First IDPA Match Yesterday

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Strykervet, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    I shot my first IDPA match yesterday; I actually learned about it Friday night at 7:30pm and I had to be present at the match at 7:30am Saturday. I'd already been shooting all day Friday basically, both rifle and pistol, when a fellow shooter told me.

    It was my first ever pistol competition. I've done a lot with rifles (not civilian, but I'll be doing that soon) but the only thing I've done regimented with pistols was maybe some army training using the pistol as a backup. Or some demo our school might have done. I do carry, practice with, reload and shoot pistols and revolvers regularly, but never in a match. Haven't had the time or opportunity until now, but understanding how match shooting improved my overall and military shooting, I knew it would be invaluable.

    I was right. And it was a LOT of fun. I shot 6 stations using my mostly stock but slicked up G17L with some light target reloads, and I had no mag carriers for it so I had 'em stuffed in my pants. I know better for next time now. I nearly shot perfect on the targets, but I was VERY slow since it was my first time. I always wanted to use that 17L in a match and it rocked, the accuracy was just insane --many were just 2 inch groups! I was also "unclassed" so it didn't mean anything. My score wasn't the worst compared to all the others but it wasn't anywhere near the top either. But I didn't expect it to be, I was somewhere in the middle or maybe high middle.

    I'll speed up though, I'll also join up so I can shoot more matches. Overall it was fun and getting together with other shooters and "shooting it out" was a blast. You always learn something doing stuff like this and watching others was really great. Definitely going back. Plan on doing IPSC too, along with all the rifle stuff coming up. I at least want to try them all.

    So for you guys shooting IDPA, would you recommend using a G17L, a G20 or a 1006? Or my carry piece, a G29? I also have a G21, but that one doesn't have adj. sights and I prefer those. The five I listed I own, the others I have I don't plan on using, and I don't plan on getting another just for IDPA, but may change sights on the G21 if there is a good reason. I shoot them all well, but I prefer the 17L (it is a match pistol after all) or one of the 10mm's. I load all my own too.

    My interest is whether or not one pistol is better than the other for scoring? Does the 17L make it harder? Which one of those pistols would any of you IDPA shooters use and why?

    For you guys not shooting IDPA, why not? I should have done it a long time ago, it sure is a lot more fun than just shooting pistols at the target range!
     
  2. J_McLeod

    J_McLeod Member

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    Thanks for the report. I've wanted to get into it for a long time. Hopefully in Feb I'll go to my first match. One of the things keeping me from shooting that they matches are only held once a month, almost an hour away from my house.
     
  3. glockgod

    glockgod Member

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    Actually,the 17L won't fit in the IDPA "Box" and isn't really an IDPA approved pistol. Also,the ammo used must have a power factor of 125,000 for Stock Service Pistol.
    This being said if I were an Ro I'd let this slide for a first time shooter. You're right-IDPA is a real hoot!!
    Threre's what I'd run if you like 45ACP-Just download the mags per CDP rules. In 9mm for competition only I'd suggest the Glock 34. I like the Glock 17 as I can use it in IDPA-USPSA and GSSF. For kicks sometimes I'll run a G26 or even a S&W 19. Go to IDPA.com for all the ins and outs of the rules. Warning-this stuff is very addictive. Shoot safe and have fun!!
     
  4. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Out of the guns you listed, I would use the G17L for IDPA. 9mm brass is far easier to come by than 10mm brass, which will likely get scrounged up by someone else before you can get back to it. My second choice would be the G21. You can shoot the G21 in CDP and download the magazines OR run it at SSP division capacity and shoot it there.

    I normally would recommend using your normal carry setup, but yours is a 10mm and I don't think I'd want to be losing 10mm brass 100 pieces at a time!
     
  5. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Glad to hear you enjoyed the experience.

    As mentioned, the G17L is actually not legal for IDPA since the slide/barrel is too long. The G34 is the most popular Glock in IDPA, as the 5.25" barrel is about as long as you can go and still fit in the dimensions. The regular 17 is also pretty popular and gives up VERY little to the 34, but most people who are buying a dedicated Glock just go for the 34 since it is at the competitive limit.

    If you do not wish to buy a G34, of the guns you listed, the G21 would be the best, shooting in CDP division. 10mm will not be the best choice since you will end up losing a high percentage of brass compared to the more common cartridges.
     
  6. Resist Evil

    Resist Evil Member

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    A sure shot will always count in IDPA. Match shooting speed will come along on its own. Other speed can be gained by smooth clean mag changes and drawing to fire, both of which can be practiced in the home with an empty gun.

    I shoot CDP class and I have to husband my rounds to minimize mag changes and have enough of them to finish the stage. So, my match results usually show high accuracy, but slower speeds. I've seen more than one person have to end their stage prematurely by running out of rounds, regardless of their pistol classification. I don't want to be that guy. Not hitting a target when I pull the trigger and the gun goes bang is bad enough on my ego and the score sheet. Not hitting a target because I have no ammo is even worse.

    When the weather is not too bad, I will happily drive an hour or more to get to a match. The trick is to carpool with someone. It makes the time go by and it's easier on the wallet.

    Stryker, I'm glad you gave IDPA a try and liked it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  7. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Yeah, I was wondering if this was the pistol match that had the magic box. If I do end up getting one for this it will be a G35 then I guess. I REALLY didn't want to have to buy ANOTHER Glock, but I really don't want to use another kind of pistol either.

    This match wasn't an "officially sanctioned" match I don't think. Or maybe it was if you were a member of IDPA. See, they'd let you use just about anything to get you to do it the first time. It is addicting, and drug dealers do that to sell drugs as well.

    I can research IDPA when I get a chance, I just wanted some advice from folks on here that shoot it too. I'll have to join if I want to keep shooting, get "legal" and read up on the power factor and work up a proper load for the matches. But I have a month to do all this.

    As for 10mm, I'd like to use it if at all possible. I'm not too worried about losing brass, with 10mm I have a pretty strict cycling method since it is such a variable round and only use new brass for carry loads or stiff loads or if working one up --I can relegate my old brass to IDPA target loads and won't feel so bad if I lose them. Still, I don't want to lose it, and I plan on shooting this with my wife so I bet we can work something out where we pick up each other's brass during scoring. As for losing brass, I was picking up brass waiting for the scores to be posted but before the range claimed it so I left with more than I came with. I'll have to carefully go through it and it'll only be used for target loads, but that is just how I roll.

    She may actually end up shooting it using a 649 though and getting her carry piece modded for moon clips. I applaud her for doing this instead of just grabbing one of our Glocks. She's kind of new to carrying everyday, she had her permit before but now she never leaves without it. She saw this match and realized just how underprepared she is; her only practice has been shooting on a lane and some things I've taught her, so in addition to learning how to "use" her pistol, she also thought it looked like fun --she even wanted to bring her girlfriends who have never shot and get them into it! Always good to take an anti shooting I tell 'ya. Considering all the guys there, the ratio, this may be popular them being anti's or not. Anyway, like I said, if you are new to carrying or pistols at all, this match is probably the best thing you can do like NM is the best thing you can do for new shooters to learn long range shooting skills. She isn't trying to be all that competetive, she wants to do it for the practice and training she'll get with her carry piece since she has no other kind of combat training. Me, I want to be competetive after I feel it out a few times, but may use my carry piece too now and again and if I learn something I'll translate it to that.

    I do need to call up Milt Sparks and get another holster added to my order. Now I need an OWB one for that G20; the mag carriers were already on the order. So any recommendations for a shooter using a G20? Should I get a plastic speed holster like a Bladetech race holster or a decent Milt Sparks OWB one that I can use for other stuff like CC under a coat? Ammo choices or component parts, wrt bullets anyway? I load my own and at the moment and plan on using Rainier plated 180gr. truncated cone, but I can easily go up to 200gr. XTP's or FMJ's. Oh yeah, anyone point me to an easy to read table or chart with regards to power facor and the 10mm?

    Thanks, I appreciate any help or pointing in the right direction. Any IDPA tips from any of you shooters would be greatly appreciated as well. It IS a lot of fun and I can easily see myself being able to turn on a few folks to this.
     
  8. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Power factor is a pure momentum calculation and is not caliber or cartridge specific. It is very easy: weight*velocity = PF. Each division has a mandatory power floor:

    ESP/SSP: 125,000
    CDP: 165,000.

    There is one revolver division at 105,000 and one at 165,000; however I don't shoot revolvers so I don't remember which is which.

    Example: 125000/115gr = 1086.95fps minimum. Since velocity can vary a little with temp, specific chrono, and other conditions, you want to leave a "cushion" of at least 50 FPS to account for these potential variations. If you want to shoot a 115gr 9mm in ESP or SSP, for an "IDPA optimal" competition load, you'd want to shoot for about 1150fps.

    Shooting a 180gr .40 or 10mm in SSP/ESP, the same 125k power factor applies, so your floor is 125k/180gr = at least 695fps. You probably want more like 750+ to be safe. That is obviously a very tame load especially in those calibers, as ESP/SSP were really built around 9mm.

    The idea is to have competitively consistent recoil within a given division, and you can certainly accomplish that with a .40 cal, but will just be spending a little more on ammo than the 9mm shooters.

    FWIW most people gearing up with the goal of winning the match will shoot heavy for caliber bullets since they will give less recoil at the same power factor. Last year I could tell just about zero perceptible difference between my G34 w/147s and my buddy's G35 w/180s at about the same PF of around 128-129k.
     
  9. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Also, kydex gear from Comptac, Bladetech, etc is much more popular than leather for a litany of reasons, but, you can still certainly use leather if you want to. I would make sure to read through the holster regs before spending money on a dedicated holster.

    One more thing, if you don't want to buy another gun and want to be competitive, you have two choices with what you have:

    -Download the G20 to somewhere around 130k PF and shoot in SSP or ESP depending on mods to the gun.
    -Shoot the G21 in CDP.

    You would not be limited by your equipment to any measurable degree in either scenario.
     
  10. Resist Evil

    Resist Evil Member

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    At the two locations I shoot IDPA, after a shooter completes a stage, the scores are calculated. During this time, targets are reset and taped by some and brass is collected by others. The brass is then turned over to the shooter if he wants it. There always seems to be some losses, but nobody at those two places are brass thieves. Everyone helps everyone else out.

    As for a holster, I am a big fan of Garrett Industries Silent Thunder STX Champion holster. In terms of cant and belt location for me, it is not significantly different to me than my EDC holster--Milt Sparks Axiom. There are those who believe that one should compete strictly with one's actual CC equipment and those at the other end of the spectrum. I'm in the middle in that the only "competition" equipment I use is just the holster. The Axiom gets enough wear and tear from CC use and dry-fire practice. I don't want that wear accelerated by extra practice draws/reholsters and use at matches.
     
  11. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    The PFs for Stock Service Revolver (SSR) and Enhanced Service Revolver (ESR) are 105,000 and 165,000, respectively. The SSR PF was recently lowered from 125k so most factory .38spl ammo would make it.

    If your wife uses moonclips, she'll be in ESR, having to make 165k PF with her j-frame. I don't think I'd want to do that. :eek:

    She can shoot her 649 in SSR, of course, but the 5-shot capacity will put her at a disadvantage in a standard match. Not a biggie if she's mainly interested in running her carry gun. Some IDPA clubs occasionally put on BackUp Gun (BUG) matches, and the 649 would be a good gun for that, though.
     
  12. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Thanks. Bladetech is just down the street and I know they do custom work if you take your stuff in. I may look into that once I'm set on the pistol, it depends. For my carry stuff, I use Milt Sparks, and since I have an order in with them I may just get an OWB for that G20 instead since I just prefer the leather to the plastic.

    So I can download 10mm huh. I'll have to use 135gr. I bet, I hear they are real good for accurate target shooting once you find the load. But what will I be shooting if I use 200gr. and have a higher power factor? I guess what I'm asking, is do I want a lower or higher power factor with 10mm and what is the difference?

    I understand from here that a lower power factor in a G20 will have me shooting against G17-35's competetively? So what would I be shooting against if I used 200gr. loads at say 1000fps and those were my accuracy load?

    Thanks for all the replies btw. And when I get a chance to research and join IDPA I will.
     
  13. CatsEye

    CatsEye Member

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    The lower the power factor for the 10mm the more competitive you will be against those shooting 9mm. I shoot my .40 sometimes in ESP at about 135pf using a 170gr bullet going a little under 800fps. It is very soft shooting. I don't know how that translates to a 10mm though.
     
  14. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    A 200 grain bullet at 1000 FPS is a 200 (or 200,000) powerfactor....which is a very hot load for IDPA.

    A Glock 20 is legal in SSP or ESP, where the power factor minimum is 125 and factory 9mm is competitive. I wouldn't want to shoot a 200pf load at a match. Even my USPSA "major" loads are only 175 pf.
     
  15. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Ahh crap, I forgot about the IDPA box rule. So your 17L is out of the equation. I think the 34 is even too much for IDPA target distances, but you'll find that most competitors will shy away from "short barrels", which is anything under 5 inches.

    There are some people who like to load their ammo to the minimum power floor to scrape by. I am not one of those people.

    I shoot .40, and loading down to 125,000 with stock springs seems like a reliability issue to me. So I load closer to factory velocities, with a 165 grain bullet going just under 1000 fps. The one thing you do not want is equipment failures of any kind. If you choose to shoot 10mm, at least load it to .40 ballistics for reliability. I think most off-the-shelf 10mm isn't too far off from it anyway, so it should be plenty to cycle the slide.
     
  16. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    But .40 minor is so sweet to shoot.

    I use a 13 pound spring.
     
  17. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    Yep, 13lb spring is right for any 9 or 40 shooting ~128k PF that I have seen to date...

    My opinion, at this point in your IDPA career, you are over-thinking this power factor aspect. Go get a few matches under your belt with the G20 or G21, with whatever ammo you have, and then with some more experience you will start to form your own/more educated opinions on what you want to get out of IDPA, which will dictate what kind of gear, guns, and ammo you want to use.
     
  18. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

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    Well, a .40 and a 10mm are so similar that you can't really tell much difference with light loads. If anything, that load in a 10mm will feel even lighter because the 10mm weighs a little more (with Glocks anyway).

    Based on what you guys have said and the little I've been able to learn so far, the G20 is probably my best bet at the moment for many reasons. So many it isn't worth listing and basically makes it a shoe in. All I really need is a holster to get going with it, so all I need to do is add that to my Milt Sparks order. That and work up a good mild load for competitions.

    My goals with this are to have fun, get more practice and training with a pistol besides static target shooting, and to shoot with others in a different environment with different challenges. I plan on shooting many different matches, my local range I belong to hosts a lot of them. The ones I plan on taking the most serious (besides safety of course, they are all serious in that regard) are the highpower rifle matches and any kind of sniper type challenges that may come up. But I'll probably shoot many different matches this year, and one of the goals is to find gear that works laterally --so a pistol that is good in IDPA, plus IPSC and 3gun, would be most ideal. Even moreso if I don't have to buy anything.

    I appreciate all the advice. But I'll ask this now: what would you all say to a new to IDPA shooter that you wish you had known earlier on? Also, if you do shoot different matches and have anything to say about the G20 and its use in different matches as well as IDPA, that would be great. Your educated opinion on it is valuable to me even if you don't shoot the 10mm --just consider it like a .40, because match loads will most likely BE .40 loads in a pistol that has slightly less recoil.

    Thanks again!
     
  19. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    I would say to a new IDPA shooter that dry fire practice in your house is equally or possibly more important than live fire practice at the range.

    You can work on your draw, sight alignment, trigger press, movement and reloads in dry fire. The only thing live fire does is add recoil.
     
  20. dsb1829

    dsb1829 Member

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    I just started shooting some IDPA at the end of last year. I have been rotating between a glock 20 SF w/ TFO sights, glock 22 with factory NS, and a Colt 1911 with combat front MMC adj rear sights. Despite what the perception of the 10mm is, I shoot it the best. Mine doesn't like week loads. So I shoot full power reloads. I do lose the front sight during recoil sometimes, but the TFO. Fiber optic really makes it fast to pick back up. Sights are VERY IMPORTANT, get some that are easy for you to see.

    Lessons learned in my first 2 months:
    - good high visibility sights help a lot
    - double stack mags load easier than 1911 mags w/o a magwell add-on
    - accuracy usually trumps speed (don't strive for perfectio @ snail pace though, you will get smoked by guys like me who are okay with 1-2pts down and moving on)
    - get mag holders (still on my todo list, losing 1-2s while digging in your pocket adds up over an entire match)
    - use the same gun (I am getting to the point @ 2mo where I see I am doing better with my glocks and particularly my hi-vis sights, by focusing on it I will improve faster. I am already seeing this trend)
    - even shooting a match where scrounging brass is allowed (post match) I only recover 60-80% of my 10mm brass. In .40 and 45acp I come home with as much or more than I shot. Nobody reloads the ,40, but a lot shoot it in CDP.
     
  21. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    CDP is .45ACP only, by rule, at least for now.

    .40 is probably the least popular of the major cartridges in IDPA, because it can't be shot in CDP @165 PF. It can be shot in ESP/SSP, but as mentioned it is not as competitive as 9mm in factory power levels because it is over powered for the division. It can be loaded down at or below the 130PF line to compete, but few actually do this since it is then more expensive than 9mm for the same end result.
     
  22. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    .40 minor is my dirty little secret. I find it easier to shoot than 9mm, and when I switch to shooting major in USPSA all I have to do is drop a different bullet on my same powder charge.
     
  23. ny32182

    ny32182 Member

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    I hear that sometimes; and I probably don't shoot enough USPSA to understand the versatility argument (would you not use a different gun in Limited anyway? Or is it more a matter of just being able to leave the press set up for .40 all the time?) but if you are shooting the same gun I can see how it would be nice depending on how much you are actually shooting...

    I do have a buddy who shot .40 in SSP last year, and shooting my 34 and his 35 back to back, I seriously am not sure I could have told them apart in a blindfolded taste test.

    I will say that my 9mm load for whatever reason seems to shoot a little softer than a lot of other 9mm loads. But it is really splitting hairs at that point.

    In general terms of what I wish I'd done earlier:

    1) I wish I'd actually got into the competitive aspect earlier. It is so much more fun to have tangible goals to work toward rather than to just shoot a club match once a month if nothing else is going on. This is a decision each individual has to make for themselves though, and may not come until you've been at it for a while.

    2) Sounds like the OP might have this covered already, but I wish I'd bought my Dillon a couple years earlier. In terms of equipment needed to improve competitively, I'd put the press at the #1 spot (above the gun).
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Hmmm... something like this:

    1) First work on safety. Moving around the range with a loaded gun (and loading, unloading, making safe, holstering, drawing, reloading, etc.) must be utterly second-nature. AND, being responsive to and in some ways responsible for the safety of your partner in the stage -- the Safety Officer. If you're very experienced on ranges -- take a moment to admit to yourself that you probably aren't quite used to doing it quite this way. There is a lot of responsibility on the shooter's (and SO's) shoulders that is a bit of a step beyond what's required of guys shooting High-Power, PPC, or other fixed-firing-line styles. And even other "practical" training or disciplines (or the military) don't always do things exactly the way IDPA requires. Don't get caught in little faux pas that can end your day or worse.

    2) Accuracy is very important. Drawing and putting that first shot on target accurately is always the hardest part to master. Once the gun is up and running, things seem to get smoother and easier.

    3) Once your accuracy is very good, speed is the next thing to push. Trial and error here. Faster, faster --> whoops, starting to miss... drop the pace just enough to keep your shots mostly 0, a few -1, and no -3s. Expect to have to shift emphasis back and forth between speed and accuracy as you move up. Analyze what you're doing. Think about what went wrong after each stage, and how to identify that problem next time. And if things went great -- you were going too slow! :)

    4) At some point a light will come on where you start to realize just how much time you're losing to footwork and movement efficiency issues. Did you crowd a wall and have to take a second to re-position yourself? Did you take a curved path when a straight line would have worked just as well in a full second less time? (Were you planning your stage during the walk-through, or did you let your plan develop after the timer beeped?) Are you still "ducking to reload?" (If you're behind cover, you're behind cover. No reason to duck fully behind a corner just to reload.) Did you plan your reload for a "dead" time while you were moving behind cover? Did you approach a corner with the gun up and ready to press the trigger as soon as the targets became visible, or did you crowd up, peek, and then present?

    I think advancement in IDPA often works something like this:
    Novice ---> Marksman: Accuracy
    Marksman ---> Sharpshooter: Shooting speed
    Sharpshooter ---> Expert: Movement and efficiency
    Expert ---> Master: refinement and dogged practice
     
  25. waktasz

    waktasz Member

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    I shoot a Glock 35 in Production/SSP and ESP and a 24 in Limited. With my 550 with case feeder, it's sort of a pain to switch calibers. I generally don't have giant piles of loaded ammo waiting for me, so in the week before a match I load up a few hundred to be ready for the weekend. More if I'm going to have live fire practice that week.

    I shoot about 5 matches a month, USPSA and IDPA, and my loads are different for the different sports so if I had to switch the press every week I'd lose a lot of time that I could be loading. It's worth the additional $20 per thousand for the bullets to me to be able to switch back and forth so easily.
     
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