ISSF (International Sport Shooting Federation)

What is ISSF?

ISSF (International Sport Shooting Federation) is the kind of shooting you will associate with the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. It is an accuracy event, sometimes also timed to place the shooter under more pressure. All club members are encouraged to participate in both club and open competitions which are held regularly. Don’t let being a beginner put you off. Club handguns are always available for competitions and don’t forget: Today’s champions were yesterday’s beginners. Although generally all disciplines are similar in that they are shot single handed at circular targets, they are all different in the details. Disciplines shot locally include:

Standard Pistol

The Standard Pistol match is shot at 25 metres, in a timed series of 5 shots on turning targets. Standard Pistol is a challenge to old and new shooters alike, as a momentary lapse in concentration in the faster series can see many points disappear from the score. The Standard Pistol match combines both precision and rapid-fire techniques in its course of fire, and the mixture of both guarantees an interesting match.


The Center-Fire match remains one of the most popular events, although it too has been around for a long time. This is shot with more powerful guns, so control of recoil becomes a factor. The match consists of 2 separate stages of fire. One is the ‘Precision’ stage shot from 25 metres at stationary targets. The other is the ‘Rapid-Fire’ stage that is also shot from 25 metres, at turning targets.

Sport Pistol & Junior Sports Pistol

These matches are identical to the Centre-Fire match except that the handguns are 0.22 calibre semi-automatics that comply with Standard Pistol specifications. Some manufacturers make special lightweight versions of their Standard Pistols for these matches.


The Rapid-Fire match is also one of the older matches, but it is still very popular. The match is shot at 5 turning targets and consists of 4 series of 5 shots each in 8 seconds, 6 seconds and 4 seconds. Well-fitted orthopaedic grips, adjustable triggers and reliable functioning are characteristics of a good Rapid-Fire handgun.

Air Pistol

The Air Pistol match is a slow fire match, demanding similar levels of precision to Free Pistol except that it is shot at 10 metres on a smaller target. The match consists of 60 shots in the Men’s and Junior Men’s events and 40 shots for Ladies and Junior Ladies. Air Pistol is a great teacher of handgun shooting fundamentals, as the highly accurate handguns, with their light triggers are easy to control and have no recoil. They are also very economical to shoot and are noiseless compared to cartridge firearms. We have a very active secondary school program for Air Pistol.