View Full Version : IDPA Classifier

Bob Locke
June 16, 2000, 06:37 PM
Just shot my first IDPA Classifier. Scored a 151.43 in SSP using my Glock 21. That put me at the low end of the Sharpshooter level (scored like 1 second fast enough). All the guys were telling me that I did really well for my first time out. The guy who runs the operation locally told me what it REALLY means is that the other sharpshooters will be wearing me out for a while until I improve a little. :D

The thing that got me was the 20-yard shooting from behind the barricade. I cost myself 20 seconds in penalties due to misses and errant shots. 72 of my 151 points were totalled in that stage. Felt like I did pretty well on the other two, including the shooting on the move stage, which is something else I have never done.

It was a LOT of fun! I am looking forward to shooting in the local bi-weekly matches and hopefully getting in on one or two regional events before I leave SE Virginia.

I'd love to hear from other IDPA shooters and would really like to hear comments on how to improve my skills (range drills, things of that nature).

June 19, 2000, 11:55 AM
From what I heard from other IDPA shooters in my area, your stage 3 time should be about half you total time.

Ricky T
June 19, 2000, 12:41 PM
Mr. Locke:
72 seconds at the 20yd stage is about average for a high Marksman or low Sharpshooter. This is the toughest stage, as you found out. It separate the kids from the big boys. Looking at our last classifier match, your score would be right in the middle of the SSP/Sharpshooter class. You did well and congratulations. There are lots of skills involve in the classifier: drawing from holster, shooting on the move, turning or pivoting, slide lock reloads, tactical reloads. Try practice those drills until you can do them smoothly. Sounds like you did well in the first two stages and you're having trouble with the long distance. I've been working with a Master shooter in the past year, and he told me I should press and hold the trigger a fraction of a second after the shot break before resetting, and get a good sight picture. At the last classifier I was able to shoot the third stage in 44.18 seconds and 9 points down (48.68 sec.). Keep shooting the classifier as much as you can, especially the 20yd. stage.

Bob Locke
June 19, 2000, 05:09 PM
Thanks, Ricky. And I'm BOB. Mr. Locke is my dad. As I'm only 31, I don't feel like I rate the "Mr." thing yet. :D

My whole problem with the 20-yard stage was dropped points. I was consistent, though not in the manner I had hoped. I dropped 13 points on EACH target, for a total penalty of 19.5 seconds. The thing that really hurt me was that I only put 9 holes in each target, so I incurred a -5 penalty right off the bat. But that means that I actually shot the stage in about 52 seconds, which doesn't seem to me to be too bad for a first effort.

I went to the range yesterday and worked on single hand shooting with both hands as that caught me a little off-guard, too. Also, it's going to be nearly impossible for me to practice shooting while moving as the indoor ranges around here don't allow it and I don't know anyone who owns a good spread outside of town where we could set up for it. I did figure out that I need to bend my knees a lot more while on the move to provide shock absorption for my hands. I think I will do a LOT better next time I shoot the classifier, and suspect that I will improve by 10-15 seconds. Hitting all ten shots on each target on the long stage will save me a lot of points, so I intend to take just a split-second and make sure that happens.

Ricky T
June 20, 2000, 09:49 AM
Bob, I practice shooting the 3rd stage of the classifier for 6 months trying to overcome the same problem you have, also to get out of the Marksman class in CDP. I keep having 1 miss per target and that hurt, I notice a trend that my groups were to the left and low. I was yanking the trigger instead of pressing it and not getting a good sight picture which is very important at that range. I also tend to do a 6 o'clock hold on the -0 zone, so my shots went low into the -1 and -3 zone. It took awhile to correct my trigger mashing and low aiming. Now I aim at the 12 o'clock mark of the -0 zone, and if my shots go low, guess what? they go into the -0 area. I also practice just hitting targets at much longer ranges, 50-60 yds, freestyle and strong hand only, to work on my trigger control. At the April classifier match everything came together and on the 20 yd. stage my dropped shots were -5,-1,-3, and I got into Sharpshooter, barely missed Expert by around 7 seconds. So I guess what I'm trying to say is keep practicing long range shots, 20-30 yds. from a barricade. By the way, keep the gun as vertical as possible from the weak hand side of the barricade.
Good luck.

Bob Locke
June 20, 2000, 11:25 AM
I figured out what another part of my problem is. I've been shooting regular target silhouettes for so long that I naturally want to aim to the center of the target in IDPA. I had a nice group right where the "X" ring would normally be, but they were all -1 shots! I just need to restructure my thinking while at the range. Now I am aiming for the "9" above the "X" instead, as that roughly corresponds to the center of the 0 ring for the IDPA target.

I did really well shooting single handed on Sunday, both weak and strong hands. That should translate into a little better scoring.

The problem that I am going to have with the 3rd stage is the whole shooting from around a barricade thing. There's nowhere I can really practice that around here.

I'm also starting to wonder if maybe I ought to invest in a Glock 17 as well. The G21 is GREAT, and I love the .45 ACP, but the follow-up shots would come a LOT quicker with a 9mm.

What do you normally shoot?

Ricky T
June 20, 2000, 03:35 PM
Sounds like you were doing the same thing I was doing, aim low. You said you don't have access to a barricade for practice, that's kind of tough. How about the place where they hold the matches? Can you talk any other members of the IDPA club to let you use their facility, or let you shoot the actual qualifier?
I shoot a Wilson Combat Protector .45 ACP in CDP, a Glock 19 in SSP (also Sharpshooter), a Browning High Power 9mm in ESP (Marksman) and S&W Model 64 .38 special in SSR (Marksman).
Your G21 also let you shoot in CDP division, a G17/9mm would be easier in SSP since you don't have to fight the recoil of the .45 ACP , not that the .45 is uncontrollable. Now if you really want light kicking 9mm, lighter trigger pull and longer sight radius, the G34 would be the gun to get. The G34 is the ideal IDPA game gun. I think I'll borrow someone's G34 one day and see how much better I can shoot with it.

Bob Locke
June 20, 2000, 04:44 PM
I was thinking about this as I was reading one or two threads where folks were talking about Glock taking some heat from local PD's because of the S&W sell-out. Got to thinking about the fact that I already own a 9mm and a .45 ACP, so maybe I need a good .40 S&W auto-loader. The G23 came to mind, as it is large enough to provide a good sight radius as well as small enough to conceal should I decide to do so. That G21 is decidedly NOT a concealed carry piece, after all.

I'm trying to get one of each caliber before I start doubling up, so my next auto-loader will be a .40 S&W (or a .357 Sig, and then I can get a drop-in barrel for the other caliber).

Ricky T
June 21, 2000, 07:28 AM
A G23 would be great for concealment purpose. I'm not that familiar with that caliber, probably shot less than 50 rounds in my whole life. The Glock in .40 S&W is very popular here in Georgia, among civilians and law enforcement. The GBI are getting ready to dump the S&W autos for the Glocks.
I only shoot the .45 and 9mm, just trying to limit the number of different caliber to keep around.

June 21, 2000, 09:56 AM
Bob, practice your Stage 3 at 25 yards, and aim at shoulder level. Higher is better, and you should put most of them in the zero ring. Also try shooting left barricade first and then right. This helps to slow you down and drop fewer points. I would not switch guns at this point. Having shot the classifier with a G21, G30, G19 and G17 I find that I am only a few points apart, with the G30 the slowest. Your best bet is to work on smoothness for accuracy. Try shooting the whole classifier without dropping any points, don't worry about time. You will find that slow is smooth and accurate, and that accurate is fast. It only takes a fraction of a second to get the right sight picture, or to drop 5 points.

June 21, 2000, 03:30 PM

Any time you want to try the 23, all you have to do is ask. :)


But I'm mad NOW"
-Homer Simpson

mike benedict
June 21, 2000, 08:59 PM
the 3rd stage of the IDPA classifier is the easiest stage for me and it is the all about trigger control and sight picture

If you are having trouble shooting as most people do you are having a problem with fundementals ( the same reason most people hate standards)

So set up a IDPA target at 25 yards and shoot a group. No barricade just draw and shoot 6 shots. It should not be a problem to shoot a group of 4-6 inches with any old pistol at all in 10 seconds.
If you can't do this you either don't have good trigger control or you are not watching The sights.
Lack of trigger control is most often seen in low shots. Look at a novice shooter's sights most of the time you will see them cranked all hte way up. A sure sign of jerking the trigger.
Poor sight picture is most often seen as shots all over the target.
The cure get yourself some NRA ullseye targets and shoot groups forget drawing, moving reloading and shooting fast. just shoot some groups.
It doesn't take long to get the hang of it and shortly you will be able to call your shots with out ever looking at the target.

any way first you have to shoot a good group then we can move on the the next lesson..

BTW for those who don't know me I'm a 4 gun IDPA master from Ohio currently living in Jasper Georgia.

and I'm always happy to work with any shooter
the cost for personal training starts at one beer per lesson


June 22, 2000, 12:19 AM
Mike B.,
That reminds me. I still owe you several beers.
Neil Casper

June 22, 2000, 12:48 AM
Mike B.,
That reminds me. I still owe you several beers.
Neil Casper

Ricky T
June 22, 2000, 07:56 AM
40dan, I don't know if I can handle the recoil.

Master Benedict, how about fried chicken for payment?

mike benedict
June 22, 2000, 06:05 PM
hey Neil

how are you doing? Live is good here in Atlanta. The holster business is booming but I sure miss shooting at SCSA on tuesdays.


Fried chiken is just as good as Bud lite for payment.

BTW I was thinking of having a once a month shooting clinic at SouthRiver in basic skills
If I have enough people interested.
I would like to have 4-5 shooters or a few more and the cost would be most reasonable,
maybe lunch so that would work out to lets see $.62 each. So If anyone is interested please let me know


Bob Locke
June 23, 2000, 06:16 AM
Shot a match yesterday. Four stages. I beat a couple of experts, and was among the top sharpshooters. I have finally figured out that I need to take my time on the longer stages. I have no problem grouping well when the timer isn't running. I get into trouble when I start trying to do things too fast. We had a 10-yard stage that required us to turn, draw, and put two rounds into each of three targets, then reload and put two more into each. I messed up royally, dropping a whopping 11 points total. The good news is that I didn't drop 11 points on the other three stages combined.

I still haven't gotten it through my head that the "X" ring on the silhouettes that I have been shooting over the years is outside the IDPA "0" ring. I have adjusted my practice so that I am aiming between the "8" and "9" above the "X" now, and I'm sure that will help.

Shooting good groups isn't a problem for me, Mike. I can shoot palm-sized groups at 25 yards using two hands and can shoot similar sized groups at 12-15 yards using either my strong or off hand. My problem is trying to play "beat the clock". It's purely a mental thing, and I just have to work through it.

I honestly appreciate the advice and dialogue in here. This is great! :D

Ricky T
June 23, 2000, 07:36 AM
Master Mike,
I will post an announcement with the Classic Marksman IDPA shooters.

Ron Ankeny
June 23, 2000, 05:28 PM

If you can shoot a good group but can't get it together in the mental department you might want to look at Practcal Shooting - Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos. The book is available from Dillon. The book is kind of tough read but it is well worth taking a look at.

Covert Mission
June 29, 2000, 02:07 AM
Bob: the mental part is where i trip up, too, esp when the timer is on. I shot a match last weekend, did really well on one stage (right in there with the high Experts), average+ on 3, and poor on one. I re-ran myself on two of the stages later, and did MUCH better. I was relaxed, and didn't psych myself out. Dohhhh!

9x45 is right: shoot for -0's. Our top shooter, a Bianchi Cup champ and founder of the Steel Challenge, always chides me to do that..."shoot for zero's, and the speed will come." When I listen, it works. consistency, or rather lack of it, is my real enemy. Just when I get one thing dialed in, another goes out of whack. This sport is harder than it looks, for sure. I need to spend more time doing dry-fire/holster work..i know that helps for sure. Cheers

Bob Locke
June 29, 2000, 06:34 AM
I need to work on the holster thing, too. Most of the ranges around here don't allow drawing and firing in the manner needed for IDPA shooting, so I'll be practicing that at home with an empty (yes, I'll double chek it!) gun.

As a matter of fact, I think I'll be off to the range this afternoon. We don't have another local match until the 12th and 13th of July because of the Carolina Cup on the weekend of the 7th and 8th. Gotta work on those double taps a little more.

June 29, 2000, 09:53 AM
Don't EVEN think that doing the dry fire practice is something you have to appoligize for or explain. It's almost REQUIRED if you want to get better. I can not draw at my local range either. But I have a target setup in my home office. I do the regular check and double check before starting. Then I practice the draw stroke; FROM CONCEALMENT!

Edzilla gave me a tip on this one time. I start my dry fire at 1/4 speed. Do it 10 times. Then move the speed up to 1/2 speed. 10 more. Then 3/4. 10 more. Then full speed. 10 more. If getting ready for a major match... I try to push it a little; go a little faster than normal. But after that, I slow back down to 3/4 and finish with good smooth strokes.

The point is to re-enforce correct mechanics. If you start out practicing fast, you may practice a bad mechanic that gets set. Starting this way helps you get the proper mechanics every time.

Dry fireing works. I had not shot revolver for a LONG time. We had a bowling pin "revolver only" match this week. I have always shot single action but for this match, I spent a week dry fireing double action. Probably shot 400 times like that. Got to the match and found it was a REAL effort to shoot single action. The mechanics were there to shoot double. Really kinda surprised me.

Hope to see you at the Cup Bob. I have run about 700 rounds downrange this week getting ready. Still have another 700 to go. :) Back to the range tonight.


June 29, 2000, 11:29 AM
I dry fire practice a lot. I also practice drawing, both from concealment and open carry. Both really help!

Visualization can help too. It really helps to relax you because your mind thinks you've done this shooting thing a lot more than you actually have.

I know it may sound funny, but... :)

Bob Locke
June 30, 2000, 07:02 AM
I won't be down there, Bubba. I have to work that weekend (gun show up in Richmond). I would like to, though!

I'll take that advice on practicing the draw slowly at first and then working my way up to speed. That worked for me on my golf swing (such as it is), and it's all about muscle memory anyway.

I'll be looking for an after-action report from the Cup!

June 30, 2000, 07:27 AM
There is a IDPA match in richmond on the 7th at black creek at 9:00 am. Not too far from the gun show . Patrick