Alberton Sports Shooting Club



The Official Southern Gauteng Sport Shooting Association Website for all ISSF AND NPA/PPC Pistol Shooters

We shoot all ISU disciplines at Alberton Sport Shooting Club Air Pistol, Free Pistol, Olympic Rapid Fire, Standard Pistol, Sport Pistol and Centre-Fire in addition to PPI, PP2, Pocket Pistol and Service Pistol A & B. Of all, Pocket Pistol is the discipline I most rewarding.

It is also the course which comes closest to preparing the civilian shooter for a possible real-life confrontation. Pocket Pistol is a really simple but practical event.

Because you shoot it using the kind of handgun most of us already have for personal protection, it provides an inexpensive route into competitive shooting – and thus the shooting practice all of us need.

In Pocket Pistol, you simply can- not go out and buy better and better equipment to give you an advantage – you compete with the sort of equipment which basically gives everyone an equal chance.

The “equipment race” has been the down- fall of many sport shooting disciplines. And thirty-rounds of re-loadable ammunition is not horrifyingly expensive. So what are you waiting for? More information?

Here it is ……………………..  

Pocket Pistol is a development of Police Pistol One (PPI) – a 30-round practice shoot for American police officers, which was introduced in the late 1950s. PPI was, fired, with the six-shot 38 Special revolve: (then standard issue for most US Police Departments), in three stages using turning targets. At 25 metres: shoot 12 deliberate rounds in two minutes; at 20m: two second are allowed for each of the 12 shots; and a 15m you fire six fast shots  two shots in 2 seconds (repeat three times). 

This became extremely popular with civilian shooters in the United States and the UK- as anyone who has been to Bisley for the NPA annual shoot will readily agree. From Police Pistol One came Police Pistol Two (PP2) and Pocket Pistol. PP2 allowed “fancy” guns and the more complex 1500′ shoots, where 60 and 150 rounds are fired, distances are varied, and strong and weak-hand courses are included. Pocket Pistol, on the other hand, kept things simple – the 30-shots are fired at close quarters – but using popular “pocket pistols” – your back-up gun, a pocket auto or a 38 snubbie. 

The course of fire requires fewer shots on the precision portion and on the “double-tap” section.

Introduced to the Alberton Sport Shooting Club by then club President Tracy Menney, Pocket Pistol competition has proved extremely popular. Our first-class facilities were established because some of our members became very keen first on PPI then on Pocket Pistol. Carry Pistol, Service Pistol A and B, PP2 and 1500 are also shot. These shooters have, with an enormous amount of hard work, rebuilt the range. They have even succeeded in getting died-in-the-wool ISU shooters like myself hooked on Pocket Pistol. I particularly enjoy shooting the course with my Walther PPK. If you are interested in trying your hand at Pocket Pistol, PPI or ISU and you live in this part of the world, why not pitch up at Alberton Sport Shooting Club on Saturday afternoon with your CZ70 or Taurus 85. All shooters are most welcome, so come along and give it a try

ABOVE: Pocket Pistol enthusiasts hammer in double taps from the
7m line BELOW: In Pocket Pistol what you carry is what you shoot.
Note  from front  CZ83, Taurus 85. Walther PPK and Taurus 357 3″.

Minimum calibre for Pocket Pistol is 32ACP/7.65mm (for PPI it is .354″/9mm).Maximum permitted barrel length is 3.5-inches (PPI – 6-inches). Any production revolver or semi-auto pistol which complies with the calibre and barrel length requirements may be used. Revolvers suitable for Pocket Pistol are made by Astra, Charter Arms, Colt, Republic Arms, Rossi, Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Taurus while Harrington & Richardson, lver Johnson and Webley pocket revolvers from bygone days will also serve well. Suitable pistols are made by: Astra, Bersa, Beretta, Bernadelli, Colt, CZ, Detonics, Heckler & Koch, Star, S&W, Walther and their various clones. The elderly Webley & Scott 32 Metropolitan Police model can also give a good account of itself. Factory or hand loaded ammunition may be used. 

The most popular pocket guns at my club are the various 38 Special snubbies and the 7.65mm Walther PPK. For my PPK, I use a 79gr cast RN bullet ahead of 2.5gr MP200; OAL is 25mm. This load is very accurate, is totally reliable and is easily controlled for a fast second shot. Not only is it perfect for Pocket Pistol competition, but it is also my “carry” load. I have heard most of the stories about the 32 ACP/7.65mm being stopped by everything from chipboard to thick overcoats, but tell that to Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. The shots that killed them were fired from a 32 calibre Browning 1900 pistol and first had to penetrate the bodywork of their car, and car bodywork in 1914 was pretty solid stuff. When shooting Pocket Pistol, I use the cartridges which I have carried in nay magazine for the previous week or so. 

That way my gun is always loaded with fresh and reliable ammunition – this is very important. It doesn’t pay to “carry” a super hyped-up round which you load and unload frequently but can’t afford to practice with. Cartridges subjected to such treatment can become burred from the extractor or ejector and they may also become contaminated by oil and cleaning fluids

This is how Pocket Pistol does it: You first shoot the “Precision” series – ten shots at 15m within the 100 seconds allowed this –  includes the compulsory reload – the targets face you for 100 seconds before turning away, thus signalling the end of the “precision” series. 

Now the targets start controlling  you  they are set to face you for two seconds and then turn away out of view for five seconds (2F:5A). After scoring and patching your Precision target, you move to the 10 metre mark and fire two more 5-shot strings at the rate of one shot for each 2-second exposure of the target. Reloading time is allowed between each string. Now you move down to 7 metres for some “double-taps”: for this series the target turns to face you only three times for each of your two 5-shot strings. 

You may choose your own firing sequence – the most common sequence is probably 1+2+2; but 2+2+1,but 1+1+3 is not permissible!  However you do it, you fire your full load of 5-shots within the three 2-second exposures of the target; and then repeat the exercise. So a 30-shot Pocket Pistol event comprises three series of IO-shots each. 

The “Precision” shoot at 15 metres; faster single shots with the target turning at 10 metres and finally the double-taps at 7 metres. Your weapon must be held down at 45 between shots. The maximum possible score is 300 – you can score up to 10 points for each of your 30 shots. Pocket Pistol was never intended as a substitute for Practical Pistol, Combat or video situation shoots. But, as a form of quick and simple shooting practice it can bean extremely useful aid to survival in the real world. And the guns used are those chosen because they are easy to carry concealed

SU turning-target frames, altered to hold the slightly larger targets, are used the timers being modified to give two seconds facing and five seconds away. Initially these  can be relatively simple modifications. 

However, Alberton Sports ShootingClub has a very   sophisticated set of timers and a first class set of ranges catering  for  everything from 10 metre air weapon to 50 metre free pistol, including four sets of five turning targets at 25 metres. We also have a new modified range with removable barricades and five sets of two targets at 50 metres, the timers of which can be operatedby remote control. These are suitable for Pocket Pistol, PPI, PP2 1500 and Service Pistol A and B. 

These ranges can be easilydismantled, so 25 and 50 metre ISU events can still be shot on them. Another 50 metre, 12-bay range for ISU still exists for 50 yard and 25 metre shoots. All ranges can be used simultaneously.

Between each series of shots the gun is unloaded and proved to the range officer tobe clear. On completion of each series the shooter moves to the next firing distance before scoring and patching. 

By far the best way to shoot either PPI or Pocket Pistol is at a club, shoulder-to-shoulder on turning targets, but there are other ways. You can use fixed targets and an electronic timer with an ear plug, or with no fancy equipment other than a Walkman type tape-recorder and a tape on which you have recorded times and instructions. 

A few buddies can shoot together if you have a competent range officer with a stop-watch and a whistle. Ear-muffs are essential. 

A holster, stop-watch, speed-loader and or a spare magazine are useful but not absolutely necessary.

The general rules, which apply to both PPI and Pocket Pistol, are:

  1. No malfunctions allowed.
  2. Open sights; ie no Aim-Points or scopes, etc.
  3. No scopes or binoculars may be used; ie no spotting to improve your score.
  4. You can use both hands to shoot.
  5. Start position is “Gun in hand”, arms at 45, shooter facing target.
  6. When shooting a turning target, the gun may not be raised to aim before the target is facing you.
  7. Turning targets face the shooter for two seconds and face away for five seconds.
  8. Targets are scored and patched between each series and scores are signed for at the end of shoot.