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IDPA and ISPSA

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by MrDig, Apr 5, 2012.

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  1. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    What is the difference between IDPA and ISPSA? I want to try my hand at this and from what I am seeing IDPA seems more accessible here in Minnesota.
    It also seems, from what I've read, that IDPA is more geared toward the novice, and or old duffers like me. I could shoot with a Hi-Power or a .45 or a 38 revolver and be accepted.
    Anyone have more information for me?
    I'm 52 just got back into shooting more after a long time with maybe 2 or 3 range trips a year. I have been to range that much in the Last month.
     
  2. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    In IDPA The equipment must be concealed under a garment, reloads must be done from cover, with slide lock or retention of empty magazine. When shooting must shoot from cover if no cover must move while shooting. Must shoot first visable target, (silce the pie). No power factor difference between calibers, all score the same. USPSA / IPSC is more freeform, reload almost anytime, shoot a stage any way that you feel it will be faster. No concealment garments, does have power factor scoring for most divisions, some similarities and differences. Here are some links to both IDPA / USPSA rules. http://www.idpa.com/Documents/IDPARuleBook2005.pdf and http://www.uspsa.org/rules/
    I am sure I have left out many of the other differences, I am 54+ and much prefer USPSA to IDPA.
     
  3. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Both are equally novice friendly.

    IDPA is geared more towards tactical scenarios. The round count is lower (max 18 rounds per course), there is less running, and the rules are designed to enforce a "closer to real life" simulation. IE, you must reload behind cover, if you reload prior to slide-lock the mag has to be put in your pocket, etc. Gear wise as stated you also must use cover, and you wear less gear (one gun in a holster and 2 mags on the belt). If you're looking to practice more for concealed carry and such then it's probably a better choice.

    USPSA is less about real life scenarios and more about aproaching shooting competition just for the sake of shooting. Stages are longer (32 round max), you can have more steel targets, and determining what order to shoot the targets in and when/where to perform reloads is not only up to the shooter, but is a major factor in stage performance. No cover garment required here, and you can wear as many mags on the belt as you want (most people seem to wear 4, though I've seen people wear 6 mags on the belt at matches). There are categories of guns that can be shot in USPSA too that are not even useable in IDPA due to their "impracticality". For instance ported guns with optic sights fall into "Open" division here. Some of the guns used in those divisions has lead to the perception that USPSA can be expensive to compete in, but there are Production and Single Stack divisions that cater to the more budget minded (if your .45 is a 1911 it'll fit fine in Single Stack - if not your .38 can be shot in revolver division or the Hi Power in Limited-10, though in those two you likely won't be as competitive as the 1911 in SS).

    I've dabbled just a bit in IDPA (and Steel Challenge) but I tend to prefer USPSA. The mental aspect of "solving" a stage and figuring out the best way to run it just appeals to my inner problem-solver :). Either is fun though and either will do a great deal to improve your shooting. I've bee shooting guns for over 20 years - handguns for half of that. I started shooting competition about a year ago and my shooting has progressed more in that time than in all the previous time combined.
     
  4. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    I've done both but gravitate more towards USPSA.
    Unless you shoot both a lot I find it hard to transition between USPSA and IDPA. "Slicing the pie" and magazine retention seem to trip me up in IDPA.
    Rumor has it USPSA started out like IDPA but the "gaming" aspect took over. That's when the Open class came into being.
    I also shoot Steel Challenge but with a 22.
    Oh, I'm 59 and am running a 1911 in Single Stack - Senior in USPSA.
     
  5. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Me, too, but I gravitate more towards IDPA. We have a great monthly USPSA match in the area, but there are still more opportunities to shoot IDPA.

    As others indicated, USPSA is more "freestyle", with longer courses of fire. Many feel IDPA courses of fire offer little or no latitude in how they're shot. While it's true they're more restrictive than USPSA, they often do have room for creativity, but it takes more imagination. A local IDPA shooter, who just got bumped to DM, is one of the best gamers in the sport, and it's remarkable how he finds ways to run a CoF that seemed, just a few minutes earlier, set in stone.

    Any of these would be ok in IDPA or USPSA. IDPA would be the better choice for the .38 revolver, as they have separate divisions for .38s fed with speedloaders (Stock Service Revolver), and .45s fed via moonclip (Enhanced Service Revolver). USPSA revolver is ruled by moonclipped .45acps, though 6-shot speedloader-fed .38/.357s can certainly play, too.
     
  6. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Where do 8 shot moonclip revolvers that can shoot 357 mag, 38 Special and 38 Super fall into? Are there barrel length requirements/ limitations?
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    In IDPA, they really don't fall in anywhere.

    You can use them (they'd be in Enhanced Service Revolver) but they cannot be loaded with more than 6 shots, which makes them a pain to use.
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It was back in the early 1980s that the rift between "Gamesmen" and "Martial Artists" got strong in IPSC. The Gamesmen won and set their stamp on the sport.
    I believe that Production Division was kind of scared out of the woodwork by the success of IDPA with plainer guns. I don't know if Limited predates IDPA but it certainly increased in popularity after IDPA got going. I have my opinions about Limited-10 that are not favorable to USPSA management so I better quit before I get off The High Road.
     
  9. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Steel Challenge

    ICORE Limited

    ZSA

    Check their rules, but barrel lengths in these disciplines are pretty generous.
     
  10. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Limited does predate it. Way back when in IPSC (as it was still called in the US back then) there were only 2 divisions: Open and Limited. Open was mostly no-holds barred. Limited was - as the name implies - limited as to modifications you could make to a gun.

    At the end of the day though, even the stuff allowed by the rules in Limited division really could add up into some $$$ which created a barrier for entry into the sport. Production division was introduced as basically an "Even More Limited" division which allows (competitive) entry to the sport with much cheaper hardware (a standard Limited gun starts at $2000 or so - a standard Production gun starts at around $500). Given the popularity of the 1911 in this country those guys also wanted a "mostly stock" division for 1911's too and so Single Stack was introduced.

    One thing to note though is that Production (and to a lesser degree Single Stack) is a *budget* division. A lot of people mistake it for a beginner's division which isn't the case. It's the 2nd most popular division behind Limited (its has outstripped Open in popularity) and some VERY talented shooters shoot Production. Its just as gamey (and fun - a lot of people including myself LOVE the "gaming" aspect of the sport), its just that you can compete with the same equipment as the pros on a working man's budget.

    Limited-10 was created pretty much solely in response to the AWB of 1994. I would say it has outlived its usefulness except that there are some states that haven't dropped the 10-round limit from back then.

    Revolver got worked in along the way but realistically USPSA doesn't often see significant participation in Revolver division (there's 1 or 2 at most matches, but it's just not that popular).
     
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