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shooting, 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 rifle—prone, 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 To simulate the flight of game birds, “clay pigeons” (originally made of clay but now molded of silt and pitch in the shape of saucers) are hurled from a mechanical contrivance (the trap).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 Vandalia, Ohio.

Skeet, in its early years called “round the clock” 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 “pigeons” 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 “pigeons” are thrown, of which 8 are hurled in pairs.


See J. Lugs, A History of Shooting (1968); S. Slahor et al., Shooting Guide for Beginners (1986); W. S. Jarrett, ed., Shooter's Bible (1989).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a shooting sport in which the targets are clay pigeons sprung from traps. The gunner stands at one of several stations located directly behind and a little to each side of a single trap or, in skeet, located along a semicircle with a trap at each end.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As a junior shooter I could usually win, provided my arch rivals Mark Hampton (now also a writer and well-known handgun hunter) and Leo Harrison III (still a great trapshooter) didn't beat me.
Years later Woolley, by then an avid trapshooter, beat everyone -- including men -- by breaking 25 out of 25 clay targets in Oregon's 1954 State Handicap Championship.
This was an odd mistake for an old trapshooter, because I prefer straighter stocks and higher-shooting guns.
Anyone seeking a solid shotgun for a serious collegiate trapshooter who might also like to shoot something other than trap would probably be better off with the Gynergy than with either of the other two.
It reminds me of another story of a seasoned trapshooter who had a similar point of impact problem with a new pump gun.
"The wind was a challenge," says Jack Gill, a trapshooter from Sioux Falls, S.D.
John Pilotte is an avid trapshooter who consistently racks up high scores in PVA National Trapshoot Circuit competitions.
Prior to the competition, Russell said, "It's been 27 years since I shot like this, and I'm not used to using a scope." The PVA trapshooter apparently quickly recalled skills from his 20 years in the U.S.
The high school-aged trapshooters competed on the resort's bunker trap fields, as they are scheduled to do in April 2013.
One solution was to adapt the Monte Carlo design (which had been used on shotguns by trapshooters) to rifle stocks.
They also donated $110,000 to the foundation for the Junior Trapshooters of Missouri Inc., with $100,000 going directly to the foundation.