A Short A to Z about language you will hear on the range


Action – is an operating mechanism that presents the cartridge for firing, for example bolt action or lever action

Aiming mark – the black disk in the centre of the target

Aperture – rear sight of a target rifle, otherwise known as peep sight


Backstop – mound of earth behind the targets that stops the bullets

Back gunning – shooting from the supine position (lying on one’s back)

Barrel – a straight shooting tube at the front end of a rifle, through which high-pressure gases propel a projectile 

Barrel tuner – adjustable knob to make a rifle shoot more accurately

Benchrest – a style of shooting where the shooter shoots from a bench

Bipod – two legged support for the fore-end of a rifle

Bird – a shot scoring 3 points, also called a magpie

Bolt action rifle – is a type of rifle which fires one round at a time and comprises a bolt as a major component

Bore – the hole up the centre of a barrel

Bullet – the common term for a projectile fired from a rifle

Bullet flight –  trajectory, the arc of flight.

Bulls Eye – A shot that scores 5 points

Butt – the broad part of a rifle stock that rests upon your shoulder

Butt plate – either rubber, metal or other material, the surface of the rifle butt that rests against your shoulder

Butt stock – the rear part of a rifle


Calibre – the diameter of the bore of a barrel 

Cartridge – a type of pre-assembled firearm ammunition (also called a bullet)

Centrefire – A centerfire cartridge is a cartridge whose primer is located at the centre of the base of its casing

Chamber – the precise part of a barrel that the bullet fits into to be fired.

Coat – the jacket worn for stability when shooting a target rifle

Counting shots – the shots in a string of shots that are counted towards a score (also see non counting shots)


Discipline – a particular type of target shooting (e.g. Target Rifle, F Class, FTR or Hunter/Sporter etc.)

Dry fire – the practice of simulating the discharge of a firearm without any live ammunition

DRA – a District Rifle Association which promotes the sport in a particular area


Electronic targets (or ETs) – A target designed to determine bullet placement acoustically and notify the shooter on a monitor or electronic screen.


Firearm – a barreled device that uses rapidly expanding high-pressure gas to launch a projectile towards a target

Target frame– the outside surrounding structure of a target. Not intended to be shot at, but shots can hit the frame through error.

Frame the target – a term for using a font ring size that encircles the whole target when sighting.

Front block –  the dovetailed block at the muzzle which holds the front tunnel.

Front tunnel – A tube shaped font sight that holds a sight ring

Forestock –  Fore-end, the part of the stock forward of the trigger.

Fullbore – the precision rifle shooting sport governed by the ICFRA


Ground sheet – the mat one lies on to shoot from the prone position. Used to keep clean and dry. Also used to stop elbows slipping while firing a shot.

Group – at least three shots form a group, the entire pattern of shots on a target

Gunsmith – a person who repairs, modifies, designs, or builds firearms


Heavy Gun  Class  – a class of bench rest rifle

Hexta – a manufacturer of electronic targets

Hunting rifle – a lightweight firearm


ICFRA -International Confederation of Fullbore Rifle Associations

Inner – A shot scoring 4 points (inside the aiming mark)

Iris –  the adjustable rear aperture of an aperture sight or the adjustable front ring of a front sight.


Jacket –  a coat worn when shooting target rifle designed to keep the rifle steady

Jackets (bullet) – Jackets are the “skin” of a bullet, starting as empty cylinders which are then filled with compressed core material, expanded to exact diameter, and shaped into the bullet desired.

A bullet jacket generally allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal in the bore.


Keyhole or keyholing: Refers to the end-over-end tumbling of the bullet which will often leave an elongated or keyhole shaped hole in a paper target.

This occurs when the bullet is insufficiently stabilised by the firearm’s rifling, either because the rifling is too slow or long for a given bullet, also meaning that the bullet is too long or tail heavy for said rifling. Or else due to poor fit of an undersize bullet in the gun barrel. In these cases the bullet has a natural tendency to wobble, and may start to tumble end-over-end just encountering the resistance of the air.

Kick: The recoil or backward momentum of a firearm when it is discharged.


Light Gun Class – a class of bench rest rifle

Live  firing – using live ammunition at a range


Magpie – a shot scoring 3 points, also called a bird

Mantlet – the mound of earth in front of a gallery of targets. Personnel can safely stay behind the mantlet while shooting is being conducted. Manual targets are marked by personnel while behind the mantlet. 

Minute of angle – a degree is divided into 60 minutes (of angle). One minute of angle equates to approximately 25 mm for every hundred metres. Bullet strike and the effect of wind is measured in minutes (of angle). Older shooters historically call them points. In Western Australia they call minutes “lines”. 

Mirage – a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays bend via refraction to produce a displaced image of distant objects

Miss – a shot fired without hitting the allocated target or a shot outside the scoring area of a target.

Muzzle brake (recoil compensator) – a device connected to, or a feature integral to the construction of, the muzzle or barrel of a firearm, that is intended to redirect a portion of propellant gases to counter recoil and unwanted muzzle rise

Muzzle energy – the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled from the muzzle of a firearm


NATO – NATO specification means military standard ammunition 

NRAA – National Rifle Association of Australia

Non-counting shots – shots in a shooting string that are NOT counted towards a score (e.g. sighters)


Optics – various devices to aid the shooter hit the target

Outer – a shot scoring 2 points


Peep sight – the rear aperture sight of a target rifle, the aperture sight of any rifle.

Pin – shot which hits the very centre of a target

Possible – the maximum possible score e.g. 50 out of 50 or 60 out of 60

Projectile – a component of firearm ammunition that is expelled from a gun barrel during shooting

Prone position – a body position in which the person lies on their front

Propellant –  the part of a bullet that is used to produce pressurized gas which expels the projectile from the barrel


QRA – Queensland Rifle Association

QStore – the store run by the QRA which supplies various firearm related items


Range – the distance from shooter to target/a place where you go to shoot

Range Officer – the person in charge of all activities at a range when shooting is in progress

Rear support bag – a bag used to support the rifle butt

Recoil – the push back of a rifle against your shoulder when a shot is fired

Recoil pad – a cushioned pad to absorb the rifle recoil

Reloading (handloading) – the process of making firearm cartridges by manually assembling the individual components

Rem – Remington, a firearms manufacturer

Rest – the device used to support a rifle 

Rifle range – an approved place for target shooting activity

Rimfire –  A rimfire cartridge is a cartridge whose primer is located within a hollow circumferential rim protruding from the base of its casing

Ring (front ring) – the aperture sight ring that encircles the aiming mark of the target or the whole target 

Round – see Cartridge


Sandbag – a bag filled with sand to rest a rifle butt or the fore-end on

Scope – a telescopic sight which uses optics with an aligned aiming point or pattern (also called a reticle) that give the user an enhanced image 

Scoped rifle –  a rifle equipped with a telescopic sight 

Sighters – shots allowed at the start of a string of shots to determine wind strength and elevations (these are non-scoring shots).

Shooting Australia – the nation’s peak body for target shooting sports

Sling – used in conjunction with a jacket by target rifle shooters to steady a rifle while shooting

Spotting scope – used by target rifle shooters to determine the placement of their shots

Standard Safety Rules (SSRs) – The rules for competition and safe conduct of a shooting event.

Stock – the framework that holds the metalwork of a rifle, can be timber, metal, fibreglass or synthetic material

Supine position – lying on one’s back


Target rings – the concentric lines separating the various scoring areas on a target

Telescopic sight –  see Scope

Trigger – a mechanism that actuates the function of a firearm.

Tunnel – the tubular front sight of a target rifle


Underlug: The locking lugs on a break-action firearm that extend from the bottom of the barrels under the chamber(s) and connect into the receiver bottom. The metal shroud underneath the barrel of a revolver that surrounds and protects the extractor rod. The two types of underlugs include half-lug, meaning the shroud does not run the entire length of the barrel but instead is only as long as the extractor rod, and full-lug, meaning the shroud runs the full length of the barrel.


“V” or V Bull –  a central bullseye. The centre of a bullseye scores higher than a Bulls Eye


Win/Winchester – a firearms manufacturer

Wind flags – flags located on the range which indicate wind direction and strength

Wind reading – the process of estimating the offset the wind will give to the bullet when it reaches the target (which is then adjusted so the bullet hits the centre of the target)

Wind values – the numerical result of the Wind reading estimation


“X” – the centre of a V Bull or a Super V


Yaw: The heading of a bullet, used in external ballistics that refers to how the Magnus effect causes bullets to move out of a straight line based on their spin.


Zero – when a rifle is zeroed, the projectile hits the centre line of a target at a nominal range

About Us

The Queensland Rifle Association fosters target rifle shooting and firearms training through our clubs.   Different classes of rifle shooting are conducted by our Clubs under the Standard Shooting Rules (SSRs) of the National Rifle Association of Australia (NRAA).

NRAA Quicklinks

Our Location

Belmont Shooting Complex