Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of sports equipment are used for Practical Shooting?

You will see standard guns “straight out of the box” as well as exotic custom guns. You determine what division/s you want to shoot in as you progress in the sport, according to your pocket and inclination. We offer competitive divisions for most firearms – revolvers, single shot, manual action, semi automatic, to scope-sighted, recoil-compensated “race guns” developed just for our sport. The rules of the sport determine the minimum calibre for firearms for each discipline: handgun is 9 mm parabellum, rifle is 5,56 mm [not .22 rimfire], shotgun is 20 gauge.

Is Practical Shooting an expensive sport?

Each sport has its own cost. As in any other sport and recreational activity there is virtually no limit to the amount you can spend on sporting and associated equipment. However, to get a solid start in practical pistol shooting, all that is required is a reliable handgun, a suitable holster, ammunition, eye and ear protection, and lots of enthusiasm. As your skill level increases, you will probably advance to other equipment, add additional items that will help you in competitions and to participate in practical rifle and shotgun.

What kind of person participates in Practical Shooting?

As in any other popular sport, a wide variety of people enjoy practical shooting. Our membership spans almost every occupation, from students and craftsmen to executives. We are also fortunate to have many women involved in practical shooting. It is not unusual to find husbands and wives or entire families participating in practical shooting activities. All of the people at our competitions are strong believers in safety and safe gun handling as well as good sportsmanship.

What makes Practical Shooting unique?

Practical shooting matches balance accuracy, power and speed. The matches are varied and based on the safe use of firearms. Participation in these matches will develop a high degree of safety and proficiency in the use of firearms, as well as providing wonderful recreation. The appeal of the sport lies in the diversity of the courses of fire available to the shooter. By offering different courses of fire for every competition rather than set types unchanged over many years, practical shooting continues to challenge the competitor to improve his skills in many different areas, not just in shooting only. There are continual new demands to challenge the practical shooting enthusiast.

What is Practical Shooting?

Practical shooting is dynamic and challenging sport and one of the fastest growing shooting sports in the world today. Courses of fire utilise many aspects not found in the more traditional shooting disciplines, such as movement by the shooter, drawing from a holster, moving targets, multiple targets, and the freedom for the shooter to solve the shooting problems presented by the course design. It is commonly associated with pistol shooting but also includes practical shotgun and practical rifle shooting.

How do I become a SAPSA member?

It is very easy to start. Simply determine in which province you are domiciled, then contact the provincial practical shooting association to ascertain where your nearest practical shooting club is. Contact the chairman or club representative for an appointment to join. This will most probably be at the shooting range when the club next meets for a match.  The club will provide you with all the necessary details.

Read more on the How to Join page.

What does SAPSA offer to its members?

Firearms training. You will receive all the necessary training at your club to enable you to handle your firearm proficiently in club and provincial matches and tournaments.

Course of fire. The course of fire under IPSC rules utilizes many features not found in other disciplines, including engagement of targets with the shooter either stationary or moving.

Personal skills improvement. IPSC continues to present a challenge to all competitors to improve their skills in many areas, as many different courses of fire are presented.

Insurance cover at all SAPSA-sanctioned matches for the protection of its members and officials at club, provincial and national levels, including international matches in South Africa.

What are the advantages of being a SAPSA member?

Practical shooting offers many benefits to its membership. You will be a member of the organisation that is helping to promote and develop the safe and effective use of firearms, the shooting sports in general and practical shooting in particular.

You will be eligible to join and to participate in shooting activities at the local, provincial, national, and international level.

According to current firearms legislation you will be at least an occasional sports shooter and after gaining and maintaining the necessary number of points, a dedicated sports shooter.

You will receive support from the South African Institute of Range Officers and Instructors (SAIRO&I) who manage the safety on the shooting range and who conduct clinics to improve shooting and to train range officials for competitions.

You will be a participant in the most dynamic and challenging shooting sport in the World!