The sport of metallic silhouette shooting began in Mexico around the 1900's, moving into the United States in the 1960's, then later into Canada.
The original discipline was high power, all other variations are scaled down versions.
The rifle silhouette disciplines include: high power, small bore, black powder and air rifle.
All types use metal silhouette targets of chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams. High power and black powder use the longest range with distances of 200M - chickens (target is 10"x11"), 300M - pigs (22"x14"), 385M - turkeys (15"x23") and 500M - rams (32"x27"). The smallbore range is 1/5 the scale of the high power range and target sizes: 40M - chickens, 60M - pigs, 77M - turkeys and 100M - rams. The air rifle range is again scaled down to 1/10 the original size: 20 yards - chickens, 30 yards - pigs, 36 yards - turkeys, and 45 yards - rams
Some of the standards for equipment used for the various disciplines are as follows:
High power uses center fire rifles in 2 classes -
standard class maximum weight with scope = 10lbs. 2 oz., minimum 6mm caliber.
hunter class maximum weight with scope = 9lbs, minimum 6mm caliber with minimum 2lb trigger pull.
Small bore uses rimfire .22 caliber in 2 classes -
silhouette class maximum weight with scope = 10lbs 2 oz.,
hunter class maximum weight with scope = 8lbs 8oz. with minimum 2lb trigger pull
Air rifle in 2 classes
target air rifle, no weight limit
sporter air rifle, maximum weight 10lb. 2 oz.
Black powder - hunting or military style rifle, single shot, maximum weight 12lbs. 2oz.
Most silhouette matches are based on 40 shots, 10 shots per each animal, shot offhand. Shooters are given 2 1/2 minutes to shoot the first five targets, then a short break, then another 2 1/2 minutes to shoot the second five targets. Some matches may proceed with difference courses of fire but are all generally the same.
For more information about silhouette shooting, contact us or attend a match to watch how the sport is shot.
AMSA matches are governed by the National Rifle Association's rules for metallic silhouette. You can view those rules here, courtesy of the NRA.
Some local matches use a handicapped scoring system. This allows competitors from all levels to have a chance at winning at match. You can find our handicapped scoring guide here.