Romanian shooter Alin George Moldoveanu won a titanic tussle with world number one Niccolo Campriani of Italy to claim gold in the men's 10m air rifle.
Moldoveanu held his nerve with a final shot of 10.3 to hold off his rival, who finished just 0.6 points behind.
The duo both topped the qualification by equalling the Olympic record and swapped top spots in the final a number of times before Moldoveanu prevailed.
Behind Campriani, Gagan Narang won a bronze medal for India, which was some consolation for the hundreds of Indian supporters crammed into the rifle range after Abhinav Bindra's early exit.
Bindra won India's first individual gold medal at Beijing four years ago but could only finish 16th in qualifying.
Asked how he felt about joining the ranks of Romanian gold medallists, Moldoveanu said: "I don't think I can compare to (gymnast) Nadia Comaneci, but I would like to dedicate my medal to the people of Romania.
"I don't know what will be happening in Romania and I will decide how to celebrate later. I'm very happy."
Campriani is Italy's second shooting medallist in London after Luca Tesconi also took silver in the 10m air pistol.
He said: "Hopefully these two medals will give the sport a lot of publicity in Italy. For me, I don't want to be famous, I just enjoy shooting."
Narang missed out on the final in Beijing four years ago by a single point.
Questioned by dozens of Indian reporters after winning the country's first medal of the Games, he said: "In Beijing I missed but this one is a huge stone off my chest."