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Dueling Pistol Shooting

The dueling pistol event was held in 1906, the Intercalated Games, which is considered by some to be an Olympic Games, though it is not officially recognized by the IOC. This pistol dueling event was popular at the time at the Gastinne-Renette galleries in France. It required competitors to shoot at human silhouettes dressed in frock coats, with a bull's eye on the dummy's chest.

The shooting events in 1906 were held at the Kallithea Shooting Stand. There were two types of dueling pistol events, which were held over a distance of 20 and 25 meters.

25m Dueling Pistol au commandement

In the 25m Dueling Pistol au commandement the shooters held the pistol at their side, loaded and cocked. As the range officer asked if they were ready. When they said, "Yes," the range officer then counted out, "Fire, one, two, three.", giving the commands at a cadence of 100 per minute. The shooter was required to get the shot off before the count of three.

The gun caliber allowed was between 7.5 and 12mm, with a barrel maximum length of 30cm. They were one shot pistols loaded by the muzzle or by the breechlock. The target was a silhouette of a human figure, with a life-like height of 1.57m and a maximum girth of 22.5cm. The 5-ring target was in the middle of the thorax with a height of 10cm and a width of 7.5cm. The competition was over 30 shots. A bulls-eye was worth 5 points, so a maximum score of 150 points was possible.

20m Dueling Pistol au visé

The other dueling event in 1906 was 20m Dueling Pistol au visé. In this event the shooters had ample time to make their shots. The gun regulations were the same as in au commandement, though the target was 19cm in diameter, with 10 rings of 1 cm diameter. The maximum possible score was 300 points. The target area for this event was larger than for au commandement, and there was no mention of a human silhouette as a target.

The 25m Dueling Pistol au commandement was the forerunner of the Olympic Games rapid-fire pistol event. In 1912, a shooting event was held called men's 30 metre dueling pistol (later standardized by the IOC to the men's 25 metre rapid fire pistol) though in this case the competitors are believed to have fired at a target not a coat wearing dummy.

Results from 1906

25 m dueling pistol au commandement

  1. Konstantinos Skarlatos (GRE) - hits 29 score 133
  2. Johan Hübner von Holst (SWE) - hits 27 score 115
  3. Vilhelm Carlberg (SWE) - hits 26, score 115

20 m dueling pistol au visé

  1. Léon Moreaux (FRA) - hits 30, score 242
  2. Cesare Liverziani (ITA) - hits 30, score 233
  3. Maurice Lecoq (FRA) - hits 29, score 231

source: The 1906 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary, by Bill Mallon

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