View Full Version : Getting ready for my first IDPA

April 9, 2006, 12:21 PM
A couple questions for the veterans:
Do you shoot an entire round one shooter at a time? If so, what's the reload procedure between strings when none is stated in the CoF?
Are we supposed to just drop empties during slide-lock reloads? Are they done on the clock?
I've got more questions but I'll hold off until I get these answered first.

(edit) These questions all apply to the qualifier specifically.

Jim Watson
April 9, 2006, 12:54 PM
Specifically in the Classifier (if that is what you mean by "qualifier"):

If there is more than one shooter to run through the Classifier, most places put everybody through one 30-round stage (of the three) at a time. This keeps everybody at the right range and gives time to reload magazines.

As far as reloads for each string in the stage, the SO will help out, letting you know what is coming up. If you have sufficient magazines to get through it, reload as required for the next string. Sometimes a full magazine will get you through more than one string - Division capacity limits don't really apply since everything is on a Limited basis. Couple times you have to start with three or six in the gun. If you have five magazines, you can get through a Classifier stage without having to stop to refill. If you do not, get a buddy to refill them as you go.

You can (should) just let empty magazines drop from a slidelock reload. Yes, they are on the clock, but are only called for in Stage I, String 6 and Stage II, String 3 of the Classifier. You must do a Tactical Reload or Reload with Retention in Stage III, Strings 1 and 2.

April 9, 2006, 01:08 PM
Quick work. Thanks :)

So I would juggle magazine loads between strings as necessary? I mean take the time between strings 1-5 and 1-6. Would I drop extras from my "initial" mag and load them into another mag while I'm on the line?

Jim Watson
April 9, 2006, 01:24 PM
How many magazines do you have for the gun you will be shooting?
What capacity?
If you plan ahead you can avoid most of the juggling.
In your example, if you load with six rounds for I-5 and shoot three of them in that string, you will have three left which is what is required to force a slidelock reload called for in I-6. If your reload magazine in I-6 held nine rounds, then you can go ahead and shoot I-7 without pause to reload.

If you do not have enough magazines and/or do not plan ahead, then the answer is yes, you will probably have to stand on the line and juggle magazines and ammo to get to what is called for in the next string. I have not seen the Classifier run in shorter blocks than the three 30 shot stages. Like I said, you might need to have somebody help you refill magazines if you do not own enough to get through it.

April 9, 2006, 01:49 PM
I was planning on running 3 10 rd. magazines. Looks like I'll be doing some reloading since the way I read it you need 4 mags to run the first stage and 5 mags to get through stages 2&3.

Jim Watson
April 9, 2006, 03:37 PM
That may be slightly inconvenient, but the SO will work with you and as I said, you can ask somebody to reload magazines while you shoot.
Three tens, huh?
OK for Stage I, load them with 9 rounds each.
Shoot Strings 1,2,3 from mag A and hand it off to be loaded with 3 rounds.
Shoot Strings 4 and 5 with mag B.
Shoot String 6 with mag A(3) and mag C.
Shoot String 7 with mag C.
Only one refill by your "caddy" or at worse, one pause in the action.

Stages II and III aren't as convenient to set up for but you can figure out how to do it with the least lost motion.

Don't worry about it, it is done routinely and we are from Berryville and are here to help you.

April 9, 2006, 04:53 PM
Thanks alot for the info.
Another question: If a CoF specifically calls for a reload with retention and I do a tactical reload instead, is that a procedural penalty? One point in the rules says they're interchangeable but another says they're not.

Jim Watson
April 9, 2006, 08:03 PM
Page 41 says TL and RwR are interchangeable.
Where does it say they are not?
I have definitely not seen it called since the rule changed.
(Before the rule change, you would not have been required to do a RwR; the Tac Load was always considered philosophically superior. You could be required to do a TL or you would be given a choice between TL and RwR but the RwR was never required that I saw.)
The Classifier CoF says TL but since the interchangeability definition went in, I have seen folks do it both ways.

April 9, 2006, 08:41 PM
I was just confused. 41-43 implies that a CoF would specifically call for one or the other. Just makin' sure.

Jim Watson
April 9, 2006, 10:20 PM
RwR is easier to learn and less fumble prone.
TL is faster if, if, IF you are good at it. And has the (slight) advantage in Clasifier Stage III, String 2 that you can get the gun reloaded and be stowing the magazine on your way from the barricade to the barrel.

I learned the TL because it used to be required in some cases, and still use it reflexively even after a good deal of RwR practice.
The RwR is simpler to do.
One dropped magazine will wipe out the speed of a bunch of TLs.

April 18, 2006, 04:34 PM
While unloaded, Wear that belt, holster, pistol combo. a bunch in the days, or even weeks prior to the competition. You need to feel real comfortable with it on, and moving with it, dropping a mag. on the carpet or something soft, and inserting another. Learn everything you need to be comfortable, and operate the thumb and grip safeties quickly and efficiently, and keep your finger extended over the trigger guard without touching the trigger, and similar exercises, again, while unloaded!

At the range: PRACTICE your single and double tap shots at the range. Shoot while sitting and various other positions with the gun down and cocked/locked, or in the holster both that way, and mag. inserted and no bullet in the chamber. Practice some with your weak hand, and begin the confidence to feel more like a master, and with safety in mind - forget the other competitors when it's your turn. If you have a round fail to eject or other problem, learn to clear/handle that quickly with the muzzle aimed downrange, and proceed. When you draw from the holster, is your other arm/hand moving toward your body and nearing the position to support the gun hand?

It takes time to get the comfort level high...


April 18, 2006, 08:48 PM

I've been really jazzed about it, put 250 rounds through my 96fs in the last 4 days. Strong hand, weak hand, tac load, draw presentation....all of it :D

I've been focusing on the classifier scenarios and the skills specific to them. It has definitely been an eye-opener.

Answering Hikingman's question, I have been practicing disengaging the safety and cocking the hammer during the draw with my weak hand. Gettin' pretty good at it.

I haven't figured out how I'm going to shoot from the right side of a barricade yet. Maybe switch to my right hand &use a modified Weaver. More practice...

Jim Watson
April 19, 2006, 09:44 AM
I have been practicing disengaging the safety and cocking the hammer during the draw with my weak hand. Gettin' pretty good at it.

Whoa, wait, back up two steps.
That is NOT the way to manage a DA-SA gun like Beretta 96.
If you want to be effective in IDPA or a gunfight, you must master the crunch-tick of the DA-SA transition. And you don't need to leave it on safe, either. Just draw the gun and start pulling the trigger, don't add unnecessary manipulations. You will not always have your weak hand available, anyhow.

April 19, 2006, 11:18 AM
I've been practicing those as well, safety disengage 1 handed (awkward on a Beretta) as well as DA/SA fire.
I find that my fastest presentation from hammer down and safe (when shooting 2-handed is by the method I describe. I assure you I don't lose any time the way I'm doing it.

But you're telling me that I'm going to be drawing with the safety off during the classifier? I didn't know that.

Jim Watson
April 19, 2006, 01:09 PM
There is no requirement, either IDPA rule or for mechanical safety, to leave the safety-decocking lever of a B96 or similar in "safe" position. Use it to decock and then return it to the "fire" position and save yourself some fumbling. As Jeff Cooper says, "Don't get caught with your dingus down." The gun won't go off by itself and the SO won't care, any more than he would for a Sig-Sauer that doesn't HAVE a safety position on the decocker. Or a G-model Beretta which doesn't, either.

I am sure that you that you are losing time by thumb cocking the hammer instead of pulling the trigger. You just aren't good enough yet to tell the difference. You are also having to exercise judgment under time pressure vs stages when you have to shoot onehanded. Tell me different when you make Expert.

April 19, 2006, 01:30 PM
Well, that'll simplify things a bit for me then. I'll be doing it your way, but so you know I wasn't thumb cocking it.
I'll report in and let you know how it went on Sunday.

April 19, 2006, 01:32 PM
Oh while I'm here tho',
What are your thoughts on shooting from the weak side of an obstacle?

April 23, 2006, 03:33 AM
That was great! :cool:
I need to train to rack the slide instead of hitting the slide release during my reloads.
More observations over in the "things I learned" thread.