Competitive shooting is a sport that has grown rapidly in the past several decades. It’s also a great way for shooters of all skill levels to practice, learn new techniques, and improve their skills. Three of the most popular competitive shooting sports are the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA), the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), and the Steel Challenge.
Each organization and competition has different requirements and rules. The IDPA, founded in 1996, requires participants to engage in concealed carry practices. The USPSA, the United States division of IPSC, was founded in 1984 and differs from the IDPA in that concealed carry is not required and there are fewer rules to follow. Started in 1981, the Steel Challenge is a competition that requires very little athletic ability. Each has its own set of challenges and benefits and offers an excellent way for both beginning and advanced shooters to engage in competition.
A Beginners Guide to Starting
If you are interested in getting started in competitive shooting, here are some tips to get you going:
- Just Do It! As Nike says, just do it! The most important thing you can do is jump in and start. While you should have proper firearm safety training and some experience, anyone can start. Most local shooting competitions are very low-key and inviting. Don’t worry about getting a bad score the first few times you go out. You’ll eventually learn how competitions work, what skills you need to perfect, and how to approach each event. Many seasoned shooters are willing to help and offer great encouragement.
- Choose a Sport. If you are completely new, you may not realize there are different events within shooting competitions. If you have a specific skill, you should consider entering an event that showcases this talent. Trying events in which you aren’t particularly skilled can be a good way of improving your talents.
- Come Prepared. Shooting competitions can last a while, so it’s important to come prepared. While personal preference plays a major role in what you’ll want to bring, there are some basics everyone has on hand. Comfortable shoes and suitable clothing are a must. Most, if not all, events require eye and hearing protection. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, gloves, water and snacks are also important.
At Springfield Armory®, we would love to help you find the firearm that fits you best. Whether you are an experienced firearm owner or first-time buyer, it’s important to have selection when purchasing. We offer a number of high quality firearm solutions and would be happy to walk you through the buying process.