International Handgun Metallic Silhouette
International Handgun Metallic Silhouette is a rimfire and centrefire revolver and pistol shooting discipline where competitors aim to knock down metal animal-shaped targets.
The targets are placed on steel stands in banks of five and set at a variety of known distances, with the competitors having a certain amount of time to knock as many down as they can. The firearms used must fall into one of four categories: Production, Revolver, Standing and Unlimited, and there are three official matches: Big Bore, Smallbore and Field Pistol, with each match having its own categories.
In 2016 the SSAA and the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) officially affiliated. The SSAA is now the only association conducting Handgun Metallic Silhouette matches in Australia using the IHMSA rules. In addition, some clubs conduct Handgun Metallic Silhouette events using NRA rules as the SSAA has a close affiliation with the NRA.
Silhouette shooting had its origins in Mexico in the early 1900s, when the Mexican Revolutionary general Pancho Villa’s troops used live animals as targets in long-range rifle shooting contests. Live animals were replaced with metal silhouette targets in about 1950. This new rifle competition ‘migrated’ to the United States in the mid-1960s and developed quite a following there.
The first Handgun Metallic Silhouette match, using the same targets at shorter ranges, was conducted in 1975 in Arizona and was very well received by shooters. One year later, the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association (IHMSA) was formed and the sport grew. The match soon came to Australia and by the early 1980s, matches were being conducted around the country.