Laugo Arms Alien pistol – Practical Shooting Rules setback (Optics)

    TFB has covered the Laugo Arms Alien Pistol several times, and I had my first look at it at IWA in Germany this spring. Unfortunately there was no opportunity to shoot one, but a few friends ordered one and are waiting for delivery. I am looking forward to try and evaluate one, the concept looks really interesting but comes with a price of course. The local European dealer lists it at 4.500 USD (Alien 500 without VAT/tax).

    Laugo Arms describe their Alien as “…a revolutionary semiautomatic pistol with several patented and unique technical solutions. Alien system of operation does not use obsolete locking mechanisms or normal trigger mechanism.” You can check the details at Laugo Arms Homepage here.

    In a statement from the technical commité of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC), they have clarified how they see on the legality of the Alien pistol

    In short, it is approved for the Production Division, but Alien (pun intended) to Production Optics Division.

    The reason? A hint is in the name of the “slide“, as something that slides. On the Alien pistol the Optics mounts on the frame of the pistol, and doesn’t move (slide), which is against the rules in Prod Optics.

    So if you put an Optic of any kind on the Alien, you will find yourself in the Open division.

    Below: The Alien pistol, front view, laying down.


    Here’s the ruling letter from the IPSC in full:


    There has been quite some confusion about the legality of the Alien Pistol from Laugo Arms with the IPSC Production Optics Division.

    The Alien Pistol has been approved in Production Division. Therefore, the pistol can also be used in Production Optics Division. But regarding the mounting of the optical sight in this division, the rule says:
    APPENDIX D4a: Production Optics Division

    19. Optical/electronic sights must be mounted on the upper rear of the slide either in addition to, or replacement of, the rear open sight.

    * The crucial point now is what is the slide on the Laugo Arms Alien?
    * Laugo Arms maintains that the fixed part above the moving slide is part of the slide. They call it a “slide rail”, the upper part of the slide. It whilst firing is non-moving, is detachable and can be replaced.
    * Contrary to that the IPSC Executive Council came to the unanimous decision that the slide of a pistol is a ”moving” part which is closing the rearward part of the chamber or carries the bolt which does this. What Laugo arms calls a slide rail is not directly attached to the slide. In the general understanding a slide rail on a pistol slide has to be fixed to or on the slide and is moving with the slide.

    * As a result, the Laugo Arms Alien Pistol can only be used in Production Optics Division if the optical sight is mounted on the moving slide and not on the part Laugo arms calls the “upper part” of the slide which is not moving.

    Friedrich Gepperth
    IPSC Technical Director

    Below is a copy of the letter:


    Laugo Arms Czechoslovakia were quick to reply on Facebook:

    Dear Laugo fans, as you all know we have been listed in IPSC production division.

    The approval took place at IWA 2019 under supervision of president IPSC mr. Vitaly Kryuchin, technical director Fridrich Gepperth, president Czech IPSC Roman Sedy and President Extreme World Cup Lubor Novak.

    At the same time it has been confirmed by these gentlemen that the ALIEN pistol is compliant to the Production Optics division as it is. After our approval mr Jakub Sondel from CZ shooting team claimed that he will use all his powers and leverages of big manufacturer to ban the ALIEN from both production division and production optics division.

    The situation culminated at Infinity Open in Germany where there was a protest against shooter who used ALIEN in production optics, even though he was let to compete throughout the whole competiton he was shifted to the open at the end. After our pressure on IPSC to be clear what is happening they released attached letter.

    In non formal telephone call we have been explained that as a small manufacturer we don’t have the same position as the big ones, because the organization must maintain good relationship with the biggest sponsors of the sport.

    We will continue in our effort to change the obsolete rules and overall culture of the IPSC in accordance with IPSC constitution which says: To improve and advance practical shooting. We believe that current decision is contrary to that and therefore it is not final.

    There is a paralel in World Rally Championship when there was All Wheel drive QUATTRO vehicles introduced they smashed the competition. Can you imagine where we would be if FIA would ban AWD from competing? Please share this and put the pressure on your local IPSC authorities

    Below: Example of Alien bore axis and muzzle climb in a video.

    I don’t know the USPSA rules well enough, so please read this as an advice only and for discussion. I think the rules are to be read as for IPSC, so the Alien would not be Carry Optics legal here either.

    Source: Page 103 USPSCA Competition Rules (large pdf)

    APPENDIX D7 – Carry Optics Division

    Optical/electronic sights permittedOptical/electronic sightsREQUIRED; must be attached directly to slide between rear of slide and ejection port, and may not be mounted to the frame in any way

    There are a lot of comments on social media, with two sides fighting for their opinion.

    As much as I love the development of the Laugo Arms Alien pistol, the rules are clear and have always been. A slide is a slide, and it slides.

    On the Alien pistol the Optics isn’t mounted on the slide, unless – of course – Laugo Arms make a solution for this. Sometimes the design is a strength, sometimes it’s a weakness.

    What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

    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 and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too. TCCC Certified medic.