Getting Started in IPSC
Are you ready?


As athletes compete with real guns and live ammunition, safety of the competitor, officials and spectators is the ultimate priority. New IPSC competitors are tested on safe shooting and gun handling skills before being allowed to participate in local and international matches.

IPSC Competition

In IPSC shooting, no course of fire is ever the same. Variety in courses of fire keeps the sport from becoming too standardized, allowing course designers to constantly test shooters’ abilities with new and interesting challenges.

IPSC Divisions

Firearms / Airsoft guns

The sport of IPSC was originally developed to test shooters’ practical skills using full power handguns. Today, the sport includes six divisions:


The Open division is the F1 class of the IPSC shooting world. Athletes’ firearms can be modified with a number of enhancements, including optics for improved accuracy, extended magazines for extra power and recoil-lightening compensators for faster shooting speed.


The Standard division sees athletes competing with some modifications to their firearms for enhanced fit and performance, however optics and recoil compensators are not allowed, and the pistol must fit in a standard-sized box – which limits overall magazine capacity.


In the Production division, athletes compete with unmodified handguns commonly used by police and military forces around the world, however magazine capacity is limited to 15 rounds. The Production division is popular due to the availability and lower cost of equipment.

4Production Optics

The Production Optics division requirement same as the Production division but Optic/electronic sights are mandatory.


IPSC’s Revolver division attracts competitors from around the world, proving the continued relevance and popularity of these firearms. As most revolvers are limited to 6 rounds, you’ll need to practice your reload if you want to do well!


The Classic division handgun visually resembling the single stack 1911 form, and it must fit in a standard-sized box – which limits overall magazine capacity.

Basic Gear

Other Equipment

1Eye Protection

For obvious reasons, eye protection is considered mandatory for all competitors, officials and spectators on the range. Eye protection and eyeglasses designed specifically for shooting are available from a number of optical shops and shooting accessory stores in Hong Kong.

2Hearing Protection

Firearms are loud! And repeated exposure to gunfire can permanently damage your hearing. Both earplugs and over-the-ear hearing protectors can help preserve your hearing. Hearing protection is strongly recommended for competitions using real firearms, however it is not required for Action Air competitions.


A sturdy belt provides the foundation for your equipment. Most IPSC shooting belts feature two layers – an inner belt and an outer belt – allowing you to remove your belt and equipment without removing your holster and magazine pouches every time you take off your belt.


The holster attaches your firearm to your belt. A good competition holster should hold your pistol firmly in a consistent position at your waist, yet release the pistol easily when drawing the gun. Holsters can be placed anywhere on the belt in the Open division, however they must be positioned behind the hipbone in the Standard, Production and Revolver divisions.

5Extra Magazines And Magazine Pouches

Many courses of fire require competitors to reload during the stage, so having extra magazines (and pouches to keep them on your belt) is essential. Magazine pouches may be placed anywhere on the belt in the Open and Revolver divisions, and behind the hipbone in the Standard and Production divisions.