International Practical Shooting Confederation is a competitive shooting sport based on practical shooting.

IPSC was founded in 1976; Col. Jeff Cooper was the first president. IPSC is an international organization, but countries that participate have their own organizations under the IPSC umbrella. In the US, it is the United States Practical Shooting Association, also know as USPSA.

Accuracy, power, and speed are all taken into consideration to achieve a maximum score. Ammunition is loaded to specific power factors.  By multiplying the weight of the bullet in grains (7000 grains to the pound) times the velocity in feet per second the result is used to classify the round as Minor or Major.  To shoot Minor, the value must exceed 125,000.  To shoot Major, the value must exceed 160,000 or 170,000 depending on the division competed in.

There are different divisions of competition:

OPEN – The hotrods of the pistol world, compensators, red dot sights, and super high capacity magazines holding up to 29 rounds.  The guns are usually chambered in .38 Super or 9 mm.

STANDARD – Pistols of .40 caliber or larger for Major and 9 mm or larger for Minor; the shooter’s choice.  No compensators or red dot sight are allowed.  The pistol must fit inside the “IPSC box”.

CLASSIC – Pistols that follow the classic 1911 design.  No extended dust covers or rails are allowed. Both Major and Minor power factors are allowed; Major is .40 caliber or larger with the exception of the .357 SIG (.40 cal case necked down to 9 mm and Minor is 9 mm with a magazine capacity limit of 10 rounds.

PRODUCTION – Double action or striker fire pistols.  Scored as Minor.  Dimensions are restricted to manufacturer’s specifications.  Very few modifications are allowed – grip tape, replacing sights that do not require gunsmithing, and replacement of internal parts with parts that are factory options.  Minor trigger workings allowed.

REVOLVER – No muzzle brakes or optical sights. Any capacity revolver is allowable, but the shooter must fire 6 shots before requiring a reload. Caliber of .38 Special or larger and can be Major or Minor.

For more information, go to the USPSA web site http://www.uspsa.org/

International Defensive Pistol Association was founded in 1996 by some members of IPSC, including Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat.

The organizers felt there were shortcomings in IPSC and wanted to create a simpler discipline for shooters that included shooting equipment that was not modified and using standard holsters and off the shelf service ammunition.

Alterations to the pistol are limited and magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds.  Scoring is different in that a competitor is allowed to fire as many rounds as they feel is needed to make the required number of hits.  If the required number of hits is 2, then only the 2 best hits count as the score.

For more information on IDPA visit their website at http://www.idpa.com/

Bullseye Pistol Shooting, sometimes called Conventional Pistol, is a discipline which emphases precision and accuracy in timed shooting on standard paper targets.

Bullseye requires a lot of practice as the firing line to target distance is 25 yards and 50 yards for outdoors and 50 feet for indoors. Bullseye is a one-handed event. There are three courses of fire – slow, timed, and rapid, and each course is timed.


Guns – .22 LR pistol, centerfire .32 or larger, and .45 caliber pistols.  Since there are not a lot of pistols in the 9 mm caliber or centerfire category, most shooters use the .45 for both centerfire and .45.  There is a definite advantage in that you will not need to buy 3 guns.

For .22 LR, the Ruger MKII and MKIII pistols and the Browning Buckmark are good choices for beginners, and they can be customized later when you need a better pistol.  There are also a lot of good used High Standard pistols, but expect to pay premium prices for these guns.  You can also use 1911’s with .22 LR conversion kits.  At the high end of the scale are the Smith and Wesson Model 41 and the Kimber 1911-22 Custom Shop model.

For centerfire, there are some .32 caliber guns made in Europe by Walther, Benelli, and Pardini.  These are very high-end pistols.  Smith and Wesson had a .38 Special Model 52, but it was discontinued and now commands high prices.  The SIG P210, X5 and X6 models can be used, but again – premium prices!

.45 caliber, here is where the customized/accurized 1911 is king of the hill.  There are some very good reasons most shooters use their .45 1911 in both the centerfire and .45 stages – cost, not needing that third gun, more experience with the same gun will yield higher scores, and the .45 caliber hole cuts the higher score ring to give higher scores.

For revolvers, the Smith & Wesson Model 17 or 617 in .22 LR, the Model 14 or 686 in .38 Special and the Model 25 or 625 in .45 ACP are popular.  These guns are usually accurized by a gun smith

Sights – Both iron sights and optics are allowed, but no lasers.  Optics can be a conventional scope with cross hairs, but the red dot is the most popular.  The iron sight guns will have micrometer adjustable rear sights.

Grips – since this is a one-handed event, good fitting grips are a must.  There are many custom grip manufacturers who will make grips to fit your hand.

Ammunition – This is critical.  .22 LR ammo must be match grade standard velocity for consistency and accuracy.  Centerfire and .45 ammo is usually hand loaded by the competitor and customized to match his gun.  Centerfire and .45 bullets are usually semi-wadcutter or flat nose wadcutter types.


There are many courses of fire used, 300, 900, but the biggest is the 2700, 270 rounds, 90 in each caliber stage.  Each round has a maximum score of 10 points.  There is a ring inside the 10 ring marked “X” which is used to break ties.  There are different sized target used for different distances.  The event is fired in strings – 10 rounds of slow fire, usually 10 minutes, 2 5-round strings of timed fire, 20 seconds per string, and 2 5-round strings of rapid fire, 10 seconds per string for a total maximum score of 300 points.  This is repeated for each caliber as required for the match and is multiplied for the type of match – 300, 900, or 2700.


As with any sport, practice – practice – practice.  The best way to practice Bullseye is to fire the 300 point course of fire with each of your guns, starting with the .22 and working up to the .45.  You should use the range commands in practice.  You can download the range commands in MP3 file format and get more information from http://www.bullseyepistol.com/.

There is a Bullseye Pistol league in the Chicago area called Tri-County Pistol and Revolver League.

  1. Store Hours:
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  3. Saturday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
  4. Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Note: The Ranges Close 1/2 Hour Before The Store Closes

Holiday Hours:

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  • Christmas Day - CLOSED

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