Pistol/Handgun Competitions and Disciplines

Within pistol shooting, here at SSAA Bundaberg, we offer a number of disciplines (competitions) to suit a wide range of interests.

At range two we have:

  • Silhouette range – 100m
  • Plate range – 50m
  • Open range 4 frames – Electronic turners – 50m
  • Open range – Electronic turners – 25m (capable of 50m)
  • Moving target range – 50m

Pistols (category H) are divided into four classes:

  1. Class A – an air pistol;
  2. Class B – a centre-fire pistol with a calibre of not more than .38 inch or a black-powder pistol;
  3. Class C – a centre-fire pistol with a calibre of more than .38 inch but not more than .45 inch; and
  4. Class D – a rimfire pistol.

There are four main pistol categories that may be used. There are however variations across the different disciplines:

  • Open – finely tuned and specialised guns that are customised. Customisation can include: optical sights, compensated barrels, oversized controls and modified triggers.
  • Metallic Sight – No optical, peep or electronic sights. Compensators, ported barrels and thumb rests are also prohibited in this category. However, custom frame extensions to make shooting from the prone position easier, are permitted.
  • Production – handguns available as standard from the manufacturer and fitted with iron sights.
  • Revolver – Six- and eight-shot revolvers are mainly used.

Air Pistol

Air pistols (and rifles) remain popular in Queensland despite legislation treating airguns the same as cartridge-firing guns and requiring a Firearms Licence to own or use one.

At SSAA Bundaberg we have an Air Pistol range for target pistol competitions.

Combined Services

The aims and objectives are to encourage organised competitive shooting with a view toward a better knowledge of the safe handling and the proper care of military firearms. Military/Service Pistol is relatively new and has grown rapidly in popularity.

Military/Service Pistols are divided into five classes:

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

Action Match

Action Match is a dynamic pistol shooting discipline catering to revolver and semi-automatic pistol shooters.   This discipline has four main courses of fire, with each course having its own time, distance and scoring conditions: 

  • Practical – Paper targets at 10, 15, 25 and 50 yards. Competitors may fire the 15, 25, and 50 yard segments in the prone position at their option.
  • Barricade – Similar to practical but where participants have to stay behind a barricade at distances of 10,15,20 and 35 yards.
  • Moving Target – Where the target comes from behind a cover and travels across the field before hiding behind a cover again.
  • Falling Plates –  Metal plate targets that collapse when engaged in various timeframes and distances. 

At SSAA Bundaberg we have facilities to complete all four main courses of fire.

Precision Pistol Competition (PPC)

PPC is a handgun shooting discipline offering an opportunity to take part in a widely inclusive competition environment which values the principles of law enforcement shooting. Matches are based on competition as part of training for law enforcement and involve skills in safe and effective handling, with timed positional shooting from the holster. Matches use service-based equipment and are shot on paper targets at distances from 3m to 50m. Shoots are timed from the holster and include reloads and changing position within time limits. Skill in safe and effective handling is required for change hand drills and target-to-target drills. Positions include standing unsupported, left and right barricade, sit/kneel and prone.

Under this category at our range we have PPC 480 Match. This is a 48-round course, single hand at 3m then 7, 15 and 25m.

Metallic Silhouette

Pistol Metallic Silhouette is a rimfire and centrefire revolver and pistol shooting discipline where competitors aim to knock down metal animal-shaped targets. The targets are placed on steel stands in banks and set at a variety of distances, with the competitors having a certain amount of time to knock as many down as they can 

Each match is subdivided into categories depending on the type of pistol and the type of sight used. 

The Long-Range Pistol Metallic Silhouette match course of fire involves Chickens at 50m, Pigs at 100m, Turkeys at 150m and Rams at 200m.
The Centrefire Hunters Pistol match and Smallbore Rimfire courses of fire engage targets at 40m, 50m, 75m and 100m.
The Smallbore Hunters Pistol match uses targets set at 20, 30, 40 and 50m


In this competition here are several ‘stages’, with varying arrangements and numbers of targets. Most competitions comprise a minimum of three stages. The competitor must decide how to approach and complete each stage within the limits of the course instructions and safety requirements.  

Stages can include: 

  • Paper or cardboard targets,
  • Steel plates that fall, overturn or swing when hit,
  • Obstacles in front of shooters or targets. 

Each competitor has to complete each stage as quickly and accurately as possible. The competitor is scored on their accuracy and speed compared with the top scores and times shot on the day. The competitor’s score is published as a percentage.

Target Pistol

Target Pistol is an international rimfire and centrefire revolver and semi-automatic pistol shooting discipline. There are six main classes and several side matches, with each based around the class of the pistol and ammunition used. 

 The discipline includes four three main matches: 

  1. National Match Course – 30 rounds fired at 25m and 50m
  2. 900 Match Course – 90 rounds at 25m and 50m
  3. International Mayleigh Match – 30 rounds at 50m 

Competitors have varying time restrictions to shoot single-handedly in the standing position at paper targets placed at 25 and 50m 

Depending on the category, a wide range of modifications and accessories are permitted for guns in Target Pistol events, ranging from specialist grips to laser sights and compensators.

Practical Shooting Match (PSM)

Most Practical Shooting matches comprise a minimum of three stages, with each stage differing from the last to push the competitor’s abilities and firearms to their limits. The competitor is scored on the accuracy and time taken around a stage. This is then measured against the top competitor of the day and the competitor’s score is counted as a percentage. All competitors are reviewed regularly to decide the grade level in which they participate.

Courses are designed to test accuracy, speed and power, and are constantly changed to pose challenges and avoid any pattern becoming routine. The courses may be published, where full details are made available prior to competition; semi-surprise, where competitors may view some details or a pictorial layout prior to commencement; or surprise, where competitors start the match with little to no information other than that required for safety.

Single Action

Single Action is a multifaceted discipline that uses original or replica firearms that were commonly used in the Old West period of 1800 to 1899. This includes single-action revolvers, lever-action and slide-action rifles and carbines, lever-action and pump-action shotguns, and side-by-side shotguns without automatic ejectors. The targets are generally reactive and vary in shape and dimension. In addition to competition, Single Action shooters also preserve, promote and respect the skills, traditions and pioneering spirit of the historic American Old West, often adopting a shooting alias appropriate to the era.