Are the matches safe?
Yes. USPSA, IDPA, and RCSA have admirable safety records–far better than other recreational activities such as softball or jogging. And we intend to keep it that way. Shooting a firearm is an inherently risky activity. To minimize this risk there are stringent safety requirements. We will not bend, alter, waive, or otherwise try to shortcut safety rules. There are four basic rules of gun safety.The 1st Law of Gun Safety – Handle all firearms as if they are always loaded. The 2nd Law of Gun Safety – Never Point A Gun At Something You’re Not Prepared To Destroy! The 3rd Law of Gun Safety – Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It! The 4th Law of Gun Safety – Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target! A Safety Officer remains behind every shooter for every stage (scenario). Safety violations such as dropping a loaded gun or pointing the muzzle beyond the designated muzzle safe points will result in a disqualification from the rest of the match. Handguns only can be removed from their holsters either in the designated “safe area” or under the instruction of a Safety Officer. Do not take ammunition to the gun safety areas.
Who can shoot an event?
Anyone who can shoot a handgun safely and can legally bear arms, are welcome to participate in our matches. Thunder Tactical makes it a practice to welcome new shooters, law enforcement personnel, and shooters from other clubs to join us. Our club is comprised of a very diverse group of people from all walks of life and all ages, including doctors, lawyers, engineers, information technology, sales, etc.
How much does it cost to shoot an event?
Range fees vary at different clubs. Thunder Range has fee to use their range which must be paid to the range inside the office. The Thunder Tactical club charges a fee of $5 for Wednesday and Thursday night practice matches and a fee of $10 for Saturday matches. The club fee covers the cost of targets, equipment, and insurance.
How old do you have to be to shoot?
You must be at least 12 years old. Children who want to participate must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during the entire match.
What kind of a gun do I need?
The pistol has to be “safe and serviceable”. That means the gun must operate safely and reliably. There is a minimum “power factor” in the bullets as well. These power factors are usually met by pistols shooting a 38 special, 9 mm or more powerful cartridges. One may shoot a lesser powered bullet (e.g., .380 or .22) for no score.
What else should I bring to shoot?
Hearing protection (either muffs or ear plugs), eye protection (impact resistant sun or regular glasses or clear shooter’s glasses), a holster (hip only, no shoulder holsters, cross draws, or pocket holsters); inside the waistband holsters are okay. Extra magazines (only two extra are required for most scenarios, but three are better) or speed loaders to shoot an 12-32 round course of fire.
This is for IDPA only: What are the requirements for concealment
for a match?
One of the goals of IDPA is to more closely approximate real world situations in a safe environment. Therefore, unless specifically relaxed (Summer Rules) the handgun must not be visible when your arms are held straight out to the sides. If you are shooting for the first time on a Wednesday night the club may also give you a waiver from this requirement for your first practice match.
Can I just watch a match?
Yes. There is no fee for watching a match and spectators are always welcome. However, you need to bring hearing and eye protection. It is appreciated if you just let one of the match directors know that you are there just to watch.
I just want to improve my shooting skills, I am not interested
in the competition. Can I just shoot for practice?
Lots of people come out and shoot just for practice. Because of safety requirements we will treat everyone who is shooting the same. You will have a safety officer right behind you at all times and he will time your run. If you are not interested in your scores, just ignore them. Focus instead on shooting safely and accurately. We are all trying to learn how to shoot faster and more accurately within the strict limits of safety. No matter how well your badly you shoot, if you shoot safely you will be welcome.
What is a classifier?
In order for shooters to be able to compete with their peers, USPSA and IDPA competitors are divided into five classifications based on their skill level. A “Classification Match” is a standard formatted match scored by one of our accredited Safety Officers. We recommend you shoot a classifier if you are going to compete at any level. Thunder Tactical hosts classifier matches from time to time.
Do I need a concealed carry permit to shoot?
No. As long as you can handle a gun safely and can legally bear arms you can shoot a match.
What do I do when I show up for a match?
If you are a first time shooter please arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of the event. That is 6:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday practice nights. You will need to pay your gun range fee in the gun range front office. Our sign up table is by the yellow building. Come up to the sign up table to pay your match fee and let the attendant them know you are a new shooter. They will make you feel welcome and set you up with the right people to give you a personal safety briefing.