IDPA Begginer - How do I train?


May 4, 2005, 09:54 PM
I have been invited to start shooting some IDPA matches at my local range and I am trying to decide which of my guns I will shoot. I have narrowed the choices down to my 92FS, P95 and CZ75 but am having trouble picking among the 3. I did some simple draw, fire and reload drills with all 3 hoping a front runner would emerge, however I shoot all 3 almost identically. I can't afford to by all of the extra mags, etc for all 3. Any suggestions for drills that might help me pick which will suit me best in competition among the 3? Also, any recommendations on additional magazines? Will I need 10 round mags or standard capacity? I am looking to shoot in stock service pistol. Thanks.

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May 4, 2005, 10:13 PM
W/the listed guns, double mag pouch, holster that cover trigger. Go shoot with what ever you are comfortable with. Take your time and get your hits first time out. After getting your feet wet and seeing what's required, then decide what will work best. A lot of us use our carry types. After 1st outing you'll know what to work on for practice routine, each trip will provide more to practice. Sight picture and trigger control is where it's at. Enjoy and be safe.

Jim Watson
May 4, 2005, 11:18 PM
Working backwards, IDPA SSP allows only 10+1 in the gun. The rules were written when that was the law, so if you have or can easily get Klinton Klip 10 shot magazines, they will do fine. A full capacity magazine loaded with 11 for the first loading saves you manipulating a "barney" magazine to get the chamber loaded. And you must usually have the gun loaded to full IDPA capacity 10 in the magazine and one in the chamber. But that is its only advantage. Get what is less expensive as long as it is reliable. You need three magazines, one to load the gun with and two on your belt. More are nice to have but not essential.

Of the three guns you list, I recommend you concentrate on the Beretta.

The CZ75 is a good gun, I have shot one for SSP myself, but unless yours is a BD version with decocker you will have to manually lower the hammer to get to the DA start required in SSP. Not the best thing for a novice to have to manage along with so much other stuff. You could go cocked and locked with it in ESP if you are comfortable with a thumb safety, but that is not what you said.

Frankly, I have never seen anybody compete with a Ruger for any length of time. You already have better.

Are you going to Steel City (I shoot there pretty regularly.) or Heritage (Conflicts with my home club which I MD.)?

May 5, 2005, 12:04 AM
Thanks all. I was leaning towards the CZ 75 but I have the B model and didn't think about the hammer issue for DA 1st shot. I'll give the Beretta a whirl and see how I do. I will be going to Steel City with a friend.

May 5, 2005, 08:59 AM
Good luck, I think you'll have a blast!

I like to tell new shooters "don't shoot fast, shoot good"

And to borrow a Clint Smith saying, "look at, through, or for the sights"

Put those two together and you'll have a safe fun time.

Look out though, it's addicting!

May 5, 2005, 09:28 AM
:what: Wow, there are A LOT of SCSSA/IDPA shooters on this board, and a lot of Alabamians in general. Who knew we were such a wired bunch of fellas.

Maybe Alabama is not the backwater State we aremade out to be everywhere else.


Jim Watson
May 5, 2005, 11:25 AM
I notice we got all wrapped up in the hardware and didn't get into the training.
The best is professional training, the next best is semi-pro training.
Ron Holland at Steel City and Matt Sims who shoots there frequently are Master class shooters who hold classes. I think Matt is really getting into it with basics taught by himself and big names imported occasionally to his range near Gadsden.

There are books and videos for you to dig it out for yourself and certainly once you start going to shoots you will see what you do the worst at and need study and practice on.

May 5, 2005, 04:53 PM
Re the beretta, I also have an FS and I don't like the fact that when youdecock it, the safety stays engaged. I don't use a safety on a Double action pistol, and if you forget to un safe, it sucks when you draw and pull, and nada. I find it irritating myself, and really wish I had looked harder for a G model. And no, it can't be converted without buying a G slide. I will say that my Vertec FS is one very accurate pistol though. But, if you practice enough and engrain switching the lever back after you decock, then cool. Also, one nice thing about the 92's is that safe DA position for the hammer. After you decock, pull the hammer back just a bit till it catches. This way you get a smoother,shorter, lighter DA pull on the first shot.

Joe D
May 6, 2005, 08:12 AM
Backwards? Alabama? Listen we recently passed a new law, no kidding, that makes it legal for you to marry your first cousin now. I think we have kept the 12 yr. old lower limit for marriage. The Jr. High prom dress can also serve as the wedding gown. Another law was passed at about the same time as the 1st cousin law that prohibits you from having either a BBQ grill or indoor furniture on your front porch. I am fighting with the city of Hoover right now. I don't think a refrigerator is classed as "furniture". Why should I have to go all the way inside to get a beer when I am cutting the grass.
We hope to be the first in our neighborhood to have an indoor toilet. Until then,oh well.
Please do come shoot IDPA with us at SCSSA. I will not be there this weekend. There are many IDPA matches in Alabama.

Island Beretta
May 6, 2005, 09:20 AM
Berettas have ruled the roost in IDPA.. follow the leader!!

Jim Watson
May 6, 2005, 11:03 AM
Caution, Sabre,

Steel City shoots IDPA on the Second Saturday Morning of the Month. Due to the first falling on Sunday, that will be next weekend, on the 14th, not tomorrow.

I will probably be there then, health and weather permitting, the guy with the Team Mediocre logo on his vest.

Joe D
May 6, 2005, 11:41 AM
Duh!!! I meant to say next weekend. This weekend we will be in Arab.

Jim Watson
May 6, 2005, 01:01 PM
Yeah, Sabre, you could come to Arab tomorrow and get started right.
Map at

W Turner
May 6, 2005, 05:12 PM
The hardware side of the equation sounds like it is pretty well settled. If I were in your position, I would go with the Beretta. Cheap and easy to find mags, holsters about in most decent gun shop, heavy weapon for the cailber it shoots, overall it is a good choice.

As far as what to practice?

-Practice shooting around both sides of cover and while kneeling. Concentrate on not crowding cover try to keep the muzzle of the gun even with or behind the front edge of the doorway/wall, etc. Be sure to keep both feet behind cover

-Practice drawing and putting your first shot on target

-Learn the range commands, especially the ones that come AFTER you have finished shooting (unload and show clear, hammer down, holster).

-Practice moving while trying to maintain a sight picture. Focus on maintaining the sight picture first, moving fast will come later

Pay close attention to the pre-match safety meeting, remember that a good day at a match is one where everyone leaves with the same number of holes they came with, and have fun.


C. H. Luke
May 9, 2005, 01:03 PM
"Any suggestions for drills that might help me pick which will suit me best in competition among the 3?"

You may have to shoot ea. in a Match to really find out which works best for you?

When you start out and sometimes after you need to learn the importance of "Setting up the 1st Shot". Don't worry about getting the pistol out of the holster and up fast. What you need to do is lock your eye foucs on the exact spot on the tgt. you are going to aim/shoot at, then always bring the sights up to your eyes. then concentrate on the 3-Secrets of shooting, "Sight alignment, sight picture and tribber control".
If you get that 1st shot it's much more likely that the rest of the Stage or string will go wel for you.

IDPA is fairly heavily time-weighted so always have the question of "If I had taken an extra 1/2 to 1 sec. on that Stage would it have kept me from getting that many 1 or 3 PD's?"

Shoot for best accuracy 1st, sped will almost naturally come in its own time.

While this article/link mostly concerns the Classifier ther are good solid shootig tips in it:

Scrounge some used IDPA targets and put ca. 1" red dots in the center of the head box and center of the 8" COM scoring ring. This will help habituat you to unconciously center the sights dead center. No need to try doing it fast smoothness and good hits are what counts plus you'll develope confidence in your ability to get thehits at different distances. Then try with multiple targets in aa linear array and place one round on ea. as slow as you need to go to get the best hits you can. Eventually space them at 3 different distances.

Also a dry-practice routing both from the ready and holster can work wonders as a comliment to live fire practice.

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