The International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts

The International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts (ICORE) is an international community that promotes action shooting – competitive shooting with revolvers. The ICORE shooting sport has elements from Bianchi Cup, IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation), and the Steel Challenge. ICORE matches are for the revolver shooters who really want to engage in a competitive match against the clock in practical stages.

Talking of History, ICORE history spins down to 1991 when a couple who happened to be a long time active shooter in all the handgun sports – Mike and Sharon Higashi – discovered that there was an “arms race”occurring in other action shooting sports at that time. Then, Mike and Sharon founded ICORE – a revolver-only competition that would allow even the most basic equipment to be used and still provide enjoyment and satisfaction. Their aim then, was to create a shooting sport that will serve as an alternative to the “arms race” in other shooting sports. Today, ICORE has active members in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malta, and the United States. So you know, if you’re shooting ICORE, you are not shooting alone.

ICORE Stages

The stages in ICORE are derived from the Bianchi Cup, the Steel Challenge and the IPSC – the variety of stage designs and their shooting styles are the things that keep ICORE shootings interesting, and also provide challenges to most shooters of any level. In a single ICORE match, there may be a stage that will consist of speed shooting non-falling steel plates of various sizes at various distances and heights from a stationary position – this is a steel challenge format.

Another stage might involve engaging primary paper targets from under, over, and either side of various barriers – this is a format of the Bianchi Cup. There might also be another stage that starts while sitting in a chair with the gun and ammo on a table, which will be picked up at the buzzer while targets will be engaged on the move through a shoot house – IPSC format. (If you are not familiar with the IPSC and the Bianchi Cup – do not be scared. I’ll talk about them in my subsequent write-ups). Generally, each stage will be presented to every shooter in the same way – shooting areas, target arrays, target types, props, range commands, etc. Every controllable aspect of the course of fire will definitely be the same for you and every other shooter.

Targets and Scoring

The official targets of the ICORE organization are the NRA D-1 and the NRA AP-1. The NRA D-1 target is commonly called “The Tombstone” and it is the most used because the NRA AP-1 may not be used for classifiers. The tombstone features a four-inch (10.16cm) X-ring in the middle of the target. The X-ring and the next zone constitute the A-zone of eight-inches. This is followed by the B-zone of 12inches and the remaining part of the target is the C-zone. Scoring is done on a “Total Time” basis – A time-plus scoring where the score is the time used by the competitor to complete the course plus time added or subtracted based on hits. Misses or hitting other than A-zones will incur a-time-penalty for you as a shooter.



  • An A-zone hit add zero (0) seconds
  • A B-zone hit will cost you one second
  • A C-zone hit will cost you two seconds
  • Some stages will deduct one second from your time for each X-ring hit
  • A miss will cost you five seconds
  • The premature start will cost you five seconds
  • Foot faults will cost you five seconds
  • Hitting no-shoot will cost you five seconds
  • Failure to hit a stop plate will cost you thirty seconds

This scoring system makes ICORE one of the most accuracy-intensive action revolver games

ICORE Divisions and Special Recognition Categories

There are wide varieties of revolvers allowed in ICORE competitions which can make it difficult for like guns to shoot against like guns, thereby creating an uneven playing field. This is addressed by creating four different divisions – Open; Limited; Limited 6; and Classic – to categorize revolvers.

  • Open division revolvers are allowed to have any conceivable modification. They typically have some kind of optical sight, special barrels and recoil reducing ports or compensators at the end of the barrel.
  • Limited division revolvers may only have iron sights instead of optical sights. The cylinder may be machined to accept moon-clips, and the revolver can have an action-job and accessories like extended mag releases and custom grips.
  • Limited 6 division revolvers have the same requirements as limited, but with a revolver having only six chambers i.e 6-rounds cylinders.
  • Classic division revolvers are 6-shot revolvers with iron sights and factory barrels. They must use speed loaders, not moon clips.


Aside from the divisions, there are Special Recognition Categories (SRCs) approved by ICORE to be used at matches to ensure fair playing ground for all shooters. These categories are:

  • Junior Competitors: must be under-18 on the first day of shooting
  • Senior Competitors (S): must be 55-64 years on the first day of shooting
  • Super Senior Competitors (SS): must be 65-69 years on the first day of shooting
  • Grand Senior Competitors (GS): must be 70+ years on the first day of the shooting
  • Lady Competitors: must be female gender as listed on a government-issued ID
  • Military Competitors: must be Military Personnel on current active duty orders; Retired Military Personnel as indicated on a Military ID
  • Law Enforcement Competitors: must be full-time law enforcement officers; active law enforcement officers with arrest powers; retired law enforcement officers as indicated on the retired officer credentials
  • International Competitors: must be residents of a country outside the host country
  • Snubby: must own a revolver with (a) a barrel of 3-inches or less and (b) a cylinder with a maximum of 6-chambers


Required Equipment and Ammunition

All firearms and related equipment must be in a sufficiently safe condition. The firearms are subjected to inspection cum approval by the Match Director (MD) or the Range Officers (ROs). Then, you’ll need:

  • Revolver(s) with a .32 magnum caliber or greater
  • A holster which will securely hold the firearm
  • A belt strong enough to carry the revolver and ammunition in a safe manner
  • A minimum of five-speed loaders and pouches to hold the loaders
  • A cylinder brush and a bag/box to carry your gear
  • Eye and ear protection equipment
  • Your ammunition must produce a minimum of 120 power factor – which is calculated by multiplying the weight of the bullet in grains by the speed of the bullet in feet per second

Range Commands

ICORE range commands have been based on the assumption that you’ll present yourself to the starting position with your firearm unloaded and holstered, prepared to shoot the course of fire. The RO will then give commands as we have in the Steel Challenge.

Safety Rules

Alongside the safety rules of handling firearms, ICORE operates a “cold range” during the match – This function is on the basis for safety. All revolvers must remain unloaded and not handled unless under the direct supervision of the RO in the range. Unloaded firearms may be handled in designated areas only.

Wrapping it Up

In ICORE, there are chances for you to re shoot – though, these chances are based on some circumstances. Also, there are classifications that range from Grand Master (GM) to D-class which are used for the various divisions. This classification levels will give you the opportunity to shoot with other shooters of your performance level.

Indeed,! ICORE has all-round consideration. ICORE has solved the problem of a definite disadvantage that revolver shooters face in action pistol games. My recommendation: If you are thinking of shooting with a revolver in a fast-paced action competition, then go for ICORE.

Once again, Thanks for reading. If you ever have any questions, concerns or comments feel free to leave them below.

Have a Great Day! five-charlie-bullet


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