Welcome to IPSC Alberta – The International Practical Shooting Confederation - Alberta
For more IPSC match video highlights, check out the video page in this website.
IPSC is the acronym for “International Practical Shooting Confederation”, IPSC.
IPSC recognizes all the shooting disciplines - Handgun, Rifle, Shotgun, and Action Air.
IPSC Alberta currently only recognizes and sanctions the “IPSC Handgun” shooting discipline and matches/competitions therein.
IPSC shooters need to blend accuracy, power, and speed into a winning combination. 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 to keep shooters challenged and spectators engaged.
IPSC shooting is dynamic, challenging, and one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the world today. Courses of fire utilize many aspects not found in the more traditional shooting disciplines such as movement by the shooter, moving targets, multiple targets, and the freedom for the shooter to solve the shooting challenges presented in the courses of fire.
Before we go any further, take a quick look and watch this brief IPSC introductory video (left). Even at a quick glance, one can see how dynamic and exciting this sport is.
The appeal of the sport lies in the diversity of the courses of fire available to the shooter. By offering different courses of fire (stages) rather than set types, IPSC shooting continues to challenge the competitor and to improve his skills. There are continually new demands, both mental and physical, that will challenge the IPSC shooting enthusiast. No two matches are ever the same.
The Latin words Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (DVC) meaning Accuracy, Power, and Speed are IPSC's motto and form the foundation for competition. A competitor's success in IPSC will come from finding the perfect balance between engaging target arrays as fast as practical, and shooting as accurately as possible while using a calibre and power factor of ammunition that is advantageous.
IPSC also emphasizes procedures for safe gun handling and strict adherence to the rules governing the sport.
In IPSC shooting, no course of fire is ever the same from one competition to the next. Diversity is encouraged to keep the sport from becoming too formalized, standardized or stale and, typically, competitors do not know in advance what to expect at any given match.
A competition (also known as a match) can run over two or three consecutive days for large, major, international matches, or be as short as a single day for a local, club-level match.
IPSC handgun targets are steel plates and/or brown cardboard targets that have a 15-centimeter center representing the "A zone" or bullseye. 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 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 move and shoot as fast as possible. Time is a key factor. Target points are divided by the time taken to achieve them, adding to the challenge.
Handgun shooters may enter one of five different Divisions depending on the style of firearm used.
Shooting all the IPSC disciplines can be seen as the pinnacle of marksmanship and overall shooting skill.
IPSC matches are based on the principles of accuracy, power and speed. The matches are varied and based on the safe use of the handgun. Participation in these matches will develop a high degree of safety and proficiency, as well as providing an exciting means of recreation and competition.
IPSC Alberta typically runs 16-17 “level 2” sanctioned matches each year at local Alberta ranges (sponsored and hosted by the local IPSC club at the respective range). Each level 2 match typically lasts a full day and consists of approximately 6 “stages” (each stage being a “course of fire”). Since travel is often required for IPSC Alberta members around the province, IPSC clubs typically host one sanctioned match on the Saturday, and a subsequent, separate match on the Sunday resulting in members being able to compete in two separate Qualifier matches within a single, scheduled, two day weekend.
The “competition year” typically draws to a conclusion with the Annual IPSC Alberta Provincial Championship Match – a three-day, level 3 match culminating in the year’s final provincial ranking and establishing of the Alberta Provincial Divisional Teams which then head on to compete at the Annual IPSC Canada National Championship Match ( a 3-day, level III match).
In addition, local clubs will also host their own, separate IPSC level 1 “club matches”. Details on those matches are available on the respective club or host range website.
As in any other popular sport, a wide variety of people enjoy IPSC shooting. Our membership spans almost every occupation, from craftsmen to executives. We are also fortunate to have many women and families involved in our shooting programs. It is not unusual to find husbands and wives and families participating in IPSC activities. All of the people at our competitions are strong believers in safety and safe gun handling as well as good sportsmanship.
The Manny Bragg Course, Brooks Pistol & Smallbore Club, 2013
Absolutely! All of the shooters you currently see competing were once at the beginner stage. By becoming active in matches hosted by an IPSC club you will have the advantage of qualified range officials and courteous range staff. You will normally find IPSC shooters are pleased to give a helping hand in getting you started. The match officials within IPSC Alberta also make every effort to ensure brand new shooters are paired and partnered with experienced shooters in order to provide mentorship and guidance through the first matches.
Furthermore, on occasion, various IPSC Alberta members, clubs or ranges will host workshop weekends by bringing in top level, Grand Master, IPSC shooters. In the recent past some clubs and ranges have hosted weekend training courses with guest instructors such as: Manny Bragg, Todd Jarrett, Max Michel and Ben Stoeger. Some of IPSC Alberta’s top level shooters also host their own clinics from time to time.
As in any other recreational activity (golf or skiing as an example) there is virtually no limit to the amount of money you may spend on firearms and associated equipment. However, to get a solid start in IPSC shooting, all that is required is a reliable firearm, suitable equipment, ammunition, eye and ear protection, and a big dose of enthusiasm.
You will see standard stock firearms as well as exotic custom guns in IPSC competitions. We recommend that you determine what the best choice is before you start, or as you begin to compete.
Before you go out and buy a firearm for IPSC (or any of its associated equipment) we strongly recommend that you come out to a match, watch some competitors and talk to different people about their equipment, firearms and their recommendations on how to proceed.
There is more discussion on IPSC handguns and divisional requirements in the “Divisions” and “Equipment” sections of this website. Please visit those sections for more details.
IPSC Alberta is the Alberta provincial “section” of IPSC Canada. IPSC Canada is just one of over 60 “regions” involved in IPSC. IPSC Alberta currently only participates in IPSC Handgun competition. Regions (countries) are the organizations which promote the sport of IPSC and are the representatives of IPSC. All IPSC shooters become members of the IPSC by joining their affiliated Section and Region.
IPSC Alberta is a not-for-profit, provincial sporting association.