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IPDA - Should I just jump in?

Discussion in 'General Competition' started by tnedator, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. tnedator

    tnedator Lifetime Member

    May 22, 2009
    I don't have any shooting clubs near me, so I shoot at a friends or at a game and fish range. I've never actually been to a 'club' shooting range.

    I've been interested in shooting IPDA or some of the other competitions that some of the clubs in the state (AR) run, but have been hesitant to just jump in. Not knowing if I am 'ready' to shoot in a competition.

    Is there anything I should do to prepare and be ready, or am I over thinking it and should I just show up and enter a match?
  2. crazypilot

    crazypilot ERAU Alumni '05

    May 21, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    Just jump in. As long as you're safe and keep pointing the gun down range, you'll be fine. IDPA was the first competition I did and got hooked. Now I'm doing 3-gun matches. I believe you can download the rule book online but I'm sure everyone there will help you out.

  3. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    Go for it. The Range and safety officers will walk you through it. Call ahead to make sure what they require. Some clubs may have you take a safety class before you compete. Remember to go slow and safe. The number one thing other than safety is to have fun. Don't let the real competitive guys or the tactical timmies ruin it for you. Most folks at matches are quick with advice and always willing to help. Go at your own pace and enjoy yourself.
  4. bisdak


    Jun 22, 2006
    Coffeetown, U.S.A.
    As long as you have good gun and gun safety fundamentals, go ahead and jump in. They usually will have a new shooters orientation before the match. As what others have said and I will say again, foremost is gun safety, then accuracy before speed. Good luck!
  5. I read about IDPA on the web and did a little investigating. I downloaded the rules and read them overnight. The next day i joined the IDPA and drove myself 75 miles to the nearest club for their match and had a ball. I shoot every match i can and will be competing at the State championship match ( my first season with IDPA) too. It's seems to be only as competitive as you make it. I immediately found a core of fellow competitors that were as green as me and we sort of stick together each match. My only complaint is that I do not have a re loader so my wallet takes a real hit shooting factory ammo every week. NO REGRETS HERE.:supergrin:
  6. dsmw5142

    dsmw5142 NRA Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    Do it!

    bring this stuff and have a good time:

    -Your Gun (9mm or larger)
    -Three mags total.
    -150 rounds of ammo.
    -two mag pouches or one double mag pouch
    -Towel/sweat rag.
    -Shirt/vest that will conceal your gear.
    -hearing protection
    -eye protection (make sure it's decent, we often shoot a mix of cardboard and steel)
    -a bag of some sort to carry your stuff from stage to stage is helpful. Most use a small luggage/carry-on type bag.
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    You can jump right in, but there are some things you need to be prepared for. The hardware has been covered already.

    IDPA (or IPSC) has a lot of stuff going on besides shooting the gun at targets.
    You must be able to load and holster the gun without sweeping bystanders or yourself. This can be hard with an IWB or very close high belt holster.
    You must be able to draw the gun from under a concealment garment (vest, jacket, shirt) without getting tangled up.
    You must remember and execute the course of fire. This will include moving between points of cover with loaded gun (finger out of trigger guard), it will include shooting on the move, too. There will be use of cover requirements, leaning around high cover, kneeling behind low cover to shoot.
    You will have to reload on the clock, maintaining the gun in a safe direction and with finger out of the trigger guard.

    There is a good introduction, easier to get through than the rule book at:

    You can search youtube for IDPA videos and see some examples of different courses of fire being shot by people of varying skills.

    Come on down.
  8. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I bought my G17 and attended an IDPA match a few weeks later. No biggie.

    As was said.... SAFETY is the main issue.
    1) NO AMMO in the gun until you're on the line, under direction from the R.O.
    2) Finger off trigger except when shooting
    3) gun down range at all times, and never pointed over berms.

    If you've spent much time shooting at all, you will NOT be the worst guy there. At my last match, there was one guy who knew every rule in the rule book, and was a bit of a "know it all"... but couldn't hit a barn door.

    Go and have fun.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  9. dsmw5142

    dsmw5142 NRA Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    He was at your match too?!?

    I guess he's everywhere :upeyes:
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  10. Can't add much more to the mix that what has already been said but I'll say it anyway; jump in! It is great fun and will really show where your strengths and weaknesses are.

    The biggest help shooting IDPA gave me was what it did for my range time away from IDPA. I knew after shooting some matches exactly what I needed to work on. Instead of heading to the range just to shoot at a static target I knew what I needed to practice and did that. Saved lots of time and lots of ammo! And several of the skills needed in IDPA (or any action shooting sport for that matter) can be practiced dry-fire style without firing a round. Drawing, reloading, stashing your mags, moving with the gun extended; all those can be worked on without ever hitting the firing line!

    Good luck and be sure to post all about your first shoot!
  11. HK Dan

    HK Dan

    Mar 27, 2008
    Echo. Jump in.

    As I'm fond of saying--one of the hardest things you'll ever do is to shoot your first match. One of the easiest things you'll ever do is shoot your second match.

    I'd read the rules over--it's okay if some terms are a little vague. The SOs will help ya on the specific stages. Your gear won't matter too much at the first match, just be sure you have good retention.

    BIG + on the advice above to: Know how to draw, reload, and move with the gun safely. BIG deal--they'll probably give ya a break on a violation once, but the second time? Dicey.

    Advice--go slow and get your hits.
  12. alexanderg23


    May 13, 2009
    NW AR
    yeah man for sure, where in AR are you from?
  13. tahco gunworks

    tahco gunworks

    May 23, 2010
    HEY, I didn't do that bad! I hit the barn door in the adjacent field as I recall!:rofl:
  14. tnedator

    tnedator Lifetime Member

    May 22, 2009
    Ok, all good advice. Thanks. A couple more questions.

    I'm thinking of sending my M&P 40c into the S&W Performance center to have do the action job and possibly install some night sites (there's nobody around here and I don't want to attempt myself). As the 40c will be my EDC, so will be the gun I want to initially use for IDPA, since beyond fun, I want to use IDPA to get more proficient.

    Will that work move me from SSP to ESP in IDPA?

    Also, does anyone know what the trigger pull change will be on the 40c after the PC action job?
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

    Jul 10, 2001
    Those changes will leave you in SSP.

    A post on the Plastic M&P board says a factory action job comes out about 5.5 lbs but much smoother than stock.
  16. tnedator

    tnedator Lifetime Member

    May 22, 2009
    Great, thanks. Is that or another forum? I try and also check in on the gun specific forums, like Kahrtalk and such.
  17. HK Dan

    HK Dan

    Mar 27, 2008
    A quick word? Don't look at IDPA as "training", because it will not be that. Nobody will correct a bad technique unless it's unsafe, etc. Look at it as practice and being able to practice in positions and situations that you normally couldn't duplicate. IDPA will not increase your proficiency; your practice will increase your proficiency. IDPA may point out what you need to work on, but it won't inherently make you better just by shootin' matches.

    Always analyze, always correct, always change it up lookin' for better performance.
  18. dsmw5142

    dsmw5142 NRA Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    A home video cam and a tripod will help you see your mistakes and learn to correct them. Don't neccesarily take any Joe Blow's word for it that you're doing something wrong.
  19. tnedator

    tnedator Lifetime Member

    May 22, 2009
    Dan, thanks for that. I do understand, but you make a great point.

    I don't expect the 2 minutes or so I am on each stage to be training, but instead to give me an idea of where my skills currently are and what I need to work on. Right now I spend a lot of time putting holes in paper, but not much else.

    I'm going to take a Mas Ayoob course in late summer and then I think I will take some of the pistol courses that Tom Givens gives to increase my education.

    I'm hoping that the courses, plus results of my IDPA matches will let me know what to work on on the range. Kind of like golf in that regard. Playing a round of golf is not going to give you a chance to practice or train, but it will teach you would you should be working on when you are on the practice range.
  20. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    Your ready. Simple as that. Just go slow and focus on being safe.