The first meeting was held in 1974 at the National Sports Centre, Sofia Gardens in Cardiff. It moved to Manchester in 1990, prior to Great Britain hosting the European Air Gun Championships at the same venue in 1991 and to the Association’s National Indoor Shooting Centre at Aldersley, near Wolverhampton, from 1992 to 2001. The meeting is now held at the Lord Roberts Centre at Bisley.
The meeting includes both air rifle and air pistol events and runs from Friday to Sunday. It is normally held in late-February/early-March, but the timing may be adjusted if the European Air Gun Championships are held at about that time. The meeting is run to modified ISSF Rules, but the British Open Championships adhere to full ISSF Rules. The meeting currently attracts about 300 competitors.
All competitions are fired at 10 metres. All shooting is on Sius electronic targets with the exception of all competitions in Sporter Air Rifle which are shot on paper targets.
The principal competitions are:
An Aggregate in five classes of two 60 shot matches.
British Championships in Air Rifle and Air Pistol:
British Confined Men’s (60 shots)
British Confined Women’s (60 shots)
British Open Men’s (60 shots + final)
- British Open Junior Men's (60 shots + final)
British Open Women’s (60 shots + final)
- British Open Junior Women's (60 shots + final)
Various other individual matches are fired concurrently with the Aggregate or Championship matches. Team matches for club and county teams are fired concurrently with 10 metre individual competitions. Home Country Internationals are fired concurrently with the British Championships.
For Sporter Air Rifle shooters there are two 40-shot standing competitions plus an 80 shot Aggregate.
Scores achieved at the meeting are frequently taken into account by British Shooting and some Home Country Unions for purposes of international team and squad selection.
Separate meetings are held for 10 metre Running Target, Air Rifle for the Blind and Sporter Air Rifle Three Positions.
Shooters with Disabilities
Shooters with disabilities, whether shooting with an IPC Shooting Classification (SH1, SH2) or in accordance with an NSRA Dispensation Certificate, may enter most competitions and take prizes in the general prizelists. There is however, a separate prizelist for SH2 Air Rifle shooters in Class X of the Aggregate (Comps 6, 7 and 8).
There are Open Championship events in the following categories:
British Open Air Rifle SH1 (60 shots + final)
British Open Air Rifle SH2 (60 shots + final)
British Open Air Pistol SH1 (60 shots + final)
- British Open Prone Air Rifle (60 shots)
If there are less than four competitors in the above events then finals will not take place.
Home Country Internationals
All Home Countries International Matches continue to be shot concurrently with the qualification stage of the British Open Championships, and there a four events Men's, Women's, Junior Men's and Junior Women's. Entrants in the relevant event, including the Disabled SH1 Championships are eligible to be team members. Members of the team and team officials must be qualified in accordance with NSRA Rule 3.2.
All other Team and Individual Competitions will be shot concurrently with one or other of the Aggregate Competitions as follows:
Concurrent with Aggregate Comp. 6 or 26 - County Team, County Champions Championship, Help for Heroes.
Concurrent with Aggregate Comp. 7 or 27 - Club Team, ASI/Feinwerkbau Competition, Junior Development.