View Full Version : What types of competitive shooting sports are there?

August 2, 1999, 12:35 PM
I'm interested in learning more about the various types of competitive shooting sports that exist. I've read some articles about shooting sports, but they did not go into details of the sport itself.

Could someone please explain what the different types of competitions (such as PPC, GSSF, action shooting, etc.) are?

Christopher Nemeth

August 2, 1999, 03:47 PM
PPC - Practical Pistol Competition

Mostly revolvers shot using the same type of "stages" for all matches.

GSSF - Glock Sport Shooting Foundation

Glocks shot using the same type of "stages" for all matches.

USPSA - United States Practical Shooting Association

Two "segments" of pistol types, Limited and Open. In Limited, you can only make limited types of modifications to the weapon. No electronic optics or compensators. Open guns, anything that is safe goes, comps, optics, slide rackers, thumb ledges, etc.

Stages will vary from match to match with a "classifier" stage that each club sets up identically. After shooting 3 classifiers, you are given a category (or classification) in which you compete against others with similar abilities.

All the shooting competitions have really friendly people. I suggest that you watch or go to a practice and ask questions. Everybody I know just loves to talk about their guns!!



"...What will you do without freedom? Will you fight?... Fight, and you may die, run and you'll live, at least a while. And dying, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that, for just one chance, one chance, to tell our enemies, that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!!!"

Ricky T
August 2, 1999, 04:37 PM
dbl tap, you forgot IDPA. International Defensive Pistol Association matches are intended to simulate self-defense shooting such as might occur on the street on in home defense. Most course of fire are shot starting with the pistol concealed underneath some kind of garment. Strings of fire generally are less than 18 rounds at relatively short ranges , 3-10yds, 20 yds max. Modifications allowed to guns are extremely limited to actual street carry. No optics, compensators, 20 round mags, holster prosthesis, etc. As Bill Wilson, the cofounder of IDPA, said, it's the REAL PRACTICAL HANDGUNNING SPORT.

August 2, 1999, 10:48 PM
Gee, are there nothing but pistols in our world any more?

NRA Highpower: .22 centerfire and above, no limit on Magnums. The pure form is fired 200 yds standing slow fire, 2 sighters plus 20 shots for record (regional match) in 22 minutes. Next is sitting sustained-fire at 200 yds--begin with 2 slow fire sighters before the string. Then start standing up with rifle in hand, sit down when the targets come up--2 shots, reload, then 8 shots in 60 seconds (5 and 5 if you're shooting a bolt gun). Repeat without the sighters for the second 10-round string.

This target has a 7-inch 10-ring, IIRC.

Go back to 300 yards, same target but with the aiming black out to the 8-ring, standing to prone sustained fire, same drill but you have 70 seconds.

Go back to 600 yards, prone slow fire, same setup as 200-yard slow fire. The target is bigger, and is called the MR for medium range. 10-ring is about 24 inches.

Cut the first three stages to 10 shots each, and eliminate the sighters, and you have the "National Match Course" governed by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM).

This discipline has been dominated by M1A/M14s in .308 but is now seeing great success by AR-15 shooters using heavy bullets and 1:9 or 1:7 twist barrels. Both of those "one size fits all" rifles qualify as "service rifles" if essentially unmodified on the outside, while bolt guns are "NRA Match rifles." Iron sights for most competitions, but the occasional any sight NRA Match rifle competition will allow scopes. These are still frequently won by shooters using iron sights (I've seen it more than once).

Then there's Highpower Silhouette--2, 5-shot strings at each of four "iron critter" steel animal outlines: chicken, 200 meters; pig, 300 meters; turkey (the hard one), 385 meters; and ram, 500 meters. 2.5 minutes per string, all shots from standing, targets must fall to count, and non-Magnums of 6.5 mm or larger are allowed. There's also a blackpowder cartridge rifle variation which allows use of crossed sticks as a rifle rest for firing. 40 shots total per match.

There's more, but I get too complete in my descriptions...

[This message has been edited by Cheapo (edited August 02, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Cheapo (edited August 03, 1999).]

Matt VDW
August 5, 1999, 01:50 PM

Here's a quick list of some others:

Skeet - shotgun against aerial targets

Trap - similar to skeet

Sporting Clays - similiar to skeet and trap but uses a "field" course

Olympic/UIT Free Pistol - precision .22 pistol shooting at 50 meters, one hand, open sights

Olympic/UIT Rapid Fire Pistol - requires quick, accurate shooting at five (?) turning targets with a .22 pistol

IHMSA - knocking over steel silhouettes at 25-200 yards with a handgun

Bullseye - precision shooting with .22 and .45 pistols

Pin Shooting - a short-range contest to shoot a set of bowling pins off a table as quickly as possible

Benchrest - rifle shooting for small groups over sandbags

SASS - Single Action Shooting Society; similar to IPSC but with Old West-style guns

Obviously, these descriptions sacrifice accuracy for brevity. What sort of competition interests you?

August 7, 1999, 01:37 AM

National Match Course of Fire




my $.02

I guess all those pistol games are fun but this is the one for me :)

Tom D
August 12, 1999, 03:54 PM
orsogato, I'm with you. Do you shoot the M1A or the black gun?

Christopher, nobody mentioned tactical shooting. Matches involve moving through courses, finding and engaging targets as quickly and accurately as possible. You shoot precision rifle ( long range sniper type stuff ) carbine courses ( shorter distances, less time ) and handgun shooting is often part of the match as well. It is tough shooting and physical, but it is a hoot.

[This message has been edited by Tom D (edited August 12, 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Tom D (edited August 12, 1999).]

Will Fennell
August 26, 1999, 11:51 AM
I've shot a fair representation of the various games mentioned,...but if you haven't tried FITASC[some call it 'international sporting clays'] , you haven't shot a thing yet,IMHO. Compared to FITASC, everything else is just plinking.....

Airborne targets of 5 different sizes[plus 'rabbits' on the ground] from 1 to 60 yards, from 1 to 100 mph. Thrown in singles and in pairs. EVERY course is different, and you never shoot the same presentation twice on any given course!

I love all shooting sports, and compete[or have] in quite a few, FITASC is just the best for me that I've found yet!

Will Fennell

August 31, 1999, 09:18 PM
I agree about FITASC, very difficult and a challenge.

Two that haven't been mentioned:
ZZ birds- specialized flying targets with a center that pops out if you hit the bird, very difficult. Shot with a shotgun, designed to replace the next game...

Flyers- the original shotgun sport, still practiced where it is legal. This is the BIG money game in shooting, everything else is bush league as far as money goes. Of course, the PETA crowd get real upset about this game, as it uses live pigeons.

Geoff Ross

Damn!...I need more practice!

Will Fennell
September 2, 1999, 09:50 PM
Glad to see another claybuster here!

There is a ZZ ring not far from my home and we shot is occasionally,...but it just doesn't do much for me after a couple of rounds,.....I guess the REAL thing is just too good. Becuase flyers are the BEST[IMHO]. I just can't manage the tariff but a couple of times a year. Sporting and FITASC will have to do till I win the lotto.

Will Fennell