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Old May 3, 2005, 08:21 AM   #1
Join Date: November 10, 2004
Location: southern NH
Posts: 50
Went to a handgun clinic this weekend

I've shot Bullseye competitions for a couple years and with a sudden lack of major competitions in my area this year, decided to see what the IPSC/IDPA side was all about. I got a mil-spec Springfield and a least-expensive Blade-Tech holster/magpouch, and this weekend I attended a handgun clinic at a local range. The class is clearly oriented toward self-defense and not competition, but it covers aspects of shooting that I had no experience with as a Bullseye shooter (drawing, speed shooting, and speed reloading).

It covered my expectations perfectly, and was both informative and fun. We started out shooting paper dinner plates at five yards just to warm up (at which point my dinner plates were replaced with saucer-sized plates) and then went through drawing, reloading, and then a couple simple scenarios on reactive targets. The high point for me was the conclusion of the class where we drew, emptied the magazine, reloaded, and emptied that magazine into the plate at 5yds within 20 seconds, several times.

Given how much fun I had, I'm going to be going to the next IDPA shoot in the area (there's far more IDPA in New Hampshire than IPSC), and given how much I learned, I'm going to start carrying my .380 holstered rather than pocketing it or just keeping it in the car.

Is "two 7-rd magazines into a 5" diameter circle at 5yds within 25 seconds" average for someone that shows up to a practical pistol match for their first time?
Igloodude is offline  
Old May 3, 2005, 09:54 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,155
That is perfectly acceptable.

The main thing is that you pay attention and follow instructions, this will be unlike anything you have done for NRA or even the Clinic.

I had a long post on the subject along with others' tips at

To which I will add, IDPA calls for shooting from cover. In high cover you are standing behind a barricade of some sort and shooting 'round the corner. You are required to have both feet behind the cover and at least half of the rest of your person. In low cover you will be on at least one knee behind something like an oil drum. Don't show any more other than your gun hand and aiming eye than you can help.
You will nearly always be required to shoot from cover in Tactical Priority, or "slice the pie." Which simply means to look around the edge of your cover and shoot at the targets in the order as you see them. Do not expose yourself to an unshot target to get at another.
IDPA calls for shooting on the move, retreating, advancing, moving laterally or on the diagonal. A smooth glide and careful shooting are needed. I am STILL trying to work out an effective technique to get hits while going from left to right of an array of targets.

You can practice such stuff dryfire at home. Your family might think you eccentric for kneeling behind your easy chair snapping in at the villains on TV but it will help you on the range.

Scoring: No more five shot strings. IDPA Vickers count will set a number of hits to be scored per target, but you may fire more as you call your shots and wish to make up an out shot. But don't delay to score your target as you shoot, a point on the target is only worth half a second. Call the break and make up a wide shot immediately, then move on.

Welcome aboard, and have fun.
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Old May 8, 2005, 06:28 AM   #3
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
yer goin' shootin'!!!

And you got IPSC clubs all around you: Mass, one or two in Maine (now), Albany NY, and you gotta drive up here to sunny Vermont, too.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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