There is a rumor going around that IDPA is going to lower the power factor for Stock Service Revolver to 105 from its current place at 125. To make a 125 power factor in IDPA, you’d almost exclusively have to handload .38 Special for SSR, as most factory loads come out around 105/115 power factor, and only a few +P loads with 158 grain bullets exceed the power floor. By lowering the power factor to a more reasonable number, IDPA actually opens the door to SSR to a lot of new shooters. Previously, this was the hardest division to compete in, as you couldn’t in many cases buy factory ammo to shoot in SSR, and had to handload. For someone with a K-frame that they picked up for cheap and a desire to improve their gunhandling skills, that can be a high bar of entry.
With the new rules for power factor hopefully going into effect before the major match season kicks off, I’m excited to see what my S&W 686 (not pictured) can do with 130 grain ball ammo. For whatever reason, 130 grain FMJ has become the most common .38 round available, and yet none of the factory loadings would actually make IDPA power factor. Assuming again that this isn’t all a horrid rumor, you’ll be able to buy factory ammo, like the Federal American Eagle 130 grain FMJ pictured at left and make IDPA’s power factor.
I think this is a good thing, I hope that IDPA releases the ruling soon so that the change can be made official.