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Shooting is the act or process of discharging a
projectile A projectile is a missile propelled by the exertion of a force In physics, a force is an influence that can change the motion (physics), motion of an Physical object, object. A force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (e ...

projectile
from a
ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficiency of activities such as hunting, ...
(such as a
gun A gun is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficien ...

gun
,
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

bow
,
crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an Elasticity (physics), elastic launching device consisting of a bow (archery), bow-like assembly called a ''prod'', mounted horizontally on a main frame called a ''tiller'', which is hand-held in a similar ...

crossbow
,
slingshot A slingshot (United States and Canada), catapult (United Kingdom), gulel (India), kettie (South Africa), or ging, shanghai, pachoonga (Australian and New Zealand) is normally a small hand-powered projectile weapon A weapon, arm or armament ...

slingshot
, or
blowpipe
blowpipe
). Even the acts of launching
flame A flame (from Latin ''flamma Flamma (lit. The Flame) was a Syrians, Syrian gladiator under the Roman Empire during the reign of Hadrian. He was one of the most famous and successful of his time. History How Flamma ended up as a gladiator is ...
,
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focused on the ability to breach defensive walls and fortifications dur ...

artillery
, darts,
harpoon A harpoon is a long spear A spear is a pole weapon A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat Close combat means a violent physical confrontation between two or more opponents at short range.''MCRP 3-02B: Close Combat'', Washington, ...
s,
grenade A grenade is an explosive weapon An explosive weapon generally uses high explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explo ...

grenade
s,
rocket A rocket (from it, rocchetto, , bobbin/spool) is a spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite alt=, A full-size model of the Earth observation satellite ERS 2 ...

rocket
s, and
guided missile In military terminology, a missile is a guided airborne ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching ...
s can be considered acts of shooting. When using a
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
, the act of shooting is often called firing as it involves initiating a
combustion Combustion, or burning, is a high-temperature exothermic redox chemical reaction between a fuel (the reductant) and an oxidant, usually atmospheric oxygen, that produces oxidized, often gaseous products, in a mixture termed as smoke. Combustion ...
(
deflagration Deflagration (Lat: ''de + flagrare'', "to burn down") is subsonic Subsonic may refer to: Motion through a medium * Any speed lower than the speed of sound within a sound-propagating medium * Subsonic aircraft, a flying machine that flies at air ...
) of chemical
propellant A propellant (or propellent) is a mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or " ...
s. Shooting can take place in a
shooting range A shooting range, firing range or gun range is a specialized facility, venue Venue is the location at which an event takes place. It may refer to: Locations * Venue (law) In law, the venue is the location where a case is heard. United St ...

shooting range
or in the field, in
shooting sports Shooting sports is a group of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The ...
,
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
or in
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
. The person involved in the shooting activity is called a shooter. A skilled, accurate shooter is a ''
marksman A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision shooting using projectile weapons (in modern days most commonly an accurized telescopic sight, scoped long gun such as designated marksman rifle or a sniper rifle) to shoot at high-value target ...

marksman
'' or ''
sharpshooter A sharpshooter is one who is highly proficient at firing firearms or other projectile weapons accurately. Military units composed of sharpshooters were important factors in 19th-century combat. Along with "marksman A marksman is a person who ...

sharpshooter
'', and a person's level of shooting proficiency is referred to as their ''
marksmanship A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision shooting Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, bow and arrow, bow, crossbow, slingshot, or blowgun, blowpipe). Even the acts of la ...

marksmanship
''.


Competitive shooting

Shooting 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 and
Winter Olympics The Winter Olympic Games (french: Jeux olympiques d'hiver) is a major international multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting Sporting may refer to: *Sport, recreational games and play *Sporting (neighborhood), in Ale ...
(from 1896) and
World Championships A world championship is generally an international competition open to elite competitors from around the world, representing their nations, and winning such an event will be considered the highest or near highest achievement in the sport, game, or ...
(from 1897). The
International Shooting Sport Federation The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) is the governing body of the Olympic shooting events in rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shootin ...
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. Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of firearm used (from a
handgun A handgun is a short-barrelled firearm that can be held and used with one hand. The two most common handgun sub-types in use today are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, although other handgun-types such as derringers and machine pistols als ...

handgun
to a
precision rifle A sniper rifle is a high-precision, long-range rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, ...
); the distance to and nature of the
target TARGET2 (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) is the real-time gross settlementReal-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money Image:National ...
; 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 shooting and
biathlon The biathlon is a winter sport#REDIRECT Winter sports#REDIRECT Winter sports Winter sports or winter activities are competitive sports or non-competitive recreational activities which are played on snow or ice. Most are variations of skiing, ...
also include movement. The prone position, kneeling position, and standing position offer different amounts of support for the shooter.


Hunting with guns

In the United Kingdom shooting often refers to the activity of
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
game birds Galliformes is an order (biology), order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey (bird), turkeys, chickens, Old World quail, quails, and other landfowl. Gallinaceous birds, as they are called, are important as seed dispersers ...
such as
grouse Grouse are a group of birds from the order (biology), order Galliformes, in the family (biology), family Phasianidae. Grouse are presently assigned to the Tribe (biology), tribe Tetraonini (formerly the subfamily Tetraoninae and the family Tetr ...

grouse
or
pheasant Pheasants () are birds of several genera within the subfamily (biology), subfamily Phasianinae, of the family (biology), family Phasianidae in the order (biology), order Galliformes. Though they can be found world over in introduced (and captive ...
s, or small game such as
rabbits Rabbits are small mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammali ...
, with guns. A shooter is sometimes referred to as a "gun". Shooting may also refer to the
culling In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechan ...
of
vermin Vermin ( colloquially varmint(s) or varmit(s)) are pests or nuisance animals that spread diseases or destroy crops A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer e ...
with guns.
Clay pigeon shooting Clay pigeon shooting, also known as clay target shooting, is a shooting sport Shooting sports is a group of competitive Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or de ...
is meant to simulate shooting live
pigeon Columbidae () is a bird family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and o ...

pigeon
s released from traps, after doing so was banned in the United Kingdom in 1921.


Weapons

Shooting most often refers to the use of a
gun A gun is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficien ...

gun
(
firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water guns/ cannons, spray guns for painting ...
or
air gun The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (ph ...
), although it can also be used to describe discharging of any ranged weapons like a
bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

bow
,
crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an Elasticity (physics), elastic launching device consisting of a bow (archery), bow-like assembly called a ''prod'', mounted horizontally on a main frame called a ''tiller'', which is hand-held in a similar ...

crossbow
,
slingshot A slingshot (United States and Canada), catapult (United Kingdom), gulel (India), kettie (South Africa), or ging, shanghai, pachoonga (Australian and New Zealand) is normally a small hand-powered projectile weapon A weapon, arm or armament ...

slingshot
or even blow tube. The term "weapon" does not necessarily mean it is used as a combat tool, but as a piece of equipment to help the user best achieve the goal of their activities. Shooting is also used in
warfare War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...

warfare
,
self-defense Self-defense (self-defence primarily in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial ...
,
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...

crime
and
law enforcement 'Law enforcement'' is the activity of some members of government who act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterrence (legal), deterring, rehabilitation (penology), rehabilitating, or punishment, punishing people who viol ...
.
Duel A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two people, with matched weapons, in accordance with agreed-upon rules Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activit ...

Duel
s were sometimes held using guns. Shooting without a target has applications such as
celebratory gunfireCelebratory gunfire is the shooting of a firearm into the air in celebration. It is culturally accepted in parts of the Balkans, Russia, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Guatemala and the United States, even where illegal. Common occa ...
,
21-gun salute A 21-gun salute is the most commonly recognized of the customary gun salutes that are performed by the firing of cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 2 ...
, or firing
starting pistol A starting pistol or starter pistol is a blank (cartridge), blank handgun that is fired to start track and field racing, races, as well as competitive swimming races at some meets. Starter guns "cannot fire real bullet, ammunition" without first be ...
s, incapable of releasing bullets.it is also used as personal weapon in ancient time it is used in form of bow-arrow and in modern as guns crossbow and more


Restrictions

In many countries, there are restrictions on what kind of firearm can be bought and by whom, leading to debate about how effective such measures are and the extent to which they should be applied. For example, attitudes towards guns and shooting in the United States are very different from those in the United Kingdom and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
.


Canting

Canting is an alignment issue that occurs in shooting. Because scopes need to be mounted to a rifle in perfect parallel to the barrel and to ensure the cross hairs sit exactly where a bullet will go (POI), a small variation of even ¼ of one degree can cause great problems at longer ranges. A locking bar holds the mount in a perfect 90 degree to the rail system whereas a non-locking bar system can cant to the left or right. This canting (sometimes called jamming of surfaces) is caused by not matching the clamping surface perfectly to the rail. When tightened down, stress exerted on the base can cause the scope to be off from the POI by as much as several feet at 100–200 yards and gets progressively worse as range increases. Lower grade materials used in manufacturing of scope bases, inconsistent design tolerances from one manufacturer to another and other factors can cause twisting stress and cause the mount to move out of parallel with the rifle barrel. The locking bar system allows for even stress to be distributed and prevent canting of the scope mount. Another form of scope canting is caused by the rings themselves. Some mounts either have two or four screws on top of the scope ring that hold the scope in place. With the two-screw style, the ring usually aligns well but does not have the strength of the four screw system. When tightening the screws of the four screw type, the scope can twist in place, causing misalignment.


Shooting positions

The four basic " NRA" or "competition" or "field" shooting positions, in order of steadiness/stability (the closer you get to the ground, the steadier you are), are ,
sitting Sitting is a basic action and resting position in which the body weight is supported primarily by the bony ischial tuberosities The ischial tuberosity (or tuberosity of the ischium, tuber ischiadicum), also known colloquially as the sit bones ...
,
kneeling Kneeling is a basic human position Human positions refer to the different physical configurations that the human body The human body is the structure of a Human, human being. It is composed of many different types of Cell (biology), cel ...
, and
standing Standing, also referred to as orthostasis, is a position in which the body is held in an ''erect'' ("orthostatic") position and supported only by the feet. Although seemingly static, the body rocks slightly back and forth from the ankle The a ...
(also called "offhand"). Hythe positions (Hythe School of Musketry was formed in 1853 to teach the army how to use the rifle in kneeling and standing positions), American and French positions were known variations of the kneeling and standing positions utilised by their respective armies. Another common, but aided, shooting position is the bench shooting position. There are also numerous shooting aids from monopods to tripods to sandbags and complete
gun cradle A gun is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons are used to increase the efficacy and efficienc ...
s.


Prone

* The steadiest and by far the easiest to master. Done correctly. it can be as steady as shooting from a bench rest. * Probably the least used in the field because, all too often, vegetation gets in the way and obscures the view. * Variations: ** classic – with the body at an angle (left for right-handed people, right for left-handed) ** modern – with the body more directly behind the rifle with the shooter's strong side leg slightly bent. * Test for correct body position: wrap your arm into the hasty sling and drop down into prone, sighting at the target. Close your eyes. When you open them you should still be aiming at the target. If you aren't, then your position is off. Also, if the shooter's sight picture returns after the firm kicks to each muzzle, then body alignment is good. If not, adjustment is needed. * Usual advice is to use a sling for this position * Aided prone position – prone with pack or bipod


Sitting

* This position is relatively easy to get into, but more difficult to get out of quickly and provides clearance for low to medium-height obstacles that would interfere with the prone position. * Proper sitting position is extremely difficult to master. * Variations: ** open leg ** cross leg (aka pretzel style) – the steadiest sitting position. ** cross ankle * The test for correct body position is the same as prone. * Usual advice is to use a sling for this position. * Aided sitting position – sitting with tripod


Kneeling

* There were numerous variations of the position throughout history. * Best for times when shooter needs to shoot quickly, but it is a bit too far (or he is breathing a bit too hard) to risk a shot from the standing position. * Considerably steadier than standing position. * For most people it is not nearly as steady as sitting but it is much faster to get in and out of. ** For some people this position can be almost as steady as the prone position. * Strong-side knee is on the ground, weak-side knee and foot are pointing at the target while weak-side knee is supporting the elbow (It is important that the bony tip of the elbow not be planted on top of the knee cap – bone-on-bone contact allows for too much movement or it can slip.) * Variations: ** sitting on strong-side foot ** with strong-side foot flat ** sitting on the strong-side foot's heel with the toes grounded * Usual advice is to use a sling for this position. *Aided kneeling position – kneeling with crossed sticks or tripod


Standing (or Offhand)

* The quickest position to assume and is useful for quick shots and for shooting over objects. * By far is the least steadiest of all positions. A common trait is a bit of sway in this position. The trick is learning to control the sway and fire when the shooter is at his steadiest. Breathing exercises help in maintaining the balance of the body in this position. * The most difficult position to shoot from and to master. Mostly common among both air pistol and air rifle shooters shooting from different ranges (10m,25m,50m). * Stock fit is essential in standing – perhaps more than in any other position. Shooter needs to have his cheek firmly welded to the stock. * Variations: ** squared toward the target – advantages of this technique are that it allows the shooter to absorb the rifle's recoil much more effectively, to run the bolt and get back on target quickly. It also places the shooter in a more aggressive stance that allows him to move, in just about any direction, as his target requires. ** bladed stance of the rifle marksman * Usual advice is not to use the sling for support in this position. *Aided standing position **Standing with sticks and stones *** Three-legged shooting sticks are almost universal in Africa. *** Whatever shooter's comfortable range is for offhand shooting, sticks should double it.


Rice paddy squat in rifle shooting

The rice paddy squat (or rice paddy prone) position is a moderate-stability position that supports both elbows, making it more stable than kneeling yet keeping a high level of mobility. Its higher center of gravity will still be less stable than sitting or prone. It was a traditionally taught marksmanship position but lost popularity after the
Korean conflict The Korean conflict is an ongoing conflict based on the division of Korea Korea (officially the "Korean Peninsula") is a region in East Asia. Since 1945 it has been Division of Korea, divided into the two parts which soon became the two ...
. The heel-down squat/kneel combination has also been used to fire weapons – see image.


Back (or Supine)

It was sometimes referred to as the Creedmoor position. There are a number of variations of the position. It was known in the latter half of the 18th century, and later revived by a small number of shooters in the 1860s with the introduction of competitive long range shooting at the NRA rifle meetings and continued in use into the 20th century amongst match riflemen. The position was really developed during the 1870s as a consequence of great interest in long range shooting associated with the international matches. Back position provided the most stable platform for the rifle in those competitions where no artificial support, including slings, was permitted. It was even superior to shooting prone unsupported.


Lying on one's side

It's not a position one would normally choose. It is a position one might fall into when reacting to a threat. Usually used behind a barricade of some sort. Lying on your side in that scenario can present a very small target since normally only the gun hand and a piece of one's face is exposed, with the rest covered by a barricade.


Slings

;Shooting sling The sling is used to create isometric pressure to increase steadiness. While the use of a sling is of questionable value when shooting from the standing position, it is very much worth using from kneeling, sitting or prone. It was also used in back position in which case the sling is looped around the foot and it is this that takes the recoil. Proper use of the sling locks the rifle into the body and enhances that solid foundation so critical to delivering an accurate shot. ;;Hasty sling A type of shooting sling. All positions are strengthened through the use of a ''hasty sling''. The formal ''tight sling'' is detached from the rear sling swivel and tightened above the bicep of the supporting arm. Almost any carrying strap can be used in the ''hasty sling'' mode. There is often a compromise between the most comfortable "carry" length for shooter's sling and the ideal tension for a ''hasty sling''. The steadiness achieved is almost as good as a ''tight competition sling'' and it is a lot faster.


Competitions

In ISSF shooting events, 3 out of 7 shooting positions are used. Positions not used are supine, sitting, rice paddy squat and side position. WBSF governs
benchrest shooting Benchrest shooting is a shooting sport discipline in which high-accuracy and precision, precision rifles are shot at paper targets. The rifles ride on a front and rear rest (which may or may not be joined depending on the rules of a particular ...
. IPSC shooting events use prone, offhand and supported shooting positions. There are some competitions, such as , in which shooting position is freestyle. That means that the shooter decides which one of the four positions he'll use.


See also

* History of the firearm * Shooting targets


References

{{Authority control Projectile weapons * Combat Hunting methods Warfare of the Middle Ages