New Handgun Division: IPSC Production Optics

    USPSA have been doing the provisional “Carry Optics” for a while now.

    IPSC just decided to let the new Division “Production Optics” have a go as a trial, until the end of December 2020. You can check the IPSC rules in the picture below for details on what is allowed and not.

    The trial means you should be able to compete with others under the same set of rules and Division, but there will be no official medals.

    As a result, there is now a flow of new handguns waiting for approval to the Production Optics list.

    Some people call the new division suitable for old people with poor eyesight, which I think is stupid. Embrace change, embrace new technology and use it to your advantage. If the technology is wrong, time will tell and there will be new solutions.

    Just look at this example from Guns & Ammo, February 1989, and draw your own conclusions. That solution probably didn’t work longer than the battery life of the laser, but you got to start somewhere.

    You’re free to use a laser weapon light in the Open division, but no one does it as it offers no competitive advantages.

    I say the Production Optics is great for all people, regardless of age and their quality of their eyes, and especially for beginners. The red dot reduces the time it takes for beginners to hit their target, and you can focus on things like stance, grip etc.

    I find the co-operation and interface between the shooter, the mechanics of the handgun and the electro-optics of the sight fascinating!  Just follow the dot…what could go wrong? (or Stalin’s lamp, as the Russian snipers say)

    As soon as the new Optics Division was introduced I shot one of the first local IPSC matches with my Glock G17 Gen 4 with a Shield Red Dot (Reflex sight).

    I had very little training beforehand, but still managed to end up 2:nd with 90% on the winner. We were only 4 people shooting this new division, so that may be one of the reasons…

    A pleasant surprise was how easy the Shield Sight was to zero, much easier than my Leupold Deltapoints.

    I would have preferred a Glock 17 MOS over my normal G17, but a combination between the national hassle to change firearm from one firearm to another where I live and Glock releasing a lot of new models has refrained me.

    In any case I had a lot of fun and as a regular Open (Tanfoglio .38 Super major) Shooter, I’m sure I could switch between divisions. Production Optics will save money and – perhaps more importantly – a lot of time and hassle with reloading. But Production Optics is NOT Open. There are shots I would do in Open without hesitation that I would not even think of with my Glock, regardless of which sight I use.

    You can find the latest IPSC Production Optics Division (on trial) regulations below.


    A recent addition to the Optics Division is the Walther PPQ Q4Tac.


    Which would be your favorite pistol in the USPSA Carry Optics or IPSC Production Optics divisions?

    Eric B

    Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6×6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.