IHMSA Silhouette Matches
Siluetas Metalicas, a sport in which steel silhouettes in the shape of game animals are used as targets, was introduced into the United States from Mexico in the 1960’s. The sport has evolved from high power rifle to include the pistol. The metal targets are shaped in the forms of chicken (gallina), wild boar (javelina), turkey (guajalote), and desert ram (borrego). The objective is to hit and knock down each animal target. Each downed target is scored as one point.
Courses of fire
On match days, multiple 40-shot matches, 10 shots at each type of animal, are fired on Range 1. It is generally not necessary to show up at the beginning of the match in order to secure a firing time. A single 40-shot match takes about an hour to fire. The matches are precision-fire matches completed in 5-shot strings in a maximum permitted time of 2 minutes. Open-sight pistols may be used in any of the scoped categories of fire if desired.
Types of Matches and dates
Silhouette Pistol League---Tuesday evenings at 6 pm during daylight savings time
This is an NRA Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol Match fired with .22 caliber pistols, usually twice through, from standing. Open sights or scopes are permitted, subject to entry in the proper category. Rifles chambered for .22 LR may also be fired. Typical shooters fire Ruger or S&W autoloaders, Contenders, and a range of revolvers. The course of fire begins at 40 yds on 1/2 size chickens and ends at 100 yds on 1/2 size rams. Pigs at 50 yards are considered the easiest targets, with a “sure hit” area measuring about 5 inches top to bottom.
Hunter’s Pistol Match--1st Saturday beginning at 9AM
Typically 4 possible courses of fire, with a new match beginning approximately every hour. Matches 1 and 2 are Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol, scope or open sights, in either order (see above). Matches 3 and 4 are Hunter’s Pistol, scope or open sights, in either order. Hunter’s Pistol matches are typically fired with straight-walled centerfire pistol calibers, certain other authorized calibers, such as the .22 Hornet, or .22 caliber rimfires chambered in .22 long rifle or .22 magnum. Magnum calibers are not necessary to down the targets, but may generally be used. Typical shooters fire Contenders or high-quality revolvers, and sometimes autoloaders. Vintage pump or lever action .22 rifles with buckhorn sights may also be used. The course of fire and target size is the same as in Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol.
IHMSA Match--3d Saturday beginning at 9AM
Typically over 20 possible courses of fire, with firing positions opening up about every 15 minutes.
Big Bore (and NRA Long Range) matches begin on full-size chickens at 50 yards and end on full-size rams at 200 yards. Chickens at 50 yards are considered the easiest targets, with a “sure hit” area measuring about 5 inches top to bottom. Both open sight and scope categories are available, in both standing and freestyle categories. Freestyle is any safe position in which the gun is supported only by the body with no artificial support and does not touch the ground or ground mat. Permitted equipment varies depending on the match, but open-sight magnum revolvers may be entered in all courses of fire. Typical competitors fire magnum revolvers , Contenders chambered for 0.24 to 0.36 caliber hunting rounds, or bolt action handguns in the .24-.30 caliber range. There is also a 1/2 course of fire at the same distances for which hunting rounds in the .22 to .24 caliber range would be suitable. Sighter targets are available and may be fired on prior to shooting for record. Heavy loads are generally required to reliably down the rams, which weigh 60 pounds. However, permissible loads are limited to those which do not cause excessive target damage.
IHMSA Field Pistol--similar to Hunter’s Pistol (see above) except that the chickens are set at 25 yards.
IHMSA .22 (and NRA Smallbore)--The IHMSA course of fire begins on 3/8 sized chickens at 25 yards and ends on 3/8 sized rams at 100 yards. The NRA course is the same except that the chickens are 1/2 size and set at 40 yards. Overall, the easiest targets are probably the pigs at 50 yards, which have a “sure hit” area measuring about 4 inches top to bottom. Both open sight and scope categories are available, in both standing and freestyle categories. Typical equipment is the same as in NRA Smallbore Hunter’s Pistol (see above).
Contact: Randy Parker
Phone: 713 906 7674
Small Bore Silhouette Matches
Range 3 - Rimfire Range
There are two categories for smallbore rifle silhouette, standard and
hunting. For hunting most any rifle that will make the 81/2# limit with
scope would be legal with a few exception, check the rules below for a
better understanding of the standard rifle. I have included a summery of the
The following information is published to help new shooters get familiar
with silhouette rifle rules. NRA's permission was obtained to publish this
information. For Rule books contact:
NRA'S Silhouette Department
Mill Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
3.1 High power Silhouette Rifle-
6mm or larger caliber, meeting the following specifications:
(a) Maximum weight 10 pounds, 2 ounces, including sights.
(b) Any sights, telescopic or metallic may be used. Scopes may not be more than 2 inches above the rifle
as measured from the top of the receiver to the underside of the scope tube,
nor may the scope be offset from the top center line of the receiver. Any
sighting device programmed to activate the firing mechanisms is prohibited.
(c) Any trigger not subject to accidental discharge. Triggers which function
on release are not permitted. In the event of accidental discharge, the
Range officer shall require trigger adjustment or replacement of the rifle.
(d) Stock: The stock must be traditionally styled and may not be bent and/or
twisted so as to deviate from conventional configurations such as factory
rifle stocks or silhouette stocks as manufactured by Fajen, McMillan, H-S
Precision, and others. The forend, including the trigger guard mounts and
screws, shall not exceed 2¼ inches wide and 2¼ inches deep measured from the
centerline of the bore. Magazines do not have to conform to stock
measurements but those that extend below the stock line may not be used as
support as per Rule 3.1 (h) and 3.14. The forend shall extend a minimum of 8
inches forward of the forward edge of the receiver ring. The comb shall not
extend above the centerline of the bore, but Monte Carlo roll may rise ½
inch on the off side. The toe of the stock including buttplate or recoil pad
shall be no more than 7 inches below the centerline of the bore. Buttplate
or recoil pad may not extend below the lower line of the stock.
(e) Attachments which do not cause any portion of the rifle to exceed the weight
or dimensions as listed herein are permitted provided they do not extend
past the end of the barrel. Sighting devices are not considered
(f) Trigger guard must be present and may not vary from
conventional configuration for the purpose of providing added thumb or palm
support and shall be no deeper than 1 5/16 inches below the bottom line of
the forend (Note: T/C Contender Carbines and Ruger Single Shot rifles are
exempt, provided the additional depth of the trigger guard is not used as
palm or thumb support.)
(g) The barrel may be no longer than 30 inches
including any sleeve or attachment, as measured from the face of the closed
bolt to the end of the barrel.
(h) Exceptions: U. S. Rifle caliber .30 M1, M14 and M1A. these rifles only may exceed the weight limit. Telescopic
sights are not permitted. The magazine of the M1A or M14 may not be used as
a palm rest. 3.1.1 High Power Hunting Silhouette Rifle- A hunting style
rifle, 6 mm or larger caliber, with conventional sporting/hunting rifle
stock as found on catalog model Winchester, Savage, Ruger, Remington and
other hunting rifles. Non-bolt-action single-shot rifles must have separate
buttstock and forend. All other types of rifle must be repeating types and
fired by loading all cartridges from magazines into rifle chambers. All
magazines must be loaded to factory capacity, not to exceed five rounds.
Magazines not capable of holding five cartridges may be reloaded as
required. No cartridges may be loaded into chamber without first having been
inserted in magazine. Exception: In shoot-off situation, single cartridge
loading will be required. It is the intent of the Rule to describe a common
hunting rifle that is built by major arms manufactures and readily available
to the general public over the counter. The only alterations to the rifle
that will be allowed are epoxy bedding, the installation of a Boss-CR and
the addition of a recoil pad that may be adjusted for length of pull only,
and must be of the same dimensions as the original butt plate. Custom-made
rifles are prohibited.
The rifle shall meet the following specifications:
(a)The rifle must be or have been a catalog item readily available to the
general public. Questionable rifles must be submitted for review and ruling
as to acceptance by the Silhouette Committee at their annual meeting prior
to the Championship in which the rifle will be allowed to compete. It shall
be the competitor's responsibility to provide any documentation which may be
required to establish that a Hunting Rifle conforms to these Rules.
(b) Maximum weight 9 pounds, including sights.
(c) Any sights, Telescopic or
metallic, may be used. Scopes may not be more than 1 ½ inches above the
rifle, as measured from top of receiver to underside of scope tube, nor may
the scope be offset from the centerline of the bore. Any sighting device
programmed to activate the firing mechanism is prohibited.
(d) Trigger may be adjusted but not replaced with custom trigger. Trigger pull of no less
than 2 pounds. Set triggers are not allowed. In the event of accidental
discharge, Range Officer shall require trigger adjustment or replacement of
the rifle. Rifle must be equipped
Contact: Pat Steiger