British Competitive Inter-County Shooting: 1000 Yards (Without Scopes!)

Now here is a shooting event I would love to see emulated in the US, especially with the locally-sourced teams. At the Stickledown Range in Bisley (Surrey, outside the M25 loop around London), shooters competed at up to 1000 yards with teams of 10, all from local shooting matches. There are 8 shooters and 2 coaches (which act as spotter, shot-caller, and wind-caller).

Even more impressive is that the ammo used is .308, which tends to go subsonic prior to 1000 yards, destabilizing the bullet and opening up patterns. Fascinating watch that shows shooting sports is still alive and well over in the United Kingdom.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • ostiariusalpha

    Not to be mean-spirited or anything, but shooting at targets inside the transonic zone of your cartridge is kinda’… dumb. I mean, you’re basically turning what is supposed to be competition of skill into a lottery of whose bullet will totter onto the target more often then everyone else.

    • iksnilol

      Maybe they use ammo intended for the range? I know there are some loads made for 1000 yards.

    • Dave

      Well if the article author did any research they would know these people don’t have 308’s going transonic before hitting the target, they all use loads developed just for these matches.

      • TSA_TheSexualAssault

        Match King 175 grain bullets are supersonic longer than 1000M with a standard-pressure load. Normal stuff, even factory loads.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Well, depending on atmospheric conditions, at just above sea level you need a bullet with a ballistic coefficient of around .510 to stay ahead of the transonic zone when going to 1000 meters with a sane pressure in the .308 case. The Match King is only .505 G1 BC, which would be a bit of a squeeze to accomplish the task. I suppose that’s half the fun though, competing at the edge of your rounds performance instead of having everyone shoot 6.5 or 7mm bullets.

          • iksnilol

            From what I understand 1000 yards is a breeze compared to 1000 meters using .308.

          • Kyle

            The international fullbore game requires us to shoot bullets that weigh no more than 156 grains. We all push these bullets at a minimum of 2950 fps. They are still supersonic at 1000 yards. The competitions go out to either 1000 yards or 900 meters depending on where in the world you are shooting. In a Lapua case most people are running 47 grains of N150 or Varget. In a winchester case you’re usually running another grain of powder or so. This isn’t that high of a pressure and works great. US Palma rules however don’t have a restriction on bullet weight so some guys do run heavier bullets to help buck the wind a bit, but most still shooting the 155/155.5 grain bullets as we all have aspirations of shooting international fullbore.

          • TSA_TheSexualAssault

            If a person shoots a lot, .308Win or 7.62×51 cartridges are inexpensive to buy, get tooling for, and reload because it’s still a NATO medium MG cartridge as well as a 5-decade+ old hunting round. The variety of projectiles available in .30 is outstanding, sometimes greatly discounted as fashion rotates. It’s less expensive overall and can do what’s needed, if I can.
            At least half the fun, yes. Peeps don’t fog.

  • iksnilol

    Diopter sights and slings? MAH KINDA CREW! MO-BRITISH-NICA!

    But seriously, you guys don’t know how much money these people save on scopes. The optics industries hate them.

    • The Forty ‘Twa

      These types of people usually find plenty of other things to sink their money into. My wife competes in this type of event and it doesn’t come cheap…

      • iksnilol

        Trust me I know, though I don’t shoot at the same distances. Luckily I borrow my equipment.

    • Dave

      They don’t save any money on their sights versus scopes, seriously they are many hundred if not thousand dollar sight setups.

      • iksnilol

        About 300-600 for a set of good sights (Anschütz). Certainly cheaper than the 1-4k scopes + mounts that cost a couple of hundred dollars.

        Like I said, those are my kinda people. So I know a thing or two. Besides, it was meant more as a joke than a serious observation (though there is truth to it).

        • Kyle Liebetrau

          I’ve got approx $1200 into my sight setup. It’s $650 alone for the rear sight without any iris or mount. And that is the industry standard in the US. Anschutz sights aren’t really used for the long range game.

          • iksnilol

            Shayt, that’s an expensive rear sight. Still, it is cheaper than a S&B or Zeiss.

            I guess I stand corrected.

          • Blake

            Holy god what sight setup do you run?

  • Kyle Liebetrau

    Just so you know, this does happen, all the time in the US. It’s called Palma shooting. The world championship is going on right now as we speak. This is nothing new. I am friends with most of the people in that video.

    The sights they use aren’t much cheaper than scopes. My sight setup is well over $1000.

    The ammo they shoot is not subsonic at 1000 yards. It is loaded for this purpose and has plenty of speed. If you would like, I can write an article actually informing people of this instead of being completely oblivious to everything involved with the sport.

    • LegMeat

      Why was my original comment deleted when it is essentially the same as this one?

      • Joshua

        I’ve come to the conclusion it’s like Canadian gun laws, they make no sense and whatever the top man says goes.
        lord knows I’ve never gotten a reason why any of mine have been deleted

      • Mystick

        I see your post made at 10:49 way down there…. it made it.

    • mud

      Agree. You should do a write-up. Don’t forget to mention the discipline of Long Range Service Rifle. (1000 yards with an M14 or Garand, with irons)

      • Anon

        That sounds fairly impressive

      • Kyle

        It used to also be done with an AR15 by the Army Reserve team until they made the M110 a service rifle.

    • Potential New TFB contributor!! I hope they do accept your offer of writing up an article around the discipline and also maybe allowing you to write up the odd article on recent happenings in the sport.

    • Adam

      $1k for sights… My Sportco 44 set up didnt even cost half that…

    • David169

      It is also called long range service rifle. A Palma match normally involves shooting at 800, 900 & 1,000 yards. The long range service rifle matches are 1,000 yards and many times at state and regional matches the two are combined during two or three days of shooting.

  • LegMeat

    If anyone wants to try position sling shooting like this without spending a lot of money on equipment they should come and shoot the SAFS match at Camp Perry next year. Google search “Camp Perry SAFS” to find out the details. It is a great time and awesome learning experience. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Phil Hsueh

    I have to wonder, just how large are those targets, because the targets we used in the Corps looked a whole lot smaller than that at 500 yards and they were pretty large targets with the total target (not just the black part) was about as wide as an average person’s arms stretched out. For those targets to look as large as they do at 1,000 yards they must be something like 10 – 20 feet across.

    • Kyle

      They are shooting on a target that is essentially the same as it is here in the US. The target has an aiming black of 44″ with a 10″ X-Ring. The targets used at Bisley for international fullbore shooting are slightly larger when it comes to the aiming black. The target itself is usually a bit larger than here in the US. 6′ x 6′ in the US, 6′ x 8′ for Bisley.

    • Swarf

      It’s likely that the “apparent distance” is compressed because the photographer was using a telephoto lens.

  • HenryV

    The good old NRA who threw pistol shooters and semi-auto rifles owners under the bus so they could carry on with this their sport.

  • USMC03Vet

    awww yisss. Sling arms!

  • Mike

    Might need these people in Dover soon.

  • ghost

    Must have changed, my understanding even the Olympic Team shooters had to go outside the country to practice. Not critical mind you. Just something else I read somewhere. My shooting tends to be like a near sighted hawk hunting. It has to be close.

    • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

      Olympic handgun shooters. Manually repeating rifles are still legal, and popular for both hunting and sport

      • ghost

        Thank you.

  • Bob

    Wow, shooting from one county the next, thought only the great Mosin could do that.

  • Anton Gray Basson

    You think this is impressive, there are people shooting old school muzzleloaders in competitions at the same ranges. The gear is almost identical.

    • Kyle

      The gear is pretty different and accuracy is a lot worse. Palma shootings are consistently shooting .5 MOA at 1000 yards. The blackpowder shooters at 1000 are lucky to be shooting 4-5 MOA.

  • wildbillb

    enjoyed watching. what is REALLY impressive is the paperwork they do that ALLOWS them the chance to shoot.

  • DNACowboy

    Well done to Team GB on winning both golds at the Palma, Camp Perry 2015. Seems they beat the USA on their own soil 😉

  • Leigh Rich

    UK and their restrictive firearm laws and anti-gun bias.