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Prone Match Rifle

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The Smallbore Prone Match Rifle discipline is fired from the prone position only (laying down prone) at a range of 50 meters.  Information for those who wish to shoot the match rifle from 3 positions (3-P rifle or “free” rifle) can be found in the “3-Position Rifle” section.  Match Rifle events are open to men and women, adults and juniors.

A quick one minute YouTube video produced by “USA Shooting” that briefly summarizes the 50 meter prone match rifle shooting discipline can be found here:   prone match rifle.


Typically the “match” rifle is a .22 calibre rimfire, highly specialized, precision target rifle that is supported by one arm and a sling.  The sights that are used are “iron sights” meaning no telescopic sights are allowed, and no “optics” may be attached to the rifle sights that magnify or enhance the target.

The maximum allowable weight of the match rifle (with all attachments) is 8.0 Kg (17.63 lbs) for men and 6.5 kg (14.33 lbs) for women.

Competitors will typically wear a heavy canvas or leather jacket to provide support to the upper body in order to hold the rifle unsupported (except for the rifle sling).  The rifle is not allowed to rest on the ground (bipod) while firing so a supportive sling is attached to the fore end of the rifle stock and then to the supporting arm.  The supporting arm will then carry and hold the weight of the rifle by wrapping the wrist and lower forearm around the sling.  Shooters will lay on a mat to provide comfort and adherence for the elbows.  Spotting scopes (placed next to the shooter) on their own stands are used for the shooter to “spot” his or her shots on the targets at 50 meters.  If electronic target systems are used, then a small monitor is provided in lieu of the spotting scope.  ASRA occasionally has the opportunity to use a Megalink Electronic Target system – similar to the Sius system one sees being used at major World Cup shooting events.

Specific rules that govern the equipment for match rifle can be found in chapter 7 of the ISSF rule book.

Course of fire

The 50 metre prone match rifle event is fired in accordance with the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules and regulations. The event consists of 60 scoring shots from the prone position with a time limit of 75 minutes for the entire match including sighting shots.

With ASRA, match rifle events are shot at 50 meters, however there is also an opportunity to shoot at 100 yards.  During the Annual Alberta Smallbore Provincial Championships there is a 40 shot match fired at 100 yards at the end of the day once the 50 meter matches have been completed.  Furthermore, during the Annual Canadian National Smallbore Championships the “Dewar Match” includes teams shooting and competing at both 50 meters and 100 yards.

A brief video on YouTube highlights some aspects of The Dewar Match: Dewar Match Video

Similar to The Dewar Match, women may shoot in and compete in a match called The Randle Trophy:  Randle Trophy Video

The standard ISSF smallbore 50 meter target measures 15.5cms in diameter.  The “10” ring is 1cm (10 mm) in diameter with an inner “X” ring that is a mere 5 mm in diameter.

Only the men’s event is included on the Olympic program and thus includes a final for the top eight competitors, where the score zones are divided into tenths, giving up to 10.9 points for each shot. The final round for the “final 8 competitors” consists of ten shots, with a time limit of 45 seconds per shot. The competition is won by the shooter who reaches the highest aggregate score (qualification + final = a possible maximum of 709.0).

The women’s event is not Olympic but included in both the ISSF and the CISM World Championships. As there is no final, shooters with the same score are separated by a number of tie-breaking criteria, the first being the number of inner tens.


The 50 meter smallbore rifle prone event is also covered here on the Olympic games website: Olympic.org