View Full Version : new to IDPA

John G
April 19, 2002, 03:27 PM
I'm joining a local club that hosts IDPA, and am wondering what I'll need to get started. I'll probably use a Browning Hi-power 9mm w/adjustable sights. My other choice is a colt compact 1991 .45 w/fixed sights. What ammo is allowed? anything else I need besides eye/ear protection? Thanks.

April 19, 2002, 04:09 PM
You need full power ammunition. IDPA frowns upon downloaded (think .45 acp wadcutters) ammo and a legal (concealment) holster.

Each pistol is in a different class, Enhanced Service Pistol for the hi-power, and Custom Defensive Pistol for the 45. I've seen adjustable sights in both divisions-as long as they aren't "target" sights or optical devices.

There is a list of allowable weapons holsters etc and an explanation of "power ratings" on the IDPA web site.


April 19, 2002, 07:55 PM
Sorry, Dr. Rob,

IDPA is perfectly happy with "downloaded" ammo. For everything except 45 ACP it is a power factor of 125. For 45 ACP it is 165, and that is only in CDP. If you shoot 45 ACP in Service Revolver you only need a 125 power level. That is a 200 gr bullet moving at 625 fps. Now tell me that isn't a "downloaded" round.

I am converting to my Glock 40 using 215 gr bullets at 700 fps. This is a power factor of 150. Way above the needed 125. However, it is accurate as hell, shoots to just above point of aim, allowing a good six o'clock hold, and should deal with the steel easily.

But, then again, it is just a game, isn't it?

Thanks, Neil for pointing that out.

Neil Casper
April 20, 2002, 09:49 PM
I just know it was a typo and you meant Service Revolver. :)

You are correct in that there are a lot of shooters "gaming" the power floor, but Dr. Rob is right that the IDPA BOD does favor using full power loads in whatever caliber you choose to shoot.

I don't like gaming, but I shoot .38 +P in Service Revolver from a S&W Model 19. Not because I want to game it, but I have arthritis that is slowly creeping up on me. :(

Jim Watson
April 21, 2002, 09:19 AM

You need a gun - either of your pistols will do fine, the Browning in Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP) or the Colt in Custom Defensive Pistol (CDP). Don't sweat the details. Eye and ear protection, of course. Common ball - jacketed roundnose - ammo is best, at least until you very well know the requirements and what other ammo your gun will do as well or better with.

A strong side straight draw holster, either belt, paddle, or IWB is fine. No crossdraw, shoulder, or back holsters are allowed because of the way they sweep the countryside and bystanders on the draw. There is a list of officially approved holsters and a few disapproved ones on the IDPA site; Appendix A to the rules. Again, don't worry about it. Anything but a low-slung speed rig is ok at any local event. Just wear it to place at least the trigger of the gun behind the side seam of your pants.

Magazine carrier. One double pouch or two singles worn behind the other side seam. That is all that is allowed, carry one to load the gun in a pocket, see below.

A concealment garment. Jacket, vest, aloha shirt, etc. that will cover your holster and ammo. Some ranges let novices shoot without concealment until they learn the basics. Some don't.

Magazines, the more the better. Two 10-round BHP or three 7 or 8 - round Colts will get you through any single CoF (Course of Fire), but there may be a "do twice" or two stages in the same range bay. You can have only two ready use magazines on the belt, but can carry one to load the gun with and extras for additional strings of fire in the pockets. I usually start a single stage with two on the belt, a full magazine in the pocket, and an old magazine with a couple of rounds for "Barney Bullets" to load the chamber. If a reload is expected during a CoF, you must *fully* load the gun; 10 9mm or 8 .45s in the mag, plus one in the chamber. If you have high-caps for the BHP, just load the first one with 11. Occasionally you will be told to load a magazine with some lesser number of rounds so as to force a reload when the CoF designer wants you to. Otherwise it is not allowed to download a magazine to schedule a reload when *you* want to.

Although IDPA does not require it, all ranges I shoot at go by the IPSC command at the end of the stage: "Unload and show clear." (You remove the magazine, rack the slide to empty the chamber and hold it back so the Safety Officer can *see* the chamber is empty.) "HAMMER DOWN, holster." With the BHP's magazine disconnector, the only way to get the hammer down on an empty chamber is to put a magazine back in. Best to have an empty magazine in a back pocket for the purpose. I have seen people stick their last partial mag in, dry-fire the hammer down, and withdraw the mag again. That may be ok, but use of an empty mag is easier on the Safety Officer's nerves. Or you can take the magazine disconnector out. It will not affect the gun's operation or safety otherwise and will actually improve the trigger pull. You just have to be SURE the chamber is empty. Just like you do with the Colt already.

Did I say "learn the basics?"
I don't know your level of experience, but you must know:
How to operate your gun. What all the controls do, how to manage the BHP magazine disconnect.
How to shoot your gun. Hitting the target is the idea. It doesn't get any easier under match stress.
How to use your gun. You must be able to load, holster, draw, shoot, reload, move with finger out of trigger guard, move while shooting, use cover, etc., etc., in a safe and effective manner.

It would sure help if you were able to get someone to show you the IDPA - legal reloads. The slidelock reload is pretty obvious, the tactical reload and the reload with retention are harder to describe and should be demonstrated to you.

You can practice a lot of that dry-fire at home.

Don't worry if I have made it sound complicated. The Safety Officers and old hands at the range will help you all that is required to give you a safe and fun day at the match.

April 21, 2002, 09:10 PM
Either gun will work. Your BHP in ESP or your 1911 in CDP. What you will need is a good quality holster, belt and mag pouch, and at least 5 mags. Use the safety between your ears and keep the dangerous end of the gun pointed at the threat targets and you will be ok...

Alex Johnson
April 22, 2002, 10:28 AM
Why do you need 5 magazines? I thought 3 was the limit?

April 22, 2002, 11:05 AM
You will want 5 mags in case you shoot a classifier, where you need 30 rounds on a stage. You will normally have 2 in the pouch, one in the gun, and a "stripper" used only for loading and not for use during scenarios.

July 4, 2005, 07:55 AM
You should always have more mags. You may have a malf, a breakage, and out of consideration for the other shooters, nothing is worse than waiting while the guy on the firing line reloads for another string. On the same COF.


July 6, 2005, 07:19 PM
I finally worked up the nerve to shoot my 1st IDPA match last weekend! All I can say is "Why did I put it off so long?" Had a ball and learned a great deal (my Mil-spec .1911 is every bit the gun I thought it was!) I went so far as to leave the range that afternoon and trade off one of my old CMP M1 rackers (still have 4 more for all the Garand fans out there!) for a new XD9, 3 mags and Fobus holster, straight up! Needless to say, I am hooked!

July 6, 2005, 11:50 PM
I can't offer anything that Jim Watson hasn't already stated. It is a lot of fun and increased trigger time will make you a better shooter. Shooting the situations vs. shooting down a range lane will also make you better.

Tonight at our practice we shot this scenario.

T1: Draw and put 6 into target from retention. (Shoot from the hip, strong hand only)

Start moving backward and engage with double taps T2,3&4 while moving with strong hand only.

Move behind cover (Wall) and engage T5, 6 &7 with double taps, strong hand only.

Reloads at slide lock or as preferred by shooter.

Pretty good practice doing things you can't do in a range lane.

July 8, 2005, 09:16 AM
Now that you have a XD, send it off to Rich Dettelhouser and get it a real trigger setup. The ATF and IDPA says the XD is single action, so make it that way with a 3# trigger that has a total travel of 1/4".

So wonderful to hear of these new shooters having much fun when attending their first match, lord knows I had a grin from ear to ear! :D

The Rabbi
August 2, 2005, 05:06 PM
On the power-factor issue, I will point out that new IDPA rules are that .45acp requires 165,000 power factor (that is bullet weight times muzzle velocity) whether shooting it in CDP or ESR (the new revolver category for moon clip).

August 10, 2005, 07:24 PM
Or you can take the magazine disconnector out.

I believe that this may not be allowable in the new rules. Page 17 "Non-IDPA-legal modifications for ALL divisions" Line E "Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun."

A couple friends of mine who are SOs and direct IDPA events have been in touch with IDPA HQ concerning this issue and as it stands now it seems IDPA will not allow removal of magazine disconnector safeties. As to how this can or will be enforced I don't know. Your call.