What caliber do you use for IDPA?


August 27, 2007, 02:18 AM
Just curious, I am considering starting IDPA soon and I have come to the realization that 9mm will probably allow me to shoot more often and probably more quickly on multi taps, but I dont carry 9mm. I only carry and own 45 in a pistol I would compete with. So on one side, I could be more competitive, but on the other side I could actually shoot with what I carry it would just cost more.

Do you shoot with your carry gun, or do you shoot with a lower caliber to be more competitive?

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August 27, 2007, 02:45 AM
You question on what to carry is a hard one. If you carry a .45 and you are very good with it you should give it a try. If you are worried about the cost of ammo you could always reload. Reloading will not only supply you with all the ammo you need at a greatly reduced price but the ammo will be more accurate.

I don't have this problem since I carry a 38/357 and use a light load .38 Special for PPC.

Gary G23
August 27, 2007, 08:40 AM
Ammo cost is significant. I shoot 9mm. If I were to switch to a 45 my ammo cost would probably double. Unless you're rich that is definitely a factor to consider.

I also carry a 9mm. I figure it's a good idea to carry what you compete with since familiarity with your weapon only comes with practice.

August 27, 2007, 10:54 AM
I actually carry a 9mm Makarov, which is not powerful enough to shoot in IDPA. I cannot comfortably carry a 9mm Luger pistol that I can shoot enough to be proficient with (the small, easily concealed 9mms are too hard on my wrist to shoot very much, and the ones I can shoot comfortably are too big to conceal well.)

I shoot 9mm (Browning Hi Power) in the IDPA matches at my local range, and I'd guess about half of the competitors use that round. The only downside I've noticed is when there are steel targets that you have to drop in order to release the next (typically, moving) target - you have to hit the steel solidly and as far from the pivot point as possible to be sure to drop it. The 40 and 45 guys can be a bit less precise.

But 9mm is so much cheaper than 40 (and so much easier on my old wrist) that it wouldn't be worth it to me to switch. And if your 45 is a 1911 platform you'll be stuck with 7 or 8 round magazines, which seems to me to be a disadvantage when the rest of us can use 10 rounders (the max you can load in a mag in IDPA competition.) Now if you reload 45 and use one of the double stack guns like Glock, XD45 or M&P45 you might have the best of all worlds.

OTOH, if your goal is to become more proficient with the gun you actually carry, then go with your 45 and don't worry about game advantages others may have with other platforms. If ammo cost is a problem, consider reloading - you can pay for a competent reloading setup with the savings on a few thousand rounds of ammo, and you'll go through that fairly quickly if you practice and compete much.

August 27, 2007, 10:57 AM
sorry, posted in the wrong thread ;)

Jim Watson
August 27, 2007, 11:45 AM
Shoot your .45 and you can enter CDP which is ALL .45 ACP and you will be on the proverbial "level playing field" at least as far as caliber, recoil, and magazine capacity.

A Dillon Square Deal will get you into reloading .45s for less money than a decent 9mm pistol.

August 27, 2007, 03:17 PM
I shoot .45,9mm and 38 in idpa,depending on what ammo I have more of at the time.;)
if you don't reload check out this site for cheap ammo
BTW,I love idpa...ammo will have to be REALLY expensive for me to quit all together.

August 27, 2007, 03:33 PM
I shoot a HK USP 45 with 10 or 12 round mags so capacity isnt an issue, I think I may just start to try to roll my own. I am somewhat disappointed with the idea that people soup up guns as much as possible for IDPA, I thought it was going to be a sport where you shoot what you carry without lightening triggers, switching calibers, using low pressured home made rounds, etc. It seems like many competitors go for as close to a race gun as they can legally use :(

August 27, 2007, 03:50 PM
That's why there are multiple classes in the IDPA. You can download the rules and read them yourself HERE (http://www.idpa.com/Documents/IDPARuleBook2005.pdf).

You have SSP (Stock Service Pistol), ESP (Enhanced Service Pistol), and CSP (Custom Service Pistol) for the semi-auto classes. SSP pretty much is what it sounds like a "stock service pistol".

The following modifications are NOT ALLOWED IN ANY
DIVISION unless otherwise specifically mentioned.
A. Compensators of any type including hybrid or ported
B. Add-on weights for a competitive advantage (this includes,
but is not limited to, weighted magazines, tungsten guide rods,
brass magazine wells, weighted grips).
C. Heavy and/or cone style barrels without a barrel bushing.
D. Sights of non-standard configuration (i.e. Ghost rings, Bo-
Mar rib, etc.).
E. Disconnection or disabling of any safety device on any gun.
F. Lights mounted on guns.
IDPA founders hoped to create a practical shooting discipline that
will not turn into an equipment race. Pistol barrel porting does
enhance recoil control (granted increased muzzle flash is an
unwanted byproduct) and thus could offer a competitive
advantage. If the Board of Directors (BoD) allowed ported barrels,
then it would be a “necessary modification” to be competitive, thus
increasing the cost of participation substantially.

Here is what you can do for SSP
PERMITTED Modifications (Inclusive list):
1. Sights may be changed to another conventional notch and
post type (see “sights” in glossary for further information).
2. Grips may be changed to another style or material that is
similar to factory configuration (no weighted grips; see
“weighted grips” in glossary for further details).
3. A slip-on grip sock and/or skateboard tape may be used.
4. Internal action work may be used to enhance trigger pull as
long as safety is maintained (no visible external modifications
5. Reliability work may be done to enhance feeding and
6. Internal accuracy may be worked to include replacement of
barrel with one of factory configuration and original caliber.
7. Plastic plugs may be used to fill the opening behind the
magazine well.
8. Custom finishes may be applied.

Check pages 20 though 28 to read what is permissible for the various classes and ammo requirements.

August 27, 2007, 05:42 PM
I flip flop among the guns I have for IDPA -- so it might be 9mm this weekend & 45 acp next :rolleyes: My schedule doesn't permit me to go every weekend, so caliber & ammo cost doens't rear its ugly head. But w/ the cost of ammo what it is today, 9mm sure would be a plus ;)

August 27, 2007, 05:49 PM
I may be handicapping myself some in ESP and SSP, but I shoot what I carry.
.357SIG Glock fullsize

August 27, 2007, 07:18 PM

I shot the same in my one and only IDPA match. Wish I could get out more often - really enjoyed it!!
I used my G31 last year at a GSSF match and beat my personal best times in all stages. I had used a G23 and a G17 in previous years....
I won't hesitate to use the Sig any more because it is what I'd probably be using "real world".

August 29, 2007, 08:26 AM
Good to see I'm not the only crazy using a G31. With the proper grip, its only a very minor handicap from powderpuff 9mils.

August 29, 2007, 08:31 AM
Was using the Makarov (9x18) until I got a gun that would actually fall into a category. It will be 9mm from here out.

My carry gun is my IDPA gun.

August 29, 2007, 08:47 AM
I'm just getting into IDPA. My range does an informal shoot once a month. I've shot it for the last 4 months and I'm getting better each month. The first month I was dead last :banghead: Now I finish somewhere in the top 3rd. I shoot what I carry, a Sig P229 .40S&W DAK. Most of the guys shoot either 9mm (most) or .45acp. Only one other shoots a .40S&W. I shoot to try to get better with my CCW. This past month I went through the course with my P228 9mm and my P229 .40S&W to see which I would do better with. My time with the .40 was 9 seconds better! The DA/SA of the P228 probably made the biggest difference.
Decide what you want out of IDPA - to get better with your CCW, or to shoot the best times. Then choose which caliber to shoot.
Good luck - it's great fun!

August 29, 2007, 11:39 AM
I've shot both my BHP in .40 and a 9mm (BHP and Springer XD9 Tactical). If you really want to be competitive you need to be shooting 9mm, except for CDP or revolver of course.

I know, some of you guys are just as fast with a .40, but about 99.987% of the people I actually see shoot are considerable quicker with a 9mm, and it doesn't wear you out as much when you go through 200-250 rounds.

August 29, 2007, 02:40 PM
Shooting what you carry:I carry a j frame and every couple of months me and a couple other guys use the lttile 5 shots.......after 70 or so round through my airweight,my hand is a little sore.......we have a couple of us who carry and try to use idpa for more than just a "game".....but trainning it aint....but it's more realistic than just punching holes I guess.

August 29, 2007, 06:23 PM
I started out in IDPA with a 9mm Browning Hi-Power in a OWB holster, and used that for about 3 years. The last couple of years I've been using a 9mm SIG P239 in a IWB holster. Since the P239 is DA/SA, my times seem to be a bit longer to make sure that the first shot will be a good hit. On the other hand I feel that using it is closer to the real spirit of IDPA because the gun is a type more likely to be carried. That said, I may go back to the BHP because of its consistent SA from a cocked and locked condition. In either case I prefer the 9mm because of the ammo cost. (I have 45s, but don't reload.) While it's great to say that you should shoot IDPA with what you carry, I prefer to CARRY a .380 because of size and weight considerations.

August 29, 2007, 06:27 PM
While it's great to say that you should shoot IDPA with what you carry, I prefer to CARRY a .380 because of size and weight considerations.
My biggest complaint about IDPA is that there is no real category for guns in .380/.32, even though that's what many people carry. I carry 9x18 all the time, but it does't fit into a competitive category.

August 29, 2007, 08:59 PM
Its up to local clubs to have BUG type matches with .380, or you can ask to use it for no-score. If .380s are to be allowed, they should have their own division. Something like WSP (weak service pistol)....j/k

August 29, 2007, 09:19 PM
On the other hand I feel that using it is closer to the real spirit of IDPA because the gun is a type more likely to be carried.

Not sure why you think a Sig is more likely to be carried, my carry gun is a BHP in .40, and loads of people carry the single action 1911. I would never consider carrying a full size DA pistol, as long as cocked and locked is available.

August 29, 2007, 09:36 PM
I'm pretty certain that I could NOT knock down a steel popper with a Makarov, no matter where I hit it. My local range is now using at least one popper (and sometimes 2) in at least one stage in every IDPA match they run, so I just wouldn't be able to complete that stage if I used the gun I usually carry. And the BUG gun matches they run are usually only 1 or 2 stages, are designed for 5-shot revolvers, and they do not let you draw from concealment, so the practical utility is pretty low. I just enjoy the matches with a BHP.

August 29, 2007, 09:42 PM
.45 :-)

August 29, 2007, 10:03 PM
I shoot what I carry, .45ACP. I compete with the .45 and with my reloads, I'm very competitive with 9mm shooters. Shoot the .45

August 29, 2007, 11:01 PM
I shoot a 9 because it's cheap. And I actually care a 9 most of the time now, since I shoot 9 so often. But I will drag out the 45 sometimes for IDPA.

Our local club lets people shoot 380s and such if they want, it's all about getting people involved, and having fun.

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