IPSC Classic vs. Metric target

A while back in Front Sight, the official USPSA magazine, Phil Strader had an article advocating for the exclusive use of the IPSC Classic target over the currently popular “metric” target.  The discussion was picked up on the Brian Enos forum with varying opinions. For a little background, IPSC (and USPSA) originally used what we now know as the “metric” target – the familiar humanoid silhouette with the scoring regions detailed as you see in the picture to the right.  What’s interesting is that the target now known as the “Classic” target didn’t come in to existence until after the metric target had been the standard target for quite some time.

Since then, the Classic target has been adopted for full time use by IPSC; which means all matches sanctioned under IPSC rules (which are different from USPSA) use the Classic target.  Essentially, if you shoot an IPSC match anywhere in the many countries that the sport exists, you will not see the metric target, but instead you’ll see this target.

Meet the Classic target.  Sharp eyed readers will immediately see the difference between the Classic and metric targets – the Classic target lacks the upper head box that you see on the metric target.  It also eliminates the “B” zone entirely, leaving the scoring region on the target at A, C, and D.  In his own words, here’s Phil’s argument for using the Classic target exclusively:

I’ll never give up on my OPINION that using the Classic Targets would help better promote the sport to outsiders looking in. To be clear, outsiders like pro-gun interested hobby shooters, pro-gun potential sponsors, pro-gun potential media, etc. I’m not stupid enough to think that any anti-gun group would ever accept our sport as anything other than a bunch of civilian militia training ourselves how to kill other people…regardless of whether we’re shooting sweet fuzzy humanoid targets with big bunny eyes or swinging plates, square glass, or 12″ exploding circles (Top Shot shout-out).

I have spent a lot of time thinking this over (the Enos thread started back in July) and I have to agree with Phil.  Hear me out, because I know that not everyone is going to agree with me on this one.  I think using the head-box targets, which are obviously human-looking targets can deter potential advertisers and sponsors that would support the shooting sports such as bullseye or sporting clays but may be a little turned off by the “combat” nature of our sport.  That being said, I hate feeling like we’re making a concession to political correctness.  But you can view this without that particular “PC” element.  If you look at it purely from a marketing/media point of view, then what you have is a target that hinders media exposure (the metric) and a target that doesn’t (the classic).  No matter which way you slice it, the classic target is going to be me more friendly to more people, and that means more money and more exposure.  If the end goal is to get USPSA covered on ESPN (which I would love to see even though I know it won’t ever happen) then the classic target is an obvious choice.

But like I said, I also know that not everyone is going to agree with me here.  My personal opinion is that switching to the Classic target and doing away with the metric target would be in the best interests of USPSA and the end goal of growing and expanding the sport.  For people that want to keep the “practical” element of competition and enjoy the more traditional silhouette targets, there is always IDPA – which I love and would continue to shoot even if USPSA went to an all Classic target format.

For more on Phil Strader, check out his Facebook page and personal website, Straighter Solutions.

68 thoughts on “IPSC Classic vs. Metric target”

  1. “I think using the head-box targets, which are obviously human-looking targets can deter potential advertisers and sponsors that would support the shooting sports such as bullseye or sporting clays but may be a little turned off by the “combat” nature of our sport.”

    I’m sorry are you arguing that there isn’t enough sponsorship in USPSA? Because in a lot of shooting circles, USPSA and IPSC are used as the examples for over-sponsored events. SASS actually has specific rules to prevent exactly the sorts of things USPSA does routinely.

  2. The Steel Challenge was developed specifically to get “our kind of shooting” on TV more than 20 years ago. Same for Bianchi Cup. Taking the heads off the targets isn’t what led to the growth of shooting shows on TV and the increase in gun ownership, nor the change to Gun Culture 2.0 (from hunting culture to CCW/AR-15 culture).

    In the beginner and CHL courses I teach, the #1 shooting sport that people ask about is IDPA – which is more specifically oriented toward shooting people (in self defense) than IPSC. Apparently having heads on the targets is not hurting its appeal.

    “The public” seem to have accepted Mixed Martial Arts cage fighting (to the tune of millions of dollars a year in revenue) and it’s a hell of a lot more violent than IPSC. People get hurt and bloodied for real.

    We aren’t in the 1990s gun-ban era any more. We won “Heller” and have the most liberal President ever, and he signed pro-gun legislation allowing guns in national parks. The country is pro gun. Taking the heads off the targets won’t change a damn thing because it’s not an issue anybody is paying attention to or cares about.

  3. I agree with you Caleb.

    Well, I agree with the part that many of us are going to disagree. What you’re saying is “it’s possible someone could be turned off by a target that looks more like one of the robots from Berzerk than a human but still has a head”, but unfortunately, there’s nothing that shows that as being true.

    Go to any range and look at how many people pick up standard police targets that have a human silhouette or the one with the cartoony thug pointing his gun straight at you.

    It simply doesn’t bother people. There’s no reason to cave in to PC here.

  4. I see Mr. Straders point but I also know the PC mindset ,next to go will be the other A zone the ‘ thoraci zone ‘ because it too is much to human like,why not just use a good old bullseye target ,actually why not just get rid of those nasty guns and play field hockey.
    Both sports I believe originated to hone police skills and both sports are called ‘PRACTICAL’ in part of their name and both A zones are pratical and there is nothing pratical about the classic or bowing down to the politically correct whom wouldn’t even watch it on TV if you only threw tomatoes at it.
    This is a shooting sport and that is why some people hate it.The only thing you can do to get these people to watch or like it ,is get rid of those nasty ol’ guns period.
    And then we can have the Bianchi Handcuffing Tournament ( which no one will watch ) and the Politically Correct people will be happy and Mr Strader will see the error of his thinking.

  5. I can see some benefits to making the target appear less humanoid, but I think for the sport to remain practical you need to keep the basic shape. I think an FBI Q target or similar old school milk bottle style targets might be a better compromise.

  6. Many of you seem to be operating under the assumption that I think switching to the classic target would make USPSA acceptable to anti-gun people. I don’t think that even for a second. USPSA is a shooting sport, regardless of what type of target you use, and it’s also going to be something the anti-gunners oppose. To be more specific, the idea behind switching the target is to make the sport more appealing to pro-gun potential sponsors and shooters. There are accessory and gun companies that don’t get involved in USPSA and IDPA for all kinds of reasons, and making the sport more attractive to their advertising dollars is a good things

    I also don’t think that IDPA should change. But USPSA has gotten so far from the roots of “practical” shooting that it makes sense to go whole hog and switch to the classic target. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    1. I guess that’s where I’m getting confused. The reason for this being done is to be “appealing to pro-gun potential sponsors and shooter”. But, I have to ask why would a pro-gun company get hung up on the shape of a piece of paper if not for trying to appeal to a combination of the anti-gun crowd or those hunters who believe that if a gun has a certain shape it’s evil (read: ar-15)?

      Consider that the moment you start taking the “evil” out of it, or try to pander to a bunch of fence-sitters, you run the risk of what happened to the pentathlon in the Olympics where the “guns” shoot lasers instead of lead. I mean, if that the end goal why take all of the baby steps and instead just go the whole hog and switch to laser guns with colorful round targets?

      Maybe I’m just too straight-forward for my own good which is why politics and other “grey area” BS either do not make sense to me or get me aggravated beyond words. A potato is still a potato no matter if you turn it into a chip or mash them. ^_^

      1. No one, certainly not on a website called “Gun Nuts” would want to see IPSC or USPSA be shot with laser guns, unless we invent laser guns like what you see in Star Wars (in which case it’d be cool). More what we’re trying to do is make USPSA more marketable to companies that support other non-PC sports. Take the X-games for example; the same kind of sponsor base that supports the X-games in many cases is a natural fit for the shooting sports, and yet you don’t see advertisements for Red Bull during USPSA match coverage.

        1. And I still can’t believe that should the targets be changed to a non-threatening triangle tomorrow, that Red Bull would line up to sponsor it.

          There’s a lot more than just target shape, and I can’t even begin to imagine that the shape is in the top 10 reasons why Summer’s Eve isn’t jumping at the opportunity to have their logo plastered all over shirts and hats at the next USPSA match.

          1. Somehow I doubt Summer’s Eve is ever going to sponsor a USPSA match, Robb. But a company like a Red Bull or a Lowes Hardware might; and if the target shape is one of their hypothetical objections then it would make sense to change it. BUT that being said, Red Bull and Lowes aren’t currently jumping to sponsor USPSA, so a lot of this is entirely hypothetical.

        2. *laughs* Point taken and I’d have to second your assessment. You’d have to be brain dead NOT to want to be able to shoot a DL-44 (read: Han and Luke’s sidearm) with maybe a futuristic version of the XS Express sights. -_^

          Okay, that makes a LOT more sense than what I was reading into it before. Without the examples you cited it’s really difficult to see what direction you were going since it really did sound, at least to me, like pandering to a crowd that really did not have any interest in the first place.

    2. Remember Caleb that there are pro-gun, anti-gun and NON-gun people out there.

      We’re not saying you are kowtowing to anti-gun fools. It’s the idea of “Hey let’s appeal to non-gun folk!” that is the mistake. Every time we gunnies try to sanitize shooting for the fence sitters the anti-gun people use that AGAINST us. Remember Bill Ruger?

      This has been going on since the 50’s! Jeff Cooper in the 60’s noted that whiny bed-wetters thought humanoid targets too “horrid.” But in 70’s shooting sport took off, in part, because of humanoid targets that shooters could use to hone defensive skills .
      Those who are going to be offended will never join us anyway.

      That’s a polite way of saying – Screw ’em.

  7. You’re right, it really doesn’t matter in effect to the sport if they change or not because they have moved far afield of ‘practical’ shooting, but I don’t think they should be bowing the “I’m pro-gun, but” crowd either. That, to me, is just bad precedent and turns me off to the whole organization.

  8. Pro for switching: mythical sponsorship dollars
    con for switching: pissing off half the membership

    I’m with RushFan.

    1. The problem with that is that you wouldn’t really see that many people leave. I sincerely doubt that you’d lose more than a small handful of casual shooters; the sponsored pros and serious competitors don’t really care what they’re shooting at. I suspect (this is of course my opinion) that the drop off due to people being upset about the target change wouldn’t be any different from the usual annual attrition.

  9. I’m a member of and shoot both IDPA and IPSC/USPSA. The reason I chose those was because at the local clubs those are the sports shot.

    I’m new to both of them but I’ve already learned some about the history and it seems to me that what you’re advocating is something that has been a long way coming for IPSC anyway, namely IPSC and USPSA need to drop the P and give up any pretense of being a “practical.”

    When I shoot USPSA they bad mouth IDPA and when when IDPA those guys bad mouth USPSA, and for the most part this is just a little healthy bit of ribbing but the IDPA guys are right about the fact that aside from the production division that is very little about USPSA that is practical anymore anyway. Hell even in production I can only carry 10 rounds in a mag so I have to carry 4 mags to finish some of the larger stages anyway, who carries 4 spare mags on them ever?

  10. Wow, if all those game designers would have this same insight — non-human targets might appeal to more people.

    I’m sure we would soon see “Grand Theft Auto- Metric Edition” and “Metric Call of Duty”

    To be more specific, the idea behind switching the target is to make the sport more appealing to pro-gun potential sponsors and shooters.

    I’m confused…what companies? Companies that manufacture magazines for firearms, scopes/sights for firearms, safety equipment?

    Just who is going to go “Wow with the new targets; it’s not like people are preparing to defend themselves at all. Let’s sponsor a shooting event”.

    Maybe we should go after bowling next — after all those pins are vaguely human shaped also.

    1. Back in 1997, IPSC applied to the Olympic committee for inclusion as an exhibition (non-medal) sport for the 2004 games, with the hopes of being a full medal sport by 2008. Obviously this didn’t happen. One of the actual reasons cited were the humanoid targets in wide use at the time, which is what prompted the switch at the international level to the classic target.

      Now, say what you may, but having IPSC in the Olympics would have been awesome. Even with the lousy coverage that the shooting sports get during the Olympics, to showcase our sport on national and international TV like that would have been a tremendous boost to the game. And while the anti-gun set of the IOC was likely the true culprit, the targets certainly didn’t “help” our cause.

      As far as the video game analogy goes, it doesn’t even apply. For better or worse, we have at a general cultural level accepted that it’s “okay” to shoot pixelated simulations of people with graphical representations of weapons. That particular type of fantasy-play is regarded as OK, because video games, while reviled in some circles have never been subject to the kind of negative stigmatization that guns have and you know it. A better argument would be what Karl said about MMA – in fact I don’t have a rebuttal for that, because I don’t understand why we can accept MMA in to mainstream culture but not USPSA.

      1. Because in the movies, Jackie Chan can beat up fifteen guys and everyone just gets up and runs away looking bruised.

        But anyone who is shot who is shot somewhere other than their shoulder dies instantly.

        If you haven’t shot and haven’t done very specific research, why would you ever know differently?

      2. MMA/UFC/Whatevs filled the vacuum created when professional boxing decided to go with hype and showmanship and $50 pay per views over actual competition, at least at the heavyweight level.

        UFC/MMA became the preferred fighting sport because boxing was perceived to be too staged and too driven by promoters, an interesting irony given UFC’s corporate structure.

      3. Caleb,

        I think you are confusing the mass public with the few people in charge of determining Olympic events.

        Your point was, as I understand it, was “non humanoid targets” would increase sponsorship.

        My point was the people willing to sponsor shooting events are like the people willing to buy video games — they know what they are getting into and I find it really hard to believe that the targets are the reason for not sponsoring something.

        But the video game analogy does work, it is okay to shoot “non-realistic humans” — in play modes. People ‘get’ this, it is not something the majority of people have a problem with.

        And you haven’t presented any evidence that the people in the business have a problem with it. It seems like conjecture on your part.

        1. Dann (a few comments down) actually explains it better than I could. We’re not trying to slice our own pie, but rather to increase the overall size of the pie. Let’s say hypothetically that Red Bull wanted to sponsor a USPSA match, but wasn’t willing to because of the humanoid targets. Or that major matches *didn’t* get coverage on a major network because the network didn’t want to show people shooting targets that resembled people. In the case of the latter example, it’s actually happened.

          1. “In the case of the latter example, it’s actually happened.”

            Where can I learn more about this?

            I actually read about the attempt to get IPSC in the olympics a while ago, and IIRC it never really had a chance due to the powers that be in the olympic shooting world hating the IPSC shooters.

      4. The olympics is already mandating laser guns for some events…

        IMHO, the best way to grow the sport is to continue to change the culture to one that looks at firearms as innocuous and non-partisan.

  11. This is a solution to, IMHO, a non-existent issue and to pander to a crowd that will not change their mind just because the target changed. Seriously, who are we really trying to kid with this ourselves or some marketing tool over at say Procter and Gamble with the hope that we may see broadcasts put on just before Monday Night Football with Pampers ads near the firing line?

    To say I’m really disappointed that this happened would be greatly understating matters. What’s next, following the Olympics lead and using Laser Tag guns?

    Well, at least this will make it a pretty easy choice for most folks to choose from. -_-

  12. I think the reason why IPSC/IDPA isn’t more popular with the general public has little to do with the type of targets being used: Video games have been popular for tears, and even had their own TV channel and awards show, so the implied violence isn’t the issue.

    The problem is that unless you’re involved in the actual shooting itself, 90% of practical shooting is boring to watch, and I say that as someone who has Shooting Gallery, 3 Gun Nation and Top Shot season passes on my TiVo. Top Shot has done the best job so far of making competitive shooting exciting to watch on TV, but there’s still a long way to go.

    Top Shot figured out that we as humans cheer for people, and it’s the personal side of the competition that brings people in. We need a Ken Block, a Tony Hawk, a Don “The Snake” Prudhomme vs. Ken “The Mongoose” McEwen to make it go big, just like NASCAR went big once they started promoting the personalities within their sport.

    1. I agree with that wholeheartedly – and the problem is that we do have the personalities in the shooting sports to make it big like that. Actually, that in and of itself is a whole separate post about the personalities in the shooting sports and why it’s difficult to make good TV out of action shooting.

      1. Even with the personalities, though, it’s still a hard sport to put up on TV: Unless you’re shooting steel or reactive targets, there’s no real-time feedback as to how shooter X is doing against shooter Y on any given stage.

        Shoot-offs are a big start: Getting people to cheer one person over another is what gets us going, but we also need to know which actions to cheer and which to cringe at. Let’s face it, if you don’t know the rules, a football game can be a bit confusing to watch.

        What would work well, I think, is a running timer on the bottom of the screen showing the best time on each stage, and a overlay of how each shooter runs thru the stage, similar to how downhill skiing runs are shown in the Olympics (which is another highly technical competitive version of a sport that millions enjoy as a past time).

        1. Actually, downhill skiing is my go-to example. If that can be made fun to watch, so can a USPSA match. The problem is that we need to find someone willing to package USPSA and spend the money to make it as appealing as downhill skiing for example, then go find the Bode Miller and other colorful people in the sport who are willing to step it up like that.

          1. I wrote up a suggestion like this on benos a while back:
            I’ve often thought it would be really cool to set up all the cameras like you said, and then produce a show in post production to air later. You could tie the timer in to a computer synced with the video feeds. Then you could look at the scores for each target and plug them in to the time of the shot. Then you could generate a hit factor graph that would show on the screen while showing the run. I’m thinking a big bar graph of the current hit factor. So, when you shot points, it would go up, and as non-shooting time passed it would go down. When you hit a penalty, it would go down a bunch. You could superimpose the current stage leader’s bouncing bar over the current shooter’s bar during the run.

            If I needed another expensive hobby, I’d try to do this.

  13. It’s funny that Kevin mentioned NASCAR, because that was going to be my example of what happens when you change too many things in the interest of growing the sport. NASCAR has worked so hard to sanitize things that, while there is certainly more money involved, the racers all seem so homogenous now.

    I do, however, have to agree that USPSA is so far from practical shooting that going to the classic target really is not that big of a shift.

    1. And they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

      Yes, NASCAR is more bland than when Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and The King (egad, I’m old) were swapping paint on the back straightaway of the Talledega 500, but now that it’s the “AMP Energy Juice 500™”, what NASCAR may lack in personality, they make up for in revenue.

      Personality may go a long way, but it doesn’t pay the rent. 🙂

  14. To start with I too see the potential of a less humanoid target appealing to some sporting types that still think the AR15 should be banned from the hunting fields. I support “Their” games and gear but do not appreciate their disdain for my more real-life defensive style of practical shooting. The look I got one day on the skeet range with my tricked out Tacticool 870 P was enough to boil water. My black gun was pure anethema to their Perazzis and such. I do not see the real world advantage to go to the “Target” looking target.

    Speaking of the targets

    I guess since I do not follow IPSC as much I am lost. The target with the head came first right? and then there was the other target that was developed for those european countries that PROHIBIT torso type targets right? those countries where the metric system is now entrenched?

    Why then is the “Classic” target the new one originally for the metric countries and the “Metric” target is the old classic but not called the classic?

    signed… Confused 🙂

    1. I would again point out that I’m not against the torso type targets – I like IDPA’s target and I don’t think it should be changed at all. In fact, I think more that my reasoning behind this is that USPSA has gone so far afield from “practical” shooting that having a silhouette target doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense any more.

      And Tom, your guess is as good as mine. I think they named the Euro target the “Classic” to imply it had always been around.

  15. I think the move to the classic target should be made simply to square USPSA with IPSC. I’d think the top-flite american shooters would be thrown off a bit by having a different target, with a different center of mass. Whle the difference maybe tiny, the hit factors between the top shooters is tiny too.

    1. Owen, that’s a good point. I’ve actually seen requests from shooters to use the Classic target in matches that precede major IPSC-rule matches specifically to give shooters some practice time on the slightly different targets. Plus, I tend to the think the turtle target looks cooler than the metric.

    2. Where does it end? The USPSA/IPSC rule split happened for very good reasons. Namely that IPSC is one country one vote, while US shooters outnumber the other countries combined.

      I don’t think most US production shooters want race holsters in production and a minimum trigger weight. I know I don’t.

      1. Nor I, but there does need to be some harmony I think. I wouldn’t want to see Production division go to 15 rounds either like IPSC Production has.

        1. I left that one out on purpose because it generally leads to a big flame war. I want to keep it at 10, but that’s definitely colored by the fact that I shoot an M&P and live in a ban state.

  16. USPSA/IPSC is a sport, no other way of viewing it. Outside of weapon manipulation, there is no “real world” application of what you are doing in IPSC. Even the weapon manipulation part isn’t exactly correct either, because you don’t carry a ported, comped, skelotonized, magwelled, red dotted race gun for self defense.

    I think using a neutral target wouldn’t hurt the sport, and would probably be more positive than negative.

  17. First, I’ll state that I agree with Caleb’s point… second, I have a lot of experience in marketing, including several aspects of the powersports industry and what you need to understand about Caleb’s point is that we don’t want to re-slice the pie, we want a larger pie.

    To get a larger pie – in many aspects (coverage, fans, consumers, sponsors) you need to move beyond the firearm and ammo manufacturers and variations are sponsoring the sport, but you really want the in-direct product tie-ins with specific personalities. Think Travis Patrana and Red Bull, not Rob Leatham and Springfield Armory.

    When Lee, Tiffany and their Crush are marketing Pepsi… Tori Nonaka signs her purple Glock with RockStar… Julie G. is sponsored by Chevy… then that occurs because you’ve broadened the scope of your audience and consumers beyond the initial ring… and that is due to things like not having obvious head shots… which get the new generation looking at firearms and shooting sports differently than their older-anti-gun counter parts.

    Head shots and simulated tactical operations my work for the enthusiast, but not for the broader consumer audience who might be interested – initially – in shooting sports but wants to to leave the black-ops-mall-ninja-door-kicking to the police.

    Top Shot did a good job – which could be expanded upon – to utilize tactical skills and a “non-appearing tactical” environment.

    NASCAR did a lot of cleaning up during the 60s and by the 70s the were doing well… then into the 80s they broadened their audience and picked up the in-direct sponsors, consumers and fans…

    Good discussion!

  18. I wonder if they polled all 18,000 members of USPSA and asked how each member got started in the sport.

    Wonder how many would come back saying they started because they bought a handgun for self-defense?

    1. That’s a fair question – but as a rebuttal response I would ask whether or not the shape of the target makes a difference on USPSA’s ability to improve your defensive shooting skills?

    2. That’s at interesting question. It’s hard for me personally to answer, because I jumped in to guns all at once. I started shooting /owning guns, carrying, and competing all around the same time.

      That actually makes we want to start a whole separate discussion. I live in MA, where simple gun ownership requires a license with state mandated training. I wonder how much this actually ends up strengthening the gun culture here (in fervor, not numbers). Once you’ve jumped through all the hoops, you want to ‘get your money’s worth.’ My gut feel is that we don’t have nearly as many ‘old shotgun in the closet’ gun owners here, but we have a higher proportion of ‘I have 3 safes’ gun owners.

      1. I’ve also noticed that it seems MA gun owners (of which I am one, too) seem to show up on the internet to vent our frustrations more often, or at a rate disproportionate to our population numbers.

        I’m against changing too many rules towards IPSC largely for selfish reasons: I have a light M&P trigger and 10 round magazines, too.

  19. You make some interesting, and valid points, but let’s look at the history of the “sport.”

    IPSC was founded in 1976 in Columbia MO, USA. Other nations were invited to join after this (I don’t remember the specific dates).

    NRA considered taking IPSC shooting “under their wing” but balked at the “targets with heads.” Hence, the “Action shooting” and the NRA D-1 target.

    The name, “Practical” shooting was adopted because “Combat” shooting was offensive to “some people.”

    Many countries joined IPSC making it truly international (insert cheers here! 🙂 ).

    IPSC petitioned to let our style of shooting become a sanctioned Olympic event, but the target was changed (you’ve covered it well, above).

    And now we have the “Classic” target that isn’t, and in the USA we primarily use the “Metric” target…in a non-metric country.

    To me, this style of “action” shooting, both IPSC and IDPA, are American sports, and should reflect that, proudly. We’ve caved in too much. When will it stop?

  20. NIET!!!

    First we will go to the clasic target and in a while we will transition to Anshutz’s laser rifles like for the olympics. You know cause they will remove the scary out of the sport and bring greater appeal to the masses.

    Not only no, but HELL NO.

  21. That would need real-time scoring to accomplish, not one guy walking around yelling outt “2 Alpha, 2 Alpha” (or “2 Charlie, 2 Delta” in my case 🙂 ) who’s followed by a small army of tapers and steel resetters.

    If we could get that, either with steel targets or some kind of electronic scoring matrix embedded in the target, that’d be awesome, and greatly improve the watchability of the sport. Even having a live timer on each stage that displays the actual score as it is happening would bring in scores of people to a match, adding another revenue stream to the hosting club.

  22. If IPSC chances targets voluntarily someone is sure to try and force IDPA to change too. And then busybodies will show up at local ranges and gravel pits…

    The whole “non-humanoid” target notion is an east coast and Kalifornicated disease which those of us in the rest of the country should do whatever is necessary to avoid catching.

    1. IPSC already changed targets to the headless target years ago. USPSA != IPSC and USPSA still uses the humanoid targets.

      Also, I REALLY doubt that if USPSA changed that IDPA would change. If anything, IDPA would have a party because it would finally put the exclamation point on their argument that they are the true “practical” shooting sport and USPSA is just a game.

  23. I understand the concern that changing the targets is a concession to the anti-gunners and therefore, in principal, unacceptable. I am inclined to agree, however I see Caleb’s point too. If we can encourage shooting sports to break into mainstream media to a point where it is acceptable, even popular, THEN we can start fighting our principal based battles.

    You have to make compromises in the short term to gain an advantage in the long run. Let the anti-gunners cut the heads off our targets so the GENERAL PUBLIC, who are not a bunch of anti-gunners anymore, can generate enough appreciation for the sport to shoot down (no pun intended) those who would behead our targets. We just need the money of the masses on our side first, then we can worry about the shape of the pieces of cardboard we’re shooting at.

  24. What about people that already shoot pistols. Would they shoot USPSA if the human shaped target was eliminated? No it would not attract shooters to cross disciplines.

    Would it give us more opportunity for greater exposure? Yes, a TV spot or favorable news article could attract non shooters to shooting. Mom or dad watches the show and can’t argue about the human shaped targets because we’re shooting turtles. We’re getting shooters we would have lost with a human target.

    1. There is much assumption in that statement
      We’re getting shooters we would have lost with a human target.

      Mom or Dad watches Junior playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and seeing how it was the top selling video game in 2009; I’m a little reluctant to believe it the “human shaped” targets that is the issue.

      Should we do more to get “more of the pie” absolutely but we also need to work more on getting people to understand what the sport is about then changing what the sport is about.

      If we can encourage shooting sports to break into mainstream media to a point where it is acceptable, even popular, THEN we can start fighting our principal based battles.

      I see it differently. If we are going to go that route, why not (as others have said) go play laser tag instead?

      Paint ball is acceptable to the public, Laser Tag is acceptable to the main stream public — people are already comfortable with the idea of ‘human shaped’ targets.

      To point out that aspect is to point out something with no evidence backing it up.

      I still feel we need to make the sport appealing to non-shooters the same way paint ball became appealing to non-shooters.

      Low cost and high availability of equipment.

      Let’s face it, getting into shooting isn’t cheap and it isn’t something people think about doing when they have a couple of hours free.

      We need to get more ranges open, we need to get more training classes available — and not just during the middle of the week either.

      We need evening classes, we need weekend classes.
      We need classes where you can just show up, rent a gun for a couple of dollars more and take a class — then shoot a round of IDPA /IPSC /LMNOPQRST.

      Think roller skating rinks, go cart races or better — think about sky diving – being able to do a tandem jump after a short class.

      That is what we need to grow the sport — not diamond or circle shaped targets.
      The competitions for the most part are about learning to be better at self defense.

      Don’t want to put a show on about those; great. Bring back the mid-way games with people shooting revolving targets – see how many new shooters and viewers that grabs.

  25. In a very real sense we ARE Militia and we ARE Training ourselves to shoot people.

    Why apologize for it?

    As has been said above, if best selling video games show and teach shooting realistic, blood splattering human beings in great realism I don’t think a humanish shaped piece of cardboard getting shot is going to offend anyone.

    Stick with the “metric” (which is actually the original) Target.

  26. “If they go to all Turtle Targets” I’m done.”
    I’ve heard that a couple hundred times.

    I’ve never, EVER, heard anyone say the head keeps them away.

    I’ve never EVER heard anyone who does shoot say they tolerate it for the game, but wish it wasn’t there.

    I suppose there are people on this planet who don’t have an aversion to handguns but won’t shoot head-shaped paper.
    Maybe just one or two. Maybe a thousand.

    We don’t know, and can’t possibly know, if a target change will make a bit of difference.
    It’s only a theory.

    What’s fact is that a lot of people hate the idea.
    A lot of people who do shoot USPSA.
    Does it make sense to drive them off to maybe get a few people who obviously have some problems with the general idea of shooting in the first place?

    I’ve never said I’d quit if they go to the “Classic” target, but I would do exactly that. I’ll shoot IDPA and 3-gun, and never look back.
    USPSA will have more room for that flood of “potential shooters”.

      1. Well, yeah, but maybe more than five. Probably more like the same ten people.
        (Still ten more than I’ve heard say they would shoot it if not for the head.)

  27. I just thought of another problem with going to all turtles. You’d have to throw out all of the classifier high hit factors, and redesign all of the classifiers.

      1. And anything that has hard cover or adjacent / overlapping no shoots. Based on a quick skim of the book, that’s about 2/3 – 3/4 of the classifiers.

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