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Shooting sports is a group of competitive and recreational sporting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in shooting —

the art of using ranged firearms, mainly referring to man-portable guns (firearms and airguns, in forms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns) and bows/crossbows.

Shooting sports can be categorized by equipment, shooting distances, targetstime limits and degrees of athleticism involved.

Shooting sports may involve both team and individual competition, and team performance is usually assessed by summing the scores of the individual team members. Due to the noise of shooting and the high (and often lethal) impact energy of the projectiles, shooting sports are typically conducted at either designated permanent Shooting gear or temporary shooting fields in the area away from settlements.

Target shooting (shooting gear) was a favorite sport in colonial America, with the New England Puritans regularly testing their shooting skills for recreation and at militia training days. The Scotch Irish settlers on the frontier favored shooting matches sponsored by Tavern keepers.

 Turkey shoots were popular after harvest time. Contestants would pay an entry fee, and everyone who killed a tethered turkey at 110 yards for muskets or 165 yards for rifles could keep the bird. German gunsmiths in Pennsylvania began to manufacture Flintlock rifles in the 1720s, which became especially popular among hunters because of its long-range accuracy. It could be accurate to 200 yards.

Along about 1820, percussion caps, and the locks that ignited them, became available, and nearly all new firearms began to be constructed using this ignition system. Many flintlock firearms were also subsequently converted to the percussion system, which was a relatively simple procedure that could be accomplished by local gunsmiths.