Rifle shooting became fashionable after the Crimean War and photographs of Bisley Camp (the nain location) show serious men leaning on long rifles and elegant ladies taking tea behind the firing point. Things have moved on since then.
A military connection persisted for many years. After WW2 full-bore rifle shooting was supported by the government and was comparatively cheap. Today it is largely a civilian sport and the rifles used are no longer the same as those used in the army. Things got frozen at the time when the army was using rifles of 7.62 mm calibre and the National Rifle Association altered it's rules to allow rifles of any reputable make that used that ammunition. We now use single-shot specialist rifles of that calibre. We also adhere to rigid safety rules. Men and Women compete on equal terms.
At the end of WW2 there were full-bore rifle ranges all over the country. Many of them have since been closed, and most KCRA events now take place at Bisley. So people entering the sport are likely to have experience of small-bore shooting which has a wide following with clubs and in-door ranges easy to find.
The big difference with full-bore shooting is DISTANCE and WEATHER and THE OPEN AIR. There is satisfaction in scoring a bullseye when you are lying down 1,000 yards from the target and the wind is swirling around you and rain running down your neck. It is not always like this - just sometimes! We shoot more in summer than winter, so it is often just great.
The big event of the year is THE IMPERIAL MEETING organised by THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION in July. It runs for two weeks. Unlike some sports, this event is open to all comers. The meeting is made up by many separate competitions in which a competitor fires 10 or 15 shots. Each competition has a Winners Trophy and a long list of small cash prizes. Entering for the meeting is not an ALL or NOTHING matter. A person can enter individual competitions. The number of people entering each competition can be as high as 1,000. The cash prizes are awarded to classes based on previous record. So a competitor may be Class X or Class A or Class O or a TYRO. The big single competitions are THE QUEENS PRIZE and the ST.GEORGES. There are also AGGREGATES in which the scores from certain individual competitions are added together,