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Old Yesterday, 08:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 641
First IDPA!

July 5th. IDPA. Central Ohio. I celebrated my freedom.

It was great. I did alright, came in 12th place out of 24 in my group. I know we're not competing against others in principal but sometimes it feels good not to come in dead last.

The scenarios were humorous. "you've just bought ammo at Walmart when so and so demands it and gets violent". "you're at the range picking up brass when so-and-so with trained attack dogs...attack" And other slightly more serious prompts.

4 courses of fire, needed 1 reload for each course. A bit of shooting behind cover, shooting while backpedalling (need work on that one), shooting around a low barrier, running with the gun pointed downrange. It gives me ideas to practice.

I did find something strange though, the website to the club goes on about real daily concealed equipment, full power loads, when just about everyone there wore fishing vests, OWB holsters with OWB mag pouches. 1 man shot an XDS, 1 man shot a Glock 26 with Glock 19 reload mags so that he had a pinky hold.

I'm conflicted as to whether to proceed with my actual carry guns or a game gun.
I shot a Glock 35 with WWB in an untucked IWB holster and 2 mags in my khaki shorts pocket. I purchased it a few years ago out of curiosity about long slide Glocks and what the big deal about connectors was, not intending to do IDPA. Used but in excellent condition, it was way cheaper than a G34. It's the only pistol I have 3 mags for.

My actual carry pistols as of late are mainly a Kahr CM9 or a M&P40c. The M&P40c has a substantial flip to it in comparison to the Glock 35. I have a conversion barrel for the M&P40c.

According to the new class rules, there's a new category CCP: Compact Carry Pistol which must be less than 37 oz total with loaded mag, allowed 8 rounds, and conforms to other ESP rules. That means my Apex trigger and conversion barrel to 9mm would be allowed which is good news for the M&P40c.

My dilemma: Do I go all out and really use what I carry (not a conversion barrel). If I use the CM9, Financially, I only have 1 mag for my Kahr CM9, so I'd be looking at $75 in magazines to participate with my most often carried pistol. And then single stack mag holders. As for the M&P40c, my curiosity about the 40 caliber has since been satisfied, and I don't really prefer 40 over 9mm or anything, but stick with carrying it out of reliability due to its original factory configuration. I could always use less muzzle rise and I'm still working on finding a more neutral grip for faster sight re-acquisition. Fortunately, my IWB holster fits a Glock 35, M&P40c an Kahr CM9 pretty well due to the flexible leather backing and minimal Kydex molding.

Any pros/cons that I'm missing here? What route did you go?

Last edited by dyl; Yesterday at 09:01 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:56 AM   #2
Don P
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Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,948
In the end its a game. You can use it as some sort of training and its a personal choice as to what gun to shoot. IDPA finally listened to the folks as to allowing and having a division for the smaller guns that folks actually carry for self defense. Personal opinion is shoot whatever gun you have enough magazines for to use in the match. As a side note, how many folks carry the Glock 34, M&P Pro, or the Springfield 5.25 and many folks shoot theses in IDPA. Personal choice and it all yours to make.
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer, USPSA NROI Range Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
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Old Yesterday, 09:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 31, 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2,091
Whether to shoot your G35 or M&Pc is a personal decision, and depends on how you honestly see IDPA and what you want to get out of it.

If your primary concern is to improve those skills with your actual carry gear, use your M&Pc. Your shooting and gun-handling skills will improve no matter what you choose to shoot, though, so I tend to think your skills with your EDC gear will also improve even if you choose to shoot the G35.

FWIW, a friend of mine is an ESP Distinguished Master, and his gun of choice is a subcompact G26, so one doesn't necessarily have to have a full-sized gun to do well.

Congrats on your first match, BTW!

Last edited by MrBorland; Yesterday at 10:08 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:19 AM   #4
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Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Loudoun County, VA
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Personal choice. I started out thinking I would just run my carry gear, but the competitor in me took over very quickly, and now I run OWB holsters, mag pouches, concealment vest, and have a Glock 19 set up strictly for competition use. Have fun and enjoy it, which ever route you go, it will make you a better shooter.
Your Mileage Obviously Varies
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Old Yesterday, 10:42 AM   #5
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Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 6,329
Here's the ultimate solution that will satisfy your gun buying impulses and, at the same time, increase your skills immeasurably.
Buy at least six suitable guns and rotate them for the matches.
They should all be as different as possible - striker fired, hammer fired, revolver, small, medium and big, whatever grabs your fancy.
Then, by the time you get good with all of them, you will discover the big secret - the gun is the least of it.
No kidding.
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
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Old Yesterday, 12:11 PM   #6
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Join Date: January 9, 2007
Location: SE Nebraska
Posts: 821
First...welcome to the world of action shooting sports. You have only scratched the surface.

Get your flamethrowers out folks because what I am about to say will probably upset a few.


Originally Posted by dyl
I know we're not competing against others in principal but sometimes it feels good not to come in dead last.
IDPA is a competition. A game if you will. Yes...I said GAME. They wouldn't give out rankings and have a thick rule book if it wasn't. Furthermore, your classifier scores are presented in a database ranking your score in comparison to everyone else. There is nothing wrong with comparing how you did to how others have scored.

I shoot IDPA and USPSA, but USPSA is by far my favorite. I use IDPA to test my carry gun & equipment as much as I can. I say "as much as I can" because the IDPA rules won't let me appendix carry like I do in the real world, but USPSA does allow it. For a group that claims they are all about reinforcing defensive shooting skills, it seems like letting you shoot in the same way you carry would be a good thing. Regardless, IDPA is where I test my skills with my carry gun. Occasionally I might shoot something more suited for competitive shooting, but usually it is my G19.

I have friends who shoot IDPA, but who would NEVER shoot USPSA because they don't want to degrade their defensive shooting skills. Meanwhile, I regularly rank at their level or higher as they lightheartedly call me a "Gamer".

What I try to tell them, and I thoroughly believe this, is that shooting both disciplines helps you shoot AND think under pressure. Going back and forth between the two sports requires that you keep your head in the game.


I told my wife I was scheduling a mid-life crisis. It was either a Harley or guns. Secretly, I've already decided on guns. :-)

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Old Yesterday, 12:28 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 5, 2010
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 303
welcome to the club.

i started out last year running my colt commander, thinking it was a great carry gun....i then changed my mind and went to my i carry my VP9 and shoot it at matches as well. used it to shoot the Classifier last month and made SS with it (130.66). sometimes i'll carry my Sig P320 too.

shoot what you have. you might learn a bit about what kind of gun is good for your skill sets, and which one you shoot well under time pressure.

shot our local match saturday with my VP9, first 2 stages went well, last, not so much. live and learn. came in 4th on one stage, behind one MA and 3 EX.

i also was asked to design 2 stages. there's an art to good design. each stage should test one or more skills, and the description should make you smile, and be somewhat related to the layout.

so, go, shoot, have fun, learn.
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Old Yesterday, 05:08 PM   #8
Shotgun Slim
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Join Date: March 9, 2014
Location: Va
Posts: 166
Dyl you can save the Kahr for any BUG matches so you won't have to buy mags. The m&p should be good for the compact carry class which I believe they came up with so the actual carry guns could get away from the 34s and XDM 525s and m&p pros and whatever else barely fits the IDPA box. You'll get out of the game what you want so use a fishing shirt or tuck your shirt in over your iwb or use a big gun or a little one. Don't forget to have fun and enjoy time spent around fellow shooters-they are usually some pretty cool folks.
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Old Yesterday, 09:32 PM   #9
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Join Date: October 31, 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 641
Thanks for the replies. It sounds like I can't go wrong which is a good thing.

My guess is that after a few more matches I will try the compact because part of me will wonder if I can shoot it as well, or at least want to prove myself with it. My curiosity will get the better of me.

For now I'll use my IWB. Each draw is more practice and I think sight re-acquisition and hasty shots cost me more in time at this point.

It was indeed fun, with some friendly folks. Not everyone was outgoing but the people who were really into it were truly happy to be shooting and it showed.
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