United States Practical Shooting Association

United States Practical Shooting Association

The United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA] ) is a 501c(3) non-profit Delaware corporation that is currently headquartered in Sedro Woolley, Washington. USPSA is the United States sanctioning body for the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). The USPSA has over 17,000 dues-paying members as of July, 2008. [USPSA Membership Database Summary http://uspsa.org/cgi-bin/db_class_summary.cgi] There are approximately 350 USPSA affiliated clubs in the United States, most holding matches at least once a month throughout the year. USPSA publishes a member magazine called "Front Sight" six times a year.


USPSA is organized into 8 "Areas", each of which is represented by an Area Director at the board meetings of the organization. Each Area is divided into sections. Each section is represented by a Section Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating the activities of clubs within his/her section, and managing the nationals slot distribution process.

The Board of Directors comprises the President and the 8 Area Directors. The President is elected by all of the members to a 4 year term. Each Area Director is elected by the members in that Area to a three-year term. The Board of Directors' responsibilities include: financial strategy, including budget, planning and investment strategies, membership recruitment and retention strategies, marketing strategies, strategies for the format and location of National Championship matches, strategies for the establishment and/or management of relationships with other shooting organizations, including IPSC, drafting and revising the rules that USPSA matches are conducted under, and review and ratification of National Range Officer Institute (NROI) policies and procedures. Each member of the Board has an equal voice, with the President breaking any ties.

As of 2008, the Board is: [USPSA Staff Accessed 1/29/2008 http://www.uspsa.org/members/USPSAstaff.html]

*President - Michael Voigt
* [http://www.uspsa1.org Area 1] - Bruce Gary
* [http://www.uspsa2.org Area 2] - Chris Endersby
* [http://www.uspsa3.org Area 3] - Emanuel Bragg
* [http://www.uspsa4.org Area 4] - Kenneth Hicks
* [http://www.uspsa-area5.org Area 5] - Gary Stevens
* [http://uspsa-area6.org Area 6] - Charles V. Bond
* [http://www.uspsa7.org Area 7] - Rob Boudrie
* [http://www.uspsa8.org Area 8] - Alan Meek


The United States Practical Shooting Association, or USPSA, is a non-profit membership organization that serves as the national governing body of Practical shooting and is the US Region of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). Its over 17,000 members, and over 350 affiliated clubs, make USPSA the dominant competitive pistol shooting organization in the United States and the largest Region within IPSC.

IPSC was formed in 1976 at a meeting in Columbia, Missouri, lead by the late Jeff Cooper. [Columbia Conference Minutes http://www.uspsa.org/document_library/IPSC%201976%20Columbia%20Conference%20Minutes.pdf] It was here that the sport of Practical Shooting was formally established after years of independent efforts around the country to build upon the handgun skills and training for self defense. The early days of the sport can be traced back to the 1950’s and the quick draw “leather slap” competitions that grew out of America's love affair with the TV westerns of that era.

Practical Shooting challenged the then accepted standards of technique, training practices and equipment. Its early pioneers developed scenario-based competitions to accurately measure the effectiveness of their own shooting techniques and equipment.Fact|date=March 2008 The rapid shooting on-the-move style of Practical Shooting gave birth to the term “Run and Gun” so commonly used today to describe the sport.

For 30 years the sport has served as the test bed for new products and the unofficial R&D for the firearms industry. With some competitors annually shooting in excess of 100,000 rounds, no other venue offers a better in-service assessment of a firearm’s performance or the brutal gauntlet of high-level competition through which a gun must survive to be declared reliable.Fact|date=March 2008

USPSA's Competitive Divisions

As the governing body of IPSC shooting in the United States, USPSA provides a wide range of competitive opportunities for shooters with regulated competition in six distinct divisions. Each division within USPSA is determined by the kind of firearm used and ranges from production guns, the “stock cars” of the sport, to fully customized open guns that are the Formula 1 cars of Practical Shooting. The following is an explanation of the six divisions within USPSA.

Production Division

Production Division [USPSA approved Production gun list, accessed March 25, 2008 [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/production_list.php] ] [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D4 - Production Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] is strictly limited to the use of production handguns with actions that are double-action-only, double-action/single-action or striker-fired – mostly in the caliber of 9mm. These are the “duty guns” available from nearly every pistol maker and each of the major manufacturers offers a wide variety of models that meet USPSA Production Division requirements. Stock revolvers may also be used, including the 7- and 8-shot variants. USPSA greatly restricts the level of modifications that can be performed on a Production gun.

While capacity is not uniform across model, caliber or manufacture, USPSA levels the playing field by limiting shooters to just 10 rounds per magazine. Regardless of the round used in Production, the division is scored as a minor power factor. Holsters and allied equipment must be “non-race-type” and be worn behind the forward most point of hip. Most shooters use a standard outside-the-waistband belted holster intended for daily wear, often made of kydex or plastic.

Revolver Division

The Revolver Division is intended for stock revolvers and shooters are restricted to only six rounds between reloads. [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D6, Revolver Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] Modifications are limited and optical sights, porting and recoil compensators are prohibited. However, shooters may change grips, enlarge the cylinder release, change sights, chamfer cylinders and tune the action as they desire.

While .45 ACP is the most popular, shooters may score major using any cartridge that fires a .355 or larger bullet.

ingle Stack Division

The Single Stack 1911 Division caters to the traditional 1911 fan. [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D5, Single Stack Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] USPSA introduced Single Stack as a provisional division in 2006, and based on its popularity made it a regular division in 2008. Only single-stack model 1911-pattern pistols are allowed in this division, and they must meet a maximum weight limit, as well as fit fully within a box of specific dimensions. The equipment rules are similar to Production Division, other than providing for 8 rounds for major calibers and 10 rounds for minor. As for holsters, Single Stack shooters must adhere to the Production Division guidelines. All equipment must be worn behind the hips and the holster must be a practical, non-race style such as those intended for daily wear.

Limited Division

Limited Division features both wide-body, or double-stack, 1911 pistols and single-stack 1911 pistols. [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D2, Limited Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] Additionally, non-1911 pistols are also permitted. Modifications allowed to the gun include those for the Limited-10 Division, plus shooters may use high-capacity magazines so long as the magazine is does not have an overall length greater than 141mm for double-stack pistols and 171mm for single-stack pistols.

Again, as with Limited-10, shooters must use a .400 caliber or larger bullet in order to score a major power factor.

Limited-10 Division

The Limited-10 Division features both wide-body, or double-stack, 1911 pistols and single-stack 1911 pistols. [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D3, Limited 10 Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] Additionally, non-1911 pistols are also permitted. The name, Limited-10, is a reference to the total number of rounds (10) a competitor can load in his/her magazine. This capacity limitation eliminates any capacity advantage one model pistol would have over another. It was developed in response to the 1994 Crime Bill, which limited the capacity of newly-made magazines to 10 rounds.

Competitors can make various minor modifications such as change sights, grips, slide stops, magazine releases and mainspring housings but optical sights, porting or a recoil compensator are strictly prohibited.

Calibers can be either minor (9mm, .38 Special, and down-loaded .40 S&W, for example) or major (.40S&W and larger). However, in order to score major, a Limited-10 (as well as Limited) pistol must use a .400 caliber or larger bullet.

Open Division

As its name implies, the Open Division allows for the greatest range of pistol and sight modification. [USPSA 2008 Handgun Rules, Appendix D1, Open Division Rules [http://www.uspsa.org/rules/2008HandgunRulesindexed.pdf] ] Pistols used in Open Division competition are the shooting equivalent to the Formula 1 race car. They are custom built with parts and features specifically designed for competition. The most notable modifications are the use of recoil compensators and red dot optical sighting systems. The overall length of the magazine is restricted to 170mm. While the most popular cartridge in the Open Division is one of several variants of the .38 Super, shooters may compete with a pistol chambered in any caliber that takes a .355 or larger bullet.

Range Safety / Match Officials

In conjunction with IPSC, USPSA has their own dedicated range offfcials, which is run by the National Range Officers Institute (NROI). John Amidon, a Vice President of USPSA, is the Director of the NROI. The NROI is responsible for the training and certification of the Range Officials, firearm safety, good course design and advising the membership on the application of the rules as determined by the Board of Directors.

There are 5 different types of Range Officials:

# Range Officer (RO)
# Chief Range Officer (CRO)
# Range Master (RM)
# Tournament Director (TD)
# Range Master Instructor (RMI)

National Championship Matches

Each year, USPSA holds National Championship matches for Open, Limited, Limited 10, Production, Revolver and 3-Gun (now called Multi Gun). Sometimes, all of the pistol Nationals are held at the same time, other years, they have been broken up between different ranges. The 3-Gun/Multi-Gun Nationals are always held at a separate range and date from the pistol Nationals. In order to attend the one of the pistol Nationals, a competitor usually has to win a "slot", usually by placing well enough at various regional and Area Championship matches held throughout the year. Currently, anyone can participate in the 3-Gun/Multi-Gun Nationals on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Past USPSA Champions

{| class="wikitable"
-! 2000 Nationals! Men's Champion! Women's Champion
Todd Jarrett
Kay Miculek
Rob Leatham
Lisa Munson
Ron Avery
Ernest Langdon
N/A{| class="wikitable"
-! 1998 Nationals! Men's Champion! Women's Champion
Todd Jarrett
Kim Stroud
Rob Leatham
Sharon Zaffiro
Jerry Miculek
Kay Miculek
Todd Salmon
Kerri Richardson

USPSA Purchases Steel Challenge

In December 2007, USPSA purchased the Steel Challenge and the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) from owners and creators Mike Dalton and Mike Fichman. ["USPSA Acquires Steel Challenge" December 14, 2007 http://www.steelchallenge.com/uspsa_acquires_scsa.html] The Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships are one of the crown jewels of the shooting circuit and the premier professional pistol competition in America. With more than 220 of the world’s fastest shooters competing for over $390,000 in cash and prizes in 2007, it has found a permanent place on the shooting schedules of every major competitive shooter.

The match design of Dalton and Fichman called for simple stages, or courses of fire, made up of just five steel plates. The steel plates are of differing sizes and placed at various distances and angles to create a variety of challenges. The shooter assumes his or her position in the shooting box and, upon the beep of the timer, draw their pistol and shoots each plate with the fifth being a stop plate synchronized to the timer. Each shooter shoots the stage five times with the slowest time dropped. The score is the combined time of the best four runs and that time added to the combined times of the other stages for a final match score.

The Steel Challenge is held in August in Piru, California. The 2008 Steel Challenge will be held Friday through Sunday, August 14-17, 2008.


External links

* [http://www.USPSA.org USPSA]
* [http://www.uspsa.org/bylaws/bylaws_20051001.pdf USPSA Bylaws]
* [http://www.uspsa.org/dw/wheretoshoot.html USPSA Club Finder]
* [http://www.uspsa.org/nroi National Range Officers Institute (NROI)]
* [http://www.uspsa-nationals.org USPSA National Championship Matches]
* [http://www.frontsightmagazine.org Front Sight Magazine]
* [http://steelchallenge.com Steel Challenge]

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