View Full Version : Getting into IDPA

June 18, 2002, 05:50 AM
I know it's probably been asked and discussed before, but hey, I'm fat and lazy, so I ain't gonna go looking for it.

I'm interested in getting into IDPA competition more for fun than the actual "You're the man now, dog" reasons and I'm wondering what level of commitment is required in terms of funds, gear, time, and outright snobbery (no offense intended, but it's been my experience that those new to any sort of specialized sport are NOT readily accepted as veterans seem to be loathe to allow others to enjoy what they do). I'd like to know about that last issue purely so I can be prepared for interaction.

Sooooooooo... anyone willing to comment? I know many of you aren't from the left coast and have most likely been in it for awhile, but I'd appreciate any objective or subjective analyses you can give.

I will read up about rules and regulations on the IDPA site, but preparing oneself for the experience can't really be done with solely that type of review.

TIA to all!!! :)

June 18, 2002, 07:13 AM
Well, my local club is very flexible on the rules for club matches. They'll let my wife shoot her ported Taurus tracker.

I picked up a complete SSR setup:

2" EAA Windicator (.357 6-shot) - $199
Safariland mod 4071 high-rise thumb break holster - $24.95
Uncle Mikes speedloader holster - ~$10
2 HKS speedloaders - $16

So for around $250 I'm all setup to compete in SSR. Obviously a lot of what I've got isn't going to be the fastest thing in the west (you can spend a lot more on speedloaders and faster speedloader holders...holster..etc)..

June 18, 2002, 09:27 AM
As far as equipment goes,

Basically any pistol.
At least 3 mags
Mag pouches

That is all you really need. Make sure you know the gun decently well so that you can safely clear jams or other malfunctions. I would suggest watching a match before shooting one. This is so you can see the procedures that apply. It is not complicated but you want to be safe. As far as snobbery goes, that really depends on the range and match itself. I have been to a few where I don’t think newcomers would have been welcomed. Most matches strongly welcome newcomers though. A few of the local matches have a new shooter’s clinic before the match starts. Call the match director where you are going to go shoot and they will help you. The only way to really get into it is to go shoot. You will have a ton of fun. Good luck. If you need equipment recommendations, post that and I will try and help out.

Jim Watson
June 18, 2002, 09:38 AM
There was a long discussion of getting started over on Glock
Talk a while back. I and some others posted every tip we could
think of. See:
http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=75998 and

"If you visit http://www.geocities.com/parmarng and go to the IDPA
section, there are a couple of good areas on "Getting Started"
and "New Shooters". You may find them useful, our local new shooters
have said they helped a lot.

Ken Reed"

Comittment in:
gear - Stock Service Pistol; one word, Glock. Stock Service Revolver; lots of police tradein .38/.357s are available in decent shape at reasonable prices. Enhanced Service Pistols and Custom Defensive Pistols can run the cost up, a little or a lot. Read the definitions at IDPA.com rules section. Minimum of three magazines or four speedloaders, holster (strong side straight draw type) and ammo carrier, eye and ear protection, concealment garment. Other stuff you would want at any outdoor sports event - hat, sunscreen, water, etc.

funds - gear as above, ammo - most club matches will use one or two boxes of ammo, entry fee - $5 - $15, IDPA membership $30 - required if you are shooting at an affiliated club, gas, lunch, etc., etc.

time - Pretty much up to you. I know people who shoot the local club monthly match and that is all they shoot. Others shoot every match within a reasonable "combat radius", practice in between, dryfire at home, and take classes to do better. I shoot about four matches a month, practice weekly, load ammo, dry fire, shoot pellet gun, have a few classes.

snobbery - Most clubs are very receptive and helpful to new shooters, I see very little snobbery. This and any other sport depends on recruiting new players. The camo commandos who come in knowing it all do strain my good will a bit, though. Or the guy who said "I can shoot the gun, I just can't handle all those RULES." Unfortunately, that included safety rules. He has to be watched all the time. Fortunately, he doesn't come around much any more.

You can have fun and learn a lot about your own and your gun's capabilites. Not really training, but a test, if you consider it "tactically."

June 18, 2002, 10:22 AM
Minor correction regarding IDPA membership, you are allowed to shoot one match without being a member...

In addition, many clubs don't really enforce that much for local club level matches.

June 18, 2002, 10:38 AM
The best way to get started is to show up and watch a few matches. Ask for the match director and tell him you are new and want to get started. The nearest matches to you are at Prado Olympic Shooting Park in Chino, on the first and third Saturdays, Apple Valley Gun Club in Victorville on the last Saturday, and ISI in Piru on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays.

June 18, 2002, 03:22 PM
Thanks guys!!! If you all are even a small representation of what I can expect to find at the matches I can tell I'm gonna look forward to this each and every time a match comes up.

9x45, I was planning on checking out Prado as they seem to have evening combat pistol matches every Wednesday. www.shootprado.com

Jim, I'll be sure to read those threads when I've got a little more time. Thanks for them!!! BTW, what do you mean by "concealment garment". Are you required to draw from a concealed carry position?

So, gear-wise, would an IWB holster not work for this? Should I invest in something like a Galco Yaqui paddle holster as well?

Again, thanks!!!

June 18, 2002, 05:14 PM
Gorilla, (cool handle by the way). A concealing garment is just something that you can throw on that hides the gun, and forces you to draw from concealment. I use an old big shirt, or if it is cold I use a coat.

I haven't been shooting IDPA for very long, but in my experience IDPA shooters are very friendly and helpfull to new shooters.

Holsters? Probably what ever works best for you. There was a thread in this forum recently where people listed what kind of holsters they used to compete. I usually use a simple Fobus paddle holster, or a Milt Sparks summer special.

June 20, 2002, 10:55 AM
Considering the great experience I had at my first IDPA match I just had to pitch in my $.02. I went to a match first to watch and see just what was what and sent in my registration the next day. At the club match the next month my 45ACP reloads wouldn't extract properly (A-MERC brass, lesson learned) and a shooter who had introduced himself about an hour earlier gave me a box of new PMC so I could finish the match. Since then I've been completely sold on IDPA and the folks who shoot it. As far as equipment goes, I shoot a Taurus PT-99 in SSP and ESP; a PT-945 in SSP and CDP; and a *&* model 19 in SSR. All of the holsters I use are Uncle Mike's Super Belt Slide models and are IDPA legal. Plus, the same holster fits the 99 and the 945. The match director for my club is pretty easy about equipment rules for club matches so ask yours. He only pulls out the book for sanctioned matches but he'll still let folks shoot the match for no score even with illegal equipment.

Shoot once and you're hooked.:D

Stay aware,
Stay safe.

June 24, 2002, 11:04 AM
I have shot IDPA for a little while now. As for selection for a holster anything will work. Realistically you will want to use what your going to carry with. My opinion is there are two types of people that show up. The people that enjoy it doing and do it properly tactically. And the people who game it. You have to decide what group you fit into. That decision will help you in equipment selection. I see mostly glocks and uncle mike, fobus and bladetech holsters at my meets..

As for the people that go there. I shoot in the very un friendly gun owner state of massachusettes. I gotta say every single person that goes to the matchs i have attendted has been nothing but top notch, very helpfull and very friendly. The IDPA'ers all around seem to be a good bunch..

June 27, 2002, 11:37 AM
Gorilla...I have been competing in IDPA for about 2 months. So far only local matches. I have found everyone at the club to be helpful and more than willing to go out of their way to assist a newcommer. If you have a good RO or SO then they will take you through everything step by step the first few times.

I shoot my Para 7.45 with a Galco Royal Guard IWB holster because that is what I carry. I can draw just as fast from it than I can a Kydex..actually a little faster because it rides lower than the Kydex.

If I am shooting my SA 1911 then its Kydex.

Now I am also shooting my XD-40 from a Blade-Tech belt holster.

The suggestions to go to a match and observe is a good one. It will give you an idea of what to expect. Where is the dry-fire area? Where can you handle ammo and where can you not? If you are not familiar with all of the RO commands then someone will explain them to you. The first time or two they are usually very forgiving to newbies. Thank goodness! Otherwise I would have had a procedural at every stage for something or another.

I am just getting to the point now of being comfortable and not nervous of doing something totally wrong.

Good luck and remember to have fun. The gaming aspect..if you want to get into that side of it...will come later.

Sorry for the long post...