View Full Version : Idiot's Guide To IDPA & IPSC ???

John Ringo
December 10, 2004, 06:07 PM
I have been browsing the IDPA and IPSC websites for the last week. Actually made contact with one of the IDPA members here in Ohio for a shoot on the 20th of December. I have also waded though all of the post on the forum here in total confusion due to all of the politics.

But I have to admit that I am confused over the difference of the shoots. There is probably too much information out there. So what I am wondering is basically this: what is the real difference between shooting an IDPA match versus an IPSC match? Is one more of an obstacle course? Is one more focused on speed drills? Is one more focused on close quarters battle (CQB)?

The type of shooting that I am interested in is one in which I can focus my efforts on walking into a "room" or target area and having to shoot the bad guys and be rated on accuracy and targets ranging from 20 to 70 feet with my .45s and possibly .44s.

I am kinda lost with all of this info. Is there a such thing as "The Idiots Guide to IDPA & IPSC"??? Can someone break any of this down???

December 10, 2004, 07:06 PM
I think you'll find proponents of each sport trying to convince you that theirs is "better" than the other. I shoot both, and for the life of me, can't figure out how someone could be a big advocate of one over the other. They are both quality trigger time, and the differences are not as great as some make it out.
In a nutshell, IDPA considers targets "threats", and the rules are geared toward getting you to act as if they are shooting back; don't hang out too far from cover, don't run your gun dry in the open, don't expose yourself to more than one "threat" at a time, etc. The shooting scenarios are supposed to be based on realistic shooting problems that might actually have been encountered "on the street", and that's why the number of targets and number of rounds are limited; you're not likely to be carjacked by fifteen armed assailants. A typical course of fire, of which there might be six in a match, might require 6-12 rounds to complete.
IPSC treats the targets as bullet fodder, to be hunted down and ventilated, as quickly as possible. The only tactics are those that contribute to achieving that goal. Target numbers and arrays are often fanciful, but the shooting tests can be very difficult, precisely because there is no logical rationale driving the course designs; they are often like live-action video games, with lots of movement and lots of shooting. A course of fire could require over 30 rounds, but typically are 15-25.
IDPA scoring values accuracy over speed to a greater extent than IPSC, and there are more restrictions on gear in IDPA; a good IDPA rig will suffice for IPSC, but not necessarily the other way around. The pace of IDPA is slower than IPSC, and I think it is a better introduction to practical pistol shooting, for that reason.

Number 6
December 10, 2004, 07:53 PM
USPSA (IPSC) lets the shooter determine what targets will be engaged from where, when (within the parameters of that stage).

IDPA is far more restrictive, requiring use of cover, keeping partially-loaded mags, not running the gun dry (not a good idea in either discipline), etc. If you don't mind being told how a course should be shot, you won't mind IDPA.

Jim Watson
December 10, 2004, 09:01 PM
There is not enough difference to worry about, especially getting started. The best one is the one that is located conveniently and run by good people who are willing to work with you to see you have a good time and shoot safely and well.

John Ringo
December 10, 2004, 09:21 PM
That does give me some insight. Thanks for the response. Hopefully this will help some of the other folks out there.

Thank You....

December 11, 2004, 06:43 AM
Go, and watch, and ask.

Then join, and play.
Either. Or both.


December 19, 2004, 09:57 PM
Both are good at teaching good gun handling skills under the artifical stress of the clock..but stress is stress..and good gun handling is good gun handling..

both sports are fun to be involved in...both stress accuracy and speed..I have found IDPA to be a good starting ground for beginners..as the coure of fires are not as freestyle and the round count is lower...but beyond that..in our area both discilplines have good range officers that will help you as a new shooter through a course safely..