An Introduction to Practical Pistol

Practical Pistol is a sport which measures the shooter's ability to engage targets with speed and accuracy while observing firearm safety at all times. Four to five stages are normal for our matches. Each stage will be different with a combination of cardboard and/or steel targets, both stationary and reactive at varying distances. Each stage is then scored and reset for the next shooter by participants.

Safety and Equipment

Snake River Sportsmen Club operates a COLD range, which means all firearms will be unloaded and not handled outside the designated safety area or other areas at the direction of the Range Safety Officer.

Eye and hearing protection are mandatory to be worn by everyone at all times once a match has started. This includes spectators that may not be participating but are only watching.

Any center fire semi-automatic pistol or center fire double action revolver is allowed.

9mm or 38 spl at a minimum, mandatory.

3 magazines or six speed loaders are recommended.

Any side draw holster covering the trigger is acceptable. NO cross draw or shoulder holsters!

You must be at least 18 years old unless cleared by the Match Director.

Cost is $10 per match per shooting class.

Check our calendar for Match dates and times.

Safety Rules

We basically follow a combination of the IDPA and USPSA rule sets, which you are encouraged to review:

Some of the more important rules and common issues are listed below:

  • Firearms must be cased, holstered or locked open until it is your turn to shoot and you are under the command of the Range Safety Officer.
  • All firearms are to be pointed in a safe direction downrange at all times and roughly parallel to the ground. This is sometimes called “the 180 rule.”
  • Only load when instructed to do so.
  • Your pistol must be unloaded and hammer down at the end of your stage. Methodically remove the magazine, rack the slide, drop the hammer, all while keeping the pistol pointed in a safe direction.
  • Do not point your muzzle at yourself or anyone else (aka don’t “sweep” anyone).
  • Anyone observing unsafe conditions must loudly call “cease fire.” If cease fire is called or something else unusual happens (for example squib load, hang fire), stop and wait for instruction.
  • Finger off trigger unless you are actually shooting.
  • No unsportsmanlike conduct (see USPSA rules Section 10).
  • Dress appropriately – pants and sturdy shoes are a must (see USPSA rules Section 5).
  • The safety area is for holstering, dry firing, getting situated. Do not handle live ammunition in the safety area.

Please see the Range Operations Guide for further details.

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