The Palma Trophy Match

The "America's Cup" of Long Range Rifle Shooting

US Palma Team's web page

The Palma Match is a rifle match that has been fired essentially unchanged (except for equipment) since September 13 and 14, 1876, yes 1876. Here is a history of the match that had been printed in Precision Shooting Magazine in 1996.

The true Palma Trophy match is competing teams of 16 shooters from the US, England, Canada etc etc ( most English speaking countries and then some) shooting every 3 to 4 years at a different host's range.

The course of fire, which is called the Palma Match, and is getting to be even more popular at clubs with a big enough rifle range is as follows:

  • 15 shots at 800 yards (unlimited sighters, 20 minutes)
  • 15 shots at 900 yards (2 sighters, 20 minutes)
  • 15 shots at 1000 yards (2 sighters, 20 minutes)



    All shooting is done from the Prone position, lying upon ones belly. One shot at a time. The target is marked by operators in a pit or behind a berm beneath the target (usually competitors from the other relays)

    The target is a "bullseye" with a 20 inch ten ring inside a 44 inch black circle on a 6 foot target frame. Any hit can score 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 points, a hit in the "X" rings scores 10 points and adds an "X" to the count for tie-breaking.

    A perfect individual score is 450-45X. Doesn't happen often. Scores in the 440's usually win.

    All rifles are equipped with Iron sights, no magnification or scopes. Most rifles are custom built, 12 to 14 lbs, single shot, bolt actions.

    In a true Palma Match, all competitors shoot the .308 Winchester (identical to 7.62x51mm NATO) cartridge with the Sierra155 gr Match-King Hollow Point Boat Tail bullet.

    In many individual Palma matches in the US, competitors often use different bullet weights or even different calibers.

    Wind is a real problem, a nice Phoenix wind will blow the bullet several feet during the time required to fly 1000 yards.

    We shoot Palma in Phoenix at the Ben Avery Range (the long range side, on long shot drive, not the public side) Ben Avery is located at the NW corner of I-17 and Carefree highway. (North of developed Phoenix, but within city limits) If you are coming, drive on Carefree highway, past the public entrance, heading west on carefree highway about 1/2 mile to "longshot lane". (This is the internet, if you're coming in from Helsinki, you'll probably take Finnair to JFK or LAX, transfer directly to Phoenix, then west on I-10 to I-17 north, it'll take about 20 hours, but only 1 hour will be in a car.)

    We shoot in the winter (our winters are different from those in Luleå if that's where you're reading this from, our summers are different too!) It's a tad warm in the summer here. We shoot on the first Sunday of most months from Oct till March or so. Here's the schedule for Ben Avery Range, or email me for exact details.

    Palma is also shot at Coalinga in central California, At Camp Perry Ohio in the National Matches, At the NRA range known as: Whittington Center in Raton, NM (where the 1992 Palma Trophy matches were held), and numerous other ranges across the US, Canada, GB, Aus, & NZ. According to Palma Promotion's latest newsletter, there are 18 ranges across the US set up for Palma.

    Here is the official Palma "home-page. And here is the US Palma Team's Page.  There's some good stuff in there, including the full rules.

    If you really like this stuff, subscribe to the " fullbore list". It is an email list sent to several hundred english speaking LR shooters (Aus, NZ, UK, Canada & US), directions are on the page..

    Some pictures of Palma shooting in Phoenix on a good day and an overcast day.

    The Palma Match is sometimes called The Palma® Match. But not by me.

    last modified by Bill Poole on 3-Jul-98, 17&25-jul-01, ©.

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