Free pistol

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The term free pistol is on the one hand the traditional name of the Olympic shooting sport discipline "50-meter pistol", which is operated by the German Shooting Federation ( DSB) and the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), and on the other hand it describes the sports equipment used.

The weapon

The most important regulations that the DSB's sports regulations govern the free pistol include: a .:

  • The weapons must fire .22 lfB ( small caliber ) ammunition .
  • Only open sights are permitted, i.e. no optical (or other) magnifying aids.
  • The wrist of the shooting hand must be able to move freely. (The pistol must be held with one hand.)
  • The shot must be triggered with the firing hand.
  • The trigger weight of the weapon is arbitrary and can be adjusted with the bare hand.
  • Multiple loaders must be operated as single loaders .

Free pistols are practically exempt from restrictive rules regarding trigger weight, weapon weight and dimensions - hence the name "Free Pistol" . Typical of the free pistol are a very low trigger weight and an "orthopedic" grip that is carefully adapted to the individual hand, which encloses the whole hand (but not the wrist!) In order to reduce the "shaking" when the trigger is triggered, as well as a very long distance between the rear sight and the front sight, which promotes precise aiming. The mostly very long (approx. 30 cm) barrel, the grip that encircles the hand and the lack of a magazine usually result in a rather unusual appearance. Some manufacturers of free guns rely on electronic trigger mechanisms in which the conventional mechanics ( engraver ) is replaced by an electrical impulse.

Probably the best known manufacturer of free pistols is the Russian Ischmech , which manufactured the TOZ 35 pistol under the brand name "Baikal". Other companies such as Pardini, Morini, Hämmerli and, until 2003, Steyr are also well-known manufacturers of very high quality sporting weapons.

Type of sport

The sport of the "free pistol" is referred to as a supreme discipline in sports shooting circles. a. because because of the long competition of two hours, it demands concentration like no other. And probably also because only a black point can be seen from the target at a distance, whereby this black point (with a diameter of 20 cm) is divided into rating rings of only seven to a maximum of ten points.

The discipline is shot at a distance of 50 m. The targets are the same as those used in 25 m competitions (diameter of the "10" 50 mm, diameter of the "1" 500 mm). The regular competition program consists of 60 shots in 105 minutes. (Any number of test shots beforehand in 15 minutes.) In international competitions, 5 shots are fired at each (paper) target, after which the target is changed. In recent years, however, electronic targets have become the standard for high-level competitions (e.g. German championship) in which switching is not required; then the competition time is reduced by 15 minutes. In competitions on a lower level (e.g. district, district), 10 instead of 5 shots per target are fired and “small” programs (e.g. 30 shots in 60 minutes) are held.

The world record of 581 rings (out of a possible 600), which was valid until 2014, was set by the Soviet marksman Alexander Melentjew at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow . On September 9, 2014, after 34 years at the World Cup in Granada, the South Korean Jin Jong-oh replaced the world record with the free pistol from 1980. He scored 583 rings. As early as 1979, Harald Vollmar set the current German record with 581 rings, but because it was not achieved in an international competition, it did not count as a world record.

Since 2018, the German Rifle Federation has offered the competition discipline "50m pistol rest" with 30 shots in 55 or 50 minutes (electronic targets) for shooters aged 51 and over.

For the time being, the discipline was in the Olympic program for the last time at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.


  • Sports regulations of the German Shooting Federation
  • Home> The ISSF> Rules> German Rulebook (German version of the international regulations)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 8.11 Pistol competition table (p. 428 and 433) .
  2. ^ Pistole - German Records, List of the German Shooting Federation ( Memento from September 22, 2010 in the Internet Archive ).