IPSC Nova Scotia is a non-profit organization that is the supervising body for the sport of practical shooting in Nova Scotia. We are one of nine member sections (or provinces) in IPSC Canada. IPSC Nova Scotia is not a gun club. We work together with gun clubs to organize IPSC shooting at their ranges, we promote and organize competitions, train participants in the safe use of firearms and competition rules, certify officials to run the competitions and provide ranking systems for the competitors. Currently six gun clubs offer IPSC shooting around the province: The Southwest Nova Scotia Muzzleloaders Association in Yarmouth, Lunenberg Rod and Gun Club, Valhalla Gun Club in Truro, the Atlantic Marksmen Association in Dartmouth and Devon (near the airport), the Kolbec Gun Club in Oxford and the Annapolis Valley Shooting Sports Association in Kentville. We are always looking for have other clubs join us in the fun. Almost every two weeks there is an IPSC competition at one of our member clubs.

What is IPSC?

IPSC is an exciting style of advanced shooting that had its origins in California, USA in the early '5Os and quickly spread over the years to many other continents including Europe, Australia, Central and South America, and Africa.

The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was officially founded at the International Combat Pistol Conference held in Columbia, Missouri, in May 1976. Forty people from around the world were invited to attend this Conference to determine the nature and the future of practical marksmanship. Colonel Jeff Cooper was acting Chairman and was acclaimed as the first IPSC World President.

This new shooting sport was formulated to determine the ability to use a pistol in its primary intended purpose of self-defence. The promotion of accuracy, power, and speed as three equal elements was the prime objective of the Conference along with procedures and rules for safe gun handling. A constitution was established and the Confederation was born. The eight Principles of Practical Shooting were also developed and the motto- DVC -Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas (Accuracy, Power, Speed) was introduced to reflect this balanced objective.

Colonel Cooper said, "Let's find out what equipment and what techniques work best for self defence through organized competition", and today, the International Practical Shooting Confederation is promoted in over sixty countries (called IPSC Regions) from Argentina to Zimbabwe.

In practical shooting, the competitor must try to blend accuracy, power and speed into a winning combination. Targets are 75 centimetres by 45 centimetres with a 15 centimetre center representing the "A zone" or bullseye. Most shooting takes place at close range, with rare shots out to 15 meters. Hitting a 15 centimetre A zone at 45 meters or less might seem easy to an experienced pistol shooter, but in IPSC only full power pistols are allowed (9mm or larger). This power minimum reflects the practical heritage of this modern sport, and mastering a full power handgun is considerably more difficult than shooting a light recoiling target pistol especially when the competitor is trying to go as fast as possible. Time also plays a factor. In fixed time stages, very short times are allowed for shooting a prescribed number of rounds or, as in Comstock scored stages, the scores are divide by the time, adding to the challenge.

Multiple targets, moving targets, targets that react when hit, penalty carrying targets mixed-in or even partially covering scoring targets, obstacles, movement, competitive tactics, and, in general, any other relevant difficulty the course designer can dream up all combine to keep the competitors enthusiastic and the spectators entertained. While the rules state that diversity is to be encouraged, to keep the sport from becoming too formalized or standardized.

Although the roots are martial in origin, the sport matured from these practical or martial beginnings, just as karate, fencing, or archery developed from their origins. Now, practical shooting is an international sport, emphasizing safety and safe gun handling, accuracy, power, and speed, in major competitions around the globe.

How Can I get Involved?

First, you must complete a two-day safety course (the Canadian Black Badge Course) taught by IPSC Nova Scotia. This course is required of all IPSC competitors resident in the Canada. The course enforces safe gun handling while moving, drawing, surmounting obstacles, etc. We also teach the rules of competition. The students are tested on their ability and given certifications recognized internationally. To take the course, you will need a centerfire handgun, calibre 9mm or larger, a holster, 3 speedloaders (Yes, revolvers are welcome) or magazines, magazine/speedloader pouches, eye and ear protection, and a year of experience shooting.

Divisions and Classes

IPSC has five divisions that shooters compete in Standard, Open, Production and Revolver Standard and Modified. Standard division is for iron sighted handguns that are allowed limited modifications. They are Berettas, Glocks, Colts, Sigs, Smith and Wessons, etc. Production division is for similar handguns that fire their first round double action. Revolver Standard division uses revolvers of course. Open division is sort of an unlimited division, allowing competitors to modify their firearms (within limits) to make them as competitive as possible. Most open division guns have compensators (gas porting device that tames recoil) and optical sighting devices, while these modifications are not permitted in standard division. You could say Open division are the Indy Cars of IPSC and Standard division is Stock Cars. Modified division is a sort of compromise between Standard and Open in that pistols can have some of the modifications that Open division guns have but Modified division guns must be smaller and be sized to fit within a prescribed 'box'. Modified division is much more popular in Europe than North America.

IPSC Nova Scotia classifies all it's members based on their consistent shooting skills. When a member shoots at one of IPSC Nova Scotia's matches, his/her performance is entered into a database to help determine a class for that shooter. The classes are Master, A, B, C and D. Your classification is based on how you consistently shoot - similar to a golf handicap. As your performance improves you may be moved up (down is also possible) a class. At matches, while you are scored compared to all shooters for your division, awards are handed out to the best shooters in each classification. So, if you are a C Class shooter, your score is compared to all the other C Class shooters at the match for awards.

How do you get a hold of us?

Drop into one of the above clubs and talk to their IPSC section chairperson, they'll get you out on one of their IPSC practice nights to see what we do.


Call Jim Smith, IPSC Nova Scotia Section Training Co-Ordinator at (902) 883-8503 (Enfield #) and he'll get you enrolled in a black badge course.


Contact Sean Hansen, Regional Director IPSC Canada, IPSC Nova Scotia's Section Coordinator and Chief Range Officer (RO) Training Officer, at shansen@bellaliant.net.

You can also get more information on the sport of IPSC including detailed rules at the www.ipsc.org.

Return to IPSC NS home page .

Version 1.4 - Updated 14 January 2013