There were five events on the Olympic program in shooting in Athens 1896, three in pistol shooting and two in rifle shooting, all for men. The competitions took place in a newly built shooting arena in Kallithea.
In the rifle events athletes shot four series, each of ten shots, and in the pistol events five series with six shots in each series. Point calculation was a little complicated. The result for each series was calculated as the total score multiplied by the number of hits in the series. This was a method that punished misses, as this reduced the multiplication factor.
The two Americans, John and Sumner Paine, each won a pistol shooting event, while the other three events were won by Greek shooters.
After the debut in the 1896 Games shooting, apart from 1908 and 1928, has been on the program at all Olympic Games. The number and format of the events has varied greatly over the years. In 1920 there were 21 events in the program, in 1932 only two and at the games in London 2012 fifteen events, split in rifle shooting, pistol shooting and skeet shooting. From the start, shooting competitions were only for men, but in 1968 full gender integration was introduced, and from 1996 all competitions were divided in events for women and events for men.