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MCpl Tzoweh at the Canada National Handgun Championship

MCpl Dani Tzoweh is seen during competition at the 2023 IPSC Canada Handgun National Championship. SUBMITTED

MCpl Tzoweh at the Canada National Handgun Championship

By MCpl Dani Tzoweh,
Canadian Forces National Investigation Service Atlantic Region

On the beep, I dropped the basketball and drew my pistol as I launched to the left position. Leaning around some barrels, I shot quick controlled pairs into four targets, carefully avoiding the “no-shoot” targets placed to slow competitors down. 

As soon as I fired my eighth shot, I slammed in a new magazine while sprinting back to the middle, crouching low to engage three small targets set under a wall. The awkward position led me to accidentally shoot the edge of the wall instead of the target, so I sent another round as fast as I could. I drove to the last position, reloading as I moved – my eyes locked on to the last four targets. Firing quickly, I completed this stage of competition with a total of 106 points out of a maximum of 110, in 13.85 seconds. My performance placed me 7th in Canada on this stage; however, there were another 17 stages to shoot, all with very different challenges.

I was fortunate to represent Team Nova Scotia at the 2023 IPSC Canada Handgun National Championship from August 7-12 in Manitoba, with the support of my unit, PSP, and CFB Halifax. I competed against over 400 other shooters, with 105 in my own division.

International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) is a global practical shooting sport that seeks to combine accuracy, speed, and power. It demands short and long-range athletic movement, high-level pistol handling skills, and strategy. Scoring is defined by your points on the targets shot, divided by the time. There is always a delicate balance between accuracy and pushing hard to get the fastest time.

The shooters ranged from teenagers to the “Super-Senior” division, with pistols ranging from off-the-shelf Glocks and Sigs to custom, hand-built works of art that easily cost over $15,000. Luckily, different kinds of pistols are ranked in their own Division, such as Production (essentially off-the-shelf), Revolver, Production Optics (pistols with red dot sights), and Open (anything goes).

After 18 stages, all of various lengths and difficulty, I placed 20th in the country in the Production Division, with 81.67% of the winner’s score. Although we also shot with, and competed against other teams, we all showed camaraderie and helped each other with stage strategy and advice. Most of all, we all had a blast.

I’ve found that training IPSC provides me with excellent motivation to increase my fitness and athleticism. The ability to place rounds in precise spots at ranges, from point-blank up to 50 yards or more, while moving under extreme time pressure, is directly applicable to my career in the CAF. I have run into many other CAF members at matches who feel the same way. In fact, IPSC style practical shooting training is being conducted at the highest levels of various militaries, and has completely replaced the Swedish military’s basic marksmanship training. Moving forward, I look forward to training hard, shooting the Nova Scotia Provincials and the Atlantic Championship, and doing better at the 2024 Nationals.