25 metre rapid fire pistol is one of the ISSF shooting events. The event has been a part of the Olympic program ever since the beginning in 1896, although its rules changed greatly before World War II, after which they were only slightly changed until the two major revisions of 1989 and 2005. The latter restricted the event to sport pistols, thereby banning .22 Short cartridges as well as encircling grips and low trigger-pull weight. This caused a decline in results: the pre-2005 world record was 597, while the present world record is 591.
Instead of dropping specialized rapid fire pistols, manufacturers designed new pistols, such as the Walther SSP and the Benelli MP 90 S World Cup 22 gauge, conforming to the standard pistol requirements, but optimized for the rapid fire event.
Traditionally, RFP competitions use paper targets that are able to turn 90 degrees to appear to the shooter and then turn back to disappear when the shooting time is up. During the last few decades, these targets have gradually been replaced by electronic devices which use red and green lights to indicate the beginning and the end of the shooting time, and which automatically handle late shots. As these systems are expensive, they are normally only used in international competitions.
A series (or string) consists of five shots fired at one target each within a limited time. The targets stand next to each other at a 25 m distance from the shooter. When the targets appear, the competitor must raise his arm from a 45 degree angle, and fire his five shots. If a shot is too late, it will score as a miss.
There are three different time limits for the series: 8 seconds, 6 seconds, and 4 seconds. A stage consists of two series of each type, and a full course of fire comprises two such stages, or a total of 60 shots. Since the targets are divided into concentric score zones with 10 being the most central part, the total maximum score is 600.
In major competitions, the top six shooters qualify for a final round of four additional 4-second series, using decimals of points. The results of the qualification round and the final are added together, and any ties are broken by firing an additional 4-second series.
|Current world records in 25 metre rapid fire pistol|
The dominant shooter of the event has been Ralf Schumann of Germany with a total of five major worldwide championship titles. He is also the only shooter overall who has won three individual Olympic titles.
A rare double is that between this rapid fire event and its direct opposite 50 metre pistol; this has only been accomplished by Alfred Lane (completed in 1912), Torsten Ullman (1939), Huelet Benner (1952) and Pentti Linnosvuo (1964), with Lane and Linnosvuo using only Olympic titles. Benner, on the other hand, is the only shooter with two titles in both events.