Overhead image of Handgun laying on top of paper target with multiple bullet holes in it

Shooting Sports Month Highlight: Bullseye Shooting

  • Joey Upper

August is National Shooting Sports Month!

In honor of this auspicious occasion, we’re going to spend some time looking at different aspects of shooting sports — maybe one will pique your interest!

Today, we’re going to take a look into one of the most basic forms of competition shooting: bullseye shooting.

Bullseye shooting is a category of competitive shooting in which shooters are given a fixed amount of time in which to put shots on a target as close to the center as possible.

This sport requires the use of slow, precision fire, and as such could easily been seen as one of the more daunting of shooting sports categories — we’re talking a lot of pressure, all at once.

At the same time, as mentioned before, this is a very basic form of competitive shooting, with a large emphasis placed on your shooting fundamentals: sight picture, trigger control, breath control. Because you have a long time relative to other shooting sports events, competitors should nail these basics, but even if you can master the pressure, you’re up against a myriad of similarly-skilled shooters hitting bulls-eyes left and right.

You can see some incredible bullseye shooting with the NRA precision pistol events, and a mass of International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) events.

Let’s take a look at what they have:

  • ISSF 10 Meter Air Rifle
  • ISSF 50 Meter Rifle Prone
  • ISSF 50 Meter Rifle Three Positions
  • ISSF 300 Meter Standard Rifle
  • ISSF 300 Meter Rifle Prone
  • ISSF 300 Meter Rifle 3 Positions

The shorter ranges listed above are shot with small-bore rifles, where the longer distances are shot with larger bore rifles. The ISSF also has multiple pistol events:

  • ISSF 10 Meter Air Pistol
  • ISSF 25 Meter Pistol
  • ISSF 25 Meter Standard Pistol
  • ISSF 25 Meter Rapid Fire Pistol
  • ISSF 50 Meter Pistol
  • ISSF 25 Meter Center-Fire Pistol

Those falling outside of the center-fire and air pistol events are shot in .22LR.

Shooting sports are not just a fun way for experienced shooters to strut their stuff — they’re a fantastic way to introduce new shooters to the world of firearms.

Precision marksmanship might not be the immediate entry point for someone unfamiliar with firearms — if it is, more power to them! — but because of its simple, straightforward nature, bullseye shooting, or simply practicing putting shots on paper, especially with low-recoil firearms, is an easy-to-grasp activity with a built-in metric for success without too much pressure out of the competitive spotlight.

Take time this month to catch up with that friend (or three) that has said they want to give shooting a chance, but haven’t yet gotten around to it. I promise, the time invested will be well worth-it.

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