First IDPA Match Tomorrow (18 Jan)


January 17, 2014, 10:55 AM
Like the title says, I'm going to shoot my first IDPA match tomorrow. It'll be at the Bluegrass Sportsmen's League in Wilmore, KY. I'm pretty nervous about it to be honest. I went to the range yesterday, and needless to say, I have zero doubt that I will be getting smoked by the competition. Gotta start somewhere though. Any last second tips to offer?

I'll update this thread after the match and give results (if I'm not too embarrassed haha) and any lessons learned.

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January 17, 2014, 11:03 AM
I don't shoot IDPA, but recently got into shooting F-Class.

I was pretty nervous too going to my first one, and knew I'd get my butt kicked.

Best advice I can give, is to go have fun and learn. Biggest thing is too just have fun.

By going out and having fun and listening and just bs'ing with the guys and gals, not only have I learned, but my game has improved a lot.

So have FUN and learn.

January 17, 2014, 12:55 PM
For the most part, my experience is that, for most people, going to shoot a practical pistol match with the idea of winning makes no more sense than going to the golf course with the idea of posting the low score on that course for the day. There are too many opponents for even very good shooters to expect to actually win. And the rules are set up to identify and exaggerate the gap between the proficient shooter and the gifted/skilled/dedicated shooter. If your experience is like mine with USPSA, for 85+% of the people there, "winning" is simply not a goal, a thought, etc. They're just trying to shoot better than they did last week/month. Eventually, you will identify people of approximately your level and may start being/feeling competitive with them.

Or maybe you'll be like Ben Stoegner and classify as a GM the first match!

Just focus on being safe and following the rules. In that order. Then focus on safety a little more. Whatever attention you have left over, turn towards making good hits. Don't worry about speed at all your first couple of times.

January 17, 2014, 02:48 PM
1) Keep the gun pointed down range
2) No need to race your first time out; take your time and do everything safely.
3) Keep the gun pointed down range
4) Follow the official's commands. Load, unload, and holster when they tell you to do so, and not before. When you are done with a stage, holster before you wander off looking for dropped magazines, rounds of ammo, etc.
5) Keep the gun pointed downrange.

Focus on 1,3, and 5. And have fun, that is the whole point.

January 17, 2014, 09:49 PM
NY32182 has it down cold.!

IDPA here in So. Cal. has a quick meeting/rundown for ALL newcomers, Before you join your group/squad.

You will get put in a group with experienced shooters and an RSO, plus scorekeeper. You will be watched like a hawk.

remember, DO WHAT THEY SAY, THEY WERE ONCE NEW ALSO. It will be a blast. We have newcomers shoot without cover the first time, emphasis is on proper execution of stages, and protocol.

You will have a lot to think about. Its gonna be a blast!

be safe.

January 17, 2014, 09:51 PM
I'm super pumped! I've been going through my stuff, making sure I have everything. Biggest issue will be the weather I think, it's supposed to be inn the 20's when it starts, so just trying to figure out the best layering so I don't have to work with a heavy coat and shirts to draw from

January 17, 2014, 10:42 PM
Make sure to bring your most mechanically reliable handgun and ammo combination.
Having to clear a string of malfunctions during a stage is very frustrating and can bring on some unsafe gun handling.

Bring something to eat and drink as food may not be part of your match fees or not available for purchase.

Find out in advance what the round count is and bring 50% more ammo.

Be safe and have fun.

chris in va
January 17, 2014, 11:31 PM
Dress warm! Put some hand warmers in your boots, my toes always freeze.

Slooowww down. Don't be all in a hurry to blast away at the targets. Aim, hit the A zone. Remember, one hit in the A zone is a neutralization, so don't keep shooting at the darn thing if you see a hit there. At least that's how our club runs things.

If you break up into squads be sure to get with the better shooters as they will give you sound advice on skills. You're not competing with anyone but yourself.

Pay attention to the 'course of fire'. Mandatory mag changes are a real time killer. So are hostage hits and failure to neutralize. You can be the fastest gun there but misses will knock you down to last in a hurry.

January 17, 2014, 11:51 PM
Read ny32182's post.
Read it again.
Read it just before you leave for the range.

Let the RO help you and don't try to hurry.

Your goal is to enjoy yourself and get through the match. You are very likely to get at least one procedural. Don't let that bother you; there a lot of rules.

Oh, and keep your gun pointed down range when it's not in your holster. Only take it out of your holster when the RO says to, except at the designated area for uncasing your gun.


January 19, 2014, 01:24 AM
Well, after thawing out, time to update. I had a blast! I wasn't trying to win or anything, but I did better than I expected I would. Here's a rundown:
After arriving and checking in, there was a new shooter orientation. Rules were went over, equipment checked, and a quick range/weapons competency test of 6 rounds fired was given. After that, squads were assigned and the match began. Everyone was very helpful and offered tips and advice frequently. I will definitely be back next month.
Some things to take away:
1. I need to practice - Everything, dry fire, drawing from concealment, mag reloads, etc. I didn't do bad, but I definitely have room for improvement. I will definitely do this a LOT more on my range trips, so they are more productive
2. Gear selection - I used my G26, my EDC gun. While it/I performed fine, I definitely feel that a duty sized pistol would be a definite plus (thinking a G17). I definitely feel that something that has a larger grip and longer sight radius would only help, besides, I've always wanted one lol
3. It is really easy to tell who does it for fun and to improve skill and those who do it to win. I saw everything from people dressed in normal clothes with a 1911 to people with 5.11 pants, shoot me first vest, and a Glock 35 with a match barrel etc. It's really neat to see the different approaches to it. There was even a guy there shooting a 10mm Glock
4. I need to take more time to get a better grasp on the scoring methods. It was explained to us in the new shooter orientation, but I wasn't 100% on understanding, so I didn't worry about taking extra shots on the stage. I was more worried with getting through the stage correctly and safely, so I'll worry about that in the coming days.
Thanks for all of the advice, I really appreciate it!

January 19, 2014, 02:15 AM
4. I need to take more time to get a better grasp on the scoring methods. It was explained to us in the new shooter orientation, but I wasn't 100% on understanding, so I didn't worry about taking extra shots on the stage.
IDPA scoring is very easy. There is a (-0) center, a (-1) area around it and a (-3) area outside that. A miss is (-5). A head shot is (-0)

Each point down (-) is worth .5 sec, which is added to the time you spent shoot the CoF...fastest time wins

You can shoot as many shots as you'd like if the CoF is scored with a Vicker's Count...only the best shots, up to the number required count. Limited Vicker's means you are limited to the number of shots that the CoF specifys

Jim Watson
January 19, 2014, 09:50 AM
And you can add Procedural Error penalties at 3 seconds each, Hit On Non-Threat at 5 seconds, and Failure To Neutralize at 5 seconds. Let's hope you don't get a Failure To Do Right because that is 20 seconds and just short of being called a cheat.

January 20, 2014, 10:27 AM
If you are going to buy a dedicated Glock just for IDPA, get a 34. There is not a big difference between that and a 17, but if it is just for IDPA you might as well have the slightly longer barrel and sight radius.

Sounds like you got off to a good start.

January 20, 2014, 10:52 AM
Congratulations! Nice job and welcome to the fun!

January 20, 2014, 11:04 AM
Well, here's the results. My name is Lee and I was in the SSP unclassified division shooting a G26

January 20, 2014, 11:34 AM

January 20, 2014, 08:19 PM
Nice job.

January 23, 2014, 09:51 PM
Great job Lee! I will second getting a Glock 34. I shoot Glock 35s myself. I feel like my G35 shoots softer than a G34 with my reloads, and spring mods. I have virtually no muzzle movement. That said the G34 is the most popular gun at most matches here in Ga, Al, SC, NC, and Tenn. Also 9mm bullets are about $20/1000 cheaper than .40 bullets. You will soon want to start reloading if you don't already. I couldn't shoot as much IDPA as I do without reloading. I average 6-7 matches per month, and try to get live practice in at the range at least twice per month. I shoot well over 1200 rounds per month plus I dry fire practice 30min every night that I don't shoot.

It helps having a wife that shoots with me. We record each other at matches, and practice. This gives us a chance to evaluate our performance. The key to dry fire practice is going through the motions slowly. Concentrate on correct movements and moving smoothly. Speed will come with time. There is a gaming side to IDPA that's with in the rules. These things can improve times, but practice getting better at the basics, and your speed will dramaticly improve.

As a new shooter you appear to be a good marksman shooter! That's Great! Keep it up man! If you ever get down to Georgia on the 4th Sunday look us (GADPA) up at South River Gun Club. Here's our web site We have the largest Offical IDPA club in the country. We average 80-100 shooters every month, and also host the Georgia State match. Check out some of our videos here.

The last two are my matches. We really have a fun match with the cars, and other props available.

January 23, 2014, 11:03 PM
ive been looking into idpa in my area and the only hosting range that i see "locally" didnt seem too interested in answering my questions. whats the best route for a beginner to take in the ga/sc area?

January 23, 2014, 11:17 PM
Balliet do you live in Ga or. SC? Also how close are you to Elberton, Ga? Reason I ask is Elbert Co Gun Club hosts an IDPA match on the 2nd Saturday each month. I also shoot that match. It's a very good match for someone starting out. Larry Brown is the match director, and does a really good job working with new shooters. The Elbert IDPA match is also more of a standards match than what you see above with shooting from cars, etc. get there about 8:00am, and shooting starts at 9am. You can pm me if you would like to talk about it.

Also Skip J's has a pretty good match in SC. We also shoot at Cherokee Gun Club in Gainesville, Ga on the 1st Sunday. We have a lot of SC guys that show up for this match every month. Be there at 11am, first shot is 12:30pm. Then of course the GADPA match at SRGC in Conyers on the 4th Sunday. Be there at 8:30, and 1st shot at 10am.

January 27, 2014, 04:22 PM
gahunter, what spring or other mods do you do to your Glock? Just curious to see what the options are and how reliability is effected.

January 27, 2014, 11:44 PM
I run a 13lb recoil spring, and a 4.5lb striker spring. My triggers are Glock Triggers "Robert Vogel" Comp trigger. The kit comes with the striker springs to fine tune the feel. It's also adjustable for over travel, and reset. This trigger is SSP legal. I also use Federal Match primers which are softer than others. Once you get down to 4.0-4.5lb strikers you may have light strikes if they are not fully seated. My ESP guns have titanium strikers, same recoil spring, same trigger, 4.0lb striker spring, and mag well.

All of my match guns have Warren Tactical Plain black rear sights w/ FO front sight.

13lb Recoil Spring

If you use factory ammo the 15lb spring can be great.
15lb Spring.

Here's my mag well on my ESP guns.

Here's my striker I use.

January 28, 2014, 05:07 PM
Thanks for the info! I don't think I'll be doing any modifications anytime soon, but it is really neat to see how people set up their pistols for competition. I think I have a lot more room for improvement by just practicing on my own, dry firing, and doing more matches, than what weapon mods will do. Get my skill up, then try to get more from the weapon.

January 28, 2014, 06:18 PM
You're on exactly the right track. Many shooters get that new gun and then say, "What sights, springs, magwells, connectors, mag release buttons, grips, etc., etc., do I need to buy to shoot competition?

That's exactly backwards. Let the gun tell you. Put that first 10,000 through it and next year start evaluating what you really need. You'll find you don't really need most of the stuff you'd have picked the first day, and you'll have seen enough of that stuff break, fail, do nothing, or work really well, to know which products you trust.

Always, the biggest problem with your shooting performance is going to be YOU. When you're a 10 year veteran, maybe it's only 50% you. Today, just starting out, it's 98% you. :) Invest in ammo, training, and match fees. Then the balance will start to shift to where investment in bits and pieces of kit will start to make a difference.

January 28, 2014, 06:35 PM
I agree. Dry Fire, practice, shoot matches, and dry fire! I dry fire nearly every day, and try to get in some standards practice, or setup simple IDPA stages at the gun club weekly.

January 28, 2014, 08:17 PM
yah, 'software not hardware' is a good way to get started.

February 8, 2014, 01:31 PM
The people at BGSL are a great group of people to shoot with. Congrats on getting into the sport.

February 8, 2014, 01:54 PM
The people at BGSL are a great group of people to shoot with. Congrats on getting into the sport.

I agree completely! Very nice and helpful bunch. I'll definitely go to the next match

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