What is it?
Our Defensive Pistol Action Matches are a chance to shoot your favorite carry gun in a whole new way, and to practice key real-world defensive shooting skills for any responsible and prepared gun owner. You’ll be drawing your holstered gun to engage multiple targets, moving between shooting positions, shooting from behind cover, shooting on the move, performing emergency or tactical reloads, and more, all while the clock is ticking.
How does it work? What are the rules?
There will be three stages, with each stage designed to simulate some kind of realistic defensive shooting scenario, complete with props, barricades, and any number of targets to neutralize. Each stage begins with walkthrough to explain the course of fire and let everyone become familiar with the stage layout before heading uprange behind the shooting line. Shooters will then be called up to the line one at a time to run the course.You’ll typically start with your gun loaded and holsted, with extra magazines (or speedloaders if you’re shooting a revolver) carried on your belt. At the starting signal you’ll draw and shoot according to the particular stage’s instructions. The clock stops at your last shot.
Each target is broken down into several zones. As your hits move away from the center you’ll earn “Points Down” which are added to your time (along with any penalties earned by, for example, not following the stage description) to give your final score for that stage. All stage scores are then added up to give your score for the match. Competitors are then ranked from lowest score to highest, and the shooter with the lowest overall score is awarded 1st place.
Because our intent is to emphasize realistic defensive shooting skills there are some general rules you should keep in mind and will apply to any course of fire (unless otherwise noted in the course description). First, targets must be engaged from behind cover if it’s available. You may be leaning out from behind a “wall” or taking a knee to shoot over so-called “low cover”, but the idea is that most of your torso should stay safely unexposed to the target.
Second, all targets must be shot in tactical priority. This means that when facing multiple targets you should shoot the one closest to you before shooting at one further away (because the closer one presents more of a “threat”). And when engaging multiple targets from behind cover you should be “slicing the pie” and leaning out just enough to shoot one target before leaning out further to shoot the next. Third, when reloading you must use cover if available, and must retain any magazine removed from the gun that could still have rounds in it. For example, if you’re about to move from one covered shooting position to another you can either reload before advancing or reload after arriving at the second covered position, but you cannot reload while actually moving between them. And unless you’ve shot your pistol to slide-lock (which proves the magazine in the gun is empty) you must hang onto any magazine you take out.
If you have a malfunction while shooting a stage the clock will keep running. You will be expected to clear the jam and resume shooting.
As always when it comes to firearms, safety is our top priority, and any unsafe gun-handling will result in being disqualified from the match and asked to leave the range. Your gun must remain unloaded and holstered without a magazine inserted at all times unless under the direction of a Safety Officer. Do not draw or load your gun until you are told to do so at the shooting line. Your muzzle must point downrage towards the backstop at all times, so that if a round were fired it would not impact the floor, walls, or ceiling. Your muzzle must never ‘sweep’ yourself or anyone else, even when drawing and reholstering, loading and unloading, and when clearing any malfunctions. While completing any course of fire, your trigger finger must remain off the trigger and out of the trigger guard whenever you are not shooting at a target.
What equipment do I need?
1. A gun suitable for daily carry and defensive use. Tricked out race guns with over-sized magazine wells, compensators, or ultra-light triggers are not permitted. Revolver shooters are welcome, as are anyone wishing to shoot so-called “sub-caliber” weapons chambered in .380 ACP or .22 LR.
2. At least 3 magazines, or enough to carry 30 rounds of ammo. No magazine will be loaded with more than 10 rounds, so 3 will suffice in most cases. If your gun holds fewer than 10 rounds in each mag you will want to have more on hand.
3. A holster (strong side and belt mounted only) that is suitable for daily carry. The gun must be securely held in place and the trigger guard must be inaccessible when holstered. Active retention devices are allowed, but retention devices operated by the trigger finger are prohibited. Exceptions may be granted at the Safety Officer’s discretion.
4. At least 2 belt-mounted magazine carriers
5. At least 100 rounds of ammo
6. Eye and ear protection
Questions? Email Match Director firstname.lastname@example.org