10M Air Pistol
(I wrote the following article on 10M air pistol for the Saskatchewan Handgun Association 2012 Fall Newsletter)
10m Air pistol is an International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) sanctioned shooting event that is shot at the Olympics. It is shot with .177 (4.5mm) calibre air pistols at a distance of 10 meters, into bullseye targets. Maximum weight for pistols is 1500 grams. Minimum trigger weight is 500 grams. The pistol must be able to fit into a box measuring 420 x 200 x 50 mm.
The pistol is shot with one hand in the standing, unsupported position using open sights. Under the new ISSF rules a match consists of 60 shots fired in 75 minutes for men, and 40 shots fired in 50 minutes for women. An unlimited number of ‘sighter’ shots are allowed but only prior to shooting the first competition shot. Shooters set their own pace during the match so long as they do not exceed the overall time limit.
Air pistol is a great way to learn how to shoot a handgun. Pellets and targets are relatively inexpensive. Air pistols have negligible recoil and are quite quiet. Training can occur anywhere you can set up a safe backstop and have 7-10m between the shooter and the target. Air pistols are not just for kids, as is a common misconception. Even seasoned handgun shooters can improve their shooting skills with an air pistol. If you have a chance to try this sport you will soon learn how much fun it can be.
For those interested in air pistol competition, numerous events exist from your local club to international competitions. In 2014 a number of regional winter games will be run in Canada (my local event will be the Saskatchewan Winter Games). 10m air pistol is often one of the events at these games as it is a recognized Olympic sport. Competing in these types of events can be an opportunity of a lifetime. Along with the shooting skills and personal discipline that you will develop, you will gain life long friends along the way.