Shooting is the act or process of firing rifles, shotguns or other projectile weapons such as bows or crossbows. Even the firing of artillery, rockets and missiles can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman. Shooting can take place in a shooting range or in the field in hunting, in shooting sports or in combat.

Technique and safety considerations

Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of weapon used (from a handgun to a sniper rifle), the distance to and nature of the target, the required precision and the available time. The prone position, the kneeling position and the standing position offer different amounts of support for the shooter.

The utmost consideration, "and one which takes precedence over everything else", is gun safety. Like many activities such as mountain climbing, skiing, or sky-diving, there is an element of danger involved. And especially here, this danger demands a sober understanding and respect for firearms and the specific rules for the safe handling of them. This is compounded by the fact that the danger can easily extend beyond the participants – a stray bullet can injure or kill people other than those actually firing or handling the arms involved.

Practical uses

Shooting is used for hunting upland game birds such as grouse or pheasant, rabbits, deer hunting or culling, deer stalking or other wild game animals. Sometimes "shooting" refers to the hunting activity itself.

Shooting obviously also has uses in warfare such as sniping and close quarters battle, self-defense, crime, gun violence and law enforcement. Duels were sometimes held using guns. Shooting without an actual target has applications such as celebratory gunfire, 21-gun salute or firing starting pistols, incapable of releasing actual bullets.

Competitive shooting

Marksmanship has inspired competition, and in several countries rifle clubs started to form in the 19th century. Soon international shooting events evolved, including shooting at the Summer Olympics (from 1896) and World Championships (from 1897). The International Shooting Sport Federation still administers Olympic and non-Olympic rifle, pistol, shotgun and running target shooting competitions, although there is also a large number of national and international shooting sports controlled by unrelated organizations.

ee also

*History of Firearms
*Gun politics

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