Explaining Practical Shooting
Practical Shooting competitors consider it an entertaining and enjoyable sport. The athletes’ desire to exceed their limits is essential as well as a lot of dedication and discipline. The matches are held in different stages, each stage with its own scenario. Situations and obstacles are simulated there, requiring from the athlete a dynamic and agile performance. The major challenge is to achieve the highest number of points in the shortest time possible.
Accuracy, power and speed are extremely important qualities for a sports shooter. They stand for the Latin words Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (D V C) which is the motto of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), one of the top modalities of the sport in the world.
The particularities of Practical Shooting in Brazil
In the IPSC the athletes are not individual members of the confederation but members of a “Region”. Brazil forms one region and is represented by the Regional Director. The Brazilian Practical Shooting Confederation (CBPT) is the top authority of the sport in the country but the Brazilian states have their own federations and clubs for meetings of shooters and organizing competitions. There are 25 federations, around 350 clubs and approximately 5,000 registered athletes.
In Brazil, the CBTP encompasses other modalities besides the IPSC in Practical Shooting, namely: Steel Challenge, NRA, Fast Draw, Metal Silhouette, Accuracy fast shooting, gongs, Mexican Sports Pistol and Black Gunpowder.
A little more about IPSC
IPSC athletes are organized in divisions, categories and classes. The divisions (*Link4) are separated according to the shooter’s type of weapon. The categories are determined by the shooter’s age and gender. The competitors are organized also in classes according to their level of performance. This index is calculated by the average of the results of the last three participations in CBTP matches.
The sport’s complete regulations are very clearly explained and detailed, giving special attention to safety. As in any sports practice, training, quality equipment and in-depth knowledge of the rules are necessary.
Even with little repercussion in the media and lack of sponsorship, the country is represented by skilled athletes with some of the best results in international and national championships.
The matches are normally entertaining and have a “theatrical” touch. The number of ranges varies according to the championship. Each has a special scenario with situations and obstacles for the shooter to hit the targets and complete the range in the shortest possible time. Concentration and attention to the judge’s briefing at the start of each range are required for the athlete to create a good strategy.
Each range has its own particular features and degree of intensity. Some require the athlete to have more physical fitness and other more accuracy. Such situations may require bending down to aim at the target from a small space, just gaps, or even stands like a maze.
They are cardboard or metal (in different sizes), fixed or mobile, and can be partly covered for tougher competition. The cardboard targets must be perforated with two hits and the metal targets must fall over. There are also non-shooting targets. They are distributed in the ranges as obstacles to test the competitor’s skills.
The IPSC uses short semi-automatic or repeater weapons (revolver, pistol). In addition to the weapon, it is necessary for the shooter to use a belt with holster and loader-case, loaders, ammunition (enough for the match), hearing protector (also called earmuff) and shooting glasses.
Before the start of a match the Range Office (RO) in charge of inspecting and accompanying the shooter’s entire course checks the range conditions. He next stipulates a time for the athletes to get to know it. This is an important time for the shooters to outline their strategies. Everyone leaves the range and the RO now calls each athlete in turn.
Each shooter must enter with the unloaded gun and show it to the RO. Only then is he authorized to load the gun and keep it in the holster. The match only begins after the RO gives the signal.
Sime modalities of practical shooting
It is necessary in this modality to complete seven ranges. Each range has give targets and the shooter should hit them in the shortest possible time. To do so, each covers the ranges five times. The longest time is discarded. The Steel Challenge is considered excellent training for IPSC practice.
NRA This is divided into two categories: Fast NRA and NRA II. The Fast NRA entails a fixed distance of 25 meters. The match must be completed in 80 seconds, with 24 shots made in different positions (standing, kneeling, sitting and lying down). The difference for the NRA II is that 60 shorts are made at distances varying between 15 and 50 meters.
Fast Draw To date no one has succeeded in achieving maximum points in this modality. When starting the match the athletes must have their hands above their shoulders, loaded gun in the holster and the shots must hit the center of the target. There are five targets 5-15 meters away with preset times from three to eight seconds for each series of five shots.
Metal Silhouette It is considered one of the toughest modalities. The characteristics of these matches are so different from the others that they require their own stands. The metal targets are similar to the profile of chickens, pigs, turkeys and sheep. The sizes and distances of the targets are suitable for the calibers of the guns used and are organized in rows of five at distances of between 25 and 200 meters.
Shotgun It was created recently in Brazil for IPSC enthusiasts and especially for the caliber 12 rifles. Both repetition and semi-automatic long guns, rifles, are used. The match is quite similar to the IPSC, but only metal targets are used. The championship consists of one or more stages. The count is the same as used in IPSC.
It is considered one of the toughest modalities. The characteristics of these matches are so different from the others that they require their own stands. The metal targets are similar to the profile of chickens, pigs, turkeys and sheep. The sizes and distances of the targets are suitable for the calibers of the guns used and are organized in rows of five at distances of between 25 and 200 meters.