Hit Factor Scoring

Scoring, Power Factor, and Hit Factor

Navigating the complexities of USPSA practical shooting competition can seem daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the unique scoring system. Join us as we delve deep into the intricacies of power factor, hit factors, and match points, guided by the expertise of John Scoutten. Whether you're just beginning your journey or looking to sharpen your competitive edge, this video offers invaluable insights to optimize your strategy and approach in USPSA events.

Understanding How
Practical Shooting Sports are Scored

Power Factor and Points

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Hit Factor and Points Per Second

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Match Points and Percentages

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Power Factor and Points

USPSA competitions infuse every shot with a sense of purpose: earning points. The number of points you earn, however, is influenced by both your accuracy and the power factor of your firearm:

  • A Zone Hits: Universally, these are your golden shots, consistently earning you 5 points, irrespective of your gun's power factor.

Major Power Factor Guns:

  • Spanning divisions like open, limited, and single stack.
  • C Zone Hits: 4 points
  • D Zone Hits: 2 points
  • Remember: Choosing to shoot minor power factor with these guns significantly elevates the importance of accuracy.

Minor Power Factor Guns:

  • Encapsulating divisions such as production and carry optics.
  • C Zone Hits: 3 points
  • D Zone Hits: 1 point
  • Note: These guns cannot be switched to shoot major power factor.

Steel targets add a tactile layer to the competition. They're valued at 5 points, but they demand more than just a hit—they must be knocked down to count.


Power Factor


Power Factor
A Zone Hits

5 Points

5 Points

C Zone Hits

4 Points

3 Points

D Zone Hits

2 Points

1 Point

Steel Targets

5 Points

Must Fall to Score

5 Points

Must Fall to Score

Hit Factor and Points Per Second

To compute the Hit Factor:

  1. Points: The shooter earns points based on the accuracy of their shots. Different scoring zones on a target correspond to different point values. For instance, in USPSA, an "A" zone hit typically awards the full point value (e.g., 5 points), while peripheral hits in the "C" or "D" zones might award fewer points or even result in penalties.

  2. Time: The shooter's total time, typically recorded with electronic timers that detect the sound of gunshots, represents how long it took them to complete the course of fire.

  3. Hit Factor Calculation: Hit Factor = Total Points / Total Time

For example, if a shooter scores 125 points in a time of 25 seconds, their hit factor is:
Hit Factor = 125 / 25 = 5

Match Percentage

Understanding Match Percentage:

  • After understanding the intricacies of Power Factors, Target Scoring, and Hit Factors, there's one more crucial metric in USPSA scoring: the Match Percentage.
  • Match Percentage provides a relative measure of how a shooter's performance stacks up against the top shooter in a given match.

How is Match Percentage Calculated?

  1. Determine the Top Shooter: The shooter with the highest total points across all stages in a match is considered the top shooter. Their total points become the benchmark for all other competitors.

  2. Calculate Individual Percentage: For each shooter, their total points are divided by the top shooter's total points, then multiplied by 100 to get their Match Percentage.

Why is Match Percentage Important?

  • Relative Performance: It gives shooters a clear idea of where they stand in comparison to the best performance in that match.
  • Consistency Over Time: By tracking Match Percentages over multiple matches, shooters can gauge their progress and consistency in the sport.
  • Strategic Insights: Understanding where you stand percentage-wise can influence your strategy in future matches. For instance, if you're consistently scoring at 90% of the top shooter, you might adjust your approach to push for that extra 10%.


  • While Hit Factor provides a snapshot of your performance on individual stages, Match Percentage offers a broader view of your standing in the entire match.
  • As with all aspects of USPSA, the goal is continuous improvement. By understanding and analyzing your Match Percentage, you're better equipped to set goals, refine your techniques, and climb the ranks in the world of practical shooting.

Understanding the intricacies of USPSA scoring is crucial for any competitor aiming for success. It's not just about shooting fast, but shooting smart. With a clear grasp of power factor, hit factor, and match points, you're one step closer to mastering the USPSA competition.

For more details on divisions, equipment, and further scoring nuances, checkout USPSA!

Learn More about USPSA and Steel challenge
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