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Olympics 101: Shooting
There are three types of firearms used in shooting: Pistol, rifle and shotgun. In the shotgun event, moving clay targets are deployed either in front or above the shooter. In the pistol and rifle events, shooters aim their firearms at stationary targets from 10, 25 or 50 meters. In the rifle event, three different positions are used: kneeling, standing and prone (lying down with chest on the ground). Pistol is the only firearm that limits the shooter to using one hand while shooting at a target.
The different events are as follows:
Air pistol: Shooting with a pistol at a target from 10 meters in a standing position.
Air rifle: Shooting with a rifle at a target from 10 meters in a standing position.
Men's double trap: Shooting at two clay targets that have been simultaneously launched in front of the shooter.
Men's pistol: Shooting with a pistol at a target from 50 meters in a standing position.
Men's rapid fire pistol: Shooting within a pistol at a target from 25 meters within a specific time limit of eight, six or four seconds.
Men's rifle prone: Shooting with a rifle at a target from 50 meters while in the prone position.
Rifle three positions: Shooting with a rifle at a target from 50 meters in three different positions.
Skeet: Shooting at a launched single or double target.
Trap: Shooting at a launched single target with only one shot attempt per launch.
Why should I care?
OK, it's kind of boring watching people shoot firearms but this sport is very important to Team USA — the US has the most shooting medals of any country. America loves guns.
OK, so who should I watch?
Kim Rhode won one bronze and two gold medals in previous Olympic double trap competition but that event is no longer offered to women so she switched to skeet. She won a silver medal (skeet) in the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing and set a new world record (skeet) at the ISSF World Cup Shotgun in Tucson, Arizona this year. Matthew Emmons is a two-time Olympian (rifle prone) talking gold in 2004 and silver in 2008.
What chance do the Americans have to win?
Team USA will bring home gold medals. It's not a popular sport to watch on television, but its presence will be felt when looking at the total American medal count in the 2012 Summer Games in London.
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