Warnings and Advice in Advance of ESC09

In advance of ESC09 I thought I would prepare a list of some key issues to be considered by competitors, match organisers and range officials alike. Experience is showing that the following items are particularly relevant.

It is hoped that by drawing attention to these items we can avoid unfortunate problems and/or DQs at the match.

While I have prepared this list with ESC09 particularly in mind the rules apply equally to all IPSC Shotgun matches.

I will update this list from time to time if necessary.
Neil Beverley
IPSC Shotgun Rules Chairman



The minimum PF for all shotgun divisions is 480. There is no minor PF. If your PF is less than 480 you will be shooting for no score.


A maximum power factor of 750 was introduced in 2009 for safety reasons. Not only is splash-back a consideration but in addition it has been found that ammunition with particularly high PFs may cause damage to targets and range equipment.

VERY IMPORTANT - PLEASE NOTE: any competitor found to be using ammunition in excess of this maximum PF is subject to a match DQ. Please see Rules and 10.5.15.

I have attached a PDF document depicting a generic chart of shot weights and velocities to indicate the range of permitted shot weight and velocities. I've also provided a document giving the weights of buckshot pellets in grams and grains these are not official IPSC figures - do your own research! However as a quick guide (to nearest 25fps below):
- Cartridge_stats_v_PF__2_.pdf ( 11.3K )
- Buckshot_Sizes_and_Weights.pdf ( 8K )

  • 28 g loads - max velocity 1725 fps
  • 30 g loads - max velocity 1600 fps
  • 32 g loads - max velocity 1500 fps
  • 34 g loads - max velocity 1425 fps
  • 36 g loads - max velocity 1350 fps (this is right on the limit)
  • 38 g loads - max velocity 1275 fps
  • 40 g loads - max velocity 1200 fps
  • 42 g loads - max velocity 1150 fps

For typical 9-pellet buckshot cartridges use 32 g.

For slugs where the wad detaches from lead slugs then 28 g (or 27 g) is about right but some slugs may weigh a little more. If the wad remains attached to the slug at the point of impact then the weight of the wad is to be included. Please check the total weight of the slugs you intend to use.

Sellier and Bellot
I believe that S & B will be the supplying the official match ammunition. To the best of my knowledge all S & B slugs that are available to the public are OK. The standard buckshot loads are OK but the magnum buckshot loads (53 g) ARE NOT.


Please note that match calibration ammo may have a PF that is considerably more than the minimum requirement for competitor ammo PF. Please see the Test Cartridge Specification of Appendix C1.


A chronograph is mandatory at IPSC Level IV shotgun matches. Testing can be either random or standard for every competitor. All 3 SG ammunition types can be tested for any or all competitors.

Competitors are not permitted to clean barrels or change choke tubes solely for the purpose of the chrono test.

In the absence of ammunition being chronographed then the data from the manufacturer (recognised commercial ammunition manufacturers) will be used to determine the PF.

Other Prohibited Ammunition
Reminder - please see below: Slugs that protrude beyond the external limits of the cartridge casing, and where the slug could touch the primer of another cartridge are deemed unsafe when used in conjunction with tubular magazines. Slug cartridges of this type when loaded in magazines that hold the cartridges in a vertical stack will not usually be declared as unsafe. Rule establishes a minimum distance for shooting birdshot or buckshot cartridges at metal targets. The distance has been established based on cartridges using conventional wads. Certain specialized cartridges use wads that enclose the pellets in a cup or cylinder. Competitors are advised these specialized cartridges are usually considered unsuitable for shooting at metal targets.

Appendix D5, Point 19 "Birdshot" and "Buckshot" are ammunition types where the shot contained therein easily separates. Any compound or substance, such as glue or resin, that binds the shot together is deemed to be in contravention of the IPSC rulebook definition of these ammunition types. In addition such treatment may render these cartridge types subject to the provisions of Rules 5.5.6 and 10.5.15. This stipulation does not refer to regular loose compound buffering material, which may improve pattern performance but that does not bind (stick) the pellets together.

Carrying Guns

Guns MUST be carried vertically if the gun is not in a case or gun-slip. Failure to comply may result in a match DQ. This applies at all times during the match. From my personal observation some competitors need to take great care in regards to this.

Chamber safety flags MUST be fitted at all times including when the gun is in a case or gun-slip.

Equipment Rules

Maximum Distance

Please take notice of the rules below. I believe some competitors will fail this test unless they make adjustments in advance of the match. The maximum distance (gap) is 50mm but there is no restriction in Open Division.
distance between body and rim of cartride

5.2.5 Where a Division specifies a maximum distance that a competitor's cartridges or reloading devices may extend away from a competitor's body, a Range Officer may check compliance by measuring the gap between the competitor's body and the rims(* see picture) of the cartridges if held separately in clips or loops, or the center of the longest external dimension of any reloading devices. These measurements will be done while the competitor is standing naturally upright. Any competitor who fails the foregoing test will be required to immediately adjust his equipment to comply with the requirements of the relevant Division. Equipment, which does not meet the requirements of the Division, must be withdrawn from the match until it does comply. The Range Master is the final authority in decisions relating to this action. The Range Master may make allowances for variations in these requirements due to anatomical considerations. Some competitors may not be able to fully comply.

Modifications to Floor-plates

Feed ramps as replacements of the carrier release button on the Remington 1100 and 1187 are permitted. However, no other levers or devices can be added to floor-plates/elevators in Standard or Standard Manual Divisions. Modifications are permitted in Modified Division subject to maximum sizes as detailed in the rulebook.

Infringement of this rule will result in the competitor being moved to either Modified or Open Division as appropriate.








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