Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Silhouette Shooting

Silhouette shooting is a sport that had its origins in Mexico and  became popular in the rest of the world after the 1940s. We will study this sport in this post.

The idea behind silhouette shooting is to shoot at metallic silhouettes of animals from various distances. Shooting may be done with black powder rifles, modern rifles, pistols, airguns etc. using a variety of calibers. The targets are shaped like various game animals.

Standard metallic silhouette targets. Click on image to enlarge. Public domain image.

The four target types are chicken, pig, turkey and sheep. Because of the Mexican origin of this sport, the targets are often called by their Spanish names: Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (sheep). The targets are usually made of steel plates and can take several shots. The targets may also be arranged to look left or right.

Multiple targets of each type are placed on the ground and the shooter has to shoot at them in order. A target is considered to be shot if the shooter hits it and knocks it down or pushes it off its stand. Even a shot that bounces off the ground and topples the target over is counted as a hit. If the shooter misses one target, they should take the next shot at the next target. Shooting a target out of order is considered a miss as well. Due to the irregular shape of the targets, it is possible that a shot might pass through without hitting the target, for instance, a bullet could pass through the legs of the pig or the sheep target without touching them. Scores are computed as number of targets hit vs. number of shots fired. The person who hit the most targets with the least shots wins.

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