View Full Version : Question about shooting competitively?

December 20, 2009, 10:58 AM
Hey fellow gun enthusiasts! I am happy to be here with you guys and I hope you can impart some knowledge to me about competitive shooting.

I was military police for years and that's where I started my love for pistols. Interesting thing is, I wasn't that great of a shot in the military. A couple years ago I was at a gun range and the man at the gun range gave me some pointers and ever since then I have been shooting very well. I was at the range with my friend yesterday and we were shooting a silhouette. He was pretty much all over the place, left, right, low, and high. I was making nice groups. Then I decided to push the target out to the 50 range point. The middle was all tore up, so my friend said go ahead and shoot for the shoulder. Well I put every round right on the left shoulder and even put one in the same whole. Did the same with the right. I was using a standard Sig P239 and his Taurus .40. Now, all that being said, do you guys who shoot competition think I may be able to break in and start some amatuer competition shooting? I think with some guidance from an expert, I may become very adapt at this. Thanks for reading all of this and for your help.

Jim Watson
December 20, 2009, 11:59 AM
You don't have to be good to start with to shoot competitively.
You will be made welcome by any club as long as you follow the safety rules and the requirements of their match.

The main action shooting sports with humanoid targets are IPSC/USPSA and IDPA. Both have club finders on their websites:

You can find any number of videos of shooters in action all over Youtube and a lot of discussion at:

December 20, 2009, 12:17 PM

Thanks for your help. Where in Alabama do you live? I live in Athens, AL.

December 21, 2009, 03:37 PM
Nice! Some southern guys! I'm over in central Mississippi.

I'd definitely give USPSA a try. That's what I shoot. It's the most fun you can have with clothes on!

December 21, 2009, 04:41 PM
You seem to enjoy shooting small groups from a distance. You might like Bullseye Pistol competition as well.

December 22, 2009, 01:39 PM
You seem to enjoy shooting small groups from a distance. You might like Bullseye Pistol competition as well.

I'll second this. There's nothing like bringing in a target from 50 yards and having every shot be inside the 8" black circle after you shot them all standing, unsupported, one-handed...

Tony C
December 23, 2009, 01:06 AM
Like you I started shooting as an MP (26 years ago) and never got over the love of handguns. Last year I started shooting USPSA. I am a good, accurate shooter and knew I would do well. Well, not so much. I am a good shot but these competitions are a hoot and there are VERY good shooters that come to these.

I score in the "C" class, not bad, but it doesn't matter. There are very good an pretty bad folks shooting at each of these events monthly and ALL have a ball.

Get started now. It really doesn't matter your skill level as long as you are safe. These are the best games you will ever play and gives you a real accurate view of your strengths and weaknesses.

Tony C.
NW Oregon

GA Limited GM
December 28, 2009, 10:54 PM
Like Jim Watson stated, just show up and be safe and you'll be welcome most anywhere.

If I may be so bold....dont show up and expect to impress or win anything. I've been to several matches where a new guy would show up and expect to impress and rather make dangerous mistakes or have his feelings hurt only to not return. Just go, watch and learn, and have a good time. ;)

PS This may have been gentler if I didnt look straight down the barrel of a competitors barrel last match. Scary stuff.

December 29, 2009, 01:48 PM
As a graduate of Ft.Mcclellan when we still wore white hats, it just added to my love of shooting.I shot in rifle matches while in and since have stuck to high power rifle.My nephew went with me to one match and on the other range they were shooting IDPA.He stated it looked like fun so with some prodding and the loan of some gear he got into it.That was 2 years ago and he's hooked now.
By all means get into it if you have the interest,find a club in your area and just go and watch one time and talk to the people.

December 29, 2009, 08:48 PM
You need to decide what kind of competition is most interesting to you. Precision that doesn't involvement movement (such as PPC or NRA Bullseye), or a more dynamic environment where you move and score is based more on speed (IDPA or USPSA).

Personally, I am a IDPA/USPSA fanatic. I love the run and gun, but that poor hits will hurt your score. Most of that, though, doesn't reward the shooter who focuses on extreme precision. It can be frustrating if you can shoot nice, tight groups, but some guy who shoots a lot faster, but has groups measured in handspans beats you (the center scoring zone in both sports is about 8" across - hits within that area don't penalize you in any way).

I recommend finding a range or ranges that offer both types of shooting and going out to watch. See which excites you, and then give it a try. I would strongly suggest, though, that you try the sport before starting to invest in the gear. It sucks to drop $100-to-$1000, only to find out that you really don't like the sport (or the local club) all that much.

Good luck and have fun!