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ISSF Matches

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) oversees the rules and management of the pistol matches that are competed in at the Olympic Games


In Australia, Pistol Australia controls the selection of teams in these disciplines to compete at the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and other international ISSF competitions.

With the exception of Air Pistol, all ISSF events are shot at 25 metres, in a standing position using only one hand to hold and fire the pistol.  Men's matches each consist of 60 shots for a maximum score of 600.  Women's Air consists of 40 shots.

10M Air Pistol (Men and Women)

10 metre Air Pistol is shot by both men and women, at all levels of competition up to and including the Olympics and Paralympics. 

Shooting from 10 metres the 10 ring is just 11.5 mm in diameter.  Pistols are powered by compressed air, CO2 or spring actions with a calibre of .177 (4.5mm).

60 shots for Men & Junior Men in 90 min and  40 shots for Women & Junior Women in 60 minutes.

Our Club's Air Pistol range is available for use at all times while the range is open and the generator is running to power the targets and lighting.  Air pistol matches are generally not scheduled but can be arranged with other air pistol shooters or conducted and scored on a rolling competition basis.

25M Pistol Women and Men's Sport Pistol

Formerly known as Sport Pistol, the 25m Pistol women’s event was introduced in the 1960s.  Internationally 25m Pistol is only shot up to and including the Olympics by women, and up to and including the Paralympics by men and women, and by juniors at the World Championships.


In Australia the event is also shot by men at many State competitions and is one of the most popular matches for new and developing shooters at our Club.

Most 22 pistols are able to be used in this match so it suits those just starting out who may have purchased a basic pistol, those who only shoot occasionally as well as more serious ISSF competitive shooters.

25m Pistol combines both precision and rapid-fire, in two stages each of 30 shots both of which are shot at 25 metres.

The precision stage involves six series of 5 shots with 5 minutes to shoot each series.  The ISSF precision target with a 50m 10 ring is used.  The rapid fire stage (not to be confused with the Rapid Fire match) involves six series of 5 shots taken one shot at a time as the target is exposed for 3 second intervals.  The ISSF rapid fire target is used with a 100mm 10 ring.

25M Centre Fire Pistol

25m Centre Fire Pistol is a men-only event at international level but shot by both men and women at Club and State competitions.

Other than the calibre used, the Centre Fire event is exactly the same as the 25m Pistol Women, and Men's Sport Pistol events.

The 25m Centre Fire match is shot with a handgun of any calibre between 7.62 mm (.30”) and 9.65 mm (.38”).  The most popular choices by far are specially designed sport pistols and revolvers in .32 calibre.  


Using a revolver is not a disadvantage because there are no speedy series of shots involved.  The name Center-Fire comes from the ignition system of these calibers as opposed to the Rimfire of .22 cartridges.

At our Club many members who do not have holster accreditation shoot this competition with their 38/357 revolvers and 9mm semi-automatics.

25M Standard Pistol

25m Standard Pistol is a 22 only match shot using the ISSF precision target with 60 competition shots, fired as four stages of 20 shots.

The 60-shot match is divided into 5-shot series with different timings:

  • 4 series of 5 shots within 150 seconds for each series

  • 4 series of 5 shots within 20 seconds for each series

  • 4 series of 5 shots within 10 seconds for each series

At our Club and around Australia this event is shot by both men and women at most competitions.

Most new shooters will become familar with this match as it is conducted on alternate Saturdays (alternately with 25M Sport Pistol/Centre Fire) and several club pistols are available for hire for this match.

25M Rapid Fire Pistol


25M Rapid Fire is the fastest of the ISSF matches and the only one in which competitors must move their aim across various targets.

Five ISSF rapid fire targets stand next to each other at a 25m distance from the shooter.  When the targets appear, the competitor must raise his/her arm from a 45 degree angle and fire his/her five shots.  Placing one shot on each of the 5 targets.  If a shot is too late, it will score as a miss.


60 competition shots are fired in 12 series of 5 shots each.

  • 4 series of 8 seconds for 5 shots

  • 4 series of 6 seconds for 5 shots

  • 4 series of 4 seconds for 5 shots

In 25m Rapid Fire Pistol competitors use semi-automatic pistols in .22 calibre.  A series (or string) consists of five (5) shots fired, one at each of five target within a limited time.  


This can be a challenging match for both new and experienced shooters but provides a contrast to the slower ISSF matches.  Rapid Fire matches are conducted

50M Pistol


Formerly known as Free Pistol, the 50m Pistol event is shot at all levels of competition up to and including the Olympics and Paralympics using .22 calibre single-shot pistols.

This match consists of 60 competition shots in six series of 10 shots each with 15 mins for each series.

In this event the pistol may only be loaded with one round of ammunition at a time and must be fired with only one hand, which cannot be supported in any way.  There are practically no rules for the pistol itself, trigger force may be as low as the competitor chooses, the grip may be designed in any way provided it does not give support beyond the wrist, and there are no restrictions on size and weight of the pistol.

50m Pistol is described as the purest form of precision shooting amongst the pistol events and the match has undergone minimal rule changes over the past 75 years.

50M Pistol matches are rarely shot at our Club but can be arranged by contacting other like minded shooters.  50M Pistol is an important part of our annual ISSF Open where it is shot by more than 30 competitors every year.

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