Airguns 101 – Competition – 10 Meter Air Pistol

Monday, March 31, 2014

 

10 meter air pistol competitors. Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

10 meter air pistol competitors. Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

As I write this in the spring of 2014, just a few short weeks ago, the winter Olympics in Russia wrapped up. I am always inspired by the Olympics. The athletes work so hard – so very, very hard – to get to the highest level of competition, and they lay it all on the line against athletes from around the world. Quite frankly, it annoys me that the broadcasters who cover the Olympic games (either summer or winter, it makes no difference), put so much emphasis on winning the gold medals.

These athletes work for years – sometimes decades – to bring themselves to the level of Olympic competition, and to have some broadcaster say, in essence, “Well, he (or she) only won the bronze medal . . .” Don’t get me wrong; I think winning the gold is great, but I also believe that winning a spot on the Olympic team is an astonishing accomplishment in itself.

And did you know that 10 meter air rifle and 10 meter air pistol are part of the Olympic competition? They are, and today we’ll take a look at 10 meter air pistol, which was introduced into the world championships in 1970 and into the Olympics in 1988.

 Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

Photo courtesy of usashooting.org

On the surface, it appears to be an incredibly simple game. You stand in normal street clothes 10 meters – 32.8 feet – from a target. With one hand, you aim an air pistol at a 6.7 inch by 6.7 inch target. What you are really aiming at, of course, is the 7/16 inch 10 ring. The object is to put as many pellets as you can inside the 10 ring during the course of a 40 or 60 shot match. It’s not easy; no one has shot a perfect score (all 10s) in 10 meter air pistol competition.

As competitive ventures go, 10-meter air pistol is surprisingly affordable. You can purchase a Daisy 747 single-stroke pneumatic pistol , suitable for club competition, for under $200. Add to that a sleeve of wadcutter .177 pellets and some practice targets, and you’re good to get started. Competitors at the highest levels generally shoot precharged pneumatic match air pistols that cost close to $2,000. What these pistols offer is incredible shot-to-shot consistency and a large number of adjustments to grip, trigger, and sights so that the shooter can tweak the ergonomics of the pistol so that he or she can shoot with utmost accuracy from shot to shot. Nevertheless, I have heard, first hand, the story of a high level air pistol shooter who was visiting a match, borrowed a Daisy 747 Triumph pistol, and shot a very respectable score.

If you want to know more about how to get started in 10-meter air pistol competition, visit http://www.usashooting.org/ . Click on the Resources tab for useful information, and under the Events tab, you will find lots of helpful stuff, including how to locate a club near you and how to find a match that offers 10-meter air pistol competition.

A personal aside, I tried shooting a season of 10 meter air pistol, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t much good at it, but I found the competition to be gratifying, I learned a lot about the competition, and I found the other competitors to be friendly and generous of their time and expertise. Even if you never get beyond the club level of competition, it is a lot of fun, and I recommend it.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

          Jock Elliott

9 Comments

  1. M. Albrecht,MD,Tucson Az. says:

    For those who have less than optimal vision,the Weihrauch HW40 may be an alternative for 10m target shooting. Trigger,handling , accuracy are superb and workmanship,reliability leave nothing to be desired. The big plus is a 11mm rail allowing the shooter to mount a pistol scope or red dot.
    7.0gr.RWS match pellets are ideal pellets to be used with the HW 40.

  2. Anonymous says:

    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    I agree with the representation of the Daisy Avanti 747 Triumph air pistol as quite adequate for enjoyable side-competitions with friends and associates at the range.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    It is the extra large thumb shelf (rest), and the low (European style) front sight, that provides sufficient control and target acquisition to print the black bulls-eye on a 2-inch “Shoot-N-C” for shot-after-shot at a 7-yard range. 
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    A third attribute of the 747 Triumph as a “SSP” (single stroke pneumatic) propulsion system is its ease of maintenance.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    My experience with casual shooting of the 747 has been that lubrication moisture can be maintained by applying two drops of “Pellgunoil”  to the compression pump-head, and the charging-arm-pivots, at the beginning of each month during the shooting season.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    The capstone of all the maintenance benefits is knowing that, if mechanical maintenance is ever needed, that the Daisy factory in Rogers, Arkansas will provide the service for a very reasonable flat-fee, regardless of the type of repair or service that they perform.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    Finally, and as with all my airguns, I occasionally clean the 747’s barrel with a light amount of “Simple Green” cleanser, and using a “Crown-saver” kit. I also very lightly lubricate all of my variety of pellets with a dry-lubricant titled “Krytech”.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
    The bottom-line is that, with simple maintenance, shooting for score with a 747 Triumph is easily achievable within a reasonable range.
    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

  3. Bob Todrick says:

    I remember about 6 years ago when I attended my first airgun competition as a spectator.
    The rifle shooters showed up with rolling hard cases holding their rifles along with at least a couple of larger bags stuffed with gear…special pants, jackets, shoes…you name it.
    The pistol shooters showed up in sneakers and a small range bag with their pistol, pellets and cleaning supplies.
    I knew right then what I wanted to shoot 🙂

  4. Mike says:

    I have shot a handful of competitions around Washington state and have done respectable. I equally was drawn into the pistol discipline by its simplicitiy and unlike the rifle competitiions I grew up shooting, I could bring all of my pistol gear in my backpack on my motorcycle. I spent way too much time modifying a Crossman 1377 pump pistol and used it with 4 pumps for ease and consistent accuracy, I have shot a 558 total and many 98 10 shot groups. Not a bad beginner gun and it lasted over 6000 shots before I had to put seals in it. Not a bad $60 gun for a beginner.

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Mike,

      That is impressive. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. Rob Kovach says:

    I am also new to air pistol competition after shooting bullseye for years and would like to confirm that even the affordable Daisy 747 is capable enough to achieve competitive scores. I shot my 2nd 30 shot match with a borrowed 747 and scored a 262 with it. If I had duplicated that score in the match I shot yesterday, I would have won the match in a field of $1500-$2000 air pistols. I did shoot a 516 to the winner’s 522–the match was EXTREMELY fun!! Don’t let a lack of fancy equipment stop you from trying this sport. You are missing out on some very fun times!

    1. Jock Elliott says:

      Rob,

      Thanks for your input and keep shooting!

  6. Lomash kumar says:

    I want be a shooter in olympics.Does Someone help me which air gun should I buy?

  7. Jock Elliott says:

    Lomash,

    You haven’t told me which discipline you want to shoot in.

    I suggest you read this http://www.airgunsofarizona-temp.com/blog/2014/04/airguns-101-competition-10-meter-air-rifle.html and this http://www.airgunsofarizona-temp.com/blog/2014/03/airguns-101-competition-10-meter-air-pistol-2.html

    Next, you should contact http://www.usashooting.org to find out where local level matches in your chosen shooting event are held.

    If you truly want to be an Olympic shooter, there is a long road ahead of you, requiring endless practice and lots of dedication, and the first step would be to find out what’s involved before you make any decisions about what air gun you should buy.

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