The priorities for a beginner shooter are simple: (1) Safety, (2) Have fun. Having “just the right” equipment is not important. The best thing to do for your first match is to bring what you have, and borrow whatever you need. Our matches have a significant focus on solving tactical problems in a safe, but optional way. Most often, the shooter will have significant choices to make as to how and with what weapon to progress through a stage. Stages are designed to be beginner friendly, and yet still challenging to the highly experienced competitor.


Monthly matches will usually have 5-6 stages per match. Monthly match fees are $35.

Major matches will usually have 8 or more stages. Match fees will vary.


Most matches use the USPSA safety rules as a guide. Refer to the USPSA rulebook for safety rules & protocol.

The primary safety rules are pretty simple:

  • No loaded guns, unless under the direct supervision and command of a Range Officer (RO)
  • While shooting the stage, keep your finger out of the trigger guard unless you are on-target and shooting, especially when reloading, moving, or clearing jams
  • While shooting the stage, no gun can point beyond 90 degrees from the “downrange” direction, this is called the “180 degree line” rule. If the gun ever points “up” range at all, you’re sent home
  • Don’t sweep anybody with a gun, unloaded or not. Flagged rifles and shotguns are carried muzzle up or down, slung or in a case.
  • Any competitor not in control of their gun(s), or is dropped, loaded or unloaded will be disqualified from the match
  • If you have never shot an IDPA, USPSA/IPSC, or 3Gun match before, just let the match staff know. They usually ask if there are any new shooters at the shooters’ meeting. New shooters are given a little mentoring to square them away.

Target Difficulty

The most difficult rifle shot might be a 100 yard shot at an USPSA “head” (6×6). Besides that, expect rifle shots from contact distance out. Know your Point of Aim vs. Point of Impact.

Shotgun shooting comprises steel plates, poppers and clay pigeons from about 3 to 25 yards.

Pistol will be: contact distance to maybe 25 yards. If you can shoot silhouette USPSA head-shots at 7 yards and stay on a full silhouette at 25 yards, you won’t have technical difficulty hitting the targets.


  • All targets are either Neutralized or Not Steel targets are neutralized when knocked down
  • Clay targets are neutralized when broken
  • Typical USPSA cardboard targets are as follows: (D – zone are misses )
  • Rifle – 2 hits C or better
  • Handgun – 2 hits B or better or 3 hits C or Better


  • Failure to Neutralize – add 10 seconds
  • Shooting a Non-Threat – add 10 seconds
  • Procedural – add 5 seconds
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct – add 30 seconds