View Full Version : IDPA people

March 15, 2010, 12:17 PM
Greetings all,

I got to wondering the other night, What are the IDPA and IPSC people like?
From competitors to officials and all the rest...

How welcoming and accepting are they of new comers?
do they cheer, jeer or pretty much just leave you alone?
Is it a good friendly atmosphere, is it intensely competitive?

Thanks for your help

March 15, 2010, 12:35 PM
I'm new to competitive shooting and my experience has been very positive - very friendly and helpful people, especially to newcomers, and the matches are fun but safe and challenging at the same time. No jeers. Huzzahs abound.

At one of our local matches, extra gear is even brought for newcomers to use if they like. In fact, at the upcoming state ICORE match, the National Champion is coming, and he offered to bring an extra gun or 2 if anyone would like. Doesn't get much friendlier than that!

If you're thinking of checking out a local IDPA match for the first time, I can highly recommend it.

March 15, 2010, 12:56 PM
In New England, I have found a friendly environment based on local standards. Nowhere near as warm as described above, but let's say 20% of the people are friendly which is pretty good around here.

March 15, 2010, 02:08 PM
I've found people at shooting matches to be friendly and accommodating.

That being said, be prepared for what I call the 5% (+/-) Jerk Quotient.

It's not the shooting sports, it's the Law of Humanity-in-Sufficient-Numbers.

March 15, 2010, 02:14 PM
oh I understand there will always be 'that guy', thats to be expected.

I was just wondering if the folks were polite, professional and helpful, or if it was a highly competitive environment with a lot of 'those guys'

March 15, 2010, 02:49 PM
"Shooters" come from a large cross-section of society, and I'd expect to find the same proportions of helpful people, kind people, rude people, ignorant people, etc., at shooting competitions as at yard sales or softball games. We're lucky at our club to have 20+ certified Safety Officers, and they are essentially required to be helpful! It's in the job description.

March 15, 2010, 05:50 PM
In my 10 years of IDPA shooting I have found that most shooters will go out of their way to be helpful to a new shooter. They will give you a honest evaluation of you preformance and hints to improve you shooting. The ROs are great as they will take great pains to see that you understand the CoF, the safety rules and most important to make you feel comfortable. There will always be the boor that can make things difficult but they are few and far between. Go and watch a match to get a feel for what is going on, talk to some of the shooters and you will be hooked.

March 15, 2010, 09:13 PM
I shot mainly one discipline for many years and I'm considering trying another. Any smart comp shooter knows that new shooters are the future of his sport and will make them welcome. I can guarantee someone took an interest in them and helped them early on.
My best advice is to contact the match director to see what you need to bring, show up early and make sure you understand the rules and course of fire. Ask lots of questions and have fun! If you don't have all the equipment needed show up and watch and make a realistic list of items needed. Don't be surprised if a shooter offers to let you try out his equipment after the match.
I'm sure you'll hear PPC shooters talk trash about IDPA shooters, Bullseye shooters tease PPC shooters and High Power shooters make jokes about Benchrest shooters but it's all in good fun.

March 16, 2010, 04:23 PM
anyone form the Orlando FL area take part in idpa?

March 16, 2010, 08:25 PM
I've shot IDPA for more than a decade and USPSA for more than a decade before that. You really run into all types.

I currently live in the mid-south but lived in the mid-west before that. In general, I would have to say the shooters down here are a lot nicer than the yankees.

Bongo Boy
March 17, 2010, 01:10 AM
I've shot 5 or so IDPA matches over the past year at a local club. Folks come from metro and rural areas, and each match has from 40-60 shooters, and may have from 4 to 15 new shooters.

New shooters are given the mandatory safety course and are generally distributed among the squads, of which there are only four at this range. I was certainly welcomed warmly by the regular guys who conduct the match. As for the regular shooters, I know a few who struck up a nice conversation with me.

This group doesn't do any vocalizing of any kind in response to any shooter, whether they be newbies or the old guys. No cheers, no friendly jeers and no other outward signs of having even been watching the active shooter.

I've visited 2 USPSA matches where the shooters seemed to know one another more and visit with one another more, and I believe it's a far more stable group (been around longer, little turnover). I've shot just one USPSA match at a club different from the 2 just mentioned, but generally it's mostly the same shooters. I though folks were welcoming, cordial, helpful...but basically the same match behavior as the IDPA guys. Fairly quiet and I've never had any sense anyone was watching me or cared. Which I like. I've gotten quiet 'good run', 'nice shooting' and 'did you forget about that 2nd popper?' sorts of comments, but these are sincere one-on-one comments.

From my experience, I can definitely say you are unlikely to find a 'good ole boys' mentality with 'insiders' and 'outsiders', at least no more so than any other sort of club. It's not a League, and so far I've not met anyone I'd consider a jerk (hmmm, maybe because it's me).

The sooner you shoot your first match or two, the sooner these concerns will be behind you and you will be able to stress out over shooting. :)

I see no evidence of nor any opportunity for 'competition' in any sense I know it. I can choose to use what I see other shooters do to my advantage and plan to do better, but when the buzzer goes I can't imagine anyone thinking about how to 'beat' another shooter's time. I can also say I'm starting to ignore anything my brain tells me about how well or poorly I'm doing...I try to just wait for the scores to make any ego-satisfying (or bruising) comparisons.

It's very satisfying and I think very useful. Do it.

March 18, 2010, 12:36 PM
I would like to participate in IPDA matches. Does anyone know of any towns on Long Island , NY . I think Freeport sponsers them but I would like a club or rqange closer to my home.

Jim Watson
March 18, 2010, 01:56 PM
Dre Sa,

The Orlando club has a vigorous IDPA program, at one time they were holding the state championships there.

They shoot IPSC, too.

The Wyoming Antelope Club in Clearwater and the Lakeland range shoot IDPA, too; that would be in my "combat radius" if I lived in Orlando; but I shoot every weekend, health and weather permitting. I have shot at all three of those places and they put on a good show and make new shooters welcome.

Don P
March 18, 2010, 05:33 PM
Being new to IDPA myself there is nothing but positive friendly people at the meets and all are willing to answer questions and help whenever you ask. The safety officers have all be a great help with regards to safety, how they would shoot the stage and so on. Great people, great shooting discipline and I'm glad I decided to try it and sorry I waited so long to get involved

Don P
March 18, 2010, 05:35 PM
I would like to participate in IPDA matches. Does anyone know of any towns on Long Island , NY . I think Freeport sponsers them but I would like a club or rqange closer to my home.

You could start here, www.idpa.com

March 18, 2010, 09:38 PM
I shoot both matches and the IDPA people are a bit friendlier that the IPSC folks. This is in the deep South mind you. Not that anyone was making me feel unwelcome. Just that the IDPA folks welcomed me with open arms.

Don P
March 19, 2010, 03:13 PM
I shoot both matches and the IDPA people are a bit friendlier that the IPSC folks. This is in the deep South mind you. Not that anyone was making me feel unwelcome. Just that the IDPA folks welcomed me with open arms.

I personally think the IDPA is more true to life than the IPSC and also not a track and field event with a gun. just my opinion now so lets not get all worked up over it.

March 22, 2010, 10:25 PM
Some of the best people I've ever met were involved in the competitive shooting sports!

Assault Lawyer
March 23, 2010, 09:52 PM
In New England, I have found a friendly environment based on local standards. Nowhere near as warm as described above, but let's say 20% of the people are friendly which is pretty good around here.

At my first match, someone asked me how I liked it, a second person asked me if I was addicted yet, and a third person told me "nice shooting." By local standards that was like Woodstock, and frankly I was blown away by the camaraderie and good fellowship. Local Standards, sure, but also earmuffs... mine weren't fancy noise cancelling ones. I had a fantastic time.

Guy B. Meredith
March 24, 2010, 12:27 AM
My experience is that action shooters are very friendly and supportive. As mentioned above there is a quotient of jerks, but attitude is not appreciated so they get few perks to stay around.

If you find the IDPA and IPSC people too rude, drop in on ICORE (revolver only) or SASS for some real congeniality and almost family atmosphere.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 24, 2010, 10:15 AM
The IDPA folks around here are supportive and friendly. Very welcoming to new folks. Our population is diverse from all groups and walks of life. No real nuts and if so, they are quickly shut down.

YMMV in other locales than S. and Central Texas.

IPSC has a touch higher proportion of gamers who might be insular. However, the groups in general are friendly folk.

The steel folks are also quite friendly.

March 24, 2010, 07:10 PM
Thanks for your help folks!

I'll definitely look into it when funds and time permit!

Jim Watson
March 24, 2010, 08:47 PM
Shooters in general are friendly helpful people.
I have many times seen (and a couple of times benefited from) somebody setting up right behind a Long Range shooter with a monster spotting scope and getting him on target at 600-1000 yards from a "who knows" sight setting that was putting them in the dirt or in the woods. (An experienced shooter with a good spotting scope can watch the "trace" of the bullet headed toward the target... or not.)

March 28, 2010, 03:25 PM
i agree with others that most shooting disciplines pretty much have the same types of people. Some, like me, shoot both in order to get more trigger time and others are dead set in their discipline. I like shooting both because it never lets you get comfortable and always keeps you thinking because of the different rules. As far as the games go, i think IPSC will make you a more accurate shooter, but IDPA makes you more tactically sound and hones skills and ultimately i would rather have those when faced with a real life situation.

Glenn E. Meyer
March 29, 2010, 04:36 PM
There were two new shooters on my squad yesterday. Both left and shook our hands for being so supportive and helpful. Big hugs all around! :)

They said they would be back.

March 29, 2010, 07:02 PM
There are all kinds everywhere. But I find that most shooters tend to be very polite and welcoming to new shooters. You will find that there are die-hard competitors that aren't into socializing or mentoring during matches. You need to give them space and let them focus on wearing their game face. But there will also be a lot who are there just to have fun and are happy to help new competitors to also have a good time.

Bongo Boy
March 30, 2010, 09:23 AM
Gryff's comment above about the competitive mindset made me think of how these games differ for various folks. For some, they are there with several fellow club members whom they know outside the match environment. There's time to socialize and time to help ensure the match itself runs well.

For many of us I think, myself for sure, the local matches are my only time to practice match shooting. It's practice far more than it's a 'match'. So, I have to review in my head what I'm there for, and that's my practice agenda. It's only a few rounds compared to practice at the indoor range, so I want to get some specific things done.

I seldom actually do get those things done, but I like to think I'm some kind or organized fellow who has a plan. It's all crap, of course.

Laminar Lou
May 19, 2010, 11:49 AM
I was one of the new guys, and I have to say everyone was quite helpful and respectful. I had never drawn from a holster before and was given a run through before I started. Every Range Officer was very helpful and gave me pointers when I struggled on a strong hand distant shot with my 4" revolver. Safety was priority #1 but it was a fun atmosphere with very little competitive atmosphere. Most people seem to be competing against themselves and really do not pay attention to what you are doing (unless you are very good, then people will watch!).

It might be a little intimidating at first, but I will definitely be back. I am already hooked! Going back in a few weeks and looking at purchasing a 45 just to do IDPA. It's worth checking out to see what it is all about.

My experience was at the range in Piru, CA. Your mileage may vary. :D

May 19, 2010, 02:47 PM
I started competition shooting because I heard many stories of how friendly each game sport is to new shooters. I tried USPSA first and found it to be a warm friendly match venue. However, I did notice immediately that many shooters gathered in a pool or stayed together on a specific squad. They were normally fast/accurate shooters and didn't appear to be approachable for novice questions. They wore the competition shirts, patches and had the fancy expensive gear.

The following year I tried IDPA. It seemed more like a bunch of white collar guys coming out on a day off to have a fun day shooting guns. Competitive yes, but no SO competitive, if that makes sense. As a result, I've chosen to stick to IDPA in my area. But lets be real, ones competitive juices flow from ones personality and the group they are with. Maybe the location of the range could be a make or break decision for a shooter as well. I will say I never saw any negative comments about other shooters in either sport.

June 2, 2010, 04:30 AM
Dre, I've had mostly positive experiences with IDPA. My only negative is that it takes so much time out of my weekends.

If you are in Orlando, as Jim posted CFRPC puts on a good show at Weewahootee. The uniqueness of your location actually is a benefit if you start getting into it.

Both the Titusville and Port Malabar gun clubs do IDPA, relax they're not all on the same weekend so you can actually shoot three IDPA matches a month with an hour or so of driving.

All are good clubs, all the MD's put on a great show.