Sharpshooters converging on P.G.

Handgun enthusiasts will display their speed and accuracy in a two-day match this weekend at the Prince George Rod and Gun Club's Blackwater range.

The competition is organized by the PGRGC's International Practical Shooting Confederation's handgun section.

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Hosted around the world, including Canada, IPSC is a high-speed pistol shooting sport involving a variety of handguns such as old-fashioned single action revolvers to modern polymer semi-autos.

"Every B.C. club has its own section and locally there are about 20 people," said IPSC director Andrew Tomlinson. "We'll have about 50 people show up here. In Vancouver there's usually 120."

This weekend will feature 20 participants from northern B.C. cities such as Terrace, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John and Prince George, and another 25 from the central Okanagan and Lower Mainland.

The sport, Tomlinson explained, focuses on three principles - accuracy, power and speed. Accuracy to hit the targets, and speed to safely hit the target as fast as possible. Power refers to competitors using the same standard ammunition.

Competitors will make their way through six separate stages at the Blackwater Range where they'll fire at a series of steel plates.

"They have to try and hit each target twice as accurately and as fast as they can go," said Tomlinson, adding points will then be awarded based on time. "The total points at the end of each stage will be divided by the time and that will be the score for the stage."

The sport features men and women from all walks of life.

There are usually between two to four competitions per year around the province.

The Blackwater range was created three years ago and features seven handgun action bays with ranges up to 50 yards. There is also a 1,000-metre rifle range.

Competition gets underway Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and continues until 3 p.m.

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