|| firing with rifle, shotgun, pistol, or revolver at
stationary or moving targets. The term shooting is also used in Great
Britain to mean small-game hunting . In the 19th cent. the sport of
rifle shooting became increasingly popular in England and in the United
States, where the National Rifle Association (NRA) was formed (1871)
to standardize the rules for rifle marksmanship. Matches were arranged
and trophies offered. Pistol and revolver events were added in 1900.
Shooting events have been included in the Olympic games since 1896;
separate men's and women's events were established in 1984.
Among the Olympic events are pistol shooting at 50 m (164 ft), rifle
shooting at 300 m (984 ft), trapshooting and skeet, and small-bore
rifle shooting. NRA-sponsored tournaments are divided into sections
for small-bore rifles, high-power rifles, pistols, and revolvers.
In small-bore rifle shooting the targets range in distance from 50
ft to 200 yd (15.24-182.88 m), and in pistol and revolver shooting
from 50 ft to 50 yd (15.24-45.72 m). For long-range rifle marksmanship,
targets from 200 to 1,000 yd (182.88-914.4 m) are used. A shooting
target is made of black-on-white cardboard and is composed of a bullseye
(black) and several concentric circles. Competitors shoot from four
positions with the rifleprone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Matches
in which competing teams exchange scores by telegraphic and postal
facilities are common.
Trapshooting with shotguns began in England in the 19th cent. To simulate
the flight of game birds, ˇ°clay pigeonsˇ± (originally made of clay
but now molded of silt and pitch in the shape of saucers) are hurled
from a mechanical contrivance (the trap). The distance between the
shooter and the target varies from 16 to 25 yd (14.63-22.86 m); a
12-gauge gun is preferred. Trapshooting was adopted in the United
States in the late 19th cent., and in 1900 the American Trapshooting
Association was organized. Annual championship matches are held at
Skeet, in its early years called ˇ°round the clockˇ± shooting, was devised
(1910) by C. E. Davies of Andover, Mass. The name, chosen in a magazine
contest, is an old Scandinavian form of the word shoot. Two trapshooting
devices hurl ˇ°pigeonsˇ± at and over each other from 40 yd (36.58 m)
apart. The marksman shoots at the moving target from different stations
on the perimeter of a semicircle connecting the traps. Guns used are
12-, 16-, 20-, and 28-gauge and .410 bore. In skeet matches 25 ˇ°pigeonsˇ±
are thrown, of which 8 are hurled in pairs.
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