Shooting is the act or process of firing rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

s, shotgun
A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug...

s or other projectile
A projectile is any object projected into space by the exertion of a force. Although a thrown baseball is technically a projectile too, the term more commonly refers to a weapon....

A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s such as bow
Bow (weapon)
The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.-Description:A bow is a flexible arc that shoots aerodynamic projectiles by means of elastic energy. Essentially, the bow is a form of spring powered by a string or cord...

s or crossbow
A crossbow is a weapon consisting of a bow mounted on a stock that shoots projectiles, often called bolts or quarrels. The medieval crossbow was called by many names, most of which derived from the word ballista, a torsion engine resembling a crossbow in appearance.Historically, crossbows played a...

s. Even the firing of artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

, rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

s and missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

s can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman
A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision, or a sharpshooter shooting, using projectile weapons, such as with a rifle but most commonly with a sniper rifle, to shoot at long range targets...

. Shooting can take place in a shooting range
Shooting range
A shooting range or firing range is a specialized facility designed for firearms practice. Each facility is typically overseen by one or more supervisory personnel, called variously a range master or "RSO – Range Safety Officer" in the United States or a range conducting officer or "RCO" in the UK...

 or in the field in hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, in shooting sports
Shooting sports
A shooting sport is a competitive sport involving tests of proficiency using various types of guns such as firearms and airguns . Hunting is also a shooting sport, and indeed shooting live pigeons was an Olympic event...

 or in combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....


Technique and safety considerations

Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of firearm used (from a handgun
A handgun is a firearm designed to be held and operated by one hand. This characteristic differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms from long guns such as rifles and shotguns ....

 to a sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

), the distance to and nature of the target
Bullseye (shooting competition)
Bullseye, also known as conventional pistol, is a shooting sport in which participants shoot handguns at paper targets at fixed distances and time limits. A number of organizations, including the NRA and Civilian Marksmanship Program in the United States, have established rules and keep records for...

, the required precision and the available time. Breathing and position play an important role when handling a handgun or a rifle. Some shooting sports, such as IPSC
International Practical Shooting Confederation
The International Practical Shooting Confederation is a shooting sport based on the concept of practical shooting. Accuracy, power and speed are all required to achieve a maximum score.-Founding and organization:...

 shooting, make a sport of combat style shooting. The prone position
Prone position
The term means to lie on bed or ground in a position with chest downwards and back upwards.-Etymology :The word "prone," meaning "naturally inclined to something, apt, liable," has been recorded in English since 1382; the meaning "lying face-down" was first recorded in 1578, but is also referred to...

, the kneeling position
Kneeling position
The kneeling position is a position for rifle shooting. There are no longer international competitions in pure kneeling shooting, but it is included as the last part of 300 metre rifle three positions, 300 metre standard rifle and 50 metre rifle three positions.It takes a very long time to achieve...

 and the standing position
Standing position
In shooting, the standing position, also known as "offhand", refers to shooting while standing. It is often regarded as the most difficult position. The rules vary depending on the shooting discipline. Generally, one must stand freely, without the aid of a rest or bench. Highpower rifle, smallbore...

 offer different amounts of support for the shooter. Holding the gun sideways
Side grip
The side grip is a technique for shooting a handgun in which the weapon is rotated about ninety degrees and held horizontally instead of vertically...

, as is sometimes seen in movies and on television, is poor gun handling; it makes the weapon likely to jam as any ejected case may fail to leave the weapon completely.

The utmost consideration for many shooters is gun safety
Gun safety
Gun safety is a collection of rules and recommendations that can be applied when handling firearms. The purpose of gun safety is to eliminate or minimize the risks of unintentional death, injury or damage caused by improper handling of firearms....

. 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
Ballistic trauma
The term ballistic trauma refers to a form of physical trauma sustained from the discharge of arms or munitions. The most common forms of ballistic trauma stem from firearms used in armed conflicts, civilian sporting and recreational pursuits, and criminal activity.-Destructive effects:The degree...

 other than those actually firing or handling the arms involved. At public ranges, the safety of all participants depends on the knowledge of everyone at the range.shooting is the best sport in the world

Practical uses

Shooting is used for hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 upland game bird
Upland game bird
Upland game bird is an American term which refers to those non-water fowl game birds hunted with pointing breeds, flushing spaniels, and retrievers...

s such as grouse
Grouse are a group of birds from the order Galliformes. They are sometimes considered a family Tetraonidae, though the American Ornithologists' Union and many others include grouse as a subfamily Tetraoninae in the family Phasianidae...

 or pheasant
Common Pheasant
The Common Pheasant , is a bird in the pheasant family . It is native to Georgia and has been widely introduced elsewhere as a game bird. In parts of its range, namely in places where none of its relatives occur such as in Europe , it is simply known as the "pheasant"...

, rabbits
Rabbiting is the sport of hunting rabbits, often using ferrets or dogs to track the prey and various trapping and shooting methods to catch them....

, culling
Culling is the process of removing animals from a group based on specific criteria. This is done either to reinforce certain desirable characteristics or to remove certain undesirable characteristics from the group...

, deer hunting
Deer hunting
Deer hunting is survival hunting or sport hunting, harvesting deer, dating back to tens of thousands of years ago. Which occurred though out Europe Asia and North America There are numerous types of deer throughout the world that are hunted.- New Zealand :...

 or other wild game animals, or shooting pest animals. Sometimes "shooting" refers to the hunting activity itself.

Shooting obviously is used in warfare, self-defense
Self-defense, self-defence or private defense is a countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one's property or the well-being of another from physical harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many...

, crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

, and law enforcement
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

. Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

s were sometimes held using guns. Shooting without a target has applications such as celebratory gunfire, 21-gun salute
21-gun salute
Gun salutes are the firing of cannons or firearms as a military or naval honor.The custom stems from naval tradition, where a warship would fire its cannons harmlessly out to sea, until all ammunition was spent, to show that it was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent...

 or firing starting pistol
Starting pistol
A starting pistol or starter pistol is a handgun or electronic toy weapon that is fired to start track and field races, as well as competitive swimming races at some meets. The loud report of the gun going off is a signal to the athletes to begin the event. Usually a cloud of smoke can be seen...

s, incapable of releasing 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
Shooting at the Summer Olympics
Shooting sports have been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since the birth of the modern Olympic movement at the 1896 Summer Olympics except at the 1904 & 1928 editions.-Men's:...

 (from 1896) and World Championships
ISSF World Shooting Championships
The ISSF World Shooting Championships are governed by the International Shooting Sport Federation. World Shooting Championships began in 1897, after the successful 1896 Summer Olympics, and although the ISSF was not founded until 1907, these early competitions are still seen by the organization as...

 (from 1897). The International Shooting Sport Federation
International Shooting Sport Federation
The International Shooting Sport Federation is an organization that governs international shooting sports. While far from the only such organization, it is the one that is a member of the International Olympic Committee and so it is in charge of the Olympic shooting events. Not all ISSF shooting...

 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.

See also

  • Gun politics
    Gun politics
    Gun politics addresses safety issues and ideologies related to firearms through criminal and noncriminal use. Gun politics deals with rules, regulations, and restrictions on the use, ownership, and distribution of firearms.-National sovereignty:...

  • History of Firearms
    History of firearms
    Gunpowder was invented in the 9th century and firearms in the 12th century in China. These inventions were later transmitted to the Middle East and to Europe.-Firearms in China:...

  • Wikibooks:Marksmanship
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting
    Clay pigeon shooting
    Clay pigeon shooting, also known as clay target shooting, and formally known as Inanimate Bird Shooting, is the art of shooting at special flying targets, known as clay pigeons or clay targets, with a shotgun or any type of firearm....

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