View Full Version : IDPA - Getting started

April 24, 2002, 10:31 AM
I'm trying to understand the different classifications for semi-auto pistols.

Stock Service Pistol - 9mm+ DA or DAO

Enhanced Service Pistol - ??? Not sure how this is different from SSP except they allow SA and have physical size/weight limits?

Custom Defensive Pistol - .45 acp only, more options for 'upgrades'.

Seems to me that a .45acp un-modified pistol would allow the most flexibility?

My wife is interested in getting involved too, probably in the revolver class. What kind of turnout do you see in that class?

April 24, 2002, 10:52 AM
The best way to get started is go to a couple of matches and ask lots of questions.

April 24, 2002, 12:33 PM
SSP is a class for glocks, berettas, HK's, etc.

ESP adds in single action guns..the 1911, browning HP in calibers other than 45ACP

CDP is for the .45 ACP..

around here on the local level you only see a couple of revolvers..but that shouldn't stop your wife from shooting..

April 24, 2002, 12:42 PM
I'd hate her to end up 'in a class by herself' as it were. I need to get her to start practicing racking slides.....

OTOH: I'm tempted to do revolver class myself...

April 24, 2002, 01:01 PM
I presume for revolver class there is no minimum barrel length? The rules talk about 5" max (with 4" max as of 10/06/02) but no minimum.

April 24, 2002, 01:27 PM

April 28, 2002, 05:28 PM
The revolver is a small turn out but, the ones that show out in my neck of the woods are very good. I think that the way to go is SSP and you can play production in USPSA. Try them both and see where you have fun at I would guess both.

April 29, 2002, 07:56 AM
I may go for SSP, I've got my eyes on a 9mm Witness. My wife on the other hand doesn't quite have the arm strength to clear jams in autos with any degree of speed. Granted, she should get better, but she is much more comfortable with a revolver.

April 29, 2002, 03:31 PM
You can shoot a .40 or 9 Glock in SSP or ESP, and a .45 Glock in CDP or SSP. ESP and CDP allow similar modifications; CDP is a .45-only club. Check the rule book.

April 29, 2002, 08:21 PM
I have used my CZ 75B 9mm in ESP, but it can also be used in SSP, but you have to start with the hammer down, thus using a DA start. In ESP, you can start "cocked & locked", in SA mode.
I prefer to go with ESP, as my DA pull in my CZ is veeeery long.;)
My group always has at least two revolver shooters sometimes more. The revolver folks shoot right there with everyone else, believe me! In fact, often faster!:eek:

April 30, 2002, 10:09 AM
How do you manage a reload with retension in a revolver? Gotta dump the rounds in your hand and pocket them?

Jim Watson
April 30, 2002, 02:02 PM
The official rule book position is:
"HOW DO I DO A TACTICAL RELOAD WITH A REVOLVER? Basically with a revolver you just have to take any unfired rounds remaining in your cylinder with you. A common method of doing a tactical reload with a revolver is to dump empty cases and unfired rounds into your hand, stuff the whole mess in your pocket, then recharge your revolver to full capacity. You are considered reloaded when the cylinder closes with the revolver fully loaded."

Obviously they were not thinking seriously about the problems of doing a Tac Load with a revolver. Revolver entries run 10-12% at major matches. I think that is more than the BOD expected.

If you "stuff the whole mess in your pocket" how long do you think it would take you to find the live rounds for use?

For competition purposes, do as the book says. If there is a requirement for use of the retained rounds later, ask the SO if it applies to revolvers - it often doesn't - and work on a better method. There are ways.

Before tying your wife up with a revolver that she has to stroke a 12 pound DA every shot, consider helping her find an auto that works. That way she only has to pull a 16 lb recoil spring once per stage. Get her out with friends with good collections, rental ranges, whatever you can line up. A Glock 17 wouldn't be bad. But it is HER choice that matters. If she likes a revolver, send her out with a good one. A good gunsmith can get a S&W under 9 lbs with full reliability. Less is possible but you start getting into ignition problems and the "Federal primers only" requirement.

April 30, 2002, 02:17 PM
I think it has something to do with grasping the slide firm enough so it doesn't slip, or something. She has difficulty racking my ruger MkII. OTOH: She has no trouble shooting her tuarus tracker DA. She doesn't care much for dealing with the occasional feed problem either.

BTW: Do most IDPA events allow time for picking up brass? That's one of the things I like about revolvers, much easier to collect the brass ;-)

Jim Watson
April 30, 2002, 04:48 PM
Ok, if she can manage a revolver, good for her. I went a whole season in SSR and had a great time.
Uh, how many shots does that Tracker hold?
Five would be uncompetitive enough to get frustrating once she was a good enough shot to be thinking about placing. Seven or eight is not allowed. Or, rather, you can bring the gun, you just can't load more than six at a time. So a six-shooter is best.
She's gotta have speedloaders, I hope somebody makes them to fit.

There is ample time to pick up brass while the targets are being scored and pasted. Just help out by picking up other people's brass and doing some of the target pasting to be a good citizen.

April 30, 2002, 06:48 PM
The tracker is a 7-shot, and we've got speedloaders designed for it, alternately we've got Bianchi speed-strips (not sure if they qualify>?) We're planning a trip out to a local IDPA shoot (met one of the SO's previously), he's all gung ho to get us started ;-).

Time for me to buy that EAA witness I've been looking at.... and a chrony so I can verify my loads are up to speed for IDPA...bwahahahaha

April 30, 2002, 06:50 PM
Oh, and regretably..her tracker is out anyway as it's got factory porting... time for a new gun for her too..

Jim Watson
April 30, 2002, 08:06 PM
Seven shots ported does not an IDPA gun make.
However, the local club would be crazy to turn away a Lady Novice shooter over such a minor detail as her gun vs the rulebook.

In the long run, I think her best bet would be an older S&W (firing pin on the hammer nose) K-frame .38/.357. Lots of police tradeins are around, some very little used. Holsters, speedloaders, grips, and, if necessary, gunsmiths abound for them.

If *you* wanted to shoot SSR a pair would cost little if any more than a name brand autoloader. You would need that Chrony, though. All but the softest 9mm will make 125 power factor, but it takes a good stout .38 Special. Cast bullets will give higher velocity than jacketed at it black powder pressures.

I don't know about the Witness but I know of two shooters locally who own three between them. My SSP is a CZ75 and it is certainly worthwhile. Some SOs get nervous when I manually lower the hammer. You might do better to get a decocker version or enter it in ESP to be absolutely safe.

May 1, 2002, 07:47 AM
Just got finished e-mailing back and forth with a guy that's very active in IDPA locally, and he said about what you just said. The local non-prize/award matches are not very particular about equipment except in respects to safety of course.

My second choice is definately a CZ-75, figure it'd be a big brother to my Makarov ;-) Kinda depends on what I find out here.

If we do buy another revolver for IDPA, I want to make sure that my wife would be comfortable carrying it (no CCW in Ohio yet, but we're working it!), biggest problem I've found is many of the shorter barelled revolvers are only 5-shot...

Jim Watson
May 2, 2002, 10:40 AM
As 9x45 says, before you spend any big money on new guns, go to a match and see what is going on. Give it a try. A local club will probably let you shoot with anything you have; a Makarov and a Tracker don't fit the categories, but you are there for the experience, not to win. You will need gun(s), ammo, a strong side holster, 3 magazines or 2 speedloaders minimum, a carrier for them, a concealment garment, eye and ear protection.

We kicked this around on Glock Talk the other day. See: