UKPSA Disciplines

The UKPSA supports many different disciplines of practical shooting within the UK. These include Shotgun (PSG), Handgun, Long Barrel Revolver, Gallery Rifle, Mini Rifle and Action Air. Practical Shooting is currently the second most popular international target shooting discipline and is now the fastest growing of the shooting disciplines. The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) is the world-wide governing body for practical shooting today and numbers some 85 affiliated nations including most European countries. The motto for practical shooting is DVC, Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas. Which is latin for accuracy, power, speed. All elements should be equally tested when participating in practical shooting.

The governing body of IPSC practical shooting in Great Britain is the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association, (UKPSA) which administers the sport, sanctions graded and championship competitions, selects the National Teams, organises training and maintains discipline and rules within the sport. The UKPSA represents Practical Shooting on the British Shooting Sports Council and maintains close liaison with other shooting organisations, representing the interests of the sport and of its members to all authorities. Founded in 1977, the UKPSA has grown steadily over the years and we have 45 affiliated clubs throughout GB. A democratically elected Council runs the Association. This consisting of five executive officers, Chairman, Regional Director, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations Officer together with approximately Regional Organisers and specific discipline Secretaries and co-opted members who make up the Full Council of the UKPSA. All active practical shooters join the UKPSA which in turn makes them members of the IPSC allowing them to shoot in any Practical match in any discipline anywhere in the world. Members receive the Association’s regular digital journal “eDVC” and have access to the members Forum where views and advice can be exchanged along with notices about matches, results and courses. UKPSA members also have insurance cover.

Members may speak, vote, and stand for office at the annual general meetings of the Association. They have the right to consult the minutes of the Association and to attend Council meetings as observers. They may qualify for classification awards, hold titles and trophies and be selected to the National Squads or to UKPSA teams at overseas competitions. Members have the experience and expertise of the Association to call upon in case advice or support is needed. Indeed the UKPSA welcomes novice shooters and equally represents shooters of all ages and abilities, and specifically recognises junior, lady, and senior classes and supports National teams for men and women.


In line with the strict safety requirements eye and ear protection is mandatory for all UKPSA shoots. Only one shooter completes a course of fire at a time, strictly supervised one on one, by a trained and qualified Range Officer. Infraction of safety rules invokes immediate disqualification from the match and may result in disciplinary proceedings. However, this is a very rare occurrence. Overall, to date ALL the practical shooting disciplines have an exceptional safety record.

The UKPSA is committed to maintaining the highest standards of training, firmly believing that ensuring that all shooters are trained to a common syllabus reinforces its excellent safety record. It is not a requirement to be a UKPSA member to attend training courses but unless you do so you will not be able to compete in any UKPSA sanctioned event. The UKPSA two day safety course had become known as the ‘basic’ course, but this title did not do justice to its well established structure or the importance of its role in the training syllabus. The safety course is intensive and many people have been amazed by their own achievements by the end of the fourteen hours of instruction. A typical course will start with lectures covering an introduction to the sport, safety, equipment and techniques. This will lead to the various shooting exercises, which start with the absolute basics of safe gun handling and move forward steadily to include pre-match preparation and eventually a qualification exercise. The emphasis on the course at all times is SAFETY. Simply attending the course is no guarantee of passing; indeed many students pass the course but are not, in the instructors view completely ready for competition. They can return, when they have achieved further shooting experience to qualify to competition ready. A course pass to competition ready standard is a prerequisite for entry into any UKPSA approved competition.

There are many people that have attended training courses during the past years that have decided for whatever reason not to continue with the sport of practical shooting. However just about all would agree that the course was beneficial in some way or other. Many have expressed the view that the training, with the heavy emphasis towards safe gun handling, can be applied to all other shooting disciplines regardless of whether a rifle, shotgun, full bore pistol or gas powered pistol is involved.

The UKPSA postively encourages and supports all safe target shooting disciplines – whether it be target shotgun, clays, long range rifle etc as they all count as good practice.


One of the prime responsibilities of the Association is to provide a full UK shooting calendar, or rather to channel the activities of clubs wishing to host major events. In this it has been very successful. But Practical Shooting is a world-wide sport with many UK members travelling throughout the globe – America, South Africa and Asia being popular destinations. The 2011 World Handgun Championships were held in Rhodes, Greece, the 2010 European Handgun Championships were held in Serbia. Despite the laws of this land Brits were there shooting handgun.

Today the UKPSA fully supports Practical Shotgun, a demanding, testing and very rewarding discipline. Members have participated in three European Shotgun Championships since 2003, travelling to Italy, Greece and Czech republic. Members also traveled to the USA for the first Pan American Shotgun Championships. Closer to home there is a full competition calendar for PSG, as well as Mini-Rifle (.22 rifle), Long Barrel Revolver (LBR), Gallery Rifle, Handgun, Action Air (Gas Powered Pistol) and Rifle. The competition season for shotgun and LBR now consists of several graded matches, some of which are at International level, and a major championship, the British Open. The venues continue to provide fresh challenges and new ideas and a special thanks must go to the range and build crews for their untiring efforts. These are exciting and challenging competitions.

So what is ‘practical’ shooting? The idea is simple. The shooter tackles competitive ‘stages’ requiring varying numbers of rounds and using different shooting positions, against the clock. The appeal of the sport lies in the diversity of the courses of fire available to the shooter – they are different for every match. Targets vary in size, shape, position and material – metal, paper or frangible – from a variety of distances (usually from 3 to 60 yards). Matches are open to all UKPSA members, for further details of the matches visit the members’ Bulletin Board/Forum- there is a Calendar. We also have a help line manned by a Council Member. They may not have answers to all of your queries instantly, but they will use their best endeavours to steer you in the right direction. The Hotline number is: 07010 703845 (note that this a premium rate number). Or you can email or even ask the membership at large by posting a message on the Bulletin Board. Click the links for a little more general info about Practical Shotgun and PSG competitions in PDF.

IPSC Shotgun – Rules

UKPSA – Varying Muzzle Angles


Since the handgun ban in Great Britain in 1997 this has posed a lot of problems for UKPSA members who want to participate in IPSC pistol competitions.

Some members keep pistols stored for them in European countries and travel to matches in these countries. Also, where legal, UKPSA members have been able to borrow the equipment needed to participate in graded practical pistol competition around European countries. This has enabled the UKPSA to still be represented at Level 2 and Level 3 International Matches and also at level 4 European Championships.

Handgun – Rules


Long Barrelled Firearms

When Long Barrelled Revolvers appeared on the market quite a few were purchased and Practical Matches with these firearms, though a little cumbersome, was a reality and a small number of shooters shot infrequent matches.

A number of .22rf Buckmark pistol owners expressed an interest in shooting practical so the newly named Long Barrelled Firearms matches became more regular.

The Match format was extended to include .22rf Mini Rifles, and entry numbers grew again.

It was decided in 2009 to include gallery rifles within our LBF matches and these divisions were added.

Course designers had their hands full to come up with suitably challenging courses of fire which all divisions could enjoy. However they succeeded and it was s refreshing sight seeing such a variety of firearms shooting Practical.

But why stop there; the 9mm lever release was an ideal candidate for practical and a few more happy shooters were shooting practical again.

Numbers continue to be swelled by the new .22rf 1911 style pistols and a growing competition circuit is now on the calendar for 2012 and beyond.

It gives the scorer a bit of a headache with the scoring programme but we now have 10 divisions, with both Open (usually with electronic or optical sights e.g red dots, lasers, scopes) and Standard (iron sights) for

Long Barrelled Revolver

Long Barrelled Pistol

Mini Rifle

Gallery Rifle

9mm Lever Release

So whatever your choice of firearms we can usually accommodate you…and we will continue to pursue suitable venues for centre-fire rifle practical…

LBF Rule Modifications (to HG Rules)


Rifle (full bore)

IPSC Rifle follows essentially the same rule book as IPSC Shotgun and IPSC Handgun with minor differences because of the firearm type.

Typical courses of fire have targets at distances from 25-300 metres, although longer distances are also used at some matches.

The targets used in the UK are predominantly ‘paper’ rather than steel because of range regulations, and there can also be range restrictions on fire and movement by civilians on areas operated by Landmark who control the use of military ranges.

Whilst IPSC Rifle recognises four principle divisions, only two of those can be used in the UK because of the restriction on the use of semi-automatic centrefire rifles.

The two remaining divisions ‘Manual Open’ and ‘Manual Standard’ are due to supplemented by ‘Manual Standard 10’ which will be of great interest to competitors with Lee Enfield rifles that would not have able to use their full magazine capacity when used in the ‘Manual Standard’ division.

Manual Open division at shorter ranges is dominated by straight pull AR15 platform rifles in the 5.56mm calibre or chambered for the longer range wildcat 6.5mm Grendel, since these also popular for the British NRA’s Civilian Service Rifle matches.

Longer range matches usually require 7.62x51mm ammunition, and there are number of bolt action platforms that are suitable and competitive. However careful handloading with the smaller calibres can also produce impressive accuracy at extended distances.

Since target distances can vary substantially, knowing your rifle’s zero and elevation adjustments or hold over are very important, especially when moving back beyond 400 metres.

Rifle – Rules

Mini Rifle – Rules


Since the handgun ban in GB, multi-shot gas powered pistols have been used to shoot Practical Pistol matches and is often referred to as Action Air.
Action Air has become even more popular since IPSC formally recognised ‘ActionAir’ as a discipline, and there are a number of UKPSA sanctioned matches (both indoors and outdoors) held throughout the year being run to IPSC style rules and Range Officer requirements.
With less bang and shorter distances, speed and accuracy is the order of the day for Action Air Shooting but safety is of course always a prime concern. The UKPSA offers a 1 day Action Air Safety Course that ensures safe gun handling and good gun control.
Action Air provides an excellent way to learn important skills should you decide to participate in other Practical competitions that use firearms such as PSG, Mini Rifle and LBF and is also great practice for those who already do!
For further information contact the Action Air Secretary at

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