IPAS is back at BFTO 

If you are a BFTO member (or Probationary member) drop an email to ipas@bfto.org.uk to be kept up to date with the dates of the next shoot.


NEXT SHOOT 10:30 AM Sunday 9th February 2020

January 2020 result

2019 Results 

December results (Latest)

November results

October Results

September Results

August results

July results


What is I.P.A.S?

I.P.A.S or Iron plate Action Shooting is a fast paced pistol speed shooting discipline where the shooter has to hit three to five 10" steel plates set up at distances of 5-18 meters as quickly as possible against the clock. Shooters use a mixture of gas powered guns firing 177 pellets/BB's and 6mm BBs

You have a maximum of 10 shots (per five target round). The course set up below saw BFTO shooters achieve best times of between 4-5 seconds.  



Iron plate action shooting goes back a long way and in the days when shooters in the UK were allowed to own bullet firing pistols and was particually popular for those owning fast firing semi-automatics. Whilst live firing pistol I.P.A.S  died out in the UK due to the UK firearms law changes it remains very popular in many forms around the world.

In the UK we only have one choice - to use multi-shot CO2/gas powered pistols - but dont let that fool you - this is still loads of fun and can be very challenging.


An overview and how you get involved.


Time to dust off that old replica CO2 or Airsoft pistol - or visit the gunshop!


The IPAS target set up is very simple - in its most basic form, it is three or five 10-12" square steel plates mounted on wooden posts at various heights (normally from around 2-5 feet high) at distances of 5 - 18 Metres.

In a five target set up, four of the targets are normally painted white or yellow, with the fifth or "STOP" plate usually red or blue. 

The targets are arranged either side by side in a straight line or can be staggered or arranged in an arc with a mixture of distances and heights.

A fixed shooting position is marked with a 1-meter square box, and all shots are taken standing (if for medical / disability reasons the shooter need to shoot from a sitting position this is allowed  - the gun must, however, be unsupported).

If the video below will not play in your browser - click on the small facebook button which will take you to the orginal post.


The object is simple - hit all of the white plates in any order and finish your run by hitting the red stop plate.

Each run is timed from the first shot to last with a referee confirming all plates have been hit. 

Competitors shoot the course 5 times with their fastest four times being added together to create a final score.

You can take up to 10 shots to hit all of the targets, which apart from the stop plate can be shot in any order you choose. Obviously the more shots you take the slower your time will be!

At BFTO we will have adoped the held starting position - i.e. where the competitor holds the pistol downwards (45 deg)  prior to being given the command to start. Many IPAS clubs insist that the starting position be that of hands held next to your head with the pistol being "drawn" from a holster. 

Since IPAS holsters can be expensive and are very gun/shooter specific it is felt at this time that to make the events more accessible to everyone we do not need to force people to buy an additional kit.


What types of guns can you use?

Any pellet or BB firing CO2 pistol (177 pellet, 177 BB or 6mm BB) may be used with either open or red dot sights. This includes the wide range of replica semi-autos and revolvers. The most important points are - reasonable accuracy, fast cycling and reliability to delivery 5-10 shots to target without jams.

No type of stock will be permitted. Guns can be help in one or two hands.

Given that top times are under 5 seconds single shot pistols are not suitable simply because they take too long to reload making the shooter uncompetitive.


Ammunition required

The pistol must hold some kind of magazine (BB, rotary or belt fed for instance) and be capable of shooting with either 177 lead pellets, 177 plastic BB's, 177 lead cooper coated BBs or 6mm plastic airsoft BB's.

Steel BBs will not be permitted due to the dangers of ricochet when shooting these close range metal targets. 

The gun must be able to shoot a minimum of five shots without needing to be re-loaded (more realistically most people - at least to start with, will need 8-10 shots to complete each round).

Larger capacity magazines (i.e. up to 30 off shots) are permitted but must only be loaded with a maximum of 10 shots per round. This is about speed and accuracy, not the number of shots fired. Competative shooters wanting to achieve sub 5 second or better times only get there by hitting all five targets using only 5 shots per round !

You will need to be able to re-load the gun quickly between rounds (ideally you should have additional magazines that can be swapped out quickly)


Whilst there are those who spend fortunes on specific guns for FT/HFT/Paper punching the IPAS sport really has more to do with the shooter speed and accuracy.

How much does it cost?

IPAS at BFTO is very accessible there is no additional charge for competing and you do not need an expensive pistol - a reasonable quality magazine fed blow back/non blow back from one of the leading pistol makers will cost you less than £130 and be more than capapble in the right hands. Indeed currently the most expensive gun in play at BFTO is probably the Umarex CP88 pro (cost under £200). 


So if you have a Glock, Beretta or 1911 replica, etc etc sitting on your shelf because it was not accurate enough for paper target shooting now may well be the best time to dust it off and enjoy it!


A set of I.P.A.S Rules can be viewed via a PDF Download HERE (if anyone finds more up to date rules please let us know) Please bear in mind that these are six years old and contain references to airsoft which do not apply at BFTO (we will allow any type of CO2 or Airsoft pistol).

For more information here are a couple of good links:





Helpful gun shops - The following two gun shops will give BFTO Members decent discounts against guns and other air gun kit .

They both stock the right kinds of pistols for IPAS:

Tackle Up Fleet (12 miles from BFTO) - http://www.tackleupfleet.com/

Crawley Surplus (40 miles from BFTO)  - https://www.surplusstore.co.uk/

There are of course other local gun shops but the above two are to our knowledge the only ones offering specific discounts for our members.


A big thank you to Kev Butler and Paul Hargreaves for donating time and materials to produce our IPAS targets

Shoots will be held on Sponsors which provides plenty of room for creative target layouts.


To be kept up to date with the first IPAS shoot please email Paul Hyatt at IPAS@bfto.org.uk

Practice and competition shoots will be open only to current BFTO members and BFTO Probationary members.

Please note dress code: No Camo or military clothing to be worn for IPAS practice or competition sessions. This is speed shooting, not combat training !