When the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) was established in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Action Shooting was yet to be born. The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was officially founded at the International Pistol Conference held in Columbia, Missouri, in May 1976.
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.
In 1984, the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) was incorporated as the governing body for the US Region of IPSC. In 1992 the Action Shooting Team was created as a part of the Service Pistol Section.In 2004 the Action Shooting team was reorganized as a separate team and re-designated the Action Shooting and Combat training Team.
Practical Shooting attempts to measure the ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with a full power handgun rifle and or shotgun. Those 3 elements – Speed, Accuracy, and Power - form the three sides of the Practical shooting triangle. By design each match will measure shooters ability in all three areas, to do this, shooters take on obstacle laden shooting courses (called stages) requiring anywhere from six to thirty plus shots to complete. The scoring system measures points scored per second, then weights the score to compensate for the number of shots fired. If the shooter misses a target, or shoots inaccurately, points are deducted, lowering that all important points-per-second score.
If shooting has an “Extreme” sport then Action Shooting is it. Competitors move negotiate obstacles, run, speed-reload, and drive there guns through each of several courses as fast as there skill will allow. In our sport, just as in combat both speed and accuracy are equally important. A fast run with poor hits or misses is likely to cost you the match just as perfect shots and a slow time will not win. The key to success is a balance of speed and accuracy, just like a gun fight.