Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adding IDPA To The Mix

I decided to hit a local IDPA match on Wednesday. Black Creek IDPA shoots Wednesday afternoons during Daylight Savings Time. The match director promised "something easy" for the first match of the season. Since it's been two years since I shot an IDPA match I figured it was a good time to try it out again.

There are some substantial differences between IDPA and USPSA. IDPA, being scenario oriented, is very specific concerning things like shooting order and reloads. USPSA generally leaves it up to the shooter to engage targets in the most expedient manner. A number of times I reverted to my USPSA experience and reloaded at the wrong time or dropped a non-empty magazine on the ground.

As I mentioned recently, shooting around barricades is a skill I need to practice more, and IDPA matches typically give plenty of opportunity for that. Indeed the first string in this match featured two barricades. In this string the shooter started seated and at the buzzer ran to a barricade and engaged six targets, two hits on each, taking three targets from each side of the barricade. You then progressed to another barricade further downrange and reengaged the same six targets. This time the requirement was one body and one head shot on each.

The second string had the shooter holding a phone handset in his off, or weak hand, and dialing a rotary phone with the shooting hand. For you youngsters, here's what that phone looks like. The gun and spare magazine were each loaded with 6 rounds. Upon the signal, the shooter would turn, engage each target with one shot strong hand only while still holding the phone. At slide lock, you dropped the phone, reloaded and made one shot on each target weak hand only.

The third and last string required all head shots, from about 7 yards. The requirement this time was for one head shot on each target strong hand only, a mandatory reload, followed by one head shot on each target weak hand only.

All three strings in the match used the same six targets that were lined up at the base of the berm. The shooters started from different positions for each string. It was a simple set up but called for a variety of skills. With just 48 shots required, there was opportunity for everyone who wanted to shoot a second time for practice, either with a different gun or the same.

It was a really fun afternoon. I saw plenty of things I could do better and differently, but I came home feeling pleased. I ended up placing 5th out of 15 shooters in my division. I expect I'll try to hit more of these weekday events at Black Creek, but I will have to concentrate on keeping the rule differences straight and not dropping right into USPSA thinking. Two different games, two different sets of rules producing different challenges.


  1. Dude I'm jealous. The IDPA matches up this way are all booked up for months.

    I do think some of the IDPA rules are stupid. But it sure is a lot of fun.

    1. I hear there's an IDPA match starting this summer in King George.

      The hardest thing about the rules is breaking habits from the other game. But, there's a timer and we keep score, so it's a game and games have rules. :-)

  2. You know, for the first minute I thought your abbreviations were for some India Dark Pale Ale or something, and I was wondering, "then what the heck kind of beer is USPSA?"

    My bad. <;-)

  3. I talked to the guy that runs a local IDPA and I really need to get over there next month. I really have no excuses other than laziness.

    1. The toughest part of going to a match, is actually going. No matter how much I am looking forward to shooting, I am usually tempted to not go, not deal with the pressure. But I've never not had fun - shooting well or not.

    2. Agreed. But I never have any regrets afterwards.


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