Pin Shooting

Pin shooting can be enjoyed in an informal setting with friends or at formal national competition events, and is a great way to sharpen pistol handling skills. The basic goal is to shoot a bowling pin so that it falls off a table. Matches are usually scored as an aggregate total score and are timed. Most commonly, five pins are shot from 25 feet. Competitions in International Pin Shooting Association matches include main events such as Pin Gun, Stock Gun, and Revolver. Fees for these events are determined by the match organizers. 


For competition, the equipment varies with the event. Handguns of various calibers are used (as well as shotguns and rifles in some competitions). Common firearms used are .357 Magnum, .40 Smith and Wesson, .38 Special and .22 rimfire. Some matches allow the use optics. Regular large bowling pins are usually used for targets.


  • Set up a safe gun handling area away from the firing range.
  • Use protective clothing such as billed hats and full coverage shirts and pants to minimize possible injury from bounceback.
  • Use eye and ear protection.
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle of your gun in a safe direction, straight up, at the ground or at the target backstop when at a shooting range.
  • Guns should always be unloaded when not in use.
  • Immediately after picking up a gun, check to see if it is loaded.
  • Keep guns and ammunition stored separately.
  • Keep guns out of the reach of children.

    Further Information 

    International Pin Shooting Association (NAPSA)
    E-Mail -

     (Material courtesy of National Shooting Sports Foundation)