Reinventing Limited-10

At the Gun Nuts Facebook page (which you should join)  There is a small discussion going about reinventing Limited-10.  Whenever I express my irrational love for this division, I will usually get 1 or 2 people to email or comment and say that “Limited 10 should be done away with” or something like that because either they don’t live in a state that limits mag capacity or they thing it should be shot with 1911s are usually the arguments that I hear.

The problem is that I find this argument to be very shortsighted when you look at the guns that people actually own in relation to USPSA’s divisions.  Obviously, people just don’t buy Open guns off the store shelves, and for the most part to be truly competitive in Limited Division you need to sink a couple of grand into a platform (noted exceptions such as Bob Vogel and Dave Sevigny notwithstanding) because the Limited division tends to be dominated by high end 1911s with 22-25 round magazines.  Production division is obviously favorable to neophyte shooters, but if you’re trying to play the Production game with a .40 or .45 that you’re feeding factory ammo in because you don’t have the time to reload, then you’re not competitive.  I don’t know about you, but constantly getting my butt kicked isn’t a lot of fun.

So then I look to the new shooter – the guy who works full time and has a wife and kids and doesn’t necessarily have the time to reload, so he can’t download his .45 to make minor…but he still thinks that shooting USPSA might be a good way to improve his gunhandling skills with the Glock 21 that he carries.  Enter Limited-10, which I would love to see USPSA rebrand as “Super Production” or whatever they want to call it.  Make a conscious effort to appeal to the Glock 21, M&P .45, XDM .40 owners to show that their guns that they bought for concealed carry and personal defense do have a home in competition. I think that there is actually a market for that and you could significantly increase participation in Limited 10 by driving interest in these shooters – the guys that buy factory ammo but want to shoot a match because they saw it on ShootingUSA, the guys that bought a .45 ACP because it’s an absurdly popular cartridge in the US.

Essentially, Limited-10 as a division has incredible potential for new shooter recruitment, but the name has to go. Limited-10 just sounds LAME. Calling it Major Production or Super Production or (my favorite) even Limited-Factory would go a long way towards making it more accessible to the guy that rolls in off the street with his Beretta 96 and SERPA holster. Most factory loaded .40 S&W and .45 ACP (and even .45 GAP) ammo makes Major power factor, so I don’t really see any reason why Limited-10 couldn’t or shouldn’t be rebranded as a Super Production division and marketed that way to shooters. Get a couple of big name companies to sponsor someone shooting a .40 or a .45 ACP in that division and you’d be well on your way. They “hey, that’s my gun” factor helps attract shooters to a division.

22 thoughts on “Reinventing Limited-10”

  1. The .45 shooters will probably gravitate to Single Stack, but what of the LEO who wants to give IPSC a try? His duty .40 puts him in either Limited with all the custom Caspians and STI’s, so he’s shooting Limited-10 by default.

    Limited-10 was a good idea when the Brady Bunch made it harder to find hi-cap mags. But times have changed, and I agree, it’s time to make Ltd-10 more attractive again.

  2. Sure, a .45 ACP 1911 will find a home in single stack, but what about the HUGE numbers of Glock 21s and M&P45s out there? They can come to L10 as well.

    Actually, I didn’t even think about LEOs, but that’s a good point. .40 S&W is the most popular round in law enforcement in America, so it makes sense to market towards that demo as well. “Shoot your duty gear” is a good idea.

  3. Those guys with the G21s, M&P45s, XD45s, etc. are — for the most part — already allowed into Production. Sure, they’re not that competitive until you download, but if that’s what you’ve got, then shooting it in Production makes sense anyway (develop good handling, including lots of mag changes, with the gun you’re going to use). Will you win matches? Maybe, maybe not. But once you decide that winning matches is your goal, you’ll *probably* buy a gun to better fit you to the sport anyway.

    So I’m of a mixed opinion on your idea of making L10 “super production.” For one thing, you’ve got two kinds of people playing in L10: folks with “real” limited guns (STIs etc) who live in states with capacity restrictions, and people whose choice of pistol was made before they heard about the sport (duty guns could also fall into this category). The latter would be served very well by a “super production” division, but the former not so much. I would say three kinds, but of course the 1911 shooters all recently got their division back.

    I say all this as an L10 shooter who fell into the second category: my first pistol was an HK USP Tactical .45 right after college, which is not approved for Production. I would have happily shot my overpowered .45 in Production, scoring minor and just dealing with the extra recoil. (After all, I had to learn to deal with it sometime, right? This was my one-and-only, nightstand/carry/practice/competition gun.)

  4. Yeah, I’m not saying that they’re not “allowed” in Production, since they clearly are. What I’m thinking though is that USPSA could use L10 to market to those guys with the .45s and .40s that don’t shoot the game right now. Sort of a “hey, take your service G22 to a match” sort of thing.

  5. Yeah, and I like that part. But the other question remains: what about those guys plugging 10 round mags into their STIs, Caspians, etc. because of state restrictions?

  6. They can still shoot Limited-10. The rules of Limited 10 are fine as they are, that’s not my beef. Bring your Paras and STIs and whatnot, that’s fine. It’s the marketing I want to change. Tell people with .40s and .45s like the new Springfield XDM 45 that “we have a home for you”. Sure, they’ll shoot alongside some guys with pimped out blasters, but I think that if this was done right you’d see an upswing in L10 participation.

    In fact, for the next major I shoot I think I’m going to shoot L10 with a factory gun, I just need to figure out which one.

  7. “Actually, I didn’t even think about LEOs, but that’s a good point. .40 S&W is the most popular round in law enforcement in America, so it makes sense to market towards that demo as well. “Shoot your duty gear” is a good idea.”

    Also as a general rule if gun X is carried by the cops or Military its going to have a popular following in civilian life. I mean don’t you have (or had) a Beretta 92 because that’s what you shot with the Coast Guard? I know LOTS of veterans who have AR-15 platforms because they’re used to the Stoner Design.

    I know a lot of people who own and carry Glock 22/23s because that’s what their local or favorite Law Enforcement agency swears by. And of course the sheer multitude of pistols chambered in 9×19, .40 S&W, and .357 Sig, coupled with the caliber wars means there are a LOT of people out there who own double-stack .40s. And given that I live in Massachusetts, most of them I know feed them from 10-round boxes.

    I can see this as a very inviting class for somebody looking to get into the shooting sports, or do some interesting training with the gun they keep in their holster or night stand.

  8. Now I get it, and like it. I thought you were talking about morphing L10 into something more resembling “production major,” when one of the biggest differences between the divisions is allowable actions (obviously you know, Caleb, but for those that don’t: in Production a gun must either be striker-fired, e.g. Glock/XD/M&P, or shoot the first shot double-action).

    Now that I understand better (maybe I just needed to read the original post more carefully), I support your idea.

  9. I was anti-L10 for a while, or at least anti-having both L10 and SS as it seemed redundant to me. Your super production argument brought me around last time we discussed this.

    However, the argument of every gun needs a place to be competitive doesn’t carry much weight with me. I shot my first USPSA match with a Browning hi-power shooting limited minor with one 17 and a pile of 13 round mags. Was the gun competitive, not really, but the far larger issue was that *I* wasn’t competitive.

    I don’t think having a place for every gun to be competitive is nearly as important as having a place for every gun to at least shoot. If you care about winning, you’ll end up with multiple guns for multiple divisions eventually anyway.

    At my local matches, Open and Production are the two biggest, closely followed by limited, with L10,SS, and Revo bringing up the rear. Yesterday was low 20s in O and P, 12 in Limited, and 4-5 each in L10/SS/Revo. I certainly don’t mind the smaller divisions having their place to shoot, but if you care enough about winning to care whether your gun is competetive, you’re going to move to where the competition *is*.

  10. Actually yeah, my first civilian gun was a Beretta 92 because it was what I was used to shooting and carrying from Uncle Sam’s Confused Group.

  11. We see a fair number of shooters come to our matches at McHenry IPSC (Shameless plug), with .45 Glocks and XD’s.

    We explain the rules and give ’em the choice of Production, Lim10, and Limited.

    Most of ’em choose Lim10.

    Honestly, though, at the early stages of “getting into the game”, it really doesn’t matter what division they’re shooting – unless they’re very talented, that is. They’ve got so many things to focus on that the semi-arcane scoring system of USPSA is the least of their worries.

    I should add, that even at better levels of the game, worrying about the scoring system/division is the least of the worries – get your hits, nail your reloads and movement, and go out to win.

  12. I honestly don’t think of as a “every gun needs a home to be competitive in” because ultimately a good shooter will win his or her division often regardless of gear. This is almost entirely a marketing strategy post – get people who owns these guns to come and shoot them in XYZ Division to increase participation at the club, Section, Area, and National levels.

    If you want to shoot your fo’tay in Production, that’s great, I just want people to shoot!

  13. I just want people to shoot!

    I gotta agree – I think that USPSA’s biggest problem so far is the fact that their legacy really makes a lot out of open/lim guns.

    I think having a retro-revo class and keeping L10 can only help…

  14. Shockingly, I’m sort of opposed to a retro revolver class – again it goes back to marketing. I don’t think there are enough people interested in competition shooting with Model 19s or whatever to make it worth the extra division, simply because there are so few revo shooters to begin with.

    For retro revo guys, IDPA really is their best bet IMHO.

  15. There’s nothing stopping people from shooting a revo with speedloaders in USPSA. Sure you may finish at 74% of the other revo shooter instead of 79%, who cares.

    Six divisions is already too many, I just don’t dislike any of them enough to pick them to chop.

  16. The biggest problem I see with USPSA marketing is getting young people involved. I was one of the youngest RO’s for the Area 2 match, and I’m in my mid-40’s, and it’s much the same for the monthly matches at my club as well.

    There were a few juniors at the match and a few really young (like, 12) kids, but for the most part, the 20-something demo was MIA in a major USPSA match. We’re starting to fill up the ranks with people shooting Scholastic Steel Challenge and .22 matches, but there’s a real need to practical shooting a valid sport for Gen Y and beyond.

  17. 25-35 is a big chunk of my local IDPA matches. I think it’s a tough sport to deal with in college due to legal issues and the reluctance of the typical college student to be awake on weekend mornings. Around here I see a lot of people getting in to IDPA in their late 20s. I don’t know USPSA as well as I’ve just started getting in to that myself. (FWIW, I’m 27 and got my first gun about 2.5 years ago and started shooting IDPA soon after)

    I’d be curious to hear anecdotes from other areas, and I’d really like to see membership demographic data from IDPA and/or USPSA.

    The sports that really need to worry about demographics are the shotgun clay games and bullseye type pistol shooting. I’m guessing High Power Rifle is in the same boat.

  18. I think that this is a great idea, but I do think that you’re going to need to change the name of the division to get people thinking about bringing their factory major caliber pistols to the game. Seems like it could use a name something like the Custom Defensive Pistol divison in IDPA.

  19. I think it’s a great idea. I have a schedule that makes ANY kind of competition about impossible, as the beeper goes off it seems as soon as my truck gets within a stone’s throw of a range. .

    I’d support anything that gets people, out and proficient. I manage with the occasional impromptu outing but it’s hard. Having such things will only promote the sport.

  20. I like this idea. What I see today is more people shooting limited 10 with production guns, not limited guns. With the change, limited would still exist and some people with high dollar guns would need to adjust to high capacity magazines. I think these people would move to limited and modify their magazines, not leave the sport. The new “Production-Major” division would bleed some people from production but there are enough production shooters that both production divisions would be well attended. Another benefit is there is nothing like this on the IDPA side for 40S&W shooters, since CDP is reserved for .45ACP.

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