Action Pistol Range


What is Action Pistol?

Action Pistol Action Pistol is a fun, challenging and exciting discipline first established by former police officer John Bianchi (Bianchi International holster maker) with help from Ray Chapman (1975 IPSC World Champion), as a Law Enforcement Training Match.

The first Action Pistol competitions were held in 1979 and today several organization offer Match competitions to test participant marksmanship.

The NWCSA Action Pistol Range serves multiple roles:

  1. To introduce new shooters to Action Pistol Sports
  2. To conduct general skills improvement
  3. To practice for Action Pistol Events
  4. To host Action Pistol Matches – USPSA, IDPA, ICORE and NRA Action Pistol


ALL SHOOTERS must be familiar with AND follow:

  1. General Rules & Safety – opens new tab with NWCSA Rules & Safety page
  2. Specific Action Pistol Range Rules – opens a PDF document


Sport Name Description Details
IDPA International Defensive Pistol Association Competitors use practical, everyday carry firearms with full power loads to solve self defense scenarios. Scoring rewards speed and accuracy. More Info
USPSA United States Practical Shooting Association Allows a wide range of firearms for competition. Target engagement is more free form with shooters allowed to move anywhere within a shooting box. More Info
ICORE International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts Think USPSA but revolvers only. More Info
SCSA Steel Challenge The course of fire consists of 5-6 steel targets of varying sizes and placed in varying patterns – the shooters will shoot at the targets 5 times. The 5 strings are timed, with your highest time being dropped, and your remaining 4 strings added up counting as your score. More Info
Column 1 Value 5 NRA Action Pistol 17 courses of fire with no shooter movement where accuracy is emphasized. More Info


Tim Herron 2 Day Practical Performance Class

Shooter’s POV at NWCSA

Shooting a Stage in Thomaston


The NWCSA primarily hosts International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) matches because they support simulated real world and self-defense scenarios. IDPA offers an exciting forum for shooters in which practical equipment, techniques, and courses of fire are mandated. If you are interested in using every day carry pistols to solve challenging and exciting defensive shooting problems, then IDPA is the sport for you!

In 2024 we will also be introducing Practical Pistol which will be based on USPSA matches as well as Action Steel which is based on SCSA.

IDPA matches are held in the Action Pistol pits at top of hill opposite the Trap Range. Usually there are 2 squads of up to 12 shooters. Each pit will have a shooting scenario or ‘stage’ setup. A stage will have multiple paper and/or steel targets and will frequently involve moving targets. You shoot a stage under the supervision of a Safety Officer and your speed and accuracy will be recorded. There are usually 6-7 stages to shoot. In the end you will have a total score for the match so you can see how you stacked up against your fellow shooters.

No. You can ‘test drive’ this shooting sport in 3 matches before deciding to join the IDPA, or not. If you decide to join, just visit the IDPA website

All IDPA Matches are open to the public. We just ask that you read and respect the NWCSA Rules.
Yes, however they are nominal compared to the fun you’ll experience. You’ll find the price listed on each IDPA scheduled event

Yes. This is not a ‘learn how to shoot’ course. You must be able to demonstrate; 1) responsible firearm safety 2) good pistol skills 3) the ability to safely draw from holster and handle the firearm you intend to use.

If you haven’t participated in an Action Pistol event, you must attend a NWCSA Action Pistol Orientation; a free, 1-2 hour workshop to familiarize you with range protocols, equipment, safety considerations, IDPA rules, etc. Register for the next AP Orientation.

Anyone who does not meet all these requirements, will not be allowed to participate.

Essentials include:

    • Pistol or Revolver – center fire, 9mm or 38 special (minimum). No Magnum calibers
    • Holster – you may use Inside the Waistband (IWB) or Outside the Waistband (OWB) holsters. It MUST cover the trigger guard – no exceptions. Serpa holsters are not recommended.
    • Magazines – at least 3, preferably 4, magazines or speed loaders
    • Ammunition – a minimum of 150 rounds
    • Concealment garment ‐ a shirt or jacket that completely covers your holster
    • Eye and ear protection – mandatory
    • Belt – although many belts will work, a quality shooting belt is recommended to support equipment weight and to minimize unwanted movement
    • Commitment – bring your A-Game – a Positive, Respectful Attitude for Safe, Responsible Shooting

IDPA Matches are generally held on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from April through October. They will take place on the Action Pistol Range from 9AM to 2PM. Once you register for a match, you will receive Check-in details and other information via email. View all IDPA dates in the NWCSA Events Calendar or on the PractiScore website (search Matches for ‘NWCSA’).

Go to click Matches and search for ‘NWCSA’. Payment is required at time of registration.


IDPA Match

June 1 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

AP Steel Plate Match

June 8 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Action Pistol ‘Outlaw’ Match

June 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

IDPA Match

June 15 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm