View Full Version : New to Competition Shooting

June 21, 2005, 05:44 PM
I'm an experienced shooter that's finially looking to get into competition. I'm thinking about trying my hand in a 3-gun competition around where I live in SW Ohio. How many magazines and rounds should I expect to need for both my XD-9 and Carbine? Also, could someone direct me to rules and regulations for both IDPA and IPSC, USPSA?

Would I be better off using my XD-9 or Springfield GI .45 1911??

Finally, what is everyone's recommendations on gear for one of these competitions? Holsters, mag holders, etc.

Weapon X
ArmaLite M15A2 SOF Carbine
Springfield Armory M1 Garand Limited Edition
Winchester 1300
Marlin 336AS
Ruger 10/22
Walther P22
SA G.I. .45 1911

June 22, 2005, 06:22 PM
Here's a pretty good starter thing for USPSA. It'll give you a general idea about USPSA.

By the way, USPSA is the United States portion of the IPSC, same thing really, a few rules are different, but whatever you shoot in the US is going to be sanctioned by USPSA.

The site above is the USPSA Area 5 website, which covers Ohio and surrounding states. You'll find a listing of all clubs actively shooting USPSA matches in OH, KY, WV, IN, IL, MI, and WI.

For IDPA, the maximum number of magazines on your belt is 2. I suggest at least three, more is very useful, especially when shooting the IDPA classifier.

Its a lot easier to learn practical shooting with using only one gun right now. Do a few matches, get the hang of range procedures amongst other things, then get into multi-gun!


Old Shooter
June 23, 2005, 05:16 AM
There are several threads listed just below yours on the differences between IDPA and IPSC (USPSA). The gear you will need will be a function of the sport you will shoot and the division in that sport.

Both of your guns would be fine for certain divisions in either sport. My preference and what I generally shoot is 1911 which can be shot in IDPA CDP division (mine is the S&W version).

As far as 3 gun - that's a whole 'nether thing and better answered by someone who knows.

June 23, 2005, 05:26 AM
From the website ampleworks posted, under firearm:
first round fired must be a double action shot, subsequent shots may be single action

Doesnt that disqualify the 1911, as its a SA only gun?

Old Shooter
June 23, 2005, 06:12 AM

Where did you find that quote on the website?

I suspect that the quote refers to a certain division in the sport. There are far too many competitive guns out there, especially the 1911, that can only be shot cocked and locked. Having a rule like that would eliminated too many guns.

In IDPA the division that excludes SA is SSP. The other 2 divisions (revolvers excepted of course) allow SA.

CORRECTION: I just found the quote. It does mention that they are talking about "PRODUCTION DIVISION".

June 23, 2005, 07:36 AM
Best thing you can do is to find a match in your area and go to it. Even if just to observe. Introduce yourself to whoever looks like they're in charge and get involved.

The biggest regret I have about getting started in competition shooting is how long I screwed around 'preparing' before I jumped in and just got started. Wasted time is all that was.

Re: gear you need to have: Either of your guns are fine for either game, the club will stick you in the appropriate division so don't worry about figuring it out ahead of time. You'll need 2 mag pouches and 3 mags for IDPA (you're limited to 2 mags on the belt per the rules), 4 or 5 pouches and 5 or 6 mags for USPSA (if you can carry about 45 rounds on you you'll have more than enough for any USPSA stage and then some). More mags are always better. You'll need a strong-side belt holster, eyes, ears and for IDPA you'll also need a cover garment - anything is fine (I use an old LL Bean heavy shirt).

That's about it.

Our club has a page for new shooters and another one on range safety (safety briefing) that you might want to take a look at: www.scarfg.org/idpa

We run IDPA but most of the basic concepts will be similar for either IDPA or USPSA, especially the 'cold range' rules and the range commands are almost identical as well.

Don't wait! Get out there!

June 25, 2005, 08:35 AM
Tell 'em EXACTLY how you got started.......... :D


June 25, 2005, 09:13 AM
I was forced! Against my will to shoot shoot and shoot some more by a bunch of uncivilised mountain HILLBILLIES in Vermont during some sort of 'new shooters' torture festival they devised. They were scary. Scary looking, mostly. When we did poorly we were beaten without mercy! We shot at fake cows, but it was Vermont so nobody thought it was odd... :D

And then we ate hamburgers...and it was good.

June 25, 2005, 09:19 AM
Don't you feel better getting that off yer chest?

The point is DON'T WAIT, START NOW.
'Cause it's fun (better than golf), has intrinsic benefit, and it annoys sheeple.

June 26, 2005, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the info. It will definately help me get started. It sounds like a whole lot of fun and good training too.

So that's what I have to look forward to when I go to Vermont in August( Army Mountain Warfare School). Sounds like a good time.


June 28, 2005, 03:29 PM
It's good practice; not so good on the training end. Get training from trainers, get practice from competition ;) :D

June 29, 2005, 04:16 PM
3-gun matches do not usually include the full range of pistol divisions; you'll get a choice of Open or Limited. IDPA does not yet have uniform 3-gun rules. Our IDPA club has held shotgun and rifle side stages at our pistol matches, and we usually crib from the USPSA Limited rules.
In the context of practical shooting: pistol shooting is about speed, rifle shooting is about accuracy, and shotgun shooting is about reloading. If you are going to be shooting Limited pistol, you may prefer the XD to the .45; shoot fast and accurate, and the higher capacity will be worth more than major scoring. Just about everyone shoots a "minor" rifle, since you are shooting for all A's where major and minor score equally. I've shot a 3-gun match with a Garand, and while it's fun, and you'll get lots of encouragement and high-fives for doing so, imagine a course of fire that requires twenty rounds to complete: The guys shooting ARs (or AKs, for that matter) will complete the course without a reload, while you will be doing two, five-second reloads; you can't afford to give away that much time. I've done MUCH better with an M1 Carbine than the Garand. For a match that had all the shots within 100yds, I'd probably prefer the Carbine to the AR. Shotgun is all about reloading. You want a gun that holds eight in the tube, and you want to practice stoking it up. Try butt cuffs, side-saddles, bandoleers; whatever gets you reloaded the fastest.
I don't have any trick gear, reloading my rifle from my hip pocket, and my shotgun from a belt, but 3-gun is a lot of fun, and a great way to build and maintain skill with your long guns. Jump right in.

June 30, 2005, 08:13 PM

Thanks for the info on the three gun. I have a AR to go with my XD, but my scattergun is only a 5 in the tube Winchester 1300 field grade model. I'm sure I could still use it, just not be competative, but in my first match, I probably won't be anyway. I'd give me plenty of reloading practice.
Anyway, thanks for the help.


July 3, 2005, 01:34 AM
I have a Bererta 92FS Brigadier. Can that be used?

July 3, 2005, 07:52 AM
Frankly, any safe gun of modern manufacture can find a niche to compete in; your Beretta is fine (I can think of at least one Champion who would agree :D ).

Some organizations list specifically which models may compete in which Class / Division / whatever, and USPSA allows most anything in Open division.

But you won't win.
In fact, regardless of gun-or-money you may not win anyways......LOL

You'll be shootin' (and that makes you a winner just by getting more trigger-time).


my idea of "three-Gun" is my Caspian 1911, 7.5" 357 Redhawk, and 9x19 Witness.......