A Beginner’s Guide to Competitive Shooting Sports

September 8, 2021

For new shooters, it’s a great idea to get involved in different shooting sports to continue building your skillset. But for beginners, there are quite a few rules to learn – and they change from firearm to firearm. Here is a beginner’s guide to competitive shooting sports to get you started.

Shotgun Competitive Shooting

Generally, there are three categories for competitive shotgun shooting sport events. While all three of these sporting events involve throwing clay targets, there are differentiations with each event.

For skeet shooting, clay targets are fired from the opposite directions and cross. This should allow the shooter to develop their profile shooting skills.

Trap shooting involves clay targets being thrown in the same direction that the shooter is facing – but the trajectory varies. The different trajectories make it more challenging for the shooter and forces them to make quick decisions in aiming and selecting their target.

Finally, the sporting clay shooting event is considered to be a bit more chaotic. The clay targets are pitched from various heights, speeds, and even angles. The goal for these fast-moving targets is to simulate what a hunter would encounter in the wild when going after small game (typically birds).

Pistol Competitive Shooting

Pistol shooting events are a little different, but the level of challenge remains the same.

Bullseye shooting, for example, is an excellent way to work on your long distance aiming. Long distance usually means upwards of 50 yards, and the actual firing of your pistol will be a mix of slow to rapid firing. Some competitions up the level of difficulty by requiring a timer and the use of single-handed firing rather than the double-handed grip.

IDPA and IPSC shooting are competitions that simulate real world self defense scenarios, typically involving moving, shooting, and reloading while engaging multiple targets throughout the course of fire.

Buck & Doe’s also holds various pistol leagues throughout the year, which is a great way to begin competitive shooting.  Our leagues offer the shooter, regardless of experience, the opportunity to network with our instructors and other shooters in a relaxed, fun environment, while honing their shooting skills.

Rifle Competitive Shooting

If you favor rifles over other firearms, there are plenty of competitive shooting events to pick from.

Silhouette shooting is a multiple distance affair.  Centerfire Silhouette competition is shot off-hand, shooting steel silhouettes shaped like various animals, at multiple distances up to 500 yards.  Rimfire silhouette shooting is based on the same concept, except the steel targets are set at different distances ranging between 50-100 yards.

For bench rest shooting, you will be shooting five round groups, at 100 yards.  The rifle will sit on the front and rear rest, on a rigid shooting table. At the announcement of the judges, shooters then take aim at the paper targets. Shot group sizes are measured in hundredths of an inch.

To stay competitive, look at rifles that are highly modified or customized for this type of competition, and should be capable of precision accuracy.

To start preparing for these events, visit Buck & Doe’s state-of-the-art indoor shooting range.


Contact: info@buckdoes.com
Call: 830-980-3637
Headquarters: 24250 US-281,
San Antonio, TX 78258

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Buck & Doe’s Mercantile in San Antonio, Texas is locally owned and operated, and fully stocked for the archery or firearms enthusiast. We are a five-star, family-friendly shooting range and indoor archery range. There’s something for everyone at our gun range! Our state-of-the-art facility spans 23,000 square feet and offers an indoor archery range, programmable training simulators in an indoor shooting range setting, well ventilated ranges, firearms ammunition and accessories, archery products, lessons, a boutique, event center, and more.