1. Any single shot rifle, foreign or domestic, manufactured prior to 1917. Reproductions of pre-1917 patents are allowed. Examples of traditional actions include, but are not limited to, the Ballard, Remington, Sharps, Stevens, Bullard, Maynard, Sharps-Borchardt, Remington-Hepburn, Winchester, Farrow, and Wesson. Action types that do not meet the pre-1917 requirement include, but are not limited to, the Ruger, Peregrine, Miller, Falling Block Works, Hall, and Thompsen/Center. Rifles must be pre-approved by the Shooters Jury to qualify for Traditional class. Rifles that do not meet the Traditional Class requirements will be eligible for competition in Unlimited Class.
2. Technology cutoff of circa 1917 as regards patents, sights, cartridges, loading techniques, and general configuration of the Schuetzen rifle. No modern block-style or wide-bottom forearms. Old-style muzzle rest “feet” are allowed, but must be attached to the barrel. No modern Olympic-style sights, rear iron sight diopters, adjustable buttplates, plastic sight inserts, or “Bloop tubes”. No machine rests. (For clarification a machine rest is any one-piece rest that supports the rifle at two points and allows the rifle to be mechanically adjusted, incrementally, front and back, for windage and elevation.)
3. Bullets must be plain base; cast or swaged lead bullets of grease groove or paper patch type. No metal gas checks or metal wads allowed. Ammunition may be checked randomly by the Shooter’s Jury
4. Any pre-1917 externally adjusted telescopic sight or faithful reproductions thereof. Lyman, Unertl, Fecker, and Litchert scopes are specifically allowed. Click adjustment allowed only on those iron sights having this feature prior to 1917, or faithful reproductions of those sights. (An example of a click-adjustable iron sight available prior to 1917 is the Lyman 103, marketed in 1915) An iris adjustable rear sight (such as a Merit Disk) is allowed. Also, a glass insert is allowed in the front sight for iron sight matches but there may not be a corresponding lens in the rear sight
5. Slings, straps, or clothing that is specifically designed and/or worn to support or aid the shooter will not be allowed. This includes tight jackets, vests, or multiple layers of clothing not worn for weather conditions. Competitors may not place the buttstock under any vest, coat, or item of clothing.
6. The Traditional Class competitor is not restricted to the use of one rifle for offhand and benchrest portions of sanctioned or registered ISSA competitions, nor is he restricted as to weight of rifles used in competition.
7. A three-man Shooters Jury will be appointed by the Schuetzenmeister from the competitor ranks to decide upon questionable equipment or practices and certify rifles for the Traditional Class. It is the responsibility of the Shooters Jury to enforce and interpret the Traditional Class rules and to make common-sense evaluations of equipment that is not obviously of a traditional nature. With concurrence of the Schuetzenmeister, all decisions of the Shooters Jury are final. Competitors will be expected to provide documentation on controversial equipment or methods.
8. The success of the Traditional Class depends upon the shooters themselves. Radical, fringe interpretations of the rules will not be productive towards preserving our Schuetzen heritage. Traditionally minded shooters have a common sense grasp of what was typical and/or appropriate for the pre-1917 competitor. Competition in this class is to encourage modern day riflemen to match or exceed the records set by first generation Schuetzen competitors. To this end, the Schuetzenmeister and Shooters Jury will be expected to provide discretion and guidance during the match concerning questionable equipment or practices.
These are the Traditional Class rules as they currently stand. It is not the intention of the Traditional Class to exclude or in any way restrict participation in the Schuetzen discipline. Rather, the Traditional Class is seen as a way to bring competitors interested in the history and tradition of the Schuetzenfest together for competition. The main goal of the Traditional Class is to attempt to equal or exceed those records established by first-generation Schuetzen riflemen using the same technique and equipment. By the virtue of having these two distinct classes the ISSA can encourage participation from both modern and traditional Schuetzen riflemen.
Since the inception of Traditional Class there have been many questions regarding what modern equipment is allowed. Currently there are no restrictions placed upon any equipment other than the rifles, sights, cartridges, and loading techniques. The interpretation of Traditional Class is largely one of aesthetics. The goal of Traditional Class is to preserve the history and style of the first-generation Schuetzen rifle while at the same time encouraging best possible performance given the restrictions of the pre-1917 rule. Potential competitors in Traditional Class will soon realize that for every perceived need in equipment that there is a traditional way to fulfill that need. In this way, old-time methods and techniques are preserved and passed on.
If you are wondering whether your rifle is legal for Traditional Class or not, ask these questions- Was the rifle available and/or patented prior to 1917? Are the sights original or faithful reproductions of models available prior to 1917? Most competitor questions concerning allowable equipment can be answered by a common-sense application of the pre-1917 rule.
Rifles may be inspected and passed by a three-man Shooters Jury for participation in Traditional Class much in the same way that rifles are inspected for Black Powder Silhouette competition. New competitors to Schuetzenfest should rest assured that if their equipment does not pass for Traditional Class that they will simply shoot in Unlimited Class. No potential competitor will be turned away from Schuetzenfest based on equipment.