Target Rifle (TR) evolved from Service Rifle (SR) shooting in the late 1860s. Previously the No. 4 Service Rifle was used with sights either adjustable or not adjustable for windage. Modern target rifles are extremely accurate, (to about 1/4″ over 100yds) and have sights which are fully adjustable for elevation and windage.
TR involves prone single shot precision shooting using aperture iron sights at ’round bull’ targets at distances from 300 to 1000 yards, with each shot carefully scored and analysed.
After a shot is fired, the bullet travels down the range at over 3,000 km/h. As it travels, it is blown off course by even the most gentle of breezes. In fact, just a moderate wind would be enough to blow a bullet completely off the target at long range. Thus, the shooter has to make a careful assessment of the wind, and adjust the sights on his rifle accordingly. After each shot, the shooter observes the actual impact point of the bullet, and may make further corrections to the wind or elevation settings on the rifle.
Fortunately, in most competitions, shooters have two “sighting shots” at the start to get to grips with the true strength of the wind.