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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Friday, 3 March 2006
Guide to shooting

Shooting events at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games fall into three general categories.

Competitors shoot with either rifles, pistols or shotguns.

The guns come in many different shapes and sizes, and the type of target also varies from event to event.


In all pistol events, competitors earn points shooting at a 10-ring target. The winner is the one with the most points.

Pistol shooters use a standing position and must hold and fire the gun with one hand, with the wrist clearly free of support.

Scores range from one point for hitting the outside zone, to 10 for a hit in the 10 ring ('bull'). If a shot hits the line between two zones, the higher score is awarded.

There is a qualifying round and then, in the final, the 10 rings on the target are sub-divided into 10 score zones, with the highest score for a shot 10.9.

The final round and qualifying scores are added together to determine the winner.


Air pistol: They have a 4.55mm calibre with a maximum weight of 1500g. The calibre is the diameter of the bore of the firearm.

The pellet is propelled by air, either via an external cocking lever or by pre-compressed air or carbon dioxide cylinder.

Standard pistol: This is self-loading with 5.56mm calibre with maximum dimensions for barrel length, weight and sight radius specifications.

Centre Fire pistol: These are either a self-loading pistol or a revolver 7.62 to 9.65mm calibre. They have similar dimensional restrictions as the Standard pistol.


10m air pistol: Men complete 60 shots in 105 minutes and women have 40 shots in 75 minutes.

The shots are fired in the standing position at a target centre of 11.5mm at a distance of 10 metres.

The final of the best eight consists of 10 shots within 75 seconds per shot, and the score is evaluated in tenths with a central 10 being scored 10.9.

25m rapid fire pistol: This is 60 shots and is broken into two 30-shot segments. The 10 ring on the target is 100mm in diameter.

Each segment consists of two series of five shots in eight seconds, then two series of five shots in six seconds and finally, two series of five shots in four seconds.

The top six go through to the final which consists of four series of five shots in four seconds. The scores are evaluated in tenths with a central 10 being scored as 10.9

25m pistol: This is a combination of 30 precision shots and 30 rapid-fire shots, at a distance of 25 metres.

The centre of the target is 50mm for the precision stage. Six series of five shots each must be completed, each series in five minutes.

In the rapid-fire stage, the target's centre is 100mm. Six series of five shots each must be completed, with three seconds allowed for each shot with a break of seven seconds in between.

25m centre fire pistol: This is the same precision and rapid-fire combination as the 25m pistol.

25m standard pistol: The event is shot at 25 metres in three timed sequences of four series of 150 seconds for five shots, then four series of 20 seconds for five shots and finally four series of 10 seconds for five shots.

50m pistol: Competitors have 120 minutes to shoot 60 times at a target 50 metres away.

The centre of the target is 50mm, and the gun must be fired, single-handed, in the standing position.


There are thousands of shooting clubs and ranges in the UK.

Most clubs welcome anyone wanting to learn or to develop their shooting skills.

A good place to start is the British Shooting Sports Council website, which covers all shooting disciplines.

The International Shooting Sport Federation has good information covering the sport across the world.

The National Shooting Centre is based in Bisley, England, and covers all disciplines. Its website has details on courses and plenty of contacts and links.

For more specific information on pistol shooting and clubs, you can visit the National Smallbore Rifle Association's website.

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