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About the Combined Services Discipline

Combined Services is a rifle and handgun shooting discipline that aims to encourage organised competitive shooting with a view towards a better knowledge of the safe handling and proper care of military or service firearms. The discipline encompasses more than a dozen Service Rifle and Service Pistol classes in which competitors use original or faithful reproduction rimfire, centrefire and black powder military and other service rifles, carbines, revolvers and self-loading pistols shoot for score at paper targets of different sizes and from various distances and positions.

Service Rifle

There are many events available to service rifle shooters, with the best example being the 3 Position Core Event. In this match, shooters engage a Core Target (a 1200×1200mm target) from three distances and three shooting positions. It’s a 30 round event where you start out by firing 5 rounds from the prone position at 300m distance from the target. Shooters then shoot at 200m using the seated and prone position and then at 100m using the standing, seated and prone position. Each distance has a set time limit, after which ceasefire is called and no shots may be fired.

Trainer Rifle

Similar to Service Rifle, there are many events available to trainer rifle shooters. Trainer rifles matches are shot using rimfire training rifles and .310 Cadets at scaled down distances and target formats, 

Tactical Rifle

Tactical matches are shot using scoped rifles at ranges from 300m to 500m. As an example of this sub discipline, the Core match requires competitors engage two targets with 3 rounds each in a total time of 90 seconds. That is repeated for a total of 12 rounds for the match. Distances and targets vary depending on the age of the firearm used. Matches are predominantly shot from the prone position, but the sitting position is sometimes used.

Service Pistol

Amongst it's many events, Service Pistol also has a 3 Position Core Event shot on a Military Pistol target. In this 36 round event shooters have firing positions at 25, 15 and 7 meters from the target. This event has a mix of standing, kneeling and seated shooting, as well as single and two handed firing positions. The event ends with a rapid fire component which calls for speed and accuracy on target. Each distance has a set time limit, after which ceasefire is called and no shots may be fired.


One of the benefits of Combined Services is that it doesn't take a great amount of money to get started. All you need to start competing is an eligible firearm for the events you want to compete in, and sufficient ammunition for the competition. Military Firearms Club even has some club firearms and ammunition to help you get started.


Eye and ear protection is required for pistol competition at MFC, and is strongly recommended for rifle competition.

Optional gear includes a rifle sling for extra support, extra magazines/ stripper clips/ speed loaders, and a shooting mat.


In standard Service Rifle and Most Service Pistol classes, shooters completing the Core matches are graded. After shooting 3 scores in the same grade you are officially graded. As your shooting improves you can move up a grade by shooting three successive scores that surpass the minimum score for that next grade. Grading allows you to not just compete with others at a similar level, it provides a simple measure of how you are developing as a shooter.

Next Steps

If any of the above has whet your appetitie to start shooting Combined Services in the ACT, check out our Membership page for more details of how to start with us.

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