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Gun specifications for Olympic Shooting Events


Rifle, pistol, and shotgun shooting are all part of the Olympic shooting events. Athletes compete in rifle and pistol events at indoor shooting ranges, where they aim at fixed targets. Shooting with a shotgun is done outside, where shooters must aim at targets that are thrown into the air.

Shooting, a sport that involves accuracy and concentration, was one of the original nine Olympic disciplines in Athens in 1896.


A bullseye on a paper target or flying ‘clays’ in a shotgun is the only target athletes can shoot at while shooting from a set distance (10m, 25m, 50m).

Rifle Specification for Shooting

In all competitions, the rifle is single-loaded with a 5.6-millimeter caliber (the inner diameter of a gun’s barrel).

Pistol Specification for Shooting

A 4.5-millimetre single-load pistol is used in the 10m Air Pistol event, while a 5.6-millimetre Rapid Fire Pistol with a five-shot magazine is used in the 25m event.

Shotgun Specification for Shooting

The shotgun has an 18.5-millimetre caliber and is a 12-gauge shotgun. A gauge is a weapons measurement unit. Gauge refers to how many equally-weighted spherical lead balls can be loaded into a shotgun’s barrel before it becomes unusable due to jamming.

Olympic Shooting Events Gear and Equipment

Shooters wear specialized jackets or coats to help them succeed by providing stability. These special jackets have a non-slip surface, which helps rifle shooters in particular maintain a stronger grip.

To help shooters improve their accuracy, these jackets have additional padding inside to reduce the impacts of recoil. The cushioning on the elbows gives rifle shooters a prone position with a stable base of support.

In order to promote concentration and prevent visual distractions, blinders are worn. Shotgunners are authorized to have one front blinder of a specified width. Only shotgun athletes, however, are allowed to use side blinders or blinkers.