Everything leads to simple conclusion – weapon is one of most basic and most important inventions of mankind. Without armament our species would not survive in the cruel word of nature. Of course, initially such items were very primitive – we would call a sharp stick or stone a weapon. However, the application, not a form was crucial.
In time, such products would evolve into more advanced forms. People would start to shoot – many different types of bows became very popular. Of course the emerging of guns would not come for a years from that point, that could occur only after China invented powder. From this point everything went as we know it – succeeding constructions, growing efficiency, new mechanisms. Firearms became irreplaceable part of any military conflict. At the same time, proficiency in using such tools would became a part of competition. Therefore shooting concourses and events have a long story.
The oldest warrior competitions
As we know from various sources, almost every culture had competitions for their warriors. Often such events had sacral theme, at the same time proficiency was checked and various gods were adored. Such was the features of shooting competition in both ancient Greek and Rome.
In Poland similar competitions were organised by Brotherhoods of Roosters form eleventh century. In those times, such organisations were involved in associating citizens and teaching them how to use weapons in case of necessity to defend the city from raids. With time, brotherhoods of roosters would substantially evolve. Many concourses where held to fin so-called Rooster King. Of course such competitions were initially thrown to further motivate citizens to work on their skills, as it was commonly known that rivalry was a great motivator.
Of course such concourses are far away from emergent events. Similar competitions emerged in nineteenth century, in times of history-changing inventions known today as firearms or simply guns. New constructions, working on bullets – all of that created whole new proficiency. From that moment we can talk about emergent gunnery. In that moment, new competitions were organised, using those tools.
Starting from 30’s of nineteenth century, one of most popular gentleman entertainment was to shoot at pigeons, especially grown for that occasions and released in proper moment. In time livestock was replaced, for example with glass balls, thrown by a special machine. We have to admit, that hitting them required exceptional skills. And then, those practices were replaced by simple targets, which leads us to the competitions we know today.
At the same time, shooting was developing largely in United States of America. Considering the specific history of this country, people were strongly connected to weaponry, especially guns and the proficiency in using such tools was crucial for almost every man of those times. Therefore it’s not a surprise, that many competitions were organised there to test it.
The biggest turn happened, when shooting was officially recognised and made a part of first modern Olympics, which took place in Athens, in 1896. One year later, in France, first world championship in shooting was organised, starting the great history of shooting.