Shooting Sports – Part 1

In this blog we will be looking at the different kinds of guns and the type of sports that they are used in.  Basically, to some degree, there are three different types of guns used in sports: rifles, pistols and shotguns; and everything else is a variation on these three.


Rifles are classed as shoulder firearms, they have long barrels and rifled bores. Mostly you need two hands to handle a rifle and they are very well-liked guns in sports. Popular sports using rifles are gallery shooting, four position small bore, high power shooting, bench rest shooting, biathlon, field and target shooting, etc.


Pistols are classed as handguns, generally they are used for shorter range shooting sports and are not as accurate as rifles. Popular sports using pistols include the modern pentathlon, metallic silhouette shooting and cowboy mounted shooting.


Another shoulder firearm, that is double barreled and smooth bore. Similar to rifles, they can be pump-action or single-shot. They are very popular in countries that have outlawed handguns and are used in clay pigeon shooting and other practical shooting.

Competitive Shooting – Shotguns

There are three real events that utilize the shotgun in sports. And all three involve the use of clay targets, but it is the way that the targets are launched into the air that differentiates between the events, and these include Skeet Shooting, Trap Shooting and Sporting Clay Shooting.

Skeet Shooting – this is when the targets are fired from two opposite directions, they cross in the air and the shooter can display his skills in shooting both targets. The difficulty is to change direction quickly so that you can hit both moving targets.

Trap Shooting – clay targets get thrown up in the same direction as the shooter is facing but at different heights. This gives the shooter a more difficult set of targets to hit, as they are coming at various heights and different speeds towards him. In this particular task, the shooter has to make fast decisions on which target to shoot at and when.

Sporting Clay Shooting – if you are watching this sport as a spectator for the first time, it will seem like complete mayhem. The targets are launched into the air from different angles, speeds and heights, mostly moving very fast to simulate wild birds taking flight. The skill and reaction of the participant in tested with this competition.

Competitive Shooting – Pistols

Both pistols and rifles are used in Cowboy Action Shooting, the idea behind the sport is to replicate the era of the American Cowboy, circa 1800s. This fun event sometimes uses antique guns and traditional period clothes, this pastime is extremely popular in the west of America which is where the cowboy plied his trade.

In part two of this blog we continue our look at the different types of sports that utilizes the pistol, rifle and shotgun. We see how they all vary in difficulty compared to each other, and, in particular, the competitive shooting of the pistol and rifle. The controversy of owning a gun can be mitigated in the world of sports, and if the firearm is protected and safely contained, then there is no doubt that shooting is a valid sport.