First US Medal in Shooting

Michael Bane has the coverage.  Bitter was lamenting over the weekend why the United States doesn’t absolutely dominate at the shooting sports.  I think part of the reason is that a lot of our really good shooters compete in other shooting disciplines, and don’t get involved with the Olympic shooting sports to the extent people do in other countries.

Think about how many good high-power shooters there are out there?  Not an Olympic sport.  I do Silhouette, which is also not an Olympic sport.  IPSC?  IDPA?  Steel Challenge?  Pin shooting?  Olympic sports none.  I think the reason Americans don’t dominate Olympic shooting is because here, there’s just so many other disciplines to choose from, many of which are a lot more interesting than standing stationary ten meters away from a paper target with a $2000 air gun.

6 thoughts on “First US Medal in Shooting”

  1. You are exactly correct. Let’s take trap-shooting as an example. In the entire United States there are – maybe – 25 places to participate in the Olympic variant of this discipline. The domestic variant can be experienced at probably tens of thousands of clubs throughout the country. The same goes for most of the Olympic shooting sports.

  2. “there’s just so many other disciplines to choose from, many of which are a lot more interesting than standing stationary ten meters away from a paper target with a $2000 air gun.”

    From that description I’d say all of which are a lot more interesting than standing stationary ten meters away from a paper target with a $2000 air gun.

  3. Well, I’m glad you asked…If you know American-style trapshooting, then you know there is a small “house” sitting a couple of feet high – 16 yards in front of the regular shooting positions – in which there is one target-throwing machine, set to throw a target at a fixed-height, out to a fixed distance (anywhere between 48-52 yards). This machine oscillates (electrically or hydraulically) such that when called for (“Pull!”), a target will emerge out of the front of the house – going away from the shooter – anywhere within a 45-degree arc as measured from the middle of the forward edge of the house, in line with the middle (#3) shooting position. The target emerges and the shooter – standing at one of five shooting positions – has one shot to break it. Shooters shoot five shots at a post and then move to their right to the next post. In Olympic Trapshooting, there are fifteen (15) machines, three in front of each of the five shooting positions. The “house” is a covered trench, the roof of which is at ground level. The machines do not oscillate, but can throw targets to different distances (which means target speeds vary), at different heights (anywhere from about 18 inches above the ground to 15 feet above it – as measured ten meters out) and at up to a 45-degree angle left or right – for a total legal-target arc of 90-degrees – as measured from each position. (Compare that to the ATA-style target arc which permits a maximum angle of 22.5-degrees at either the first or fifth position). The targets are thrown anywhere from 70 to 80 meters, so the slowest target is going to come out of the house about half-again as fast as an American-style target. In the preliminary event, two shots are permitted to break a target and there is no penalty for using the second shot to do so. In the final, which consists of the top six finishers from the preliminary/qualification rounds, only one shot per target is permitted. It is a European game and our medalists: Morris-64-B; Garrigus-68-S; Haldeman-76-G (from Bucks County Pennsylvania!); Carlisle-84-B; Bade-96-B and Lakatos-96-S have mostly come from the military, which built the necessary facilities and undertook to train shooters in the 50s and 60s to counter Soviet talent. After the ‘84 games the Los Angeles facilities became popular and a new wave of participants began spreading the word. America’s most successful clay-target shooter (ever?) is a woman named Kim Rhode who has competed in three Olympics (she’s now at her fourth) and has never done worse than a Bronze medal – 2G, 1B. There are five olympic events in just shotgun shooting – Men’s Trap, Skeet & Double Trap; Women’s Trap & Skeet. There are 15-17 Olympic shooting events in total. So, now you know.

  4. 8/14 – Kim Rhode just won the Silver Medal in Women’s Skeet. FOUR Olympiads, two different sports and nothing worse than a Bronze Medal, ever…2G; 1S; 1B. Simply amazing. jfw

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