The Commonwealth Match

The Trophy

The Commonwealth Trophy was presented to the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association by The Canadian Pacific Railway Company for annual competition between Empire Teams in 1931.

It is a Sheffield Sterling Bowl with two handles and a prone figure of a marksman mounted on the stem base. The bowl is mounted on a three tier black wooden base upon which the names of winning teams are recorded on small silver shields. Hallmarked M & W, the crown, Lion Passant and year of manufacture symbol. The bowl is 215 mm in height, 420 mm across the handles, 286 mm in diameter at the top and 193 mm in diameter at the base of the stem; the three tier wooden base is not shown in the photo.

The History

In 1931 Great Britain sent a rifle team to Canada under command of Sir Lionel Fletcher, CBE, to compete against Canada’s best marksmen at the Annual Prize Meeting of the DCRA. Prior to that year, no international team matches were included in the regular schedule of events. It was considered fitting that a long range event following the traditional conditions of “The Mackinnon” at Bisley be introduced. The conditions called for Teams of 12 marksmen each firing 2 sighting shots and 10 shots for record at each of 900 and 1000 yards within a specified time limit. The match was Titled “The Empire Match” and with the assistance and generosity of The Canadian Pacific Railways Company, the Empire Trophy was placed in competition.

While the general conditions of “The Empire Match” have continued through the years, it was renamed “The Commonwealth Match” following World War II and is currently fired at 800 and 900 meters.

Match Conditions

The Commonwealth Match is always shot in Canada, by a team of 12 firers. Each shooter fires 2 sighters and 10 shots to count at 800m and 900m. The highest individual score is 100 with 18 v-bulls by Jim Paton (Canada) in 2013. Lindsay Peden’s Great Britain team from 2016 holds the record score of 1194 and 138 v-bulls.

Previous Winners (up to end 2017)

Country Number of wins
Great Britain 30
Canada 18
Australia 4
New Zealand 2
England 1

Match results listed are those where a GB or Home Countries teams were present.