Buffalo rifle shooters use replicas of the guns used by the cowboys, frontiersmen, soldiers, settlers and buffalo hunters in the USA in the second half of the 19th century.
Typically these guns cost in the region of $2,000 new and hold their value well for second hand sales if well looked after.
Club rules require rifles to be single-shot, have an external hammer and designed before 1900. These rifles weigh from 10 pounds and have either rifled or smooth-bore barrels, 30 to 34 inches in length.
The most popular calibre is 45/70 Government (meaning: a 45 cal projectile propelled by a 70 gr charge of Black Powder). It was a cartridge developed by the U.S. Army‘s Springfield Armory for use in the Springfield Model 1873 rifle. This was the rifle used during the Battle of The Little Big Horn by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer troops.
Targets are shot at distances of 200 to 1000 yards from low stools or sitting on the ground. Cross sticks are used to support the rifle while taking aim (except at shorter distances).
Typically, 10 shots are fired at each target with scores for hits or heart shots (bullseyes). The term heart shot comes from the shape of the target as most ranges use a steel cut out of a buffalo as their main target.