A shooting sport is a competitive sport involving tests of proficiency (accuracy and speed) using various types of guns such as firearms and airguns. Hunting is also a shooting sport, and indeed shooting live pheasants was an Olympic event (albeit only once, in 1900). The shooting sports are categorized by the type of firearm, targets, and distances at which the targets are shot.
A shotgun is similar to a rifle, but typically fires projectiles that either contain many smaller sub-projectiles called Shot (pellet), or one large projectile. They are more often over & under break-action or semi-automatic. The majority of shotgun events are included in Clay pigeon shooting.
- The three Shotgun ISSF/ Olympic shooting events Trap, Double Trap, and Skeet. All are based on quick reaction to clay targets thrown by a machines called "Traps".
- The Fédération Internationale de Tir aux Armes Sportives de Chasse (FITASC) is a type of shotgun sport shooting similar to sporting clays, trap and skeet.
- Other shotgun sports with (at least partial) international recognition include Sporting Clays, Down-The-Line/ATA and Five stand.
Air gun (often called pellet gun or BB gun depending on the projectile) is any variety of pneumatic weapon that propels projectiles by means of compressed air or other gas, in contrast to firearms, which use a propellant charge. Both the rifle and pistol forms (air rifle and air pistol) typically propel metallic projectiles, either pellets, or BBs.
Air guns are used for hunting, pest control, recreational shooting and competitive sports, such as the Olympic 10 m Air Rifle and 10 m Air Pistol events. Field Target (FT) is a competitive form of target shooting in which the targets are knock-down metal silhouettes of animals, with a 'kill zone' cut out of the steel plate. Hunter Field Target (HFT) is a variation, using identical equipment, but with differing rules. The distances FT and HFT competitions are shot at range between 7.3 and 41.1 metres (24 and 135 ft) for HFT & 7.3 and 50.29 metres (24.0 and 165.0 ft)for FT, with varying sizes of 'reducers' being used to increase or decrease the size of the kill zone. In the UK, competition power limits are set at the legal maximum for an unlicensed air rifle, i.e. 12 ft•lbf (16 J).