This article originally appeared at OutdoorHub.
Humans have been participating in friendly competitions since the beginning of time. I guess we have a built-in drive to test our skills and mettle against others. Just look at the majority of shows on TV these days, and I’m not just talking about the classic game shows. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, obstacle courses, or racing around the world, we like to participate in, and sometimes just watch, a good competition. Remember History Channel’s “Top Shot”? Who would have ever thought a shooting competition would be on prime time television?
Shooting competitions with firearms have been around since as early as the 13th century. In the United States, the National Rifle Association came to be in 1871. Concerned about poor marksmanship in the Civil War, Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate founded the organization to promote skilled shooting, training and education. One year later, the National Rifle Matches were held at the Creedmoor Range on Long Island, New York. While the location has changed, those competitions have been going on ever since. Now, the National Matches take place at Camp Perry, Ohio. It’s a bigger deal than ever, and the events draw thousands over a couple of weeks of events.