Competition Basics

Competing in metallic silhouette matches is fun, easy and provides shooters an opportunity to compete with others on his/her level to improve shooting skills over time. The thrill of shooting at “reactive steel animals that clang” when hit and watching them fall makes metallic silhouette one of the best shooting sports available. So come on out to a local gun club match and join us!

The following information provides the new or inexperienced shooter with an overview of our metallic silhouette sport, the rifles and equipment used, the typical course of fire and how we regulate our competitive matches.

Governing Bodies:

NASSA is laser focused on promoting the silhouette disciplines of High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Air Rifle and Lever Action Rifle. Quite a few of our silhouette shooters participate in all of these rifle disciplines. All our silhouette promotional efforts will be conducted in collaboration with the sanctioning bodies of the Silhouette Rifle Association of Canada (SRAC), the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Federación Mexicana de Tiro y Caza (FEMETI). 

The Silhouette Rifle Association of Canada (SRAC) is a member-funded society and governing body for silhouette throughout Canada. In this capacity, SRAC promotes the sport of silhouette, sponsors the Canadian Nationals, keeps track of competitor stats and competitors’ personal achievements such as Grands Slams and Canadian National Records. ……

The National Rifle Association is the governing body for much of the shooting sports in the USA, including metallic silhouette. The NRA Competition Resolution is “To foster and promote the shooting sports, including the advancement of amateur competitions in marksmanship at the local, state, regional and international levels”…..

The Federación Mexicana de Tiro y Caza (FEMETI) is the governing body for shooting sports in Mexico. Governance is conducted through the establishment of statues and regulations through the establishment, modification of such statues and regulations and monitoring compliance within the shooting sports under its domain. This includes the popular sport of metallic silhouette. FEMETI works closely with all State Affiliated Clubs and related organizations…..

Rifle Disciplines:

High Power Rifle — This is the grandfather of all metallic silhouette disciplines with the first organized high power metallic silhouette rifle match shot in Mexico City in 1948. There are two classes, “Standard Rifle” and “Hunter Rifle” sanctioned by the NRA and the SRAC, with the primary difference being the weight of the rifle and trigger pull. Mexico only has “Standard Rifle” class in sanctioned matches by FEMETI……

HP Hunter Class Rifle – Defiance Action & Krieger Barrel in 6mm br

To read more about Silhouette HP Rifles, click on the link below:

Smallbore Rifle — With the popularity of smallbore .22lr hunting rifles, it was inevitable that the smallbore rifle silhouette discipline would follow high power and eventually become more popular. Similar to the “High Power Rifle discipline, there is a “Standard Rifle” and “Hunter Rifle” class Smallbore Rifle sanctioned by the NRA and the SRAC. In Mexico, there is a “Standard Rifle” class as well as a light rifle class hunter rifle with metallic leaf sights utilizing larger targets. Championship matches, such as the Lapua Monarch Cup, conducted in Mexico, the USA and Canada will utilize only Standard Rifles…..

Smallbore Hunter Rifle – Anschutz 54.18 Action & Lilja Barrell

To read more about Silhouette Smallbore Rifles, click on the link below:

Air Rifle – With the development of air rifle technology for 10-Meter ISSF competition in the 1970’s, it was not long before these same target air rifles found their way into silhouette air rifle competitions. Ultimately, three classes of rifles were later sanctioned by the NRA and the SRAC: Target Rifle, Sporter Rifle and Open-Class Rifle. Mexico is currently reviewing new rules and regulations to participate in future FEMETI and North American-based air rifle championship matches. To read more about silhouette air rifles, click on the link below:

Open Class Air Rifle – Steyr LG110 Field Target Model (Custom Stock)

To read more about silhouette air rifles, click on the link below:

Lever Action Rifle – This is the latest silhouette rifle discipline to be sanctioned by the NRA and the SRAC. Smallbore, Pistol Cartridge and Rifle Cartridge Lever Action are the three classes of lever action rifles currently sanctioned by the NRA and SRAC. The lever action rifle discipline is currently not conducted nor sanctioned by FEMETI in Mexico……

Lever Action Rifle Class – Marlin 336CB in 38-55 Caliber

To read more about Silhouette Lever Action Rifles, click on the link below:

Link to NRA Rules….

Course of Fire for Silhouette Matches:

Silhouette matches are conducted at the local gun club level, state/province level, regional level or national championship level. The basic course of fire is ten gallina (chicken) targets, ten javelina (pig) targets, ten guajalote (turkey) targets and ten borrego (ram) targets shot from a standing position over a set time limit.

A SRAC, NRA or Fementi sanctioned match consists of shooting steel animals at different distances 40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing positiion.

The daughter of a gun club member, who belongs to a local 4-H club, is shooting her first smallbore rifle silhouette club match.

Lever gun – Firing period. will include a 30 second ready (Loading) period and 2 minutes for 5 shots

Ammunition must be loaded hrough the tubular magazine. Ammunition may not be leaded directly into the chamber.

Binoculars may be used for spotting. Spotting scopes or stands may not be used.

Clothing that adds stability to the shooting position is not allowed.

Rule 6.9, concerning wind flags will not apply. Personal wind indicating devices are not allowed in the vicinity of the competitors.

High Power Silhouette Rifle Competition – A sanctioned match consists of 40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing position on full size targets as follows (an example of the minimum course of fire):

  • Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 200 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 300 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 385 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Borrego (rams) targets at 500 meters (or yards).

Smallbore Silhouette Rifle CompetitionA sanctioned match consists of 40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing position on one-fifth size standard high power silhouette rifle targets as follows (an example of the minimum course of fire):

  • Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 40 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 60 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 77 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Borrego (rams) targets at 100 meters (or yards).

Air Rifle CompetitionA sanctioned match consists of 40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing position on one-tenth size standard high power silhouette rifle targets as follows (an example of the minimum course of fire):

  • Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 20 yards.
  • Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 30 yards.
  • Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 36 yards.
  • Ten Borrego (rams) targets at 45 yards.

Cowboy Lever Action rifle Competition – A sanctioned match consists of 40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing position on the below listed targets as follows (an example of the minimum course of fire):

  1. Cowboy Lever Action (Rifle Cartridge) – standard high power silhouette targets.
  • Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 50 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 100 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 150 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Borrego (rams) targets at 200 meters (or yards).

Pistol Cartridge CowboyLever Action Rifle –

  1. Pistol Caqtridge Cowboy Lever Action Rifle – One-half size high power rifle targets (hunter pistol weight).
  • Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 40 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 50 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 75 meters (or yards).
  • Ten Borrego (rams) targets at 100 meters (or yards).

7.4 Cowboy Lever Action Competition – A sanctioned match consists of
40, 60, 80 or 120 rounds fired in the standing position on the below listed targets:
(a). Cowboy Lever Action – Standard High Power Rifle Silhouette targets.
(b). Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action – One-half the size of standard High Power Rifle targets. Hunter’s Pistol size and type.
(c). Smallbore Cowboy Rifle – One-half the size of standard High Power
Rifle targets. Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol size and type.
(d). Minimum course of fire and distance:

  1. Cowboy Lever Actions – Standard High Power silhouette targets
    (a) Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 50 meters (or yards).
    (b) Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 100 meters (or yards).
    (c) Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 150 meters (or yards).
    (d) Ten Borrego (ram) targets at 200 meters (or yards).
  2. Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action and Smallbore Cowboy Rifle
    (a) Ten Gallina (chicken) targets at 40 meters (or yards).
    (b) Ten Javelina (pig) targets at 50 meters (or yards).
    (c) Ten Guajalote (turkey) targets at 75 meters (or yards).
    (d) Ten Borrego (ram) targets at 100 meters (or yards).

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Steel Target Sizes & Distances:

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Supporting Equipment:

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Shooter Classifications:

In Canada and the USA, the SRAC and the NRA NRA sets the standards for the classification of shooters for each different type of rifle used in the sport. There are 5 classifications based on skill level in rifle silhouette. The classes are B, A, AA, AAA and Master class. B is the lowest ranking class and where many beginners start out. Master is the highest class where the best shooters end up. The first time a shooter shoots a silhouette match with a type of rifle they compete as an unclassified shooter. The shooter will be classified based on the score shot in that first match.

The classification system makes for a more level playing field where shooters only compete against other shooters in their same class. AA shooters only compete against other AA shooters and so on. This makes every shooter in a large match competitive within their class. Large matches give awards or prizes for each class as well as an overall match winner award. The beauty of this system of classifications based on skill level is that a shooter competes against other shooters of similar skill levels throughout their silhouette shooting career and will always be competitive and have a chance at winning in their class.

(Verify Mexico shooter classifications and get light rifle regulations))

High Power Silhouette Rifle

Smallbore Silhouette Rifle

Air Rifle

Cowboy Lever Action Rifle

Safety Considerations:

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