Shooting a match the first time can be a little scary. That’s completely normal! It was for me too.   We want your first (and 2nd and 100th) time to be fun and stress-free.   I hope this guide helps you.   But here is the thing… just come out. We will smile and welcome you into our range family. We’d LOVE for you to come shoot with us.  Maybe your gun isn’t the fanciest. Or your holster not the best. Who cares. Come have fun!  Come get better! Come hang with people who absolutely love shooting and competing and smiling.  That’s us – the Southern Utah Practical Shooters.  We’d love to have you shoot with us!


Ken Nelson
Southern Utah Practical Shooters
[email protected]

Getting Started in Practical Shooting in Southern Utah

What we do

We host a lot of practical shooting competitions each month. Typically on Tue, Wed, Sat and Sun.  Here is a brief overview video about practical shooting  (from Indiana – which explains the trees!).

Your First Match

First off, you should not be nervous about coming out to your first match. You will be WELCOMED. If not… tell our  President Ken Nelson ([email protected]) or Glen Wong ([email protected]) – our Director of Events.
It helps if you let us know you are coming out. We will arrange to have a squad buddy join with you for the morning and help you have fun, do better, and learn the etiquitte of the range.

We select folks that do this carefully for friendliness and skill.  We have a no yelling range. The only yelling you will ever hear is encouragement or, in rare cases, a quick caution if you are doing something unsafe and we need to get your attention.  We are a very positive and happy range, on purpose. It’s more fun and safer!

Gun Handling

We handle guns where safe, which is inside berms pointing down range, or at designated safe areas (they have signs that say “Safe Area”). When you arrive, your first time, leave your guns in the car and come on in and have somebody guide you.  It’s simple, but better explained in persopn.
Please do not handle your gun at your car.  Always follow these rules on our range:

  • treat guns as if they are loaded
  • keep your trigger on the side and off the trigger unless aimed and shooting at a target
  • point your gun in a safe direction (at our range at targets or dirt berms)
  • always shoot at designated and approved targets from approved shooting locations

Gear you Will Need

To be on the range:

  • eye protection (sun glasses normally suffice). Wear this when out of your car or buildings
  • ear protection. This can be foam inserts but we prefer over the head earmuffs (require them for kids) or molded ear plugs. Wear this when shooting or near shooting.
  • clothing that matches community standards and does not have offensive or vulgar images or text
  • some way to encase the gun when toting it. A bag or a case are fine.

USPSA or Practical Handgun Match

  • a safe centerfire handgun in 9mm, .40 or .45 caliber. If a revolver, .38 special is fine. Examples include Glock 17 or 19, Sig P320, Smith and Wesson M&P, Springfield XDM.  A carbine in one of these calibers will work great too (example Sig MPX).
  • stages are max 32 rounds typically. So you need 40ish rounds on your belt + in your gun. For a Glock 17, 17 rounds, that is 3 magazines (1 in gun, 2 on belt)
  • a sturdy belt that can hold up the holster and gun. We prefer inside belt loops, but your choice. Battle belts are okay to get started with. Locally, Rowdy’s Range & Dixie Gun & Fish have good belts to try. Sportsmans Warehouse has 5/11 belts that work well too.
  • a hardsided leather or Kydex holster that is on your strong side and does not aim backwards (sometimes called FBI cant).   Our priority is that it not be soft sided, making the trigger accessible.
  • mag pouch for 30ish rounds. This need not be expensive. Drop by Rowdy’s Range or Dixie Gun and Fish and they can hook you up with what you need.
  • shoes that have a little traction with them on gravel or loose dirt.  Popular shoes are Salomen Cross Trainers, but just have some traction. Trail runners are good. Hiking shoes are good.

Tuesday Steel

  • see USPSA or Practical Handgun Match equipment list
  • You may also shoot a .22 rifle or pistol. Magazine fed is necessary (practically speaking). You will need 32 rounds + missing, so 4 mags if 10 rounds, and 2 if 20 rounders.

Defensive Match

  • These matches are lower round count per stage. Use what you carry.  Max round count on a stage is 12.
  • Concealment is sometimes needed. We recommend how you conceal when you walk around town. Avoid dedicated concealment garments like a vest, unless that is how you dress normally.

Precision Rimfire or Sporting Rimfire

  • Long pants are recommended since we shoot prone often.
  • A bolt action or semi-automatic .22.  Single shot is okay, you may perform better especially in Precision Rimfire (which is timed) with a magazine fed gun (tubular or detachable box)