Learning Progressive-Position Air Pistol - NSSF Let's Go Shooting
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Learning Progressive-Position Air Pistol

Looking for a sport for a budding young pistol shooter? Check out Progressive-Position Pistol (PPP), designed to take a new youth shooters from beginner to competitor. With no minimum age restrictions and with the allowance of some supportive shooting aids during competition, PPP caters to air pistol sports, with minimal investment in equipment.

A team sport, you’ll find PPP in clubs, schools, JROTC units, 4-H and the Boy Scouts. A person may compete in PPP until his or her 20th birthday. A competitor’s age for the year is considered to be that of the age of the competitor as of Dec. 31 of that year. The sport is sanctioned both by USA Shooting and the National Rifle Association.

What You Need to Shoot PPP

  • Air pistols must be .177-caliber and fire via air-compressed or non-flammable gas propellant.
  • Minimum trigger pull of 1.1 pounds.
  • Open sights (no optics).
  • No part of the grip or pistol may touch behind the hand.
  • Side blinders for your protective eyewear, if desired.
  • Shooting support aids such as T-stands, sandbags and kneeling rolls can be used in the supported classes.

PPC Classifications

  • Basic Supported Class—40 shots seated or standing, one or two hands on the grip. Maximum age for this class is 13.
  • Standing Supported—40 shots with one hand on the grip. Maximum age for this class is 15.
  • Sub-Junior International Standing—40 shots, fired standing and unsupported with one hand on grip. Minimum age is 13 (can be waived if coach and physician permit), maximum age is 14 (with competitors being under 15 years old on Dec. 31 of year of competition).
  • International Standing—40 shots fired standing and unsupported with one hand on the grip. Minimum age for this class is 15 and the maximum age is 20.

About the Competition

  • Coaches may be on the line with shooters in either of the two supported positions, and may assist with set-up, clearing, loading and cocking the pistol.
  • Each match consists of a 10-minute preparation period followed by 75 minutes for the actual match.
  • Paper or electronic targets
  • Targets set at 10 meter (32 feet, 9.7 inches) distance.
  • Competition allows for sighting shots prior to the match’s beginning.
  • Divisions are made of six to 10 teams.
  • Seasons run for six to 10 weeks in three sets. The current Fall Season began Nov. 3. The 2015 Winter Season begins Jan. 19, and the 2015 Spring Season starts April 20.
  • Teams are expected to compete in one game each week during a season
  • Teams can be a mixture of males and female.
  • Competitors must be juniors as defined by USA Shooting.
  • Virtual or “postal” matches are allowed, where various teams from different locations shoot on their home ranges at the same time, the scores then compiled for placements across the teams.
Gabby Franco - Air Pistol

Franco’s first love in the shooting sports was Olympic Air Pistol. It, along with USPSA action shooting continue to be her favorite shooting sports.

PPP teaches the fundamentals of air pistol shooting combined with an introduction to familiarity with range commands and a team sport with strict shooting regulations. USA Shooting provides detailed instructions on how to form a team or club and enter competitions. PPP also encourages coaches to seek continuing education. USA Shooting recommends the NRA/USA Shooting/CMP Coach Education Program.

In addition to hometown and virtual matches, there are two regional PPP venues that together host the National Championships. These are USA Shooting’s International Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Last July, 132 competitors attended the National Championships held simultaneously at the two venues, and both will host the 2015 championships.

“Youth involvement in the pistol discipline is a primary goal of USA Shooting to help create greater participation within the sport and to ultimately increase the quality and depth of our future Olympic pistol athletes,” states USA Shooting, in an online press release that highlights last summer’s regional events.

Visit USA Shooting to find PPP resources, event calendar, match sanctioning guidelines and a personal copy of the “Olympic Path for Junior Athletes” poster.

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