Service Pistol comes to us from Australia, where it was first adopted as an Australian Nationals Championship Event in 1977, and shot with pistols and revolvers in calibres from 9mm to .45. In 1982 they added Service Pistol Unrestricted to allow and encourage those with ISSF pistols of calibres down to 7.65mm to compete. In 1989 as the interest in NRA Action Matches increased Pistol Australia introduced the holster draw into Service Pistol, leaving Service Pistol Unrestricted in its original form, being shot from the 45 degrees ready position. Later legislation in Australia resulted in a few changes which have not affected us in NZ.
In 1982 the then NZ Pistol Association (Pistol NZ) introduced Service Pistol as the first “Action” style event here. Initially, as in Australia, the match was shot starting with the pistol at 45 degrees but we allowed, and indeed encouraged, the pistol to be stored in a holster as the shooters moved down the range. This was well before the introduction of NRA Action and IPSC matches, both of which did require drawing from the holster.
In 1987 we started these other matches after negotiation with the police and then in 1989 we followed Australia drawing from the holster for Service Pistol too. Although a few of us have been shooting this match since the ’80s, it has been overshadowed in NZ by the other Action matches; in Australia it continues to be hugely popular with some shooters exclusively specialising in it and not shooting anything else, and it is shot as an adjunct to the ISSF nationals.
Pistol Australia continues to shoot the original Service Pistol, Service Pistol Unrestricted and the 25 yard match, just as New Zealand continues to do, however New Zealand has (unofficially & for NZ only) added a few extra divisions to accommodate a wider range of pistols. We have now added NZ Pistol, NZ Revolver and NZ 22. When competing the only restriction is that if you are shooting Service Pistol division that you must shoot this match first.
For more information, contact www.pistolnz.org.nz
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