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Competition Shooting; Metallic Silhouette Target Shooting, Bowling Pin or Falling Plate Shooting Matches & More

Shooting at the range appeals to many types of people; some may be hunters wanting to practice their long shot, others do it for their profession, and still others simply enjoy the activity as a stress reliever. There are various forms of shooting competition; some are attractive to indoor contests, while others are more appropriate to the outdoors. Today, we at Shooting Range Industries would like take a closer look at some competitive shooting activities.

Metallic Silhouette Target Shooting

A very popular sport is metallic silhouette shooting. Various animal shapes are cut from sheet metal and vary in size according to the range. Calibers from the humble the 22 up to large caliber rifles and pistols are used to knock over these targets. Indoors air-guns and .22 rim fire cartridges can be used. Even the black-powder fans can get their licks in too. This sport had its origins ‘south of the border’ in Mexico back in the 50’s and 60’s. It is a popular and addictive sport.

Bowling Pin or Falling Plate Shooting Matches

Indoors; bowling pin or falling plate is popular. In pin shooting you have to clear a table with bowling pins on top. They have to be knocked over to score. Falling plate completion involves round plate sized targets cut from steel. They are hinged, and again have to be knocked over to score. These two sports involve handguns and are adaptable to indoor ranges.

NRA Pistol Competition

Another form of shooting that is popular is NRA Pistol Competition. The course of fire is slow, timed and rapid fire. Three guns are used, all hand guns, usually semi-automatics. A .22 rimfire, centerfire, and a .45 caliber are used in three stages. Shot placement and time are considerations for the score. Standard bull’s eye targets are used. Ninety rounds are fired for a possible high score of 2700 points. Die hard shooters may opt for revolver(s) at the centerfire stage or engage with the .45 caliber pistol for both the centerfire and .45 stages. NRA pistol is an engaging and enjoyable sport.

Cowboy Action Shooting Events

Many outdoor ranges sponsor other sports. Cowboy Action Shooting is very popular. You dress in period clothing, adopt an alias and have fun. Revolver, shotgun and revolver caliber rifles are used, and is hosted by two organizations, SASS, Single Action Shooting Society and the National Congress of Old West Shootists or NCOWS.

Three Gun Shooting Competition

The other form of competition is similar but involves modern firearms. US Practical Shooters Association or USPSA shoots a three stage course with modern rifles, pistols and shotguns. As in all organized shooting there are many classes requiring firearms of a certain minimum power. These courses are dynamic and require a level of athleticism but represent another expanding and popular sport. The NRA also sponsors a version of the three gun sport using the pistol, shotgun and rifle combination.

Service Rifle Competition Shooting

The great outdoors also has service rifle shooting. There is the DCM or Director of Civilian Marksmanship that sets the standards for national matches. These utilize military rifles, specifically AR-16, M1a or M14 and M1 Garands. The other form is service rifle silhouette class. Military, usually surplus bolt action guns are used against the silhouettes at range. Minimum customization of the weapon is allowed.

Sporting Clays & Skeet Shooting

For shoot gunners, there are the traditional Sporting Clays, trap, Five Stand and skeet shooting. These are outdoor activities and many are run like clubs similar to golf. The pro’s sport some very expensive armament but you can compete with your bird gun to get started. An enjoyable afternoon can be spent at the clay range. This is a sport that appears subtly simple, but can take a lifetime to master.

Small Caliber & Long Range Precision Shooting

Small caliber shooting, usually .22 rim fire matches are popular and similar to the Olympic Game courses and some teams are sponsored by colleges. Long range precision shooting is of course an outdoor sport. Shot at from 300 to 1000 yards bench rest shooting offers a challenging engagement in shooting completion. Hand crafted ammunition is shot from specialized and customized rifles. This sport opens up another pastime, hand reloading of ammunition. Very little if any factory ammunition is shot in bench rest competition; hand loading is not an option. A lot of ‘wildcat’ ammunition shows up at bench rest matches.

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