What is USPSA and what does it offer gun owners?
By Jacki Billings
A competitor shoots a USPSA match, leaning around a barrier. (Photo: USPSA)
Competition shooting is seeing a spike in interest as more gun owners start looking for ways to enter the practical shooting realm. At the core of competition shooting lies a few organizations dedicated to governing competitors. One such organization, USPSA, got its start in the ’80s and has been going strong ever since, but what exactly is USPSA and how did it get all begin?
At its root, the United States Practical Shooting Association acts as the national governing body of practical shooting in the U.S. The organization emphasizes the sport through matches and events that challenge shooters through stages that prioritize technical shooting skills.
Though USPSA was officially brought under the International Practical Shooting Confederation in 1984 practical shooting’s history began much earlier than that. Researchers from all walks of life — law enforcement, military and civilians — wanted a space to challenge and improve on standards, techniques training and equipment. Prior to IPSC and USPSA, all of this was often conducted individually and wasn’t sanctioned by any governing body.
That all changed in 1976 when an international group of shooters came together in Columbia, Missouri to participate in a “practical”