Click here for the Rules for Lever Action
The matches are designed to provide a variety of target types, shooting positions and distances, as well as varying time limits. This discipline is hunting oriented with familiar aspects taken from other SSAA disciplines such as Field Rifle and Metallic Silhouette. There are two basic categories in the Lever Action discipline: Classic Calibre and Open (Centerfire and Rimfire). Both Matches are shot over distances of 100m, 50m and 25m using the positional stances of any field position: standing unsupported, sitting unsupported, standing post rest and sitting post rest. Timing for the course of fire can vary from five minutes to 15 seconds for five shots.
The Firearms & Matches
The Classic Caliber Lever Action Rifle is essentially a Centerfire rifle as issued by the factory having a two-piece wooden stock, a tube-feed magazine, open hammer and traditional open-type iron sights and chambered for any Centerfire cartridge factory produced prior to the end of 1938. Examples of some of the calibers used are .30-30, .38-55, .32-40, .25-20, .218 Bee, .357 Magnum, .32-20 and .44-40. Wildcat cartridges are not permitted in the Classic Caliber category of competition. Shooting with the traditional open sights is difficult, but a great way to improve one’s shooting skills and to understand the various techniques required to shoot accurately. Targets used in the Classic Caliber competition are all contour targets (animal profiles) with score zones marked on vital areas from 10 to five. Some of the contour targets used are the small bear, buffalo head, pig, rabbit, feral cat, goat, crow, fox head and running fox. A typical match would consist of 35 rounds with targets at 100m, 50m and 25m. Two targets that are always part of the competition are the small bear (100m any field position) and the fox head (50m standing unsupported), with five shots in five minutes for each target. The aggregate score for these two targets is the basis for the Classic Caliber Proficiency Medals and grading. 75 – Bronze, 85 Silver, 95 Gold and 100 Diamond.
The Open Lever Action Rifle category is divided into two separate events at National level, with these being Centerfire and Rimfire, where competitors need two lever-action rifles. At state and club level, it is permissible to use either, as only one event is shot and is referred to as the Open event. The description for the National Open event is any lever-action rifle with a wooden stock. Any calibre or hand load or wildcat will be accepted.
Pointed projectiles will not be permitted in rapid-fire events. Peep, vernier and target sights, with the exception of those using optical inserts and/or rubber eyepieces, will be permitted. The targets used in the Open category are usually a combination of the 50m ISSF Precision Slow Fire Pistol target and a number of animal profile targets. The competition is generally a 50-shot match. A typical course of fire for an Open event would be the 50m ISSF target (100m any field position), and the 50m ISSF target, scoring seven to 10 only (50m standing unsupported) with five shots in five minutes for each target. The aggregate score for these two targets is the basis for the Open Lever Action Proficiency Medals and grading. The 50m ISSF target is also used for the rapid-fire events with the target for Centerfire placed at 50m (five shots in 15 seconds) and the target for Rimfire placed at 25m (five shots 10 seconds, scoring seven to 10 only). These three targets are shot twice and the other 20 rounds are made up by other contour targets with five shots at each in any time limit up to a maximum of five minutes per target.
The Rimfire category currently permits .22LR, .22 Magnum and .17HMR. The .22LR still reigns supreme on the national scene, probably due to the extensive research and development over the years on target-quality ammunition. For Centerfire, basically any calibre can be used for which there is a lever-action rifle available.
The Classic Calibre lever-action rifle can also be used in the Open Centerfire event. Lever Action rules exclude clothing specifically designed for competitive rifle shooting such as shooting coats, trousers, gloves and boots that may provide artificial support to the shooter. The intention of this rule is that all competitors wear normal hunting or field wear. Similarly, other shooting accessories such as rifle attachments, butt hooks, palm rests, spotting scopes, padded kneeling cushions or seats are also prohibited. Apart from SSAA branch competitions, state and national titles are conducted annually.
To sharpen your Lever Action shooting skills, download, print off and practice on these rabbit and fox head targets.
Where to Start?
Most SSAA ranges have an active Lever Action section. Participants interested in taking up lever Action shooting should contact the clubs Lever Action captain for further guidance.
Major Leaver Action Shoots:
National Championships: held every October on a roster system around Australia, where ranges are available. All classes are contested over three days.
SA State Championships: held every September on a roster system around South Australia, where ranges are available.
State Disipline Chairperson: Steve Nicholas