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IDPA with a subcompact?

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by TonyDedo, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. TonyDedo

    TonyDedo Well-Known Member

    I started shooting IDPA because I conceal carry on a regular basis, and the IDPA practices and matches I attend seemed to be a fun yet effective way to train the practical skills I need to be effective with my CCW. We all know the running joke among IDPA shooters is that we're the only true "practical" action shooting discipline, relative to IPSC, USPSA and the others.

    However, it dawned on me looking around practice that no one is shooting terribly "practical" guns in IDPA either. Everyone shoots 4" or 5" duty guns, but they carry compacts and subcompacts. They draw from big OWB kydex holsters at 3:00, but carry in IWB holsters at 4:00 or 5:00. They load to division capacity, but carry far less ammo in real life. The only time these truly "practical" guns come out is during BUG matches.

    And I'm guilty of all of it myself. But I think that's going to change.

    I'm considering eshewing my usual XDm 5.25 from here on out and instead competing with my every day carry, a Springfield XD(S). Furthermore, I would do away with the Blade Tech OWB belt holster and draw from my CompTac IWB. I'd even begin each stage with the 5 round flush mag I carry, and limit the 7 round extended magazines to reloads.

    I know magazine capacity alone would put me at a severe disadvantage, but let's be honest, even at full capacity I'm not exactly competitive. I'm a middle of the pack finisher who competes to challenge myself and improve my skills - so why not do so with the gun I might actually have to use one day.

    Thoughts? Does anyone else do this, or know someone who does?
  2. Bobson

    Bobson Well-Known Member

    Sounds good to me. If you aren't walking away with a win here and there anyway, and you partake because you want to practice "the skills you need to be effective with your CCW," it only makes sense to actually use the gun you carry.

    I don't compete, due to a lack of time and funds. If I did, it would be tempting to use a full-size gun, because I'm an ultra-competitive guy; but I'd try to control myself and still use my carry gun exclusively.
  3. Bovice

    Bovice Well-Known Member

    An XDm 5.25? You're one of the worst "offenders"! ;)

    I too get a laugh about the difference between competition guns and what's actually carried. If you want a real challenge, use your subcompact or give CDP a try. Full size gun, but 8+1 means you better make shots count. Other ways to keep it "authentic" is to load full power ammo or use factory. It's only going to make you a better shooter without the false sense of well being.
  4. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    Everyone has different things they want from competition, some want to win and like that aspect of the challenge, while others want to train. IDPA is, IMHO, a place where you can choose to do either fairly effectively. You can shoot a subcompact and less than division capacity and yeah, you won't win, but you might be getting better training than the guys who do.
  5. Blackstone

    Blackstone Well-Known Member

    Really depends on what you're trying to achieve and get out of it
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    I know many folks who come to my matches and shoot the same compact guns they carry and they're looking for a great practice opportunity.

    I know many folks who carry a compact, but shoot a full-size gun because they enjoy the sport of it and want to win matches.

    I know many folks who come out and shoot their full size guns because that IS what they carry. And they want to win matches. (That would be my group.)

    We encourage folks to shoot their sub-compact guns as often as possible because it is awfully enlightening for them to discover just how different the challenge is with a tiny gun. That might be good to know, someday.
  7. Resist Evil

    Resist Evil Well-Known Member

    I use IDPA to aid me in my practice. It's not training per se, but practice in being able to draw, shoot, and move. My only concession to the game is using a Garrett Industries Silent Thunder STX holster instead of my regular carry Milt Sparks Axiom in an effort to limit wear and tear. I use the same pistol playing as I do for carry and use full power 230 grain ammo.
  8. GCBurner

    GCBurner Well-Known Member

    I use a Glock 26 for IDPA competition, as well as carry. The shorter sight radius makes the more distant targets more of a challenge, but it's good practice, and lets me know what the gun I'm carrying is capable of. I do swap out for a longer barreled G17 or PT-99 on occasion, just for variety.
  9. Viper225

    Viper225 Well-Known Member

    I have a couple Revolvers set up for SSR. An old 4" 64-2, and an almost new 686-5. Both have been Tuned to perfection by the Old Master Ron Power.
    I carry the 64 in a Lobo Enhanced Pancake, I have a new Enhanced Avenger on order for the 686-5 that should be here any day. I reload with Safariland Comp III Speed Loaders carried 2 infront of the holster, which I wear at 4 O'Clock.

    For concealed carry my most carried handgun is my 3" 66-2 carried in an Enhanced Pancake at 4 O'Clock. With reloads again infront of the holster. Instead of Comp III's, I carry Comp II's in CD-2 Carriers.
    Could I compete with the 3" 66???? You Bet, I do shoot it now and again in a Match. Depending on the stages, and number of reloads I am guessing I would be down around 3 - 5 points more than with my SSR guns depending on the number of reloads, and how many long targets in the match. I am guessing I would loose about a Full Second between Comp III's and Comp II's per reload.

    In our Club Defensive Pistol Match BUG shoots on the Full Course of Fire, same as every other entry.
    I shot my LCR 22 in BUG the last Defensive Pistol Match using Speed Beez Speed Loaders. I was only down a little over 10 points from my top SSR Score in BUG. My 2 SSR Scores were 4th and 5th overall in the Match. First, Second, and Third place were all Tupperware in SSP. This match had no long targets and I did not have any problems with the Speed Beez Reloads. I had a good run with the 2" snub.

    I shoot my J Frame 38 some matches also.

    You are right we all need to be shooting our Concealed Carry guns more in matches.

  10. bomberbill357

    bomberbill357 Well-Known Member

    I too started out to practice, then I got carried away and competed with a Glock 34. Then I came back to the light and went back to a G17. Funny thing is the last two local matches I won were with a G19 and a BUG with a G26. Seems like its all the same....
  11. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    Mass Ayoob suggested exactly what you are talking about in one of his books. He said shoot your carry gun with your carry rig. You should go to the match as if going to the supermarket. Do it for the practice, not the trophy.
  12. CatsEye

    CatsEye Well-Known Member

    I usually shoot my M&P Pro in IDPA because it is the best tool I have to be competitive. I also want to be proficient with my carry gun, a M&P Compact, so I compete with it every couple of months. Even though I carry the compact IWB I find the transition very easy.
  13. glockgod

    glockgod Well-Known Member

    I shoot my Glock 26 often at my local idpa matches. Got a 30 this fall(thank you GSSF!!) and can't wait to give it a go also!
  14. Ankeny

    Ankeny Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of folks that normally carry "full size" guns, especially in the cool months.

    FWIW, IDPA is a game. The division and gear a person uses (within the rules) is a personal choice. I have shot IDPA with a Glock 26 one month, and a Les Baer PII the following month.
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    While I have recently been competing with my M&P9...which I'd carry if I had a holster I really liked...before that I competed with my by 5" 1911 and SIG 220, which I did carry.

    Just to see how I'd do, I've shot matches with my Kahr CW9 and Springfield EMP. The extra mag changes do make a difference in 10 round stages, but not much when everyone has to do a reload...but I was very competitive with the CDP shooters
  16. waktasz

    waktasz Well-Known Member

    Shooting a match with my Keltec carry gun made me start carrying something else.
  17. GCBurner

    GCBurner Well-Known Member

    Using a pistol in competition shows up its flaws, as well as its capabilities. I've seen shooters struggle with guns that have heel-release magazine releases, or lack a slide hold-open on an empty magazine, or have a concealment holster that works well. Things come up in competitions that you might not think about when choosing a pistol at a store, or from an article in a gun review.
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    The trick to that is a variation of the Reload with Retention technique...bring the fresh mag up to the gun before releasing the empty mag, just let the empty fall as you insert the new mag

    I done a bit of practical shooting with a H&K P7, when I carried it as a duty gun
  19. 3GunEric

    3GunEric Well-Known Member

    Went to my first (and only to date) IDPA match with my Sig P239 single stack carry 9mm.
    It was described as "realistic" practice with your "carry" gun. Had fun but noticed everyone else had much larger service guns. Match personnel told me I needed a hi-capacity gun to do it right.

    When I want to shoot the big ones I do 3 Gun.

    Still love my P239. Have even used it in 3 Gun matches. Capacity slowed me down but that thing is super accurate!

    No matter what & how you shoot have fun and become proficient!
  20. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    Some years ago, as a newbie handgunner with a CWP permit, I did nothing more than some infrequent target practice. Then I was introduced to IDPA which quickly brought my defensive shooting skills to a new level. A great group of experienced shooters helped tremendously. It's better to participate in IDPA with any allowable handgun than to totally miss the opportunity to improve.

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