IDPA Divisions

This is part 1 of a series that will continue through the week on the different competitive divisions and classifications in my shooting sport of choice, IDPA.  Each installment will highlight specific details about each division, as well as guns that are successful and common in each division.  Today we’ll look at each division in IDPA, with a bullet point on what it’s designed for.

  • Custom Defensive Pistol: .45 ACP handguns only
  • Stock Service Pistol: Most DA/SA or DA only pistols (Glocks, Sigs, etc)
  • Enhanced Service Pistol: Single action pistols in calibers other than .45 ACP.  This is where your Browning High Powers and 9mm, .38 Super, .40 S&W 1911s go.
  • Enhanced Service Revolver: Revolvers that use moon clips to load.  Dominated by .45 ACP wheelies.
  • Stock Service Revolver: revolvers which load using traditional speed loaders – mostly .38 Special guns here.

Each category has a unique set of rules and permitted modifications as well – guns that are legal in SSP can compete in ESP or CDP as well, depending on caliber.  So your .45 ACP Glock can gun in Stock Service Pistol, or ESP and CDP if you want to.

We’ll start the series officially tomororw with the flagship division of IDPA: Custom Defensive Pistol.


  1. They group Glocks with DA and DA/SA guns? Since you have to rack the slide in order to be able to pull the trigger, that’s a little unexpected. While a Glock isn’t really DA or SA, I would have thought grouping it with the other SA guns would be more appropriate.

    Is it based more on trigger travel than the functionality?

  2. It goes back to the way the BATF classified the Glock when it was first imported. They call it a DAO because the trigger movement completes the cocking of the striker. Granted it’s only a third of the total movement but the BATF has decided that’s enough to fit the definition of a Double-Action-Only semi-auto. When IDPA started they used the BATF standard of defining each action type as their guide.

    The Springfield Armory XD on the other hand has a fully cocked striker and the trigger movement simpy releases the striker assembly. There is NO partial cocking or ‘cocking’ of any kind of the striker assembly.

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

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