Police Pistol Combat/Competition

Standard B27 PPC Target
Open Class PPC Gun
Standard B27 PPC Target

PPC is a revolver "friendly" type of target shooting and is a great way to get a new shooter into competition and hone the skills of sight alignment and trigger control. For those without a lot of time or money to spend on the firing line, the PPC course of fire is something that can be practised to perfection through dry firing with dummy ammunition at home. Years ago I shot (poorly) my first PPC match on the indoor range of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in the middle of winter. In an effort to improve my mediocre score I dry fired the full 1500 Match course of fire in my basement every single evening until the next monthly match versus the Constabulary - and won the competition, even beating their firearms instructor, without having fired a single live round in practice. For anyone looking for a shooting game that offers some variety in shooting positions and requires total focus and mental discipline, PPC is hard to beat.

Minimum equipment required:
  • a handgun (usually a six-shot revolver of .32 caliber or above, but semi-auto's (of .35 caliber or above) are fine too)
  • a holster and sturdy belt (must be "strong-side", no crossdraw or shoulder rigs)
  • 3 speedloaders or 4 magazines (3 is a bare minimum, the more the better)
  • a loading tray (unless you have 10 speedloaders)
  • a bucket or tray for your reloads and empty cartridge cases
  • belt mounted speedloader holders for at least three loaders
  • eye and ear protection
  • At least 60 rounds of ammunition, preferably light to mid-load wadcutters. Full metal jacket and magnum loads are specifically disallowed at most matches.
Most PPC shooters use .38 Special Smith & Wesson K or L frame revolvers (which are currently available on the used market in Canada for $300-$400). There are many modifications that can be done, but a stock gun will be fine to get started. Trigger jobs, custom grips, heavy barrels and sight ribs are among the most popular modifications. Optical sights, ports or compensators, and barrels over 6 inches in length are specifically disallowed.

All shooting is done two handed. The standard short course of fire consisting of 60 rounds, is fired in 4 stages. Each stage is timed. Ideally ranges indicate the start and end of the stage with turning targets. Frequently on outdoor ranges such as EOHC's, the start and stop signal is a whistle blast. If more PPC competitors join the club, we would certainly look at getting a turning target system. In the following descriptions, we'll assume that the targets turn. The targets are B27R silhouettes. The first target, called the A target, is for the first two stages:

Stage 1 - 12 rounds in 20 seconds at 21 feet, all double action. Standing position with no support. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun (all by range officer's command) and at least one extra speedloader, when the target turns, draw, fire six rounds, reload, then fire six more rounds before 20 seconds expire.

Stage 2 - 18 rounds in 90 seconds at 75 feet, all double action. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun and at least two extra speedloaders, when the target turns, draw, kneel and shoot six rounds. Reload, then using a supplied barrier, shoot six left handed from the left side of the barricade. Reload and shoot six right handed from the right side of the barricade.

After the line is safe, again by range officer's command, you will change from your A to your B target.

Stage 3 - 6 rounds in 12 seconds from 75 feet, all double action. Standing position with no support. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun, shoot six rounds.

Stage 4 - 24 rounds in 165 seconds from 150 feet, may be shot single or double action. Starting with a loaded, holstered gun, and at least three extra speedloaders, when the target turns, draw, assume a seated position and fire six rounds. Reload, assume a prone position, fire six rounds. Reload, stand, then fire six rounds left handed from the left side of the barricade. Reload, then fire six rounds right handed from the right side of the barricade.

There are PPC leagues and matches throughout North America and Europe. In Eastern Ontario, matches are often organized by area law enforcement agency shooting teams and include both law enforcement and qualified civilian contestants.

Most PPC matches have various categories for different firearms, the open class allows guns with up to 6 inch barrels and adjustable sights while the service class is restricted to service revolvers (usually with barrels no more than 5 inches and non-adjustable sights). The snub nose event is usually limited to revolvers with 2-3 inch barrels. As more and more police departments are switching to semi-automatics, most matches will also have a separate category for semi-automatics. The nice feature of PPC is its relatively relaxed pace - with speedloaders anyone can meet the time limits and you don't have to be atheletic to do well.Standard B29 PPC target

Interesting PPC Links

S&W 686 The PPC rules book can be ordered from:
Canadian Shooting Sports Association

Further information on PPC can be found at the following sites:
National Rifle Association (NRA)
Politically Correct B27 PPC Target from Europe Michigan Police Combat Pistol Association
Canadian Police Combat Association

Click to subscribe to PPCcompetitors

This page was updated on 10/25/2010