USCA US Carbine Nationals


In a couple weeks I’m headed down to Florida to shoot the United States Carbine Association (USCA) Carbine Nationals. Since I’ve been off the bandwagon, so to speak, for the past couple months and have not been able to get much shooting in, I figured I had best start preparing for the competition.

I’m relatively unfamiliar with USCA and had to start by getting acquainted with their rules and deciding which division to shoot. After flipping through the rulebook, I put together a table to help myself understand what was going on each division.

MilLe Irons Heavy TacOps LimCap Open
Caliber 5.45×39+ 5.45×39+ .308 or 7.62×39 5.45×39+ 5.45×39+ 5.45×39+
Action Semi-Auto Semi-Auto Any Semi-Auto Semi-Auto Semi-Auto
Sights One fixed-magnification optic + one set of irons One set of irons only One glass optic (+ piggy back) One glass optic (+piggy back) One glass optics (+piggy back) Unlimited
Sling Every stage Some stages Some stages Some stages Some stages Some stages
Capacity 30 rounds 30 rounds 20 rounds 30 rounds 10 rounds 60 rounds
Lasers Visible & IR
Bolt Carrier No low-mass No low-mass
Muzzle Device < 1.25″ diameter X 3″ long < 1.25″ diameter X 3″ long < 1.25″ diameter X 3″ long
Bi-Pod No bipods No bipods No bipods
Caliber 9mm+ 9mm+ .44+ 9mm+ 9mm+ 9mm+
Action Semi-Auto Semi-Auto Any Semi-Auto Semi-Auto Semi-Auto
Sights Iron Iron Iron Iron Iron Optic
Holster Level II Retention
Max Mag Length 126mm 125mm 10 rounds 140.25mm 10 rounds 170.25mm
Slide Lightening None None Lightening Lightening Lightening Lightening
Barrel None None None Comps and Ports
Frame Stippling/Grip Tape None

For more information read the USCA rule book.

Currently, I have a plethora of M&Ps to choose from and my rifle fits into the “Open” category with two optics mounted on it. For the competition, I think I’ll remove my red dot and run my AR with the Leupold Mark AR that’s already mounted. For my pistol, I will probably just run my competition M&P.  This should put me in the TacOps division.

One of the nice things about USCA, is that they have their regulation target sizes (and distances) posted, so I can see what I will be expected to engage and different distances. This will make it easier to ensure that both my rifle and myself are effectively sighted in.

All in all, I am probably not doing as much preparation for this match as I should be. It’s been a long time since I shot a 2-Gun match and it will be nice to get out and get some time with both my rifle and my handgun. I don’t expect to place well, but as always, it should be a great time.

Look for my write up and photos from the match at

To find out more about the USCA Nationals, visit


  1. Great write-up! This is VERY helpful.

    You’re gonna do great, Shelley! It should be a fun match and a great time all around.

  2. How interesting! I’ve never heard of this organization before, but I’d be greatly interested in learning more. Looks like beaucoup fun!

  3. I lobbied USCA pretty hard (read: made a nuisance of myself) until they made the minimum caliber 5.45×39. Hopefully some folks will be taking advantage of that to train and compete with cheap ammo.

    Shelley, you can pick up a set of Dueck-clone 45-degree offset irons on Amazon for under $30. I run a set as backup/close-in sights complementary to my 1-4X scope, and they work great. I used them to consistently land center-of-mass-accurate shots at a recent tac carbine class. You might consider trying them out instead of running scope-only.

    1. Thanks for the advice! I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll have to see if I can get that set up.

Comments are closed.