National Rifle Association Ranges, Targets, and Classes of Arms

The following information on the National Rifle Association ranges, targets, and classes of arms comes from Burning Powder by Lt. Col. Douglas B. Wesson. Burning Powder is also available to purchase in print.


Indoor—25 feet, 50 feet and 60 feet. Targets lighted by artificial or natural light. Firing points lighted or not, at the discretion of the shooter. Indoor matches need not be fired on enclosed ranges.

Outdoor—Outdoor ranges 25 yards and 50 yards. The firing point may be covered and enclosed on three sides.

Firing Points—Should have a minimum width of four feet for each contestant.


25 Foot
(8, 9 and 10 rings blacked to form aiming bull.)
10 Ring—0.34 inches
9 Ring—0.66 inches
8 Ring—1.01 inches
7 Ring—1.43 inches
6 Ring—1.97 inches
5 Ring—2.67 inches
4 Ring—3.56 inches

50 Foot (20 yard Standard American Reduced to 50 Feet)
(Used for Slow Fire at 50 feet; 8, 9 and 10 rings blacked to form aiming bull.)
10 Ring—0.90 inches
9 Ring—1.54 inches
8 Ring—2.23 inches
7 Ring—3.07 inches
6 Ring—4.16 inches
5 Ring—5.56 inches
4 Ring—7.33 inches

50 Foot Rapid Fire
(Used for rapid fire at 50 feet indoors. Aiming bull 2.23 inches in diameter.)
10 Ring—1.80 inches
9 Ring—3.06 inches
8 Ring—4.46 inches
7 Ring—6.14 inches
6 Ring—8.32 inches
5 Ring—11.12 inches
4 Ring—14.66 inches

20 Yard (20 Yard Standard American)
(Used for slow fire at 20 yards; 8, 9 and 10 rings blacked to form aiming bull.)
10 Ring—1.12 inches
9 Ring—1.88 inches
8 Ring—2.72 inches
7 Ring—3.73 inches
6 Ring—5.04 inches
5 Ring—6.72 inches
4 Ring—8.84 inches

20 Yard Rapid Fire
(Used for rapid fire at 20 yards indoors. Aiming bull is 2.72 inches.)
10 Ring—2.24 inches
9 Ring—3.76 inches
8 Ring—5.44 inches
7 Ring—7.46 inches
6 Ring—10.08 inches
5 Ring—13.44 inches
4 Ring—17.68 inches

50 Yard (50 Yard Standard American)
(Used for slow fire with the pistol at 50 yards; 8, 9 and 10 rings blacked to form aiming bull.)
10 Ring—3.39 inches
9 Ring—5.54 inches
8 Ring—8.00 inches
7 Ring—11.00 inches
6 Ring—14.80 inches
5 Ring—19.68 inches
4 Ring—26.83 inches

25 Yard Rapid Fire
(Used for slow, timed and rapid fire at 25 yards. Exactly the same target as the 50 Yards Standard American, except that only the 9 and 10 rings are blacked to form aiming bull.)

“L” Pistol Target
(Used for slow, timed or rapid fire at 15, 25 and 50 yards.)
10 Ring—5.0 inches
9 Ring—8.5 inches
8 Ring—12.0 inches
7 Ring—15.5 inches
6 Ring—19.0 inches
5 Ring—22.5 inches
4 Ring—26.0 inches
3 Ring—46.0
Balance of target four feet by six feet scoring two. This target is not used for N.R.A. competitions but is used for Army Qualification.
Hits outside the scoring rings are scored as misses.
The United States Revolver Association in their matches use the 20 and 50 yard Standard American targets as listed above.

Classes of Arms
National Rifle Association.

Service Pistol—Calibre .45 Automatic pistol as issued, except that sights may be of commercial manufacture similar in design to the issued sights, but of different dimensions. Not less than 4-pound trigger pull.

Any Center-Fire Pistol or Revolver—Center-fire pistols or revolvers of any calibre; barrel length, including cylinder, not more than ten inches; trigger pull not less than 2 1/2 pounds. Sights may be adjustable but must be strictly open and in front of the hammer and not over 10 inches apart.

Free Pistol—Pistols of any calibre, any barrel length, no restrictions as to trigger pull, any type grip except that no attachments may be used which extend along the forearm and serve as an aid in supporting the weapon.

.22 Pistol or Revolver—Any pistol, either single shot or self-loading, or revolver using a .22 rim fire cartridge with bullet not greater than .23″ in diameter; barrel length, etc., as in “Any Center-Fire Pistol or Revolver”; trigger pull not less than 2 lbs., and all sights must be strictly open with the rear sight notch as wide at the top as at any other part. Aperture, peep sights, or any covered, shaded or telescopic sights not permitted. The weapon must be held in one hand only, all portions of the shooter’s body and the gun clear of any artificial support.

Coaching is permitted in all team matches, but prohibited in all individual matches, unless otherwise provided in the conditions of the particular competition. Coaches may not take such a position as to interfere with competitors or serve as a wind break for their own team members.

In Slow Fire competition the time limit is one minute per shot; in Timed Fire 20 seconds for each string of five shots, the time to be taken for the period during which the target is fully exposed.

Rapid Fire—The time limit is 10 seconds for each string of five shots, with time taken as in timed fire. Competitors may inquire of range officers as to the time remaining before the expiration of the time limit. When a competitor cannot complete his score at timed or rapid fire within the time limit because of a defective cartridge or disabled weapon, the range officer will permit a complete string to be refired at the earliest practical moment if he is satisfied the competitor’s claim is justified. Any shots fired in the incompleted string will not be scored.

We are indebted to the National Rifle Association for the data given here. They will gladly furnish any further information desired. Their address is Barr Building, Washington, D.C.

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