What is it?

Classic and Historic Arms

Classic & Historic Arms shooting is designed to provide an opportunity for the owners of older firearms to shoot them in competition with others of a similar type over courses of fire that are contemporary with those firearms. This predominantly involves breech loading firearms from about 1860 to 1960 but there is also considerable scope for muzzle loading firearms. Modern reproductions are quite acceptable as long as they conform to the spirit of the original i.e. they do not have to be precise replicas as long as no advantage is gained.

Many of these firearms can also be used in other Disciplines and Competitions appropriate to their type e.g. Gallery Rifle, Muzzle Loading Rifle and Pistol, Service Rifle and Sporting Rifle.

Shooting Historic & Classic arms encourages the study of the development of their mechanisms over the centuries and facilitates the maintenance or rediscovery of the techniques required to keep them shooting accurately.

Heritage Pistol.

This refers to shooting with Historic Cartridge Pistols held under S7(3) of the Firearms Act for the purposes of research and study. Competition is not allowed by the Act but this is a valuable part of Historic shooting and collecting and has been supported by the NRA since its inception.

There are a number of Heritage Pistol sites and Bisley is one of them.


The match rules will specify datelines and the type of equipment that may be used.


There are two main Meetings for Competition during the year, the Imperial Historic Arms Meeting in early July, and the Trafalgar in late October. There are also competitions for certain Historic firearms in the Phoenix Meeting in May, and in other regular Club ‘Historics’ events throughout the year such as those run by Historical Breechloading Smallarms Association (HBSA), the British Sporting Rifle Club (BSRC) & during the August meeting of the National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA).

Details on the current competition calendar can be found HERE

How to get involved

A good way to get started is to volunteer as a Range Officer. This is a very good way to see what is involved, to see what people are using and the issues they are facing. There will always be experienced people shooting and officering who will be happy to give guidance and, being shooters, they will always be happy to talk about their toys.