Mexico in the forties: shooting live animals at long range is a
very popular sport. Dating back to the revolutionary era, these matches gather a lot of
people and there are big bucks at stake. The betting runs high based on competitor
It took a few years to see these events disappear due to cheating and
the action of the animal protection leagues.
1948: Don Gonzalo Aguilar sponsors the first match shot on metallic
silhouettes in Mexico City (big bore and small-bore rifle, small-bore pistol). Metallic
silhouette shooting is born.
1967: The first big bore rifle matches are organised in Arizona.
Roy Dunlap formalises the shooting rules.
1973: The NRA recognises rifle silhouette shooting as a
full-fledged shooting discipline.
1975: Elgin Gates adapts the rifle silhouette rules to handguns.
1976: Creation of the IHMSA under the leadership of Elgin Gates.
1987: New silhouette categories are created.
1989: Silhouette shooting has been spreading all over Europe and
the different national federations or unions get in contact. This leads to the creation of
the AETSM ("Association Européenne de Tir sur Silhouettes Métalliques" which
means European Metallic Silhouette Shooting Association). The AETSM federates the
discipline at European level. Thirteen countries are AETSM members to this day.
1992: Silhouette shooting is practised all over the world but the
sporting rules begin to diverge. The IMSSU (International Metallic Silhouette Shooting
Union) is created. The IMSSU federates the sport at world level. Eighteen countries
were original IMSSU members, most of them to this day (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa,
Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, USA and Zimbabwe).
- Jean-Pierre BEURTHERET
- IMSSU General Secretary