15 thoughts on “Dipping your toes in the practical shooting pool”

  1. I would consider the IDPA if they would strike out one of the stupidest rules for an organization that is supposed to be for people who carry for self defense:

    “S 3. Pistols will be loaded only when directed by a safety
    officer. (See note at end of Safety Rules regarding Hot and
    Cold ranges.)”

    Who is going to carry an unloaded gun for self defense? If the purpose is to “practice self defense situations in a realistic manner” then that rule is ridiculous! I’m sure not going to wait until I need to use my gun to load it!
    And no-one I know would empty their gun when they think the shooting is over, they would re-load and holster.

    I would really like to see how I’d do but to me that restriction is just plain stupid.

    1. I have no issue with those rules. There are some people out there that do some really dumb stuff. The empty chamber, hammer down, mags out rule is a good one.

      I once saw a guy at Cabelas whip out his loaded CC pistol and proceed to try it in holsters that were for sale. His finger was in the trigger guard as well. When he was asked to leave, he failed to see what he was doing wrong, he just didn’t get it. He just keep screaming about his rights being trampled on.

      Cold range rules are there for a reason, it’s to cut off potential stupid and dangerous behavior.

      1. I tend to agree with Andy here; cold range rules exist in IDPA and USPSA competition for a reason. While I’ve shot plenty of classes that were conducted on hot ranges (also for a good reason) a cold range is a safety precaution at major matches.

    2. I totally understand where you’re coming from, but I often compete with people I don’t know well or don’t know at all. I’m not sure if they’re competent to carry just because they have a permit. I’d rather not get accidentally shot by one of them. Its simply liability mitigation.

      The rules are somewhat different with my training partners, who I’d trust my life to without hesitation.

    3. Safety rules are there for a reason. Mistakes happen. No responsible range would have a bunch of people wandering around with loaded guns that aren’t on the firing line. And if you study officer involved shootings, some people do keep firing until they are empty. That’s how you get unarmed suspects shot 43 times by three officers. You do what you get trained to do.

    4. I’ve also never heard of anyone waiting for someone to say, “Shooter indicates ready… Standby…” before drawing their gun to defend themselves.

      It’s a game that is meant to give people opportunities to have fun, test their shooting abilities against others, and practice in a setting that is more dynamic than what you find at a typical public shooting range.

      This is going to sound rude and I don’t mean for it to be. But I hear comments like the one above all the time at IDPA matches. They’re almost always coming from new people who, frankly, aren’t good shooters, but somehow have loads of opinions on what is “tactical” or “realistic.”

      I’ve seen professional gun instructors, cops, gun store employees, military types, and so on, criticize the shooting sports for not being totally realistic. And they were correct. But what was also correct was that those same critics couldn’t hit an A zone if their lives depended on it once the buzzer went off and they had to shoot off balance, from behind cover, or on the move. In fact, I bet you could handicap a match pretty accurately by listening to pre-match conversations. Anyone talking about their daily dry-fire training routine you put near the top. Anyone who says “You know, in a real gunfight you never/always/sometimes….” you put right at the bottom.

  2. Congrats Caleb! Published in an NRA mag is a darn big feather in your cap. Article read well and covered the subject well.

  3. The biggest issue I have with IDPA is that a 15 year old organization has managed to turn out an 86+ page rule book. There are too many technicalities where matches can be won or lost, and the rules are not uniformly applied.

  4. I often feel the same way; but at the same time USPSA is what, going on 40 now and it’s rulebook is much longer and even more detailed.

    1. Being the curious kind, I dug it up.

      USPSA Handgun rule book is 102 pages including the covers, 2 blank pages for notes, and a few blank pages.

      IDPA is 83 pages without covers.

      Both sports are fun and have their places – Though I find that uspsa rules are geared more towards how things are scored/done whereas IDPA rules are geared more towards what the shooter is allowed to do.

      1. You’re right, of course, but the two games are meant to be different. Many who shoot IDPA do so to test their tactics and skills, and don’t much care about winning. The two games will never be the same, so applying one to the other is unlikely to yield acceptable results. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  5. Excellent to see how you are working to educate and bring along folks interested in the shooting sports. Nice, easy read, covers all the basics and nice photos. Good job!

  6. Nice write-up, but how about a short discussion of Open and Limited divisions? No, these aren’t meant for people to use their carry gear, but they are perhaps the purest test of shooting ability. Top dog at your IDPA club? Looking for more of a challenge? Pick up an Open or Limited gun and come remember what it feels like to be the new guy all over again.

    Plus, shooting Limited is awesome if you’ve ever wanted to star in your own action movie where guns seem to never run out of bullets.

    Shooting Open is like starring in your own action movie, set in the future!

    1. I actually plan on writing up Limited at a future date – I don’t really have any plans for Open, because there really isn’t anything in Open division that interests me, unless we’re talking 3-gun.

      1. I tend to agree on Open. I’m not interested in spending $5000 for a rig and all my free time experimenting with .38 Super loads. More power to the people who are willing to do those things, because that is a wicked level of competition.

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