New to the game


October 2, 2010, 12:53 PM
I played sports all through high school and always loved competing, but now I'm looking into competitive handgun shooting. I looked at the thread about finding your game, and just based on the paragraphs given the IPSC (USPSA) interests me the most. But I literally have no idea what I'm doing. When I say I just took interest in this I'm talking about two to three weeks ago. I would like some tips on where to get started. What gun should be my first? What should I do to practice? (I read that thread too but a lot of the terminology confused me such as shooting 10s) Anyway, just any information, or links to information you guys can give me would be much appreciated.

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October 2, 2010, 01:09 PM
I think your location might help us out.

Gun selection would depend on which class you'd like to compete in

I always recommend instruction first. If you are brand new, a safety course is a good start and then a Shooting opposed to a tactical you understand the basic grip, stance and trigger control...along with how to draw and change mags.

If you have questions about terminology, please feel free to post questions.

I've been shooting and teaching so long that it is hard to remember what needs to be explained...I depend on students asking questions.

sometimes something as simple as which way to insert the bullets into the magazine...I was asked this a couple of months ago and they had a very reasonable reason for doing it incorrectly

October 2, 2010, 01:15 PM
Ok sorry I updated my location. Also, I'd like to note that I have enough property that I can practice at home if it'd be cheaper to just buy targets than to go to a range.

October 2, 2010, 01:49 PM
I think the first thing to do is decide which class you'd like to compete in...Open, Limited or Production...because that will help determine which platform to purchase.

It is a plus to have property, but you'll still need instruction...the worst thing that you can do is start by building bad shooting habits.

October 2, 2010, 02:53 PM
Ok, I've read up on the different game types, a little more in depth, and I know this is different than what I originally started off liking I really like the idea of the 50m free pistol. I talked to one of my dad's friends that sells handguns and tactical rifles at gun shows and over the internet and he said ruger makes a pretty good starting gun for my price range (250-350). Any thoughts on all that?

David E
October 2, 2010, 03:02 PM
Talk about a course change.............:rolleyes:

October 2, 2010, 03:22 PM
Yeah, I read about the ranges on IPSC and didn't really like the idea of how close they seem to be. (Seem is the keyword there.) But I did like the idea of different scenarios.

October 2, 2010, 03:25 PM need to give some warning, so I can brace myself, when you veer like that :)

Unfortunately, I have opinions on most things handgun...I would recommend the EAA Model IZH35M .22 LR Target Pistol manufactured by IZH-Baikal as a better option.

If you'd really like to become a very good pistol shot, I'd recommend a cheaper solution in the IZH 46M Match Pistol by's a air pistol that will show you all your trigger and follow through flaws

October 2, 2010, 03:27 PM
didn't really like the idea of how close they seem to be.

I usually start students out at from 3-5 don't learn much through frustration

October 2, 2010, 05:03 PM
Ok so obviously I'm indecisive. So just take a safety course just to get a feel for it?

October 2, 2010, 05:58 PM
Another idea from a ways north of you...
Ask around at some of the clubs and places where such events/competitions are held... and just show up. Nature will take care of the rest. Trust me. At the matches I've shot at over the years (Service Rifle, Benchrest, Varmint, Running Target, IDPA, and most recently Bullseye)- it seems to be folks' "nature" to talk to the new guys, give them advice, ask questions, get them involved, get them shooting- it's like some weird undiscovered DNA, gene-goo, chromisone or something that makes these shooters want to induct a new shooter into the brotherhood. So, just show up and ask the RM or one of the RSO's if you can just watch a round or two. Chances are great that someone will offer to take you under their wing before your chair gets warm.

Up here, several guys bring an extra pistol in their kit just for such an occassion. I'm just into my 7th week of Bullseye, been shooting my Buck Mark Camper, and have had three offers to shoot someone's spare. I just got my S&W 41 off of lay-a-way and once I get up and going with it- I will still haul out my Buck Mark in case a new shooter shows up and does not have anything to shoot with.

Red Cent
October 2, 2010, 08:38 PM
What 10-96 said. One thing. Watch for a while and pick a good shooter to approach. Stay away from the loud and brash ones. I have been involved in a lot of disciplines and there are some competitors who shouldn't be allowed to speak.

Hk Dan
October 3, 2010, 03:18 PM
LOLOLOL--The targets may SEEM close in USPSA, but lemme tell ya, they can be challenging. Why, the instant that you shoot a perfect scoring match and realize that you came in 36th place you'll understand--it's not about the hits, it's about how quickly you can get the hits.

Go try a match. You don't really need instruction before you go, they usually have new shooter briefs and sometimes classes, but just showing up and being safe is as good.

David E
October 3, 2010, 03:26 PM
It really depends what you're trying to improve upon, or do with your gun.

If you like to make small groups at long distances using only one hand, IPSC or IDPA is not for you.

If, on the other hand, you want to improve your defensive and all around gun handling skills with a common centerfire handgun, then look into IPSC and IDPA.

As for range/distance, I once shot a sanctioned match that had target at 75 yds. That's SEVENTY FIVE yards......I hope that's enough of a challenge!

October 3, 2010, 09:17 PM
To the OP and the Hijacker fromCali.

What kind of gun do you have NOW? Chances are, it will work at USPSA, if maybe just at a local club.

To get started, all you need to know if how to load, unload, fire, and clear jams in your gun, and have the basics of firearm safety. $40 worth of holster and mag pouches will get you started. You don't need fancy gear or anything.

Go to a match, let them know you are new, open your mind, and you will be addicted like the rest of us.

October 3, 2010, 11:17 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys.

October 4, 2010, 11:41 AM
OP = Original Poster

XD40 would fit well in either USPSA production division, Limited, or Limited 10. If you are serious about completing in Limited 10 with that platform, you may want to consider extended mag base pads.

I am guessing that all divisions in cali are 10 round limited, so maybe that won't matter to you...

Hk Dan
October 4, 2010, 08:08 PM
I think ya meant "Limited"--he's good to go without basepads in L-10 isn't he?

He would be at a disadvantage in Production, shooting a .40 with presumably factory loads rather than minor loads (THEN he'd have an advantage).

Just go shoot, man. Don't over-think it, you'll have plenty of time for that when you walk up to the ready box...<g> Just go shoot.

David E
October 4, 2010, 08:15 PM
The XD-40 is most competitive in L-10 division, regardless of extended base pads.

Besides, I think he wants/needs to keep it simple.

October 6, 2010, 10:38 AM
Used the club finder on the uspsa website and emailed them. Going to a match this Sunday. Pretty excited.

October 6, 2010, 12:10 PM
Do you have a gun? Have you ever shot a gun? Just going to a competition without knowing and observing the basic rules of safety wont get you many friends...

October 6, 2010, 04:24 PM
I emailed the guy who's email was given and I told him I had no experience and he just told me to come down.

Jim Watson
October 6, 2010, 06:04 PM
Take eye protection and ear protection so you can watch and learn in safety and comfort.

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