View Full Version : Help: what gun to use for IDPA ?

February 15, 2006, 11:52 AM
I'm thinking about going for my first ever IDPA match (actually it'll be
my first pistol match of any kind) this weekend!

Please help me decide on what gun I should bring.

I carry a Kahr PM9 and have it loaded at home. Since IDPA is about
defensive situations, I probably have a high probability of using the
PM9 if any. Should I bring that ? (I only have 4 mags for it: 2 x
6 rds, 2 x 7 rds.)

Also, should I bring a pocket holster since that's what I normally
use? Drawing is kind of slow(~2sec) and I cannot reholster the
gun without using both hands and taking the holster out (this
takes maybe 20sec).

I'm thinking that maybe I should just bring a normal-sized gun for
my first IDPA shoot since I'm going to be nervous might as well not
worry about mag capacity and have a gun that is easier to shoot.

I've never had a chance to watch a match, so don't know what
people are using. I've not seen any discussions regarding pocket
holsters and not sure it they are even legal (but seems they should
be). Is there any reholstering in the IDPA course?


Jim Watson
February 15, 2006, 12:03 PM
Pocket holsters are not allowed in IDPA.
You must draw from a strong side holster, IWB, paddle, or belt.

You will not likely hot holster during a stage but you should still use a holster that does not get you in a position to sweep your hand or body while holstering in the first place at the Load And Make Ready command.

If you have a standard size service pistol and a plain holster for it, you will do better and have less stress from your equipment... the Course of Fire requirements will provide enough of that. This is a shooting match, not a "defensive situation" gunfighting academy. Some people shoot their carry guns for the practice but I think you should save the real deal carry gun exercises for after you have some experience.

February 15, 2006, 03:47 PM
Thanks for your reply. Yes, I also just confirmed that pocket
holsters aren't allowed. So, I'll use an IWB holster for the Kahr.

Also, I think I'll bring 2 guns: the PM9 and another back up.
Given the info below, which would you use (that'll be my backup):

1. Glock 19 w/ lots of mags but has steel guide rod
2. Sig Pro 2009 w/ lots of mags, stock
3. HK P2000v3 in 9mm w/ only 2 mags, stock

I have a nylon OWB holster that can fit any of the 3 above. From
the IDPA rules, if I take off the holster's clip and thread my belt
directly thru its velco loop, there's no visible gap between me, belt,
and holster. So I think it's legal ? I'd appreciate additional info.

Right now, I'm thinking about using the Glock because of its DAO
trigger. I think the HK is probably out unless I can find at least 1
more mag at the gun show (which happens 1 day before the IDPA

However, the Glock isn't stock because of the different guide rod.
I figure if I'm going to try to not come in last place and use a
different gun, I might as well shoot in the Stock service pistol
division. I might buy a Glock stock guide rod at the gun show.

Using the Sig Pro would be cheapest in time and cost, since I don't
have to go to the gun show.

Which would you take ?


February 15, 2006, 07:05 PM
Shoot the PM9 and let us know how it went. I've thought about doing the same thing.

Jim Watson
February 15, 2006, 08:29 PM
Of the Glock and the Sig, take the one that you shoot the best.
Nobody will care about a replacement recoil spring guide rod in a beginner's Glock, and the cheapo nylon holster will do.
Have you got magzine carriers for either gun?
You don't need but three magazines, that is all that is allowed in the gun and on your belt for any one stage, though more is always better to reduce the time pressure of getting ready for the next stage.

My Priorities for IDPA
1. Be safe. Don't hurt anybody, don't scare anybody, don't get disqualified for safety violation. [The range is cold, do not handle your gun except in a designated safety zone or when told to on the firing line. Do not handle ammunition except OUTSIDE the safety zone.]
2. Execute. Pay attention to the Course of Fire description and shoot as instructed. Ask questions, watch experienced shooters. Procedural errors and hits on non-threat targets are penalized,
3. Hit the target. Center hits "Zero Down" are desirable and near center hits "One Down" are acceptable. Avoid border "Down Three" shots and misses. Targets must be "neutralized" or you will be penalized. The number of hits per target is specified in the CoF description. If "Vickers Count" you may make up doubtful shots or fire insurance shots on difficult targets. If "Limited Count" you may only fire the number of shots specified.
4. Move along. Your score is your time from the Start buzzer til your last shot, plus half a second per point down, plus penalties. Don't run before you can walk through the stages LITERALLY but don't dally round.

Pay attention to CoF directions and what is going on. Let the Match Director and Safety Officers know you are a beginner, they will help you and keep an eye on you.

Practice dryfire. You will be drawing from concealment - take a suitable garment that will cover your gun and ammo - and that is best practiced dryfire at home before you go to a match.

You will sooner or later be required to shoot one handed, strong side or weak. Practice dry and live fire. You will surely be required to shoot from cover high (standing with both feet and half of everything else behind cover) and low (kneeling firing around the side, not over the top, of a drum.) You will likely be required to shoot on the move, forward, back, or laterally. You have to be moving, you don't have to be moving FAST.

February 16, 2006, 12:52 PM
Hi Jim,

Thanks for the info.

I shoot the Glock and Sig about the same, and both much better
than I shoot the Kahr.

I have a Fobus double mag carrier for the sig. Would using a mag
holder be important ? I don't have carriers for other guns.

For this first match, I'm going to use the sig because it's stock and
I'll probably not scare anyone when I reload. I practiced tac
reloading w/ the Kahr and noticed that sometimes my finger goes
into the trigger guard.

But in the spirit of IDPA, I really should shoot a course w/ my Kahr.
Will do that next time I go.


Joe D
February 17, 2006, 05:53 AM
J11, some thoughts I have. I would shoot the G19. Glocks and 1911s "own" IDPA. There is a reason for this. Both are easy to shoot fast and accurate. Blade Tech has a holster and mag pouch combo pack for $39. www.blade-tech.com
Jim has given you good info on how to shoot the match. The Tac/RWR has been pretty much phased out of IDPA. There are very few times that it is to your advantage to use it. Most stages you will shoot to slide lock.

Jim Watson
February 17, 2006, 09:48 AM
Joe D is right, Glocks are much the most common and successful SSP. If you get interested enough to buy a match gun, a G17 or G34 is best for cheap factory 9mm; but Joe says a handloaded .40 minor has less felt recoil, which favors the G22 or G35.

You DO need to be able to carry reloads on your belt. It is a rare stage that does not call for a reload and frisking yourself to find ammo in a pocket is slow and can be unsafe. Take the Sig if you cannot find mag carriers for the Glock in time.

February 18, 2006, 08:02 PM
Just starting to get into IDPA myself, I have used my Beretta 92FS and my Glock 23.
I feel the Glock is a little better as there is no thumb safety you need worry about and the trigger on the Glock is a lot smoother than on the Beretta.

February 18, 2006, 11:00 PM
I'm all ready to go for my first IDPA match tomorrow... then I get an
email saying the match is cancelled due to possible dangerous road
conditions. Oh well, next time.

Anyway, went to the gun show today and picked up an IWB plastic
holster and a 2 mag carrier for my Glock 19. I also found my original
G19 recoil spring! So I'll be ready next time w/ my stock Glock 19.

I was also shopping for an extra mag for my P2000. I cannot believe
the prices at the show (expensive) at close to $50 each. So I picked
up another P2000 ! (Price was $650.) This was unfortunate, since
I had intended to use that money on an AR...

Gun shows are dangerous for my wallet!

March 13, 2006, 03:30 AM
For IDPA I use a Glock 21 bone stock. I shoot this in USPSA Limited and Production also. I may get a SS guide rod, but gun works fine for this expert. In IDPA the guide rod is not allowed in SSP.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 13, 2006, 12:56 PM
Interesting thread.

I posted about revolver carry awhile ago with a similar thought. I shoot a stock G19 in IDPA. I also carry it quite a lot. My goal is to have fun and get some trigger time with a reasonable gun that I do carry. I'm not concerned about winning as much as competing against myself to show improvement in my skills. That's worked out well.

I've thought about shooting some of my other carry guns just to get some practice with them outside of just the square range. I have a PM-9 but haven't shot it yet at a match. I've seen it done by others.

I've wanted some trigger time with my J frame. At Jim's suggestion, I bought a paddle for it and speed loader carrier. I'm quite aware that if I shoot a 38 SPL snubbie I will come in last unless no one else shows in the revolver class. :D

However, I want to try it. I'm going to wait however to after the Fiesta Regional match to try this.

I would shoot my regular size gun until I felt comfortable with the IDPA format and then try the PM-9.

Good luck.

April 1, 2006, 07:55 PM
I have a Kimber Pro BP Ten II (hi cap) that I'd llike to use for IDPA. What category does it fit into?

April 2, 2006, 08:02 AM
I've been thinking of trying my PM9 at IDPA as well. The rules state you must shoot the whole match with the same mag capacity as you started so that kind of limits me for now. I have 1 8 rd, 1 7rd, and 1 6 rd. I normally carry 6+1 for CCW so I think I'll get 2 more and give it a try. If anyone does this before I do, I'd love to hear your feedback on how it went.

Rudolf the Red
April 5, 2006, 04:15 PM
I just picked up a S&W SW9VE to try IDPA with. It's the "enhanced" Sigma. Got a Fobus rig on ebay. I keep on forgetting a vest. I will probably end up wearing my orange work safety vest because I own it already. If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid.

I figure that if I like SSP, I will decide what class to continue in later. I could have used one of my other pieces, but I could not pass up the sale on the Smith. Plus, the sign at the store said, "Your wife called and said it was OK."


April 18, 2006, 10:03 PM
IDPA is my new ADDICTION....

Just shot my first qualifier. I used a Ruger P-95. Rated MM. Thought I could do better.. I seem to lose IQ points when the buzzer sounds.

Does anyone know if the Springfield XD-45 Tactical will fit in "The Box"?


Shoot Safe!
Shoot Often!

April 19, 2006, 06:57 AM
I'm just figuring this all out myself (first shoot Saturday), but the whole point of the thing is to use your carry piece. It's as much training as it is sport.
Whichever one it is you're planning on using when TSHTF is the one you use for IDPA.

Just my $.02