There are many competition events in shooting sports. The Olympics Games has .22 rifle and .22 handgun, trap and skeet shotguns. The marksman in Olympics shoots from static position on paper target or flying clays, which is very different from real-life combat scenario. In contrary, the IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) is an very dynamic shooting sport that provides good training on marksmanship and shooting skills. The competitors has to compete on courses or stages featuring different combat scenario including draw the firearm, fire from different positions, moving, reload and avoid shooting no-shoot target. The competitors are ranked based on their speed and accuracy.
I just completed the IPSC black badge training course. But I am not yet black badge certified. I have to shoot a qualifier match to obtain my class classification and provincial ranking first. My instructor Murray Gardner is 8 times national companion and he is really good. The 3 days training course emphasis on safety and we also have a fun time. The IPSC rules are very strict, any unsafe handling of the firearm is a disqualification and you are out of the competition right away. We were given exercises that breaks down all the actions in combat shooting into movements and drills to train us how to shoot safely and effectively.
I learnt a lot from my IPSC instructor. I have been shooting for 3 years and I was holding the gun the wrong way all along! Once I correct my grip, I can see improvement on my accuracy. IPSC is all about speed and accuracy, and out of the two, accuracy is more important. No matter how fast you can pull the trigger, it is useless if you can’t hit the target. You are just wasting ammunition. My accuracy is OK but my time is pretty slow. I scored 44 out of 60 points with 50% of shots hitting the A zone in the target. It took me 2.5 seconds to draw the gun and fire the first shoot, 4.8 seconds to reload and over 15 seconds to fire 6 rounds on 3 targets, reload, and fire another 6 rounds. The world companion can finish the same sequence in less 4 seconds and the instructor can get it less than 5 seconds. Slow is not a problem for IPSC beginners, your will speed up the more you practice those movements. The key is to practice so much that you don’t have to think about how to draw or how to reload, your hands should know where to move from subconcious level. I can practice those movements at home with unloaded firearm to build up my muscle memory, it only takes 15 minutes a day.
I will probably start off at class D in the bottom and my goal is slowly move my way up to class A. Above class A is Master and Grand Master and that is probably out of my reach. There is a long road ahead of me in IPSC. Skiing is my sport in Winters and IPSC is my sport in Summers.