "Fullbore" (as distinct from "Smallbore"). Being in the words of the NRA "any center fire rifle". In practice, this means any centre fire rifle from 0,223" (5,56 mm) to around 30 calibre (eg 0,303", 7,62 mm, 30-06 etc).

The whole thing started in the US over 100 years ago with their military training shoots of the time, and remains hugely popular.

High Power Rifle is essentially a discipline for Service (military) and service style rifles. With our four classes of Service Rifle: Veteran, Classic, Modern Self-loading (iron sights) and Modern Self-Loading (scope sights) we cater for rifles from the Anglo-Boer War period to the present. In the first three classes a blade foresight and open or aperture rear sight are mandatory. All classes require a magazine capacity of 5 or more rounds – the rapid fire stages require a quick reload or magazine change.

However, some decades ago the NRA introduced an associated discipline, called High Power Sporting Rifle. This caters for typical hunting rifles (with or without telescopic sights) that are not designed for rapid reloading, and the course of fire is simplified. We have therefore included a Sporting Rifle class in our shooting rules.

Our Service Rifle Match is standing slow fire (not easy for any of us!) and sitting or kneeling rapid fire (including a speed load) at 200 m. Then at 300 m prone rapid fire (speed load again) and prone slow fire. Each stage starts from the standing position.

Our Sporting Rifle Match is similar, but starts from the shooting positions. There is no speed load, only a minimum 4 round magazine capacity requirement.

The "bull's-eye" targets have X, 10, 9, 8 ,7, 6,and 5 scoring rings and a circular black aiming mark which varies in size depending on the distance. The slow fire stages are marked and scored by the butt markers after each shot, whilst the rapid fire stages are done at the end of the timed target exposure. This is a challenging (but fun) course of fire, and particularly so in the standing stage.

Through our affiliation to the South African Practical Shooting Association (SAPSA) active members can acquire Dedicated Sports Person status, which is essential if you own a number of firearms or want to keep or obtain a self-loading rifle.

The main reason we participate in organised rifle matches is to enjoy ourselves. Both beginners and experienced shooters are invited to come and give High Power Rifle a try at one of our monthly shoots. Whether you are the competitve type or merely enjoy a little good natured rivalry there is a place for you on the High Power range. Coaching is freely given and you will be very welcome.

This video is an excellent introduction to High Power Rifle shooting, and the challenges it offers the shooter. Note that for range availability reasons we shoot the prone slow fire stage at 300 m, rather than at 600 yards.