What is Practical Shooting? 6.5X47mm Lapua used extensively

What is Practical Shooting?  6.5X47mm Lapua used extensively

In my articles on Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting, I defined "Practical Precision Rifle Shooting" as a discipline that involves engaging small and/or distant targets at the limit of weapon, ammunition, and shooter capability, under time pressure, in field settings.

This is a pretty broad definition, but it captures the diversity of the challenges. There is no set course of fire. Rules are different match to match. There isn't even a governing body for long-range practical shooting. Practical rifle shooting is to conventional NRA Long-Range and long-range Benchrest as IPSC/USPSA is to pistol Bullseye competition.

In the last 15 years, long-range "practical" or "tactical" rifle matches have become popular, in part promulgated by Dr. David Kahn's Keneyathlon ("hunters test") format. These matches include the International Tactical Rifleman Championships (WY), Practical Rifle Team Challenge (CO), the NRA Whittington Center's Sporting Rifle Match (NM), the Blue Steel Ranch Steel Safari (NM), the Camp Guernsey Invitational Multi-Gun (WY), and various "Sniper Challenge" matches around the country.

The common theme is that these matches involve considerable shooter movement throughout the course carrying his rifle and gear in a field-worthy manner. There may be physical challenges. Targets are non-standard and often reactive steel. Targets are usually set at unknown-distance (UKD), and range-finding techniques or equipment must be used to determine range. There are no "sighter" shots -- you get one shot per target and must make it count. Finally, there is usually considerable stress and time pressure involved. In short, Practical Rifle Shooting involves ALL those aspects that make shooting in real life hard, be it hunting, tactical, or military.

samD's picture
Posted by: samD
8 years 40 weeks ago

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