IDPA is it worth it

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by John_Deer, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I shot my first IDPA match yesterday. Today, I have serious doubts about IDPA being helpful in self defense training. A Ruger P95 is my EDC. The P95 has a heavy DA trigger so I never engage the decocker when the gun is holstered. When I unload the weapon I use the decocker to let the hammer fall.

    During the match I had to engage the decocker. Naturally, I spent more time fumbling with the decocker than actually shooting. When a shooter finishes the course the safety officer wants you to empty the weapon and dry fire it. I have become accustomed to using the decocker to let the hammer fall. Most of the six stations I had to pull the hammer back to dry fire because I used the decocker let the hammer fall by instinct.

    While I wholeheartedly agree with the safety measures for a gun range. In real gunfight I am not sure they are something I want to become habitual. Especially dry firing the weapon to prove it is empty. At some point the weapon isn't going to be empty. Life isn't a range. There might be someone I love down range when I pull the trigger instead of safely decocking the weapon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    For training I would continue to do what you are doing as far as deco king when you are done firing. Then you can go through the tougher manipulations separately for the safety officers at the match after your string of fire.

    I would ask at the next match about the possibility of putting your pistol in your preferred carry mode once you are on the line and asked to "make ready". They may allow you to disengage your decocker's active safety once you are on the line and they see that the hammer is already lowered. This is just a suggestion though. Some line coaches may fully understand the safety on your pistol while others won't. Some may claim it to be an advantage in the competition aspect. I run a Glock so there is no confusion, and you could argue that it gives a competitive advantage over folks with manual safeties.
     

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    first of all, IDPA is competition shooting, not self defence training. two very different disciplines going on. personally IMO, they are not interchangeable, and nor should they be.
     
  4. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    Balota here shoots IDPA. His trip to come visit was delayed a couple days because he wanted to shoot a Qualifier today. Ask him about IDPA. He seems to really enjoy the competitive shooting.
     
  5. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I ended up with an accidental discharge on the first bay. They all know I am green as grass about the entire range experience. It was just pure nerves. I forgot to pull the slide back to eject the round in the chamber. I pointed the gun down range and pulled the trigger. Blam!

    They said I was done for the day. I asked how I am supposed to learn if you are sending me home. They replied you won't do it again. They are correct. I won't do it again. Because I am not going back.

    I asked the range officer and range owner about the decocker. They both said if the weapon has a safety device you have to use it.

    I could get around most of the things that are troubling me by shooting a revolver. I just want to have fun. I don't care about the competitive aspects. My 9mm is cheap and fun to shoot. If it's not as much fun as I want to have I have the right to spend my money elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  6. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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    Please give them another chance. I hear they are very strict with safety and I think they should be. Maybe go and observe for a couple times to see how it goes and what is expected of the shooters. I think you might be giving up on a great opportunity to broaden your shooting experiences.
     
  7. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    You might be right, WOC. This weekend was a bummer. They say it's up to me the shooter to learn the rules. I asked how do I get instruction. They reply read the rules. I am thinking "Duh! I read the rules at least 10 times before I went there." They (range management) are just poor communicators.

    The next few weeks the matches are for law enforcement. There will be a lot of people there I know. When it's all law enforcement I will be forced to watch. I will share my experience I had today with them. With any luck, one of them will take me under their wing.
     
  8. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    That was not an accidental discharge, it was a negligent discharge. ND means shooter error, and IDPA rules state that shooter is disqualified.

    I hope you're man enough to admit fault and go back to play the best game that exists.
    I an an AVID IDPA shooter with many, many, many local, state and national/world matches attended across the US.

    be careful, take your time. That's the most important advice for the new shooter. Make safety a habit.


    BTW, I was wrongly disqualified at a state match this year for an AD by malfunction. My G34 slamfired at load and make ready. The SO told me to take my finger off the trigger. I held the gun up to his face showing him my finger was safely rested on the SLIDE. The entire squad saw my finger sagely located.

    He had already marked the scoresheet, I refused to sign, match director was called to officiate, and wrongly agreed to an incorrect call.

    It sucks, but I will go back.
     
  9. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    You should keep a Rulebook in your range bag. There should have been a Rulebook available to show you where it was if questioned.

    Most ranges also have a safety policy involving Nd's.

    I hope you explain this to a LE buddy just the same as you did here. I'd be surprised if he disagreed with the RO/SO. Just like the cops, they are there to enforce the rules, not interpret or babysit.
     
  10. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    True it is not self defense training. However for new shooters it can be an effective way to practice basics of drawing, disengaging a safety, engaging targets while having to practice marksmanship basics, and then safely return the weapon to the holster.

    It does not replace training, but it can be used as effective practice within its limits.

    To the OP: it seems like you may have a bit to learn. Every shooter starts out with a lot of room to grow. You already learned what you did wrong on the range in that one event in a controlled environment. It shows how that same loss of focus in a street environment could have had much worse results.

    I get your argument about the decocker/safety having to be engaged. It is not necessarily a bad thing to learn how to efficiently disengage your safety from the holster.

    Going back and showing improvement will go a lot farther with the folks at the range and in your own self confidence.
     
  11. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    The part about getting disqualified is not my issue. My issue is they have no venue for training. No way to get some range time so I am not like a cat on a hot tin roof. It's compete or stay away. Well, I have issues with that.

    I am pretty sure one of the officers will help me out so I have good range manners. I might shoot other IDPA events.

    The range I was at today needs to come up with a way to introduce new shooters to IDPA. It's their bread and butter. If you can't bring new players into your game it will die. It is dying now. This same two day event had 240 shooters last year. They had around 60 this year. This year they had wonderful weather.
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    first of all, you might hang out and get to know some of the local shooters. these guys practice somewheres, as they don't usually just show up and compete. nobody gets better without practice, even very competitive shooters.
     
  13. Wrecked

    Wrecked New Member

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    This is the exact reason I don't shoot IDPA at my local range. They have absolutely no type of "introduction" to IDPA. Kinda frustrating.
     
  14. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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    The IDPA in Jacksonville, FL made a new shooter division where they put some of their more experienced range safety officers and add a couple more experienced shooters in with the group to do some coaching. They expect people to go a bit slower in those brackets. It allows for some instant feed back from the more experienced shooters. It also drops the pressure level a bit on the new shooters, so they don't have the number of nerve related incidents.

    Your suggestion is a very good one and more chapters should give it considration.
     
  15. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    Another thing that could be done is allow new shooters to shoot the match without their score being logged. That way if their score was enhanced by bending the rules a bit it wouldn't qualify the new shooter for matches they don't belong in. Lets be honest, a shooter that has never shot in a pistol match can't comprehend the IDPA rules. I read the rules several times before shooting a match. There was a lot of language in the rule book I didn't understand until I shot the match. I am not new to competitive shooting. I have shot skeet and sporting clays in some pretty high class matches. If I didn't understand the language in the rule book the average shooter isn't going to get it.
     
  16. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I shoot IDPA. I love it. The first time I did it I got a bunch of procedurals. I was dropping loaded mags on the ground. Once I reloaded while not behind cover. My score sucked on the first time. But I was safe. That was what was important. If you used your decocker instead of dry firing you would have been walking around with a hot gun instead of shooing it into the backstop.

    People make mistakes. We all do. That is why we have these rules. Dont be embarassed. Dont give up either. Just go into it to have a good time. As far as rules go, just worry about the safety stuff. You will lose a few procedural points in the begining. Dont sweat that. Just be safe and have a good time.

    By the way if the safety officer did not check the chamber before saying "Slide Forward" then it is as much their fault as yours. But you still get the DQ.
     
  17. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    Regardless of your score in a local match, it "qualifies" you for nothing.

    You go back, take your time, follow SO instruction, keep your finger off the trigger while transitioning, take your time, don't get in a hurry, take your time....

    And listen to commands.

    Show me clear- this can only be done with the magazine removed.
    Slide forward hammer down- this can only be done after showing clear
    holster.

    Just slow down and take your time.


    AND, if you think it was harrowing for you as the new shooter, imagine how the SO feels. I've looked down the barrel of SO MANY guns while running the timer, I've lost count. Its somewhat nerve racking. I've never had anyone I was running fall down or drop a gun, but I've seen it.
    Last year we had a new guy show up, he attended the new shooter orientation, borrowed a holster and shot.
    He was awkward, shot very poorly, but kept trying.
    After the mag change I was giving him basic instruction to improve his abilities. I told him "look, you didn't do great, but it wasn't horrible. I regularly see worse from people who have been shooting as long as I have"

    He said "I thought I did great for it being the first time I've ever shot a pistol.

    Holeeeey ****. That's what I said out loud.


    He was encouraged to find a handgun intro course before coming back.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  18. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    If I shoot another IPDA event I will shoot it with a revolver. No one can ask me to do anything I am not used to doing or I have to think about. As for requiring me to use the decocker that was unnecessary. The rules clearly state hammer down. There is not a single word about using the safety or decocker in the rule book.

    I also made the mistake of using a real concealment holster. I have a "bucket" holster for lack of a better term. I read an article by Massad Ayoob about getting the most from an IDPA event. He said you should use the holster you carry your gun in every day. That is great if you have shot enough events that you don't have to think about the rules. If you are just starting out make every thing as easy as possible.

    The next event I shoot will likely be at another range that requires shooters to have a safety card to do anything. By the time I get my safety card I will know the ins and outs of shooting pistol events. My only previous pistol competition has been impromptu silhouette matches at a skeet club. There were no safety rules other than common sense.
     
  19. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    Hammer down is NEVER done by decocker. If an SO advised you to do this, Idpa corporate needs to know.
     
  20. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    They had me drawing my gun with the decocker engaged. I would never carry the gun like that. The P95 is issued by the military. The army doesn't even train with the decocker engaged. It's faster to draw the gun and chamber a round than fool around with the decocker. In fact, that is exactly what the army is training officers who carry the P95 to do.

    The only rule for drawing a SA/DA pistol is the hammer must be down. Virtually all DA/SA guns have a heavy trigger pull like a revolver in DA. The safety or decocker is just to make a lawyer happy. I have yet to see anyone other than someone who carries a 1911 cocked and locked use the safety.