Small bore Silhouette competitions are scaled down versions of High Power Silhouette’s targets and distances. Originating in Mexico when several local shooters began friendly competition (bet you can’t hit that sort of thing) against each other at full sized targets simulating common livestock found on each other’s farms. The distances they had readily available became the standard for High Power (200, 300, 385 & 500 Meters), and are further scaled from that point to all the other Silhouette disciplines (pistol, military rifle, cowboy lever, etc). Targets are steel, and consist of 4 different animal shapes: Chicken, Pig, Turkey, and Ram each shot at different distances. At FSC we use a 40 target match format for Small bore.
For Small bore (restricted to .22lr), there are 10 1/5 scaled targets per four distances: 40M/43Y (chicken), 60M/65Y (pig), 77M/84Y (turkey), 100M/109Y (ram). There are 2 rifle divisions: Hunting (using basic equipment) and Standard (more specialized/modified target rifles), with other weight / trigger / stock shape rules to determine the division of your rifle. Scopes are preferred, but not necessary. Within the 2 rifle divisions are 5 shooter skill classifications based on previous scores shot. At FSC, points (and bonus points for 5 & 10 in a rows) are accrued season long in order to name a club champion, and special prizes awarded each match for hitting a randomly picked target. Shooters in each division and shooter classification receive a certificate for winning their perspective placing, as does the highest scoring shooter in each rifle division. Shooters under 16 years of age and new comers shoot for free, come out and give it a try!
All shooting is done in the standing or offhand position without use of a sling or other support aid. At FSC, shooters that have a physical situation that will not allow them to stand, they are still allowed to shoot, but scores/prizes can’t be official or certified. Scoring is as simple as a hit or a miss. Add up the number of hits to determine final score. Targets that are hit 5 or 10 in a row are a special occasion, and have pins awarded for that achievement. 10 in a row’s on each animal are documented with the NRA over a shooters silhouette “career” in order to get what is the golden grail of silhouette known as a Grand Slam joining an elite group of shooters.
A general course of fire is the shooters are called to the firing line, followed by a command to load your rifle (5 rounds). Then the command to fire is called. You have 2.5 minutes to attempt to clear 5 targets from left to right at your present distance/animal assigned. A cease fire is called when time expires. Any misfires or other problems (known as alibis) are addressed. You have 15 to 30 seconds to reload your magazine (if used) and to regain your composure. You are called back to the line and the same process happens again on your next 5 targets at the same distance/animal assigned. Any alibis are addressed again, once the firing line is safe to do so, targets are reset and you rotate to your next animal when called to the line again. Animals are shot in order from chicken, pig, turkey, ram. Your starting animal will vary. Ties are decided by sudden death shoot offs or the highest hit count on a predetermined animal.
Small bore Silhouette is a challenging and an addictive shooting sport that allows a novice or seasoned shooter an economical & simple way to compete. It offers great offhand practice used for other shooting disciplines, excellent fine tuning for hunting, and a fun way to spend some time at the range with other folks with the same interests.
More detailed information, scores and printable practice targets for Small-bore & Air Rifle Silhouette can be found on the FSC website in the appropriate sections, or the NRA website about the competitions & history of Silhouette and rule-book for qualifying arms and ammunition: http://compete.nra.org/news-and-events/silhouette-programs.aspx