Welcome to the Rio Salado Sportsman's Club!

An Arizona Game and Fish Range. Managed by the Rio Salado Sportsman's Club, Inc.

Practical Shooting Starter Course

Shooters new to competition are required to take the PSSC to participate in Tuesday Night Steel and the Practical Matches at RSSC. Please read all of the information and requirements below BEFORE registering.

Practical Shooting Starter Course (PSSC) – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE PSSC!  You must preregister for the PSSC.  Please do not inquire at the office or main range about the PSSC.  For more info, contact us – pssc@rsscaz.com

WELCOME to Rio Salado Sportsmans Club’s Practical Division.  We’re excited that you are interested in competing in our Practical Shooting Matches!  If you already hold a current classification (other than Novice or Unclassified) via USPSA, IPSCIDPA, NRA Action Pistol or ICORE, you are NOT required to take this course.

If you are a competent pistol shooter looking to get started in the exciting, fun and challenging sport of Practical / Action Shooting MATCHES, you are in the right place!

RSSC’s Practical Division wants to provide a friendly, encouraging and informative environment for all who want to compete, and more importantly, we want them to get started off on the right foot. So the PSSC shows you how to get into “practical” or “action” shooting matches. We want all of our new competitors to understand exactly what our matches demand of every shooter, from safety and match procedures to basic techniques and match commands. And the bonus is that we actually run you through 8 to 9 live “courses of fire”.  The PSSC is a 3 to 4 hour course, depending on the number of students.


  • Individuals who are new to competition, not new to pistol shooting.
  • Individuals who have an exceptional working knowledge of their pistol and basic firearm safety;
  • Individuals who already know how to safely load, shoot, and unload their pistol;
  • Individuals who are ready to PARTICIPATE in “Practical Shooting” Matches;


  • I have an exceptional working knowledge of my pistol and of basic firearm safety – YES!
  • I am able to mentally and physically navigate courses of fire that pose challenges requiring dexterity, movement, strong and weak-hand-only shooting, and moving and balancing around obstacles – YES!


  • Classroom Time: Muzzle Direction | Trigger Finger | Range Rules | Match Rules & Procedures | Range Commands | Equipment | Multiple-Choice Exam
    (Must pass written exam to continue to live-fire drills)
  • Range Time -> Live-Fire Drills: Holstering | The Draw | The Reload | Multiple Targets | Navigating around props, barricades | Moving from position to position | Retreating Uprange | Strong Hand Shooting | Weak Hand Shooting | Varied Start Positions | Multiple Strings of Fire
  • Student’s must pass the live-fire segment of the PSSC. A student is allowed 3 WARNINGS.  4 or more warnings will result in failing the live-fire portion of the PSSC.  Students will be required to retake the PSSC at a later date.  VIOLATING a safety rule results in disqualification and failing the PSSC.
  • Instructors issue a PSSC Card to students who successfully completed the PSSC.  Student MUST bring their PSSC Card when signing up for matches, until they are established.  A copy of each student’s test and release shall be kept on file.


  1. EYE and EAR protection – Eye protection must be worn at all times.  Hearing protection is mandatory when in the shooting bays and while shooting.
  2. AMMUNITION – 100 rounds (minimum) of FACTORY target ammunition.
  3. PISTOL – 9mm centerfire or larger caliber is required; either Semi Auto or Revolver.
    • Pistol must be of a modern design and recent manufacture, and capable of firing readily available, modern factory ammunition.
    • The pistol should be in a safe working order with the manufacturer safeties functioning.
    • Our Practical matches are NOT for small, concealment pistols. You must have a pistol that is suitable for competition, i.e., a USPSA Open, Limited, 1911 Single Stack or Production gun. Revolvers must be 6, 7 or 8 shot.
    • In general, handguns with a barrel length of LESS than 4 inches are not legal for competition. Please reference the USPSA Production Gun list for the few exceptions: USPSA Production Gun List
  4. BELT – a belt rigid enough to hold magazine pouches and a holster. A dress / fashion belt is not suitable. The belt must be worn at the waist level. The belt or the inner belt, or both, must be either securely fixed at the waist or secured with a minimum of three belt loops. In USPSA, female competitors are premitted to wear a belt, holster and allied equipment at HIP-level, however, the top of the belt must not be positioned below the furthest lateral point of the top of the femur.
  5. MAGAZINE POUCHES & MAGAZINES – Magazines and speed loading devices must be carried on the belt in approved retention devices (magazine pouches).  We suggest 3-4 standard capacity or 2-3 high capacity magazines and pouches. Speed loaders are required for revolvers. Total capacity of all magazines / speed loaders combined must exceed 24 rounds (to get through the largest course of fire).
  6. HOLSTER – Holster must be SNUGGLY SECURED on competitor’s strong side with a BELT.
    • Holster should not move / rotate on the belt when drawing or holstering gun.
    • Holster Position – While competitor is standing relaxed and the gun is in the holster, the muzzle of the gun must be pointed down toward the ground (within 3 feet of the competitors feet).
    • Holster must completely PREVENT access to, or activation of, the trigger of the handgun while the gun is holstered.
    • HOLSTERS NOT ALLOWED – Appendix IWB, Shoulder, cross-draw, pocket, tie down or fanny pack holsters!
    • Inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters are not recommended unless you are safe, competent and practiced with your IWB holster. Covering any part of your body (hands, arms, stomach, etc.) with the muzzle of the gun is grounds for disqualification.
    • PSSC does NOT allow any holster that utilizes a trigger finger to manipulate any retention device, i.e. Blackhawk Serpa.


Upon successful completion of the PSSC, you are ready to get some match experience under your “belt”. You may attend any of the matches you feel you are ready for – we all have different skill levels and progress at different rates. We suggest observing a match before you attend, or buddy up with an experienced competitor at your first few matches.

Below is a series of matches we suggest for new competitors, in order of the overall level of challenge. Once you have safely completed a number of matches at one level, and 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:

  1. Intro To Steel Match – 4th Sunday
  2. Women’s Practice Match – Check Calendar
  3. Rio Salado Defensive Pistol  – 2nd Wednesday
  4. Tuesday Night Steel (TNS) Match – Every Tuesday
  5. Intro 2 Practical Pistol Match – 1st Thursday
  6. All Other “Practical” Matches


  • Scott Durkin | Kippi Leatham | Brad Perkinson | Kyle Schmidt | Kelly Fletcher


For more info, contact us – pssc@rsscaz.com

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