10 metre air rifle is an International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) shooting event, shot over a distance of 10 metres (10.94 yards) from a standing position with a 4.5 mm (0.177 in) calibre air rifle with a maximum weight of 5.5 kg (12.13 lb). The use of specialised clothing is allowed to improve the stability of the shooting position and prevent chronic back injury which can be caused by the asymmetric offset load on the spine when the rifle is held in position. It is one of the ISSF-governed shooting events included in the Olympic games.
Shots are fired from the standing position only, as opposed to some other airgun shooting disciplines such as for three positions (popular in the United States) or in disabled sports.
The major competitions are the Olympic Games every four years and the ISSF World Shooting Championships every four years (the Games and the Championships are held two years apart). In addition, the event is included in the ISSF World Cup series, the ISSF World Cup Final, in continental championships, and in many other international and national competitions. It is an indoor sport. In many clubs and ranges, electronic targets are now being used instead of the traditional paper targets.
Scores in 10 metre air rifle have improved rapidly during the last few decades and today top competitors sometimes achieve maximum results (a "possible") for the initial or qualification phase (600 for men and 400 for women). The majority of these full marks were achieved at non-directly ISSF supervised international and national-level matches and championships, where official ISSF recognized world records can not be set. This leads to many national records in fact being equal to the world records. The maximum achievable aggregate score (qualification + final score) is 709 for men and 509 for women. Up to 2013 no top competitor has achieved an official perfect aggregate score.