Shooting is the act or process of discharging a projectile from a ranged weapon (such as a gun, slingshot, crossbow, or bow. Even the acts of launching/discharging artillery, darts, grenades, rockets and guided missiles can be considered acts of shooting. When using a firearm, the act of shooting is often called firing as it involves initiating a combustion process (deflagration).
Shooting can take place in a shooting range or in the field, in shooting sports, hunting or in combat. The person involved in the shooting activity is called a shooter. A skilled, accurate shooter is a marksman or sharpshooter, and a person’s level of shooting proficiency is referred to as his/her marksmanship.
Shooting has inspired competition, and in several countries rifle clubs started to form in the 19th century. Soon international shooting events evolved, including shooting at the Summer and Winter Olympics (from 1896) and World Championship (from 1897). The International Shooting Sport Federation still administers Olympic and non-Olympic rifle, pistol, shotgun, and running target shooting competitions, although there is also a large number of national and international shooting sports controlled by unrelated organizations.
Shooting technique differs depending on factors like the type of firearm used (from a handgun to a precision rifle); the distance to and nature of the target; the required precision; and the available time. Breathing and position play an important role when handling a handgun or a rifle. Some shooting sports, such as IPSC shooting and biathlon also include movement. The prone position, kneeling position, and standing position offer different amounts of support for the shooter.
Shooting most often refers to the use of a gun (firearm or air gun), although it can also be used to describe discharging of any ranged weapons like a bow, crosbow, slingshot. The term “weapon” does not necessarily mean it is used as an combat tool, but as a piece of equipment to help the user best achieve the goal of his/her activities.