December 27, 2001, 09:56 AM
Number one resolution is to start IDPA at my favorite range which has one every Wednesday. So my first match will be on the 2nd. I know the first night is free and I expect to have lots of fun but I am wondering what else to expect as a newbie?
I believe there is some sort of qualifier. Does this count as all the shooting I will do the first time? How many rounds does one typically bring? I have heard that the division I will be shooting in (Custom) does not have a lot of participants at this range. Most shoot Stock Pistol or Revolver. Will this diminish my enjoyment?
December 27, 2001, 12:03 PM
"Number one resolution is to start IDPA ...I am wondering what else to expect as a newbie?"
OK, I will repeat what I have posted and sent to other new shooters below. First, to cover your specific questions:
"I believe there is some sort of qualifier. Does this count as all the shooting I will do the first time?"
No, the Classifier is a specific 90 shot course of fire (CoF) that you must do to get a skill classification (Novice, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master.) Most clubs run it only occasionally or on request. If the club is officially affiliated with IDPA, you will be required to join IDPA for your second match.
Best you ask someone local about how much ammo to bring for a club shoot. I have seen them from 20 to 100 rounds. Heck, the Nationals was less than 200.
I can't see how being one of the few in CDP would "diminish your enjoyment." Everybody shoots the same CoFs and while awards are made only by Division, you can readily compare your score with anybody else's. I do.
Here is the general poop I have been giving out lately:
You can read up on the International Defensive Pistol
Association (IDPA) at www.IDPA.com
There are detailed rules, scoring procedures, sample CoFs, etc. so I won't go into them here.
Equipment: Pistol, magazines (3 or more), straight draw holster (no shoulder, crossdraw, MOB, ankle, groin, etc. rigs allowed) worn to place at least the trigger behind the side centerline of your body (the side seam of most pants is a good marker) magazine carriers likewise, eye & ear protection, concealment garment.
There are some pictures and descriptions of another club's match
I don't know your background, and I don't know what kind of new
shooter introduction that club might do, so pardon me if I over
simplify or over elaborate. Here is what I would want you to
have in mind.
1. Know how your gun operates. This is not a joke, I have seen
people show up with a gun new in the box. A match is not a
training course, however helpful the staff and other shooters
2. Know how to use your gun, not just how to fire it. You must
load, holster, draw, shoot, reload, shoot more, "show clear."
3. Most matches are run on a cold range, certainly for a new
shooter. Show up with your gun empty and cased. Do not "whip it
out." Most ranges have a safe area where and only where you can uncase and holster your gun. Then leave it there until you are
called to shoot. Do not handle ammo at the safe area, fill
magazines elsewhere. I load mine at home so I can look around
the range more.
4. LISTEN. There will probably be a safety briefing. Pay
attention to muzzle limits - either the 180 degree rule or
markers on the range that you may not point the gun past - and
the requirement to keep your finger out of the trigger guard
during reloads or movement without firing.
5. LISTEN. The courses of fire (CoF) will be described. Pay
attention, ask for clarification if you need to. There will be
more to do than just shooting at the targets.
6. When you are called to shoot, come to the starting position,
bring sufficient ammo, wearing your eye and ear protection,
concealment garment. (Some places waive the concealment
requirement for new shooters. Ask.) The Safety Officer (SO) will
"Do you understand the course of fire?" Speak up if you don't.
But you did listen to the description and watch previous
shooters, didn't you? Then you get the range commands. I still
use the IPSC commands, some IDPA-only SOs may vary a bit.
"Load and make ready." Unholster, load your gun, reholster it.
(Or put it in whatever other starting location is required - on
a table, in a drawer, in a briefcase, are commonly seen.) Stand
(or sit, or lie down) in the starting position required.
"Are you ready?" If you are not, better say so, the shooting is
fixing to start.
"Stand by." The SO starts the timer. In one to four seconds you
will hear the signal.
"BEEP" Start through the stage as instructed. Don't rush, hit
the targets and control your gun safely between targets and
positions. When you stop shooting, you will then hear:
"IF you are finished, unload and show clear." If you are not
finished - you saw a target you had overlooked or realized you
had missed with a shot - you may still shoot. The SO will ask
again. When you are done, remove the magazine and draw back the
slide to eject the chambered round. HOLD THE SLIDE BACK where
the SO can see that the chamber and magazine well are empty. He
will then say:
"Slide down, hammer down, holster." Close the slide, dry fire
the gun, and holster it. Now you can pick up the ejected round
and any magazine dropped during a reload; not before holstering.
Follow the SO around as he scores your targets. Seeing how you
have done is more important than a few pieces of brass. Fall
back and make way for the next guy. Watch other shooters and
learn. Sometimes you will learn what not to do, be sure of the
difference. Help out. Targets must be pasted, reloaders will
appreciate help recovering their empties. But mostly pay
attention to what is going on.
I have the following priorities:
1. Be safe. Don't hurt anybody, don't scare anybody, don't get
disqualified for a safety rule violation.
2. Execute the course of fire. Follow instructions on what to
shoot, how many times, use of cover, everything as called for in
3. Hit the targets. Don't get flustered and forget the sights.
4. Move right along, your time is your score. You aren't going
to win, so don't run before you walk, don't rush, don't stumble,
don't get lost on the range, see priorities 1 and 2, but don't
Oh, yes, the Main Thing; have a good time. Learn stuff, meet
people, add to your New Year's resolution to practice and come back next time.
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