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tnedator
06-29-2010, 19:33
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?

crazypilot
06-29-2010, 21:58
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.

ronin.45
06-30-2010, 00:07
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.

bisdak
06-30-2010, 01:18
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!

November Sunrise
06-30-2010, 05:52
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:

dsmw5142
06-30-2010, 07:54
Do it!

bring this stuff and have a good time:

-Your Gun (9mm or larger)
-Three mags total.
-150 rounds of ammo.
-Holster.
-two mag pouches or one double mag pouch
-Hat/Sunscreen
-Water/drinks
-Snack
-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.

Jim Watson
06-30-2010, 08:25
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:
http://www.idpaforum.com/images/Welcome_to_IDPA_Shooting.pdf

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.

ron59
06-30-2010, 08:34
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.

dsmw5142
06-30-2010, 09:05
At my last match, there was one guy who knew ever 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.

He was at your match too?!?

I guess he's everywhere :upeyes:

DustyDawg48
06-30-2010, 10:02
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!

HK Dan
06-30-2010, 15:35
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.

alexanderg23
06-30-2010, 15:42
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?

yeah man for sure, where in AR are you from?

tahco gunworks
06-30-2010, 15:56
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.
HEY, I didn't do that bad! I hit the barn door in the adjacent field as I recall!:rofl:

tnedator
06-30-2010, 22:35
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?

Jim Watson
06-30-2010, 22:50
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.

tnedator
06-30-2010, 23:01
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.

Great, thanks. Is that mp-pistols.com or another forum? I try and also check in on the gun specific forums, like Kahrtalk and such.

HK Dan
07-01-2010, 05:54
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.
Dan

dsmw5142
07-01-2010, 06:19
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.

tnedator
07-01-2010, 06:21
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.
Dan

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.

Colorado4Wheel
07-01-2010, 08:39
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?

Your ready. Simple as that. Just go slow and focus on being safe.

Hoser
07-01-2010, 10:22
The hardest part is getting up the balls to go to your first match.

Everyone had a first match.

Be safe and nobody other than you will remember your first match.

frankt
07-01-2010, 13:57
Just jump in, read the rules to get an idea of what is going on and have the right equipment.
Go slow and be safe and have fun.
Here is a video of our "New Shooter Briefing" you might find it helpful.

http://www.gadpa.com/index.php/ipda/new-shooter-briefing/

PEC-Memphis
07-01-2010, 16:06
..... but have been hesitant to just jump in. Not knowing if I am 'ready' to shoot in a competition.


You mentioned a MAG class in late summer (@ RM?) and Tom Givens/Rangemaster.

Are you in the Memphis area? There are a BUNCH of IDPA (and "IDPA Like") matches in the Memphis area.

1. Sunday - (IDPA Like) - RangeUSA
2. Tuesday - (IDPA) - Tennessee Wildlife Resources
3. Friday - (IDPA) DeSoto Rifle And Pistol Club (No need to be a member)
4. Friday - Rangemaster (IDPA Like) you need to have taken a class from RM
5. Alternating Saturdays - (IDPA) DeSoto or MSSA (No need to be a member)

=======

I kind of started the TWRA league when another Tuesday location became unavailable. If you PM me with your email address I can send you some information on the TWRA-IDPA SOPs and "What To Expect".

===========

I assume you are referring to "club" level matches (rather than sanctioned matches).

You should be comfortable loading and unloading the firearm you are planning on using.

You should have good muzzle/trigger awareness.

You should be comfortable properly drawing from a holster (but you don't have to be fast).

You need (3) magazines (or 4 speed loaders), (2) magazine pouches (or three speed loader holders), a pistol and a strong side holster.

Don't try to go too fast.

Rule #1 - Be safe. I have not met an SO who cared how slow you are - but all care how safe you are.

tnedator
07-01-2010, 18:57
===========

I assume you are referring to "club" level matches (rather than sanctioned matches).

You should be comfortable loading and unloading the firearm you are planning on using.

You should have good muzzle/trigger awareness.

You should be comfortable properly drawing from a holster (but you don't have to be fast).

You need (3) magazines (or 4 speed loaders), (2) magazine pouches (or three speed loader holders), a pistol and a strong side holster.

Don't try to go too fast.

Rule #1 - Be safe. I have not met an SO who cared how slow you are - but all care how safe you are.

Sending PM with email.

Yes, I think they would be 'club' matches. I'm closer to Little Rock than Memphis, but the MAG class will be the one that Givens is putting on. I was looking at the Little Rock or Benton/Bryant clubs. They each run IDPA and a couple other events several times a month.

Loading/unloading. No problem at all. I must admit that I have never practiced the mag change with retention, but will. Very conscious of muzzle direction and finger on frame until on target. I probably have not practiced drawing from a holster as much as I should, but always wear my EDC in my IWB when I go to the range and at minimum draw it from the holster a half dozen times or so between mag reloads (I usually have 4-6 mags with me).

What I have never practiced is shooting on the move, shooting from behind cover, etc.

alabaster
07-01-2010, 18:59
Both feet, man. Jump in. The only regret I bet you'll have is having not done it sooner.

tnedator
07-01-2010, 19:03
Just jump in, read the rules to get an idea of what is going on and have the right equipment.
Go slow and be safe and have fun.
Here is a video of our "New Shooter Briefing" you might find it helpful.

http://www.gadpa.com/index.php/ipda/new-shooter-briefing/

Thanks, I'm going to take a look.

The hardest part is getting up the balls to go to your first match.

Everyone had a first match.

Be safe and nobody other than you will remember your first match.

Yea, it's just getting up the balls. Living in a rural area, I haven't spent any time at an organized range. It's things like unmanned Game and Fish ranges, or gravel pits that have become semi-sanctioned shooting ranges (used by local police as well).

Thanks to everyone for all the advice and encouragement. I'm heading off on a business trip after next weekend, but when I get back, I'm going to try and get to one towards the end of July.

Mas Ayoob
07-01-2010, 19:13
TNedator, here's another vote for Jump In, after you've absorbed all the good advice you've had from so many good GT-ers on this excellent thread.

I'll look forward to meeting you in Memphis. Tom Givens and I both shoot IDPA; would have advised you to do it at the class anyway, so you may as well get a head start. :supergrin:

You mention that you're near Little Rock. Shoot me a PM, and I'll see if I can't get you hooked up with a bud of mine who is big into IDPA down that way.

best,
Mas

PEC-Memphis
07-02-2010, 09:54
Be safe and nobody other than you will remember your first match.

Great line.

PhoneCop
07-02-2010, 16:51
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?

I'm not being mean, remember that:

Chances are you're not ready, chances are you suck and will get smoked. Blown-up. Finish near the bottom of the pack....

SO WHAT!

You compete against yourself.

It's an absolute blast! Just go do it.

Be safe, that's all anyone wants.

As said to me once, "No one remembers how you did at your first match, but you."