Air pistol competition is a sport that is both challenging and greatly popular at both the international and collegiate level. Air pistol also represents a tremendous training opportunity for the Bullseye Pistol shooter as mechanics of follow-through and trigger control are magnified tremendously.

The Air Pistol Page


What is Practical Pistol Shooting?

Practical shooting is a sport in which competitors are required to combine accuracy, speed and power to successfully complete many different types of shooting "problems". Competitors use centerfire handguns in large calibers (9mm/.38 special is the minimum allowed) and shoot full-power loads. Fewer points are awarded to competitors using "minor" power loads. These handguns are carried in belt holsters and are accompanied by spare magazines or speedloaders in pouches also attached to the belt. Unlike bullseye or skeet, the events shot in each practical shooting match are different each time - which requires competitors to be diverse in their training. At any given match a shooter may be required to shoot targets 2 meters away in one event, and 50 meters away in the next. Sometimes the targets are paper, sometimes they are steel. Often "no-shoot" penalty targets are placed near "shoot" targets. Points are subtracted from a shooter's score for hitting the "no-shoots". Realistic props are used to simulate a scenario that the shooter must complete. Shooting may be done from freestyle, strong hand, weak hand, prone, or any other imaginable position, depending on the course of fire. Since scoring uses both total points and elapsed time, the shooters strive to find the best combination of accuracy, speed, and power to win.

IPSC (pronounced "ip-sick") was created as an organization in 1976 at Columbia, Missouri, by representatives from nine nations where the sport of "combat" shooting was becoming popular. This became known as the Columbia Conference. The term "practical" went into the name instead of "combat" in deference to public image and Jeff Cooper who was elected the first President. Jeff's writings and philosophy of "practical pistolcraft" were highly regarded and earned him the title of father of the sport.

As the organization grew, member nations developed their own national sanctioning bodies to administer matches in their own countries, and to hold their own national championships. For the United States, the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) is the sanctioning body. Within the international administrative structure the US is designated as an administrative "Region". The member elected president of USPSA also serves as "Regional Director" (RD) for the US IPSC program.

An important part of USPSA is the National Range Officers Institute (NROI), which sends instructors around the country to conduct training and certification courses for volunteer USPSA/IPSC range officers. Thus insuring that the highest standards of safety and scoring integrity are maintained at official matches, right down to the local club level.

United States Practical Shooting Association

International Practical Shooting Association

What is Defensive Pistol Shooting?

Defensive pistol shooting as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated "real world" self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in Defensive Pistol events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No "competition only" equipment is permitted in Defensive Pistol matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his or her equipment or gamesmanship.

Prior to the formation of Defensive Pistol, there was no place to compete and hone one's skill with equipment designed for and suitable for self-defense. Other shooting sports are just that, sports that have no relevance to self-defense. Defensive Pistol offers an exciting new forum for practical shooters in which truly practical equipment, techniques and courses of fire are mandated. Prior to Defensive Pistol there was no place at all to compete with common service pistols such as the Beretta, Glock or Sig. Nor was there a shooting sport where your concealed carry holster could also be your match holster without handicap. When you come to a Defensive Pistol match you cannot only use your duty/CCW equipment, you can be completely competitive with it! Other shooting sports have become equipment "races," Defensive Pistol will not. If you're interested in using truly practical pistols, drawn from practical holsters to solve challenging and exciting defensive shooting problems, then Defensive Pistol is the sport for you.

International Defensive Pistol Association


What is ISSF Shooting?

The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), formerly the UIT is the governing body of the International Amateur Shooting Sports at international and world-wide levels of competition, including World Championships and the Olympic Games.

USA Shooting is the national governing body for ISSF-style shooting in the United States by authority of the US Olympic Committee and the ISSF.

In the Olympics, the shooting sports continue to draw the third-greatest number of countries and impose participation quotas to keep competitors to a manageable number. One of the greatest surges in participation came in 1984, when separate women's events were first added to the Olympic program.

Altogether, there are 17 different ISSF events.

International Sport Shooting Federation (Formerly UIT)


Silhouette shooting involves firing at steel outlines of chickens, pigs, turkeys and sheep from various distances, rifle up to 500 meters, pistol up to 200 meters. Unlike most conventional target games that utilize paper targets and numerical scoring rings, most every shot fired at a metallic silhouette produces an immediate and clearly visible result. Even misses produce a cloud of dust.

For a copy of the official rules and regulations governing centerfire or smallbore metallic silhouette shooting, contact: National Rifle Association, Silhouette Department, 1600 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20038; Phone: (202) 828-6326 or the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 11 Mile Hill Road, Newtown, CT 06470-2359; Phone: (203) 426-1320, for a copy of the NSSF publication, "Metallic Silhouette."

International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association

National Shooting Sports Foundation


Three men are given credit for starting the development of this shooting sport in 1979. They are Harper Criegh, Bill Hahn and Gordon Davis. Little did these gentlemen know that when they formed the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), their idea of using the firearms of the American Frontier in competition events likened to those of the old west would be where it's at fifteen years later -- with tens of thousands of shooters participating in hundreds of events around the world every weekend!

This is a game of fantasy gunfighting during the wild and wooley days of Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James & Wyatt Earp. Not just the men either. Calamity Janes, Annie Oakleys and Belle Stars are right beside them. Hundreds of other colorful figures of the past are seen again at today's shooting ranges having the times of their lives.

Cowboy Action Shooting is basically a three type of gun competition. The firearms are those most typical of the American Frontier from about 1860 to just after the turn of the century.

Shooting scenarios are likened to an events akin to those of the old west. Match themes can come from actual incidents, movie scenes or the match designers imagination.

This shooting sport was designed for all levels of shooters. Targets are generous in size and placed at such proximity that the difficulty or challenge competitors face is the speed they engage a course of fire. However, we all learn soon enough that no target is too big or too close that we can't miss it.

The great success of this activity can be attributed to many reasons. None are more significant than that it is a family oriented, recreational activity and that it is so much FUN. Shooters compete and enjoy the sport at any skill level, it is NOT mandatory to shoot well or to win in order to have FUN. This promotes the values often referred to as the "spirit of the game," and is perhaps best shown by the friends made while sharing a mutual appreciation of what is the legend of America's most colorful and exciting period.

Single-Action Shooting Society

The World Fast Draw Association