I.P.S.C (International Practical Shooting Confederation)
The IPSC motto in Latin, Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (DVC) Accuracy, Power, Speed.
In approximately 1950 an IPSC shooting style developed, then in early 1976 sporting individuals from around the globe met in America and formulated rules and the structure under which IPSC evolved, also a constitution was established and the Confederation born. In IPSC shooting the main emphasis is on safety of the shooter and all others, through safe gun handling skills and the rules which govern the sport. The elements of Accuracy, combined with Speed and the power of the handgun are regarded equally in scoring, and during a competition determine the shooters score. IPSC is shot as a sport in over 55 countries broken into various geographical regions. IPSC was established to promote, maintain and advanced practical marksmanship, we look forward to your participation, your interest and to continue using this forum, information will be disseminated and please contribute so we all learn more.
IPSC was always and is today a very dynamic style of shooting, fluid and practical, shot in all types of conditions mainly outdoors and in all type of weather and terrain. Practical shooting is the best way to describe the shooting style, using handguns (Rifles and Shotguns are also used) ranging in calibre from a minimum 9mm upwards and can include .50 calibre if the shooter so desires, .45 Calibre is again a popular choice in a new division. The beauty of IPSC shooting is that it is practical shooting, where speed, both on your feet and in engaging targets in a realistic sense is practiced. Learning to shoot with both eyes open, for better peripheral vision of other targets is critical, learning to shoot on the move by lowering your centre of gravity and being able to shoot with both hands is a learnt skill, all the time understanding that speed and accuracy of the shooter is critical. Hence the power of the recoil by the heavier calibres and power factor make up the three elements of shooting IPSC, DVC. Agility of the shooter and the speed on their feet are an important factor, as is the ability to work out a shooting plan for a particular stage to be shot, in the most economical way is also an important factor.
The most important element possibly not mentioned frequently enough is that each competitor needs to enjoy themselves and not push their limits higher than their ability. The grading of a shooter is from the highest level, of Grand Master to the base level of D grade. GM, M, A, B, C, D. Ability comes with time and practice. There is no typical course of fire during a match, and as no course of fire can be shot again, each match consists of totally different courses of fire and cannot hence be practiced, as prior to the match no competitor knows how a course of fire will be laid out, hence the sport is about the shooters skill, not practice in what was shot last week and next week being the same.
Each competitor must wear a holster for their firearm, securely fastened with magazine pouches placed on their belt in appropriate positions depending on their division. The competitor must he holster qualified. Firearms may only be removed from holsters on a pistol range in designated “safe areas” or under the instruction of a designated range officer.
All range commands worldwide must be in English, and begin with the only commands acceptable, once the shooter in on the firing line for a course of fire.
*Load and make ready
*Are you ready
*If you are finished, unload and show clear
*If clear hammer down holster
Once the command “range is clear” is given by the range officer, scoring of the course of fire begins.
During a match a range officer is in charge of the same stage throughout and ensures each competitor in the match is given the same instructions and commands as all other shooters, so no shooter has an unfair advantage. Shooting continues rain, hail or shine, the only time it stops is if there is lightening, so all shooters are shooting on a stage during all times of the day somewhere on the range, all enjoying the same weather conditions, practical shooting. Also in this style of shooting, stance, breathing, sight picture sight alignment, and follow through take on a totally different meaning, the one factor that remains in place as in all shooting sports is safety.
There are Four main divisions: Revolvers are shot in IPSC matches by a few individuals as there is a revolver division for them, thus making 5 divisions.
1: Open Division:
where guns may be modified with compensators, Red dot sighting devises, reduced trigger pull and any other changes to the handgun that does not affect the safety of the gun.
Depending on the shooters choice of ammunition, this firearm can be shot in minor or major power factor category. Minor P/F 125, Major P/F 160. 9mm is minimum calibre also there is no maximum, also the choice of firearm is completely open, although most popular is .38 super single action.
2: Standard Division:
where no compensators or red dot sighting devises are allowed, however trigger and other safe modification to the firearm are allowed. The firearm with a magazine inserted must fit within a box designed in IPSC, the box is approximately 225mm * 150mm. If the firearm does not fit within the box the shooter is then moved to Open Division. Depending on the shooters choice of ammunition, this firearm can be shot in minor or major power factor category. Minor P/F 125, Major P/F 170. A minimum of 9mm for minor and 10mm, or .357sig for major. The vast majority are again single action, in .40 cal, or .357sig in Australia, again the choice of firearm is open to any firearm the shooter choses.
3: Production Division:
where no modifications to the firearm is allowed, other than minor cosmetic changes. There is a minimum trigger pull and this firearm can only be shot in minor power factor category. Minor P/F 125. There is a list of permitted firearms published by IPSC that are allowed in this division, it is extremely comprehensive. This division is restricted to 9mm, also a minimum trigger pull of 5lbs.
Handguns must be based on classic 1911 designs, single stack, single action without an rail accessory. No compensators or modifications are allowed.
Depending on the shooters choice of ammunition, this firearm can be shot in minor or major power factor category. Minor P/F 125, Major P/F 170. A minimum 9mm for minor and 10mm for Major, however .45 calibre is most popular.Power factor is determined by the weight of the projectile multiplied by the speed of the projectile leaving the firearm. For example projectile weight 125grns * muzzle velocity of example 1000 ft per second = P/F 125.
Typical Open Pistol Typical Standard Pistol Typical Production Pistol
Typical Classic Pistol
As in all shooting sports there is no one firearm for any competitor to use, their choice is theirs, by brand and calibre, by finish, matt black or hard chrome. As all competitors must have a holster again the choice is almost endless. All shooters are different; all make that personal choice that best suits their hand size and their pocket, cost vary by make and model and as always this is a consideration.
Courses of fire are on five (5) levels, 1-5.
Level 1 & 2: is club match level, very localised and decided on by members with regard to how many members will attend, it is not important if they are IPSC members, or the length of each shooting course. Level 2 obviously is a little more formal and may require each shooter to be IPSC affiliated, and all IPSC rules closely followed.
Level 3: This level is for state and national matches, courses of fire must be approved by Regional Director and IPSC committee and sanctioned. This usually has a low fee attendance and all shooters are squadded. The match is usually run over 2 or 3 days.
Level 4: this is usually reserved for Regional matches, taking in others countries in the area and is sanctioned, there is an allocation of shooters sent to various countries, there is a limit on shooter positions, and a high entrance fee. The match is usually run over 5 days 500-600 rounds required.
Level 5: is for world shoots, a limited number of shooting spots are made available, usually over 8 or 9 days, and as many as 1000 shooters is the aim of IPSC. The world shoot is conducted every 4 years, always in a new country location.
All courses of fire where multiple shots are required and where multiple targets are set up, it is up to each individual shooter to shot the course of fire as he/she sees fit, as most targets are visible through doorways or ports from various locations within the shoot range. There are usually several shot and no shot targets visible, or even partial targets. In many cases the no-shoot targets (usually white) cover part of the shot target, hence shooters must be very accurate in their shots and this slows many shooters down, as they do not wish to incur a penalty for a hit on a no-shot target. Shoot targets are sometimes set in motion by the shooter opening a door and they are also surrounded by no shoots as they swing between the no-shot targets.
Course design has no limitations and NO course of fire can ever be shot twice and must never be used again, so no practice of a shoot course is possible. Targets can vary from being 2 metres from the shooter to 50 metres, either as standalone targets of a bank of part and full targets, all challenging the shooter to achieve the best result.
Courses of fire can involve sitting, kneeling, lying prone or even in replica wooden built cars while shooting a course of fire. They can also force the competitor to open a window while holding the window open with a bar or rope, forcing them to shoot one handed, for if the competitor lets go of the rope the window shuts. Courses of fire remain challenging, however safety of the shoot angle and range safety are paramount and are inspected prior to the beginning of the match by officials to ensure all shorts are only ever in a totally safe direction. Also the wearing of eye and ear protection is mandatory.
A Typical long field course of fire, 32 rounds minimum, from 2014 national championship, course package, Dalby Queensland. Competitor as in all matches are given a 5/8 minute walk through, then are required to shoot the stage. Most competitor shoot a stage in their own unique way, engaging targets as they follow their own path, there is no one correct way to shoot any stage, ever.
Courses of fire in any IPSC match is usually consist of speed shoots, or short course of fire, 8 or 9 rounds. Most levels of matches have speed shoots, medium courses of fire, from 12 to 24 rounds, and long field courses with a maximum of 32 rounds. Hence the average match of 14 courses of fire has 2/3 long field courses, 4 or 5 medium courses and 5/6 speed shoots.
Speed shoots are sometimes shot from one position, whereas medium courses of fire and long field courses are on the move from one location to another, engaging targets, both stationary and swinging or disappearing, over a distance of 20, 30 or 40 metres. Courses of fire are multiple targets and usually multiple NO shoot targets and partial targets, all within a normal course of fire. In many instances a shooter is by the layout of the course of fire restricted to using their strong hand only or weak hand.
Matches at a national level can be and usually are extremely challenging, with all stage design set to challenge shooters. There is no limit to the amount of shots fired by any competitor to ensure he/she engages all targets as they become visible during a course of fire. At the end of any stage, course of fire, the shooters time is recorded, as are the points scored and penalties if any. The score sheets are then tabulated by the official scorer away from the shooting and at the end of the match shooting places are match result details posted. Competitors only ever compete against their own division, hence an Open shooter does not compete against a production shooter, they are treated as separate divisions.
Target are limited to in Australia classic, these measure approximately 57cm * 45cm with 3 scoring zones, A,C,D. Score in A zone for both major and minor P/F is 5 points. C zone is scored 4 points for major and 3 points for minor. D zone is scored 2 points for major and 1 point for minor.
The second target in use in Australia is a Mini classic target, measuring 37cm high * 30cm wide. This target has the same score zones, with the same points awarded.
IPSC classic target Steel plates, also shown side on. Pepper popper, also comes in half size.
As the maximum points awarded are 5 points per hit on the target, all target in the majority of cases MUST be hit twice, or a miss is recorded if only hit once, the shooter is penalised 10 points for each miss. If during a course of fire the shooter fails to fire at a target, they are also penalised 10 points for failing to engage that target and also 2 missed shots are recorded.
Steel pepper poppers are also utilised in courses of fire, both small and large poppers, 85cm tall with a top radius of 15cm, or 56cm tall with a top radius of 10cm. Again they can be painted as shoot poppers or no shoot poppers.
Steel plates square both 15 and 30cm, and round plates 20 and 30cm, all plates and poppers must fall to be scored and score as 5 points in both minor or major P/F, failure to fell a steel target results in minus 10 points.
Scores for all competitors is the same, there is no division between juniors, female or male competitors, all are treated equally and shoot the same course of fire, for the same score.
ALL IPSC matches are conducted on approved ranges, and a course of fire conducted by any competitor is under the total supervision of a qualified range officer, who provides the commands and follows the shooter as they progress along a course of fire, always totally ensuring a safe gun direction and safe gun handling skills. Safety is the paramount concern for all and ANY breach of gun or range safety is immediately addressed by the range officer within the course of fire and the competitor who has breached some safety aspect is immediately stopped and disqualified from any further participation during the total event.
IPSC shooting is open to all licenced pistol users, aged from 12 years and one day old, to any age until that shooter decides they no longer wish to participate, there is currently a very competitive shooter over 84 years of age, a distinguished ex MFB fire Fighter. IPSC shooters come from a very wide range of professions, from paramedics, airline pilots, accountants and truck drives to name a few, a very diverse group, many find shooting an ideal way to relax and wind down and shoot with friends made on the range.
If a shooter wishes to participate in any IPSC event the club they belong to must be affiliated to IPSC in that state, this affiliation must be paid for by the club on an annual basis. The shooter can then apply to become a member of IPSC Australia and shoot as a member, again an annual fee for this is payable yearly. Many clubs shoot IPSC style events, courses of fire for their members without joining IPSC and unfortunately their club members are unable to shoot in any IPSC State or National event. Hence many shooters wishing to join IPSC change clubs or if sufficient members approach their club officials the club possibly may be encouraged to join the IPSC family.
Further IPSC information may be obtained by going to the main IPSC website, this details full list of handguns usable in most shooting divisions and a great deal of information about the history and courses of fire and targets. www.ipsc.com or the IPSC Australian website: www.ipsc.org.au or their own states IPSC website. DVC.
See you all on the range one day, good shooting, DVC.