View Full Version : Newbie question - what is IDPA and IPSC ?

June 15, 2005, 09:29 PM
I'd love to improve as a shooter and get into some competition but have no idea how to get started. Is there a website for those two organizations? Can I shoot with my Taurus Millennium Pro 9mm? Are they local/state/regional?
Which is best for a beginner?

Chris W
June 16, 2005, 06:23 AM


June 16, 2005, 07:55 AM
Personally, I think IDPA is probably more 'beginner friendly' in the sense that the shooting you'll be doing will likely be simpler, you won't need as many magazines and you tend to see more new-to-the-sports people at IDPA than you do at USPSA (IPSC). It will also be more 'familiar' feeling to someone with a self-defense class background.

But there isn't any reason to avoid getting out there and shooting no matter which sport is available to you. My first practical shooting experience was USPSA and I was hooked like a carp after that. :)

You can shoot as slow or fast as you are comfortable with at any match and if you introduce yourself to the staff as a new shooter I'm sure you'll be taken care of no matter where you go.

Where are you located? There will probably be folks here familiar with what's available in your area.

June 16, 2005, 10:17 AM
While suggesting IDPA to be better for a beginner, there's a lot more rules and regulations to follow. Just any gear rig from the street won't comply with their rules either.

You will find a lot more people shooting USPSA and many more events.

You pistol is on the production list so you can shoot it in "Production". The biggest thing you'll may be disappointed with is either USPSA Production or IDPA, you are going to be limited to 10 rounds in your magazine.

What state are you in, I can direct you to the proper section coordinator who can help you find a club in your area. On the other hand, if you are in OH, KY,WV,IN,IL,WI, or MI, www.uspsa-area5.org is the place to go. Post on the forms, we'll help you! :)

June 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
ampleworks - Depending on what part of the country a person is in, you may not find many more people shooting ISPC than IDPA. I have six IPSC clubs within same-day driving distance, and only two IDPA clubs so close, but in some areas, it's the other way around.
Most belt/holster/mag pouch rigs sold for concealed carry use will be legal in both sports; it will put you at something of a disadvantage in both sports, but you'll be legal. Attend a few matches, and you'll see what the gamers are wearing ("gamers" are those who take every advantage of the rules, without concern for appearances or others' views of the "spirit" of the rules), if you want the most competitive gear.
As a shooter, club administrator, and Range/Safety Officer for both sports, I'd recommend you jump right in to both!

June 16, 2005, 11:48 AM
The problem with "concealed carry gear", unless you are talking IWB which of course, isn't legal for USPSA at all, everyone has a different opinion of what a "concealed carry rig" is. While I might think one holster is fine for my carry, someone else may not.

The thing about USPSA, just about any safe holster will work, same with mag pouches, for IDPA this just isn't true.

I do agree with you on something RickB, jump in and do them both. I shoot USPSA primarily, my local club has IDPA every couple of months, yet I still learn something at every match, whether its USPSA or IDPA.

I will say, USPSA will help you with the speed aspect of IDPA. IDPA will help with the accuracy part of USPSA...they both go hand-in-hand.

June 16, 2005, 12:01 PM


Old Shooter
June 16, 2005, 04:05 PM
IDPA is more beginner friendly and less equipment hungry but both are great shooting sports.

Thy this web site for a decent comparison:
IDPA vs IPSC (USPSA) (http://www.craigcentral.com/idpaipsc.asp)

Your gun can be used but will be at a disadvantage in either sports. That being said, take it and use it until you get a feel for the game then make a choice for yourself.

June 17, 2005, 11:10 AM
IWB rigs are perfectly legal in USPSA competition; I often use mine. While it is true that IDPA has more "restrictive" equipment rules than USPSA, they are restrictive only in the sense that there are more of them, and they are more detailed. You could walk into a typical gun store, and walk out with very competitive IDPA gear; gun, belt, holster, mag pouches, etc. You can't walk into a typical gun store and find ANY truly competitive USPSA/IPSC gear (except Production-legal gear, which about the same as IDPA), so which is more "restrictive"?

June 17, 2005, 12:19 PM
I have also shot with an IWB rig in USPSA, it's perfectly legal. Not the fastest thing on earth, but it works.

But I have to disagree a bit with Rick, I think you can be competitive with an Uncle Mike's and a few carry-type mag pouches. I've managed to make to B-class in Lim 10 with a KyTac SooperHooper and regular old comp-tac carry mag pouches. It's true that I'm feeling like I want to change my gear out now, but it's gotten me this far. :)

Don't sweat it, get out there and shoot!

XD Niner
June 18, 2005, 07:16 PM
I've got about $55 invested in an Uncle Mikes kydex holster and two Fobus double mag pouches for USPSA. Other than that, I have 5 10-round mags for my 1911 which I would have wanted for the range anyway. The investment needed is really pretty minor to start out assuming you are a range shooter already. Actually, the most expensive item is all that ammo for practice. :D

June 19, 2005, 11:18 AM
Here is a quick answer:
Idpa- fun

USPSA 10X the fun.

Old Shooter
June 21, 2005, 05:59 AM
I've been shooting IDPA for some time and went to my first USPSA match a few weeks ago. There were shooters outfitted in cleats, holsters that could spring a gun out, enough magazines on them (loaded to 15 rounds or better) to sink a body in the East River, range bags with enough spare parts to build several new guns, optics that were the basis of any futuristic movie, and a whole lot of intensity.

A little intimidating at first. BUT in general a good bunch of shooters who took the time to "walk" me through the stages and give me some very helpful hints on how to approach each target.

There is the same intensity in IDPA also but the equipment is a LOT less daunting.

Number 6
June 21, 2005, 07:42 AM
"There is the same intensity in IDPA also but the equipment is a LOT less daunting."

Not really. Had you compared apples to apples, instead of oranges, you would see that the biggest difference is simply the number of magazines carried. As IDPA has nothing remotely equivalent to Open, and even Limited is a stretch, your observations on optics and mag capacity are inapplicable.

Compare revolver to revolver, production to production and limited/10 to cdp and you will have a far more accurate comparison. The fact that USPSA shooters carry more mags is a direct function of counts per stage. A shooter gets FAR more trigger time at any USPSA event, justifying the entry fee and travel.

As for the cleats, etc.; all I've ever seen are cross-trainer or running shoes. Far more common on civilians than "photographer" vests with rolls of quarters in the pockets......

Whatever works for you. ;)

Hunter Customs
June 21, 2005, 08:10 AM
Very well said Number 6 and very true. No matter what sport you shoot in I always find it amusing when I hear some shooter complaining and saying it's the equipment that beat them. I remember the year the American Handgunner World Shootoffs was won by a gentleman shooting a limited gun and believe me there was a lot of top notch open gunners at that match. So all the BS one hears about gamers and the equipment they use being the reason that someone was beat is just that, a bunch of crying BS.

I do have a question for anyone that may know. Why is it that IDPA feels it has to bash USPSA/IPSC to sell itself?

Bob Hunter

June 21, 2005, 11:04 AM
Bob - All references to IPSC have been removed from the IDPA rule book. I think the reason IDPA originally took IPSC to task, is because the IDPA founders - most of whom were also IPSC founders - believed IDPA was correcting the mistakes of IPSC; it's lots of fun, but not what was intended.

Ohio Annie
June 21, 2005, 12:12 PM
I'm glad you posted this because there are some helpful answers here. It was NOT a stupid question as you qualified it. I had wondered about it myself and made the mistake of asking people at the range and all I got was Men Arguing With Testosterone Poisoning. Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it. I have decided to stick with conventional pistol because of the aforementioned Testosterone Poisoning problem. :barf: