Hampden Rifle and Pistol offers two venues for Action Pistol shooting.
One is called USPSA / IPSC practical shooting, (United States Practical Shooting Assn.) and is based upon the rules of the USPSA sanctioning body. We shoot these matches on the last Sunday of the month, with matches every month. Winter matches start at 10 AM, with safety meeting at 9:30 AM. Summer matches start at 9:30 AM with safety meeting at 9 AM. We shoot matches all year round as long as footing conditions do not become dangerous (heavy ice or deep slush).
The other activity is called IDPA, (International Defensive Pistol Assn.) This aspect of action pistol sports is geared more towards that of cilivian concealed carry. Shooters may be required to draw their firearm from concealment and often shoot from behind cover, using the ideas of self protection behind walls, cars, or other "cover" structures. Summer matches start at 9:30AM with safety meeting at 9AM. See the club calendar for match dates.
Hampden also is part of the Maine 3 gun community, where we shoot rifle, pistol and shotgun in action style events. We recently held the Maine State 3 gun match in September, 2010. More information about Maine 3 gun can be found here. www.maine3gun.org
Practical Shooting attempts to measure the ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with a full power handgun, rifle, and/or shotgun. Those three elements - speed, accuracy, and power - form the three sides of the practical shooting triangle. By design, each match will measure a shooter's ability in all three areas.
To do this, shooters take on obstacle-laden shooting courses (called stages) requiring anywhere from six to 32 shots to complete. The scoring system measures points scored per second, then weights the score to compensate for the number of shots fired. If they miss a target, or shoot inaccurately, points are deducted, lowering that all-important points-per-second score. Participants should expect to shoot anywhere between 6 and 32 rounds per stage. Hampden Rifle & Pistol holds matches with 4-6 stages per match. Shooters should expect to bring 150 -200 rounds of ammunition for their firearm. You may not shoot all of it, but if you bring it, you will not run out.
If shooting has an "extreme" sport, USPSA-sanctioned practical shooting is it. Competitors move, negotiate obstacles, run, speed-reload, and drive their guns through each of several courses as fast as their skills will allow. All of Hampden's matches are held outdoors, in all weather, further taxing competitor skills.
Most of our competitors do not lift weights, or otherwise work on their physical condition with the sport in mind, but those at the very top of the game do. For them, the edge provided by physical strength and dexterity matters, much the way a ping-pong player will improve his stamina by running daily.
Most practical shooters are just regular Joes that enjoy shooting on the weekends - much the way the average golfer enjoys golf. There's no way the average golfer can do what Tiger Woods can do, but that doesn't limit their enjoyment of the sport and it's sure fun to watch Tiger. Where Practical Shooting and golf differ is that it's actually quite likely that you will meet one or two of the world's top shooters at any major match. What are the odds a regular golfer will meet Tiger Woods, much less play on his foursome?
We offer competitive divisions for most handguns, from revolvers, to scope-sighted, recoil-compensated "race guns" developed just for our sport. More information can be found at the USPSA main page.
What is IDPA?
IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No “competition only” equipment is permitted in IDPA matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship.
What types of matches does IDPA hold?
Courses fall into two categories: Self-defense scenarios and Standard exercises.
The self-defense scenarios are simulations of actual or possible “real world” confrontations. These scenarios typically require shots from 3 - 20 yards and often require the shooter to change firing points, make use of available cover, and shoot from awkward positions. Some may start from a seated position with your gun on a table or in a box and unloaded. These are fun, challenging and are very different from many other action pistol sports. Maximum round count allowed on a stage is 18 so massive amounts of ammo are not generally needed at a match. The amount of targets will vary from as low as two to ten with the occasional no-shoot target thrown in, partially covering one of your targets to test your accuracy.
Standard exercises do not attempt to simulate a potential threat situation but are designed to test specific shooting and gun handling skills. There is also a Classifier, which is a 90 round match, the results of which can be used by IDPA members to qualify for classification in their division against other IDPA shooters across the country.
IDPA matches offer diversity and truly test both accuracy and speed.
What type of equipment do I need to compete in IDPA matches?
IDPA matches typically require the use of a service type pistol or revolver of 9mm/.38 special or larger caliber. If your handgun is suitable for self-defense use or everyday carry, it will probably be competitive for IDPA matches.
Practical concealed carry type holsters are stipulated for IDPA use. No competition or drop leg types are allowed. Pocket holsters, shoulder holsters and cross-draw types are also not allowed.
Magazine or speedloader carriers will be needed as well, and all equipment must be worn on a belt that is fed through the beltloops on your pants. Generally only two carriers are needed for a normal stage.
A standard production service pistol or revolver such as a Beretta 92F, Glock 17/22, Sig 226, Colt 1911A1, S&W K-frames or Ruger GP-100 are examples of commonly used handguns in IDPA matches. Highly modified and/or race guns are not allowed. The emphasis is on accuracy and shooter skills, not equipment.
A cover garment is also a requirement, such as a vest, untucked shirt, sweatshirt or the like. Only Qualifiers are shot without the use of a cover garment, all other stages will require it.
The usual ear and eye protection is required for safety.
For more details on specific equipment rules you can download the rulebook here:http://www.idpa.com/Documents/IDPARuleBook2005.pdf
Does IDPA offer a place for both pistols and revolvers?