I have mentioned before, in my spare time I’ve been shooting in some local competitions. I’ve done all kinds of disciplines IDPA, IPSC, 2-Gun, 3-Gun, even Skeet & Trap, but none have been more fun for me than the USPSA (US Practical Shooting Assn.) Now a couple years in I am pretty comfortable during the matches and am not getting any butterflies or jitters before the buzzer goes off. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but all in all the skills I have learned and practiced have vastly increased my confidence when shooting and even handling any sort of firearms.
Here is the gratuitous self-promotion reel from my last match before you go on to the details.
ZombieWrangelrVideo on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-JzHZK4kcc
On that note I thought I’d pull together some links from other much more respectable bloggers and make a place where I can send my friends to check out the game.
First question is usually what do I need? Well for starters, a gun ( pistol 9mm or bigger – preferable semi-auto), 3-4 mags, belt, OWB holster, and a couple mag belt pouches is a good start, but their exact configuration depends greatly on what you want to shoot. The great folks at PewPew have a good run through article of the divisions without being too technical.
Then you should read through the rules. No need to know ever persnickety detail just a general overview, most will be reiterated by the RSO (Range Safety Officer) when you have a pre-match safety briefing. USPSA.ORG is website, and rules link is clearly posted in the top right of the nav bar, and also take a min to check out the USPSA YouTube Channel for some great videos.
Next on to what to expect – there are piles of “first match” videos online, one that I like that gets the point across without too much boring lecture is GunRunner411 on Youtube. He has posted multiple videos of fundamentals and technique breakdowns, and this well-narrated video on what to expect your 1st match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jswJqBvGwoM
Finally you will want to know a little more about score keeping. You’ll be hit with a ton of numbers by the score keeper, but know there is no “Perfect 10” stage in USPSA, because speed is a variable. The beautiful shooter, Amy Jane from “Everything Guns” on GunCarrierTV below does a great job explaining it all in the linked video, but for math and text based brains, like me, I think the easiest way to explain it is you score is a balance of speed and accuracy often called Hit-Factor which is a simple [Points over Time] equation [ HF=Pts/Sec ] . Targets have zones A-B-C-D. A-zone hits are 5 pts and it goes down from there based on what you are shooting (higher calibers gets some handicap points). So if there are 10 targets that require 2 shots each, and you them all in the “A-zone” you get 100 points, if you did it in 20 seconds you would have a HF of 5.0 (10x2x5=100/20=5)
The only problem is now just going to the plain-old range with my friends and family seems boring. I still need the practice, and I use the time to work on skills like reloading from my belt, longer range accuracy, and finger off the trigger discipline. I’m by no means any bit above mediocre, but I feel finishing in the top 2/3 of competition shooters in my region puts me on pretty good footing against the rest of the general population. So naturally I want more people to come out and shoot with and invite me to more matches at more ranges across the area so I can get better. That’s about it – c’mon out and have some fun while increasing your zombie apocalypse survive-ability….