GSSF matches are a great gateway to action shooting and rewarding in their own right.
There are three stages in a GSSF match, and the total round count is usually less than 100, which makes it an economical competition.
For the handgun owner, the decision to try action shooting can be a very frightening, if not traumatic, moment. But if you would like to test your skill with strictly factory handguns, in matches that do not require any specialized equipment and are conducted in a non-intimidating atmosphere, I recommend the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation.
Established in 1991, GSSF now hosts 34 matches around the nation each year, many of which attract several hundred competitors over a weekend. To quote the Glock Report, the matches are designed "to promote safe participation in sport shooting competition utilizing stock Glock pistols." Membership is $35 a year, which includes the quarterly Glock Report, but the biggest perk is competing in GSSF matches.
All competitors must shoot a stock Glock pistol; they are considered stock if all components are or ever have been available from Glock, Inc. except as otherwise specified in the Glock Report. Shooters compete in six divisions: Civilian, Guardian, Subcompact, Competition, MajorSub and Unlimited, depending on the type of Glock they shoot and their livelihoods.
To ensure a level playing field, depending on their past performance at GSSF and other matches (USPSA, IDPA, etc.) shooters are divided in Amateur and Master classes. Awards consist of Glock pistols, cash and accessories, with the number given out depending on total match attendance.
GSSF matches consist of three stages of fire: the Glock 'M, Five to Glock and Glock the Plates, and they normally require less than 100 rounds to complete.
I recently attended GSSF's Tarheel State Regional Classic at the Sir Walter Gun Club in Creedmoor, North Carolina, where almost 250 Glock shooters attended--some from as far away as New Jersey and Kentucky. Civilians, police officers, women, family groups, youngsters, seasoned citizens, newbies and hotshots were all seen on the shooting line.
Thanks to the efforts of the GSSF staff--and efficient range officers--you rarely waited more than 30 minutes to shoot a stage. There was little in the way of tension and gamesmanship, while camaraderie and good fellowship were much in evidence.
If you have a hankering to try your hand at action pistol shooting--and want to do it in the company of the friendliest, most laid back people you will ever meet at a match--get your Glock (or borrow one) and head out the next GSSF match in your area. Take it from me, you will get hooked on them, as I have been for 18 years now.