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ISSF Events | National Shooting Association

The sport of silhouette shooting had its origin in Mexico when it became politically incorrect to use live animals for shooting contests. Steel cutouts of various animal shapes were tried, and modified to what is the standard today.  For complete history of the beginning of silhouette, read The Gun Digest Book of Metallic Silhouette Shooting by Elgin Gates.

 The targets consist of chickens, pigs, turkeys, and sheep (rams). All shooting is done in standing position. No shooting jackets or artificial support allowed. Shotgun type vests are allowed. Shooting is done in stages of 5 shots, with two stages for each set of animal targets, firing one shot at each target left to right, one point for each hit. Shooters are limited to 2.5 minutes for the 5 shots. A match usually consists of 40 shots.

There are 4 different rifle disciplines, small bore, high power, black powder cartridge, and air rifle.


ISSF – National Shooting Association

Small Bore Rifle: .22 rim fire only. Distance of targets are: chickens; 40 meters, pigs; 60 meters, turkeys; 77 meters and rams; 100 meters.

Standard rifle: maximum weight 10 lbs. 2 oz. Any safe trigger, but not double set. Any sight, bottom of scope not more than 2 inches above receiver. Stock dimensions: max. Distance from line of bore to toe of stock – 7 inches; max. depth of forend – 2.5 inches.

Hunting rifle: maximum weight – 8.5 lbs. Single stage, 2 lb minimum trigger. Any sight, bottom of scope not more than 1.5 inches above receiver. Sporting weight barrel, conventional hunting stock. Basically, any store bought sporter.

There are special small bore silhouette rifles manufactured by Anschutz, Walther, and others, but many shooters will customize these and other less specialized rifles to suit their personal preference. In the hunting rifle, the most common makes you will see on the firing line are Remington model 541, and Anschutz 54 and 64 series hunting rifles.

Most successful shooters will use target grade ammunition from various manufacturers as Eley, RWS, Lapua or Federal. It will be more consistent than the less expensive ammo commonly sold in stores. Scopes should be in the 10X to 24X range with target knobs for adjustments.

High power rifle: Minimum bore of 6mm. Distances and targets are five times that of small bore rifle.

Standard rifle: Same as small bore.

Hunting rifle: Same as small bore, except maximum weight of rifle is 9 lbs.

High power is more involved as there are more choices for calibers, and pretty well everyone hand loads their ammunition. Hand loading reduces cost of ammo and tailors it to this specific use. Magnum calibers are discouraged from use, both from the aspect of possible target damage and excessive recoil. A rifle with to much recoil does nothing to help one’s marksmanship. Most common calibers are 7mm/08 Rem., 7mm BR, 6.5X55 Mauser, .308 Win., and .243 Win. Most any rifle, bullet combination will knock down the chickens, pigs and turkeys, but the rams are a different story. These critters weigh about 50 pounds, and at 500 meters, bullets loose a lot of energy. If your load is not up to the job, you will hit some and not knock them down. Which means a miss is scored. So heaver match bullets are selected for those targets. In 6.5 mm a 140 grain match bullet will work fine. For 7mm a 160 grain; 30 calibers, at least a 168 is required. The .243’s have been successful in that it is so pleasant to shoot, a competitor generally shoots better with it than a heaver caliber, and will hit more of the targets. It will lose some rams, but with a higher count on the others, it evens out.

Black Powder Cartridge Rifle: Distance same as high power. Chickens are shot off hand, others shot in any position except bench rest. Crossed sticks are allowed. Time allowed is 5 minutes for each 5 shots.

A hunting or military style rifle, single shot, originally made for black powder cartridges, of United States manufacture prior to 1896 and being typical of the era. Replicas thereof, regardless of origin of manufacture, are permitted. Hammer must be exposed. Maximum weight – 12 lbs. 2 ozs.  Open or peep sights mounted on barrel or tang.  No modern type or scopes allowed. Cast or swaged bullets of lead or lead alloy only, no jacketed or gas checked bullets allowed. And of course, black powder or pyrodex for propellant.

The most common rifles used here are the 45-70 and 40-65 in single shot falling block actions as Sharps, and rolling block actions like Remington.

Air Rifle: Distance and targets are one-half that of small bore.

Target Air Rifle: Any unaltered factory target air rifle. Adjustable butt plate must be centered; adjustable cheek piece must not be more than 1.5 inches above lowest position. Any sights allowed.

Sporter Air Rifle: Any unaltered factory sporter air rifle that is or was a catalogue item, readily available to general public. Weight not more that 11 pounds. Rifles utilizing pre-charged systems, other than 12 gram disposable CO2 units are prohibited. Any sights.

ISSF National shooting Association declares these events for everyone hope you its a useful article for you, keep visiting Shoot X shooting academy’s blog for information.

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