New Shooters’ Info
If you are new to shooting or to competitive matches, check out some of the following resources here at Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club:
- NRA New Shooter Seminar
- .22 Pistol Match
- Intro to Steel Match*
- Practical Shooting Starter Course*
- Junior Smallbore
- Scholastic Clays Tournament Program
- NRA Hunter Safety
- RSSC Scholarship Program
- Women’s Practice Matches
- Annual Desert Flower Ladies’ Day
- Training Organizations and Instructors Registered at RSSC
*The best way to get started in Practical Pistol Matches, Tuesday Night Steel and Multi-Gun Matches:
- If you are new to shooting, first learn how to safely and properly shoot your pistol. You may need to take a class to get started on the right foot. Beginning pistol classes are offered at various gun shops all over the valley and at Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club.
- Understand and always follow the NRA’s basic firearm safety rules.
- If you are not sure if competition is your thing, attend the Intro To Steel Match (I2S) or the Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) Match to observe. I2S is usually held the fourth Sunday morning of each month. You will need a 9 mm or larger centerfire pistol and a belt and holster at minimum. Head over to the I2S Page for more info.
- If you are certain you want to compete with your pistol, sign up for the Practical Shooting Starter Course offered at RSSC. This is a hands-on introductory course to our practical matches (you will actually shoot 8-10 mini stages to become familiar with the rules). There is no better way to learn than to DO! The PSSC is offered twice a month, typically on the 2nd Monday evening and the 4th Saturday afternoon / evening. Check the PSSC page or the RSSC Calendar for the exact dates.
- Once you have taken the PSSC, you may begin attending our pistol matches! Below is a series of matches we suggest, in order of the overall level of challenge and difficulty. Feel free to advance to the next level match when: A – You have competently completed a number of matches at one level. B – You are feeling more comfortable with the match environment. C – You have seen an improvement in your shooting skills. D – You are ready for a more challenging match.
- Match Order (suggestion) – in terms of difficulty and overall challenge; Below is a series of matches we suggest for new shooters, in order of the overall level of challenge. Not all new competitors are ready for the same level of match. We all have different skills and progress at different rates. We suggest observing a match before you sign up, or buddy up with an experienced competitor for your first few events. Once you have safely completed a number of matches at one level, you are feeling more comfortable with the match environment, and you have seen an improvement in your shooting skills, feel free to move to the next level:
- Intro To Steel Match – 4th Sunday
- Women’s Practice (sorry – women only)
- Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) Match – Every Tuesday
- Intro 2 Practical Pistol (AS101) Match – 1st Thursday
- All Other “Practical” Matches
We want your introduction to competitive pistol matches to be safe, smooth and fun. However, if you don’t learn the rules and match procedures first and how to properly implement them, it may not be a smooth process for you.
Our sport has an excellent safety record (knock wood) and we want to keep it that way. One of the reasons our record is so good is because of our high standards for safety and our strict following and reinforcing of our sport’s safety and procedural rules.
Violating a safety rule (and therefore being disqualified) is not only potentially dangerous, but humbling and embarrassing. And we want you to continue to shoot with us, so start with learning our basic match rules and procedures and go from there. 🙂
Our matches are exciting, fun, challenging and always different. But they can also be overwhelming! And many of our matches are not for beginners. New competitors have A LOT to think about, so we suggest starting off slowly and working into the more advanced matches at your own pace. We don’t all have the same skill set, but we all shoot the same matches. Always compete at your own skill level, doing only what you are capable of, comfortable with and absolutely sure of.