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Opinion About IDPA Rule

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by TEX, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. TEX

    TEX Well-Known Member

    I have posed a question by email to the folks in Arkansas, but they have never responded, so I thought I might get an "unofficial" opinion on my question from fellow forum members that shoot IDPA. The recent rule changes now have a prohibition against "slide lighting". I do not recall this being in the old rules and I have never had any reason to lighten a slide; I don't really see the advantage to it since you would have to go to a heavier recoil spring to compensate - or so it seems. I am guessing here, but maybe less reciprocating mass (the lighter slide), would result in less muzzle rise on recoil.

    The question I posed to IDPA headquarters was about a cosmetic change to a 1911 slide and whether or not this would be considered "lightening". I am having a STI type 1911 built and I ran across pictures of a custom 1911 that had the front portion of the slide narrowed, slightly, back to the forward edge of the frame dust cover. It gave it a sort of Browning Hi-Power look and provided you something to hook your fingers on when doing a press check, if you really dislike front serrations - as I do. The depth of the cut appears to be only about a 1.0-1.5 mms deep, and as I said it only travels about the front 1/3 of the slide. I can't see that it would really reduce weight that much.

    Although this would be a carry gun for me, I would also like to shoot my IDPA matches with it. I pointed out in my email to IDPA in Arkansas that this full length slide would probably still be heavier than a Commander or Officer model slide due to their length. I wanted an official ruling as to whether or not this cosmetic, IMHO, alteration would constitute "slide lightening" under IDPA rules. I don't know where you would draw the line; are rounded edges lightening, a flat topped slide, enlarged ejection port, front serrations, etc. It has been quite while and I have received no relpy. I am looking only for opinions here, especially from match directors or SOs, because if IDPA Arkansas will not give me an official opinion, it will likely be left up to whomever is running the match. The folks I regularly shoot with don't see it as a problem and point out that some SEVERE slide lightening is done in IPSC open class or unlimited, I think, and that they feel this is what the new IDPA rules were trying to prevent.

    Thanks - TEX

    HSMITH Well-Known Member

    I would consider it lightening, as it did lighten the slide. I understand that wasn't your intention when you had the cuts made, but for the sake of consistency I think a factory profile slide would be allowed. At the club level I don't see where this would be a problem, a 'run what you brung' attitude should be the standard at club level.

    This is another of the IDPA rules that makes very little or no sense at all. The silly rules are costing them membership.
  3. Gary G23

    Gary G23 Well-Known Member

    Whether right or wrong, it sounds like slide lightening to me.
  4. Hoser

    Hoser Moderator

    Yes, its lightening. But more than that, it is cosmetic.

    Tri topped slides ala S_I could be considered lightening also.

    Being the anti-rulebook nazi that I am, I think what Mr Wilson was trying to avoid is someone punching big holes in the slide ala-Brazos or EGW. But what he meant isnt in the rulebook and cant be enforced by what I think he meant.

    Less moving mass means less sight movement.

    Old lightweight Colt Commanders had a lot of meat removed from the inside of the slide.

    In short, dont worry about it. Get out there and shoot. If someone gives you uphill about it, move to a different squad or take your match fees elsewhere.
  5. MNgoldenbear

    MNgoldenbear Well-Known Member

    Not IDPA-savvy, but have had a lot of time in IPSC. I'd agree with the others.

    1) It is lightening the slide.

    2) What you are doing probably wasn't what was being addressed when they wrote the rule.

    3) Less mass should be easier to return on target (easier, faster recovery).

    However, not sure how this plays out, but reducing the mass will reduce the moment of inertia (resistance to torque), making the gun tend to move MORE upon recoil. Lightening the part of the slide farthest from the pivot point (roughly your grip area) should reduce the moment of inertia by more than removing that amount of mass from the rear area of the slide, again allowing the gun to be turned easier. It works both ways, so a gun balanced farther to the rear is "whippier," i.e. it can be forced out of line by recoil easier, and also put back on target easier.

    I know we have to have rules to play games, but it does seem to get silly. It's not entirely the fault of those setting up the rules, though. Most of the rules we find strange were only put into place because enough shooters tried to gain unfair advantage that it was necessary to state a rule in black and white to stop them. This would be unnecessary if competitors participated honestly and honorably, rather than trying anything they think they can get away with to win. (General mentality summed up in a parent comment to a teacher about his class rules -- "Well, you didn't SPECIFICALLY SAY in your class rules that cheating WASN'T allowed, so why should our child be punished for it?")
  6. TEX

    TEX Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the replies. I have not had the cut done yet, but it was something I was considering. I just would prefer not to be bounced out of IDPA because of it, if that was not was intended in the rules. As one poster stated, the rule was probably written because someone was trying to push the limits and exceeded the intent of the sport - resulting in the rule. Seems like there are a lot of things we are denied (life in general) because some knucklehead tried to be a smartass or posed the question of "it depends on what is, is". Perhaps if I carried a scale to the matches with me to show that the trimmed full length slide still weighed more than the Commander slide that I "could just slip on and shoot with", would keep it from being considered slide lightening. Just kidding - its not that damn important to me. I along with many other are puzzled by some of the changes in the IDPA rules. For instance, I have shot IDPA in the past (SSP) with a Glock 23, which is a 40 and not the lighter recoiling 9x19, but now, because I had done some soldering iron stippling to parts of the grip (profile is still same as factory), I get bumped into ESP, where I have to shoot my 40 cal against folks shooting single action 9mms. But, had I not stipple the grip and instead applied a much stickier grip tape, I could have stayed in SSP. Didn't make much since to me and I can only assume that they felt stippled grips were an additional and unacceptable cost in the arms race. Didn't cost a dime however, just some time. Yet I could have the front strap on my Berretta 92 checkered and still stay in SSP. Makes my head hurt. Perhaps IDPA should allow a membership wide vote on suggested changes to the rules as well as some type of petition system for intriducing new rules or rules changes. Then again that might just end up being a Pandora's Box. If IDPA guns are really supposed to be street applicable, there would be a minimum floor on trigger pull poundage. I know folks that are shooting sub 2lb triggers - which would make me nervous to actually carry on the street. While I am on a semi rant, I think they should totally eliminate tactical reloads on the clock, but still require them within/between stages whenever possible. Low initial mag loads or great for getting a little practice at emergency reloads under the clock, but other than that it should simply be "reload as necessary & do it behind cover if available" - done deal, short and sweet.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the replies - TEX
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    I think you will find some of the changes you suggested for IDPA written in the USPSA rulebook. Bill Wilson left IPSC and created IDPA with the intent of retaining complete and total control, so I wouldn’t be waiting on a membership poll for rule changes. Mr. Wilson in response to membership outcry at his first draft of the “new” rules amounted to, like it or leave. A Tac-load off the clock is a cool way to say “top off” as most (non-hicap mags) do this after given the command load and make ready. Once you learn to perform them well, on the clock, they will be your advantage over the others that don’t like them. Equipment races exist in most every competitive event held, and shooting sports are no exception. If your not comfortable with a #1.5 trigger, I wouldn’t be comfortable with you shooting one either. But, without a minimum/max (fill in the blank) rule, you’ll have to shoot against them and if you don’t have one…. Ever wonder what the trigger feels like on Bill Wilson’s gun?
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I operate on a "don't ask, don't tell" basis.
    Cutting a 1911 slide nose like a BHP has no functional effect. I have never been subjected to a tech inspection that would even notice it.
  9. ted murphy

    ted murphy Well-Known Member

    From the IDPA Rule book Glossary:

    Slide, lightening: Removal of portions of the slide to gain a competitive advantage.

    If I read your post correctly, you are doing this for the CDI factor and convenience doing a press check and not because you are trying to change the slide velocity to gain a competitive advantage. So it isn't "slide lightening" at all IMHO.

    This is of course not an official opinon, yadda yadda yadda.

    My personal opinon is the money would be better spent on more ammo, but that's neither here nore there. :)


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