View Full Version : IPSC and Multiple targets

January 8, 1999, 07:54 AM
Hope I don't get flamed too badly on this but what are your thoughts on IPSC shhooters having a slight edge on other shooters in a multiple assailant scenario ?

Picture this - underground parking garage, 2 exits (ramp 1 in/out & doorway to building)....you get out of car & 4 b/g's with less than nice intentions close in on you. Situation develops were you HAVE to pull your gun & shoot.

My point now is that with your IPSC training behind you, the chances of putting 2 shots into the A zone of each aggressor would have to be better than the average range shooter who plinks at targets once every 3 months ?....I know it's not "Gunsite" training or anything but IMHO it would give an edge nonetheless.

Rob Pincus
January 8, 1999, 10:33 AM
anyone who practices a scenario is going to have a better chance of surviving that scenario in the real world.

My only problem with some IPSC competitors is that they are using ridiculous holsters and finnicky guns and silly optics. That is why I don't compete IPSC anymore.. I just got sick of it getting less and less practical.
Please don't flame me I have nothing against people who want to compete with that gear, I use some of it in STC competitions, I just wish they wouldn't continue to call it practical.


4V50 Gary
January 8, 1999, 10:42 AM
Guderian said, "Weapons affect tactics."

IPSC can give one the shooting skill to survive a nasty encounter like one you described. Indeed, I'll contend that a hypothetical IPSC competitor can outshoot an average LEO or casual plinker for the simple reason that most enthusiastic shooters practice more regularly than most LEOs or casual plinkers.

However, I also humbly submit that "practical" is no longer part of IPSC and since IPSC awards for speed rather than tactics, a shooter may be preconditioning him/herself with tactics which are impractical in a real life gunfight. Double taps are nice, but it may be wiser to put one into each assailant than wait for #3 or #4 to put one into you. I think that happened to a LEO who was an IPSC shooter.

Given the time and choice, I'd rather go with IDPA (if I got that right) which requires normal duty gear and gun over the race gear and gun of IPSC. Mindset is important and it behooves the IPSC shooter (or any other target shooter) to distinguish between the safety of a range environment and actual encounters on the street; and in doing so, select firearms and tactics which are appropriate for unsocial encounters.

Weapons affects tactics and are ammo sensitive high maintenance raceguns appropriate for self defense? I think not.

4v50 Gary

Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt

Art Eatman
January 8, 1999, 08:27 PM
I'm a life member of USPSA/IPSC, but lost interest as the "gamey" aspects took over. I hope to find a place to shoot, here around Thomasville, as there are some local guys interested in IDPA.

It's not so much that the shooting is different, as the gear is different. And, probably, the mindset.

Even the Steel Challenge top-guns, with not only the race-guns but pipsqueak ammo, are gonna do well in ANY scenario, so long as their minds are set...I strongly believe that a mix of regular practice, and "self-psyching" about the "what if?" of situations are very damned important.

I certainly wouldn't carry a race gun, but "racing" is still shooting.

Helluva note. Nobody to argue with...Why'd I post this?

Michael Carlin
January 8, 1999, 10:52 PM
A while back someone derided the value of competition with a sarcastic reference to the
"crucible of competition - puhleezez!"

There is no doubt in my mind, after 27 years in the Army, competing in both full contact and light contact karate, shooting: bullseye pistol, USPSA-IPSC, bowling pins, high power rifle, international combat rifle pistol and machingun for the USAR, that anyone who shoots/trains regularly lives in a different plane from the sedentary masses.

I do not dispute that there are some bad habits to be avoided in USPSA/IPSC, but training to shoot fast and accurately with a real gun (as opposed to the UIT Rapid Fire Pistol) will improve the odds of success.

Enthusiasts who are shooting on their own generally have a level of commitment and thus proficiency that I am inclined to believe in.

Everbody has heard about the black belt who got his ass kicked by the local bad ass, but how many of you have actually seen it? Not many I will bet. I am betting on the competitor usually.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


Rob Pincus
January 9, 1999, 12:05 AM
I saw it. Typical TKD American pay-your-way Dojo. (No offense to any TKD practitioners, I've just seen this alot....)..

21 year old kid, always wearing the chinese dragon satin jackets with his patches and crap.. he went to a civilian school near my college. His mother was an instructor at the dojo. He got his black belt when he was 20, he got his a** handed to him when he had mouthed off one too many times about being a black belt.
Granted, there was no real justification for the guy to smash him, but he really had it coming to him.
He stopped wearing the jackets and patches and crap after that, I noticed.

That is an extreme story of blatant stupidity. It is ashame, because everytime I hear that someone is a blackbelt, especially in some of the more "popular" arts, I really have to say "So What?" in my head.

Kinda like I used to think (and many people do think) that LEOs were all capable of using a handgun to defend themselves and were automatically knowledgeable about things "tactical."

I have to say that my cynicism goes for competitors, too. Like I said originally, any practice is better than no practice, but a competition hero might not make it the first time he has to draw from concealment. (a few competitions excepted, obviously)


January 9, 1999, 02:16 AM
Remember The Karate Kid, when he asks "what kind of belt do you have ?" the reply was "rope..why do you ask ?".

IMHO that is ONE of the best movie lines EVER ! :)</p>

Rob Pincus
January 9, 1999, 02:47 AM
I thought it was "JC Penny" .. but either way it was a classic line...

January 9, 1999, 03:17 AM
New record !!..No flames about IPSC & real world shooting !... my, my I am suprised !...grin :) Thought I worded my scenario correctly ! :D

January 9, 1999, 12:11 PM
As a USPSA shooter I agree that the open class shooters would be a bit hard press to use their rigs for carry, LEO or whatever,
Limited would be much closer to this, I do think if you look at open shooting as a sport
it makes it alot more easy to deal with.
This wasn't the original intent, but times change, look at stock car racing, you figure you could buy Dale Ernharts car down at your local car dealer???
Right or wrong?? who knows, I'm enjoying it,
Cooper might be whinning about it but there's always IDPA, different strokes for different folks.
I would think any of these sports should only may you better with a gun, enjoy what you will.

January 9, 1999, 01:03 PM
Haven't tried IPSC yet...sure do want to. I've been shooting IDPA for two years and it's a blast. I'm sure nothing in the competitive world can really prepare you for a real world shoot-em-up. I wonder if the premium training sites can really do much more unless they actually shoot back at you.

I think Cooper coined the phrase "a pox on plinking" saying that shooting without purpose is not practice and builds bad habits. I think I agree, but EVERY shot fired WITH purpose helps you become a better shooter and that HAS to give you some edge over the one who is not.

If you want to find out if you can draw from concealment with your carry rig and put center hits on multiple targets (sometimes covered with shirts), using available cover, with an emphasis on accuracy and current thinking in tactical theory, then IDPA will test your metal. It's still just a game...but so is anything short of a real life and death encounter.

The Scandinavian
January 12, 1999, 10:29 AM
At my local IPSC club "raceguns" are very much the exception rather than the norm. Most folks use 1911's with iron sights, stock G17's seem to be popular, and I shoot an USP9F with fixed sights. One or two use the "race" holsters but there's no rule that says you have to use racy gear. The Limited class is still alive and well here anyway!
Cheers for now <font color=red>T.S.</font>

January 22, 1999, 11:21 AM
I have shot IPSC for six years and have really enjoyed the sport and the friendly people. They have taught me a lot. I started with an out-of-the-box Beretta, but made the decision to build an open gun. Would I carry my racegun, NO!! It would take too long to unlock the holster and turn on the dot sight. I'd be suffering from some serious lead poisoning before all that happened! As for "practical", in open division it has turned into a game, but it's a game that helps me shoot better. Some of the "limited" class guys kick my butt in every match, using 8 round stock 1911's. It boils down to ability and how much you have practiced.

My carry gun is a Glock 30 with ten rounds of Speer Gold Dot 230 grain with no modifications made to the firearm. Don't need a lawyer calling it a "modified killing machine" with a "hair" trigger.

My advice, find a game you like (IPSC, IDPA, Bullseye or whatever) and play it!

[This message has been edited by DblTap (edited 01-22-99).]

[This message has been edited by DblTap (edited 01-22-99).]

Rich Lucibella
January 22, 1999, 11:30 AM
Welcome to The Firing Line Mr. Tap. It's good to hacve more competitors dropping by.

January 22, 1999, 09:58 PM
non-shooters are abundant in our society.
Havind retired from LE I know LEO's are also
in that category.If I can put four rounds on three targets in three seconds or less, I
feel I stand a chance with four BG's.No
practicee, no hittee.As you train so shall you perform when you get in combat.Must be
something to it,I'm still here after 26 years
on the road.bud


Ray VanderLinden
January 23, 1999, 07:36 AM
HS, you still trying to get someone going?
Ranger said it all. Most LEO's think once a year and 50 rounds is good enough (wrong). I ought to know I have to train them. They also want good weather. Almost any person who likes to shoot is better off. Competitors included.
First rule to remember is you can't miss fast enough to win a gun fight.
The Second is as you practice so will you fight.
My club broke away from IPSC years ago. It became a Cross between IPSC and IDPA, Comps are allowed but no optics. It's a good mix but still not perfect.
Mind set is what gets most good shooter or (TKD) in trouble. On the street forget the rules. The only real rule is....."I will survive!"

January 23, 1999, 08:33 AM
Wasn't particulary trying to get someone going...grin but trying to see if there were any VALID reasons against IPSC. If Aussie LEOs saw how we shoot at club level they too might think "hmm...better join a club and LEARN to shoot !"

Still have a real hard time trying to understand the concept of someone who has to carry a gun but DECIDES not to be proficient with it !....I know I'm verging on the Soapbox here but sheesh....these people are paid to protect us & they ARE more likely to be in a "situation" more than other folks AND 90% of private gun owners could outshoot them on a Bad day !!

"The Gun from Down Under !"

February 3, 1999, 05:23 AM
I'd allso like to state that set of mind is essential in crisis survival. It really doesn't matter if U got the hottest gun in the world and draw in .50sec if yer "danger sense" is nill and U don't know when to draw or elbow someones jaw and run.

Closest to real fight one can get is simunitions FX ammo that launches those neat paint balls from real guns that hurt too, haven't heard yet that any party would actually compete with such. Might be interesting for those IDPA types to organise "deathmatch" with such, since they so dearly love realism.

TKD and points karate should imho been viewed like the open class, a recreative sport and friendly contest of shared skills.
Modern forms include elements that fullfill the expectations of nowadays practitioners more than more arcane forms.

I don't see much point in such that should the poor TKD dude been reacting like say old timer SE-asian trained fighter and pulled couple of blades facing outnumbering assailants, cut and stapped 'em and ended up in pen for multiple attemps of manslaughter.

For example I don't have any interest, despite practising Myau Thai and Kali, to participate in pre colonialistic era style matches, whereas on mutual agreement competitors glued broken glass to the cloth strips that acted as gloves, in order to make the "tournaments" swifter. Or Kali "patayan" (~"deatmatch") whereas edged sticks were used so that sticks or the hands of the opponents would break faster and match would thus be over faster.

Despite it's potential unrelism sports karate might teach it's practitioners to be hit at and ipsc (any division) it's to shoot
straight and fast, virtues that propably won't hurt in agressive confrontration.

Actually constant practise of about anythang will enhance ones selfdicipline and thus decrease the time that takes to "get grip of oneself" once a fight breaks up.

I think common sense should be practised in endless yarn for "combative realism" and recreational practising of armed fight wether it be with firearms or other weapons.

Thats mah 2cents worth.

Gatt. :)

February 20, 1999, 07:56 AM
I don't know much about IPSC, but I saw an ad featuring a shooter in it (ad for Para-Ord) where the guy looks like Han Solo with a Star Wars laser blaster on his belt in this huge holster-thing. That really turned me off, and I was cheering when I saw an article for IDPA, because it sounds like a Godsend to real world shooters of today.
I would love to go to some IDPA meetings and find out what it is about and how to compete. I would also like to find out what they have learned, because I bet that that kind of competition really dispells myths about some conceal-carry rigs and their practicality under use.

[email protected]

February 20, 1999, 08:22 AM
Thaddeus, the Han Solo guys are in OPEN Class. I shoot a stock Para P-16 in IPSC & have loads of fun !

You don't need a $3000 gun to compete - just one that goes bang every time ! { :o)

"The Gun from Down Under !"

February 20, 1999, 02:44 PM
There are 10 IDPA clubs in California. The website for IDPA is <http://www.idpa.com/>. Check it out. Contact a club near you and go to one of their matches. Explain that you are new (everyone was once) and I'll bet they knock themselves out helping you become a regular.
Every USPSA or IDPA club I've ever shot at was helpful. 99% of the shooters will treat you right. I hate to admit it but sometimes there will be a snob looking down their nose at lesser experienced shooters, but they are really few and far between.
Get going and have a bal!

February 20, 1999, 06:01 PM
Thanks Cat, and could you repost that IDPA web address?

HS - I guess there are different IPSC classes then, and some more realistic than others. I will remain open minded. I have always been a hard core street-survivalist and anything that steps away from realistic training leaves me nausious. It sounds like, just as with martial arts, there are some hard core people in all schools, you just have to find the right group.


February 21, 1999, 12:07 AM
Any shooting is better than no shooting. More shooting is better than less shooting. So shoot more.
Trite but true.

February 21, 1999, 01:36 AM
IDPA website address:
Good Luck.

February 21, 1999, 08:54 AM
Thaddeus- if you're looking for hardcore training IPSC and IDPA are not where you want to go- they're games, that's all. They can/will help maintain your level of proficiency with a handgun but they're still just games.

February 22, 1999, 06:20 PM
Ah, okay, motorep, you have told me where NOT to go, now how about telling me where TO go?

Hopefully without spending a fortune.


February 22, 1999, 07:15 PM
For hardcore training - Gunsite, Marines, Army. For a good time call....no, for a good time shooting, making some new friends who like to shoot, the opportunity to run and shoot as fast as you can, by all means go shoot IPSC matches. My point is, I guess, tha t when you put in rules,classes for different guns and abilities, and give prizes, you've got a game, regardless of the name.

February 22, 1999, 09:02 PM
You're right. Unfortunately the alternative is all out combat.
There is/was a group on the east coast I believe called "Practical Defense Challenge"
at: <http://www.greent.com/pdc/>
Check it out. Looks real interesting. There was talk about entering the shooting area blindfolded, and at the "Go" dispose of targets as you wish. You solve the problem presented to you. Critique afterward. They had their first match already.

February 22, 1999, 09:05 PM
I seem to be having trouble getting the addresses in these messages. Once more:


February 23, 1999, 12:24 AM
Actually, I already shoot regularly out in the desert with like-minded friends and we make up our own drills. I was hoping to test my skills against some other shooters to see if I am as good as I think I have become ;)

In regards to the military, you have got to be kidding. You mean the guys that put a couple dozen rounds through an AR once a year to qualify? Serious defensive handgun training in the military? No such thing in the far majority of units. Civilians with any inkling of shooting skills and training generally out shoot the far majority of Police and Military units, unless you are talking about the supreme elite, and heck, I shoot with some of them men-o-warsmen and they are good, but a little civilian training gets the same effect, unless you want to learn how to blow stuff up ;)


Clay Whitehead
February 23, 1999, 12:58 AM
I look at matches, IDPA or whatever as a chance to test myself. Part of whether the test is valid is if you did anything that could get you injured in an actual confrontation. So far, nobody has mentioned use of cover and putting distance between yourself and your assailants. IDPA does some of that, but if Thaddeus's group is testing each other that way, he'll come out ahead of what happens in IDPA and way ahead of IPSC.

The notion of reloading in the open and looking for a box to stand in all the time could get you hurt. This isn't a flame on IPSC, but if you practice a particular set of motions enough, that's what you'll do when the manure hits the rotating ventilator.

Going back to the beginning of this thread, we haven't discussed the order that you would use to tag the 4 thugs in HS's scenario or whether you would duck behind one of those nice concrete pillars that are in parking garages. With that many BG's, one shot apiece and some fancy footwork until you can reasses would probably save your bacon.

The biggest problem about practicing this type of scenario or using it in a match is the lack of realistic moving targets to simulate the 4 directions those BG's are going to take when they see you have your PDW (Personal Defense Weapon). Do they all need to be tagged or are some going to turn and run (prudent response to a legally armed citizen), allowing you to go about your business. Remember, 99.99999% of life is going to be "no-shoot" situations.

Thats my $.035 worth.


El Chimango Pete
February 23, 1999, 09:44 PM
Was with the first IPSC shooters in Buenos Aires, starting the sport 15 years ago (?). It was still very much as Jeff Cooper and co. had designed it - courses were even designed to allow pistol and revolver to compete together (our runner up champ was shot a S&W 357) very little was custom on the guns - grips, sights, some tuning. The second or third year in we decided to run a series of matches with LEO's and guys from the armed services (army, marines, coast guard even the prison guard services) - I recall one of the range officers shaken and pale coming in from an event: "jeez, the safest place is in front of the targets" - No fault of theirs: wearing a uniform, especially a LEO, was (still is) one of the lowest paying jobs in this country; the keen shooters would 'trade favors' among their colleagues to extend their miserable allotment of practice ammo.
Certainly, under these circumstances, a civilian with a good income would have a substantial edge over most in a confrontation. Those LEOs that participated, in turn, were way ahead of their buddies that didn't.
Now, with space guns and the sport so stylized (didn' Col. Cooper and Mr. Alexacos have an argument about that? The IPSC prez Alexacos said i think something to the effect that it had to be, to be 'politically correct' for an international sport) I'm not so sure there would be such an edge.
A disadvantage, sometimes, 'double tapping' but a gain in 'target acquisition' sure...
The compromise with IDPA sounds best.

Member NRA (life), SASS (life 'El Chimango Pete' #20037), Muzzle Loaders, other clubs in Argentina. Firearms Instructor
On ICQ "Buzzard-Pete"

March 2, 1999, 07:47 PM
The original question was, would shooting IPSC help in dealingl w/ multiple targets ?

Yes, it would.

IPSC started in 1976, when a GREAT run on the "El Presidente" course of fire was 10 seconds.....Now, it's under four seconds.

(the "El Prez" has 3 targets 10 yds downrange, 1 yd apart. Shooter starts w/ back towards targets, wrists above shoulders. At signal, he turns, draws, shoots each one twice, reloads, and shoots each one twice again. 12 shots w/ one reload.)

IPSC is like a smorgasbord.....take what you want, leave what you don't.

If you object to the Open Race Guns or holsters, then don't use them ! Use what makes sense for YOU !

If you're shooting on your own or w/ buddies, do you use a timer ? Do you know how fast you REALLY are ?

A rule of thumb tto know when you're "pretty good" is when you can draw and fire two shots on a 7 yd target in 1.5 seconds......but without a shot timer, you'll never know. A stopwatch is a good GUESS, but that's all it is.

IDPA has many good things going for it, but it FORCES you to shoot it "their" way, and that's not always the right way. You MUST load from slide-lock, unless REQUIRED to do a "tactical reload."

Too many courses of fire in IDPA do NOT allow you to make up a shot you know missed....and that is street relevant how ?

Don't get me wrong, I shoot both and will continue to do so, as EACH has their place.

IPSC will optimize your speed and gunhandling skills, while IDPA emphasizes accuracy......both are GOOD things, are they not ?


Innovative Kydex Tactical Gear

March 2, 1999, 08:04 PM
This has been a fun thread to read. Here's my experience. IPSC, IDPA, all of it can be a lot of fun, competition & training. You have to decide what you want to get out of it. I've shot IPSC off and on since '81. I could never afford a race gun or race holsters. I mostly used a Browning HP, M1911 or Glock 19. I did shoot one match with a Walther PP in .32acp. Most of the time, I approached it as training, not competition. I shot the best I could, but winning wasn't my goal. Shooting my best was the goal. My score with the Walther didn't count, but I got valuable experience in how well I could shoot with it under some kind of stress. For a while, I even shot all head shots. I was slower than the race guns, but I did pretty good and by the end of the match, my head shots weren't a lot slower than going center of mass. One more story. I lost the front sight on my Glock about 1/2 way through one end-of-season super-duper match. I kept shooting and made it about 1/2 way through the man-on-man round robin before I was eliminated. The point was, I found out that in an emergency, I could point shoot pretty good.

IPSC is a game that has gotten a long way from the "practical" sport it started out to be. A $5k race/space gun light years away from a fixed sight, un-comped whatever. But I've seen Leatham and others shoot a single stack .45 match and they would kick my butt for sure!! Their tactics may not be all an expert would want, but they could double tap your 4 guys in the parking garage in about 2 sec at most, from the holster. Bottom line, it is as unrealistic as your competitive sense will allow. If all you want is to win the game, you'll use a game gun, game gear and game tactics. But...you can use your real gun, real gear and real tactics and still enjoy it.

Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud, and the rifle is the queen of personal
weapons. The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the
monarch of all he surveys.
-- Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

RJ in Rome NY
March 20, 1999, 09:33 AM
After reading all the comments on IPSC awarding for speed , etc...
Makes me wonder.. is there or maybe there
should be an organization who's course of fire would involve scenarios.. To test our mental
/ reasoning skills along with our response times, etc... I guess the response time
really would be this . " Did I just die in this scenario"? if so then your time was up..
( pun intended )

Hmmm I wonder if we could take it even further.. multiple targets that move ...
cars on rails... ( almost sounds like an amusement park here ) but I guess you can
only get so practical on a course and still
make it practical to "setup" the course also..

Please no flames.. Just some food for thought..

Whats this STC I have been hearing about here??


March 20, 1999, 10:10 PM
Actually, if they wanted to make either sport more realistic a controled paint ball gun on each bad guy target that shoots the "player" would sort out who is tactically correct & who isn't! :D

Could call it I.S.T.A. "International Surviving The competition Association" .... grin :)

Clean undies (as prizes) to anyone who doesn't get shot !


"The Gun from Down Under !"

Ken Cook
March 21, 1999, 02:21 AM
Laugh if you like, but those paintballs HURT! Good incentive to learn cover and concealment. You just have to remember that cover against paintballs (a nice big bush) is NOT the same as cover against gunfire. Paintball is also incredibly FUN! :D

Your mind is your primary weapon.

Bill Fitzgerald
March 22, 1999, 10:18 PM

The answer to your question is:

Yes, your IPSC experience will help. Unfortunately, against 4 BG's you are going to get shot. No matter how fast you can shoot, or how fast you can transition from target to target.

A better alternative would be to un-ass the area. Find cover. Do what you can to not get shot.

4 against 1 is a losing proposition.


IDPA does not 'require' slide-lock reloads. If the MD says it does, then (s)he is interpreting a rule incorrectly. Also, the only way you can be prevented from making up a shot is if the COF uses Limited Vickers. If the COF is regular Vickers, then feel free to shoot as many shots as you want.

March 23, 1999, 09:00 AM
I knew it was a bad scenario, but most of our rapid fire runs are with 4 targets.

Like tonight I shot 3.78 secs with my box stock P-16.

Thought that any edge is at least an edge. :)

"The Gun from Down Under !"

March 24, 1999, 05:33 PM

Nice run.

As for cover and shooting positions in IPSC, yes we do have that. There are "classifier" stages that are published with exact dimensions and target locations so that every club sets them up the same. Some involve what is commonly referred to as a Bianchi barricade.

We had a stage that was used as a classifier with three targets (back two 12 feet apart, front one in the middle about 4 feet forward). The center target has two No-Shoots on it about half way up. Had to crouch under a bar behind the barricade to put 1 round on each target and then change positions and put one round on each target again. Do same again from opposite side and then a third string where you put two rounds on each, reload and change position and two rounds on each again.

We shot the classifier and then set up a box right in front of the barricade. Since we were indoors and wanted a high round count match, we "re-used" the same target setup, but with a different stage description. It went something like "Engage T1 with 6 rounds, perform a mandatory reload, engage T2 with six rounds, perform a mandatory reload and engage T3 with 6 rounds". 18 rounds total with 2 reloads. This tested reloading ability and shot to shot recovery.

My time was 7.88 seconds, down 2 points with the Open gun. The results aren't out yet, but I think I won that stage. <big grin>

Is this real life. No, it's a game. Do I think it helped my ability to shoot my defensive gun? Absolutely.


March 25, 1999, 06:39 AM
DblTap, that was a good stage you posted. Going to suggest it for our next shoot !

Hope you did win it ! :)

"The Gun from Down Under !"

[This message has been edited by HS (edited March 25, 1999).]