Shooting sports are a recreational sport in which people compete on who possesses the most efficiency, accuracy, and overall mastery in the handling of firearms. These sports are held within strict rules and safety regulations. To be a master at this support, one needs endless practice, confidence, and steadiness.
Types of Competitive Shooting
The types of competitive shooting are divided into different categories by the type of firearm used. The competitors are tested on their precision and agility and their ability to hit the bullseye or clay target in either one or all three of the positions: prone, kneeling, standing. There are three main types of shooting competitions:
- Shotgun Shooting Events: Skeet, Trap and Sporting Clays are some popular shotgun events in shooting competitions.
- Pistol Shooting Events: Action shooting competitions, Cowboy, and Bowling Pins are included in this category.
- Rifle Shooting Events: Silhouette is a rifle shooting event where small and narrow targets are provided to shoot long-range.
Equipment Needed for Shooting Sports
Following equipment is needed if you want to practice to compete in a shooting competition:
This is self-explanatory. There are many different kinds of guns, rifles, and pistols used in competitive shooting sports which shall be explained in the next section.
Cases for ammunition
You may store your ammunition in hard or soft cases. For example, the AR-15, also known as “America’s Rifle,” is a widely used gun in competitive shooting sports. You can explore an AR-15 soft cases selection to find the best soft case to store your rifle.
Belts and Holsters/Slings
Depending on your choice of ammunition, you will need a sling or a belt to tuck it in in-between shots quickly. Holsters are required for pistols.
Targets are provided during competitions, but it is essential to have your targets and shoot range for practice. Whether you rent a shooting range or build your own, targets are crucial. There are different types of targets in shooting, for example, bulls-eye and clay targets.
Ear Plugs/Noise Canceling Earphones
High-quality earplugs or noise-canceling earphones are a worthy and essential investment. Guns make loud noises when they go off and can damage your eardrums. Noise-canceling earphones reduce the noise going into your ears by 30-40 decibels and hence are very beneficial.
Guns Used In Shooting Sports
Three different types of guns are used in shooting competitions:
- Handguns/Pistols (E.g Ruger MK IV, KelTec CP33)
- Shotguns (E.g Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon)
- Rifles (E.g AR-15 Rifles)
History of Shooting Sports
Shooting sports were held for the first time in the 1896 Athens Olympics, where 39 men from 7 different countries engaged in a series of pistol and rifle competitions. The World Shooting Championships were introduced in 1897 by the French shooting club “Lyon.” In 1907, the UIT (International Shooting Union) was developed by eight nations. The UIT is now recognized as the governing body for shooting events worldwide.
Shooting Events at the Olympics
The Olympics have evolved from the initial five events at the Athens Olympics back in 1896. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics hosted 15 competitive shooting events consisting of handgun, rifle, and shotgun events. The events were divided into men’s shooting, women’s shooting, and team events.
How to Improve Your Shooting Skills
Here are certain areas beginners should focus on if they want to improve their skills and be better shooters.
Improve your shooting stance:
Work on your posture; make sure you are not leaning backward, and your shoulders are not too tense. Keep your shoulders relaxed and your feet grounded so your body can sustain the recoil pressure better.
Practice pulling the trigger:
Pulling the trigger might seem simple and easy, but you must have the perfect handling and grip of the gun. If you don’t practice your grip and trigger pulling technique, you might miss your aim even if your alignment is perfect as your gun and hand will move.
Get gunsights to improve your target accuracy
Gunsights are gun accessories that come in various types that will help you aim your target better while practicing. Other than this, the more you practice with your gun, the more familiar you will become with it, and as a result, you will do better in competitions.
Shooting sports had existed for centuries, even before they were made part of large competitions and the Olympics. Like any sport, shooting has the equipment, rules, regulations, and safety measures. Different shooting events depend on the type of gun used in them. To improve one’s shooting skills, one must practice diligently and improve upon their weak area.