New USPSA Rule Changes were recently announced by the USPSA headquarters which in some cases significantly change the way competitors organize themselves as far as divisions go. In the press release on the USPSA website, it was announced that every day carry holster positions would now be allowed in both the Production and Carry Optics divisions, as well as a few other clarifications and modifications which are stated below.
New USPSA Rule Changes Announced For All Divisions
USPSA competition rules were adjusted to reflect changes in equipment position requirements for Production, Single Stack, and Carry Optics, as well as the addition of a firearm-mounted flashlight.
In the February 2021 USPSA Board of Directors Meeting, a few rules were updated in the firearm equipment appendices to make placement of pistols and magazine pouches consistent in all USPSA Divisions. The goal is to make the process easier for members to understand and less subjectively enforced at matches, resulting in fewer competitors moved to a less competitive division for their firearm at registration, and even fewer moved to Open Division because of their holster or magazine pouch position. This less restrictive change will allow members to use their “every day carry” holster position for Production and Carry Optics Divisions without being moved to Limited or Open where the holster position is less restrictive.
With regard to the same consistent application of division equipment rules, the use of a firearm-mounted light was also approved. This should also result in fewer competitors being moved to a division where their firearm, usually their defensive firearm, is not competitive. Allowing the use of a functional mounted light to a firearm that meets division weight and size limit otherwise will allow those members to compete in a division where their firearm is most competitive.
Please note that all other rules including the type of holster, height of the firearm, and distance from the belt have not changed.
The Single Stack Division weight limit was increased to accommodate a wider variety of factory produced pistols common in the marketplace, specifically in 9mm.
Here are the specific changes to the rules:
o App. D2-D7, Item 14 – Changed to ‘Yes, must be functional’
o App. D4, D5, D7, Item 12 – Removed reference to App. E3
o App. D4, D5, D7, Item 20, 4th bullet point – Removed ‘Magazines may not be retained through magnetic means.’
o App. E3 – Deleted bottom diagram showing equipment position in relation to hip bones
o App. D5, Item 18 – Maximum single stack weight with empty mag increased from 43 oz. to 45 oz.
Some of the rule changes such as the decision to increase the weight limit placed on single-stack pistols are great as this provides competitors more room to choose a pistol they can either afford or want to use – more variety is always better. I think that some competitors will not be so happy with changes that allow different holster positions in the carry optics and production division. However, I can see how the USPSA would want to allow some shooters to participate in these divisions and keep their holster and magazine pouch positions as this eliminates a single competitor showing up to a match and participating against themselves in that division.
For those of you who compete in the USPSA, how do you feel about the changes listed above? Will this improve the overall quality and clarity of the competition or should the divisions have stayed the same? Thoughts and comments always welcome below.
All Photos Acquired from the USPSA Website