By Scott McDonald | April 15, 2016, 3:09 p.m. (ET)

Many competitive shooters got into the sport after they began hunting at an early age with their fathers. Some, like Will Brown, got into it because he’s from a family of shooters. Emily Caruso’s trek to become an Olympic shooter started in a Police Athletic League at age 11 in New England.

Some shooters are active duty in the military, with most of those in the Army Marksmanship Unit. Some have never served at all. Some competed in college and won national championships.

Regardless, many of the best American shooters are competing at the ISSF World Cup for rifle, pistol and shotgun in Rio de Janeiro from April 15-25. This also serves as the Olympic test for all three disciplines.

For novice shooters or just those curious fans, here’s a little more about Olympic shooting and what it entails:

Overview
The Olympic program for shooting consists of 15 different events — nine men’s events and six for women. There are five total events each for the disciplines of rifle, pistol and shotgun. Each event has a qualification round and a final round.

The bull’s-eye targets — or 10th ring center targets — range from the size of the bottom of an espresso cup to the size of a dime to one that’s even smaller than the tip of a pencil.

Enkelejda Shehaj competes in sport pistol at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore on April 8, 2016 in Fort Benning, Ga.

Pistol:
50-meter Pistol/Free Pistol (Men)
This event is conducted in the standing position at 50 meters from the target. Shooters use a single-loaded, small bore .22-caliber pistol.

Qualification Round: 60 shots

Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 20 shots

Quick Stats
Sights: Open sights only
10th-ring diameter: Not wider than a small espresso cup
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Frank Green — Silver, 1964

25-meter Pistol/Sport Pistol (Women)
This event is conducted in the standing position at 25 meters from the target. Shooters use a pistol in 5.6 mm (.22 long rifle) caliber with a five-shot magazine.

Qualification Round 1 (Precision Stage): 30 shots
Qualification Round 2 (Rapid Fire Stage): 30 shots
Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 20 shots

Quick Stats
Sights: Open sights only
10th-ring diameter: Not wider than a small espresso cup
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Ruby Fox — Silver, 1984

Rapid Fire Pistol (Men)
This event is conducted in the standing position at 25 meters from the target. Shooters use a pistol in 5.6 mm (.22) caliber with a five-shot magazine.

Qualification Round 1: 30 shots: two series of five shots, each fired in eight seconds; plus two series of five shots, each fired in six seconds; plus two series of five shots, each fired in four seconds
Qualification Round 2: 30 shots — same sequence as Round 1
Final Round: Elimination style with a minimum of 20 shots and maximum of 40 shots

Keith Sanderson competes in rapid fire pistol at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol on May 16, 2015 in Fort Benning, Ga.

Quick Stats
Sights: Open sights only
Target: This is the only Olympic shooting event that uses hit or miss logic. The “HIT” ring on the target surface corresponds to 9.7 points or better.
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: William McMillan — Gold, 1960

10-meter Air Pistol (Men and Women)
This event is conducted in the standing position at 10 meters from the target. Shooters use a single-loaded pistol in 4.5 mm (.177) caliber.

Qualification Round (men): 60 shots
Qualification Round (women): 40 shots
Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 20 shots

Quick Stats
Sights: Open sights only
10th-ring diameter: Dime size
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Jason Turner — Bronze, 2008
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Never earned a medal

Sarah Beard competes in women's 50-meter rifle 3 positions at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol on Aug. 13, 2015 in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

Rifle:
50-meter Rifle 3 Positions (Men and Women)
This event is conducted in three different shooting positions: kneeling, prone (lying flat) and standing. The target is placed 50 meters away and athletes reload after each shot, as rifles are single-loaded.

Qualification Round (men): 40 shots in each of the three positions, for total 120 shots
Qualification Round (women): 20 shots in each of the three positions, for total 60 shots
Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 45 shots — 15 shots in each position. The two lowest-ranked athletes are eliminated. The standing position shooting then continues with five single shots and a limitation of 50 seconds per shot. The lowest-ranking athlete is eliminated after every single shot. The final ends up with only two athletes left on the line, and the last shot deciding the gold medalist.

Quick Stats
Sights: Metallic only
10th-ring diameter: Dime size
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Matt Emmons — Bronze, 2012
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Jamie Corkish — Gold, 2012

Matt Emmons competes in 50-meter prone rifle at the ISSF World Cup Rifle/Pistol on April 12, 2015 in Changwon, South Korea.

50-meter Rifle Prone (Men)
This event is conducted in prone position. The target is placed at a distance of 50 meters and athletes reload after each shot, as rifles are single-loaded.

Qualification Round: 60 shots
Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 20 shots

Quick Stats
Sights: Metallic only
10th-ring diameter: Dime size
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Matt Emmons — Silver, 2008

10-meter Air Rifle (Men and Women)
This event is conducted in the standing position. Shooters aim at a target placed 10 meters away. Athletes reload their rifles after each shot.

Qualification Round: 60 shots
Final Round: Elimination style with a maximum of 20 shots

Quick Stats
Sights: Metallic only
10th-ring diameter: Pencil tip
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Never earned a medal
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Nancy Johnson — Gold, 2000

Kim Rhode competes in women's trap at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Aug. 4, 2012 in London.

Shotgun:
Trap (Men and Women)
Targets are thrown randomly, so the shooter doesn’t know the angle or direction of the bright orange clay target. Shooters may shoot twice at a target.

Qualification Round (men): 125 clays in 5 rounds of 25 targets
Qualification Round (women): 75 clays in 3 rounds of 25 targets
Final Round: One round of 25 targets

Quick Stats
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Josh Lakatos — Silver, 1996; Lance Bade — Bronze, 1996
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Corey Cogdell — Bronze, 2008

Skeet (Men and Women)
Shooters know the direction of the bright orange targets in advance, but only get one shot at each target. During qualification, targets can be thrown in single mode or double mode — one or two at a time.

Vincent Hancock competes in men's skeet at the ISSF World Cup Shotgun on March 9, 2015 in Acapulco, Mexico.

Qualification Round (men): 125 clays in five rounds of 25 targets
Qualification Round (women): 75 clays in three rounds of 25 targets
Final Round: One round of 25 targets

Quick Stats
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Vincent Hancock — Gold, 2012
Last U.S. woman to win Olympic medal: Kim Rhode — Gold, 2012

Double Trap (Men)
Targets are always thrown two at a time — or double mode — simultaneously, following a scheme.

Qualification Round: 150 clays in three rounds of 50 targets
Final Round: One round of 50 targets

Quick Stats
Last U.S. man to win Olympic medal: Glenn Eller — Gold, 2008

Scott McDonald is a Houston-based freelance writer who has 17 years experience in sports reporting and feature writing. He was named the State Sports Writer of the Year in 2014 by the Texas High School Coaches Association. McDonald is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.