Ed Ling came agonisingly close to breaking Great Britain's medal duck on day nine of the ISSF World Cup at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Friday.
The 29-year-old from Somerset became the first British shooter to reach a final at the Olympic test event in the men's trap, and then forced a tie for third place with Italy's Giovanni Pellielo.
But in a nerve-shredding shoot-off Ling, shooting second, missed with his 14th shot and Pellielo, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, secured the bronze medal.
Ling, who competed at Athens in 2004, now hopes to have done enough to secure a place at London 2012 when the team is announced next Wednesday.
"I knew he was going to be a tough guy to beat, obviously he's a silver medallist at the Olympics, but I went out there to last as long as I could," he said.
"It was tough, I was getting hotter and hotter - I was dressed for the rain to come - but it was still fun.
"The team hasn't been selected yet so we have to wait to find out but it would be great to compete in the Games. They've done a great job with the venue."
Pellielo's fellow Italian Massimo Fabbrizi won the gold medal with Alexey Alipov of Russia taking silver.
Friday's other final, the men's 25m rapid fire pistol, was won by Russian world champion Alexei Klimov.