Pierre de Coubertin was a champion shooter as a young man and it is no surprise that shooting was included in the first Olympic program at Athens 1896.
Shooting has appeared on every Olympic program except St Louis 1904 and Amsterdam 1928. The number and variety of events have changed many times over the Olympiads - shooting began with three events in 1986 and now boasts fifteen.
From Mexico City 1968, women started competing alongside men in a number of Olympic shooting events. The first woman medallist was Margaret Murdock from the United States in the small-bore rifle (three positions) at Montreal 1976. Murdock finished second to countryman Lenny Bassham after a count-back. A limited number of women’s events were first included at Los Angeles 1984. Until Barcelona 1992, women were still permitted to compete in those events that were not included in their program. From Atlanta 1996, the Olympic shooting program has been split into men’s and women’s events.
Olympic shooting now consists of 15 events across the three disciplines of rifle, pistol and shotgun.
Trap (125 targets) men
Shooters fire from five adjacent shooting stations. At each station, the targets are thrown one at a time from an underground bunker. The men’s match consists of 150 targets, shot over two days, 75 on the first day and 50 the second day. Then the top six contest a final series of 25 shots.
Trap (75 targets) women
Same as the men’s competition, except the women shoot three rounds of 25 targets for a total of 75. Then the top six contest a final series of 25 shots.
Double trap (120 targets) men
Competitors fire from five adjacent shooting stations. At each station, the targets are thrown two at a time from an underground bunker. Men shoot three rounds of 50 on one day at 150 targets. Then the top six contest a final series of 50 shots.
Skeet (125 targets) men
Targets are released from separate towers (high and low). The high tower is 3.05 metres above ground and the low target is 1.05 metres above ground. Each one is on either side of the range. Sometimes one skeet is thrown up whilst other times two.
Shooters move through a semi-circular range featuring eight shooting stations. The men’s match consists of 125 targets, shot in five rounds of 25 over two days. Three rounds are fired on day one, two rounds plus the final are shot on day two.
Skeet (75 targets) women
Like the men’s competition, but the women’s match consists of 75 targets, shot in three rounds on one day plus final.
50m rifle 3 positions (3x40 shots) men
Shooters fires 40 shots each in prone (time limit 45 minutes), standing (time limit 75 minutes) and kneeling position (time limit 60 minutes) at target 50 metres away. Prior to the first competition shot, any number of sighting shots may be fired.
50m rifle 3 positions (3x20 shots) women
Aiming at a target 50 metres away, 20 shots are fired each in the prone, standing and kneeling position. Time limit is 135 minutes.
50m rifle prone (60 shots) men
Sixty shots are fired in the prone position in 75 minutes at a target 50 metres away. Prior to the first competition shot, any number of sighting shots may be fired.
10m air rifle (60 shots) men
Shots fired in the standing position at a distance of 10m. Men shoot 60 shots in 105 mins.
10m air rifle (40 shots) women
Shots are fired in the standing position at a distance of 10m. Women complete 40 shots in a maximum 75mins.
10m air pistol (60 shots) men
Shooters fire from the standing position at targets 10m away. Men fire 60 competition shots in 105mins.
10m air pistol (40 shots) women
Shooters fire from the standing position at targets 10m away. 40 shots must be fired within 75mins at electronic targets.
25m rapid fire pistol (60 shot) men
There are two rounds of 30 shots each: one round consists of two series of five shots fired in 8 seconds; two series of five shots fired in six seconds and two series of five shots fired in four seconds at a distance of 25 metres.
25m pistol (30+30 shot) women
At a 25m distance six series of five precision shots must be completed in five minutes each and six series of five rapid shots must be completed in 3 seconds each.
50m pistol (60 shots) men
Within 120 minutes, any number of sighting shots plus 60 competition shots are fired at a target 50 metres away.