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Shooting at the 1906 Athina Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: April 23, 1906
Date Finished: April 28, 1906
Events: 12

Participants: 68 (68 men and 0 women) from 12 countries
Youngest Participant: GBR Gerald Merlin (21 years, 262 days)
Oldest Participant: FRA Léon Moreaux (54 years, 47 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): FRA Léon Moreaux (5 medals)
Most Medals (Country): FRA France (12 medals)

Overview

The shooting events in the 1906 Olympic Games were held at the [Kallithea shooting ground], in the same site that the shooting matches of 1896 had been conducted. Whereas there were only a few shooting events in 1896, the 1906 Olympic shooting tournament was greatly expanded. Very little is known about the shooting events of the 1906 Olympics. The events were barely covered in the press of the time.

It is known that some of the events were chosen to possibly favor events that were shot on the European subcontinent at that time. For instance, a military rifle match for Gras-type military rifles developed in 1873 was conducted, as was a military pistol match for the Gras pistol designed in 1873. Both of these weapons were designed in France and were very popular in that country. Not coincidentally, a Frenchman, Léon Moreaux, won the Gras rifle match and three French shooters swept the medals in the Gras pistol match, and it is not surprising that the French and the Swiss absolutely dominated shooting competition at the 1906 Olympic Games.

There were two types of dueling pistol events which were held, both over 20 meters. The first one was au visé in which the shooters had ample time to make their shots. The second match was similar to a rapid-fire pistol type match of today and was termed au commandement. In this match, which was popular at the Gastinne-Renette galleries in France, the shooter faced a silhouette target. The pistol was held at his side, loaded and cocked. A range officer asked the shooter if he was ready and when the shooter replied, "yes", the range officer then commanded fire, one, two, three giving the commands at a cadence or 100 per minute. The shooter was required to raise his pistol and begin firing before the count of three. In both dueling pistol events, the shooters shot at dummies dressed in frock coats.

Medalists