How It All Started

Way back in the early 1960’s the FBI developed a training pistol match which was soon used by civilian shooters in the USA and called the Combat Match.

In the UK they shot a variant of this in the late 1960’s which became Police Pistol Combat. Australia also shot this version early on.

Then Australia changed the match again in 1977 from Police Pistol Combat and adopted what we shot today as Service Pistol Match, that year they ran the first Australian National Championship event and shot with pistols and revolvers in calibers from 9mm to 45 calibers.

Also in 1977 the Australian Match, Service Pistol was approved for club shooting in New Zealand.

In 1982 they added Service Pistol Unrestricted to allow and encourage those with ISSF pistols of calibers down to 7.65 to compete.

Then, with the advent of drawing a loaded pistol from a holster and the huge interest in NRA Action Matches, Pistol Australia introduced the holster draw into Service Pistol, but leaving one division, Service Pistol Unrestricted, in its original form, with this being still shot from the 45 degrees, ready position.

The Service pistol match has undergone many more changes over the years with the addition of more Divisions, Classes & Categories.

It remains today, a match that is only shot in Australia and New Zealand.

The Match

The course of fire consists of 90 shots fired at four distances from 50 down to 7 yards, and times between 2 minutes 45 seconds for 24 shots to 4 seconds for 6 shots.

  • 24 shots at 50 yards include prone, sitting or kneeling and both left and right barricade.
  • 36 shots are fired at 25 yards including more barricade and some standing clear of the barricade.
  • 18 shots at 10 yards some of which must be fired strong and weak hand only.
  • 12 shots at 7 yards is almost the signature series of this match as it is done un-aimed, that is without raising the pistol above the shoulder.



So, there is a brief description of Service Pistol.

This tests your entire pistol shooting skills in a 90 shot match, and doesn’t need a fancy pistol.

It’s one of the best all round tests of pistol shooting there is and the skills learned/honed can be transferred over into just about any of the other disciplines currently shot in NZ.

Score Sheets

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