Test Your Aim: A Brief Intro to Different Types of Competition Shooting and Shooting Sports


Have you ever considered trying competition shooting? There are various types of shooting sports that you can choose from like Action & Practical Shooting, Multi-Gun Shooting, Precision Shooting, and more. Each discipline has a unique set of rules, targets, and positions, making just about every type of competition shooting exciting! In this blog, we’ll dive into a few options of different types of competition shooting and shooting sports.

Action and Practical Shooting

Action and Practical Shooting are exciting and dynamic shooting sports that involve moving and shooting at various targets. It’s also known as “run and gun” because the competitors move through a series of shooting positions while taking shots at numerous paper targets, plates, poppers, and/or other targets. Some of the most popular events under Action and Practical Shooting are USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association), IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), and IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation). Looking for more of a concealed carry and defensive approach? With IDPA, participants shoot at multiple targets while following specific procedures, with the objective to shoot accurately and quickly under the pressure of simulated defensive scenarios.

Multi-Gun Shooting

Another thrilling discipline is the Multi-Gun Shooting, an exhilarating action sport that challenges competitors to master various firearms in a single match. From rifles to pistols and shotguns, this high-energy competition has certainly grown in popularity across the nation, due to its versatile nature. Looking to add in even more of a challenge? Que the exciting world of the “Tactical Games”, where you’ll don a plate carrier and push your limits with combining weightlifting, rope climbing, and other physical activities while testing your speed and accuracy with a rifle and pistol. Talk about a heart pounding sport!

Precision Shooting

Precision Rifle Series (PRS) competitions dominate the world of long-range shooting with their challenging targets. Shooters must engage these targets from various shooting positions, often in a limited amount of time. To succeed in PRS shooting, a shooter needs a well-equipped, long-range precision rifle. I have also found that shooters will likely excel if they also possess a patient demeanor, along with honed skills in quickly acquiring stable positions, taking accurate shots, and smoothly transitioning between firing positions. You can certainly experience how satisfying it is to watch your steel target move at 700 meters in this sport!

Shotgun Sports

There are also competitions/sports that involve using a shotgun to hit different targets such as clays, birds, and more. The most common competitions in this discipline are Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays. Trap shooting challenges are where participants shoot clay targets as they are launched into the air in a random sequence from a trap house. In Skeet, participants shoot at the same clay targets as Trap, but instead engage targets that are thrown from two machines, where one is located at the left of the field and the other on the right of the field (“high” house and “low” house). Sporting Clays is a course-based competition, similar to golf, where participants hit targets thrown from various stations, often to simulate something along the lines of a flight path of game birds for example. Shotgun Sports are some of the oldest types of shooting sports to date and it is easy to see why, as they are a classically fun activity that many enjoy.

Revolver Sports

Looking to compete with your trusty revolver? No problem at all. There are numerous exciting disciplines available, such as USPSA, IDPA, Cowboy Action, Outlaw Matches, Steel Challenges, and more where you can participate in using your revolver.


Competition shooting is an exciting and challenging sport that comes in various forms. Please note, there are some shooting sports that were not mentioned in this post (like indoor matches, .22 matches, Benchrest, etc..), providing even more options available to you. Choosing which division to compete might be overwhelming, but with variety, comes options to finding what’s right for you. Joining a gun club that offers training and opportunities to shoot will help you gain more knowledge about each shooting sport, and provide you with fun opportunities to fill up your weekends. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your gun, hone your shooting skills, and take on the challenge of competition shooting!

-Marcee Finn

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