View Full Version : Where do I go from here? IDPA & USPSA

June 17, 2005, 08:33 PM
I recently purchased a Glock 23 (.40 compact, normal sights, extended slide release) as my first weapon. This obviously makes me quite green. I chose it for concealed carry, home defense and enjoyment. To gain proficiency and comfort with the weapon, I started shooting IDPA (2 matches) and USPSA (1 match). I think the bug bit me and I'm starting to get pretty enthusiastic about it. I've been doing some research about both shooting types and I've come to the conclusion that while I can shoot USPSA with the G23, to eventually be "competitive" (my current skill level precludes that) I will need to invest in a different setup. I also realize that my excitement is currently exceeding both my skill level and budget. I'm a small (5'9, 150) guy with little prior handgun experience, which makes me tend to shy away from the .45 (bought the .40 for CCW knockdown power) in favor of the 9mm. However, I think this can be overcome with experience.

My question is, where do I think about going from here? The G23 should be fine for IDPA with little modification, but I am seriously considering purchasing a 9mm conversion barrel and corresponding mags (G19) to reduce the cost of ammo and gain a little accuracy bump (I don't reload and can't afford to make that investment right now, so I'll just shoot less). Is this a good idea or should I just continue with the .40 and perhaps upgrade the barrel at some point? Also considering an extended mag release and a stainless steel guide rod and IMSI spring from TopGlock. And if I wanted to get REALLY serious about IDPA in the future, I'm guessing the G34 would be a logical choice or some sort of 1911. Are there any other modifications that I could make to the G23 for shooting IDPA?

I've come to the conclusion that modifying the G23 to shoot USPSA would be extremely costly and likely impractical. I think most modifications that I would consider would rapidly place me in a class in which I would be horribly outgunned (just getting an extended barrel would not allow me to shoot production, and compensating automatically places you in open). So might as well get a new gun, eventually. I'm guessing the concensus is a "1911" in .45 for USPSA. But, by whom? Who all makes reasonably priced, but high quality "1911's". I'm thinking that I might as well save up for a Kimber. Apparently the 1911 platform does not work well with 9mm, but it's cheaper. Are there any legitimate weapon choices in 9mm for USPSA? Is a Glock (probably 34) an option for even semi-serious USPSA?

What class should I consider in USPSA? Obviously, start in production but the fact that a compensator automatically puts you all the way up into Open is a little frustrating. I'm also not a huge fan of the "optical sights" on handguns, looks kinda goofy to me. So I'd like to shoot a compensated pistol that is largely otherwise stock.

Before all you Glock haters start jumping on me, I bought the G23 for utilitarian reasons. It was the right gun at the right price for my primary needs. I am by no means a devoted Glock fan. I have gripes, but it works. It's probably the best completely utilitarian gun on the market. I would personally liked to have a H&K (for tactical/operational reasons in the future) or a Kimber as I sense those are probably the two best guns on the market, but I'm still learning so...educate me.

June 18, 2005, 01:07 AM
So What's the problem???shoot production in USPSA. Your G 23 is ready out of the box with 5 mags, holster and mag pouches. Better yet shoot both (USPSA and idpa) and choose which one.

Jim Watson
June 18, 2005, 06:06 AM
Calibre conversion barrels for Glocks are not legitimate in IDPA, because every calibre has a separate set of model numbers. So if you replace the barrel with a different calibre it is not "of factory configuration." I doubt you would ever be checked, but that is the way they interpret the rules.
A steel guide rod would put you in Enhanced Service Pistol instead of Stock Service Pistol.

An unmodified Glock will enter USPSA in Production Division. All calibres are scored as Minor, so a G34 (or other 9mm) is just about ideal for the non-handloader. You can use the softest .40s you can find that will function your G23 in the meanwhile.

Don't tinker with the gun, it is fine as is.

June 18, 2005, 07:44 AM
Shoot what you have. As a new shooter it will be a long time before your progress is going to be hampered by your current equipment.

Not only that, but by the time you really do need to change something to feel like you're competing at your best you'll have the experience and understanding to know exactly what you need to do and what you don't to address the shortcomings you feel your equipment has. I wouldn't change anything at this point unless you were uncomfortable with your gun or it was uncomfortable to shoot.

Chasing equipment now is a mistake. Small advances in your skill level and technique will far outweigh any equipment changes you could make for a long time to come.

So the answer to "Where do I go from here?" is "out to the range" :)

Number 6
June 18, 2005, 09:08 AM
dropping the 23, there is an entire shooting entity providing competition for Glock owners: the Glock Shooting Sports Foundation.

See if you can find any of its events near you before buying another gun in the delusion that you're not competitive in Production with a 23. ;)

June 19, 2005, 12:25 AM
Thanks GRD, definately sounds like sound logical advice. As said, I do realize I am thinking beyond my abilities and budget. And it had not exactly occured to me to allow experience to help me decide how my new hobby will progress. Right now I am thinking about a Glock 34 fairly soon for Production USPSA and IDPA and a Kimber Gold Match later on for more fun.

Any advice on schmucking with the trigger pull on my G23? Seems like a cheap and legal mod to either lighten the trigger pull OR combine a connector and NY spring to reduce rebound time.

Also, about replacing the barrel...the IDPA rulebook does specifically prohibit a barrel of different caliber in SSP, but does not use those words in the ESP category. It just says it must be "factory configuration", which to me means the same physical dimensions as the original barrel (for instance, illegal would be trying to shoot a G19 barrel in a G23, not to mention stupid). There is the little statement that says "NON-inclusive list", so who makes the interpretation. I think it's also argueable that since all Glocks are basically the same (with the G19 and G23 being virtually identical) the 9mm is offered as a factory option. I am sure my local club hardly cares about such technicalities, but if I ever wanted to go to a larger match...

And GSSF doesn't seem like a great option. Matches are too sporadic and geographicly difficult. There's one coming up about 2 hours away, I'll give it some consideration.

Jim Watson
June 19, 2005, 07:44 AM
RE caliber changes.
I am not making this stuff up.
Caliber conversion barrels for Glocks have been SPECIFICIALLY disallowed by IDPA HQ in response to inquiry about interpretation of the rule. They are bad about issuing e-mail with the force of rules. You may not find it logical and you may not like it, but that issue has been settled.
As Commodore Grimes says, "Growl you may, but go you must."

As you say, the usual local club match will not likely notice or care. And if you can afford to go to State or National championships, you can surely afford some .40 ammo for the trip.