Shooting EventsGun Library ArticleShooting Events


American Firearms and Sporting Shooting Events

There are various types of competitive sports that involve the use of diverse guns, including firearms and air guns. People enjoy taking part in competitions that require the use of accuracy and speed, such as hunting. Shootings competitions have been a part of the Olympics since the 1800s and amazingly as it seems at that time one of the main events was the shooting of live pigeons. Today, shooting sports are arranged into categories depending on the type of firearm used or also after the chosen target.

Americans were always interested in shooting sporting competitions and due to this interest they’ve formed the National Rifle Association in the year of 1871. Their intention was to contribute to the progress or growth of rifle shooting, being one of the first aims to start national competitions. The next year, the first rifle range was opened in Greedmoor and it soon became the place where many sporting shooting competitions were held. As these competitions became more and more popular, another location was picked at Camp Perry. It took another 20 years for the first rifle clubs to be formed by prestigious universities and military academies. The National Matches were held since 1906 up to this very day, with over 1 million youngsters participating in shooting sporting competitions.

There are many popular shooting sporting competitions in America, some using military and sniper rifles, other civilian versions. Also, a lot of people enjoy competitions where bullseye targets are used. There is the Service Rifle competition where the main guns used are from the military and the High Power competition where participants have the right to pick out whichever rifle they wish, provided they respect the rules of the competition. By far the most popular sporting shooting competition held in America is Cowboy Action Shooting. It was brought into existence in the 1980s, in California and today it is practiced worldwide. The firearms that are used in this competition include 19th century single-action revolvers, lever action rifles, double-barrel shotguns and pump-action shotguns. The competition is split into matches that require the use of two handguns, a shotgun and a rifle.

Cowboy Action Shooting is also called Western Action Shooting and it is the single most popular competition involving the use of American firearms. Contestants wear incredible old west costumes, similar to the ones that were used in the 19th century. One of the most interesting parts of this competition is that the competitors have the possibility of picking out an alias, demonstrating their creative thinking at the same time with their accuracy and speed.

These competitions usually have a specific set of rules, regarding both the scoring and the given penalties. Each event is called a stage and it requires 10 pistol rounds, 10 rifle rounds and 8 shotgun rounds. As for the targets, these are commonly made from steel making a loud noise when they are hit. When a target is missed, the contestant is given time penalties, the winner being the competitor with the fastest time.

As for the other type of scoring, the rank point, the winner of the competition is decided depending on the rank for each stage and the lowest score wins. Cowboy Action Shooting competitions rely heavily on safety rules, keeping all guns unloaded until the shooter enters the shooting stages. After the specific stage is finished, the shooter proceeds to the unloading table where the firearms are unloaded under the supervision of the Range Officer. Safety is a very important issue for these sporting shooting events and the unloading process is carefully supervised. The time of each shooter is recorded, adding missed targets or any penalties, closely observed by three judges.

The whole atmosphere resembles the old west, with contestants wearing costumers and all the décor being made according to history. The whole competition is an incredible adventure and it manages to demonstrate the credit people give to the American firearm history. No matter if they have to shoot in the most awkward positions or carry sacks of gold while shooting various targets, they still enjoy it. The diversity of props used in these competitions make them even more popular, the participants feeling themselves attracted by the different stages they have to go through with coaches, wagons and even old salon doors.

Cowboy Action Shooting is not the only popular shooting sporting competitions.

While participating in these competitions, shooters can fire their shots with fixed or adaptable sights, using black powder or smokeless powder. They can choose from revolvers, double barrel or lever action shotguns. And as these competitions are all about having fun, competitors race and show their skills in duels or single matches. Men, women and children all can participate in such sporting shooting competitions, using as it was already said, a wide variety of firearms and ammunition.

There are many events held throughout entire America, reminding Americans of how proud they should be of their firearms and the famous gun inventors. Handgun shooting has emerged in the last couple of years, being also included in the Olympics. In some cases, it is included in Cowboy Action Shooting and even with muzzle loading. Also, there are certain sporting competitions requiring the use of handguns. These are called metallic silhouette shooting and they mainly simulate hunting, contestants being asked to shoot at the animal’s forms that appear. Shotgun shooting is also widely encountered, especially in the famous competition Sporting Clays, having the most incredible variety of targets available.

As everyone already knows, action shooting is completely different versus other traditional sporting shooting competitions. It is alive, wild and exciting, involving the use of a variety of firearms, dressing up in costumes and taking part in different sceneries. Other popular shooting competitions include 3-gun shooting events, using three particular firearms: rifle, handguns, shotguns and submachine gun shooting events. These competitions have started somewhere around 1980s and are even more popular today. They challenge the shooter to provide his skills and they represent a more exciting form of reenactment.

Practical shooting is a generic name given for a wide variety of competitions requiring the use of firearms in America. They basically test one’s accuracy and speed, using rifles, handguns or shotguns. Shooters participate in different stages, undergoing careful observation and scoring systems. Penalties are given for each mistake and every contestant makes his own show. And the best thing about these competitions is that they teach people about the use of firearms. They observe how each gun is used and they learn in some way important notions about self defense. Practical shooting may have started as a training experiment but today it encompassed diverse American competitions, being more than well known. Important competitions have been held since the 1950s and participants always enjoyed participating in events where accuracy and speed are the most important abilities required.

Modern sporting shooting competitions combine the training with the challenge provided by a contest. One example is the one of Police Society, offering handgun shooting competitions. And there are many examples of shooting competitions and events that maintained their popularity during many years, including bulls eye that requires the use of center-fire and rim-fire caliber pistols, plus automatic revolvers. Americans have certainly every right to be proud of their firearm history and sporting shooting competitions! These competitions are not necessarily about winning, they are all about enjoying a nice shooting event and remarking how truly wonderful these firearms are!