View Full Version : What type of guns to get started in competitive shooting? Noob here...
November 1, 2005, 09:24 PM
I am interested in getting into competitive handgun shooting (IPDA/USPSA)
What would be the recommended "essential" pistols and/or revolvers to have to start?
As you can see from my signature I have a couple of semi's and revolvers, I know the semi's are no good for competition but I'm not sure about the revolvers.
I am unfamiliar with what the different competitive classes are and what kinds of pistols are "legal" in each class.
Do people use polymer guns, steel guns, full size, compact, sub-compact?
I have been reading a little about it and I know I probably won't be in the "open" class for a while. :p
What types of guns would you recommend for a beginner to start with?
I am planning on buying a couple of 9mm's, a .40 and a .45 over the next few months, the 9mm's will probably be bought this weekend.
I am thinking about the Beretta PX4, CZ75B, XD-9, SW3913 (for the wife)
Thanks for any advice you can give a noob.
November 1, 2005, 09:30 PM
If I were you I would buy a G17 or an XD in 9mm and shoot it in production class. They are by far the most popular guns in production class around here and for good reason, they work.
Shoot production for a while, see how you like the game in general, gain some basic skills, and then decide what you want to do.
November 2, 2005, 02:14 AM
Just my 2 cents, Choose what the game is going to do for you. If you are in the game to win then look at what the winners shoot and use that. The winners have spent alot of time and money to get there and you should profit from their hard work.
If you are living life serious then take a legal gun that you would really carry and do it like you mean it. Think what it's all about. Either way you will like the results because competition strengthens the heart of man.
November 2, 2005, 07:48 AM
The Answer is Glock. There are more Glocks in IDPA SSP and USPSA Production than all the rest combined. Most are 9mms for the cheap ammo. Don't let anybody tell you that a G17 or even a G34 is a game gun, they are serious weapons, quite portable. Even the G34 is no larger than a 1911 and much lighter.
If your wife shows an interest, let her shoot your Glock or whatever and then pick her own pistol. Do not hamstring her with a pocket pistol like a 3913 unless she just loves it.
November 2, 2005, 10:53 AM
The Ruger will do for an intro revolver gun, so long as you have the correct speed loaders for it. Competition loaders are acceptable for USPSA, but NOT for IDPA, which requires concealable gear.
SERIOUS revolver shooters use S&W 625s (.45 ACP), although a 610 (.40/10mm) would also work. Hard to beat moon clips for fast reloads.
Autos? Yes, a Glock is a good choice for Production, it also makes competing in Glock Shooting Sports Foundation events possible. Not terribly expensive, reliable and 9mm is fairly cheap.
If you want to shoot Limited or Limited - 10, you're talking a 1911 in .40 or .45, in that order.
The REAL question is, "What would you LIKE to shoot?"
November 2, 2005, 06:48 PM
If you are going to kick the tires of both sports, then a 9mm or .40 Glock would be a great choice. I'm not sold on their "legendary reliability", but they are cheap and parts are readily available. An IDPA-legal rig, with two double mag pouches and five 10-round mags, will suit you for IDPA Stock Service Pistol and Enhanced Service Pistol divisions, and USPSA Production and Limited 10 Divisions. SSP and Production are the natural homes for the gun, but depending the size of your local matches, you may want to shoot the divisions that have the most competitors, so you have a better yardstick of your performance and progress.
Your Ruger is USPSA legal, but "speed loaders", aka slow loaders, will put you at a disadvantage to virtually everyone else, who will be using moon clips. A 4" Smith Model 25 will put you in the thick of both USPSA and IDPA revo.
November 2, 2005, 07:41 PM
Glocks and the 1911 style guns rule USPSA and IDPA. With this year's provisional single stack division in USPSA, your basic 1911 government model will do just fine in .45 or .40 caliber.
Best crossover gun? 2011 STI Eagle in .40 SW.
November 2, 2005, 09:35 PM
Thanks for all the great responses!
One question, why does Glock seem to dominate?
Do people use Sig's, XD's, CZ's, Beretta's etc.?
I have nothing against Glocks, I just want other options. There are other pistols that seem to fit my hands better than Glocks.
I found an excellent deal on a Cig 226 9mm, comes with 4 mags, would this be suited for competition?
I am also seriously thinking of picking up a Beretta PX4 at the gun show this weekend (really good price). Maybe an XD-9 .40 if I buy the Sig 9mm.
As far as .40 and .45, I would like to attend a competition to see what everyone is shooting.
I just want to make sure that the guns I purchase in the near future may be good for different classes of competition.
Once again thanks for the suggestions and keep the responses coming!
November 2, 2005, 10:33 PM
Glocks and 1911's dominate due to the tendancy that most (excluding people like TGO) people will shoot one of them better than other handguns.
The 1911/2011 style is the choice for full out race guns while Glock is the choice in the base or production classes and is much cheaper to purchase. Either gun is capable of a 2lb consistent trigger pull.
November 3, 2005, 07:33 AM
Glocks dominate because they are easy to shoot fast and accurately. One does not see many Sigs and HKs for the opposite reason. They both have a very high bore axis which causes excessive muzzle flip. In competition the best equipment always comes to the top.
The most versatile gun is the Glock 35. It can be shot in USPSA Production, Limited and Lim. 10, IDPA SSP and ESP. If you do not reload then get a 9mm. If you plan on shooting much you will reload.
My wife shoots a G34 in IDPA and USPSA. She usually beats 2/3s of the men.
BTW a Glock will not be the limiting factor on your way to Master class. You can buy three Glocks for the price of an STI. I am sold on their reliablity. I have put thousands of rounds through mine without any issues.
November 6, 2005, 06:42 PM
I use my XD-9 for USPSA Production and it is a great gun. Glocks are good guns too but my XD has far and away better ergonomics for me. It is much closer to my 1911 that I use for L-10. It has been totally reliable through 9000 rounds and is an outstanding USPSA Production gun. It is also significanly less expensive than a comparable Glock. However, if you shoot IDPA, you'll need to go to the ESP class with the XD since they consider it a single action. You may also want to consider .40 caliber since it qualifies as Major in USPSA and you could then use it for Limited 10 and even Limited.
Whichever way you go, you can add 4-5 mags, two double mag holders and a Kydex holster (About $60 for all three by Fobus orncle Mike's) and a good gun belt that you'll want anyway. IDPA will need a cover garment/vest, That's all it takes to start competing. After that, you will be hooked!
November 6, 2005, 07:44 PM
Since I bought the Sig in 9mm, I was planning on getting the XD-40 service for my .40.
Good to know I can use it in other divisions if I want.
November 13, 2005, 02:43 AM
"...semi's are no good for competition..." Who told you that?
"...I have a couple of semi's and revolvers..." You're all set. Use what you have. Good ammo is essential though. If you haven't worked up a handload or found the factory ammo that shoots best in your firearms, you need to do that first.
Competition shooting is about shooting, not what firearm you have. There is competetive shooting for everything. IPDA/USPSA are shooting games. Neither of which have anything to do with practice for anything. Just go shoot the matches and don't worry about anything else. It's great fun and you'll meet some great people.
November 13, 2005, 12:15 PM
When I posted originally I had not bought my Sig P226 or S&W 3913 yet.
At the time I had 2 old .32 calibers that would not have been good for competition.
When I said "semi's are no good" I meant the ones I owned.:p
I am planning on using my P226 at my first match next weekend!
November 13, 2005, 12:17 PM
Only thing I have to add is that your revolver is not IDPA legal. Barrel length is limited to 4".
Now that IDPA has divided the revolvers into those with moon clips and those without, then playing field is much more level. Up until that change, those with moonclipped .45acp revolvers had a decided advantage over everyone else.
November 13, 2005, 02:29 PM
Silly question, but isn't the whole point of IDPA to use your preferred carry or defense piece? I mean, if you're partial to Berettas, you use a Beretta. If you don't trust 9mmL then you use a 96, that sorta thing?
Of course, if you haven't yet developed a preference...
November 14, 2005, 07:18 AM
Joe D is correct about the high bore axis on a Sig.
I've been issued various flavors of the Sig 226 (in 9 and then .40) for almost 16 years and I like them but I don't quite shoot them as well as I do a Beretta M9 or a Glock 19. In my hands they don't point quite as well, and there is a little more muzzle flip.
That being said, I still shoot my Sig 226R-DAK in .40 in IPSC and IDPA matches. If you carry a gun for a living, it would be best for you if that was the gun that you compete with, if your goal is skill development in preparation for "the real thing".
November 20, 2005, 10:57 PM
Your sig will do just fine in production until you find out what you realy want. My friend shot his at IPSC and kicked everybody in prods butt today.
And complaining about a sigs high bore axis and then talking about an M9 being any better?!?! ***!?!?!?
November 21, 2005, 12:04 AM
Your SIG226 would do great at both USPSA and IDPA..I have a friend that shoots for SIG in USPSA production and went to the World Shoot shooting that gun..another member at the one of our section's clubs shoots his 226 when he shoots production...
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