Author Topic: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?  (Read 2603 times)

Offline Chief-USN

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Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« on: May 27, 2010, 12:36:12 PM »
 I am going to get into IDPA shooting. Do any of you shoot it? If so, any recommendations as to Firearms and/or modifications to help an "Older" Gentleman shooting against Youngsters?

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Offline JHatmaker

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2010, 12:54:43 PM »
A couple manufacturers make factory models that are specifically made to compete in IDPA (better triggers, better sights and grips, beveled magazine wells)

The first gun that comes to mind is SIG's P226. I own several and they are one of my favorite pistols to shoot. Very accurate out of the box, dead reliable...

1911's are obviously pretty popular, not in just .45 ACP, but 9mm models a lot of manufacturers are making these days.  STI makes some decent guns w/ a lot of great features for your money.
Is that a 9mm in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Offline theirishguard

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 01:53:26 PM »
Chief, your new pistol should work great. take a look at Milt
Sparks leather, both for their summer special holster and OWB holster and a good belt with mag pouches. Tom
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Offline hedrok

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010, 02:39:07 PM »
Chief...There are several "mind sets" for IDPA competition, as I have found out in the last 5 years or so.  I can only speak from my point of view, though.  
For me...this is real life practice for something I really don't want to see up close and personal...so some of the "rules" are counter productive to my purpose.  The groups that are dead set serious on the competition factor leave some things out of the equation like the BG is likely shooting back at you.  In the serious groups around here, more emphasis is placed on whether you drop a mag with rounds in it rather than "slicing the pie" and maintaining as much cover as possible.  You'll get "dinged" for the mag...but the BG could have emptied his gun into the half of your body you exposed and no "ding."
There are groups that are less competitive, but are more realistic in their approach to the sport and you just need to go to a few matches and you'll find the slow and deadly group.
Also...shoot whatever fullsize gun you carry.  Rohrbaughs are fine carry guns...but in IDPA it would not work except for the BUG matches...when you're limited to 5 rds.  Quick mag changes are almost not possible with R9s...and...the gun really was not designed to be shot that much.  Also, the training will carry over to smaller guns.
One last thought...ALWAYS practice IDPA from "concealment."  That's how you will carry in the real world...that's how you should practice.

Offline Ljutic

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2010, 03:11:07 PM »
Having recently started IDPA matches within the last year, I can give you some idea of what you are in for.

For me, IDPA is an awesome practice exercise for marksmanship and thinking on your feet.  I have zero intention of ever taking the qualifier and competing in IDPA events.  With that said, here's a few things I learned along the way.

If you have not visited this website yet, you should before you get started.  http://www.idpa.com/  The website explains the structure of the classification system and gives you an idea of what equipment you will need to get started.

I had a Springfield XDm 9mm sitting new in the box so I chose it for my IDPA gun.  It's currently box stock, but I am considering upgrading the sights to a fiber optic front and target rear arrangement.  I don't think I will be getting any trigger work done, but that may change if I find myself at an improvement pateau.

As far as tips go, the group I shoot with are some of the most competitive shooters in the state.  So all rules are followed and points are deducted for failure to slice the pie and other procedural errors.  I'm never prepared for the match ahead of time because I have yet to see the same exact stage set up twice in a row.  It's always best to get in line several shooters deep in the order so you can do the course of fire walk through, then observe how others address the course before it's your turn.  Also pay attention on the range officer commands.  Understand what they mean and get comfortable with them.  There are only a few, but they are very important to everyone's safety.

A few tips for your first time out.  GO SLOW.  Don't feel compelled to rush through the stages.  Take your time and concentrate on hits.  Speed will come with experience.  Demoralizing scores will come from rushing when you are just starting IDPA shooting.  If the club agrees, don't worry about concealment on your first few shoots.  It's just one more thing to deal with and worry about.  Add your 5.11 tactical vest after several shoots when you are feeling more comfortable.

In closing, there really isn't much of a parallel in IDPA shooting and daily carry of a pocket gun.  The draw will be different and the situation will not be staged.  For me the real value of IDPA comes from the need to move while shooting instead of just punching holes in a stationary target.  It teaches the basic techniques like shooting from cover.  It gets the adrenaline pumping when you step up to the line and it will show you all your faults immediately.  I had really bad issues maintaining proper grip.  Again, you don't get this shooting at a static target during your typical range session.  At least I don't.  

Instead of shooting against the rest of the group, I shoot against myself.  I try to shoot all stages 2x each night.  My goal is to do better on the second attempt than the first attempt.  In the 6 months or so I've been shooting, I have gotten to the middle of the pack on many nights.  That's good enough for me.
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Offline hedrok

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2010, 04:22:04 PM »
Hey, Ljutic,  I like your more methodical answer and approach better than mine.  I skipped a lot of things.
Well said.

Offline kjtrains

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2010, 05:15:17 PM »
hedrok and Ljutic.  Both of you give good information on The International Defensive Pistol Association.  I didn't know what that was, really, so thanks for the info.  
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Offline DanR9SF

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2010, 05:44:08 PM »
Massad is a big fan of IDPA.  He's also on the Board of the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network!

http://backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/2009/09/30/idpa-national-championships/
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Offline Aglifter

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2010, 09:03:37 PM »
+1 on SLOW.  Keep them in the "0", really.  An occasional "1" won't hurt your score, but the vast majority of your shots need to be in the "0".  

It changed how I carry - for one, I know always carry something I can get a full grip on, in addition to the pup.  You quickly notice an increase in sight radius as well.  I've also, almost, resigned my beloved revolvers to hunting sidearms, nightstand guns, and things to carry around the house - admittedly, I don't have one of those 8 shot 357 models.  

I have a GGI worked over P226, switching to a G17 or my G31 made an immediate improvement on my score.  

If you see a jam, it will be a stock 1911.  You will, probably, never see a stock polymer gun jam.  If you do carry a 1911, buy one from a custom maker, shoot the heck out of it to ensure it actually does function, or, possibly, by a S&W one - my buddy has had good luck w. his, so far.  But he usually shoots, and carries, those built by Hank Fleming.  

If you want to buy something competitive, a G35 or G34  - buy 40 minor for the G35, is probably, your best bet.  The XDs are great guns, but are penalized under to classification system - probably because the triggers are much better than a stock Glock trigger.  

I don't know how the M&Ps are classified, but I do know quite a few people are happy w. their pro line.  
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Offline Ljutic

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2010, 11:53:46 PM »
Stock Glocks fall in the Stock Service Pistol category.  The M&Ps fall in this class as well.  Abbreviated it's called SSP.

XDs and XDms fall in the Enhanced Service Pistol category due to their strikers being pre-cocked during cycling.  The trigger only releases the striker while the Glock and M&P draw back the striker then release it.  The Springfields aren't classified as true double actions like the SSPs.  There really is nothing nice about a stock XD trigger.  They have more pre-travel and over-travel than you can shake a stick at.  The good news is that they can easily and fairly cheaply be turned into a quality competition trigger.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2010, 11:54:25 PM by Ljutic »
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Offline MJSeif

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 01:13:04 AM »
I use a slicked up Glock 35 -- Polished up the trigger bar/sear, light trigger connector, extended release, and I carry it all in a horribly uncomfortable kydex sidearmor belt holster with accompanying mag carriers...because I'm competitive and like to win.  IDPA is good practice but, at least in my local clubs, the emphasis is really on the competitive side of the house.  Do you reload?  A LOT of cats there reload -- A LOT.  They bring their full-size (and weight) pistols that they never carry publicly and fire powder puff loads that juuuuust barely make the minimum 'power factor'.  If you're shooting IDPA to practice your skills you HAVE to go into it with that mindset and IMHO use the same holsters and pistols that you carry (w/in reason).  In my case that would be a Glock 33 in a hidden holsters IWB clip-on, w/ my spare mags in a cargo pocket.  In that regard, BUG matches at IDPA events, I think, tend to be some of the more realistic events.  I get that the skills are transferable no matter what you're shooting, but if you're being SUPER honest with yourself, you could use your R9 and carry a TON of spares -- and be completely non-competitive.

All that said -- if you're trying to get an edge, keep it simple and familiar to what you already know.  Holsters, pistols, mag carriers, everything.  For example, you wouldn't believe how many people forget to take off their manual safeties when they try to fire their first round of the stage (i.e. use a glock or m&p).  Another is folks who carry in a low or hi-ride holster regularly and, because of the comp holster they try to use, they drop or fumble with their pistol b/c of the difference in height/cant.  Just some food for thought for those considering an investment into IDPA.    It is fun though!
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Offline Reinz

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 12:43:13 PM »
MJ - so you are saying there two camps: the "competives", who are just playing a game ane want to win; and then the "carries", who want emulate real life and practice such?
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Offline MJSeif

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 02:00:30 PM »
Essentially, yes.  Though, like others I DO agree that any practice is still transferable to some extent to all your pieces.  For all intensive purposes though, I find the score-keeping and ranking system to be a little counter-productive towards actual practical skill development (even some of the rules too).  It's just how you perceive your purpose in shooting at the events.  I mean, everything involving shooting/carrying ends up being some sort of compromise in the end, so beggars can't be choosers when it comes to opportunities to fire your weapon.  If you want to shoot/practice and have a fun time, it's still well worth it.  

There is NO shame whatsoever of showing up, shooting, and going for your own personal best.  I find most IDPA events VERY welcoming, friendly, and understanding of ALL skill-levels (as long as you're safe!) and understanding/accommodating of all disabilities/limitations.  Lots of people show up to do their own thing there - try out new weapons, ammo reliability, collect other peoples' spent brass (seriously, it's like I have a puppy-vacuum at my heels the whole time since I don't care about my cases), and watch.  Don't let the folks who take it seriously intimidate you -- they're all there to share in the same interest and have a good time.  After my first match, I was invited out by a group of shooters for pizza and beer.  A lot of GREAT people shoot and show up for IDPA matches and I would encourage anyone to try it out.  
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Offline Reinz

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Re: Getting into IDPA, any recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 03:27:06 PM »
Thanks for the insight.

Sounds less intimidating than the IPSIC I used to do 20 years ago.

It was fiercely competitive 100%.

Not many smiles  :(  until the match was over.  :)
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