Shooting: Target Rifle (Palma)
Modern Palma is shot using a .308 calibre rifle fitted with aperture (iron) sights and supported using a sling and shooting jacket at ranges from 300 yards to 1,000 yards. The long range world championships are shot at ranges of 800, 900 and 1,000 yards.
A full strength Palma team consists of: 1 Team Captain, 1 Adjutant, 16 Shooters, 2 Reserves, 1 Main Coach, 4 Target coaches and 1 Armor.
Everyone knows how difficult is to win an individual competition, you need to have everything come together perfect on the day of the match; to be successful a Palma team needs to have all 25 team members have everything go perfect over the two days of the team match. This is what makes being part of a winning Palma team all the more rewarding.
There are some myths associated with sling shooting, such as:
- Pain - everyone experiences pain when shooting with a sling, experimenting with sling tension and position can help reduce this.
- Eyesight - it’s a myth that you need perfect eyesight to shoot with aperture sights, not true, the rules allow front and rear lenses and glasses to be worn by the shooter.
- Experience - You don’t need to have been a sling shooter since birth to take up long range shooting, with patients and hard work you can be successful taking this sport up from any age.
In its basic form, a Palma Rifle is an iron sight, 0.308 caliber bolt action rifle. There are many things that make a Palma Rifles different from the Remington 700 that one can buy at a Gun shop.
A variety of custom or blue printed actions are used to construct a Palma rifle. The action is possible the single most important component of the rifle, everything else associated with the rifle bolts onto the action. Some actions commonly used to build Palma rifles include Bat Machine, Nesika, Barnard RPA and Stolle. Barrels used are always match grade profiled (tapered) barrels in .308 calibre. Chambers are cut using a Palma spec reamer. There is no right or wrong stock for a Palma rifle once it complies with the ICFRA rules however, because the fit of the rifle is important to accuracy, it is very important to get a stock that fits you as a shooter, It is probably best to try several different types of stocks before committing yourself.
It pays to have the very best rear sights. The Warner #2 rear sight has set a standard worldwide for which all other rear sights are judged. There are many other types of rear sight available, however those that mount on a ½ inch dovetail should be avoided as the can have a tendency to creep along the rail as you shoot. For the front sight, is very much down to the shooters preference, ladder type front sights are the norm usually in the 18-22mm size, 30mm tubes are available but can catch a lot of wind due to their large size.
Warner Rear Sight View Larger
Riles 22mm Front Sight View Larger
The purpose of the shooting jacket is to provide support for the shooter while in the prone position. It buckles up and adjusts to any shooter, and has pads to cushion for recoil and provide a no-slip surface and or hook to keep the sling in position.
The purpose of the shooting mat is to provide a surface That cushions the shooter from a cold and or wet ground. In addition, the grip tape on the mat allows the shooters position to be more secure.
On average, the Palma Rifle we shoot weighs 10 lbs. The glove provides cushion for the shooter's hand as the sling and gun rest against it.
The purpose of a sling is to provide support for the rifle in position. The sling wraps around your left arm (for right handed shooters) and attaches to the gun. Your hand wraps around the sling itself. The sling provides a strong, stable position for the shooter.
Because target rifle shooters don’t use telescopic sights on their firearms they need a spotting scope to see the shot indicator and scoring disk on their target, like with the rifle sights it pays to have buy a good quality spotting scope 80mm objective lenses provide an extremely bright and clear image. A larger objective lense also means a larger exit pupil diameter which will mean that you won’t be searching for the image in your spotting scope. Long eye relief lenses are also desirable and will mean the the position of the scope will not be so critical when shooting.
Modern target rifle shooting and in particular the Palma teams match is a truly unique event in sporting world. If you would like help the irish Palma team make history in the future please feel free to come along to any of our target rifle league dates listed on the calendar or email firstname.lastname@example.org.