View Full Version : Report from First IDPA Match...

Rob Pincus
May 23, 1999, 09:08 PM
WEll, that WAS NOT what I expected...

I had a blast, though.

I showed up to find out that there was no "match" going on.. it was a qualifier (yeah right, whatever that means....)

Turns out is meant that I was establishing the level at which I would compete in the future.... Oh great.. I also found out pretty quickly that it was unusual for someone to qualify without ever having tried IDPA before...

Fine, I can handle it... 20 yards ?? HUh? What is defensive about shooting at 20 yards ??

The IDPA qualifier course is a standard 90 round 3 stage course designed to put you in a class of competition for local, regional, state and national matches. The first stage was primarily close range, mulitple target stuff, with reloading and weakhand work thrown in.

The second stage included some movement, but he ranges were still defensive in nature.

The third stage was the killer as far as I was concerned..... It involved shooting from 20 yards behind cover, strong side and weakside...

Being far too fast for my own good in everything I have ever tried (except sex and race car driving), I continued my life-long anxiousness and felt ratehr humble after my first run. I was doing okay until the last stage.. then I barely qualified Marksman...

They are five divisions of weapons in IDPA, and I was qualifying each division. Every time it was the same.. even after I made myself slow down.. I was on track for an easy Sharpshooter or a possible Expert after the first two stages.. then I got to the third and WHAMMO!...

I ended qualifying Sharpshooter in two divisions and marksman in three. The group assure me that I did good for my first time, but I was disappointed big time.

For the most part, they seemed to enforce the rules and the rules seemed to be geared towards tactical realities.. at least as much or more than any other sanctioned competitive event I had ever been in. One other novice showed up with a holster that was clearly not appropriate and they let him shoot.. and didn't make him use the retention strap, which sorta irked me, especially since the guy could shoot just fine.. so be it... He'll pay for it when he has to compete under the rules, I guess.

I'm signed up for a trophy match next week and looking forward to it.


May 24, 1999, 06:12 AM
Hey Rob,

If that trophy match is in Manchester we'll get to meet at last. That's my home club!

That stage three of the classifier is a real b****. I'm still a sharpshooter after two years of IDPA.


Rob Pincus
May 24, 1999, 02:58 PM
It looks like I'll be there Mikey.. I'll be the one wearing the "I'm too f****** stupid to slow down" Shirt.

Will you guys be running the "Buck Up" Division.. or will they get lumped in with Stock Service ??


May 24, 1999, 04:01 PM
There will be a "back-up gun" (BUG) side match. Have you already sent your entry form and fee? There was an extra fee for the BUG match but I'm sure it could be paid on match day.

I get the "need for speed" myself from time to time. The score sheet will remind you that you "can't miss fast enough to win". Funny, it works that way in real life too...misses don't count, no matter how fast they are.


Rob Pincus
May 24, 1999, 04:18 PM
I was told by the guy who runs the club I was at that I could jsut show up with "our group" and I'd be fine.. that I could pay Saturday.. let me know if you think different. I just sent my IDPA app in today, and he's going to call IDPA on Thurs or Fri to give them my numbers...

The funny thing is that you can't HIT fast enough to make up for not hitting the center of the target. A 4 inch "miss" from the center zone is worth 1.5 seconds !! That means if you take 1.45 extra seconds to shoot the center of the target, PER SHOT.. you'd be better off than hitting the target on the "outer area" (50 % of the target). Considering that I shot whole whole strings in under 2 seconds, that seems a little absurd to me.

Assuming I hit the target with all three shots in 2 seconds, but all -3s, I could more than triple my time on a 3 shot string and score higher, assuming center hits in 6.25 seconds.

The first scenario would lead to a score of:
2 seconds + (9 x .5 seconds) = 6.5 second score
second scenario would yield:
6.25 seconds + (O penalties) = 6.25 second score

If I am in a gun fight with three people, I would MUCH rather hit all three guys with body shots in 2 seconds, than hit them each in the sternum in over 6. That means the last guy shot has time to THINK ABOUT IT before he kills you, probably the second guy too.

I won't be happy until I find a competition that appreciates the tactical philosophy of "If all the shots are in the X-Ring, you are shooting too slow".


May 24, 1999, 08:28 PM
The guy who runs the Tennessee Defensive Pistol Club is a rather large, robust gentleman who we call "Stuntman" - mainly because that's what he does when he's not raising that new baby his wife recently blessed him with. And, yes, we are aware that he is mustering a squad of "ringers" to come over here and give us "whut fer" but we're ready...(just kidding).

You have already guessed the secret to IDPA. Every "point down" from a perfect "a" zone hit will add half a second to your time. If you think the half second is tough, Bill Wilson actually proposed a change to a full second per point to emphasize his belief in the importance of center hits! Good thing he didn't get it.

Don't let the classifier taint your view of IDPA just yet. It doesn't really resemble a match scenario - it's just a standardized way to determine skill level. You'll find very few match scenarios that can be shot in 2 seconds (or even 10 seconds). My personal goal is to shoot as fast as I can and not exceed 1 point down per target in the string. Less is even better but "none" is too slow. Any target with a minus three is waaaay too fast.

In a scenario you'll have more cover to use, more reloads to do, more targets to shoot and more positions to shoot them from. You'll have to do some in tactical priority (nearest/most threatening first or slicing the pie from cover) and some in tactical sequence (one shot on each before any target gets a second). Some targets will have shirts over them to obscure scoring rings. There will be "no-shoots", hard cover and add-on props to indicate friend/foe (knives, guns etc.).

You'll find it slightly more challenging than the classifier.


Rob Pincus
May 24, 1999, 10:56 PM

I've nto made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning.. :)

In another discussion this evening I realized an even more gross conflict with reality:

You are more penalized for the difference between a Sternum hit (A) and a Gut or side-chest Shot (C) than you are for the difference between a Gut shot and a complete MISS!!

The difference between a sternum and a gut is 1.5 seconds, but the difference between a Gut and a miss is only 1 second. uhg !!

the one saving grace is that apparently there is (according to reports I heard from an SO/RO meeting that was run by the big guys at IDPA) a move to encourage the UNlimited Vicker scoring. This, as I understand it, would mean that you could unload as many rounds as you want at a target, and only the highest hits will be scored. That means If I see a C hit, I can take an additional 6 shots to try to hit the A zone (6 shots can easily be fired in 1.5 seconds) and I'll still be better off. If this is true and the matches reflect this scoring system, IDPA may have a lot more going for it than I initially thought.


Matt K
May 25, 1999, 03:56 PM

most stages are unlimited Vickers or commenly called Comstock, where you best two hits on paper count. You can shoot a target as much as you want but only 2 count for score.

Myself and many others I know despise Virginia Count (I forget the IDPA name for it) stages where you are penalized for extra shots and extra hits on a target.


Matt's Custom Glock Resource - Because Stock Sucks!
home.talkcity.com/stadiumway/glockzilla/ (http://home.talkcity.com/stadiumway/glockzilla/)

May 25, 1999, 07:51 PM
I got to shoot my first IDPA course this weekend as well. It was more fun than I have ever had shooting! I was like a kid at Disneyland.

I showed up too late to be in the competition but I ran as much of the course as I could, and set my expectation low. I outdid myself and did very well. I am sure I will do much better after I am familiar with it all. There is much to be said with running your first time sight unseen, Rob, and you were at a disinct disadvantage.

I agree though, that hitting outside the X ring should only cost like half of the points it does. Personally, I prefer the pepper poppers where you either hit them or you don't, and they are a bit bigger than a 9 ring.

The course is certainly much different than the qualifier.

How about this Rob: just shoot for yourself. If you don't win, fine, but you get the experience and you can score however you want. I just enjoyed the experience immensely of running and shooting, shooting from cover, shooting through windows, multiple targets, moving targets etc.

Rob Pincus
May 25, 1999, 11:00 PM
Thaddues, I am all for that.. I shoot for myself at the home range all the time. I guess I have put off IDPA for so long and been told so many times that is was "not a game," that I was dissappointed in the scoring system. Honestly, I would never have been happy. I have a tendancy to be overly critical.. in case no one has noticed ;).

Stuntman's name is Cliff. We hit it off right away... When you are the only two guys from New Jersey at an IDPA match in the middle of Nowhere County Tennessee, you instantly have good reason to be friendly with one another!

Do you think we need to pre-register for Saturday? My buddy and I really want to shoot the match, but we are not "IN" with all the club guys up there enough to know if they have all pre-registered or not.

Let me know what you think.


May 26, 1999, 06:27 AM
I've known Cliff for a while - he used to smoke a cigar while he shot - looked cool! Hang with Cliff long enough and you might run into Aaron Tippin - great guy if you haven't met him already.

Cliff also likes to use movie posters as no-shoots. Last match I shot with them, you had to hit a fast mover without winging Jackie Chan, who was definitely standing in the way!

You're in for the trophy match. You can't weasel out that easy!


May 26, 1999, 04:22 PM
Rob, my first ever (although 2 years ago) IDPA match was also a classifier. Oh well. I've moved up a few divisions since then, you will too. One thing we have noticed is that so many folks show up wanting to shoot with the wrong equipment and most are apt to let them shoot instead of turning them away. Fine with me, as long as it is only one or two times at most.

Keep practicing.

Good Shooting, MarkCO

Al Thompson
May 26, 1999, 04:55 PM
Hi guys - Rob, I started shooting IPSC in '81, quit in '92 and started in IDPA this year. I do not hold myself up as some sort of example, but I try to shoot each stage with out worrying about the score. It's nice to have a ranking but that really should not be your personal score. I have shot stages way ahead of others and ,upon reflection, felt that I had made fatal tactical errors. If you want scores, go to IPSC. Want something a little more "Zen" like, welcome to IDPA.


May 26, 1999, 05:24 PM
Hi Rob, I saw from your profile that you are Reserve LEO. The next time you are out and about look at the potential distances you might have to shoot as a LEO. I think that you will find some of them even farther than 20 yds. For example: In my small town if you come out of the coffee shop and there is a bank robbery across the street, it is 27 yds from where I would take cover behind the brick planter across the street to the door of the bank. Anyway most shots in IDPA are supposed to be 15 yds or less.
On the scoring; there is a Failure To Neutralize penalty if you don't get enough points on a target. That will take care of the problem of shooting really fast and missing. The penalties will keep the hosers from winning like in IPSC. You have to get decent hits to win, just like in real life. Bill

Rob Pincus
May 27, 1999, 12:25 AM

IDPA, as I understand it, has nothing to do with being an LEO. It is supposed to represent defensive shooting. I stand by my earlier comments on the scoring system, look over them closely and see if you don't agree (6 seconds to hit three targets or 2.. you tell me ....).

IPSC is a complete Game.. IDPA is a game with a good intent, at least from what I have seen.


I'm planning on being there, just making sure I will be able to shoot!

(BTW_ I have been at many evetns with Aaron Tippon over the years, more hunting realted than anything else, and he is a great guy.


May 27, 1999, 06:31 AM

Aaron came to shoot with us once and, somehow, word got out ahead of time. By sheer coincidence, nearly everybody's wife showed up that day! Isn't it amazing how sometimes, for no reason at all, our ladies get interested in what we're doing?!


May 28, 1999, 11:30 PM
Who is Aaron Tippon and why would wives come to see him?

Rob Pincus
May 29, 1999, 12:36 AM
He is a country music singer and he is almost as good looking as me.