Almost any .22 will get you started. The requirements are called out in the rule book, however, the basics are: Open or optical sights with no magnification. No compensators, or laser aiming devices. You will need a .22 revolver or semi-auto. You never load more than five rounds at one time. Later, you will also want a center fire (C.F.) and/or .45 pistol. The centerfire must be .32 caliber or larger. Many shooters use the .45 for the center fire stage.
No magnum ammunition. Typically everyone will be shooting very light to mid-range loads. Bring 100 rounds of ammunition for each match you enter. This will allow the 90 shots needed plus the five shots for each of the two alibis you are allowed.
The slow fire may be shot at 50 or 25 yards depending on the range facilities. The timed and rapid strings are shot at 25 yards. Indoor matches are typically fired at 50 feet on reduced targets.
Cardboard D - 1 (or tombstone) targets, are used for most stages. The D-1 is 18 inches wide and 30 inches high. A rack of six steel plates, each eight inches in diameter, is used for some matches. The D-1 targets have embossed scoring rings, the plates count 10 points and one X for each one hit AND knocked over. There is a `mover' which is the D-1 on a hanger that travels across a 60 foot opening in six seconds.
A pistol or revolver holding six rounds of ammunition. The gun must be a 9mm or larger. The early matches were won with semi-auto pistols, for several years the revolvers won. The last few years the top finishers have used specialized autos, with electric dot sights. The big money guns are very specialized, but a good showing can be made with any good target pistol. The fastest growing group is the Metalic Sight classification. These are guns with open sights and very few modifications allowed (no scopes, dots, or compensators).
The D-1 targets are fired on from seven to 50 yards. The plates are shot from 10 to 25 yards.
The ammunition must meet a minimum power factor of 120,000. The power factor is calculated by multiplying bullet weight (in grains) by velocity (in feet per second). Each stage requires 24 to 48 rounds of ammunition.
All stages are fired in fixed time limits. On almost all stages the competitor starts with the loaded gun in a holster, and the hands raised such that the wrists can be seen above the shoulders from behind. There is no advantage to shooting faster, but there are penalties for late shots. Some stages are shot free style (use both hands), some are shot around a barricade, others require the use of strong-hand or weak-hand only. Time limits are long enough to make the shots, but there is no time to waste.
At 15 yards the competitor faces two targets. Upon the start signal the competitor draws, fires two shots on each target five seconds.
This sport grew out of a course that was designed as a better format to train and test police officers than the National Match - Bullseye style shooting. Although most competitions and awards are for law enforcement officers many clubs and groups hold PPC matches that are open to all competitors.
The standard police training man silhouette target, the B-27.
The B-27 targets are fired on from seven to 50 yards. The reduced size target, the B-34 is used for the 50 yard stage at 25 yards. The B-29 is smaller still, it is used for the 25 and 50 yard stages at 50 feet for indoor matches.
There are different categories; Service Revolver, Open Class Revolver, Any Center Fire Pistol, etc. Mention PPC, most people think of heavy barrel, adjustable sight rib, tricked out, .38 special revolvers. Any .35 caliber (9 mm) or larger revolver or semi-auto pistol can be used, all courses require a gun that can be loaded with at least six shots.
The bullet velocity must be great enough that the bullet passes through the paper target and the cardboard backer. The type of loads used for bullseye competition would be a good choice. No magnum ammunition. A PPC match will typically require 50 to 60 rounds of ammunition.
All shooting starts from a standing position, hands at your side, loaded gun in the holster. Most stages will require you to fire six shots, reload, and fire six more. All stages have fixed time limits. The times are plenty long for competitors using magazines or speed loaders for the reloads. Some stages require you kneel, sit, lie prone, shoot with your right or left hand, and/or shoot around a barricade.
At 25 yards, starting from a standing position; fire six shots from a kneeling position, reload, fire six shots standing, with the left hand, supported, reload, fire six shots with the right hand, supported. All this in 90 seconds (one and one half minutes).
This is one of the few shooting sports that allows the shooter to have a spotter on the firing line. To be successful you need a spotter with you. This makes Silhouettes a terrific sport for two people using one gun. At any silhouette match you will see husband/wife teams, parent/child, and two friends teams up and down the line.
The targets are steel silhouettes of chickens, javelina (pigs), turkeys, and rams. The targets are are about one to two inches tall for air pistol, up to three feet tall (about 45 - 50 pounds) for long-range pistol and rifle. The long range-category full size chicken is 10 inches tall, the ram is about three feet tall and weighs 50 pounds. The target must be knocked down with one shot to score.
Air pistol, ranges 10 to 18 yards. Long range pistol uses full size targets with the chicken at 50 meters (54.7 yds), pigs at 100 meters, turkeys at 150 meters, and those 50 pound rams at 200 meters.
Air rifle ranges are 20, 30, 36, and 45 yards. High power and black powder cartridge rifles shoot full size targets at 200, 300, 385, and 500 meters. The targets are sized and ranges set according to the class of gun used.
Most of the guns used in Silhouette competition are single shot, except of course in revolver class. There are classes for air pistol, air rifle, smallbore pistol, small bore rifle, long range pistol, and on, and on.
An easy introduction is to go to a match or practice session with someone who is already in the sport. That person can; show you the procedures, rules, loan you a gun, and coach. The other route is to take the gun you have, the folks running the match will put you in the correct classification.
This sport has no formal ammunition requirements save that the target has to fall down when hit.
All shooting is standing or free style. You will see some interesting positions in the search for stability with some degree of comfort. All targets are set up in a line of five targets. Each relay shoots at five chickens, then five pigs, then five turkeys, then five rams, for a total of twenty. Most matches are two strings of 20.
The sports of fast draw and combat shooting with a pistol come together. The world organization is the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC). In the U.S. the member organization is the USPSA. IPSC competition is structured to balance Speed, Power, and Accuracy.
The standard target used is a cardboard target with embossed scoring rings that can't be seen from the shooting position. The scoring areas are designated as A, B, and C zone. The A zone scores five points, the B and C zone points are based on the ammunition used. Various metal targets are also used, the most common are the Pepper Popper, and stop plates. The Pepper Poppers must be knocked down, stop plates, as the name states, stop the timer.
There are basically two categories of guns used. The unlimited gun are those super duper, full house race guns you see in the magazines. These guns are tricked-out with optics, compensators, wide body frames, calibers designed just for this game. The limited class, formerly tactical, are basically guns suitable for defence, or service side arm carry. Limited guns can not have optical sights, or compensators. A Limited gun must be chambered for a readily available, commercial cartridge.
There are two classifications for ammunition; Major and Minor. Major ammunition must generate a power factor of 165 or more. Minor ammunition must generate a minimum power factor of 125.
Power factor is calculated: Bullet Weight (grains) x Velocity (feet per second), then divide by 1000. Most competitors load to a slightly higher power factor. The ammunition is tested just before the start of each match. Competitors load a little higher to compensate for temperature and humidity changes.
Targets can be expected to be placed between three and 50 yards. Most stages will involve shooting; over, around, under, or through various props, walls, windows, barrels, doors, whatever, at targets; in the open, partially hidden, turning, moving, all mixed in with no-shoot targets.Course of fire:
Too numerous and varied to get into here. All courses are scored using some variation on the common theme of: Points divided by time.
This organization is the International Defensive Pistol Association. The organizers are people that have been involved with practical pistol shooting for a long time. Many of these guys were involved in IPSC in the early days. The IDPA was started because the founders feel there is a large group of people who are interested in developing and honing "defensive shooting skills in a practical competition environment." IDPA competitors are required to use "practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self defense use" no competition-only stuff.
The standard target used is a cardboard target, similar to the (old style) IPSC target, with embossed scoring rings that can't be seen from the shooting position. The scoring areas are designated as 5, 4, and 2 point zones. Metal targets may also used; 8 inch round or, 8 by 12 inch oval. The minimum score required on a cardboard target is four points, to `neutralize' the target.
There are currently five categories (divisions) of guns used. The Stock Service Pistol (SSP) is for Double Action, Double Action Only or safe action (Glock, Sigma, etc.) semi-auto pistols. The Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP) is for single action semi-auto pistols in calibers other than .45 ACP. The Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP) [Single action .45 ACP] is basically the IPSC Limited class, guns can not have optical sights, or compensators. The fourth and fifth categories are Service Revolver (SSR) and Enhanched Service Revolver (ESR).
There are two classifications for ammunition; Custom Defensive Pistol and the others. Custom Defensive Pistol ammunition must generate a power factor of 165,000 or more. All other ammunition must generate a minimum power factor of 125,000.
Power factor is calculated: Bullet Weight (grains) x Velocity (feet per second).
Targets can be expected to be placed between three and 25 yards. Many stages will involve shooting; around cover, or other props, at targets; in the open, partially hidden, turning, moving, all mixed in with no-shoot targets. Most will be from three to less than 20 yards, with a limited number of targets.
Too numerous and varied to get into here. All courses will emphasize defensive shooting skills, not athletic prowess. Scores will usually based on the shortest time to `neutralize' all of the targets.
The standard IPSC targets are used. Expect a lot of targets, many no-shoot targets, movers, bobbers, swingers, and other types of targets that appear for a short time and then disappear.
There are basically two categories of guns used. The unlimited guns are those super-duper, full-house race guns you see in the magazines. These guns are tricked-out with optics, compensators, wide body frames, calibers designed for high volume, high pressure gas to make the compensators really work. The limited class, are basically open sight, no compensator race guns. Limited guns can not have optical sights, or compensators.
There are two classifications for ammunition; Major and Minor. Major ammunition must generate a power factor of 165 or more. Minor ammunition must generate a minimum power factor of 125. If you are going to run with the big dogs you will need major power factor ammo.
Power factor is calculated: Bullet Weight (grains) x Velocity (feet per second), then divide by 1000. Most competitors load to 130 (Minor) or 175 (Major) power factor. The ammunition is tested just before the start of each match. Competitors load a little higher to compensate for temperature and humidity changes.
Targets can be expected to be placed between three and 50 yards. Most stages will involve shooting; over, around, under, or through various props, walls, windows, barrels, doors, whatever, at targets; in the open, partially hidden, turning, moving, all mixed in with no-shoot targets. Most stages will have more than one shooting position, or boxes. The run in run-n-gun comes from the multiple boxes you must run to.
Too numerous and varied to get into here. All courses are scored using some variation on the common theme of: Points divided by time. Expect the number of shots fired in each stage to be 15 to 30 or more.
The targets are steel squares, circles, and rectangles. No scoring rings. You hit it or you miss it. The plates are hung on stands so that you hear a `ping' when the target is hit. Generally only four to six targets per stage. Targets usually run from six inch diameter round to almost two feet square.
There are basically two categories of guns used. The full house race guns set up for Steel Challenge style speed shooting. These guns are tricked-out with optics, compensators, light weight frames, slides with cut-outs to reduce weight, special low-mass action parts, all to reduce the time between shots.
Many matches will have a .22-rimfire division. This is a great way to get started and alot of fun for younger shooters.
There are no power factor requirements. Ammunition must generate only enough power to make the gun function and make a mark on the plate. Most competitors want to hear the plate ring when hit.
This is a flat-out time course. Lowest time wins. Check out the ISI web site for course of fire and match schedule information.