Handgun Metallic Silhouette
SECTION DIRECTOR - Greg Booth
(Click on Name Above to contact Greg)
Welcome to the HMS Action Shooting Page
WHAT is HMS Shooting?
HMS Shooting is a group of target shooting disciplines that involves shooting at metal cutouts representing game animals at varying distances. Metallic silhouette shooting can be done with airguns and black powder firearms or modern handguns. The targets used are rams, turkeys, pigs and chickens which are cut to different scales and set at certain distances from the shooter depending on the specific discipline.
IMSSU is the international federation controlling Metallic Silhouette for both rifle and pistol competitions.
International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association(IHMSA) is a USA based shooting organisation. There are some minor differences between the international federations IMSSU rules and those of the IHMSA, but it is generally possible to compete in all with the same equipment. New Zealand shoots to both IHMSA and IMSSU Rules.
Metallic silhouette is descended from an old Mexican sport, dating back to the early 1900s, where live game animals were staked out at varying distances as targets. By 1948, this practice was stopped and metal cutouts of the animals were used instead of live animals, and the first metallic silhouette match was held in Mexico City. Because of its Mexican roots, in America the silhouettes are often referred to by their Spanish names, Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey), and Borrego (ram).
Course of fire
Targets are set up in groups of 5 of each kind, with a silhouette's width between targets, laid out at the required distances for the given match. Each group of targets must be shot left to right; if a target is missed then the next shot is taken at the next target. Any target hit out of order is considered a miss. Targets are engaged in order of distance: chickens, pigs, turkeys, rams. The target must be knocked down or pushed off the target stand in order to score a hit; even a shot ricocheting off the ground in front of the target will count if it takes down the correct target. Shooters are allowed to have a spotter with them, who watches where the shots land and advises the shooter on corrections to make.
All disciplines require a minimum of 10 shots at each type of target, for a minimum of 40 shots per match; normal matches are 40, 60, 80, or 120 shots. To score a hit, the target must be knocked off its stand, so each cartridge used must provide sufficient momentum to knock the heavy metal targets over. Scores are recorded as the number of hits per rounds fired, so 30 hits with 40 shots would be a score of 30x40.
A tie can be broken in one of two ways: A knock out shoot-off, used at all National and large regional competitions and for the overall match winner. Master class and AAA shooters would shoot at Turkeys, AA class shoot at Rams, A shoots at Chickens and B class shoots at Pigs. To save time and effort, a reverse animal count can also be used (number of hits on hardest animal to easiest), Whoever hits the most Turkeys would be the winner. If a tie still exists whoever hit the most Rams would be the winner. This would continue to Chickens and finally Pigs.
For IHMSA competition, tie scores are broken by either Reverse target Count, or by Shootoffs, as determined by the match director, however, for State, Regional and International Championships, shootoffs will be used to determine the winners in all categories and classes. For Reverse target Count, scores are compared starting at rams...the shooter with the most rams is the winner. This procedure is used sequentially down through turkeys, pigs and chickens. If a tie still exists, a shootoff will be used to determine the winner. Shootoffs will be in banks of 5 targets and can be any type or size, placed at any distance out to the maximum ram distance for the competition. Shooting strings will continue until all ties are broken. Knock out shootoffs are not allowed.
For more information on HMS shooting, contact the Section Director.
Links to International HMS Sites
- IMSSU Rules (2017)
- IHMSA Rules
- HMS Air Pistol Rules (May 2015)
- IMSSU Sport Handgun Rules (October 2018)
Match Scoring programmes and Score Cards
- HMS Classification Cards (309k pdf)
HMS Reference Information
- HMS Target Scale Drawings (116k pdf)
- Waiuku Pistol Club
- Tokoroa Shooting Complex
Note: Tokoroa Pistol Club hold a HMS shoot on the 3rd weekend of each month
- Taupo Pistol Club
- Awakeri Shooting Fed.
- Wairarapa Pistol Club
- Kaitoke Pistol Club
- Nelson Pistol Club
- Rams Creek Pistol Club