These handguns range in calibre from 0.22 rimfire shorts to 0.45 ACP. The accuracy of these handguns ranges from extremely accurate for competition designed handguns to barely passable for military type handguns such as the 9mm Browning Hi-Power and the 0.45 semi-automatic. Military type handguns can be accurized by reputable gun-smiths, but as they were originally designed as an officer’s last resort, reliability was considered more important than accuracy.

Sport Pistol

Below are just some of the Matches where semi automatic Pistols are used:


The rapid fire match is also one of the older matches, but is still very popular. The match is shot on five turning targets, spaced 75cm apart. The match consists of four series of five shots each in 8 seconds, 6 seconds and 4 seconds. The course of fire is in two 30 shot stages of two series in each time sequence. The shooter must wait with the shooting arm at 45 degrees to horizontal until the targets start to turn. Rapid fire handguns are the same as Standard Pistols. When the handgun is raised to the shooting position, it must point and recover from recoil with a minimum of effort, as the shooter has little time to make corrections in the faster time series. Well fitting orthopaedic grips, adjustable triggers and reliable functioning are characteristics of a good Rapid Fire handgun. this match is shot at the Olympics.

25 Metre Pistol Women and Juniors

These matches are identical to the Centrefire match except that the handguns are 0.22 Long Rifle semi-auto’s that comply with the Standard Pistol specifications. Some manufacturers make special lightweight versions of their Standard Pistols for these matches, among them Walther and Pardini Fiocchi.


The Standard Pistol match is shot at 25 metres with a 0.22 Long Rifle semi-auto on a standard Precision target with a 50mm 10 ring, in timed series of five shots on turning targets. Four series, each of 150 seconds, four series each of 20 seconds and four series each of 10 seconds are fired for a total of 60 shots. Each series starts with the shooter’s arm at 45 degrees to the horizontal. The handgun used in this event must have a barrel no longer than 150mm and a trigger no lighter than 1000gm. Recoil handling characteristics are important in a Standard Pistol, especially in the 10 seconds series.

The original Standard Pistol match was conceived to allow shooters to have an event to shoot with the standard sporting 0.22 semi-auto’s that were available. Ruger, S&W, High Standard, Browning, Margolin and others make appropriate handguns that fit the original concept and are popular for use at club level. 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.