IDPA is a game
We’ve been expending pixels all over the internet about the IDPA definition of cover; and while that’s actually not the topic of the post it does lead me to the topic. One of the most common rebuttals that you’ll encounter when you’re trying to get a concise definition of IDPA’s rules is “well you wouldn’t do ‘X’ in a gunfight” where “X” is whatever thing the guy that just wants consistent rules is looking for. Those guys will then usually quote this section of the rulebook:
The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters.
Whenever that’s quoted, the emphasis is always placed on the “simulates self-defense scenarios” or “real-life encounters”. Here’s the problem – right before that, IDPA itself says that it’s a “shooting sport”. Not self-defense training. Not practice for a gunfight. Because if it were practice for a gunfight, 99% of the stages would consist of pulling a .380 out of a pocket, dumping all your rounds in a single assailant and then running like hell. That’s not to say that IDPA and competition shooting don’t help develop skills that you need in a gunfight, but they certainly are not simulating real life self defense scenarios.
Here’s a great example of that – the holster and gun I’m using in the linked video are legal for IDPA competition. It’s an N-frame in .45 ACP, the venerable 625. I have in fact carried this gun for self defense. Twice. It’s absurdly heavy. I would never use the holster that I use for competition for concealed carry, because the holster is the size of a stack of IHOP pancakes. It’s a great holster, but it’s not really “practical” for a “real life self-defense situation”.
Now, the point of this is not to bash IDPA or the shooting sports. I believe that anyone who carries a gun for personal defense seriously should compete in some type of shooting sport because of the skills that it helps you develop. That being said, IDPA is not teaching you tactics that you would use in a gunfight. It’s a game, and because it’s a game it needs to have a consistent rule-set that’s enforced the same whether you’re shooting a match in Indiana, Washington, or Tennessee.