An Introduction to Action Shooting

By Cheryl Henley

Hello from the Action shooting discipline of the VFGPA!

Action shooting can be done with handguns, shotgun or rifle, or a combination of 2 or all three! We do hold two or three 3 Gun Matches each Season. The majority of the Matches that SIAS holds are with handguns, so either Revolver or SemiAutomatics. Action pistol shooting is one of the most popular competitive disciplines at the VFGPA and in the world. Shooters must use a handgun with a minimum calibre of 9mm and the main focus is always safe gun handling.

It’s a fastpaced and challenging game. It requires a combination of speed and accuracy while shooting at multiple targets, both cardboard and steel, moving targets, targets that react when hit, penalty targets, or even partially covered targets, all while moving through a “Course of Fire”, which is also known as a “Stage”.


During a Course of Fire, the shooter must move and shoot from several positions, fire under or over obstacles and in other unfamiliar positions, such as kneeling, prone, strong hand or weak hand. There are no standard exercises or set arrangement of the targets. Stages are designed so that the shooter must be inventive in how they can best engage all the targets as quickly and accurately as they can depending on their skill level, therefore the strategy to shoot a Stage often varies between shooters.

Scoring is based on each Stage. The number of points scored on the targets, minus penalties, divided by time, which results in a “hit factor”. Targets have 3 scoring areas varying from 5 points to 1 point. Penalties, including misses, are 10 points. It’s literally a “Points per second” game.

A Match is usually composed of 7 or 8 Stages and will require a minimum of 180 rounds to complete.

If you’re interested in a literal “overview” of our sport check this link out:

This was drone footage taken at a Level 2 IPSC sanctioned match at TMSA in Vancouver.

Our sport continues to grow, whether that’s due to the looming threat of Bill C21 or just our many SIAS members spreading their enthusiasm to other firearms owners! We are seeing an average of 5 people taking the SIAS Range Safety Course each time it’s offered, this is the minimum training people need to come out and shoot our Club Matches at VFGPA. Each SIAS Match that we have held so far this year has averaged an attendance of 73 competitors.

On August 13th and 14th , SIAS will be hosting IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) Level 2 sanctioned Matches at the Multi Purpose Range. We will see up to 126 shooters from all over BC come out to compete each day, many of them National champions in their Divisions.

We invite you to head up to the Multi Purpose Range to check out the action that is our Sport on that weekend, and watch some high level competitors execute their strategies for each Stage, while they strive for accuracy and speed!