50 metre pistol
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|50 metre pistol|
|Number of shots:||60 + 20|
|Olympic Games:||Since 1896|
|World Championships:||Since 1900|
50 metre pistol, formerly and unofficially still often called free pistol, is one of the ISSF shooting events. It provides the purest precision shooting among the pistol events, and is one of the oldest shooting types, dating back to the 19th century and only having seen marginal rule changes since the 1930s. Most of the changes concern about distance (30m, 50m, 50 Yards), Caliber (.22 .22lr .44CF), Type of pistol (Revolver only, Revolver or Pistol, ANY pistol), and time allowed (6 hours, 3 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes), and the most recently, format of the finals (carry over scores, start from zero, amount of shots fired in the finals). This event, along with the 300m Free Rifle, are the only ones whose targets have never changed since the event's inception.
The pistol used must be in caliber .22, using .22 Long Rifle ammunition, may only be loaded with one round at a time, and have conventional "open" or "iron" sights (i.e. optical and laser sights are not allowed). It must also be operated by one hand and not supported by any other part of the shooter's body. Apart from that, there are practically no rules for the pistol, explaining the former name of the event. Trigger weight may be as low as the shooter pleases, the grip may be designed in any way to enhance comfortable ergonomic fit as long as it does not touch the wrist for support, and there are no restrictions on size and weight. Precision pistols with long barrels, grips fitted to the shooter's hand, very light trigger pull, etc., are often themselves called free pistols.
The course of fire is 60 shots within a maximum time of two hours. The target is the same as in 25 metre center-fire pistol, and with double the distance this explains the lower result level. Five hundred seventy out of the maximum 600 is considered a world-class result. The current world record, 581, was achieved in the Moscow Olympics in 1980 by the USSR's Alexander Melentiev.
Most shooters excelling in 50 metre pistol also compete at the same level in 10 metre air pistol, a similar precision event.
World Championships, Men
This event was held in 1900-2010.
World Championships, Men Team
This event was held in 1900-2010.
World Championships, total medals
Current world records
|Current world records in 50 metre pistol|
|Men||Qualification||581||Aleksandr Melentyev (URS)||July 20, 1980||Moscow (URS)|
|Final (Provisional until end of 2013)||192.1||Wang Zhiwei (CHN)||April 4, 2013||Changwon (KOR)|
|Teams||1719||Romania (Babii, Ilie, Stan)||September 7, 1985||Osijek (YUG)|
|Junior Men||Individual||577||Spas Koprinkov (BUL)||August 9, 1990||Moscow (URS)|
|Teams||1666||Bulgaria (Georgiev, Ivanov, Simeonov)||August 4, 1988||Joensuu (FIN)|
Olympic, World, and World Cup Final Champions
Jin Jong-oh is the only double Olympic champion in 50 metre pistol. World Championships were held annually up to the 1930s, which made a few long streaks possible, but after World War II few shooters have been able to win two major World-level titles. Paul Van Asbroeck has won the most number of Olympic and World titles combined with seven titles (1 Olympic and 6 World titles). Torsten Ullman won six titles (1 Olympic, 5 World titles) over the span of 1933-1952, including four successive Championships between 1933 and 1937 (including the 1936 Summer Olympics). Wilhem Schnyder won four consecutive World Championships between 1924 and 1928.
Another rare double is that between this precision event and its direct opposite 25 metre rapid fire pistol; this has only been accomplished by Alfred Lane (completed in 1912), Torsten Ullman (1939), Huelet Benner (1952) and Pentti Linnosvuo (1964), with Lane (in one Olympics) and Linnosvuo using only Olympic titles. Benner, on the other hand, is the only shooter with two titles in both events. Several athletes have won 50 metre pistol and 10 metre pistol titles; Jin is the ony person to have done so at the Olympics.
Ragnar Skanåker is the only shooter to win all three championships: 1972 Olympics, 1982 World Championship and the 1993 ISSF World Cup Final, the last of which achieved at the age of 59. It was also his last international victory.
1 The Olympic competitions in Paris also counted as the 1900 World Championships.