In USPSA and SCSA shooting matches, division group competitors by equipment where they compete using a consistent set of rules. Depending on the type of competition, there are several specific divisions within each of the groups below. There is a specific division that covers almost every type of commercially available semi-automatic pistol caliber firearm.
There are five division groups in practical shooting competitions:
- Rimfire (Steel Challenge only)
- Customized High Performance
- Traditional Classic
- Rifles Using Pistol Calibers
Rimfire Pistol - .22-caliber, low-cost, off-the-shelf ammunition, fast shooting, semi-automatic, and simple to operate. This group supports iron and red dot optical sights.
Rimfire Rifle - .22-caliber, low-cost, off-the-shelf ammunition, fast shooting, semi-automatic and simple to operate. This group supports iron sights and red dot optics.
Note: Rimfire pistols and rifles are used in Steel Challenge (SCSA) but not USPSA competitions. Rimfire pistols and rifles are lower cost, lower recoil and a great way to get started in the sport.
Customized High Performance
Open Division - These are race guns that are allowed the most modifications and high-performance options. Equipment is designed with speed in mind: double-stack large-capacity magazines, slide rackers, compensators, red dot optical sights mounted to the frame, and high-speed holsters. Most competitors reload custom ammo tuned for their guns.
Limited - This division allows for many customized modifications, including magazine wells, slide cuts, thumb rests, and frame and grip modifications. All limited division guns must use iron sights only and no compensators. This division is very popular for iron sight shooters who want to shoot with larger capacity magazines.
Limited 10 - This division is similar to Limited but restricts each magazine to ten rounds under USPSA competition. Limited 10 division is popular in states where there are limits on the number of rounds in a magazine.
Revolver - This involves the use of a classic-style wheel gun that uses a cylinder and hammer. The Revolver division uses iron sights, with a maximum of six or eight rounds, in USPSA competition. Advanced competitors use ammo holders called moon clips and speed loaders to facilitate fast loading and unloading from the cylinder.
Single Stack 1911 - This is for classic-style pistols that follow the original 1911 design by John Browning. Competitors use iron sights and may shoot a maximum of eight or ten rounds per magazine in USPSA competitions.
Production - This division uses iron sights (see USPSA Production List for models and weights). Factory guns compete against other factory guns, which is an inexpensive option and a viable place to get started in competitive shooting. Production allows for fewer modifications, so many new competitors start here, as they often already own something that qualifies. USPSA competitions have a limit of ten rounds per magazine in this division.
Carry Optics - This includes the use of Production guns with red dot optical sights (see the USPSA Production list for models). The Carry Optics division is popular for red dot shooters who want to compete with larger capacity magazines.
Rifles Using Pistol Calibers
PCC - This division uses pistol-caliber carbines, which utilize larger capacity magazines, irons, or optics. These guns are highly custom and very fast. This is the newest division added to USPSA.