IPSC shooters need to blend accuracy, power, and speed into a winning combination. Multiple targets, moving targets, targets that react when hit, penalty targets, or even partially covered targets, obstacles, movement, competitive strategies, and other techniques are all a part of IPSC to keep shooters challenged and spectators engaged.
In IPSC shooting, no course of fire is ever the same from one competition to the next. Diversity is encouraged to keep the sport from becoming too formalized or standardized and typically, competitors do not know in advance what to expect in any given match.
IPSC targets have a 15-centimeter center representing the “A zone” or bullseye. Most shooting takes place at relatively close distances, with rare shots out to 50 meters. Hitting a 15-centimeter zone might seem easy to an experienced pistol shooter, but in IPSC only full power handguns are used (9mm or larger).
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 is a key factor. Target points are divided by the time taken to achieve them, adding to the challenge.
Handgun shooters may enter one of five different Divisions depending on the style of firearm used.