Sport shooting

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Hattie Johnson at the 2004 Athens Olympics

Sport shooting or shooting sport is internationally the sporty handling of firearms or sports bows ( crossbow , bow ). Sporting shooting means shooting according to certain rules, the weapon is used - contrary to its military or hunting origin - as a piece of sports equipment, similar to the spear when throwing a javelin or the rapier when fencing .

Shooting sports is often referred to as precision sports .

Basics of sport

The aim of the target shooting is the center of a target to be taken by line of body (static structure and body control) and spirit (inner peace and control of external influences). This requires training, both physical and mental. Often these pressures are underestimated and shooting is sometimes not recognized as a sport.


The arrangement of rings on a target is called a "mirror", in most disciplines it is a question of ring targets with which a maximum of ten rings can be achieved. The closer you can place the hits in the middle, the more rings the shooter receives. In the final, each ring is divided by “tenths” so that there is no tie. There is also a partial evaluation .


In sport shooting, competitions are usually shot with 20, 30, 40 or 60 shots, depending on the discipline and age group. As a rule, individual tens ring discs are used, but in competitions with the air rifle, for some time now almost exclusively disc strips, each provided with 10 or 5 mirrors. Electronic systems are also often used now. With an air pistol, 5 rounds are shot at a target.


Since the turn of the millennium, more and more electronic measurement methods have come onto the market. Infrared light barriers create a fine network that determines the passage of a projectile with high resolution and accuracy. This measurement is much more precise than a conventional paper disk can be printed and independent of any kind of weather.

Olympic sport

While a distinction is made between the sexes in the Olympic disciplines, there are also disciplines in the national federations in which this distinction is not made.

Special features in training

Neurofeedback is used in training for top-class sports in order to be able to score reliably in sports with high balance components and steady hands (e.g. sport shooting, archery , biathlon ).

National characteristics


In Germany shooting sports are strictly separated from defense shooting and military shooting. In other countries, for example in the United States and Switzerland , this is historically different.

Minimum age

Especially with regard to the young, more and more clubs are offering a purely electronic alternative to compressed air weapons. There is no minimum age for this type of shooting. The minimum age for the practice of shooting sports with compressed air weapons is 12 years, whereby there is also the possibility of an exemption (an age-related lower limit is not specified in the Weapons Act). Adolescents who have reached the age of 14 and are not yet 16 years old are also responsible for shooting with small-caliber firearms and weapons with smooth barrels (shotguns) up to caliber 12 under the care of the custodian authorized to supervise according to §11 of the AWaffV for child and youth work for the shooting of suitable supervisors (teachers, youth leaders, professional trainers and holders of a basic youth license or licensed club trainer §27.4.2 AWaffV), §27 WaffG + §27 AWaffV. Exceptions to the age limits can be requested under certain conditions regarding the physical and psychological development of the young people. In all cases, a declaration of consent from the legal guardian is required. When archery there is no legal age restrictions.

Gun Law

The German gun law , which was fundamentally changed by the “Law for the New Regulation of Gun Law” (WaffRNeuRegG) on April 1, 2003, also regulates the special qualification of supervisors for training with young people.


The official competitions in the various shooting disciplines are regulated in the sports regulations of the German Shooting Federation , the Federation of German Sport Shooting and other associations such as the Federation of Military and Police Riflemen . The sports regulations are checked and approved by the authorities in terms of weapons law. Participation in competitions at the district, district (Gau), state and federal level is only allowed to those who have completed the appropriate weapons discipline in a club championship. Every shooter must therefore belong to (at least) one shooting club and shoot there in a club championship the weapon discipline in which he wants to participate in higher-quality competitions. In order to participate in higher quality competitions, certain limit results are sometimes required.


Due to the general conscription in Switzerland and the fact that men who comply with this obligation (as well as women who do voluntary military service) keep their personal weapon ( assault rifle or orderly pistol ) at home and transfer it after the end of active conscription under certain conditions sport shooting with these military weapons ( ordinance weapons ) is very common in Switzerland. Under certain conditions, every Swiss citizen can apply for an orderly weapon as a loan weapon.

Young shooter with a loaner assault rifle 90

But even before you reach the age of compulsory military service and thus come into possession of a personal weapon (age 20), you can learn how to use the orderly weapon ( assault rifle 90 or army pistol 75 ) at young rifle courses with trained young rifle leaders in many rifle clubs already take part in sporting competitions. For this purpose, the VBS (Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport, the Swiss ministry to which the military is also subordinate) sells impersonal weapons for the duration of the courses.

In addition to this sporty shooting with orderly weapons, shooters with purely sporting weapons also take part in the competitions, i.e. without military or police origin, mostly in their own categories or even in their own competitions. Age categories are usually also formed. Men and women compete against each other in the competitions without any differences, which means that there are usually no separate rankings for women and men.


The night watch, Rembrandt

Sports shooting has a long tradition, especially in Europe. The corporation of riflemen goes back to the vigilante groups of the cities. In Germany and neighboring countries, for example, there have been rifle guilds since the Middle Ages. This is evidenced by the most famous painting by the Dutch painter Rembrandt , Die Nachtwache von (1642), which depicts the Amsterdam vigilante group, a rifle guild. The first attested shooting competition was held in Zurich (Switzerland) as early as 1442 .

After the Wars of Liberation (1815), an upswing in the club system began, from which shooting also benefited. After the Second World War was lost , all rifle clubs in Germany were officially banned by the four victorious powers and only allowed again in the following years in the young Federal Republic.

Olympic history

Olympic shooting in Paris in 1900
The US marksman and gold medalist Nancy A. Johnson at the 10-meter air rifle shooting during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia

Sports shooting was already one of the Olympic disciplines in Athens in 1896 . One of the reasons was probably that the founder of the modern games, Pierre de Coubertin , was an avid pistol shooter. There were five competitions on the program, mainly with military weapons. The shooting competitions were held at the shooting range in the suburb of Kallithea . Two competitions were held for rifles and three for pistols .

The first competition was military rifle shooting over 200 meters. The winner, Pantelis Karasevdas, was the only one who hit the target with all his shots. The second competition, military pistol shooting, was dominated by two American brothers, John Paine and Sumner Paine . To save the hosts from further embarrassment, the brothers decided that only one of them would compete in free pistol shooting. Sumner Paine won the competition and was the first relative of an Olympic champion who became an Olympic champion himself.

With the exception of St. Louis in 1904 and Amsterdam in 1928 , sport shooting was always part of the Olympic program. The shape of the targets for the shooters (only male in their early years) differs significantly from the current ones. In 1936, for example, targets were shot at that showed a human silhouette. This was also part of the official documentation for the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

1936v2 page193.jpg

The women have been taking part in separate competitions since Los Angeles 1984 , earlier they could (from 1968) be integrated into the “men's teams”.


In particular, the permission to re-establish the German Rifle Federation in 1951, which had already been founded in Gotha in 1861 , ensured a renewed upswing in shooting sports in Germany. As a result, the structures for a modern sports organization were created at district, district and state levels from the mid-1950s.

In the GDR , the establishment of shooting clubs, as well as the establishment of other clubs, was not possible. As part of the activities of the then Society for Sport and Technology (GST), sport shooting was possible as part of the military all-around competition, which was also located in the GST. Small-bore long weapons and short weapons were used almost without exception. In the military all-around combat, single-shot rifles with the caliber .22 lfb, modeled on carbines, but also with compressed air weapons.

But competitive sports were also promoted. The Suhl model M 150 small bore match bolt action rifle was available. This high-performance model is still largely identical in construction today for sport shooters by the Anschütz company. The private possession of weapons (with the exception of compressed air weapons) was not permitted to members of the GST either.

In the new federal states, therefore, a complete re-establishment took place after reunification , which is expressed to this day in a much weaker organizational and member structure than in most of the old federal states. After the dissolution of the GST, the sport shooters of the newly founded shooting clubs were given the opportunity to acquire small caliber weapons on a regular basis.

In the sports statistics, the shooting associations and their membership numbers have been in third or fourth place for years, both at the federal level, as well as at the state and district levels, behind gymnasts, football and athletics. However, this is not reflected in the public attention of the press, radio and television. There, sport shooting is viewed more as a " fringe sport " because it is less effective in the media (exception: biathlon ).

For more on the history of shooting clubs, see Germany and Austria.


In Switzerland, shooting clubs are associations according to Art. 60 ff of the Swiss Civil Code. According to the statutes, the shooting club generally serves to promote and actively support shooting sports.


In historical Tyrol , the rifle system goes back to the Landlibell , a document from Maximilian I from 1511, which regulated the obligation of self-defense of the country by all classes.

The rifle system, which was no longer of military importance after 1918, was banned by the Italian authorities in South Tyrol in 1919 and was not re-established until 1959. In North Tyrol, shooting was banned under the National Socialists .

Today, the Tyrolean riflemen mainly serve to maintain tradition, convey values ​​and (intellectual) defense of national interests, with more conservative positions being taken.

Organizations in sport shooting

Classifications of the DSB

Shooting with compressed air, spring-loaded and CO 2 weapons is generally understood as the entry into sport shooting , so that the lower age limit of 12 years has been defined for these types of weapons. Exceptions (from 10 years of age) are only granted subject to compliance with several requirements (only with written permission or the presence of parents and official permission and custody, i.e. supervision of a supervisor who is suitable for child and youth work for shooting, Section 27, Paragraph 3 WaffG) . When archery or when shooting with appropriate light / laser weapons, however, shooting is allowed under the age of 12. There is no upper age limit for competitions. Those who feel fit enough can still take part in competitions when they are over 85.

For competitions according to the rules of the German Shooting Federation, there are so-called competition classes in order to adapt to the performance capabilities (new regulations are planned for the 2018 sports year). The sports year is used as the calculation period.

Competition classes
Class name Classes


Age range
Student II m / f

Point of light

22nd divided into male / female: up to 12 years
Student I male 20th 13-14 (with special permits also from 10)
Student I female 21st 13-14 (with special permits also from 10)
Youth male 30th 15-16 years
Youth female 31 15-16 years
Juniors II 42 17-18 years (men only)
Juniors II 43 17-18 years (women only)
Juniors I 40 19-20 years (men only)
Juniors I 41 19-20 years (women only)
Gentlemen I. 10 21–40 years
Ladies I. 11 21–40 years
Gentlemen II 12 41–50 years
Ladies II 13 41–50 years
Gentlemen III 14th 51–61 years
Ladies III 15th 51–60 years
Gentlemen IV 16 61 years and older, but still free standing (men only)
Ladies IV 17th 61 years and older, but still free standing
Seniors 0 only edition 80 41–50 years (men only)
Senior women 0 only edition 81 41–50 years (women only)
Seniors I only edition 70 51–60 years (men only)
Senior women I only edition 71 51–60 years (women only)
Seniors II only edition 72 61–65 years (men only)
Senior women II 73 61–65 years (women only)
Seniors III 74 66–70 years (men only)
Senior women III 75 66–70 years (women only)
Senior IV only edition 76 71–75 years (men only)
Senior women IV only edition 77 71–75 years (women only)
Senior V only edition 78 76 years and older (men only)
Senior women V only edition 79 76 years and older (women only)
School classes in the archery competitions
(below state associations)
Student class A divided into male / female: 13-14 years
Student class B divided into male / female: 11–12 years
Student class C divided into male / female: under 11 years

International competitions are usually held in the most powerful competition classes, men I and women I (21–45 years of age).

Sports shooting with physical disabilities, sitting down, with a wheelchair

Small caliber weapons may only be fired from 14 years of age (youth class) with the written consent of their legal guardians, other "sharp" weapons only from 17 years of age (junior class II). From then on, the age classification is the same as for compressed air weapons.

Physically handicapped people can also take part in all shooting disciplines. For this purpose, various special rules have been introduced in the rules of the German Shooting Federation. For example, some physically handicapped people are allowed to compete while sitting.

In addition to individual shooters, clubs can also register teams for competitions. These usually consist of three participants of one age group, divided into male and female participants. Clubs do not take part in competitions as a whole, but with these individual shooters or teams. It can happen that within a club the competitors, depending on their level of performance, start in district or district classes or in national leagues or the Bundesliga.

For the competitions there is, in addition to the age classification, a class classification in which different teams take part in certain competitions. In these competitions, the club teams visit other clubs and hold their competitions there. In the second half of the season, the other clubs then come to a second competition with the first club. Since the clubs drive from one club to the next "in a round" until a fixed list of participating teams has been processed, this form of competition is called round competition . At the end of a round competition, a fixed number of teams move up to the next higher competition class, while other teams have to move down to the next lower class. So not much different than in football.

For historical reasons, some associations (for example Hesse and Bavaria) have a district class or league instead of the district class or league. In Bavaria both exist at the same time, with the district class / league being superior to the Gau class or league. With "association leagues" are meant the leagues of the respective state associations. The team strengths are bindingly stipulated in the sports regulations of the German Shooting Federation. The following team strengths are mainly used:

2nd district class Teams of 4
1st district class Teams of 4
District League Teams of 4
3rd district class Teams of 4
2nd district class Teams of 4
1st district class Teams of 4
District league Teams of 5
Association leagues (= national leagues) Teams of 5
2nd Bundesliga Teams of 5
Bundesliga Teams of 5

Weapon types

Sports shooting is usually divided according to the type of weapon:

Although bows and firearms can cause fatal injuries, sport shooting is a safe sport, as shooting can only take place in accordance with tried and tested and strict safety rules and only on approved shooting ranges under constant supervision.


Air rifle shooting competition

Rifles and pistols are divided into firearms and pneumatic weapons , depending on the type of ammunition used. Compressed air weapons are also subject to the German Weapons Act, but if there is an F in the pentagon (less than 7.5 joules of kinetic energy of the projectile), they are exempt from certain legal requirements. For some years now, compressed air and / or CO 2 weapons have been used more and more , which are intended to save the shooter the laborious task of cocking the weapon and also help to fire more smoothly.

For many people, both air rifles and air pistols are the starting point for sport shooting. Air gun shooting ranges are available in many locations and are easy to set up, but they must be approved by an official shooting range expert. In contrast to the “shooting range rifles” at the fair, compressed air weapons are not shot with bullets, but with so-called diabolos with an average diameter of 4.5 mm, which ensure a straighter trajectory and a clean bullet hole.

The evaluation of the shooting results is now usually carried out with electronic evaluation machines that can evaluate accurate to 1/100 mm. Especially in the finals of larger competitions, the tenths of a ring are added to the result. Instead of the usual “simple ten”, up to “10.9” can be achieved with an electronic evaluation, which corresponds to a shot that lies in the absolute center of the ring area.

The largest offer for sport shooting is in the area of ​​"firearms". In sport shooting, as a rule, no “utility weapons” are used, but specially developed sporting weapons. The top athletes use sophisticated sports weapons such as the rapid-fire pistol , the free pistol or the biathlon rifle of the biathletes and the bows of the archers.

Large caliber shooting with handguns and long guns, which in Germany is mainly operated by the sports shooting associations BDS and BDMP , is also very popular . Here, however, mainly utility weapons are used, which have been elaborately adapted to the needs of sport shooting.


For the crossbow there are international disciplines at 10 meters, 30 meters and the field crossbow, which is shot one after the other at 35, 50 and 65 meters in a competition. For the crossbow 10 and 30 meters, so-called "bolts" are used when shooting and shooting is done at target targets that are also used when shooting with compressed air weapons. The field crossbow uses arrows and shooting at targets that are also used in archery.

Crossbow in German gun law

Shoot with the sports crossbow

According to the new German gun law of 2003, the crossbow is one of the "other firearms" that shoot solid bodies (here: arrows or bolts) in accordance with Section 27 (3) No. 2 WaffG.

In principle, all regulations applicable to firearms also apply to crossbows, but in particular the safety regulations for shooting.

However, the legislature has defined the term “shooting”: “ [It shoots] anyone who shoots projectiles through a barrel with a firearm, shoots cartridge ammunition, uses cartridge or cartridge ammunition to fire irritant or other active substances or shoots pyrotechnic ammunition. “In terms of gun law, the crossbow is not fired.

However, since a crossbow is a weapon (it is on the same level as firearms), young people under the age of 18 may only use it under expert supervision, in accordance with Section 2 (1) WaffG “Handling weapons or ammunition”. However, there is no lower age limit.

There are plans to remove the crossbow from the “other firearms” regulations in the next revision of the Weapons Act.



Each discipline has its weapons that are specially adapted to the requirements and comply with the regulations . The disciplines listed below are the best known and most widespread internationally. Depending on the type of weapon and association, there are also mixed forms, modifications and special features. The regulations are also being changed again and again in order to increase the attractiveness of sport in sports broadcasts for television stations. For example, since the last revision of the sports regulations of the German Shooting Federation, shooters are only allowed to wear eye covers / screens with a maximum width of 3 cm in front of the eye and 4 cm height for side covers so that the shooter's face can be seen better during television broadcasts (although these actually only occur at the Olympic Games and the international participants don't care about these German rules at all.).

Internationally, efforts have been made in recent decades to modify the disciplines in such a way that they lose their originally military or hunter's character. The best examples are the former disciplines " keilerschießen ", " clay pigeon shooting " and " Schnellfeuer " (earlier duel ). The boar was replaced by normal round discs - and is now called the “ running disc ”, the clay pigeon is now called the throwing disc and the rapid fire discs are now also round and have lost their stylized human appearance. The latter two disciplines are Olympic.

Major international competitions, including the Olympic Games , are only conducted with small-caliber weapons or compressed air weapons , with the exception of the Skeet and Trap targets .

Furthermore, the disciplines can be divided into dynamic and static disciplines. The difference between the two is that in dynamic disciplines the targets are often mobile and can only be hit within a time window. Especially in large-caliber disciplines, but not in those of the DSB, changes of location are often required for dynamic shooting, and the speed at which the shot is fired is also assessed.

Olympic disciplines

The rules for all Olympic shooting disciplines specified below apply in the same way to all National Olympic Committees that take part in the Olympic Games in shooting sports with their athletes.

Archers at the line of fire
Olympic WA target

The bow has the longest tradition in shooting sports. It has been known as a weapon of mankind for around 15,000 years. Archery competitions are documented as early as the Middle Ages. Today archery in the "WA 720 round" discipline with the recurve bow is Olympic.


The rifle has a history of around 700 years. In the sporting sector, one can differentiate between compressed air rifles, small bore rifles (KK), large bore rifles and service rifles. The distances to be shot at depend on the type of weapon. Air rifles are usually fired at 10 m, small bore rifles at 50 or 100 m. The visor is typically from diopter (rear sight), and grain / ring sight (front sight). Optical aids to magnify the target are usually prohibited (exception in national competitions: "Running target", which is shot with a telescopic sight on the weapon). Supportive shooting clothing must also not be used.

Small caliber lying

At least at times Olympic disciplines were / are:

Rule (DPO) Designation (German) Designation (english) caliber Olympic for
1.10 Air rifle 10 m air rifle 4.5 mm men and women
The air rifle is the basis for all Olympic rifle disciplines. Either 40 rounds are fired in 75 minutes or 60 rounds in 105 minutes. Should an electronic hit display be fired, the firing time for 40 rounds is reduced to 50 minutes
1.40 Small bore sport rifle (3 × 20) 50 m rifle 3 positions (3 × 20 shots) Women .22 long rifle Women
The program for the sport rifle consists of three different positions. In each position 20 shots are fired, the sequence of the positions is fixed: kneeling, lying and standing. The shooting time is 150 minutes. If electronic equipment is fired, the shooting time is reduced to 135 minutes.
1.60 Small bore rifle (3 × 40) men's class, junior class A and B 50 m rifle 3 positions (3 × 40 shots) Men .22 long rifle Men
The process of the free rifle program does not differ significantly from that of the sport rifle. Instead of 20 shots, 40 shots are fired per position. The main difference is that the shooters start each position separately. This results in the following shooting times: prone 60 (45) minutes, standing 90 (75) minutes and kneeling 75 (60) minutes. The time in brackets applies to electronic hit displays. A conversion time of a maximum of 10 minutes is planned between each position.
1.80 KK prone fight 50 m rifle men .22 long rifle Men

Here, 60 shots are fired in a lying position in a time of 60 minutes on electronic discs 50 minutes.

Target for crossbow and air rifle shooting
Shoot with the air pistol

As a former equestrian and, above all, dueling weapon, the pistol has enjoyed growing popularity as a sports device since the middle of the 19th century. The sight usually consists of a rear sight (rear sight) and a front sight (front sight). In the case of sport weapons, the rear sight can be adjusted using rotary knobs for the elevation and lateral position of the shot pattern. In all Olympic disciplines and most others, the pistol is generally only held with one hand. Holding it with one hand lengthens the path from the eye to the sight and thus increases accuracy, and on the other hand, the weapon can actually be held much more calmly because the body's own restlessness (e.g. muscle twitching) is more difficult to transfer to the weapon. In disciplines that require rapid firing sequences with large-caliber weapons (e.g. IPSC), the pistol is usually held with both hands, as the weapon would otherwise be too strongly influenced by the recoil. The “ten” on a pistol target is divided into an inner and an outer ten.

Target for air pistol shooting
Rapid fire sport pistol (Pardini SP)
Small caliber ammunition
Rule (DPO) Designation (German) Designation (english) caliber Olympic for
2.10 Air pistol 10 m air pistol 4.5 mm men and women
The air gun is similar to the air rifle in the gun range in the pistol disciplines the foundation. In competition, 40 shots are fired in 75 minutes or 60 shots in 105 minutes.

The minimum trigger weight for the air pistol is 500 grams. The air pistol, like all other Olympic pistol disciplines, is shot hands-free with one hand.

2.40 Small bore sport pistol 25 m Pistol Women .22 long rifle Women
The sport pistol is shot with weapons with a .22 caliber long rifle. In the performance area, only pistols are found almost exclusively. Revolvers are hardly used here. The program is divided into two half-programs: precision and duel shooting. The precision run consists of three or six series of five shots. The shooter has five minutes per series. The duel run consists of the same number of series as the precision run, the process is different: the target is not visible for seven seconds after being given a command, and when it becomes visible the shooter has three seconds to fire a shot. This change is repeated a total of five times. The trigger weight for the sport pistol is at least 1000 grams.
2.20 Free pistol 50 m Pistol Men .22 long rifle Men
The free pistol is fired at a distance of 50 m. A single loader is used as a weapon. The name "free pistol" comes from the fact that the shooter can freely adjust almost anything. There is only one discipline for the weapon: the total length of the weapon must not exceed 60 centimeters, otherwise the weapon is considered a rifle. The trigger weight is also freely selectable, a good shooter uses a trigger weight of approx. 30 grams. Inexperienced people feel no trigger resistance and the shot can easily trigger. This is to prevent the shot from tearing. In addition, a so-called “glove grip” may be used, which means that the grip encloses the entire hand (only the wrist must remain free). The shooting time is 120 minutes for 60 shots.
2.30 Olympic rapid fire pistol 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol Men .22 long rifle Men
With the Olympic rapid-fire pistol, each shooter shoots five adjacent targets one after the other. The short time series brings a certain dynamic into the discipline. The competition consists of two half-programs of 30 shots each. These are made up of two series of five shots in eight, six and four seconds each. After the command “Start” it takes three seconds for the targets to become visible, then the shooter may fire his five shots. The trigger weight is now also 1000 grams.
Clay targets trap and skeet

The “ shotgun ”, as the original hunter's weapon, is essentially used today in the disciplines of skeet , trap and double trap , the so-called clay target shooting .

Olympic final

As a rule, the eight best shooters from the preliminaries go to the Olympic final, the only exceptions here are the Olympic rapid fire pistol and the shotgun disciplines. Only the six best shooters advance in these disciplines.

Up until the 2012 Olympic Games, 10 final shots were fired on command in the 10 and 50 m competitions. The shot value is determined immediately in tenths of a rating. The winner was determined by adding the pre-fight result with the final result. The mode has been changed several times since 2012. The latest mode has been shot since the international competition in Munich 2017 and works as follows: The best eight shooters from the preliminary fight make it to the final. There every result is set to 0, so that the competition starts from the beginning. In the air rifle discipline, 2 × 5 shots are now fired on a tenth of a scale. From now on, single shots are fired every 50 seconds. After two single shots, the worst shooter in each case falls out of the competition, until after the 24th shot only one competitor stands at the stand and wins. In the event of a tie, a shot decides. The prone match finale runs analogously. In the 50 m three-position fight , 3 × 5 shots are fired in each of the kneeling and prone disciplines, and 2 × 5 in the subsequent standing. Then the two worst athletes leave the competition and five individual shots are fired, each with an additional person is eliminated until the winner is determined.

In the final of the 25 m competitions, 20 shots (in 4 series of 5 shots) are fired.

The worst shot in the final is a 0.0. The value can come from the fact that a shooter does not shoot , too late or on the wrong target (see Matthew Emmons at the 2004 Olympic Games in the three-position fight ). The best value that can be shot in the final is a 10.9. It is exactly in the middle of the disc and is particularly cheered by the audience.

Additional disciplines in Germany

Since the shooting sport is also practiced by many people who professionally deal with weapons (police officers, military) there are also several disciplines that show clear borrowings from these areas. Examples of this are " western shooting " and " practical shotgun ", which are offered in Germany by the Association of Military and Police Riflemen and the Association of German Sport Shooting . As a rule, despite their popularity (especially in the United States) and international competitions, many of these disciplines are not sponsored by the National Olympic Committees .

Large-caliber disciplines with changes of location are not included in the competition catalog of the German Shooting Federation.

Running disc

Target for "running target"

Up to and including the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the " running target " discipline was an Olympic competitive discipline . For the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, it was removed from the program, as was the "Double Trap Women" discipline.

The " running target " has its origins in hunting with the small bore rifle (50 meters). Even today, the boar is still the common target for 50 m shooting, nationally and internationally. A boar used to be depicted on the target (hence often referred to as "boar shooting"). A small caliber rifle with a telescopic sight is used as a weapon . The rifle scope has two spikes in the sighting area with which the stopping point is sighted. The right spike is used for counterclockwise rotation and the left spike for clockwise rotation. This means that the rifle is always held in front of the target and the time it takes for the bullet to hit the target is compensated for. The distance between the two spines can be adjusted variably. A target with two mirrors is used in the 10 m discipline for compressed air weapons (see illustration).

In two parts of the competition 2 × 30 shots are fired. In the first part, the "slow run", the disc moves in five seconds over a width of 10 meters, this area is called the "lane" and only there is the disc visible. In the second part, the "high-speed run", the target is twice as fast, so it covers the distance in 2.5 seconds. If the shooter has not fired a shot within this time, a zero is scored. At the beginning the target is on the right side and then runs to the left, the so-called "left run", with the next shot the "right run" follows. At the beginning of the shooting, the shooter takes the weapon in the hip stop. It may only be lifted into the shoulder when the disc becomes visible.

In addition to the normal program, there is also the "mix program", two rounds are shot here too, but the shooter does not know before the shot whether the target can be seen for 5 or 2.5 seconds and must react individually.

Later one went over to shooting with the air rifle "running target". The advantage lies in the smaller space requirement and stands can be set up quickly. The distance is only 10 meters and the aisle is two meters wide. The "Running target air rifle" discipline is the only one in which aiming aid in the form of a telescope is permitted on the air rifle .

There are the following disciplines:

  • 2 × 40 air rifle 10 m, mix
  • 2 × 30 small bore 50 m
  • 2 × 20 small bore 50 m, mix
  • Falling Target ( very popular in Finland , not Olympic) a summer biathlon . In biathlon shooting with a rifle, there are only the positions lying and standing, in archery biathlon standing and kneeling.

Room connection

The room nozzle is a traditional weapon that was used for sporty shooting in the period before the First World War . Even today, competitions are held with the Zimmerstutzen, right up to the German championship. The shooting today is in a standing position at a distance of 15 meters.

Ordnance rifle

In the discipline of the orderly rifle , the shooter uses repeating rifles or single loaders that were used as orderly weapons before a certain deadline (details about the number of shots etc. can be found in the sports regulations of the respective associations). The shooting is usually from a distance of 100 meters. The competition program usually consists of several series that are to be submitted in different positions (e.g. lying and kneeling or standing). Associations can also make their own regulations that differ from those of the associations. Popular weapons with the orderly rifle are:

Standard gun

The discipline “ standard pistol 25 m ” is shot with a pistol or revolver in caliber .22lfb, the competition usually consists of 60 rounds in three successive rounds of 20 rounds each. Each round consists of 4 series of 5 shots in the order a) 4 × 5 shots in 150 seconds, b) 4 × 5 shots in 20 seconds, c) 4 × 5 shots in 10 seconds. The shooting targets are of the same type as those used with the “Free Pistol 50 m”.

Large-caliber handgun disciplines

An example here is the execution according to the DSB sports regulations: All four of the above-mentioned disciplines are carried out according to the same sequence: Before the competition, the shooters have a test series with 5 shots available. In the full range, four series of 5 shots follow within 150 seconds on the so-called precision target. Subsequently, four more series of 5 shots are completed within 20 seconds at the so-called rapid fire target. In both sub-disciplines, the distance to the target is 25 m. The exact procedure can be found in the latest edition of the DSB's sports regulations. The GK handgun disciplines and their process are designed very differently in the shooting sports umbrella organizations (see for example BDMP - Police Pistol 1 with a completely different process).

Hang on shooting

Shooting small caliber edition

From the age of 56, competitions with firearms in air rifles, air pistols and small caliber have been held for a long time at lower association levels up to German championships. The usual sporting weapons are used for this, possibly provided with a flat wedge under the weapon, which should enable it to be placed flat. When shooting, only the weapon may be held, the rest may not be touched. From senior class III, the shooters may shoot while sitting.

With the 2005/06 edition of the DSB's sports regulations, valid from April 29, 2005, as part 9, the “launched” disciplines have been included in the official regulations of the German Shooting Federation. The rules for competitions have been adapted from the normal freehand competitions. At the federal level, the German Schützenbund introduced a so-called “Senior Championship” in 2003 as a “crutch”, which corresponded to a German championship. However, only shooters aged 56 and over were allowed to take part in this competition. In 2006, the first German championships were held according to the new rules in the sports regulations, but also only for shooters from the age of 56. The classes have since been changed. There are now the senior classes I to V. According to the applicable sports regulations, shooting is possible from senior class I (from age 51), from senior class III (from age 66) also seated.

When shooting, a series of 30 shots are shot. Since the shooting performance in the upper range is very close together (300 rings at 30 shots = 30 times the "ten" are not uncommon), only electronic evaluation is made here. Since the sporting year 2017, some disciplines have been shot to tenths of a point from the start to “fix” this problem.

Bolt shooting

The interest group of Bergische Bolzenschützen (IGBBS) is the last association to promote classic bolt shooting with air rifles (caliber 5.5) in Germany and continues to operate active shooting sports. The last German championship took place in 1939. The competition mode of the IGBBS differs completely from the modes of the other associations, for example a ring disc with 3 goals each 12 points is used and in league operations not all shooters of a club count, but only the best 6. Every year there is a comparative match with the bolt sports department of the NBVS (Nederlandse Bond Vor Sportschutters).

Disciplines of the IPSC

In the disciplines of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), whose shooters in Germany are members of the Bund Deutscher Sportschützen , both cardboard and metal targets are shot. These targets are partially movable (they wobble, turn, run from side to side) or are partially covered by penalty targets, formerly known as no-shoots.

The shooter changes position and posture several times during a round. Obstacles limit the field of fire or determine the position of the shooter. The scoring takes place as a combination of hit points and the time required for the passage. In this discipline, it is not only about clean, but also fast shooting.

Shooting with muzzle-loaders

From the mid to late 1960s, shooting with muzzle-loaders also became increasingly popular in Germany.

These are weapons or their replicas, as they were generally in military use in Europe and the United States until around 1866 and in civilian use for a few years after that.

The loading may only be carried out with factory-made black powder in the various grain sizes and must be loaded on a separate loading table behind the shooter.

The division is made into:

Matchlock rifle

Corresponding to the arquebuses of the 17th century or the Japanese Tanegashima rifles.


What is meant here are the flintlock muskets as they were generally in military use from the beginning of the 18th century to around 1840. A target device (primarily the rear sight) must not be present. The musket target is shot from a distance of 50 m. There are 15 shots to fire. (DSB)

Flintlock rifle

This category includes, for example, the so-called hunter rifles, i.e. about 1 m long rifles with a rifled barrel that are supplied with plaster balls. Standing 15 shots at 50 m are fired at the normal muzzle-loading target.

Percussion rifle

As with the flintlock rifle, but with percussion ignition.

Percussion service rifle

15 rounds are fired at 100 meters from originals or replicas of rifles as they were in military use (orderly). Guns with a set trigger are not allowed (DSB) although there were original guns with a set trigger (for example Württemberger Jägerbüchse 1860). Shooting is done lying down, possibly with a sling. The bullet shape must match that of the original. So in a weapon for a Minié bullet , such a bullet must also be used. The filling funnel may be max. 100 mm long, it must not be wiped. The English Enfield rifles, which also became known in Germany through the replicas of Parker-Hale in the 1970s, as well as replicas of the Remington rifle from 1863 (often incorrectly referred to as Zuave rifles) or the replica of the Württemberg club rifle from 1857.

Percussion free rifle

15 shots are fired at 100 m while lying down with a sling. Diopters, filling funnels up to the powder sack and spirit levels for tilting control are permitted. Alexander Henry weapons and underhammer rifles are popular.

Flintlock pistol

Flintlock pistols are fired with a smooth barrel at a distance of 25 m.

Percussion pistol

As with flintlock pistol, but with percussion ignition and rifled barrels. Also use of under hammer pistols.

Percussion revolver

Here mainly replicas of the 5- or 6-shot percussion revolver from Colt, Remington, Rogers & Spencer, among others, are used. Sighting devices must also correspond in shape to the original. You can only shoot with one hand.

More gunpowder disciplines

Single load paper or metal cartridges

Particularly at the DSB, single-shot weapons with paper cartridges ( Chassepot rifle ) or Dreyse needle rifle or with metal cartridges ( Mauser model 71 ) are not taken into account, but in associations such as the DSU or the black powder initiative. The originals of the time are mainly used here, as there are only a few replicas.

Shooting with cannons
Large guns

In East Germany in particular, shooting with muzzle-loading cannons took an unexpected boom after the fall of the Wall. In 2012 the Association of German Gunpowder Gunsmen (VDSK) held the large gun shooting championships in Sondershausen. Usually, military training areas are required for this.

Model cannons

Shooting with model cannons experienced its boom in West Germany with muzzle-loading shooting and soon found many fans in the new federal states after the fall of the Wall. The advantages over the large guns are the manageable costs. Model cannon shooting can take place at the appropriate shooting range for muzzle-loaders. Due to the stability of the models, aiming devices are usually not permitted, i.e. neither rear sight nor front sight. The classes are mainly divided into field guns and ship guns. Like muzzle-loaders, black powder cannons, the prototype of which were manufactured up to January 1, 1871, are legally treated as single-shot muzzle-loaders, which can be acquired by adults. The propellant, black powder, however, requires a license.

Performance evaluation

Achievement badge

In the past, the sports regulations of the German Rifle Federation used to provide various options for filing a shooting sports badge. Here shooting sports and performances from the rules of the German sports badge had to be completed. That changed after the last revision of the DSB's sports regulations. Now there is only the German sports badge, which has been expanded to include shooting disciplines in Group 4. It should be noted, however, that most shooting sports disciplines may only be shot from the age of 12 and the required performance cannot be achieved “on the side”, but only after adequate training.

For the 100th anniversary of the sports badge in 2013, the requirements for it have been completely revised. The entire group 4 has not only been exchanged for shooting athletes. In the new discipline group “Coordination”, the small and large performance badges of the German Shooting Federation (DSB) are recognized in the “Gold” level for the sports badge.

The requirements of the German Schützenbund (DSB) for the shooting disciplines in the sports badge are currently up to 2012.

Procedure for determining results

Target representation for the shooter on the Meyton system

There are two basic methods of determining the result of a shooter: manually (by hand) or with the help of electronic tools.

In clay target shooting (trap and skeet) only the manual method is used. There a main judge and two auxiliary judges decide whether a clay target has been hit. The rule states that a clearly visible part must break off there.

If paper targets are evaluated by hand, the value of each shot is determined individually. The rule (with the exception of muzzle-loading firing) is that if a ring is scratched by the shot, the higher ring is counted. With the exception of the 25 m pistol disciplines in the large-caliber range, this procedure is only used in training and in round competitions in the lower classes.

When evaluating with electronic tools, there are again several methods. The most cost-effective is the bombardment of a paper disc, which is later read out by a so-called evaluation machine. The machine measures the distance of the shot to 10 and uses this to determine the shot value.

Electronic hit displays are becoming increasingly popular. This means that the shooter has a monitor at the stand that shows the value immediately after the shot is fired. The use of paper disks is not necessary when determining the value. There are only two approved methods for the electronic hit display, firstly measurement using sound waves ( SIUS Ascor system ) and secondly measurement using light barriers ( Meyton system ) or infrared light curtains (DISAG OpticScore). When measuring sound waves, four to six microphones are used to measure where the bullet penetrates a rubber or paper tape. The measurement with the help of light barriers determines the projectile where it interrupts the light barriers on the X and Y axes. Both systems must have an accuracy of at least 1/10 mm.

Prominent competition winners


  • Benjamin Bessert , gold medalist and world record holder with the team in the field crossbow, World Championship 2006 in Steyr (Austria) Team: Benjamin Bessert; Ralf Hillenbrand, Karl-Heinz Blumtritt
  • Michael Buchheim , Olympic knight 1972 in skeet shooting
  • Frank Dobler , multiple world and European champion (individual and team) in the air rifle between 1987 and 2007.
  • Munkhbayar Dorjsuren , two-time world champion with SpoPi and LuPi, bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and again at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, German record
  • Philipp Grimm , European Champion LP 2015 in Arnhem
  • Walter Hillenbrand , multiple world champion in air rifle and field crossbow shooting.
  • Harriet Holzberger , Euro-Cup winner 300 m GK rifle in Tolmezzo / ITA with 598 v. 600 rings (official WR is 597 rings), winner of the 16th European Cup final, 300 m GK rifle in Winterthur / CH with 598 v. 600 rings, but only recognized as a European record, winner of the 2007 European Cup final, 300 meter prone, September 21, Winterthur / CH 594 v. 600; Victory 300 m GK EuroCup 2008 Tolmezzo / ITA with 596 v. 600 rings, German women's team record prone competition with 1,782 points
  • Birte Ihms , European Champion Crossbow 10 m 2013
  • Michael Jakosits , Olympic champion 1992, European champion 1994 in the discipline running target 10 meters
  • Monika Karsch , silver medalist Olympic Games Rio 2016
  • Susanne Kiermayer , best German female target shooter with a German record for the ages
  • Christian Klees , Olympic champion 1996, KK prone fight with world record and final world record
  • Bernd Klingner , 1 × team world champion, 3 × individual European champions and 6 × team European champions; Olympic victory in the 120-shot KK three-position fight in Mexico City in 1968
  • Thomas Klix , German master utility revolver .357 Magnum 2004 & 2006 with German record 395 BC 400 rings
  • Peter Kohnke , Junior World Champion 1957 KK-3 position fight, 1959 Vice World Champion KK prone shooting, Olympic champion 1960 KK prone shooting
  • Manfred Kurzer , Olympic champion 2004 in the discipline running target 10 meters
  • Barbara Lechner , European champion LG 2005 in Estonia, gold medalist Olympic Games Rio 2016, team world champion 2006 in Croatia
  • Jürgen Loscher competed a total of 252 times in German championships and achieved a total of 83 gold, 50 silver and 29 bronze. Reached 19 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze out of 26 starts at the German championship of the BDS in 2005
  • Christian Lusch , silver medalist KK-Liegend Athens 2004, World Cup final winner KK-Liegend Bangkok 2004 with world record (600 rings)
  • Sascha Madl , team world champion crossbow 1999 and 2003, vice world champion 2003
  • Heinz Mertel , silver medalist Free Pistol, Olympic Games 1968
  • Ulrich Müller , German champion 2005, GK sport rifle, lying 300 m (300 rings at 30 shots)
  • Sonja Pfeilschifter , LG world and European champion (400 rings at 40 shots), "shooter of the year" 2000 and 2006, crossbow world champion 1999
  • Uwe Potteck , Olympic Champion Free Pistol , Montreal 1976
  • Christian Reitz , world record with the rapid fire pistol, bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil
  • Johann Riederer , bronze medalist air rifle, Olympic Games 1988 and 1992
  • Oswald Schlipf , World and European Air Rifle Champion 1978
  • Klaus Schüler , Vice European Champion Crossbow 10 m
  • Ralf Schumann , multiple Olympic champion with the Olympic rapid fire pistol
  • Marco Spangenberg , OSP world champion
  • Silvia Seiderer , gold medalist in the KK three-position fight, Olympic Games 1988
  • Joachim Vogl , team world champion crossbow 10 m in 1999 and 2008 as well as German record holder in this discipline
  • Karl Wenk , 16-time German champion, four-time European and two-time world champion, set a German record in 1961 and a world record in 1967, and took part in three Olympic Games
  • Jürgen Wiefel, silver medalist at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976 and in Moscow in 1980 in sport shooting in the Olympic rapid-fire pistol discipline
  • Konrad Wirnhier , bronze medal in skeet shooting, Olympic Games 1968 Mexico, gold medal in skeet shooting, Olympic Games 1972 Munich


  • Thomas Farnik , five-time Olympic participant, multiple world champion, European champion, world cup winner, world shooter of the year 1997, Austrian champion
  • Dr. Rudolf Dollinger , two-time bronze medalist with the free pistol in Munich in 1972 and in Montreal in 1976
  • Hubert Hammerer , gold medalist in the free rifle three-position fight, Olympic Games 1960, European champion in crossbow shooting in 1958, 43-time Austrian champion
  • Mario Knögler , European champion with the air rifle 2006, world record holder with the small bore in team competition, European champion small bore 60 rounds lying in 1999, multiple World Cup winner
  • Christian Planer , bronze medalist in the KK three-position fight, Olympic Games 2004, European champion KK-three position team 2003, European champion KK-three position team 2003, European champion LG-Team 2005, world record holder KK-lying match-team, world record holder KK-three position team, 1st place World Cup Resende LG 2006, 600 of 600 rings with the air rifle
  • Wolfram Waibel junior , silver medalist in the air rifle and bronze medalist in the small-bore three-position match, Olympic Games 1996, European champion in the air rifle 1996, world record holder for the air rifle and small-bore small-bore rifle
  • Petra Zublasing, junior European air rifle champion 2009, Italian record with the air rifle 400/400 rings, multiple Italian and national champion


  • Johannes P. Heymann: Tips and tricks for sport shooters . Motorbuch, ISBN 3-613-01392-4 .
  • Roman Grafe: fun and death. From the sports gun mania . Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle 2019, ISBN 978-3-96311-128-0 .
  • Heinz Reinkemeier u. a .: Air rifle shooting . MEC High Tech Shooting Equipment, ISBN 3-9809746-0-X .
  • Heinz Reinkemeier u. a .: ways of the rifle - 3 positional combat . MEC High Tech Shooting Equipment, ISBN 3-9809746-2-6 .
  • John Walter: The Book of Air Pressure Guns . Motorbuch, ISBN 3-87943-914-1 .
  • Ragnar Skanåker , Laslo Antal: Sporting pistol shooting . Motorbuch, ISBN 3-613-01425-4 .
  • Michael Draksal: Mental competition preparation for sport shooters. Rifle - pistol - bow . Draksal Fachverlag, ISBN 978-3-932908-62-0 .
  • Henning Hoffmann: The shotgun - weapon, tool, sports equipment. DWJ Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-936632-51-0 .
  • Heinz Mertel: Pistol shooting I. Basic knowledge, attacks and technique. BLV Buchverlag, 1989, ISBN 3-405-12259-7 .
  • Elfe Stauch: Sporty pistol shooting. The way to competitive sport, 1st edition. 1997, ISBN 3-00-001376-8 .
  • Elfe Stauch, Burkhard Schindler, Thorsten Schierle, Peter Schmitt: Young talent in shooting sports. The workshop, 2007, ISBN 3-89533-569-X .
  • Hans-Joachim Beck: Sports shooting in the GDR. German Schützenbund e. V., Wiesbaden 2002.
  • Klaus Wiegand: Sport shooting. Know more - hit better . Meyer & Meyer Verlag, Aachen 2007, ISBN 978-3-89899-267-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. Arnd Krüger (2018). Neurobiofeedback. Competitive sport 48 (5), 29-31.
  2. Federal statistics ( Memento of the original from October 6, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Statistics LSB Lower Saxony, p. 8 (PDF)
  4. Swiss Civil Code
  5. Team shooting rule of the DSB in SpO rule = 3 shooters, with an exception in the Bundesliga rules.
  6. Official sport regulations of the DSB deposited with the Federal Office of Administration, accessed on August 9, 2019; there part 9 no. 9.1
  7. accessed June 29, 2016 see also International Practical Shooting Confederation
  8. Reform process of the sports badge ( Memento of the original from September 15, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. Excel table with the shooting conditions for the achievement badge
  10. Requirements to the DPO
  11. Leporello with the shooting disciplines for the sports badge (old version) PDF.
  12. ( Memento of the original from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. ( Memento of the original from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. ( Memento of the original from October 8, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Web links

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