What is 300m ? Brief  History Bisley & the Target
What is 300m ?

The similarity with 50m is that 300m is the same course of fire i.e. English Match Ė 60 shots plus sighters or 3 X 40 (40 shots each at prone, standing and kneeling, for those of you who do not know). In the GB squad nearly everyone is a prone shooter, with the odd exception.

At Bisley during 2004, we installed 8 lanes of KME electronic targets and officially started a 300m club (GB 300m Rifle Club). We have been very pleased with the changes to shooting on our home range with using electronic targets instead of the old fashioned manual targets

The English Match on the manual system has a time limit of 1hr 30m including sighters. With electronic systems the time limit is reduced to 1hr 15m

Not so many years ago 300m was shot mostly using 7.62 cal., which tended to dissuade small-bore shooters from trying the discipline. Firstly there was the heavy recoil and then the muzzle blast and noise from your shooting neighbors. Although the hand loaded ammunition was very accurate the course of fire did tend to wear down the shooter unless of course you were Malcolm Cooper.

Now almost everyone uses the 6mm BR (BR stands for bench rest). This has a mild recoil compared with 7.62 and is extremely accurate. The two factory loads are Norma and Lapua. Norma uses a 105gn. Berger  LTB bullet  and this load is used by everyone in the GB squad who does not hand load. The length tolerant bullet is used to suit all different chambers. The hand loaders amongst us tend to use Berger VLD (very low drag) 105 grn. bullets, to tune the load to the rifle. (click here to see a comparison with .22)

Shooting your own accurate hand loads is part of the buzz of 300m. It is time consuming but very rewarding when you get it right. You canít do that with small-bore.

The modern 300m rifle is very accurate and at the moment the best ones come from either Germany or Switzerland. The market leaders are Grunig and Bleiker

On some of the 300m systems the stock is the same as small-bore so it is possible to have one stock and two actions. It also means that your 50m shooting can be training for 300m.

Come along to Bisley, the home of GB 300m and the home of shooting in the UK and see for yourself.

Have a look on this site at the latest shooting dates for this year.

Brief  History

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As we know it today 300m shooting started in Europe in the early 1800ís and was popular enough to be included in the 1896 Modern Olympics held in Greece! In 1896 Olympics the 300 meter Free Rifle (full bore) was the only rifle shooting event. Four championships were awarded from the 3x20 match, the aggregate, and the prone, kneeling and standing sub events

It continued as an ISU Olympic event until the mid seventies when it was removed from the competition program. The official reason given was many countries were unable to find big enough areas to build ranges but it was probably more to do with the military connection (as 300m was the most commonly used distance for military training). As competitive shooting wished to dissociate itself from military style shooting,

The last Olympic match was at the Munich Games in 1972.

Sport shooting differs from military in that special rifles are required for the positional and prone events and they do not resemble any military equipment.  However, the military side of 300m sport shooting has similar programs, clothing and equipment, including timed fire, and is controlled by CISM.  Britain is currently not a member of CISM.

Nevertheless despite the withdrawal of 300m from the Olympics, it did not deter the European and other world countries in reviving the sport.  In the eighties the English match event was introduced with the intention of trying to include many Commonwealth countries who shot only prone.

In the early nineties the Europa Cup circuit was introduced by a number of European shooting organisation headed by the French, this consisted of five or six qualifying events in which points are awarded on score attained in the qualification round and top eight positions in the final. Culminating in the Europa Cup Final for the top twenty shooters in each event, this is held in Switzerland in September each year.

With the removal of Olympic status we lost many of the old iron curtain countries but they are making a slow return and it is good to see old faces back on the circuit.

The worlds best ISSF Shooters train for much of their shooting career with similar equipment at 50m, so there is a natural progression to 300m, which by some is considered the classic event, most finding it challenging and fun. There is no doubt that a trained 50m Shooter will have a good start in 300m with the same clothing and equipment being used, with just the caliber, noise and recoil being different.

All the current events require good technical control, mental application and general physical fitness as some competitions last over four hours.

There are three classifications of rifle - Free and Standard for men and the new Ladies Sports Rifle.

bulletMens Free Rifles have a maximum weight of 8kgrm and no trigger weight limitation other than being safe
bulletLadies Sport Rifle have a maximum weight of 6.5 kg and as the free rifle,  no trigger weight limitations
bulletThe Standard Rifle have a maximum weight of 5.5kg and a trigger weight of 1500 grms

The designs follow closely 50m rifles and often stocks and sights are inter-changeable.

Having mentioned the ladies we must record that they were removed from shooting 300m events in the early eighties mainly on medical grounds. However, with the introduction of smaller calibers, lighter recoil and pressure from European shooters, they are back with new events in both 60 shot prone and 3 x 20 positional events. This reintroduction lead to two new world records being set in Finland at the 2002 World Championships by 21 year old Charlotte Jakobsen from Denmark.

Britain has only one range which civilian 300m shooters can compete and train.  This is on Butt 10 at Bisley and has somewhat restricted use.  Despite this and with a lot of  training being done at events overseas, there is even more reason to congratulate UK shooters for their outstanding scores over the last twenty years.

300m ranges are to be found in most European countries and prior to the second world war were mostly located in Switzerland, Italy, Nordic and the iron curtain countries. Some unfortunately closed due to high upkeep costs and non Olympic status and, unless used for the military, there was no reason to keep them open.

The 1972 Olympic Range at Munich closed in the seventies, but has recently reopened with about 30 firing points and limited usage per year (noise now being the biggest problem for the organizers from local residents).

So what, if any, are the drawbacks?

bulletItís not cheap
bulletLimited range time in the UK
bulletIt can be frustrating taking time getting rifle and ammo tuned to perfection

 On the plus side you get :

bulletUp to 120 shots in a competition
bulletThe use of modern and relatively unrestricted equipment
bulletThe use of selected factory supplied or hand loaded ammunition
bulletA flat protected firing point (under cover)
bulletThe same basic rules as 50m
bulletISSF organization and status up to European and World levels

If this has interested you then contact the info@GB300m.com who will be pleased to give you further details.

Bisley Ranges - Home of GB 300m back to top

Above is the first thing you see when going to compete or train at Bisley it may not be pretty from the outside, but inside things are getting better.

Behind the firing point at Bisley as it was before electronics.

see range upgrade for latest information on the range.

Hard at work at Bisley

Bisley - the shooters view

Yes that black dot is the target.

In the days before electronic targets this was the target (black dot)

for a detailed look at bull dimensions click the bull

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