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Old March 12, 2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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IDPA & training advice please


I own an M&P 9 and M&P 9c. I wanted to start taking some handgun training as well as start IDPA. My question is, since I have never shot or been to an IDPA event why I would shoot the fullsize vs the compact?

Here is why I am asking and please forgive my ignorance in advance. I am learning as I go.

I'd like to order the Comp-Tac Paddle Holster but it wont work for both guns so I need to make a choice - compact or full size for handgun training and IDPA only. At the range I do not see a difference with my accuracy between the two guns but I actually like the feel of the compact the most, oddly enough. I just was not sure if shooting a compact in IDPA is considered strange or silly since I have a full size and why.

Any advice would be appreciated so I can place my order for this holster in either compact or full. Heck if you think there is a better OWB holster I should look at please advise.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old March 12, 2012, 10:49 PM   #2
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IDPA = pro compact use

IDPA is a game trying to be reality. That being the case, it is often mentioned that the use of a carry gun for competing is useful. Ideally, if you're starting out, I'd recommend that you shoot with whatever you're more comfortable with (in terms of carrying and accuracy); Be it a compact or full size model.

I've seen many a competitor carry a compact. During the first match I ever attended a Safety Officer in my squad was shooting a Glock 26.

As for the holster, as long as it meets IDPA requirements and it is comfortable, get it. That may mean different things to different people, though and in all reality, you'll probably need to try on a few holsters before you find the 'one'. I personally run a G19 with a blackhawk! nylon IWB holster.

Last edited by Ambishot; March 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM. Reason: more content
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Old March 13, 2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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Why limit yourself.
Get a holster that works for both.
Then you can use, and practice with, both.
There's plenty of other holsters out there.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old March 13, 2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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Get a holster into which both guns will fit. I shoot 1911s of three different sizes in IDPA competition, and put them all in the same 5" holster. Of course, I also have additional holsters for each gun, but there's no reason you can't put a 3" gun in a 4" holster for either competition or carry.
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Old March 13, 2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thanks Ambishot. I appreciate the info. Starting to realize that I might wind up with quite a few holsters. I have one already sitting in the drawer.

@ g.willikers and rickb - I was not aware there was other IDPA legal owb holsters that will fit both guns (non slide version such as one from Comp-Tac which I am not interested in). I will try to find one, thanks for the help

Consider the thread closed. Thanks folks

Last edited by Tremortality; March 14, 2012 at 06:42 AM.
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Old March 16, 2012, 12:57 AM   #6
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How about a Blade Tech holster?
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Old March 16, 2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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I used a Blade-Tech holster for a number of years. They are overwhelmingly the most popular brand of kydex holster in my area. The make (or did make, anyway) a kit of IDPA-legal holster and mag pouch that was pretty nice.
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Old March 17, 2012, 09:01 AM   #8
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It depends on your priorities at IDPA.

If you are entering to win, then full-size or Pro pistols are easier to shoot fast and accurately.

OTOH, if you are entering to see what you can do with your carry gun, then use the one you will actually carry, and don't worry about winning competitions but instead focus on improving with your actual EDC.
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Old March 18, 2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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As far as training, practice your draw and reloads at home, with an EMPTY gun. This part is very important, make sure your trigger finger is not on the "bang switch" during reholstering and reloading.
This is the biggest problem I see with new guys at the matches. We had 2 guys get DQ'ed yesterday for AD's.{accidental discharges} Remember, safety is paramount.

I shoot both USPSA and IDPA, I will quite often shoot my carry gun with a CC leather holster. Properly broke in and tension adjusted, it's darn near as fast as a kydex rig if you practice a little. If your going to CC, use that holster. You can always pick up something more suitable for competition at a later time.
When you attend your first match, you'll be one of the "new guys". Take your time, the RO will be watching you closely to make sure your being safe. Enjoy the match, have fun and don't be afraid to asked questions. I found that 99% of shooters are more than willing to help you.

NRA member, DCF&S member, PAFOA member, USPSA member, NSCA member

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Old April 25, 2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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IDPA is a game trying to be reality.
That is not correct. IDPA is a game created around defensive principles. IDPA isn't tactical training and doesn't pretend to be. If you are not thinking of it as a game, then you might want to re-evaluate your attitude towards it since it tactically it teaches some seriously bad habits (although it is outstanding for honing your weapon mechanics).

Regarding the OP's question, if you are going to shoot IDPA more than once or twice a year, I would encourage you to choose the full-size M&P. The reason is that IDPA rewards you for going fast (although not at the price of accuracy). The full-size frame gives you more real estate to work with, easier reloads, more mass to counter recoil, and a longer sight radius. In the long-term, I think most people will find a full-size gun preferable for competition over a compact model.

If you are going to infrequently participate, then by all means use your M&Pc. They are great guns (my LTC gun is an M&P40c) and are fun in competition.

But, as with most things on the Internet, your mileage may vary. Try both and see which you like best. Then have fun regardless of what people like me write.
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