IPSC Action Air – A Gateway to Practical Shooting


Practical shooting is one of many shooting disciplines which are not only very fun but also very competitive for those who want to be.

Practical Pistol Shooting was an extremely popular sport in the UK until the ban on handguns n the 1990s.

However, there is a new version of the sport that offers every bit as much excitement and challenge – and fun!

The sport challenges speed, accuracy, and power throughout every match (consisting of multiple stages).

Practical shooting is supported by many organisations, most notably the International Practical Shooting Confederation and its supporting regions (countries).  Within the UK this is covered by the United Kingdom Practical Shooting Association (UKPSA).

Within the laws and legislation in the United Kingdom, Handguns as firearms are banned, and although there are practical disciplines for .22 Rifle and Shotgun, these can be fairly difficult to start due mainly to those firearms being restricted by complex licensing and safety requirements.

So how do you get into shooting Practical Pistol in the UK?



Action Air IPSC, also knows as AIPSC, is a mirror imitation of Handgun IPSC with all the same fundamentals and applications, swapping firearms for gas blowback airsoft replicas, which emulate handguns realistically.

An Airsoft gas blowback pistol shoots 6 mm plastic ball bearings (BBs) using gas propellant which expands to both propel the BB out of the pistol and cycle the action in a realistic manner.

The ownership and handling of an Airsoft pistol are not licensed like firearms, though there are some restrictions on ownership which are covered below.  AIPSC allows anyone to try practical shooting at their local club from day one with little commitment or preparation beforehand.


This allows for a very quick and easy introduction to Practical Pistol Shooting and the potential to expand to other disciplines involving firearms in the future.  Of late there are also ‘3 Gun’ Airsoft competitions, using airsoft Gas Operated Shotguns and gas or electric powered rifles.


As mentioned above, there are some restrictions on purchasing an Airsoft Replica in the UK, you will need what is known as a ‘Valid Defence’.


You can purchase a gun if you are over the age of 18 and the product is coloured in a ‘Two Tone’ pattern.  Most guns are available in two tone – though there may be a small additional charge.


If you wish to purchase a Black weapon that faithfully represents its firearms twin, you can attend a club for a minimum of 3 events, and for a period of 2 months, to register for a UKARA membership number, which is considered a valid defence for purchasing replica weapons.



Action Air is a fast-growing discipline in IPSC that is prominent in many regions where firearms are severely restricted and has shown to transfer skills across disciplines with slight variances such as the firearm and the stages themselves.

Action Air is not only accessible but cheaper in comparison to Practical Shotgun and Mini-Rifle.

That being said, it is not difficult to spend more on the sport if you are more committed to it.

If you’re interested in Practical Shooting but aren’t sure where to start, try Action Air IPSC.

Armoury Action Air meet twice a month and have hire guns and equipment that you can use to try this sport.  As a UKARA registered site they can also help you gain a valid defence to purchase your own weapon.


Why not try this exciting discipline – it is great for families – our youngest member is 10, and our senior member is 83 – so really is for all ages.


Email:  enquiries@armouryactionair.co.uk  for further information.