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Dueling Pistols at the 1908 Olympics

Dueling Pistols was a short-lived sport at the start of the 20th century, in which two heavily protected competitors faced off and shot wax bullets at each other. It is often stated that this shooting sport of bloodless dueling was a part of the Olympic Games in 1908, however, it wasn't even an official demonstration sport. This dueling competition was held at a similar time to the Olympics in 1908 by enthusiasts of the new sport, demonstrating the emerging French sport to the people of London.

In this version of pistol dueling, the competitors were protected by heavy clothing and a metal mask with goggles. Their pistols were modified with a hand-guard to protect their fingers and they fired wax bullets instead of lead. No gunpowder was used in the pistols in order to reduce the velocity of the ball of wax.

pistol dueling pistol dueling - notice the body protection and the finger guard

At the 1906 unofficial Olympic Games two years earlier, there was another dueling pistol event, though in this format there was no shooting at another person. The shots were fired at plaster dummies dressed in frock coats from a distance of 20 or 30 meters.

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