Every Thursday Night Bellevue Gun Club/West Coast Armory Indoor Range is home to the Bellevue Gun Club Practical Shooters – a USPSA league dedicated to a fun practical shooting environment. USPSA is designed to test a shooter’s speed and accuracy in a dynamic environment. Want to know more? Read on!
USPSA competitions are founded on 8 principles which can be found in the USPSA handbook. These principles give a more detailed insight into what USPSA is really all about:
1. Practical competition is open to all reputable persons without regard to occupation. It may specifically not be limited to public servants.
2. Accuracy, power and speed are the equivalent elements of practical shooting and practical competition must be conducted in such a way as to evaluate these elements equally.
3. Firearm types are not separated within their respective divisions, all compete together without handicap. This does not apply to the power of the firearms as power is an element to be recognized and rewarded.
4. Practical shooting competition is a test of expertise in the use of practical firearms and equipment.
5. Practical competition is conducted using practical targets, which reflect the general size and shape of such objects as the firearm used may reasonably be called upon to hit in their primary inteded use.
6. The challenge presented in practical competition must be done with the utmost safety in mind. Courses of Fire should follow a practical rationale and simulate hypothetical situations in which firearms might reasonably be used.
7. Practical competition is diverse, never permitting unrealistic specailization of either technique or equipment. Problems are constantly changed. The exception is Classifier Stages which are used to measure practical shooting skill.
8. Practical competition is free-style. In essence, the competitive problem is posed in general and the participant is permitted the freedom to solve it in that manner he considers best within the limitation of the competitive situation as provided.
USPSA divides competitors up into classification and divisions so that they are competing against others of similar skill levels and who are running similar equipment. Keep reading to learn more about USPSA’s divisions and classifictions!
USPSA divisions keep people competing against those who have similar equipment. That way shooters who are using their stock carry guns are not running against those with tricked out race guns. There are six divisions in USPSA:
There are no weight, caliber or modification restrictions when it comes to open guns. These are your race guns – the ported, compensated pieces with optics and triggers designed to run a million miles an hour. There are limited restrictions on mag pouch and holster placement.
Limited division is the next step down from Open. There are still no restrictions on mag pouch or holster placement. While your slide may still be ported and there are no weight or capacity limitations. Limited division does not allow optics, compensators or barrel porting.
Limited-10 is the same as limited however there is a 10 round maximum capacity.
Production division is designed for minimally altered range guns. Holsters are required to be suitable for every day use, there are weight restrictions and very detailed restrictions on changes made to the firearm. Check here for a list of USPSA approved Production firearms.
The Single Stack division is designed for 1911s and similar firearms. The capacity restrictions are 8 rounds for major powerfactor and 10 rounds for minor powerfactor, the simplest way to interpret this (though not always the most accurate) is 8 rounds for .45 ACP 1911s, 10 rounds for 9mm 1911s. The maximum weight is 43 oz. with an empty magazine making some of the higher end 1911s ineligible. There are no optics or porting permited and an every day carry holster is required for single stack.
Fairly self-explanatory the revolver division is designed for revolvers. There is a six round capacity and relatively few other restrictions.
The other way the USPSA divides up shooters is using their classifications. Classifications use shooter’s scores on standardized classifier stages to divide them up by skill level – that way novice shooters are not competing against experts. The classifictions are:
- Grand Master – 95 to 100%
- Master – 85 to 94.9%
- A Class – 75 to 84.9%
- B Class – 60 to 74.9%
- C Class – 40 to 59.9%
- D Class – Below 40%
In order to better understand how the different classifications work, based on their percentage, it’s important to understand USPSA’s scoring method. When scoring USPSA uses a “Hit Factor” which divides the shooter’s score by their time.
For Major powerfactor the A-zones are worth 5 points, the B and C-zones are worth 4 points, the D-zones are worth 2 points and misses or “mikes” will substract 10 from your score. Procedurals and no-shoot targets will also subtract 10 points from your score. The total score is then added up and divided by the shooter’s time.
For classifications, the hit factor on a classifier stage is divided by the top hit factor (determined by the scores of the top shooters in the industry) in order to reach a percentage which will then determine which classification you fall under.
For more information on USPSA check out USPSA’s website at http://www.uspsa.org