INTRODUCTION TO WORLD CLASS SHOOTING
An Introduction to the world of Competitive Shooting
Worldwide there are many prestigious competitions; far too numerous for the extent of the record being kept in this department of the paper. The listed championships will be kept current from 1970 to the present. They will include both Men and Women and the disciplines include: Air Gun, Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun.
World Championships are held every four years in the off years of the World Olympics, which are also held every four years. World Police & Fire Games are held every two years and the Fire and Police Olympics are each held every year.
Every four years the shooting world looks in vain for coverage of these Olympics and World shooting
sports. Did you know that in recent years the Olympic shooting events had more participants than any other event except Track and Field and that historically the first medals awarded were for Free Pistol?
If you're old enough you may remember that the United States was known
as the 'Nation of Riflemen'. In those days, schools had rifle teams and hunters were envied --- and crime was not a serious problem.
Consider this one example of the many disciplines. In the English match,
competitors using a 22 caliber rifle must fire 60 + 10 shots (the finals) and hit a bullseye, which
is smaller than a dime coin, to score 10 points and do this at more than half a football field away. If you can't do that, you may as well pack up your gear and leave the firing line because the champions will hit that 10 ring 57 to 60 times and the 1 to 3 misses will be 9's; then they have to shoot 10 more times in the final under extreme pressure.
The good news is that the Constitutional Times intends to provide a continuing update on coverage of Shooting with an explanation of the venue and the difficulty it presents; because surely NBC won't.
The following are Olympic Shooting Disciplines:
Discipline AIR PISTOL .177 Pellet:
This match is fired with mechanical air, CO2 or compressed air pistols launching a .177 lead pellet at a target 10 meters (33 feet) distant. The 10 ring of the target is 11.5mm (a dime coin is 18mm, .703 or 3/4"). Competitors have approximately one minute per shot.
MEN will fire 60 shots for score. The top 8 will fire the 10 shot finals.
After each shot of the finals (fired in one minute), targets are electronically scored [in these final 10 shots it is possible to score as high as 10.9 each shot at the 10 ring as closest to center gains tenths] and the position of each competitor is upgraded as to placement. Talk about pressure! It has never been done, but it would be possible to fire 600 + l09 (10 x 10.9). Expect scores as high as 587 + 100. [Standing position].
WOMEN fire this event but course of fire is 40 shots for score plus the finals. Everything else is the same. Possible (never attained) could be 400 + 109. Expect scores as high as 384 + 100. [Standing position].
Discipline FREE PISTOL 22 Long Rifle Cartridge:
This match is only fired by MEN and is at 50 meters (54.68 yards - over 1/2 of a football field). Guns used, as the name implies, are unconventional and extremely accurate. From a mechanical rest, a good Free Pistol can group 10 shots that will all touch a dime coin (approximately 3/4"). Some pistols have electronic firing mechanisms and "glove-like" pistol grips. The 10 ring is 50mm (approximately 2"). Course of fire is 60 shots plus 10 in the finals, with approximately one minute per shot. Possible of 600 + 109 (refer to Air Pistol) which has never been done. Expect scores as high as 569 + 97. [Standing position].
Discipline RAPID FIRE PISTOL 22 Short Cartridge:
This match is only fired by MEN and is at 25 meters (27 1/3 yards - over one quarter of a football field). Guns used are designed to fire the low powered 22 Short cartridge; many are compensated to reduce recoil for rapid recovery between shots, as 5 shots must be fired, 1 on each of 5 targets, in times of 8 seconds for 5 shots, 6 seconds for 5 shots and 4 seconds for 5 shots with a starting position of pistol at 45 degrees before each 5 shot string. The total match, therefore, will be fired 4 strings of 5 shots each in 8 seconds (total of 20 shots), the same for 6 seconds and same for 4 seconds - grand total of 60 shots. A round bullseye (formerly a "man style" target) has a 100mm (4") 10 ring. The top 6 competitors will fire the 10 shot final (see Air Pistol).
Possible of 600 + 109 (See Air Pistol). Expect scores as high as 593 + 100. [Standing position].
Discipline SPORT PISTOL 22 Long Rifle Cartridge:
This match is fired only by WOMEN and is at 25 meters. Guns used are similar to NRA match pistols. The course of fire is 30 shots in the Precision stage, fired thusly:
6 strings of 5 shots each in 6 minutes per string with a 50mm 10 ring. The Rapid Fire stage demands the gun to be at a 45 degree angle until target appearance, which is for only 3 seconds; then there is a 7 second period before the next 3 second appearance; this is done for 30 shots and the 10 ring is 100mm. Possible score of 600 + 109 (See Air Pistol). [Never attained]. Expect scores as high as 295 each in Precision and Rapid Fire. [Standing position].
Discipline AIR RIFLE .177 Pellet:
This match is fired at 10 meters with MEN shooting 60 shots + finals for the top 8. The target 10 ring is 1/2mm in size (picture a period in the newspaper or a mechanical pencil lead or for you machinists .0394) and cut that in half because the 10 ring used to be 1mm. Guns used are air rifles powered by mechanical compression or they can be CO2 or compressed air. Time allowance is approximately 1 minute per shot (See Air Pistol). Clothing is strictly regulated. Possible score of 600 + 109 - never attained. Expect scores as high as 595 + 100. [Standing position].
WOMEN: Everything the same as Men but only 40 shots + 10 are fired. Possible of 400 + 109 - never attained. Expect scores as high as 399 + 100. [Standing position].
Discipline PRONE (ENGLISH MATCH) SMALLBORE RIFLE 22 LR Cartridge:
This match is fired by MEN only and at 50 meters (more than 1/2 of a football field) distance with a 10 ring of 10.4mm (smaller than a dime coin, which is 18mm). Course of fire is 60 shots with time allowance of approximately 1 minute per shot plus the finals consisting of 10 shots (See Air Pistol). Clothing is strictly regulated. Possible score of 600 has been fired often. Expect scores as high as 600 + 100.
Discipline 3 POSITION SMALLBORE RIFLE 22 LR Cartridge:
This match is fired by MEN only and at 50 meters with targets & clothing same as the Prone match. Rifles are referred to as Free Rifles. They are extremely accurate but some look like they came from a sci-fi drawing; their configuration, weights, sights, etc are completely foreign in appearance to the average person and they are limited to approximately 17.5 pounds. The 3 positions are: Prone, Standing & Kneeling. Time limits vary from approximately 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes per shot. Course of fire over 2 days is 120 shots + 10 shot final (Finals - see Air Pistol). Possible score of 1200 + 109 - never attained. Expect scores as high as 1179 + 100.
Discipline 3 POSITION SMALLBORE SPORT RIFLE 22 LR Cartridge:
This match is fired by WOMENonly with everything the same as Men's 3 Position except 60 shots + 10 finals. Possible score of 600 + 109 - never attained. Expect scores as high as 592 + 97.
Discipline RUNNING TARGET (FORMERLY RUNNING BOAR) .177 Pellet.
This match is fired by MEN only at 10 meters with the target 10 ring being 6mm. This match is the only one that permits optical sights. The rifle scope permitted can be a maximum of 4 X and contain 2 additional aiming
reticles in addition to the standard center reticle. Those 2 other reticles may be dots, circles, diamonds, etc but the preferred is usually posts. Those posts may be adjusted up, down, left & right independently of the center reticle or each other and this permits a built-in lead because the shooter and the target are both moving at the same time. The target moves out of and into a "house" on either side and therefore goes both left and right, with a target exposure opening of 2 meters. During the Slow Run it is exposed for 5 seconds at which time the competitor must raise the rifle from a hip position upon appearance of the target, track the target and fire before it is out of sight. During the Fast Run the target is exposed for 2 1/2 seconds. Course of fire is 30 shots on the Slow & 30 shots on the Fast for a total of 60 shots + finals for the top 6 competitors. Finals are fired on the Fast run targets. Clothing is regulated. Standing position. Possible score is 600 + 109 - never attained. Expect scores as high as 581 + 100.
Discipline TRAP 12 Gauge Shotgun:
This match is fired by MEN with a mounted to shoulder of the Shotgun and it is permitted to fire 2 shots at each target. Targets are 110mm (4 1/2") at a speed of over 90 MPH. Keep in mind that both target & shooter are moving and therefore excellent vision, hand & eye coordination are required. Men will fire at 125 targets + 25 in the finals for the top 6. Perfect score is 125 +25. Expect scores as high as 97 + 25. Standing position. An exception to American Trap is that each of the 5 stations are served by 3 traps for a total of 15 traps in the "bunker" and the competitor never knows which of the 3 traps at each station will release the target.
WOMEN fire the same course and conditions as Men except 100 + 25 targets. Possible score of 100 + 25. Expect scores as high as 92 + 23.
Discipline DOUBLE TRAP 12 Gauge Shotgun:
This match is similar to Trap except 2 targets are thrown at once and therefore only 1 shot at each target. Target size same, speed 50 MPH. MEN 150 targets + 50. Possible score of 150 + 50. Expect scores as high as 144 + 50. Standing position.
WOMEN Same as Men's Double Trap except 120 targets + 40. Possible score of 120 + 40. Expect scores as high as 115 + 37.
Discipline SKEET 12 Gauge Shotgun:
Skeet differs from the Trap discipline in that there are 2 houses - high & low - from which the targets are thrown at 55 MPH, there are more positions and targets are thrown in singles and doubles. Shotgun starting position is with gun at the hip and there is a variable time delay of up to 3 seconds before the target appears. MEN fire at 125 targets + 25 in finals. Possible score of 125 + 25. Expect scores as high as 123 + 25. Standing position.
WOMEN Same as Men's Skeet except 100 targets + 25. Possible score of 100 + 25. Expect scores as high as 96 + 25.