View Full Version : 1911 style in competition

January 4, 2005, 07:44 PM
Being new to shooting competition (but not to shooting), you'll need to excuse my (perhaps) stupid observation and question.

It seems that the model 1911-style pistols (Colt, Kimber, Les Baer, others) are not used much in either IPSC or IDPA competition.

My evidence:
IDPA - On other posts in this forum, it seems that IDPA is dominated by Glocks - say 95+ percent.
IPSC - On the USPSA website, it says that Open Division is mostly .38 Super; Limited is dominated by .40 S&W; Production is mostly 9MM or .40 S&W and that Limited 10 is mostly the same type of guns as Limited (.40 S&W) but some single stack 1911-pattern firearms in 40S&W or 45 ACP.

So, my question: With folks like Thunder Ranch teaming up with Les Baer on the Thunder Ranch Special and so many self defense instructors that I see advocating the 1911-style gun, I wonder why the 1911-style .45 guns are not more popular in either of these two competitions. Could it be that police agencies are predominently using the higher capacity double-stack weapons like Glock, H&K, etc? And if police agencies are mostly using that type of weapon, I wonder why folks like Thunder Ranch and others still favor the old-style .45? Are they just "old school" and out of touch with what police and the various competitive shooting communities seem to be gravitating to?

January 4, 2005, 09:02 PM
Actually, at our range, at least 50% of the IDPA shooters use 1911s. The other 50% use an assortment of 9s and 40s. Maybe its just because that's what what they have.

Jim Watson
January 4, 2005, 10:12 PM
IDPA has three autopistol divisons, only one of which, SSP, is predominantly Glock. A few loyalists will shoot Glocks in ESP or CDP, but those Divisons are largely 1911.

USPSA/IPSC has a lot of Glocks in Production but few elsewhere. Most Limited-10 guns are 1911s and most of the Open and Limited guns are at least somewhat related to or derived from 1911 design; usually mutated to higher capacity and odd caliber.

Police carry 70% Glocks and 29.9% other double column double action pistols because they are simpler to operate so as to save on training cost and reduce accidents. Accuracy comes second to patrol police. SWAT is a different matter and you will see a good number of 1911s there. Those guys expect to be shooting. Same way with the military, the Beretta is GI but there are units like MEU (SOC) who expect to be shooting foreigners with pistols and they buy 1911s.

January 4, 2005, 10:26 PM
Thanks Jim,

That's interesting. For the newbie that I am, can you elaborate on what are SSP, ESP or CDP and the differences between them?

Also, for Limited-10, I guess they're using 1911s with the extra long 10-shot mags which stick out the bottom. That must present a problem for any prone shooting, yes?

Again, sorry for silly questions. Trying to learn.

January 4, 2005, 10:47 PM
In my area, IDPA is dominated by CDP and the 1911.

Likewise, USPSA has TONS of 1911's and 2011's (the 2011 is the polymer frame double stack 1911 made by STI and SVI). Most parts (save for trigger, mag release and mainspring housings) interchange. The 1911 and 2011 come is several calibers such as .45 ACP, .40 SW, .38 Super, .38 TJ, .38 Supercomp, 9x19, 9x21, 9x23, 10mm, .40 Super, .460 Rowland and others.

I shot Limited 10 for years with my CDP gun. You can buy Chip McCormick Power Mags that only add about an inch to the height of the gun. I eventually bought a STI Edge for it's weight and faster mag changes, but it has the heart of a 1911.

Here is a VERY BASIC breakdown of IDPA classes. For the full deal, read www.idpa.com

SSP is for double action and safe action pistols such as the sigs and Glocks. Power factor is 125. Mag capacity limit is 10. Glocks dominate around here.

CDP is for .45 ACP only. 8 rounds in the mag. Made for the 1911 or 2011 short dustcover guns.

ESP is for 1911 style and other guns in calibers other than .45 ACP. 10 rounds in the mag. 9mm 1911's and .38 Supers dominate in my area.

Some guns qualify for more than one class. It's your choice.

January 5, 2005, 01:23 AM
Lycanthrope: Thanks for filling in the details. I had skimmed the IDPA rule book but missed the definition of the categories.

All: Thanks for the comments and helpful replies

January 5, 2005, 01:31 PM
I've seen considerable variation, but 1911s seem to be THE IPSC gun.

At my old IDPA club you'd see everything in almost equal numbers. While CDP had more than a few 1911s (since they're the most common .45s) the class was often won by a guy with a USP, and a few S&W 4506s and G21s came to play.

Glocks were common in SSP, but so were Berettas. CDP has a blend of BHPs, P7s (dumb rule change) and CZ clones. At that time, I don't remember any non-.45 1911s.

Jim Watson
January 5, 2005, 02:38 PM
"CDP has a blend of BHPs, P7s (dumb rule change)"

Trust you mean ESP, CDP MUST be .45 ACP. Shouldn't have taken 10mm out, ought to let .45 GAP in, but I am not writing the rules.
Apropo which, the new rule book is finally out. On the IDPA.com site tomorrow but already up at

January 6, 2005, 02:04 AM
Yep, :o I meant ESP. Brain fart.

January 6, 2005, 02:15 AM
Just read the new rulebook's equipment guide. No life there.

Are they getting money from Glock? :barf:

January 7, 2005, 12:03 PM
Another reason that single stacks are not used as much in USPSA is that it is usually slower to reload one versus a double stack. Rob Leatham shoots a single stack a lot in LImited 10 though.

Double stacks also rule the ESP division in IDPA for the same reason. They are just loaded down to 10 rounds.

January 7, 2005, 12:56 PM
There is a big difference in what is seen at major matches, and what is seen at club matches. Single stack .45s dominate IDPA CDP and USPSA Limited 10, at the local level. In IDPA ESP, single stack 9s and .38 Supers share with Hi-Powers and the import 9s. At the regional and national matches, you'll have top shooters using their hi-cap USPSA Limited guns in Limited 10, and you'll see similar guns in IDPA ESP.
At our club, at a typical IDPA match, probably 40% of competitors are shooting a 1911 of some kind, and a typical USPSA match will attract ONLY single stack .45s to Limited 10.