BC Target Sports Association

For shooters who enjoy instant gratification, this sport may be for you. There's no waiting here. A well-aimed shot results in a resounding clang as the metal target topples from it's stand. A miss is just that, a puff of dirt kicking up behind the target, which remains insolently standing as if to taunt the shooter. For competitors and spectators alike, it's a fast-paced game that spells FUN! It's also a surprisingly easy game to play.

Originally developed in Mexico and carried across the border as a hunter's game, the rules and equipment are simple: The targets consist of life-sized steel plate silhouettes of chickens, pigs, turkeys and sheep. These are arranged in banks of five each with the chickens at 200 metres, pigs at 300, turkeys at 385 and sheep at 500. A shooter is given 2-1/2 minutes to fire one round at each of the five targets. Scoring is equally simple; if your round knocks the target completely off it's stand, it's a hit. Anything else is a miss!

Shooting is done from the standing position (off hand) without the aid of slings, padded shooting jackets, palm rests, or even shooting gloves. In keeping with the original concept of a hunter's game, weight restrictions on allowable rifles rule out specialized target guns. Shooters compete with scoped rifles that are eminently suited for the hunting fields. In fact, the most popular guns among veteran competitors are bolt action rifles chambered for such popular rounds as the 30/06, the 308 and 6mm.

By using scaled down versions of the silhouettes, matches are also held for 22 rimfire rifles (smallbore class) and even air rifles. In the smallbore game, downsized chickens are placed at 40 metres, pigs at 60, turkeys at 77 and sheep at 100 metres. Air rifle shooters face those targets at 20 yards, 30 yards, 36 yards, and 45 yards, respectively.

Firearms: The original game, "Siluetas Metalicas" is shot with a centerfire rifle that must be of 6mm or larger calibre, with the most popular rifles chambered in 308 and 30/06 calibers. The maximum allowable weight of the Silhouette rifle, including sights, is 10 pounds, 2 ounces. The Hunter Class rifle must be factory original hunting style rifles weighing no more than 9 lbs total.
In smallbore rifle silhouette, standard 22 rimfire is used to engage scaled down versions of the silhouette targets. Scoped sighting devices are allowed and some competitors opt for optics with magnification settings in excess of 12 power. The Hunter Class silhouette rifles must weigh no more than 8-1/2 lbs and the trigger pull must be 2 lbs. or more while Silhouette Class rifles must weight no more than 10 lbs 2 oz. with no minimum trigger pull. Beginners are at no disadvantage starting off with a favourite hunting rifle with a 4X scope and, in fact, most beginners do start this way.

Scoring: A typical match consists of 40 rounds, fired in the following sequence:

  1. Centerfire Rifle: 10 chicken targets at 200 metres 10 pig targets at 300 metres 10 turkey targets at 385 metres 10 ram targets at 500 metres. For each five round stage (one shot, left to right, at each target in a bank of five), a shooter is allowed a maximum of 2-1/2 minutes.
  2. Smallbore (.22 cal) Rifle: 10 chicken targets at 40 metres, 10 pig targets at 60 metres 10 turkey targets at 77 metres 10 ram targets at 100 metres . For each five round stage (one shot, left to right, at each target in a bank of five), a shooter is allowed a maximum of 2-1/2 minutes.
You receive one point for each animal knocked off it's stand for a possible total of 40 points in a match.

Highpower is similar to the Smallbore side of the sport.
Centerfire targets are a lot larger than smallbore targets but are shot at 200, 300, 385 and 500 meters.
The rules state the minimum calibre is 6mm-243. There are many calibre's to choose from, the 308 Winchester is a popular choice, but some shooters go for more exotic equipment. That is a decision for you to make - a good compromise is a rifle you can use in the field as well as on the range. Some calibre's are better than others but you will need enough energy to topple a heavy Ram at 500 meters
Metallic silhouette shooting originated in Mexico from the old "shootin match" using live animals. The shooter who killed the animal was awarded it as a prize. This evolved into using metallic cutouts of local animals as targets, rather than live animals. Our Mexican neighbours had all the rules worked out by the time the sport moved north into the U.S. in the early 1960's and into Canada in the 1980's. Originally fired only with high powered rifles, the sport enjoys a modest popularity, hampered only by the need for rifle ranges with the required 500 metre range. The Mexicans also developed the smallbore competition using scaled down targets with a maximum range of 100 metres. Some clubs also have the ability to shoot the event with Air Rifles indoors at 10 M.
Last Reviewed: July 10, 2017