About MPSA and IPSC as sport
History of the sport
(some content taken from www.ipsc.org)
The art of shooting can be traced back as far as the Middle Ages but it wasn’t until the 19th century that
shooting actually developed into a sport. In the 200 years since, shooters have come together at the local,
national, and international level to practice and compete in a variety of shooting disciplines.
IPSC-style competitive shooting developed in southern California, U.S.A. in the late 1950’s and quickly
spread throughout the shooting world. As the sport attracted more interest, participants sought a more
structured format and competition environment. As a result, in May of 1976, the International Pistol
Conference was held in Colombia, Missouri where sportsmen from around the world participated in determining
the structure, organization, and future of IPSC marksmanship. A constitution was established and the
Confederation was born.
Accuracy, power, and speed were recognized as the quintessential elements that have become the foundation
of IPSC. The motto -DVC- Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (Accuracy, Power, Speed) was introduced to reflect these
balanced elements. Safe gun handling skills, as well as procedures and rules for competitions were also adopted.
IPSC athletes must blend accuracy, power, and speed into a winning combination. Handgun targets are 75 centimeters
by 45 centimeters with a 15 centimeter center representing the “A zone” or
Most shooting takes place at relatively close distances, with rare shots out to 50 meters. Hitting a
15 centimeter zone might seem easy to an experienced pistol shooter, but
is not so easy for the beginners. In IPSC only full power handguns
are used (9mm or larger).
Mastering a full power handgun is
considerably more difficult than shooting a light recoiling target pistol,
especially when the competitor is trying to go as fast as possible. Time is a key factor. Scores are divided
by the time taken to achieve them, adding to the challenge.
Handgun shooters may enter in any one of
the following Divisions depending on the style of firearm they use.
Open, standard, production, revolver, classic, production optic
and production optic light.
IPSC is not restricted to handguns
and the following disciplines are cater for; Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, Mini rifle, Action Air, Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC).
Rifle and shotgun disciplines are similar to handgun but differ in many details. The differences are found
in their respective competition rules, but only a detailed comparison will show how different they are.
Multiple targets, moving targets, targets that react when hit, penalty targets, or even partially
covered targets, obstacles, movement, competitive strategies, and other techniques are all a part of IPSC
shooting to keep the athletes challenged and the spectators entertained.
Although the roots are martial in origin, the sport matured from those beginnings, just as karate,
fencing, and archery developed from their origins. IPSC shooting is an international sport, emphasizing
safety and safe gun handling, accuracy, power, and speed, in high-level competitions around the world from
Argentina to Zimbabwe.
are very competitive and produced a number of competitors who
earned there national colors. In the photo from left to
right. Hendrik Engelbrecht - handgun in the production
senior division, Ronnie Gower - rifle in the semi auto open
division, Chrissie Wessels - SAPSA chairperson and Regional
Director, Dirk Bekker - handgun in the open senior division and
rifle in the semi auto open senior division, Louwrens van Schaik
- combat rifle in the elite X-class, Paul Loock - handgun in the
production division. Other members not in the photo - Rosco
Bekker - Handgun in the production junior division, Tommy Glover
- shotgun open division, Jarrod McAllister - shotgun open
- IPSC matches are designed, constructed and conducted with due consideration to safety.
- Courses of fire must be designed primarily to test shooting skills and not physical ability.
- Accuracy, power and speed are equivalent elements of IPSC shooting.
- IPSC shooting challenges are diverse
- IPSC matches are freestyle. Competitors are permitted to shoot targets on an “as and when
visible basis” in order to solve challenge in a freestyle manner.
- Minimum cartridge caliber is 9×19.
- Minimum bullet diameter is 9 mm (Smaller calibers may be used at Club level to promote safe firearm use and interest in the sport)
- Firearms must be safe and serviceable
- A competitor may never use or wear on his person more than one firearm during a course of fire (Disqualification under unsafe firearm handling)
- Handguns with shoulder stocks and/or fore grips of any kind are prohibited