Of all the ammunition calibers in the world the most widely used is the venerable .22 caliber. From the recreational plinking rifles and pistols to the sophisticated firearms used for Olympic and World Cup Championships, this ammunition size is the introductory and development ammunition for both marksmanship and competition. For rifle practice and competition the .22 caliber rifle is more familiarly known as the smallbore rifle to distinguish it from the centerfire rifles used in high power and military competitions. The targets used for smallbore competitions, especially those used in International competitions, are the most difficult targets used in shooting competitions. For example, the 10-ring of a 50-meter Olympic target is only four-tenths of an inch in diameter.
Smallbore rifle competitions in the United States are classified as either NRA conventional or International style competitions. NRA Smallbore Competition Subdivisions: Conventional Prone, Metric Prone, 4-Position (Prone, Sitting, Standing, Kneeling), and 3-Position (Prone, Standing, Kneeling).
NRA competition categories are further subdivided into Iron Sight and Any Sight, the latter allowing either telescopic or iron sights. NRA matches are held throughout the year.
International Style Competition:
International smallbore rifle competitions are either Free Rifle Prone or 3-Position Rifle competitions. However, unlike the conventional NRA matches, the International style of competition also places precise requirements on the rifle and shooting equipment used in competition. Such competitions were recently placed under the supervision of USA Shooting, the designated national governing body for International style shooting in the United States.
Empire State Games:
The premier smallbore rifle events in New York State are those conducted as part of the annual Empire State Games. The Games contain all of the shooting events currently conducted in the Olympic Games. Participation in the ESG is contingent upon being one of the two highest finishers in rifle (either Free Rifle Prone or 3-Position Rifle) events in tryouts held in the six ESG regions. Competition levels are established for Scholastic and Open competitors. As in the Olympic Games, all shooting events are conducted as much as is practical in accordance with International style shooting rules.