View Full Version : Getting into IDPA

Verbal Clint
December 9, 2012, 10:27 PM
I just took the CHL (TX) course and should be getting my license in the mail soon. My carry weapon is a Sig 1911 Ultra and I would like to get some practice using it in somewhat real scenarios. Unfortunately, it seems the only way to do that is to find an IDPA club match and shoot in it (no drawing at any ranges I've been to). Are those mostly for people trying to post fast times, or are there typically some people there that don't know the ins and outs of IDPA and need a little guidance? I'm proficient with a handgun but I've just never shot idpa. Also, it looks like I would have to go custom defensive pistol, which sounds rough for a beginner...any comments?

December 10, 2012, 07:59 AM
Go shoot! Be safe and have fun. Remember, everyone was a beginner at some point. There will be folks there that are very good and some that arent so good.

CDP is a misleading name, but it sound better than the 8 shot 45 ACP division. You will see everything from custom 1911's to stock Glock 21's. And just because a fella shows up with a $3000 custom pistol doesnt mean he can shoot it worth a damn. Take that Sig and have fun.

Verbal Clint
December 10, 2012, 09:31 AM
Thanks. I have been reading up on the rules/nuances, etc. and just wasn't real sure about...if they say engage T1-T3 and then tac reload or emergency reload yaddah yaddah. I can see how it would get confusing real quick.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 10, 2012, 09:53 AM
Most IDPA clubs are very friendly to newbies. Tell the match director or sign up person when you go. Also your SO.

Read the rules before and have compliant equipment. Go slow and don't try to match the best - you dont' care what they do. You care what you do.

It's great fun.

Silent Bob
December 10, 2012, 10:16 AM
Many on gun forums rip on IDPA a lot referring to it derisively as a "game" rather than training - and they are correct, it is a game and not real training. However, I definitely find it better practice than simply standing static at my local indoor range and shooting at a bulls eye as you are shooting from the holster, moving while shooting, practicisng reloads (though these often result in procedurals (penalties) in one way or another for me, shooting weak-handed, etc, with a form of stress added, even if it is more like stage fright than life-threatening stress.

I went and watched a match first before just jumping in, I'm glad I did though many just jump in and that is fine. For your first match or two my advice is to go slow and concentrate on making your hits and try not to be Bob Vogel. I am still relatively new and I still commit a lot of rookie errors like dropping mags with rounds still in them, or moving while reloading, or shooting targets out of order. I am still new enough that my brain turns to jelly as soon as the buzzer goes off, and I enjoy every second of it.

For now, I think of myself as competing against myself rather than others.

It is some of the most fun I've had shooting in awhile.

Glenn E. Meyer
December 10, 2012, 12:16 PM
You certainly don't need a custom defensive gun. In local matches, most folks shoot stock except for the 1911 guys who fussy it up within the rule set.

Don't worry about that.

Jim Watson
December 10, 2012, 12:50 PM
All you need equipment wise is a reliable pistol, three or more magazines, strong side holster, belt carriers for two magazines, and a "concealment garment." Eye and ear protection, of course.

You can and should practice the draw dryfire and then learn the draw from under concealment dryfire for safety's sake. Dryfire practice of use of cover is a good idea, too.

The Georgia new shooter's briefing is very helpful and easier to get your head around than the rule book.

December 30, 2012, 12:33 PM
Use IDPA as fun trigger time, not training. It is a good opportunity to wring out your gun and gear.

December 30, 2012, 12:56 PM
We have six to ten new shooters at our match, every month. Although IDPA does not provide for any type of instruction, other than training Safety Officers, most clubs should have some sort on introductory class or "orientation". We start our new-shooter orientation at 8:00AM every match day, for a 10:00 match, and while it's mostly about safety, we also go over the most important rules of engagement sequence, use of cover, etc., so newbies aren't just thrown in the deep end.

January 21, 2013, 11:44 AM
Give this a good read and go to your match prepared to shoot and have fun!


January 21, 2013, 12:36 PM
A quick, somewhat related question:

I’ve also wanted to get started in IDPA. I have a SR9c and the owner’s manual stipulates that the gun shouldn’t be dry-fired without a magazine inserted. Doing so will damage the trigger.

Since everyone has to unload and show clear at the end of a run, will the SO allow me to insert an empty mag before I dry fire?

Jim Watson
January 21, 2013, 01:02 PM
Yes, but be prepared to show that it IS empty and explain your gun's peculiarities when necessary.
I have seen people reinsert the partly loaded magazine with the protest "I'm not going to put one in the chamber." and do not consider that safe or appropriate.

Maybe a gutted magazine painted blue would be good. We had a guy who shot a S&W 5906 for which he could get one of those plastic dummy magazines and used it for the unload and show clear.

January 21, 2013, 01:14 PM

I thought about painting or otherwise marking 1 magazine to serve as my designated "dry-fire" magazine but didn't know if it would pass muster.

January 21, 2013, 01:27 PM
Are those mostly for people trying to post fast times

You can't miss them fast enough to win.

No, seriously, you can improve your score a lot by slowing down, in IDPA.

Yes, it's a game, in that if the SHTF and I fight my way to behind cover and reload... in real life I am so sticking behind that cover. In IDPA, you're expected to go out there and face them again. A game, but very good training in a number of ways -- reloading, using cover, hitting the target, drawing from concealment. I use my EDC kit for IDPA, I can do better (at the game) by changing things, but... for me that misses the point, which is being comfortable with my EDC kit.

Yes, it gets interesting. But that's part of the fun. First off you should do a New Shooter Orientation, then a Classifier ... and by then you'd have figured it out. It's not rocket science.

CDP is a misnomer. CDP is a stock 1911. SSP is where everyone is, big pond. I prefer being a big fish in a small pond, so I shoot SSR (I lie, my EDC is a revolver, and that's what I shoot, as I said. Also I shoot like the south end of a northbound horse, so it's small fish in small pond anywayz)

DAP90: IDPA also states that you can't defeat safety features, and some of my pistols (I shoot SSR mainly) have magazine safeties. You *have* to stick a magazine in there to pull the trigger. And you are, as I said, expressly forbidden from disabling the safety. So -- your SO must be OK with sticking a mag in there.

Jim Watson
January 21, 2013, 02:02 PM
Actually, IDPA has concluded that a magazine disconnect is not a "safety" in the usual sense of the word or normal use of the gun and may be deleted. From the Rules Clarification section of the IDPA board:

"Magazine Disconnectors
There is precedence in other action shooting sports for a magazine disconnector to not be considered a safety. Trigger reliability work and trigger replacement is currently allowed for ESP & CDP. Several aftermarket trigger kits have no magazine disconnector or any capability of accepting a disconnector. Based on this information, the rules clarification committee has ruled that a magazine disconnector is not a safety and can be removed as part of trigger reliability enhancements."

I know how to get the magazine disconnect out of a Browning or a S&W but not a Ruger.

January 21, 2013, 11:49 PM
Aaah thanks Jim. That bit of ruling hasn't made it down to my part of the world yet.

Now to figure out how to disable the magazine disconnect on my M30PK.