View Full Version : Newbie has IDPA and GSSF questions

Big Hext
November 6, 2002, 05:11 PM
Howdy all,

I was never a competition shooter until I began Cowboy Action Shooting. I've had an Glock 21 for years and I like to shoot it and I'm thinking about doing some IDPA shoots and, if possible, GSSF events.

Being frugal (cheap sounds so unpleasant) I'd like to get one holster and rig for both events.

This is a stock straight grip G21 with two hi-caps. What do I need to get started in either or both sports?

I appreciate your responses. Adios,

John Forsyth
November 6, 2002, 05:52 PM
For IDPA a good comfortable belt holster, a double or two single mag carriers, and of course eye and ear protection. Never shot GSSF (do not own a Glock), but I would think what works for IDPA, would work for GSSF.

It does not have to be fancy, just work. We have a master class shooter in our club who shoots a 21 and uses one of those Glock plastic holsters. Just about all of the Glock shooters in my club use a Kydex holster of one make or another.

Keep an eye out in the For Sale section on this forum. Good equipment comes up for sale at good prices.

Jim Watson
November 6, 2002, 06:24 PM
Save your high-caps to go to war with.
Buy some 10-shot magazines. You only get 10 in the magazine in IDPA Stock Service Pistol and that or less in GSSF, and you will cry a lot less if you lose or step on one of those than if you ruin a 13-rounder. You need at least three for IDPA. I don't know how many for GSSF, I don't think there are any reloads on the clock there, but spares can't hurt. They usually sell magazines and other parts and accessories very reasonably at GSSF events.

Fobus or Uncle Mike's Kydex holsters are ok, the Glock belt slide will do. Do NOT buy nylon. One double or two single magazine carriers are all IDPA allows, and will surely be plenty for GSSF.

Eye protection and ear protection, of course.

Many IDPA events are shot from concealment. You need a vest, jacket, large shirt, etc. that covers your holstered gun and ammo AND that you can clear away from them to draw and reload. This is something you can practice at home dryfiring.

See Glock Talk

There is a long thread on IDPA preparations with posts by me and others there at

See also www.idpa.com for rules, club locations, etc.

And there is a whole topic for GSSF

Oh, yeah, in case you haven't read up; IDPA is usually scenario driven, kind of like a CAS shoot; no two matches just alike. A few standards and the Classifier are also done. GSSF has three or four standard events the match director can use some or all of.

Navy joe
November 6, 2002, 07:59 PM
GSSF is newbie friendly and all the events I've heard of do not require a holster.

Jim Watson
November 6, 2002, 08:35 PM
True, at GSSF you can carry your Glock in its "combat Tupperware" or other case; taking it out only on the firing line. You never draw, all strings are shot starting from a low ready position.
Or you may carry it holstered WITH THE SLIDE LOCKED BACK. Which drives me (IPSC-NROI and IDPA CSO) crazy, because I am accustomed to ending a course of fire with the instruction "Gun is clear, hammer down, holster."

November 6, 2002, 08:43 PM
For IDPA you will need a good holster, belt and mag pouch. I do not recommend the Glock holster for any type of competition as the fit is way too tight and the material too soft. There are many excellent Kydex holsters available, but expect to pay about $65. A very good belt is the Wilderness Tactical 1.5" 5 stitch for about $40. Fobus mag pouches work well at $20. Try to get 3 more ten round magazines. This is helpful for shooting the classifier, or if you have a reshoot, you will be ready.
IDPA requires concealment. Choose a garment that fits your life style and practice drawing with the garment. Clothing choice depends on body shape and temperature.
There is no advantage to shooting a G21 in IDPA. You are running the .45acp in a 9mm based power floor for SSP. You may shoot in CDP, but you will have to download to 8 plus 1, and shoot against short reset 1911 triggers.
GSSF is not action pistol. You do not draw from a holster, nor are reloads under the timer. GSSF does not allow any non Glock parts except for sights and grips. Another quirky rule is that if you shoot factory ammo, and have a gun booboo, you may reshoot the stage.

Jim Watson
November 7, 2002, 09:40 AM
You can get out cheaper than that. A plastic holster need not cost $65. Even Blade-Tech has a molded holster for $23.95 to compete with the $20 and under Uncle Mike and Fobus rigs. The Wilderness belt is nice but you can do ok for less money; especially if you use a paddle holster. Just don't wear a flabby braided belt as is stylish.

Not to say that you don't get what you pay for, but if frugality is an objective, you can do ok for less. I had a coach who loved to demonstrate how much easier it was to pull a gun from the $70 custom Kydex holster than the $20 Fobus. Thing was, he demonstrated this with the holster in hand, and yes, it is hard to snap the trigger guard out of the Fobus without support. But with it on the belt, the direction of the draw stroke pops it right out without noticeable delay. Of course he was the maker of the custom holster, so he may have had some stake in demonstrating its superiority.

I disagree that there is no advantage to the G21. There is at least one major advantage... Big Hext already HAS it. He can go shooting with little added outlay and with a gun he is supposedly already familiar with. Right, B.H?

November 7, 2002, 11:37 AM
Fobus holsters have no tension screws, only rivets, and the first thing to happen with Uncle Mikes is the screws will fall out. Blade-Tech's injection molded unit looks to be ok.

Big Hext
November 7, 2002, 01:50 PM
I appreciate all the good thoughts.

I'm not intending to get competitive. I'd like to do well with a gun that I will use if I had to defend myself in the real world. I'm more interestd in increasing my accuracy under stress and with movement. I shoot the gun well enough under range conditions.

So just to summarize the things I'll need to add for IDPA:
Three magazines
Kydex type holster, looks like Blade Tech would be worth a look.
Two magazine holders

Things I need to take:
Eyes and ears.
Vest or jacket for concealment
Ammo (200 rounds?)

Is it allowed to strap on a rig, like a cop setup? Use a "tactical" web belt?

November 7, 2002, 03:50 PM
Only Law Enforcement may use duty rigs.

Big Hext
November 10, 2002, 09:39 PM
Thanks 9x45.
Is any belt outside the body (by that I mean not through the belt loops) considered a duty rig?

Good day to you all,

Jim Watson
November 10, 2002, 11:12 PM
It's real simple.
IDPA holsters are approved on a case-by-case basis and listed by make and model; at:

They are all strong side, straight draw holsters carried on the pants belt by belt loop, paddle, or IWB connection of various types. If you use something from the list, you are all set. If you use something that even LOOKS like something from the list, you are all set, they do not scrutinize holsters closely even at the Nationals.

A separate gun belt is not allowed, except as a duty rig.

Big Hext
November 20, 2002, 11:38 AM
I sure appreciate you folks helping me out.

I'm confident I'll be ready when I go to my first shoot at the IDPA.


November 21, 2002, 06:17 PM
Before you buy a Blade Tech (not to knock them, they make really good gear) you may want to take a look a Edgeworks G-Code holsters. They are really nice, and priced pretty competitively.

For my first year of IDPA I used a Fobus, and it worked pretty good. However it is about done in. Practice enough drawing and dryfiring and it gets pretty ratty. I like my G-Code a lot better.

Bring multiple concealment garments. A heavy one and a light one. We had a match a little while ago that started out freezing cold in the morning, but had gotten very hot by the afternoon. The guys who had brought their winter coats to use for concealment stages were dying. :D

Come have fun. IDPA is a blast.

May 27, 2004, 09:28 PM
I have not tried IDPA, but to me a holster is not needed for GSSF. I have a divider in my range bag that holds the gun upright and I just set the bag on the barrel or table and remove the gun and magazines. (Even if you use a holster, the slide has to be locked back anyway). I like a minimum of three mags for GSSF, and an extra for topping off is nice. 10 rounders are all you need. What I like about GSSF is the fact that it is about shooting, not running, crawling, crouching etc. I have bad knees and a herniated disk in my back, I make a pretty good turret, but a poor acrobat.

May 30, 2004, 05:31 PM
I use the fobus. Its a good holster and you can not beat the price :cool: