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The latest changes to NSRA Rules and Regulations came into general effect on 1 April 2021 and a fully revised edition is available on the NSRA website CLICK HERE

The normal introduction date for changes is 1 April to make the change in what for most postal competitions is the gap between the winter and summer seasons. Covid-19 has, of course, had a very significant impact on postal competition shooting and many winter competitions have had their end dates extended into April and even later. To maintain a level playing field in those competitions, the previous rules will remain in place as special competition conditions until the completion of each competition.

The most extensive changes are those in connection with the use of electronic target systems (ETS). As a result there are widespread alterations to rule numbers in Section 7.4, which deals with the conduct of shooting in postal competitions.

Many of the changes deal with the printed record of a shoot on ETS in postal competitions. The previous rules were on the basis of the Sius system used at Lord Roberts Centre, where the record of each shot is printed before the next shot is fired. There is now a separate set of rules relating to ETS makes like Meyton and Megalink, where the scores in a shoot are printed onto an A4 sheet of paper after the shoot has been completed. The Sius system is now covered in Rule 7.4.11.1 and the A4 paper results in Rule 7.4.11.2.

The term “strip” had been in common use for the output from a Sius target. However the term “sheet” more accurately describes the output from other makes of ETS.  To write the rules referring to these score records as score strip/sheet is cumbersome and can lead to ambiguity. To overcome this a new term is introduced. “Record” will be used as the generic term to cover all types of score output from electronic targets, though the terms strip and sheet will continue to be used when the reference is exclusively to only one of them.

Rule 1.10.9.1.1 has been widened to permit the use of additional makes of ETS which the manufacturers have not put forward for testing and approval by the ISSF. These additional makes will be approved where the NSRA has been satisfied that they are fit for purpose based on tests conducted by other organisations. A list of NSRA-approved ETS will be available on the website or on request from Competitions Department. By this change it is hoped that additional and less expensive ETS will be available, widening the scope for electronic targets to be within the financial reach of many more clubs.

Rule 1.10.9.3 has been extended to require owners of NSRA-Registered ETS equipment to have an accuracy test conducted on them at a maximum of six-monthly intervals. Guidance about such tests will be issued shortly, but it is emphasised that a test will require neither the use of expensive equipment, nor the employment of professional technicians from outside the club. These will be very simple tests that can be undertaken by members of the club.

There are some clarifications on when ETS may be used. For example in a Dewar course, providing the competition conditions do not state otherwise, the 50 metre part may be shot on ETS, whilst the 100 yard section can be shot on paper targets (Rules 7.4.4 to 7.4.6).

Rule 7.4.4 also specifies that time-limit rifle and own start competitions may not be shot on electronic targets, as to do so would be contrary to the spirit of the course of fire. An integral part of these competitions are the particular tests of a shooter’s skill that they impose; the ability to keep track of where you are on a card in the case of the former and in own start competitions the ability accurately to estimate the value of shots through a ‘scope, rather than knowing for certain the score required with the last shot.

In the benchrest rules, there is a clarification on how the non-firing hand may support the rifle (Rule 8.16.3.3) and on the permitted material on the top of the shooting bench as an aid to comfort (Rule 8.16.4.2). Other changes deal with permitted and prohibited additions to the stock and rest (Rules 8.16.3.4, 8.16.5.3 and 8.16.5.5).

Collated by Brian Woodall

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