South African High Power Rifle Association


Affiliated to:
- South African Practical Shooting Association
- American National Rifle Association
- Australian International High Power Association
- United Kingdom High Power Rifle Association



The Target Shooting Sport for the owners of service (military style) rifles


Introduced to South Africa in 2003, the American National Rifle Association (NRA) discipline of High Power Rifle provides a sports shooting home for the owners of bolt-action and self-loading military style rifles (such as the 303 Lee-Enfield, 303 P-14, Mauser, FN, Garand, LM4/5, Mini-14 and AR15 etc).


The NRA term "High Power Rifle" is often misunderstood by those not familiar with this major target-shooting discipline.  "High Power" is a misleading term in that it is simply the American equivalent of what the countries of the British Commonwealth call  "Fullbore" (as distinct from "Smallbore") being, in the words of the NRA, "any center fire rifle".  In practice, this means any centre fire rifle from 0,223" (5,56 mm) to around 30 calibre (eg 0,303", 7,62 mm, 30-06 etc), and includes intermediate calibres such as 0,243" and 0,270".


We shoot Service Rifle using all types and ages of military style rifles with iron sights and a magazine capacity of 5 or more rounds – the rapid fire stages require a quick reload or magazine change.


We also shoot Sporting Rifle, a similar match for hunting style rifles with optional telescopic sights and a 4 (or more) round magazine – no speed load is required.


The whole thing started in the US over 100 years ago with their military training shoots of the time, and remains hugely popular.  Today, High Power is also shot in the UK and Australia.


As adopted by the SA High Power Rifle Association (SAHPRA), the Service Rifle course of fire involves:

  • 10 rounds standing slow fire in 10 minutes at 200 m
  • 10 rounds rapid fire (5 reload 5) sitting or kneeling from standing in 60 seconds at 200 m
  • 10 rounds rapid fire (5 reload 5) prone from standing in 70 seconds at 300 m
  • 10 rounds prone slow fire in 10 minutes at 300 m


The "bull's-eye" targets have X, 10, 9, 8 ,7, 6,and 5 scoring rings and a circular black aiming mark which varies in size depending on the distance.  The slow fire stages are marked and scored by the butt markers after each shot, whilst the rapid fire stages are scored at the end of the timed target exposure.  This is a challenging course of fire, and particularly so in the standing stage.


This video is an excellent introduction to High Power Rifle shooting, and the challenges it offers the shooter. Note that for range availability reasons we shoot the prone slow fire stage at 300 m, rather than at 600 yards.

Where a 300 m rifle range is not available, scaled down targets may be used at shorter distances;  SAHPRA can provide sets of targets for use at 100 m.


High Power Rifle is essentially a discipline for iron-sighted Service (military) and service style rifles.  With our three classes of Service Rifle, Veteran, Classic and Modern, we cater for rifles from the Anglo-Boer War to the present.  In all three classes a blade foresight and open or aperture rear sight are mandatory.


However, some decades ago the NRA introduced an associated discipline, called High Power Sporting Rifle. This is intended to cater for typical hunting rifles (with or without telescopic sights) that are not designed for rapid reloading, and the course of fire is simplified. We have therefore included a Sporting Rifle class in our shooting rules. As with Service Rifle, the course of fire includes both 200 and 300 metre stages.


As a member of SAHPRA you would qualify for Firearms Control Act Occasional Sports Person status.   Through our affiliation to the South African Practical Shooting Association (SAPSA) active members can acquire Dedicated Sports Person status, which is essential if you own a number of firearms or want to keep or obtain a self-loading rifle.


Currently our only rifle club is in Gauteng, and both beginners and experienced shooters are invited to come and give High Power Rifle a try at one of our monthly shoots.  Whether you are the competitve type or merely enjoy a little good natured rivalry there is a place for you on the High Power range.  Coaching is freely given and you will be very welcome.


We would very much like to establish High Power Rifle shootingclubs elsewhere in the country and anyone interested is encouraged to contact us for advice and help.