The Practical/IPSC Discipline

This discipline shoots matches under the rules of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSCA), the governing body for this sport.  Locally, it is often termed Practical shooting.

It is a dynamic and challenging discipline and one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the world today. No two matches are ever the same – courses of fire offer challenges not found in the other more traditional shooting disciplines, such as movement by the shooter, drawing from the holster, moving targets, multiple targets, and the freedom for the shooter to solve the shooting problems presented by the stage design.

What makes this discipline unique?

The appeal lies in the diversity of the courses of fire available to the shooter. By offering different courses of fire each time, rather than set types, IPSC shooting continues to challenge the competitor to improve his skills in every area.

Accuracy is obviously important in every handgun discipline, but IPSC also requires speed – final scores are a factor of both speed and accuracy.  Safety is an absolute priority, and match rules – and direct supervision by a Range Officer – ensure that this is achieved.

By using a classification system for all competitors, you can be assured that you will be facing competition of an equal skill level.

What kind of people compete in these matches?

As in any other popular sport, a wide variety of people enjoy IPSC shooting matches. Our membership spans almost every occupation, from craftsmen to executives. We are also fortunate to have many women involved in our shooting programs. It is not unusual to find husbands and wives or entire families participating in IPSC shooting activities. All of the people at our competitions are strong believers in safety and safe gun handling as well as good sportsmanship. Come on out and join in!

Are beginners welcome?

Absolutely! All of those currently competing were once at the beginner stage. You will find regular participants are pleased to give a hand in getting you started.  A good way to get started is to ask for assistance. We’ll always help.  Contact the discipline Coordinator for more information.

Specific additional training is required before a competitor is allowed to carry and draw from a holster in a match (an “IPSC holster qualification”)  This is arranged within the discipline group.

Is this an expensive shooting sport?

As in any other recreational activity there is virtually no limit to the amount you can choose to spend on firearms and associated equipment. However, to get a solid start in IPSC pistol shooting, all that is required is a reliable handgun, a suitable holster, ammunition, eye and ear protection, and a big dose of enthusiasm.

As your skill level increases, you may wish to advance to other equipment or to add additional items that will help you in competitions.  Competitors will routinely shoot around 50-60 rounds in a local match (up to 300 in major matches) so reloading becomes desirable.  Again, training is available for those without previous experience

Do I need to join IPSC Australia?

IPSC Australia is the governing body or this discipline.  Local practical shooting matches such as those offered by SSPC ACT do not require you to join IPSC Australia.  As you progress, however, you will want to seriously consider joining IPSCA.  Its a requirement for shooting this discipline at other clubs and for all higher level “sanctioned” matches.

IPSCA offers many benefits to its membership, and the price of membership is probably less than a couple of boxes of ammunition. This includes the following:

  • You will be a member of the organization that is helping to promote and develop the sport of IPSC shooting.
  • You will have a direct influence on the directions that IPSC shooting will take in the future.
  • You will usually receive a subscription to the national newsletter which will offer information on shooting, match schedules, and many other aspects of IPSC competitions.
  • You will be eligible to join and to participate in shooting activities at the local, regional, national, and international level.
  • Each member should have an official rule book which details the regulations and scoring systems used in IPSC shooting.
  • You will receive support from IROA, and the National Range Officers Institute (NROI) who conduct clinics to improve shooting and to train Range Officials for competitions.
  • You will be a participant in the most dynamic and challenging shooting sport in the World!

Where to from Here?

Want to know more?  Contact the Practical/IPSC Coordinator and/or come along to a match on Sunday mornings and have a chat.