Metallic silhouette


Metallic silhouette

Metallic silhouette shooting is a group of target shooting disciplines that involves shooting at metal cutouts representing game animals at varying distances. Metallic silhouette shooting can be done with airguns, black powder firearms, modern handguns, or modern rifles. The targets used are rams, turkeys, pigs, and chickens, which are cut to different scales and set at certain distances from the shooter depending on the specific discipline.

Governing bodies

There are currently two major governing bodies; the National Rifle Association covers all types of silhouette shooting in the United States, while the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) covers handgun silhouette shooting internationally. There are some minor differences between NRA and IHMSA rules, but it is possible to compete in both with the same equipment.

History

Metallic silhouette is descended from an old Mexican sport, dating back to the early 1900s, where live game animals were staked out at varying distances as targets. By 1948, metal cutouts of the animals were used instead of live animals, and the first metallic silhouette match was held in Mexico City. Because of its Mexican roots, the silhouettes are often referred to by their Spanish names, Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey), and Borrego (ram).

Course of fire

Targets are set up in groups of 5 of each kind, with a silhouette's width between targets, laid out at the required distances for the given match. Each group of targets must be shot left to right; if a target is missed then the next shot is taken at the next target. Any target hit out of order is considered a miss. Targets are engaged in order of distance: chickens, pigs, turkeys, rams. The target must be knocked down or pushed off the target stand in order to score a hit; even a shot ricocheting off the ground in front of the target will count if it takes down the correct target. Shooters are allowed to have a spotter with them, who watches where the shots land and advises the shooter on corrections to make.

All disciplines require a minimum of 10 shots at each type of target, for a minimum of 40 shots per match; normal matches are 40, 60, 80, or 120 shots. To score a hit, the target must be knocked off its stand, so each cartridge used must provide sufficient inertia to knock the heavy metal targets over. Scores are recorded as the number of hits per rounds fired, so 30 hits with 40 shots would be a score of 30x40.

A tie can be broken in one of two ways: A sudden death shoot-off, used at all National and large regional competitions and for the overall match winner. Master class and AAA shooters would shoot at Turkeys, AA class shoot at Rams, A shoots at Chickens and B class shoots at Pigs. To save time and effort, a reverse animal count can also be used (number of hits on hardest animal to easiest), Whoever hits the most Turkeys would be the winner. If a tie still exists whomever hit the most Rams would be the winner. This would continue to Chickens and finally Pigs.

Equipment

Silhouette shooting with modern rifles is split into categories by weight, so that heavier target rifles with bull barrels (see accurize) were not competing against lighter hunting rifles. The basic NRA rifle classes are:

*High power rifle, light
*High power rifle, heavy
*Smallbore rifle, light
*Smallbore rifle, heavy
*Black powder cartridge rifle
*Open Air Rifle
*Target Air Rifle
*Sporter Air Rifle

All but the black powder classes allow any type of non-laser sights, and high power telescopic sights are normally used.

NRA pistol

NRA pistol classes are:

*Long Range Pistol
*Long Range Pistol, Unlimited
*Hunter's Pistol
*Smallbore Hunter's Pistol
*Air Pistol

IHMSA

IHMSA Handguns are broken down by action type, sights, and caliber:

Positions include Standing or Freestyle. Freestyle can be shot in any position so long as the firearm does not touch the mat. Creedmoor and Dead Frog are the most common positions.

Small Bore (.22LR ONLY, 3/8 scale of full size targets, shot 25/50/75/100 Yards or Meters)

*Production (Shot Freestyle) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Revolver (Shot Freestyle) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Unlimited (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Unlimited Any Sights (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Standing (Shot Standing) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Unlimited Standing (Shot Standing) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed

Fifth Scale (.22LR ONLY, 1/5 scale of full size targets, shot 25/50/75/100 Yards or Meters)

*Unlimited (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Unlimited Any Sights (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed

Field pistol (Any straight walled pistol cartridge plus .22LR, .22 Magnum, .32-20, .22 Hornet, .25-20, .270 REN, 1/2 scale of full targets, shot 25/50/75/100 Yards or Meters)

*Standing (Shot Standing) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Unlimited Standing (Shot Standing) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed

Big Bore (Any round that does not do target damage, full size targets, shot 50/100/150/200 Yards or Meters)

*Production (Shot Freestyle) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Revolver (Shot Freestyle) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Unlimited (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Unlimited Any Sights (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Standing (Shot Standing) convert|4|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 10.75" barrel maximum, as manufactured grips/sights/frame
*Unlimited Standing (Shot Standing) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed

Half-Scale (Any round that does not do target damage, 1/2 scale of full size targets, shot 50/100/150/200 Yards or Meters)

*Unlimited (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, iron sights, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed
*Unlimited Any Sights (Shot Freestyle) convert|5|lb|abbr=on or lighter, any sights including scopes, 15" barrel maximum, modifications allowed

Air pistol (Need more information)

Positions

Rifle silhouette shooters generally shoot from an unsupported standing position, though blackpowder rifles may use shooting sticks in some competitions.

Handgunners may be required to shoot from an unsupported standing position (two hands may be used), or from a "freestyle" position. Freestyle includes some unusual positions, such as the Creedmore position, which is shot lying on the back, legs bent and feet flat on the ground, with the pistol resting on the shooter's right leg. In a freestyle position the pistol may only contact the shooter's body, no rests may be used (not even, in the case of the Creedmore position, the top of a boot).

There are also informal matches for special classes, like Cowboy rifles and pistols and vintage military surplus rifles.

Target layouts

All rifle shooting is done standing, with the firearm unsupported. The exception to this is black powder rifle; the ranges are the same as large bore rifle, but only chickens must be shot unsupported; all other targets may be shot from any position including crossed sticks, a bench may not be used. Pistol shooting, unless in a designated standing event, can be shot from any unsupported position. Like the any position pistol shooters, standing pistol shooters adopt odd positions in their quest for the most stable possible shooting position. Half scale standing pistol is the most difficult discipline; no one has come close to shooting a perfect 40x40. Standing big bore any sight pistol matches are often tied with perfect scores, and decided by a tiebreaker.

To allow shooting at ranges which may not have space for a full target layout, NRA rules allow the use of reduced scale pigs, turkeys and rams placed at the same distance as chickens. The scale will be reduced proportional to the change in distance, so the targets will cover the same angular distance as they would if set up at full range. Reduced scale matches fired at paper targets are also popular for informal competitions, especially for Internet based matches where the shooters may reside in different countries. These are generally fired with rimfires or airguns.

Targets for large bore use are 1/2" to 3/8" thick steel; small bore targets are 3/16" to 1/4" steel, and airgun targets are 1/8" steel, although some aluminium targets are produced.

Ranges may be measured in yards or meters, but all targets in a match must be set using the same unit of measure, and the shooters must be informed of the unit used. The exception is the new IHMSA Air Pistol discipline, which is in yards only.

ee also

*Shooting range
*Field Target, similar sport for air guns

References

* [http://www.nrahq.org/compete/silhouette.asp The National Rifle Association page] covering NRA rifle and pistol silhouette shooting.
* [http://www.ihmsa.org/ The International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association] (IHMSA} homepage


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