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Shooting is the act or process of firing rifles, shotguns or other projectile weapons such as bows or crossbows. Even the firing of artillery, rockets and missiles can be called shooting. A person who specializes in shooting is a marksman. Shooting can take place in a shooting range or in the field in hunting, in shooting sports or in combat.


Technique and safety considerations

Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of firearm used (from a handgun to a sniper rifle), the distance to and nature of the target, the required precision and the available time. Breathing and position play an important role when handling a handgun or a rifle. Some shooting sports, such as IPSC shooting, make a sport of combat style shooting. The prone position, the kneeling position and the standing position offer different amounts of support for the shooter. Holding the gun sideways, as is sometimes seen in movies and on television, is not recommended because it makes the gun almost impossible to aim.

The utmost consideration for many shooters is gun safety. Like many activities such as mountain climbing, skiing, or sky-diving, there is an element of danger involved. And especially here, this danger demands a sober understanding and respect for firearms and the specific rules for the safe handling of them. This is compounded by the fact that the danger can easily extend beyond the participants – a stray bullet can injure or kill people other than those actually firing or handling the arms involved. At public ranges, the safety of all participants depends on the knowledge of everyone at the range.

Practical uses

Shooting is used for hunting upland game birds such as grouse or pheasant, rabbits, culling, deer hunting or other wild game animals, or shooting pest animals. Sometimes "shooting" refers to the hunting activity itself.

Shooting obviously is used in warfare, self-defense, crime, and law enforcement. Duels were sometimes held using guns. Shooting without a target has applications such as celebratory gunfire, 21-gun salute or firing starting pistols, incapable of releasing bullets.

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