All You Need to Know About Different Shooting Sports

All You Need to Know About Different Shooting Sports

If you think shooting is an easy sport, then think again. Shooting is a tense sport that requires enormous and composure skill. This sport requires strength and fitness, and it is an actual test of self-control. Shooting has been a part of Olympic sports since 1847, and it holds a history of rendering drama and intrigue. Here is all you need to know about shooting sports. 

What are shooting Sports?

Shooting sports refers to a group of recreational and competitive activities involving proficiency tests of speed, precision, and accuracy in shooting. Here shooting refers to the art of using different types of ranged firearms. It mainly refers to bows/crossbows and man-portable guns like airguns and fire guns. 

Shooting sport involves individual and team competition. The team performance is assessed on the basis of scores of individual members of the team. Due to the high shooting noise and impact of projectiles’ energy, different types of shooting competitions are usually conducted at permanent shooting ranges. Sometimes they are also conducted in temporary shooting fields in areas that are away from settlements. 

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Different Shooting Sports

As a sport, shooting demonstrates the control, accuracy, and speed of the shooter in aiming the determined targets using rifles and pistols. Different types of shooting sports are categorized by shooting distance, equipment, time limits, targets, and degrees of athleticism. Below mentioned are some common types of shooting sports. 

Gun Shooting Sports

One of the most popular sports competitions includes gun shooting sports. These shooting sports include shooting with either air guns or firearms. In this sport, air guns can include either rifles, handguns, or shotguns. Some of the common gun shooting sports include:

Bullseye Shooting

It is a category of pistol and rifle shooting sport. In this sport, the objective is to achieve maximum points by shooting on a round shooting target. The players need to hit as close to the middle as possible using slow precision fire. 

In this discipline, the main emphasis is placed on accuracy and precision through the trigger and breath control and sight picture. These sports include fixed and long time limits to allow the players to concentrate on the right shot. Bullseye shooting is a popular part of the Summer Olympic Games. An adequate amount of training is highly essential to become proficient in bullseye shooting. 

Field Shooting

Field shooting is also known as Terrain shooting. It involves a wide range of pistol and rifle shooting games which are usually shot using temporary shooting ranges in terrain. The shooting distances in this sport vary, and there is no fixed shooting distance. 

Field shooting involves shooting targets outdoors somewhere in the open fields or woodland. Therefore, it is known as field shooting. The targets are made of metal knock-down variety that is shaped in the silhouette of basic shapes like circles or diamonds. In this sport, the range of the target is not provided to the shooter. They have to determine it by eye or making use of the telescopic sights parallax feature, which makes it a complicated sport. 

Rapid Fire

This shooting sport is fun but challenging at the same time. Rapid-fire shooting is a pistol shooting sport that includes two rounds of 30 shots each. One round includes two series of five shots that are fired in four, six, and eight seconds. 

Clay Target

Clay target shooting sport is also called clay pigeon shooting. The sporting clay shooting includes shooting a firearm at specific flying targets, also known as clay targets or clay pigeons. The terminology used by clay shooters is often associated with times past when live-pigeons were used in the competition.  

Clay target shooting has around 20 different forms of competition known as disciplines. They are mostly grouped under the main categories of skeet, sporting, and trap. 

Sporting clay shooting has the biggest following. In this shooting sport, targets are thrown in a wide range of trajectories, speeds, angles, distances, and elevations. This sport was originally devised with the intent to revive live array shooting. Therefore, some of the common names used on sporting stands include driven pheasant, springing teal, crossing pigeon, bolting rabbit, or dropping duck. 

Practical Shooting

Practical shooting is also known as dynamic shooting or action shooting. It is a generic term that is applicable to different shooting sports in which speed is as important as precision. Many disciplines of this shooting sport include movement. Moreover, when handguns are involved, the targets are drawn from holsters. 

In this shooting sport, the competitors focus on uniting three main principles: speed, power, and precision using a firearm of a specific minimum power factor. The aim is to point as many shots as possible during the shortest amount of time. 

Though the scoring system differs between different organizations, each includes measuring the time in which the course is completed. There are also penalties for incorrect shooting. The courses are known as stages. This game is not only fun playing but also watching. 

Other Gun Shooting Sports

Some of the other gun shooting sports include:

  • Running Target
  • Long Range
  • Metallic silhouette
  • Benchrest
  • Western
  • Para shooting
  • Muzzleloading
  • Pickling
  • Competitions using service and factory firearms

Athletic Shooting Sports

The next type is athletic shooting sport. This one is a hybrid of normal shooting competitions and athletic sports or other non-shooting sports. Many of these shooting sports were borne from different military exercises that emphasize physical endurance. 

There are different athletic shooting sports. For instance, IBU Biathlon sport, which is a Winter Olympic sport, combines cross country skiing and shooting using 0.22 LR rifles. The other one is a bike biathlon which combines cycling and shooting. Modern pentathlon, which is a Summer Olympic sport, combines time shooting using an air pistol in the first five parts. You will be surprised to know that there is also an underwater shooting sport that combines underwater and shooting to test the ability to shoot to use a speargun. 

Bow Shooting Sports

It is one of the most popular shooting sports that include archery and crossbow. 


Modern competitive archery includes shooting arrows at a particular target for accuracy from distances or a set of distances. People who participate in archery are known as bowmen or archers. Moreover, the person who is an expert at archery is called a toxophilite. The most famous competitions across the globe are known as target archery. 


A crossbow is a ranged weapon that includes using elastic launching devices like a bow. It is made of a bow-like assembly which is known as a prod, which is mounted horizontally on an orinar frame called a tiller.

Dart Shooting Sports

It is a competitive sport in which two or more players throw small pointed missiles called darts on a round target called a dartboard. Dart players are called artists. If you are a beginner, you can learn to play around the clock dart, which is one of the most popular sports and best for beginners. 

Sport Blowgun

A blowgun is a simple ranged weapon that is made of a long narrow tube. It is used for shooting light projectiles like darts. Various competitions of sport blowgun are practiced across the globe. The standardization of competition is done on the basis of Fukiya. It is governed by the International Fukiyado Association.

This one is a 10-meter target shooting game that includes using a barrel caliber and a dart. In this game. Three darts are fired by each shooter, and at least one must stick at the target. 

Confrontational Shooting Sports

This one is a set of new team sports that includes using non-lethal ranged weapons which are safe to shoot at other individuals. Such games were not possible previously due to safety issues as bows and arrows are lethal and dangerous. However, these sports have started after the development of infrared technologies and newer airguns for safe confrontational disciplines. 

Olympic Dueling

Olympic dueling is an archaic sport that ought to safely emulate the practice of pistol dueling. It involved the use of specially made primer-fired pistols for the purpose of propelling wax bullets. It was a popular sport in France. 

Archery Tag

This one is a form of combat archery sport in which participants shoot each other using bow and arrows. The arrows are made with large foam tips. In order to avoid injuries, the participants have to wear protective face masks. Moreover, they have to use arrows less than 30pounds weight. 


In this competitive shooting sport, the players have to eliminate the players of the opposite time by hitting them with round, dry-filled pellets. The types of paintball vary but can include elimination, attacking a particular area, capturing the flag, and ammunition limits. This game was developed in 1980 and is now played at a formal sporting level. 

Final Words

Shooting sports test the accuracy, speed, and control of the shooter at aiming particular targets using guns like rifles and pistols. There are different types of shooting competitions like sporting clay shooting, rifle shooting sport, and many more. If fitness and strength are your forte, then shooting sports are the right pick for you. Tell us about your favorite shooting sport by dropping a comment. 

rashmi saini

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