1. The first target shooting was practiced with bows and arrows and slings. Inscriptions on ancient Egyptian tombs depicted shooting and shooting lessons where bows and arrows were used.
2. The first target shooting using shoulder arms was performed with crossbows during the middle ages. The first shooting clubs were organized among the German people in the 12th century. Crossbows were used in one shot competitions using uniquely painted wooden targets. Swiss legend, William Tell became famous for his skill with the crossbow. At the beginning of the 16th century, firearms equipped with rifle barrels were used in shooting competitions.
4. The most popular era of shooting in the U.S was in the late 1800s. Offhand schuetzen rifle matches lured in hundreds of shooters from all over and thousands of spectators. Harry Pope and Dr. Walter Hudson were two of the greatest shooters of that time.
5. Trap shooting initiated in the U.S in 1825. Initial informal matches used live pigeons. Later the U.S developed artificial targets for trap competition using first glass balls containing feathers, then clay targets.
6. Skeet shooting was organized in the early 1900s. This sport was meant to stimulate upland game shooting. Initially, competitors shot around the clock using the whole circle of shooting which was later modified to a half circle. Clay birds were thrown from high and low houses situated on either side of the field.
7. Many national shooting federations were established in the 19th century. The NRA or National Rifle Association of America was founded in 1871 by Captain George Wingate and Colonel William Church of the New York National Guard. The NRA assumed responsibilities and leadership for pistol, rifle and at the beginning of the 1960s, shotgun shooting.
8. In 1896, the French pistol champion Baron Pierre de Coubertin established the first modern Olympic Games. The first games consisted of nine sports including shooting. Included on the program were two high powered rifle and four pistol events, and since then shooting events have been added every year at the Olympics.
9. U.S shooters were without a doubt among the world’s best rifle shooters of the 20th century. In the 1920s, Morris Fisher won dual Olympic gold medals and Walter Stokes won seven world championships. Post-1960s, Lones Wigger, won two Olympic gold medals and set 12 world records whereas Gary Anderson won dual Olympic gold medals and several world championships. Other 20th-century champion shooters included John Foster, Lanny Bassham, John Writer, Pat Spurgin, Margaret Murdock, Wanda Jewell, Bob Foth, Nancy Johnson, and Launi Meili.