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Old July 7, 1999, 05:26 PM   #1
Futo Inu
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I know virtually nothing about this, but I read in American Handgunner that "Stock Service Pistol" class allows "reliability enhancements". What all does/does not this include? Recoil spring assemblies?

Also, "Enhanced Service Pistol" class was said to allow barrel swapping as long as it is a "factory configuaration". What does this mean? Only stock factory replacement barrels? Or does it just mean same general specs as factory?

Also, if one takes a subcompact pistol (like a Glock 30) with stock mag length and sticks a ProPoint Optima 2000 on it, will it fit in the IDPA box? Or is the size irrelevant because the only "sight modifications" allowed are standard-style - i.e. no optics? And if optics are totally disallowed regardless of box size, then isn't this out of step with the idea of practical defensive pistols - in other words, now and especially in the future, don't you envision LEOs and civis alike using red-dot devices on their service and carry weapons, given the advances making them smaller and smaller and thus perfectly suitable for ordinary holsters and thus duty/concealed carry? I mean, I understand that IDPA does not want to slowly become IPSC, but seems to me utilizing the box rule should cover many issues like optics - if [whatever enhancement] small enough to still have the pistol fit in the box, then they're probably actually practical in "street carry". I like IDPA's philosophy of sticking to reality (which clearly IPSC is not even close), but I'll bet the future will hold a reality with dot optics everywhere (barring big brother intrustion - I can hear the antis already: "Oooh, those scary red dots - must be designed to kill cops").

[This message has been edited by Futo Inu (edited July 07, 1999).]
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Old July 7, 1999, 06:45 PM   #2
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Futo - the <a href="">IDPA Rulebook</a> is online and will answer all of your questions.

Basically, the pistol must appear to be stock. No extended barrels, barrel weights, etc. You may use other barrel makes, as long as they appear stock. You can do reliability work to the pistol to insure it feeds and functions properly, and to enhance trigger pull, but that's about it.

Optics are a no-go. I don't think they'll ever be common on service (especially concealed service) pistols anyway. Maybe if someone designs a holographic one that projects the dot above the sights/slide, but not as they exist today.

Give IDPA a shot (pun not intended). I highly recommend it. I've just begun, but really enjoy it and the people, and I've learned more in a few matches than I have in years of shooting.
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Old July 7, 1999, 09:17 PM   #3
Rob Pincus
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No, Futo, I don't think that the future will see increased use of optics by serious defensive shooters, and that is what IDPA is all about.

A "box" has nothing to do with practicality, it merely measures size. Size may be one factor in choosing a weapon for self-defense, but it certainly shouldn't be the most important one. Any rule based on a "Box" would make size the most important thing, thus undermining any logical corelation between the rule and the intent.
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Old July 7, 1999, 11:36 PM   #4
Join Date: March 12, 1999
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Another reason we probably won't see optics in IDPA is the "equipment race" factor. The Board of IDPA knows shooters pretty well and expects some of us will not be able to resist trying to improve our standings with whatever gun gizmo is the latest rage.

Let's face it, we're shooting fanatics here, and willing to try almost any gun modification to improve performance.

But the fact is that heavily (also read expensively) modified guns can scare away the very people IDPA want: people who want to test their shooting skills in realistic competitions using their carry gear.
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Old July 9, 1999, 09:57 AM   #5
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While optics aren't legal in IDPA now, because of fears of an arms race, I do think optics will eventually become common on self defense guns. Not that long ago (mid-80s), the auto was considered unsuitable for self defense by most people/trainers except for Gunsite devotees. Now autos are the rule rather than the exception. A technology change (Glock as the lead example) brought about the change. The next generation of small optics could do the same thing. From a marksmanship perspective, there's no comparison between iron and optic; the only issue is durability and reliability. The size issue has been solved already.
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Old July 14, 1999, 12:15 AM   #6
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My personal _shooting_ experience with handgun optics is limited to an ADCO Mirage--not exactly top of the line.

I believe there is a future for optics, but remain skeptical about whether "now" is the time until I am satisfied with the brightness of the image transmitted through the device.

Comparing, say, an Optima 2000's most attractive size with a larger unit, I would go for the larger unit with a brighter image, especially if it had a reticle or some other non-battery aiming reference point. Using ambient light (during daytime) to illuminate the dot or donut, and tritium in low-light situations, would be ideal for me.

For now, I grudgingly agree with the IDPA no-optics rule. However, since optics generally cost less than half what the gun itself costs, my reason is purely based on reliability/true practicality concerns. The usually lower cost of optics makes the equipment race argument less important to me. Can't afford 'em now, but I'd like to be able to "test"* them in competition when I can afford them.

(A $600 stock gun with a $300 stock optical is less than some of the $1,500 "tactical" guns I see being touted for IDPA and IPSC Limited. Some success in stopping the equipment race dollar count, eh?)

*Using IDPA as a test bed appears to be a "dirty" concept to some people, but I believe in it. After all, whatever the current equipment rules, aren't we all _testing_ various training and shooting techniques (and testing ourselves as well), such as Weaver vs. Isosceles stances?

[This message has been edited by Cheapo (edited July 14, 1999).]
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