If you grew up in a certain generation, you likely competed in one of the most popular shooting sports of all time: Duck Hunt. Although no bullets were flying down range, there was still the premise of aiming at a target and pulling a trigger for points. Nowadays, that’s just some fun Nintendo nostalgia. We’ve grown up and got our PAL. And some of us have even been embarking on real-world competitive shooting adventures. So, what kinds of shooting sports are out there for competitive Canadians? Here’s a look at a few of the most popular.

01: Olympic and International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF)

Did you know that in the 2016 Olympics, the Canadian team had two shooters —and they were both female? In fact, Olympic and ISSF shooting has 15 events divided into rifle, pistol, and shotgun disciplines. There are categories for men, women, and mixed teams. For rifles, there are the 50m 3 position (standing, kneeling, prone) and the 10m air rifle. For pistol events, there are the 25m rapid fire pistol, 25m pistol, and 10m pistol. All the pistol events are shot one-handed while standing. For shotgun, there is both trap and skeet shooting. If you are a Canadian looking to get into any of these shooting disciplines, check out the Shooting Federation of Canada.

02: International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC)

Do you have a penchant for handguns and consider yourself to be a practical person? Well then, the IPSC is likely the competitive shooting sport for you. IPSC events are designed to be “practical,” because they develop the skills you need to use a pistol in its full capability. The events challenge the shooter’s long and close range skills, reaction time, and problem-solving. IPSC events are also unique because they keep competitors constantly on their toes. Every stage of the match is completely different from the previous stages. Ready to compete? Visit IPSC Canada.

03: International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA)

IPSC events are designed to simulate self-defense scenarios. Competitors often find themselves in real-world scenarios such as convenience store robberies and home invasions, with the added challenges of awkward and difficult positions (you might be shooting from inside your car or from a bed). All of this makes IDPA one of the most challenging shooting sports around. Think you have the skills to defend yourself? Start by becoming an IDPA member.

04: Multi-Gun Competitions

Bored of just one gun? Well, 2-gun or 3-gun competition might be the sport for you. Multi-gun competition stages challenge participants to use a combination of rifles, handguns, and/ or shotguns, as they move through different stages and engage targets in a variety of positions. While one of the more expensive shooting sports, multi-gun competitions are incredibly popular and one of the most exciting options for players. Finding 3-gun information tends to be a little tricky in Canada, but we recommend starting here.

Overall, we’re lucky to have plenty of shooting sports to choose from in Canada. While ISSF, IPSC, and IPDA events tend to be the most popular, you’ll also find other intriguing options like metal silhouette, moving target, hunting rifle, and long-range target competitions. But one common denominator is that safety is a top priority. Perhaps that helps account for the rising number of youth and female competitive shooters. No matter what shooting sport you choose, best of luck to all you competitive shooters out there!

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