Classic Division. Honestly, I don't get it.


April 22, 2014, 08:31 PM
Yep, Plain and simple. Quite a few guys at my shooting club are switching to Classics. Not that I have anything against it, much on the contrary, I have shot several of those 1911s and I always find them a joy to shoot. But, guess what, all are 9 mms. Not a single one of these guys is shooting major. Not a single one is shooting .45s. Looks like there's no actual advantage in shooting major if we take into account mag capacity.

Honestly, was it that difficult?. I thought a Classic 1911 was a 1911 in .45!. It was as easy as limiting the mag capacity to 8 rounds for everyone, and perhaps there was a chance that we could see a few .45s around... :confused:

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April 22, 2014, 10:21 PM
what game?

April 23, 2014, 04:07 AM
My apologies. I'm talking IPSC :o.

April 23, 2014, 04:24 AM
Does this mean that in IPSC, the 9mm can compete against a 45ACP in the same division ?

Is there no concept / consideration of power factor ? That should exclude 9mm from shooting with 45ACP.

If it can be used in the same division, of course the majority will go to 9mm, it's a lot easier to shoot faster and get better scores.

April 23, 2014, 07:31 AM
The current situation is that in Classic Division you can either shoot Minor (9 mm) or Major (10 mm or bigger, that goes from the .40 cal up to the .45). If you do shoot Major you do score more, but this scoring advantage gets diluted by the mag's smaller capacity. A typical single stack .45 will have 7 or 8 rounds in the mag, whereas a typical 9 mm 1911 will have 10 and still fit into the box. With the .45 your follow-ups will be slower and you will need more mag changes, therefore, your hit factor will be depleted. Besides, the 9 mm is cheaper to shoot. On the other hand, it's not that strange that both Major and Minor coexist in the same Division, since that is also happening in the Standard Division, but in Standard everyone has high capacity mags, regardless of whether you shoot Minor or Major.

That's why I say that... I don't get it. It's just pointless that you wanna call it "Classic" and you're favoring the 9 mm over the .45, which is the caliber of a proper 1911, isn't it?.

April 23, 2014, 08:41 AM
.38 Super is the proper caliber!

More seriously, Classic will appeal to those who cannot afford a full blown race gun, those who want to shoot their carry pistol, and those who through age or injury are no longer able to compete with the heavier guns. I saw this when Production Division took off, the first batch of shooters were either young & cheap, wanted to compete with a real carry gun, or were dropping out of the more competitive divisions.
All of the above reasons will lead to shooting 9mm for many.

Additionally, in those countries where .45 is restricted, then 9mm will be the default.
You are in Spain, are the Star Super B and equivalents being accepted as '1911 type' for local purposes? If so local availability of guns may also influence caliber selection.

In the USA USPSA Single Stack will attract people who already own .45 1911s. Outside of the USA shooters generally have to shoot at a range to justify owning a handgun and the gun will be picked to the competition. So outside of the USA only the true Cooperites will insist on shooting .45.

April 23, 2014, 10:24 AM
Nordeste, it's my understanding that in the original days of IPSC, the non-revolver shooters were pretty much running Browning Hi-Powers or 1911s. The major/minor distinction was, in part, thought to roughly offset the capacity advantage of the BHPs. That was a 7 vs. 13 capacity issue.

If your matches systematically favor 10-round minor guns over 8-round major guns, then that may be indicative of some patterns in stage design. Are you only running very long stages? On a 12-round stage, there's little or no inherent advantage in a 8 vs 10 mag... you're going to be reloading once either way. And if major offers no advantage, then either everyone is super-human with their accuracy, everyone is going too slow, or the shots are all too easy.

April 23, 2014, 11:09 AM
G'day Radagast, good to see there are also some Aussies over here ;). I keep a number of friends over there and have visited a few of your cities. I wasn't brave enough to get into the Outback but did get a little bit into the Bush. Great people, great food, and great wines. Answering your questions, I guess the Star B would be accepted (they do follow the classic 1911 pattern) but I doubt if there would be many units fit enough as to withstand the stresses of serious IPSC training and competing, or that their owners would be willing to use them for that purpose. Remember that spare parts are scarce. I read that in Oz you can't go any further than 9 mm/38 Super when it comes to calibers. Am I correct?. In that case, of course that 9 mm, and subsequently Minor, is the only alternative. Not the case here. We have guys shooting Major in Standard and Open, and the .40 cal and .38 Super are their calibers of choice. I don't think these guys in my country are shooting Classic for monetary reasons. It's just something new, and a new challenge for them. A lot of them, though, come from the Standard Division. Availability of firearms is not an issue. These guys are shooting STIs, Kimbers and the like. Me, I shoot Production with my "Old Lady", the Star 30M. She keeps up with the CZ Shadow and Glock crowd and she beats a number of them regularly :D. Whenever she wears out (hopefully she's got a long way to go 'till then), I'll place her in a methacrylate box in my living room, with a home made decoration to bravery :rolleyes:.


All of us shoot the same matches at my club. We hold club-level matches (usually 4 or 5 stages) and regional level matches (up to 8 stages). In the future we plan on hosting national level matches as we have some new ranges and we would be able to accomodate 10 or 12 stages comfortably. Number of shots vary greatly. There's a little bit of everything, for short to long stages. I agree that in the shorter stages there won't be much of difference, since you'll do a mag change anyway, but in longer stages there will be.

Truth to be told, I haven't read the USPSA rules and don't know if the rules are much different than those of IPSC. I presumed they weren't. How is the situation like, in the US, when it comes to this Division?.

April 23, 2014, 12:45 PM
The only guys I ever see shooting Single Stack (our name for "classic") are shooting .45. Those get an 8 rd limit (assuming they're loaded/scored major), whereas minor caliber guns can have 10 rds. The USPSA division Single Stack rules are on page 85 of this:

If you're shooting single stack, you're just going to be at a disadvantage versus Limited or Open classes. But I don't have the sense that shooting SS minor gives you an advantage over SS major. Apparently, top-level competitors don't think so either.

Here's the results page for the 2013 Single Stack Nationals competition.
While it doesn't list specific calibers, it discloses major/minor. There look to be very few minor shooters. That extra point on a charlie or a delta really does help when you're going fast!

April 23, 2014, 01:40 PM
I guess there is another factor, which is stage arrangement, depending on whether you have to move around more or less from one target to another. If the targets are relatively close, mag changes will be more of an inconvenience, but if you have to run from A to B anyway, changing a mag as you run across the stage is no big deal.

Anyway, thanks for that link. It's good to see what's actually happening at the other side of the pond. I opened this thread because there is a general consensus on this amongst the Classic shooters here, but those results will make a few of these guys raise an eyebrow.

April 23, 2014, 02:48 PM
Sure. I mean, if the stage is 5 targets, 2 shots per target, all at hoser-close range... well that's going to be a huge advantage for a 10-shot, minor gun over an 8-shot major gun (should be all easy A's, so power factor doesn't help, and the higher-cap gun doesn't have to reload).

If the course is 22 shots, and some of the shots are tough, then the major set-up gun probably has the edge... both will need 2 reloads, and extra points on non-A hits may help.

As for the results, that's the cool thing about competition. You can see how stuff actually works, rather than arguing about what "should" work. Top-level competitors will drift towards a solution that is optimal. Chances are good that whatever 75+% of top-level guys are doing is the best approach.

April 23, 2014, 04:07 PM
If you're shooting single stack, you're just going to be at a disadvantage versus Limited or Open classes. But I don't have the sense that shooting SS minor gives you an advantage over SS major. Apparently, top-level competitors don't think so either.

Here's the results page for the 2013 Single Stack Nationals competition.
While it doesn't list specific calibers, it discloses major/minor. There look to be very few minor shooters. That extra point on a charlie or a delta really does help when you're going fast!

Sevigny would have won, had he not shot minor...

April 23, 2014, 05:58 PM
Well, if he had kept the same times and shot major, I agree. Apparently, his ammo surprised him and didn't make major!

"Onwards to the Chronograph and Max Michel scraped through with a power factor of exactly 165, but Dave Sevigny was not so fortunate as a 164.7 will testify. After the match I asked Sevigny about his ammo which is supplied by Atlanta Arms & Ammunition.
“The ammo was factory loaded 230 grain FMJ, .45 ACP at 170 Major Power factor.

.45 is all I’ve ever shot in Single Stack. The ammo I used was tested extensively to make sure this problem wouldn't happen. The same ammo lot was tested at the factory, on my chronograph, at a club chronograph and passed two majors.

The chronograph in Barry showed a 20-40 fps speed reduction from the previous five averages I saw. The reports of inconsistencies at the Nationals were very broad. Some made it, others did not even when they did their homework. My lesson here is to try getting 180 PF ammo so this never happens again.” - Dave Sevigny.
Single Stack division rules allow ten rounds in the magazine for those shooting in Minor, but with a .45 fitting those extra rounds in the magazine is not possible, leaving Dave shooting for Minor score with what is essentially a Major setup. As the match resumed on stage three, Dave estimated that shooting Minor would probably cost him about four percent of the match score, a remarkably prescient statement as he would finish just under 3.3% behind Leatham."

April 24, 2014, 01:31 PM
I've been out of IPSC for quite a few years, but I was fairly heavily involved at one point, even qualifying for the Australian team in Production Division, but that was a decade ago.

.357 Sig has a small following for those who want to shoot Major in Standard. calibers above .38 are prohibited for target shooters, except for SASS & Metallic Silhouette.

May 1, 2014, 11:13 AM
Not sure why the dynamics shake out so differently, but you have the same basic principle in USPSA Single Stack - 8 rounds of Major or 10 rounds of Minor, and it's overwhelmingly Major shooters. Almost no one takes the extra capacity over the power factor.

May 1, 2014, 11:17 AM
Sevigny would have won, had he not shot minor...

True, though IIRC in that match he declared major and got bumped to Minor at chrono, so he was still shooting 8 rounds per mag and 160-ish PF ammo instead of 10 rounds and 130-ish PF.

Dave quite likely would have won even shooting minor if he'd come with a gun and ammo actually intended to shoot minor. Still, given equal skills (ie, the same shooter), most people here seem to be in the Major camp.

May 1, 2014, 04:54 PM
Well, the stage design guidelines require nomore than 8 scored shots from any position (USPSA Rule 1.2.1), which means that most of the time, the two extra rounds for minor PF will end up on the ground, still in the magazine, In which case, major PF is a no brainer.

May 5, 2014, 03:11 PM
It never ceases to amaze me that these guys don't load their own major match ammo and just put it in AAA boxes; it isn't like anyone would know the difference, and this, ahhh, isn't the first report of people going minor with "major" AAA match ammo.

20-30fps isn't enough of a cushion for me... any number of factors could swing the velocity by considerably more than that.

May 9, 2014, 04:34 PM
The idea that in Classic and Single Stack divisions, 9mm guns are favored to win over 45acp guns is an uninformed decision. The overwhelming evidence of history at major matches shows the precise opposite. The scoring disadvantage of minor in most situations is a much larger factor than the 2-round capacity advantage of minor.
There are some stages/matches, where you can save a reload in minor, or have an option to shoot the stage differently without being forced to an extra reload if you miss a piece of steel, etc. But typically, this is not the case frequently enough in a match to throw the advantage to a minor power factor gun.
Split times and transitions are pretty much the same between the two calibers in a match environment. The 9mm might be slightly faster in pure terms, all else being equal, but all else is never equal, and the amount of additional speed available gets swallowed up in all of the other variables dealing with course layout, range conditions, shooter ability/decisions in the moment, etc. I have shot a lot of major single stack and a lot of production -- minor by default -- and I have shot SS against plenty of guys shooting 9mm 1911s. MOST of the time, Major PF is the way to go. And if you do get beat by a guy shooting minor, he would have beaten you even worse if he had been shooting major, lol.

May 11, 2014, 03:04 AM
Yup. IIRC, when Australia banned .40 & .45, the Australian IPSC contingent at the next World Shoot shot .38 super Minor and dropped around 50 places on the previous effort.

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