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Old 06-28-2017, 07:42 PM
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Default Shot my first IDPA match today, it was ...

... both sobering and humbling!

Prior to the accident that left me permanently disabled other than military reliance on my 1911, most of my handgun shooting focused around 2700 bullseye, PPC, and IHMSA silhouette matches. Other than to demonstrate proficiency at the local range for pistol privileges, I haven't really taken out any of my handguns.

Now that I have my non-resident CFP, I felt it was time to engage in some form of combat shooting to try to develop some kind of preparedness and mindset of what we are all preparing for and hoping will never occur. I was confident going into this that I could do it.

I hit the road at 5am to get to the range by 8:30, taking my S&W model 439. I went through the new competitor briefing and got squadded. By the time that the match was over, the heat had taken it's toll. My legs didn't allow me to run or move very fast. I knew going in that I wouldn't set any speed records. My goal was to make every shot count with a solid hit.

I was amazed at the devious minds that developed the course of fire. I hadn't expected to have to compute and implement a "battle plan" on my feet. I felt like a contortionist, my body had not been made to flex like I did today throughout my physical therapy. My body is aching in wmays I haven't felt since before the accident.

I don't (at the moment) know my scores, I hurt too much to venture to the targets during scoring. I know, once time is factored in, that I didn't set the world on fire.

After thoughts:

1. I will probably shoot this type of match a few more times, but it isn't a "game" that I plan on being an active competitor in like F class or bullseye pistol.
2. I can't shoot this again in the heat like today, I am physically drained.
3. While I am comfortable with the 439, I will probably switch to my Government Model 45 until my Commander comes in.
4. The course of fire requirements seem to trump tactical decision making, in many respects, I doubt that I could engage multiple real life targets in the manner dictated by the training. I can't develop the muscle memory to "slice the pie" in real life, I feel that I would have to neutralize a hostage taker first.
5. Was I comfortable with my first IDPA match? Absolutely not!
6. Will I shoot IDPA matches again? I feel that I must, if I continue to exercise my CFP.
7. What was the most important benefit that I came home with? First and foremost, engaging "hostile" targets amidst "innocent" targets was an eye opener.
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Old 06-28-2017, 07:56 PM
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Ha! Join the club. You are certainly not the only one to be humbled at their local idpa match. I have been shooting idpa off and on (mostly off) for 15 years and am usually thoroughly humbled if I haven't shot in a while. Great game though. Try steel challenge if and when you get a chance.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for your report. Ive been meaning to try it but haven't taken the time to get a holster and go give it a whirl. Maybe this fall?

On the subject of holsters, what type did you use? I would probably take a 1911 since that is what I feel most comfortable with. Any other tips or suggestions for the novice would be of interest.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:22 PM
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Thanks for your report. Ive been meaning to try it but haven't taken the time to get a holster and go give it a whirl. Maybe this fall?

On the subject of holsters, what type did you use? I would probably take a 1911 since that is what I feel most comfortable with. Any other tips or suggestions for the novice would be of interest.

The best advice is take the gear you have and go shoot a match.
I've lost track of how many people keep thinking about it, buying gear, waiting until they get the ideal rig, and worrying they will not shoot as well as they hope.
Balderdash! Its a fun game and wonderful gun handling practice. Come join the fun!


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Old 06-28-2017, 08:35 PM
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High-ride, thumb-break belt holster like a Bianchi 19L suitable? That's about all I've got. My holsters are more outdoorsman oriented.

Thanks for your suggestion. I appreciate your point.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:43 PM
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I started the morning with my FBI cant DeSantis thumb break pancake, but it was noted that while reholstering, the thumb break could get into the trigger guard and cause an AD. I finished the last 4 stages with my Bull Dog belt slide. To hold my magazines, I was using Safariland spring steel magazine clips. I used a very sturdy gun belt. I wanted to replicate the best I could, how I would be carrying in real life.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:47 PM
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Great report and this weekends match was a scorcher for me too- mid 90s in western Wa is unusual for this time of year.

IDPA and USPSA will not necessarily teach you armed civilian "tactics", but it will help you become more comfortable handleling your gun safely while under pressure. It will help you find your weaknesses to improve upon.

I encourage you to keep at it, enjoy the game and compete only against yourself.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:00 PM
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Great report and this weekends match was a scorcher for me too- mid 90s in western Wa is unusual for this time of year.

IDPA and USPSA will not necessarily teach you armed civilian "tactics", but it will help you become more comfortable handleling your gun safely while under pressure. It will help you find your weaknesses to improve upon.

I encourage you to keep at it, enjoy the game and compete only against yourself.
No matter what the game, I have always competed against myself. Now that I am disabled, I am quite grateful that I can still make it to the range and compete to some extent. Considering that the doctors didn't expect me to walk again, I am ahead of the game. My biggest problem is that I tend to guage my current abilities against what I was able to do before. Having only one good limb, my current performance pales to what I could do before (with a rifle).
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:17 PM
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Since you have the accuracy focus you were probably not the speediest. It's hard to relax the accuracy demand and give way to speed. See what you need to see.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:28 PM
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It`s humbling but always fun. My last one I shot with a 5903 and did ok, which surprised me, because Im more of an SSR guy.
Jim
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:28 PM
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I shot IPSC for quite a while about 25 years ago. Still have the holster and mag pouches and of course, the M1911. Today I would not even think of shooting that style competition, just don't bend and move like I did 25 years ago.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
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Since you have the accuracy focus you were probably not the speediest. It's hard to relax the accuracy demand and give way to speed. See what you need to see.
I freely admit, I will NEVER have the speed. Running is out of the question. Walking fast is also out of the question. There are some days when I can benefit from using my cane to get around.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:56 PM
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IDPA is not even close to defensive shooting. It's a game. That means it's okay for practicing certain skillsets, but that's about it. The pistols used aren't necessarily what you'd carry, and neither is the carry gear. The targets are stationary, and aren't trying to kill you.

If you're looking to practice, try dry-firing from concealment at home. At the range, practice smooth operation, reloading from mag carriers and such. You don't have to be fast--just smooth. Slow and sure is a lot faster than hurried and fumbling. And practice shooting a bit faster, on a larger target. If you're shooting bullseye, you're already capable of precise application of the fundamentals.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:10 PM
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Thanks for sharing!

I've given some thought to trying my hand at that. I have no doubt I'd be humbled, but it would be fun to see just how well I might do.
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:12 AM
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High-ride, thumb-break belt holster like a Bianchi 19L suitable? That's about all I've got. My holsters are more outdoorsman oriented.

Thanks for your suggestion. I appreciate your point.

If someone comes to their first IDPA match without a suitable holster, I start them on each stage holding the gun. As for mobility, on a hot day I often don't go faster than a walk, either. I have one shooter that only shoots BUG-R division, with a 5 shot J frame carried IWB. The image that you need a special gun for IDPA is bogus, and probably a result of the TV programs showing national championships and not always making clear who is the sanctioning body. ICORE, USPSA, and 3-gun are NOT IDPA.


Your thumb break Bianchi 19L strong side holster is just fine. Most people don't like the holsters with retaining straps that snap over the top, but they are legal provided the straps are handled safely and kept snapped when not shooting. The strap is a hazard and frankly, the type is obsolete and a PIA to get the gun in and out. I happen to shoot BUG with a Shield in a Safariland ALS level 2 retention holster because that is how I carry it normally. A dozen other holsters suitable for everyday carry are equally legal; the basic requirements are strong side only, cover the trigger, and not loose to fall out. Ordinary level 1 OWB kydex is probably the most common type used.


Often we have people come to see an IDPA match and don't bring their gear because they feel intimidated, as one young woman did at our last club match. Halfway through the match, she confided "I wish I had brought my gun. I can do this!"


And so can you.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:17 AM
Ziggy2525 Ziggy2525 is offline
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I've shot in local IDPA matches on and off over the last three years. I shoot my edc pistol. I use an inexpensive Blackhawk level 1 holster and dual mag carrier. There are three things I like about it.

1) Great group of people. Always friendly and more than willing to help if someone needs it.

2) Pistol wise, it's the only environment I have available to practice movement and firing over a large space.

3) The pressure to think through the course of fire while moving and shooting on the clock is hard for me to duplicate with dry fire at home or live fire at my local range.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:04 AM
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I respect and appreciate the views and comments shared. As a disabled single parent, that greatest lesson I came away with yesterday, is that IF my children are with me when I have to go defensive, I can not both shepherd them to safety and engage a threat.

That said ...
... I know IDPA is a game, so is paintball and most any other activity geared towards preparing for the unknown.
... Yes, participants in the game may use expensive guns, but you don't need to, yourself. I am using what I plan to carry. At the moment, it is either my 439 or my Government Model. When the permits come in, it will be a Commander 45 and a 686+ 3". I plan on training with what I use.

For me, my participation in IDPA is a matter of both mindset and physical ability. I am currently the product of twenty four accident generated surgeries that have been focused on musculoskeletal injuries or kidney damage resulting from a motor vehicle accident. The ability to walk twenty feet easily and pain free is not a given. Like most people, I have good days and bad days. I have only one good arm, my shooting arm ... so the jui jitzu dojo is out of the question, the same as doing the 50 yard dash. I have to force my body to respond, and I need a purpose. Yes, I could go to a civilian friendly PPC range, but I won't benefit from the opportunity to engage multiple assailants, the same as I won't have to move to cover. Granted, IDPA doesn't envision every engagement scenario, but the smaller elements of the matches MAY replicate what I could encounter. I am looking to approach IDPA as an FTX, where the multitude of training skill sets will will provide the luxury of adapting to a tactical threat.

I am not saying that IDPA is the miracle approach to self defense, in fact, I know that it isn't. After my accident and the resultant injuries, I have felt that I have a flashing neon sign over me identifying me as a potential victim. Getting my CFP was the first step to removing that sign. I see participation in the occasional IDPA match as the second step in removing that sign, proving to me that my body can respond and deliver to meet the pending threat. Is it the perfect approach? Absolutely not. Is it the perfect training regime? Absolutely not. But it is what I can afford and approach at my own pace.

Do I want to do long term IDPA? I don't know, because for me, IDPA is like physical therapy, I don't want to really do it, but it is something that I have to do.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:38 AM
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I haven't shot any matches in many, many years that require taking cover, moving and reloading. I too have been considering shooting some IDPA for the gun handling skills. Good for you for doing what I have been putting off.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:06 AM
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I was shooting a few matches a year and trying to have fun with it. The arguments and pissing contests can get tiresome. Half the guys that show up, like me, are there to enjoy and learn a little. Some think they're the next team Glock member and have to challenge every decision. Fun for me is being left handed and shooting stages that are impossible to down right dangerous. I was penalized on a stage once for shooting weak hand around a barrier. When I explained that it was the only way I could get around the corner without falling on my face I was answered with a shrug of the shoulders.
The guy that organized it quit late last year and it was May this year before matches started up again. Last fall I started shooting lots of sporting clays and to be honest would much rather do that.
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:34 AM
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Aloha,

I consider IPSC etc a "game" for gun owners.

I was in it for several years to get what I could Learn from it.

I improved my gun handling skills under pressure and my Accuracy and Speed improved.

I think in a real situation, I am confident and accurate enough to give the average BG a very bad time.

After I got married I taught my Wife what I learned and had her shoot some matches.

She wasn't fast but, she is Accurate. Good enough to come in 2, 3 or 4th in accuracy and last in or close to last in time.

We think of ourselves as a team. I have confidence in her ability to watch my back.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:09 AM
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Like another poster stated it is not practice for a self defense scenario, it is a game. There are some real convoluted stages out there with crazy procedurals. I used to shoot the games but I got tired of it; if you enjoy it certainly go shoot them, if you want to work on self defense then I would recommend going to some good schools instead
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:37 PM
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As other have mentioned, IDPA is a game. The 'rules' dictate someone's concept of correct tactics for a given situation. They may or may not be correct (and much of it conflicted with my training). That said, slicing the pie is a valid method of clearing corners-which may or may not happen in a real defensive setting.

One of the major issues with the game(s) is that many of the stages are non-survivable in the real world. At least if one plays by the IDPA rules. One can learn to run the gun under pressure, which is a good thing if one doesn't get overly concerned with winning trophies.

It's your hopefully imaginary gun fight, but I'd personally rethink the 1911 platform/.45 for defensive use. I carried one for 19 years and then got issued other platforms. I've recently hauled mine out of the safe and tried burning up stored ammo. It's convinced me that there are better platforms and calibers/calibers. Short, light & crisp triggers aren't necessary for defensive use and may be hazardous to your physical and financial health. I spent 27+ years teaching people to use factory triggers, it's not a handicap (unless you have actual physical issues) to competent performance.

In the real world, shot placement is paramount. It determines your ability to neutralize the threat. Current bullet performance makes caliber moot. On the other hand, capacity (if it doesn't interfere with point one) is a very good thing.

My last serious match was a Tactical Police Competition 3 gun in 2014. While I beat a bunch of guys 30 or more years younger, I'm familiar with how you felt afterward. If you don't worry about how you placed, but how you shot and moved, it does have value.

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Old 07-03-2017, 08:16 PM
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Thanks to everyone who posted about being handicapped, I wondered if IDPA lent itself to handicapped participation. I walk w/a cane, move very slowly b/c my left leg does not bend. At 70 I'm pretty strong but doubt I'd be up to the challenge if the weather was less than ideal.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:50 PM
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lrrifleman-I missed your second post. PM enroute.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:01 AM
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... both sobering and humbling!

Prior to the accident that left me permanently disabled other than military reliance on my 1911, most of my handgun shooting focused around 2700 bullseye, PPC, and IHMSA silhouette matches. Other than to demonstrate proficiency at the local range for pistol privileges, I haven't really taken out any of my handguns.

Now that I have my non-resident CFP, I felt it was time to engage in some form of combat shooting to try to develop some kind of preparedness and mindset of what we are all preparing for and hoping will never occur. I was confident going into this that I could do it.

I hit the road at 5am to get to the range by 8:30, taking my S&W model 439. I went through the new competitor briefing and got squadded. By the time that the match was over, the heat had taken it's toll. My legs didn't allow me to run or move very fast. I knew going in that I wouldn't set any speed records. My goal was to make every shot count with a solid hit.

I was amazed at the devious minds that developed the course of fire. I hadn't expected to have to compute and implement a "battle plan" on my feet. I felt like a contortionist, my body had not been made to flex like I did today throughout my physical therapy. My body is aching in wmays I haven't felt since before the accident.

I don't (at the moment) know my scores, I hurt too much to venture to the targets during scoring. I know, once time is factored in, that I didn't set the world on fire.

After thoughts:

1. I will probably shoot this type of match a few more times, but it isn't a "game" that I plan on being an active competitor in like F class or bullseye pistol.
2. I can't shoot this again in the heat like today, I am physically drained.
3. While I am comfortable with the 439, I will probably switch to my Government Model 45 until my Commander comes in.
4. The course of fire requirements seem to trump tactical decision making, in many respects, I doubt that I could engage multiple real life targets in the manner dictated by the training. I can't develop the muscle memory to "slice the pie" in real life, I feel that I would have to neutralize a hostage taker first.
5. Was I comfortable with my first IDPA match? Absolutely not!
6. Will I shoot IDPA matches again? I feel that I must, if I continue to exercise my CFP.
7. What was the most important benefit that I came home with? First and foremost, engaging "hostile" targets amidst "innocent" targets was an eye opener.
IDPA can be beneficial, but considering what your stated purpose for the training is, you might be better off in a "force on force" training class. The scenarios are more likely in real life.
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:48 AM
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Default Shot my first IDPA match today, it was ...

OP - congrats on shooting your first match. I shot in an IDPA club in El Paso years ago, and remember a former Army Artillery Officer (Korean War) in his 70s who had bad knees and ran the courses with a 1911 in his shooting hand, and a cane in the other. He wasn't a sprinter, but he hit what he aimed at. Another gentlemen made an appearance in a wheel chair. It got me thinking about how underserved the disable community is in regard to self defense tactical training and concealed carry methods. Anyway, while IDPA is a game, there are more than a couple of us who have used the competition as a training venue from time to time. First time out, i scored Sharpshooter on the Qualifier with a Glock 21. A few months later, I tried it again with a Glock 17 with some trigger work and scored worse. For what it's worth, the 21 was my carry gun at the time, thus I suppose I could parrot that its ways a smart thing to compete with what you carry on a daily basis.


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Old 07-05-2017, 09:37 AM
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Everyone's first match is shall we say, less than ideal. You know your results will suck, so just show up as prepared as you can be...have fun and be safe. Sounds like you did just fine. Cherry pick your future matches and avoid extreme weather. If you have a mobility issue with a particular stage feature discuss your options with an SO or Match Director.

Competition is good training both mentally and skillset wise. Granted timed stress is not the same as a real world imminent threat, but it will improve you. Classes are good, but frequent competition can yield big improvements.

Congratulations on your first match!
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:18 AM
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Everyone's first match is shall we say, less than ideal. You know your results will suck, so just show up as prepared as you can be...have fun and be safe. Sounds like you did just fine. Cherry pick your future matches and avoid extreme weather. If you have a mobility issue with a particular stage feature discuss your options with an SO or Match Director.

Competition is good training both mentally and skillset wise. Granted timed stress is not the same as a real world imminent threat, but it will improve you. Classes are good, but frequent competition can yield big improvements.

Congratulations on your first match!
I recall that Jim Cirillo held the same view. He also felt like handgun hunting was a good tool to have in your chest. I agree that shooting under stress is a big plus, as well as, mentally going over situations (visualizations). Some folks, no matter how much they gain marksmanship and related skills (and are justified) will not be able to pull the trigger because they aren't mentally prepared for it. As far as preparing for the real world, one must also mentally prepare for the aftermath.
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:34 AM
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Good morning to all!

I have to agree, the disabled community is viewed in a different light. According to IDPA rules, I don't appear to qualify for any form of allowance. But honestly, I don't want any considerations.

Emphatically, I understand and agree that IDPA is a game. Frankly, I would rather learn my limits and limitations in a game rather than in a real life scenario. I can survive a game, but a real life scenario will mostly be life or death, or greater injury!

Force on force training would be nice, but it would be a mistake for me. My left leg is vulnerable, with catastrophic muscle and nerve damage. The right leg is functional, but after three knee surgeries that entailed ligament transplants, the knee isn't all that reliable. The left arm has movement, but negligible strength, I could maybe block a punch or knife, but that is about it. I can shoot weak handed, and reload, but that is about it. My right arm is fully functional.

Based on the injuries, if I were to allow an aggressor to get within striking distance, it would be a world class mistake. Situational awareness is paramount for me. I am constantly watching my six and surveying my surroundings like a battle hardened veteran.

My first handgun, a government model, has been at hand for almost 42 years. Except for a series of sight changes, it has been kept stock. None of my handguns have had trigger jobs, except for the Colt Trooper, they have all had ideal triggers straight from the factory. When my Commander comes in, it is having the trigger exchanged to a short trigger.

@ OldCop,
You will be able to compete in your condition, but most likely you won't be a competitive threat, since times fired seems to trump scores. The paramount goal is to stay safe on the range when gun is in hand. Reloading could be a challenge with a cane in hand.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:22 AM
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I have been shooting IDPA for years and thoroughly enjoy it. Yes, it is a game but depending on how you run the stages it can be reasonably viewed as training. For the first time in forever I crapped out on the July 2 match and took a DNF due to a combination of my bum knee and the heat. I feel the program helps me maintain proficiency.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:36 PM
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Force on force training would be nice, but it would be a mistake for me. My left leg is vulnerable, with catastrophic muscle and nerve damage. The right leg is functional, but after three knee surgeries that entailed ligament transplants, the knee isn't all that reliable. The left arm has movement, but negligible strength, I could maybe block a punch or knife, but that is about it. I can shoot weak handed, and reload, but that is about it. My right arm is fully functional.
On the contrary....a force on force instructor could HELP you by tailoring effective responses to a variety of realistic situations to YOUR physical limitations.
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Old 07-05-2017, 04:01 PM
retired 302 retired 302 is offline
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M29 since 14,
Get a Fobus paddle open top Holster with there Magazine holders works great.

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Thanks for your report. Ive been meaning to try it but haven't taken the time to get a holster and go give it a whirl. Maybe this fall?

On the subject of holsters, what type did you use? I would probably take a 1911 since that is what I feel most comfortable with. Any other tips or suggestions for the novice would be of interest.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:09 PM
Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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I shot IPSC fpr quite a while about 25 years ago. Still have the holster and mag pouches and of course, the M1911. Today I would not even think of shooting that style competition, just don't bend and move like I did 25 years ago.
Have you considered IPSC Classic Division? While most have gone to 9mm 1911's for the extra 2 rounds I am still shooting .45 and have gone up a grade and a half (1 more B grade score to shoot at a sanctioned match to get the last half) in under 2 years.

It is now the most popular division here with many of the 'old time' open division shooters going back to basics when they slow down (and more than a few 'young guns' to show them how it should be done.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:19 PM
Kiwi cop Kiwi cop is offline
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I freely admit, I will NEVER have the speed. Running is out of the question. Walking fast is also out of the question. There are some days when I can benefit from using my cane to get around.
Remember the old saying, speed is fine but accuracy is final.

One of the most consistent, and nicest, shooters I know shooting in IPSC Classic Division strolls each stage, but he is very accurate and seldom needs a follow up shot. He will probably not progress beyond C grade but he is always in line for a medal during the wrap up sessions.

As a serving police officer I am well aware that competition does not reflect real life (the next time I get a walk through before going into a domestic where there are firearms on the premises will be the first, a bloody miracle) but competition does make me more familiar with handling my duty firearm. I just wish it wasn't a plastic fantastic.

Enjoy your shooting and get what you can from it. And as others have indicated, the only score you have to beat is your last one.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:56 PM
CBStuard CBStuard is offline
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OP, I congratulate you on trying IDPA. I am fully abled but 69 and not athletic. In the last 5 weeks I shot my first IDPA and first Steel Challenge. Love them both. I suggest you try SC. It takes all the movement out of the situation and you have just speed and accuracy to work on. You get 5 tries at each setup and they throw out your slowest time. To those who say training is better, I agree. But, I don't have hundreds to thousands of dollars to spend. I can shoot a match for a $20 entry and the same 3 boxes of ammo i would shoot during any range trip. Actually I usually shoot more than that. There are training facilities that have better situations than a static paper target, but very few regular ranges allow anything other than slow fire at paper.
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