Shooting Sports: Everything You Need To Know About It


Are you interested in trying out shooting sports? If yes, you have come to the right place.

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Shooting is a sport that requires both physical and mental skills. Shooters strive for technical excellence with a steady hand and steely nerves. 

Shooters who compete in the Olympics put in years of practice and training before attaining high standards. 

People of all ages and abilities can enjoy shooting. Many clubs offer classes for beginners and competitive leagues for those who want to test their skills.

This blog post covers everything from Shooting Sports rules and procedures to different types of shooting sports guns and events. 

So, keep reading, whether you’re a beginner or just want to know all about shooting sports!

Types Of Shooting Sports Guns

There are many different types of guns used in shooting sports. The following are the most common types of firearms that shooters use in the Olympics.

Shooting Rifle

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Rifles are long guns that are typically used for hunting or target shooting. It’s single-loaded in 5.6-millimeter caliber (the inner diameter of a gun barrel), which is used for all events. 

These guns are used in the sport of rifle shooting. Since rifles have a longer barrel than pistols and shotguns, they require two hands to hold and are often more accurate at longer ranges. 

Shots are fired from a standing position. Both men and women can participate in the 10m air rifle event. 


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A pistol is a short air gun that can be held in one hand. These airguns have shorter barrels than rifles and are less accurate at long distances.

The pistol used for the 10m Air Pistol competition is a single-loaded 4.5-millimeter pistol, while the Rapid Fire Pistol used in the 25m competition is 5.6 caliber with a five-shot magazine. 

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In the Olympics, only men can participate in the 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event. 


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Shotguns are long guns that have double barrels that are smooth-bore. They are used for hunting birds and small game. 

They are 12-gauge shotguns with a caliber of 18.5 millimeters. A gauge is a unit of measurement used to describe the barrel’s diameter. 

Shotgun activities include trap and skeet. Both men and women can compete in these shotgun shooting events. 

Shooting Sports Uniform

Shooters use particular jackets and cushioned trousers to improve their ability to focus on the target. That’s because the surface of the jackets is non-slippery, which ensures a good grip, primarily for rifle shooters. 

The extra padding in the jackets also helps to improve the shooter’s precision and provides a firm base for a perfect shooting position.

When it comes to shoes, sport-specific shoes are not a requirement. However, they can provide extra grip and ankle support. Some shooters also prefer to wear gloves to protect their hands from the gun’s recoil.

Blinders are another piece of equipment used by shooters. It helps the shooter remain focused on their target. It’s permissible for shooters to use blinders during shooting, which reduces peripheral vision and increases focus.

Shooting Sports Events At The Olympic Games

The shooting discipline has gained prominence in the Olympic Games since Athens in 1896. 

There are 15 events in the Olympic Programme of Shooting Sport, divided into three disciplines: Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun. 

In the Olympic Games, there are events for both men and women. Olympics compete in six events for men, six for women, and three for mixed events. 

The following are three different shooting sports events that take place at the Olympic Games:

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Rifle Event

In rifle shooting, shooters must fire at a target within a prescribed distance from a standing position. The targets are placed at a distance of 10metres. The event is divided into two subcategories: 50m Rifle 3 Positions event and 10m Air Rifle event. 

In the 50m Rifle 3 Positions event, shooters must fire at targets from three different positions: prone, standing, and kneeling. The 10m Air Rifle event is for both men and women.

Pistol Event

In pistol shooting, the target is placed at a distance of 25metres. The event is divided into three distinct subcategories: 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, 25m Pistol, and 10m Air Pistol. Shooters have to fire one-handed without any assistance in every category.

Shotgun Event

The shotgun event is one of the most popular events in the shooting sport. The event is divided into two distinct events: Trap and Skeet. In the trap event, shooters must fire targets that are released from a trap house. 

Shooters have to fire at a clay flying object diameter of 10cm in these events. The shooter has to throw the object at a speed of 100 kph.

Shooting Sports Rules

The shooting rules are governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). The ISSF is the international governing body for the sport of shooting.

Here are a few general rules and procedures that are followed in most shooting sports:

Procedures For Breaking Ties

If there is a tie during qualification rounds, the ISSF Rules will apply. The rules vary from event to event. A shoot-off will be used to determine the winner if there is still a tie. It will happen in the final stages of Rifle and Pistol events, not Shotgun events.

In Shotgun events, the person with the highest qualification score will win if there is a tie. If there is still a tie after that, there will be a shoot-off to determine who gets the gold and silver medals. 

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Penalties And  Disqualifications

Shooters may protest the value of their shot by filing a score protest. If the shot is ruled as a miss, a two-point penalty will be assessed. The Classification Jury follows recognized procedures to resolve such protests.

If a shooter breaks the ISSF rules, he or she may receive a warning, a penalty, or be disqualified. The type of penalty will depend on the severity of the violation.

Warnings are given for minor infractions, such as not following the dress code. Generally, penalties are imposed for cross-fired rounds, while disqualifications are caused by failing the pistol weight test or the rifle clothing test.

Appeals And Protests

If an athlete or team believes there has been a mistake or injustice, they have the right to lodge an appeal or protest. ISSF rules specify protest or appeal timeframes for all shooting sports competitions. 

After all these issues have been resolved, the official results will be released. The Appeal Jury is the final authority on all appeals and protests.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I have tried to explain all the basics of shooting sports in simple terms.

Shooting sports are a type of competitive sport where participants use firearms to hit targets.  

The sport requires a great deal of skill, concentration, and practice. To succeed, participants must control their accurately and precisely hit their targets. 

Shooters must also have strong hand-eye coordination and a steady hand to hit their targets consistently. 

Remember, practice makes perfect. So, if you are interested in taking up shooting as a sport, start practicing now!

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Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas. Read more >>


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