Siluetas Metalicas, Mexicos version of Rifle Silhouette Today

With thanks to Tony Tello

Tony Tello is a former NRA High Power Hunting Rifle National Champion. He has been shooting Rifle Silhouette since the late 1970's, here in the United States and in Mexico. He has helped me to add some information about Siluetas Metalicas in Mexico as it exists today.

A Note About Rifle Shooting In Mexico

Shooting in Mexico is strictly regulated by the La FederaciĆ³n Mexicana de Tiro y Caza (FEMETI), which is the Mexican Federation of Shooting and Hunting. The taxes and regulations on the firearms and ammunition make shooting an expensive sport. In order to shoot you must belong to a shooting club, and only one shooting club. The shooting club must belong to a state association. The state association regulates the dates of all shooting events of all of the shooting clubs. The state association must belong to FEMTI. The club membership fees can be expensive. If you are found to belong to more than one shooting club, you will be banned from shooting for one year.

In order to transport your firearms, you must secure permits. In order to secure permits you need letters from your local police, doctor and....?

The loading or reloading of ammunition is illegal. Only factory made ammunition is legal. The expense of the factory made ammunition can be double the cost in the United States. Some take the risk of getting the supplies illegally, and more expensively, to make their own loads.

Although it is more expensive than here in the United States, there is a lot of shooting going on. The average city will have two or three shooting clubs. Each club is putting on regular events. That means it is not difficult to find an event to shoot in if you are looking for one. The variations of the shooting sports are more limited. The only choice for shooting outside of the International (Olympic type of shooting events) is Siluetas Metalicas. In other words no Action Shooting, Bench Rest, High Power, Single Action etc. There are some interesting variations on Siluetas Metalicas held in Mexico.

The Evolution of Metallic Silhouette in Mexico

The sport of Siluetas Metalicas is alive and well throughout Mexico. Mexico's traditional Siluetas Metalicas, using casual clothing and hunting rifles, was lost somewhere in time. I assume that the rifle allowances that happened here in the United States trickled over the border. Even though the rules have changed, the events are the same as they always were, a fun gathering that the entire family can attend. The invitation for the National Championship for this year reads "The Club Cinegetico del Bajio, A.C. Has the honor to invite you and your esteemed family to...". A meal is still included as a part of the typical match. A more casual family atmosphere at the range, away from the firing line of course, would be a positive thing for the sport.

The main rule differences for the sport in Mexico are; No Hunting Rifle division, Less restrictions on rifle and clothing, No handicap "Class" divisions, All animals must face to the right. The High Power and Smallbore Rifle Silhouette match formats along the border towns are similar to here in the United States. The targets and distances are the same for High Power and Smallbore Rifle Silhouette. Away from the border into Mexico the Smallbore Rifle Silhouette is similar but, completely different for the High Power Rifle Silhouette. Not all individual club matches held in Mexico follow the same format.

Tradional Animal Silouette National Championship

The 2010 Campeonado National de Tiro a Siluetas de Animales Tradicionales is the 38th held in this format. The format for the National Championship is completely different than here in the United States. The Championship has an individual and five man team format. The clubs contribute five man teams and their score is taken very seriously. It is the most important part of the event for any club entering in the competition. The individuals get points for finishing (1st, 3pts)(2nd, 2pts)(3rd, 1pt). The club whose team has scored the highest number of points will have the honor of hosting the next National Championship.

There are 8 different animal silhouette targets. Each target is an individual 10 shot competition in which awards and points will be awarded. There are four different firearms used. The targets and firearms are:

NOTE: The target measurements given are overall for the width, and main body for the height. The Venado (Deer) target is very interesting. It is a paper/cardboard target which is on a moving stand. The shooter must shoot 5 shots as it moves a total of 150 meters. The speed of the target must be consistent. The rule regarding the speed states the target moves 105 meters on a minimum time of 37 seconds (+/- 5 seconds). This means the shooter has an average time of 53 seconds to shoot 5 shots at a moving target. If the animal is not mechanical, the shooter has 38 seconds to take his 5 shots. Tell me that wouldn't be a challenge! The tiebreakers are shot in 8 seconds.

Variations of Siluetas Metalicas

There are a variety of events held throughout Mexico. There are National Championships for Maxi Siluetas and Mini Siluetas which are the same as the NRA High Power Rifle Silhouette and Smallbore Rifle Silhouette respectively. There are numerous events advertised throughout Mexico which are promoted to follow the Mexican National Championship format and, many which are promoting matches following the Maxi Siluetas and Mini Siluetas format. As you can read in what follows, individual clubs have a variety of events which are their own.

I found information of an event held by Club De Caza y Pesca Los Indios A.C. in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico(Next to Laredo, Texas), held on November 28, 2008. It does not describe the amount of shots taken but, the competition was shooting only at the Borrego target at a distance of 500 meters. All of the rifles appeared to be conventional hunting rifles with high powered scopes. The prizes given out for the event was frozen lamb. There was 15 total frozen sheep given out to the approximately 60 competitors.

There was a match held on October 10, 2009 named Borrego en Movimiento or Moving Sheep. It is a competition shooting only at a moving Lamb/Ram target from a distance of 450 meters. They awarded 3 places with trophies and a meal for everyone.

A one day match just north of Mexico City, held by Club El Elefante in 2007. The range described has targets for: Rimfire .22 pistol targets at 25 and 50 meters. Rimfire .22 rifles there are Mini Siluetas which is the complete NRA Smallbore Rifle Silhouette range, targets at 50 meters and 100 meters and, a moving rabbit at 175 meters. For the high power rifle there are targets at 475 meters and, a moving deer at 475 meters. A shot gun range as well. The match had one event called Recorrido de caza 7 Estaciones en diferentes posiciones or "Hunting Tour at Seven Stations in Different Positions", which I believe is a shotgun event. There was a Mini Siluetas match and a 10 shot 22 pistol match with targets at 25 meters.