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This is a thread I put together for another board for shooters that were interested in getting involved in IDPA and USPSA. I've seen a couple of people ask about it, and thought it wouldn't hurt to put it up on here.

I'd like to clearly express that I am hoping that some of the other experienced competitive shooters chime in with anything I may not have covered, or to reiterate anything they feel I could have emphasised more on.


Anyhow, here are a few chops of my other thread. Often times when I post, I'll make revisions down the road as I read and reread my responses.

First off, I'd like to get through a couple of misconceptions I hear from new shooters:

Misconception #1: "I'm not "good enough" to compete..."

I placed this #1 because this is about the most used reason I see when I am promoting IDPA or USPSA.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BULLSEYE SHOOTER TO BE COMPETITIVE

A vast majority of our target arrays will be within realistic "defensive enagement lengths". So targets are normally set from 1 yard, to 10 yards. We have had COF's in the past where we had to shoot targets out to 35 yards prone with a handgun, but that's few and far between. For the most part, if you could put two shots in an 8" area from 5 yards, you are good to go.

Misconception #2: "Don't I need a race gun to be competitive?"

The "race guns" people that we often see or talk about, probably make up only 15-20% of the match. And for the most part, they only compete with other "race guns" aka "Open division guns" so you don't have to worry about them anyhow.

That aside, lets get to the meat and potatoes:

When you go to your first match let the registration guys know that you're a new shooter. Many clubs will have a brief "new shooter orientation", where they'll go over the range commands and expected responses, safety rules, and will look over your equipment to make sure it is safe. At our club, we'll usually try to squad newer shooters together with a couple of expereinced guys and will usually have them start off on one of the simpler courses of fire. This lets them get the jitters out before they need to worry about movement, motion targets or negotiating props. On the more complex courses of fire, the range officer can/will help you dissect the stage.

The other thing to remember is the USPSA & IDPA are volounteer driven, which keeps match fees very reasonable. At our club, a 7 stage, 150 round match that takes 4-5 hours to shoot is only $20. You will not have more fun for $20 anywhere. A small percentage of your match fee goes to the organizations (USPSA/IDPA) headquarters, and the rest gets pumped back into the club, to help pay for targets & pasters, props, and procurement & maintenance of reactive and moving targets, etc. If you really want to make friends with the match staff fast, show up early to help setup and stay after to help tear down.

What should I get involved in first, and how do I get involved?

I will often advise new shooters to try IDPA out first. I think it's better structured for new shooters getting into shooting dynamically.

As long as I lived in my state, I didn't even realize how many active clubs are in the area, and I'm fairly confident that once you dig into your area, you will also be surprised at how active they are.

I would simply do a "google search". And search for "insert your state" IDPA or USPSA matches / Schedules. If you don't get any hits there go to the two respective sites and they have a "locate a club near you" feature on both IDPA and USPSA's site.
 

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Good post. I would like to see ALL CCW & LEO shooting IDPA. It is the best practice bang for your buck IMO. No, it's not training but good practice using the training you should already have. Moving, shooting while moving, tactical reloads, presentation form concealment or duty gear & the little extra stress of a timer & audience help to add focus to your practice. Does it prepare you for a gunfight, no, does it take one aspect out of it, sure. If you are 100% familiar & confident w/ your gear, you only have to focus on the problem in front of you & tactics to solve it. Good training & good practrice allow that.
 

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Too bad there's no IDPA clubs north of Central Wisconsin. It's a 2 hour drive to the closest club. Ugh...
 

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Too bad there's no IDPA clubs north of Central Wisconsin. It's a 2 hour drive to the closest club. Ugh...
HA! I was driving 3hrs to shoot at a club north & then found a place 30min away & they shoot twice a month. On top of that, if I SO, I shoot for free, nice.
 
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