View Full Version : Should IDAP matches explicitly allow snubbies in pocket holsters?

Glenn E. Meyer
January 10, 2006, 05:05 PM
That's the question. It was explicitly mentioned in the last IDPA journal that snubbie stages are needed. Many folks actually carry such.

I would suggest that snubbies be allowed. Perhaps, one would want to have some indication of the shooter's competency before allowing a pocket holster but would it aid in the mission of being realistic.

BTW, is there an official IDPA or major IDPA forum out there? A quick google didn't bring one up.



Tim Burke
January 10, 2006, 05:32 PM
Seems logical to me, but how far will that get us?

Glenn E. Meyer
January 10, 2006, 05:38 PM
That gets us nowhere. I have a new snubbie that I would like to run through some scenarios. I might ask the match director if he would go for it and just shoot off the books for practice.

Jim Watson
January 10, 2006, 05:48 PM
It's not official, but it has a lot of people I know from all levels of IDPA.

I think safety is the main issue (Hate that word, but it seems to apply here.) when drawing a snubby out of a pocket holster repeatedly in competition in a crowd. Something would have to be done for you to demonstrate safe design and use and I don't right now know what that would or should be.

In the meanwhile, how about a compliant holster for said snubby and draw it off your belt like a service pistol? No rule says you can't limit yourself to a less efficient but more concealable gun. You just have a shorter sight radius and more reloads.

That would let you wring out the gun itself and you could work on pocket draws dryfire and on your own where you would not risk or horrify others.

Not a perfect answer agreeing with your every desire, but a start.

January 11, 2006, 04:31 PM
I don't think you can ignore/change the holster rules for BUG side stages. Anyone can practice whatever they want, but from a club liability/responsibility standpoint, I wouldn't want someone using an explicitly illegal holster at my match.
We give the shooter the option of either drawing from a legal holster, or starting at low ready.

Jim Watson
January 11, 2006, 04:53 PM
You are right, Rick, but I was not talking about BUG sidematches, I meant that he could shoot his snubby as his main match gun if he used a compliant holster.

BUG shoots are kind of a dead end anyway. Restricted to five shots so a high capacity .380 doesn't have an advantage over a J-Smith, there is just not much going on.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 13, 2006, 04:49 PM
That's interesting that you think bug shoots are dead ends? In what sense?
Hackthorn was recommending Bug gun stages:


If the purpose is purely competitive against others - then IDPA is just watered down IPSC. If the goal is to use realistic equipment and hone one's skills plus have some fun in competition - then given so many folks actually carry bugs - let the shooter use them for that goal.

It is rare that I will probably have an incident where I run from backdrop to backdrop and engage six targets.

January 17, 2006, 02:49 PM
Mr. Meyer:

I have a great deal of respect for your posts here and on other boards. So please don't take this the wrong way.

I think Jim Watson is making the right suggestion regarding "just get a holster and shoot the match" if you want to hone skills with a small revolver and practice the draws at home.

We all have to make adjustments because of IDPA's quirky little rules. For example, when I shoot an IDPA match with my Glock 19, I must start with 11 rounds in the weapon. No more than 11, no less than 11. In the real world, I have 16 rounds in that same weapon. But I can't practice the way I train, nor can I practice the way I carry.

Similar IDPA rules regarding dropping loaded mags, shooting threats in some specified "tactical sequence," etc. may differ from the way we train.

I'm NOT trying to turn this into an "IDPA Rules Are Stupid" thread. I'm simply saying that IDPA doesn't try to accommodate everyone's needs pertaining to shooting a match like they would carry on the street.

As you know, rule changes in IDPA take several years and are often wosre than the previous edition (look at the 2005 holster rule changes).

For all these reasons I'm saying that Mr. Watson's suggestion has merit - and avoids the hassle that you would undoubtedly encounter if you asked IDPA to set up a BUG classifcation as part of the rules structure for major matches. Of course, the best (better?) choice might be to find a friendly, thoughtful MD who would allow you to shoot the match with your pocket holster - presuming he won't find himself fielding similar requests from shooters who don't possess your level of training (and are thus less likely to be able to use a pocket holster in a safe manner).

This is kinda like (but not the same as) a shooter asking if he can practice 360 degree scans using Position SUL after he finishes a stage. Maybe safe for a few shooters who have that training, but a real safety hazard in most cases.

Just my $.02

January 17, 2006, 02:56 PM
I've heard of clubs allowing snubbies to just neutralize targets, rather than best-two (or whatever is specified) on each. You won't be reloading in the middle of arrays, running out of ammo, etc.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 22, 2006, 01:09 PM
Points well taken. I think I'm going to buy a holster (which I probably won't ever use for carry) and shoot a match or two with one of my snubbies.

I would like to have the shooting time with the gun and the draw isn't that important (horrors!).

Now to throw another monkey wrench. I have a new 432 (that's a 32 Mag) and that's not in the approved power range, IIRC.

I think I will ask the range master if I could shoot it as I really would be off the books and don't care about the competitive aspect as much as the practice aspect. I would like to see what the gun can do.

I got the gun as a present. Neat little revolver.

The problem with practice is that if you just to the range, it is punching paper. I do that for technique practice but wanted a touch more with a common carry gun.


January 23, 2006, 09:31 AM
I understand the whole "train the way you fight" mentality, but really, if you can shoot a course of fire at IDPA decently with one revolver, are your results (understanding the limitations of capacity and holster) really going to be much different with your snub?

If you can shoot the snub with 90% of the speed and accuracy of a full size when on a regular range, do you really expect your IDPA results when switching to the snubby to be much different? The trigger is the same, the reloads are the same.

I've shot IDPA with a lot of different guns, and I've never really been surprised at the results. A gun that is easier to shoot at the range is going to be easier to shoot IDPA, and vice versa.

I just think you might be making too big a deal of the differences, Glenn. You can apply what you learn at IDPA to ANY DA revolver.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 23, 2006, 10:55 AM
Well, Handy - since I have two snubbies and one SAA - I don't have a 'regular' revolver for IDPA.

If folks want to send me a nice SW Model 65 or 66 (I like that configuration), I would be glad to test it.

A 357 revolver is on my wish list but it is in back of a new 1911. CDNN or JGSales had a nice deal on new 66s with a fiber optic site a couple of years ago for $369 but I was broke then. :(

The kid is out of college now and the battle of guns vs. drapes and lineoleum continues.

January 23, 2006, 11:04 AM
I see. But the same priniciple still applies. Shooting an IDPA course is a skill that is somewhat seperate from the gun handling you apply to it. If you can do it with a 1911 or Sig, and you can quickly load and control your snubby, the same lessons apply.

In other words, your choice of gun will not suddenly make you bad at IDPA - the difference in scores is still the predictable result of your relative skill with each weapon in all settings.

I've taken brand new guns that I had never shot before to matches and done quite well because the fundamentals didn't change.

But you could pick up a nice used Model 10 for $150. Mine makes me very happy.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 23, 2006, 04:37 PM
I've heard it argued that snubby shooting is a tad different. There are specific snubby classes and tactical meetings about them. Weight, sights, recoil control, etc. are different from the heavier guns.

January 24, 2006, 07:40 AM
Of course. I'm just not so sure that those differences are going to be any better sorted out on the IDPA course than they would on a regular range.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 24, 2006, 11:10 AM
That's why I want to do this!! The great experimentalist and empiricist, I am.

I can shoot reasonably tight groups with the old snubby at the paper punching range. I would like to do a little speed and running at a match.

Anyway, if I get to do this - I will report to the group.

Delta Dave
January 30, 2006, 01:50 PM

If getting the hang of the snub gun in a practical venue is the goal, call me, we'll set up some stages and have a go. Without the attendant match liability issues we should be able to learn something about using the little guys.

You have my card, call and we'll set something up.

Glenn E. Meyer
January 31, 2006, 12:01 PM
That sounds like fun. This month is toast, though.