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The Federal Field Shooting is a popular shooting competition that takes place once a year in the whole country of Switzerland. It is the countries most important sporting event and is considered the world’s biggest shooting competition. In 2019 almost 130’000 contestant participated in it. It is open to everyone starting at age 10 and there is no requirement for a license, a club affiliation, or even any experience in shooting.

It’s infancy and development is closely linked to the introduction of Compulsory shooting. With the Swiss Military Organization of 8th May 1850, marksmanship becomes an important topic, but originally it was the canton’s (or state) responsibility to organise the shooting trainings.

However the results were generally unsatisfactory. The observation was that “… only 15% of the shots fired at an average distance of 300m touched the target, so 85% missed it”. This led the Federal Parliament to introduce into the Military Organization of 1874 compulsory training outside of the military service.

On October 8, 1872 the first state competition in the countryside (hence field shooting) took place on the Twannberg mountain. From 1879, cantonal field shootings were organized in the cantons of Bern and Solothurn. So in the beginning, it was only organised in a few cantons of central Switzerland.

The Swiss Rifleman Society quickly realized that this event was a formidable means for the wider promotion of shooting. In 1919, pistol shooting was introduced, and in 1926, all the cantons took part in it for the first time; it is an annual event since 1940.

Today, approximately 60% of the women and men participating in Federal Field Shooting achieve a result that qualifies them for the distinction, which is a medal based on a minimum score. It’s 18 shots, 3 slow fire, then 3 times 5 shots in 50, 40 and 30 seconds at 25 meters on the ordnance target with an ordnance pistol. No warmup shots are allowed.

Participants can then also do the compulsory shooting which is 20 shots, 5 slow fire, and the rest identical (it’s only compulsory for active service men and women, but also open to all). Ammo is offered by the country.

The list of allowed weapons

And they must have one of those proof stamps

Most people shoot a SIG P210 of some generation

Active service members must shoot their service pistol so there is a good number of SIG P220 / P75

Quite a few seniors still use the Swiss Luger

And I even saw a gentleman shoot 196/200 with a Glock 17

It took place this weekend at many ranges across the country. I participated and helped out (training, RO, score keeping) in two different pistol ranges on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

I shot both the Field (SIG P210-6 with adjustable sights) and the Compulsory (SIG P210-2 / P49 army pimped by hard satin chrome) shooting
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May 31, 2021, 12:29 PM

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Not the greatest scores but a satisfactory 174/180 in field and 188/200 in compulsory

These two youngsters came from 50 miles away. The young lady had never held a pistol in her life and yet she hit the targets 14 times out of 18 and beat her male friend, who is a sergeant in the army, by 20 points

A great weekend, with a little wine and bbq during lunch breaks and in the evenings

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The Swiss!

They got it RIGHT!
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An armed and skilled citizen cadre with marksmanship experience goes hand in hand with freedom, liberty and Democracy. Switzerland is the proof.

That said, they are slowly being influenced by the nearby EU.

SIG, Neuhausen now only makes military contract arms, and the commercial portion of SIG has left Germany permanently for the United States.

The Swiss were the first to select the Luger semi-automatic pistol in 1900. and continued issuing it until 1948 when they switched to the M-49 SIG P210. This Luger is from the second contract in 1904:


The direct pull action Schmidt Rubin rifles issued by the Swiss Military until recently are some of the finest target rifles you can get. Extraordinarily high precision, and with great triggers...

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