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In the 19th cent. the sport of rifle shooting became increasingly popular in England and in the United States, where the National Rifle Association (NRA) was formed (1871) to standardize the rules for rifle marksmanship. Matches were arranged and trophies offered. Pistol and revolver events were added in 1900. Shooting events have been included in the Olympic games since 1896; separate men's and women's events were established in 1984.

Among the Olympic events are pistol shooting at 50 m (164 ft), rifle shooting at 300 m (984 ft), trapshooting and skeet, and small-bore rifle shooting. NRA-sponsored tournaments are divided into sections for small-bore rifles, high-power rifles, pistols, and revolvers. In small-bore rifle shooting the targets range in distance from 50 ft to 200 yd (15.24®C182.88 m), and in pistol and revolver shooting from 50 ft to 50 yd (15.24®C45.72 m). For long-range rifle marksmanship, targets from 200 to 1,000 yd (182.88®C914.4 m) are used. A shooting target is made of black-on-white cardboard and is composed of a bullseye (black) and several concentric circles. Competitors shoot from four positions with the rifle°™prone, sitting, kneeling, and standing. Matches in which competing teams exchange scores by telegraphic and postal facilities are common.

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