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Old July 23, 2012, 03:07 AM   #1
Coach Z
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Join Date: February 18, 2011
Location: RI
Posts: 794
Looking to get into IDPA

I'm a competitive person, my job is head of a racing syndicate so it's hard to shake the mentality. I've shot on and off since I was a kid but a ton in the last year as I've had more free time and disposable income. I'm thinking I'd like to try my hand at IDPA but feeling a little overwhelmed. I joined IDPA and got my card and rule book (which I've been reading in my off watch time) and watched a bunch of YouTube videos but I don't feel like I'm "ready" should I just find a match and get into it already or are there some drills and or techniques to practice and get comfortable with? Does anyone offer an intro into comp shooting course?

Submitting these questions to the wealth of knowledge here at TFL. THANKS!
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:02 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,225
While I know there are classes, I don't know of one in your area.
A lot of people get along without them.
Some ranges require an introductory lecture or class, a few even require you to demonstrate your ability. But not many. ASK!

Random videos of Joe Blow running and gunning may not be helpful.

The New Shooter Information and New Shooter Briefing at:
are helpful and may be enough to get you going. They are clearer than the current rule book and have the basics.

To be "ready" all you have to do is be safe and be able to follow CoF (Course of Fire) instructions.

To get through that CoF...
You must be able to operate your gun mechanically and fire it with some hope of hitting a target.
You must be able to draw it from under concealment without getting tangled up. (Some places waive concealment for new shooters.)
You must be able to shoot safely while standing, sitting, walking, peering around cover, kneeling behind low cover, and prone under very low cover.
You must be able to move between firing points briskly with gun in hand but finger out of trigger guard.
You must be able to reload, usually behind cover, without waving the gun around.

Note that everything except actual marksmanship can be practiced dryfire at home. Your family will think you strange for kneeling behind the easy chair snapping in at the bad guys on tv, but it is good practice.

I have the Four Priorities:
Safety: Don't hurt anybody, don't scare anybody, don't get disqualified for safety rule violation.
Execution: Pay attention and follow the CoF. Don't get procedural penalties for doing stuff wrong.
Accuracy: Hit the target. Hit the target in the middle (or head). Learn to call your shots so you are not peering at the target to see if you hit it.
Speed: Move along, your time is your score. But don't rush it to start with, walk before you run, LITERALLY. Just know what you are doing and don't dawdle around.

You can do all that and still have fun.

Last edited by Jim Watson; July 23, 2012 at 09:15 AM.
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Old July 23, 2012, 09:45 AM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,807
Around here, we always have a new shooter's briefing before the action. We also try to squad new folks with gentle and informative SO's and place the new folk in a good spot in the shooting order.

A good club does such and won't be offended if you ask.

In TX, I could recommend some beginning competition classes - sigh, don't know RI.
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc. - Aux Armes, Citoyens
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Old July 23, 2012, 03:46 PM   #4
Don P
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Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 5,667
Around here, we always have a new shooter's briefing before the action. We also try to squad new folks with gentle and informative SO's and place the new folk in a good spot in the shooting order.

A good club does such and won't be offended if you ask.
Could not have said it any better.
Show up introduce your self to a few folks and off you go and welcome to the world of IDPA and competition shooting. Worse than crack cocaine as far as addicting goes. Shoot your first match and you'll be aching for more
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor,, USPSA NROI Range Officer,
ICORE Range Officer, ICORE Match Director
,MAG 40 Graduate
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
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Old August 3, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: April 16, 2012
Location: central SC
Posts: 14
I am a little late getting in on this...but just some observation...

ALL of the above posts give excellent info. My club welcomes new shooters and they are usually paired with a patient SO who wants you to have fun and be SAFE.

I would suggest that you go and watch a match before you compete. You will pick up a lot just by being around it.....and....get involved. Target pasters are ALWAYS welcomed.
Talk to the people there....don't be afraid to ask any question that you may have, most will be very helpful.

I wish you good luck and Welcome To the Addicition...!!!
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