Fun From the IDPA Indoor Nationals

A follow up to yesterday’s post about the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor National Championships, I wanted to highlight something I mentioned in passing, but didn’t fully elaborate upon. I noted offhand that David Olhasso, the winner of the Custom Defensive Pistol Division, won the match with a Smith & Wesson M&P .45 ACP.  The Custom Defensive Pistol division has almost always been “where the 1911s run” in IDPA, as one of the division requirements is that you use a gun chambered in .45 ACP and that the maximum in the magazine is 8 rounds.  At the top level, you see some pretty whiz-bang custom guns in CDP, gun makers like Wilson Combat and Nighthawk are not uncommon at the Master class level.

Now, David Olhasso is one of those “all-galaxy” level shooters, however the fact that he was able to come in and clean up with a polymer framed .45 ACP and not a 1911 is a neat achievement in an of itself; when you add to that the fact that the next closest finisher in his division was 15 full seconds behind David it makes it even more impressive.

It’s also a pretty smart marketing stunt by S&W.  They certainly do not have a shortage of .45 ACP 1911s that David could have shot at the match, but by having him shoot the M&P .45 and win is the sort of thing that you can put in magazines (and the internet, I suppose).

The unloaded weight of an M&P .45 is 29.6 ounces, compared to 41 ounces for S&W’s 1911 in .45 ACP.  Weight of the gun is a HUGE factor in mitigating recoil, and those extra 10+ ounces make a big difference; which means that David Olhasso is just that good. The other fun thing to take away from this is that you can go to your local gun store, and walk out with roughly the same gun that David used to win the CDP division for around $700 beans. That’s the other thing you can’t replicate about the 1911s used in CDP division – you’re not going to be able to walk into Bob’s Guns and come out with the same gun that Matt Sims uses for anywhere near that M&P’s price point.

I’m not saying that you should ditch your 1911 and get an M&P, mind you – because you should shoot the platform with which you’re comfortable. However, the trend towards polymer guns for competition seems to be continuing, and S&W’s aggressive push on their M&P line of pistols is certainly helping.


  1. When talking about recoil you need to factor in more than just the weight of the gun; bore axis is also very important. IMO the m&p 45 has less “felt” recoil than a Gov. SS 1911. If the pin match this weekend turns out to be a steel match, you can shoot a few through my M&P 45 and compare it to my dads 1911. (I’m the guy in your steel video)

    Also, the M&P may have a small advantage over the 1911’s with reloads b/c the double stack mags are more forgiving. However, I don’t know if this holds true when you compare a 1911 with a CDP legal mag well to the M&P.

    I don’t know how useful the marketing stunt will be considering that 2007 IDPA Nationals for CDP went 1st David Olhasso XD45, 2nd David Sevigny Glock 21sf, and 3rd Earnest Langdon M&P 45, but it shows that you can be very competitive with a polymer 45.

  2. Oh absolutely – I think more I was having some sport at the the 1911 guns (among which I am a member) more than anything. If anything, it’s a testament to how freakishly good David is with whatever gun you put in his hands.

    Also, you’re 100% about the bore axis on the M&P – I was playing around with an M&P Pro in 9mm the other day, and it is impressive how low the gun sits in your hand.

  3. I’ve seen M&Ps come though our class (though, none in .45 yet) and the owners seem to do better than other guns in followup shots and multiple target sequences. I finally shot one in 9 and, other than a trigger that would cause the owner of a well tuned 1911 to pitch a fit, I was impressed. I may have to look at one, once I get a chance to shoot one in .45.

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