In Memory of Jan Foss (1938-2021)

    Jan Foss with Max Michel (left) and Travis Tomasie (right). Picture from Lars Syversen.

    Earlier this summer we were notified that the winner of the first official IPSC Handgun World Champion, Jan Foss from Norway, sadly had passed away at the age of 82 on June 12, 2021. Mr. Foss became the World Champion in practical shooting in 1976 during the IPSC Handgun World Shoot II in Salzburg, Austria, and we wanted to publish a notice here on TFB to commemorate him.

    The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) was founded in 1976, so the 1975 World Shoot is considered to be unofficial.

    Jan Foss

    Jan Foss (with the medal) and Lars Lars Syversen.

    Mr. Folke Myrvang is writing a book about IPSC Shooting and its development in Norway specifically. He helped us with these words and some of the attached pictures:

    JAN FOSS 1938-2021

    Jan Foss was born before the World War 2 and worked and lived in Oslo, Norway for most of his life. He did a stint as a sailor in the mid 50’s but worked mostly as an electrician before retirement.
    Jan’s hobbies were shooting and hunting and he was a very active shooter throughout his whole adult life. In the early 1970’s he was a founding member of “Stridsskytterligaen” in 1974, which took its rules from the Southwest Pistol League and predeceeded IPSC with two years.

    Jan was already one of Norways top pistol shooters in the Nordic field pistol genre and the early form of combat shooting suited him fine.
    Seemingly with nerves of steel, Jan would often win competitions and was one of the many shooters from Norway that signed on for the second combat pistol World Shoot in Berndorf, Austria in 1976. Norway was an unknown nation in this type of shooting, but had many good shooters that were fully prepared for the challenge.

    IPSC had been formed only a few months previously and the first world shoot had been held in Switzerland the year before. The Norwegians had not been able to go to the 1975 match, but would make up for this in the Austrian event.
    When the dust settled, five Norwegian shooters were among the top ten! Jan Foss had won the title in a relatively small match that only had 48 shots fired for points. One field course of 30 rounds and 3 speed shoots of 6 rounds each. With a small match like this, every single round counts of course.
    The other four Norwegians were Vidar Nakling (5th), Erik Braathen (7th), Johnny Hoffmann (9th) and Svein Tangen (10th).

    After the 1976 world shoot, Jan never shot IPSC again. He had nothing to gain from it and concentrated on other fields of shooting. In his later years he shot claybirds and various rifle programs and hunted. He was a very nice guy and helpful as well as a fierce competitor with a great sense of humor.
    He passed away after a bicycle accident in Oslo where he suffered a hemmorage to the brain. Before the accident he was in great shape and it was sad to see him pass.

    Below you can see Jan Foss with Robert Vogel.

    Picture by Lars Syversen.

    Below is a picture from the Norwegian magazine Aftenposten after IPSC World Shoot 1976.

    Translated: “Jan Foss – Trigger happy World Champion”

    Jan Foss used a 9×19 mm single stack SIG P210 in minor power factor with an 8 round capacity. (Source).

    For more information, you can check Jan Foss on Wikipedia.

    Thanks to Folke Myrvang and we look forward to reading his book.

    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. TCCC Certified medic.