Olympic Rapid Fire Shooting
The Rapid Fire Pistol event at a World Cup in Munich, 2005 (Pilk)
(note the electronic targets)
of Rapid Fire Pistol (RFP) shooting has been part of the Olympic games
the founding of the modern games in 1896 (three years after Phoenix’s
“Washington’s Birthday Rifle Match” was initiated, more on that in
article, and 16 years before Arizona became a state). It is one of the
5 pistol events currently in the Olympics.
this: You stand facing downrange, your pistol pointing 45º to the
front of you. Seconds after the command “Attention” five targets turn
you, you lift your gun smoothly to the first target “bang”, come out of
to bring your shooting arm in line with the second target, “bang”, then
third, fourth and fifth targets... in 4 seconds!…. Nothing moves
deliberately other than your waist as
to the next target and of course, your trigger finger.
pistol consists of shooting at 5 big bullseye targets at 25 meters in
strings of 8 seconds, 6 seconds and 4 seconds. A total of 60 shots are
over these 12 strings, so a 600 would be a perfect score. Some German
the east) named Ralf Schuman holds the world record with a 597 and 3
gold medals, a 592 won his gold in Athens.
the US has NOT won a gold medal in this event since 1960! What’s going
on? We're the home of the 2nd amendment!
Americans LOVE our guns! Why don’t we produce as many top shooters and
communist countries do? (at the Pan Am games in 2003, the results were:
Cuba, #2: Cuba, #3: USA) Well that might change!
have changed over the years. Like most games it became an equipment
evolving very specialized pistols chambered in .22 short, with
wrap-around grips and very light electronic triggers. You can’t buy
at your local gun shop! The International Shooting Sports Federation
put the brakes on the equipment race, so NOW, starting in 2005, only
.22’s can be used.
rules require .22 LR, standard bullet weight and velocity, no
wrap-around grips. Almost any .22 semi-auto pistol except those with
barrels or dangerously light triggers is permitted!
& company won’t be shooting Ruger Mk II’s, Trailsides and Browning
Marks, but YOU CAN!!! Such guns would be perfect for starting out in
Olympic sport is very under-represented in the US. At this year’s
Championships only 11 people in the entire country shot! And TWO of
from PRGC! Only 8 participated in both olympic tryout matches for this
an attempt to qualify for last year’s US Olympic team.
So, it is
entirely conceivable that a shooter, starting this year, dedicating
this sport and training for 5 years, could qualify for the US Olympic
2012 (Assuming the US wins the “quota slot” right to send an athlete to
games in this event!).
Rapid Fire Pistol at Phoenix Rod & Gun
members have probably seen the little tiny half-building, near the club
off to the left between the High Power 500 yd line and the Range
residence, and not even realized it significance, or know even what it
probably the only functional, dedicated Olympic-style 25 meter Rapid
range with pneumatic turning targets in the state of Arizona (Ben Avery
theirs down years ago and dismantled it, but might rebuild it).
PRGC has a monthly PTO (Preliminary Try Out) match
Olympic/international shooting events. This is on the 3rd
RFP can be fired on either Saturday or Sunday. We will expand the event
to more matches per month
there is interest. (also our state championships will be 17-18-Nov-07)
Pistol Division’s International-style shooters want to see this sport
help all of you new to the sport get started in RFP we will hold a
class in conjunction with any of our monthly PTO for any interested new
shooter. The class will
consist of an
introduction to the sport, the skills and techniques needed, the rules,
and the equipment, a chance to check the zero of the pistol at 25m,
one-on-one coaching, try all of the stages, shooting a full match.
Those who join USA Shooting will have their scores submitted
of the PTO.
need eye & ear protection, any .22 pistol, a coupla hundred
bullets, and a
mind open to trying something new and challenging and having a lot of
a pretty safe bet you won’t shoot a score in the 590’s (and scare off
German and Chinese Olympic teams) on your first time out, in fact,
probably have a few misses and saved rounds in that 4 second string,
but you'll have fun and you’ve
probably got the equipment to get started.
Fire is a men’s only event in segregated Olympic competition, women are
certainly welcome to participate in all PRGC shoots too, but there IS a
25 meter event in the Olympics, its called “Sport Pistol”: same gun,
course of fire. We shoot that on too on the monthly PTOs and also on
the 2nd and 4th tuesday evening (6:30 till 9 or so) in
conjunction with the non-olympic sport of men's international
We also have matches in olympic style
Air Pistol, Air Rifle, 50m smallbore (.22) rifle and 50m "free pistol",
both at PRGC and Ben Avery.
It has been said that Rapid Fire Pistol is the easiest Olympic Sport. All your equipment fits in a briefcase, you stand still the whole time, you only have to lift about 2 lbs, and you only need top performance for 72 seconds. – See you in Beijing!