San Jose Zouaves Rifle Club

Intro to Service Rifle

What is Service Rifle?

Service Rifle, or "High Power Service Rifle", is a common rifle marksmanship competition format.
It commonly involves shooting from 200 to 600 yards, both slow and rapid, from three main positions:
  • Standing
  • Sitting
  • Prone
This page is intended to serve as a guide to how to get started with gear for service rifle competition.
For more information about match procedures and format, check out our About Our Matches page.

What do I need to get started?

The first thing you need in order to get started with service rifle is in the name: a rifle!
There are three main patterns of rifle used for service-rifle competition:
  • M1 Garand (usually in .30-06, sometimes in .308)
  • M1A / M14 (usually in .308)
  • AR-15 / M16 / M4 (usually in .223 / 5.56)
  • This is not an exhaustive list - for that, check out the rulebooks listed on our About Our Matches page.
You will notice that all of them are patterns that were used as service rifles by the US Military.
One of the guiding principles of this competition format is to use rifles similar to those used by the military.

Nowadays, by far the most common pattern seen on the firing line is the AR-15 pattern.
However, it can still be fun to shoot matches with older rifles, and appreciate their historical significance.

In addition to rifles, there are other things to think about before competing.
Click through the links below to find out more!

Intro to Service Rifle: AR-15
Intro to Service Rifle: M1 Garand
Intro to Service Rifle: M14