Have you ever had the desire to start shooting competitively but had no idea where to start? Worried about “embarrassing” yourself? Under the impression that you need loads of fancy gear to start? Fear not, you are not alone…
The first couple of competitive matches (aka loosely organized gaggles) that I attended were local charity matches. I wore my law enforcement duty belt, my duty pistol and shot practice ammo I had been issued. My mindset was that shooting this match would give me more trigger time and would be more fun that shooting the same old boring static target.
Fast forward a couple of years and I was finally introduced to the United States Practical Shooting Association, or USPSA for short.Some co-workers were talking about an upcoming match in Tucson, Arizona and invited me to join, which I quickly accepted. For my first official USPSA match, I again wore my law enforcement duty belt, shot my duty pistol and issued practice ammo. Price of gear and ammo…. zero dollars.
I had a “blast” at my first match and was instantly hooked. I spent the next couple of matches gathering as much information as possible while still not spending a penny on gear. I researched everything I could think of. What kind of pistols were the best shooters using? What caliber was best? What were the pros and cons of each division? And most importantly, how financially committed did I want to become? The costs of participating in an action pistol sport can be substantial if you jump in without a plan.
Some of the best advice I can give a new shooter is to actually shoot three to five matches with whatever pistol and gear you currently have BEFORE ever spending one penny on a new gun or gear. This will allow you to get a better grasp on the sport and more importantly which specific division you would like to start with.
If you are new to action pistol shooting check out www.uspsa.org for a local club match near you. Get some friends and go out there and have fun. Enjoy the thrill of running and gunning, but most importantly be safe!