This is a bad idea

Yesterday I was kicking around some ideas on the Brian Enos forum about using .38 Short Colt loads in Safariland Comp III speedloaders.  That in itself isn’t the bad idea, but rather the discussion that came from it was kind of shocking.  Here’s the backstory – I have all the goodies set up to use .38 Short Colt for ICORE competition with my 627; the short rounds have about the same OAL as a 9mm and tend to load easier.  Plus, because the Short Colt cases have a smaller volume than the long .38 Special cases, it’s easier to make power factor and use less powder.

I wanted to make sure that the Short Colts would work in my Safariland speedloaders so that I could just shoot the same load in Retro division and Limited Revolver; it then occured to me to shoot the same load in IDPA as well.  That’s where the surprises started.  Until yesterday, I didn’t know that there was an official-unofficial IDPA Forum.  That’s not the problem.  The problem apparently is that at the officially unofficial IDPA forum, they’ll often give out “rulebook interpretations” from IDPA staff.  An example of this is actually the .38 Short Colt.

Apparently, IDPA Staff had issued an officially-unofficial ruling saying that use of the .38 Short Colt in Stock Service Revolver division was grounds for an FTDR and possible match DQ, as it would “clearly” only be done to gain a competitive advantage.  Here’s what the rule book says for Stock Service Revolver:

Handguns permitted for use in this division must be:

A. Any revolver of .38 Caliber (.357” or larger) or larger that utilizes ammunition with a rimmed case and is not reloaded with a full moon clip.

Now, if you’re like me, you’d read that and figure “hey, the .38 Short Colt rounds meet that definition, and as long as I make power factor I’m good to go, right?”  Apparently, you’d be wrong, and that’s not a good thing.  See, I don’t really care if IDPA thinks that using .38 Short Colt is too “gamer” to play, I’m fine with that.  My problem is how this all works out, and exactly why this is a bad idea.  Follow me around on this one:

  • You are an ICORE shooter and want to shoot IDPA with your ICORE load
  • You read the IDPA rulebook and don’t find anything that explicitly states that .38 Short Colt is illegal in your 686.
  • You shoot some club matches, have fun and decide to shoot a sanctioned match.
  • You go to your sanctioned match, pay your money, drive x number of miles, and when you get to the match are DQ’d because your equipment is designed to “give you an unfair advantage” based on a ruling handed out on a forum you didn’t know existed and that isn’t actually an “official” IDPA forum.

That would really turn me off to IDPA if I happened to me, and it’s not exactly a far-fetched scenario.  I have had my problems with IDPA’s rule book – I honestly feel that it’s too vague in areas and subject to interpretation by Match Directors and safety officers.  However, finding out that there’s a forum where rulings are handed down that are not dissemenated to the vast majority of IDPA shooters absolutely blows my mind.

Essentially, what that does to the entire rulebook is make it open to question and reduces it from a set of rules to “whatever the IDPA headquarters guys think it means”.  That’s just stupid.  I may not agree with everything that USPSA does, but their rulebook, all 6,499 pages of it is very clear on what can and cannot be done.  I understand that IDPA doesn’t want to be USPSA, but I’m a big believer in clarity being a good thing.  I’d hate to be the shooter that drive 100 miles to a major match to find out his equipment wasn’t legal based on a ruling on a Yuku forum he’d never heard of.  I’m seriously at a loss for words to describe how foolish I think this is, I mean just wow.

I think what’s most upsetting is that I really like IDPA.  I enjoy shooting it, I enjoy the discipline, and that’s why this just boggles the mind.  This sort of activity is massively unfriendly to new shooters or to shooters coming in from other disciplines.  Poorly played, IDPA.  Very poorly played.


  1. I am really disappointed by this. Effectively, this means IDPA has two sets of rules – the published rulebook that’s at and then another set of rules passed down by holy writ on a forum that isn’t technically official.

    Just a bad idea.

  2. Actually Caleb, this is an OLD issue. I brought it up to the founding board when I was Area Coordinator for Indiana & Michigan the 2nd year of IDPA’s existance. That’s the reason for the FTDR rule and it was made long before ICORE ever existed. Everyone on the board agreed it was a move made to essentially gain a competitive advantage over those employing the normal full length revolver cartridges. Their fear at the time was it would degrade into another equipment race for those shooting revolvers;i.e. the pressure to ‘legalize’ full moon clip revolvers shooting .38 Short Colt cartridges, which nobody wanted.

    Right or wrong, that’s been the rule since about the 2nd year of IDPA’s existance.

    All The Best,
    Frank W. James

  3. “Right or wrong, that’s been the rule since about the 2nd year of IDPA’s existance.”

    Then why isn’t it in the rulebook?

  4. Frank, I have to agree with Jeff on that one. And what kills me about all of this is that I actually agree with IDPA in that you shouldn’t be able to use .38 Short Colt because it’s not a realistic defensive cartridge. It just strikes me as ridiculous that if that’s the rule, then it should be in the rule book, something that says “Revolvers chambered for .357 Magnum/.38 Special must use that ammo” or something.

    My problem isn’t with the ruling itself. Based on what IDPA wants to be and what IDPA markets itself as, forbidding .38 Short Colt from standard revolvers makes sense. My problem is that instead of putting it in the rulebook with a clear, bright line it’s on a forum that a lot of people don’t know about and that isn’t even an “official” IDPA forum.

  5. What about .38 Long Colt? Could that be used even if you had to use a .38 LC revolver?

    1. Who knows? I’d have to search the IDPA forum for an answer, becuase it’s not forbidden in the rulebook.

  6. “.38 Short Colt because it’s not a realistic defensive cartridge. ”

    If you can handload it to make power factor then how can you consider it an unrealistic cartridge? Uncommon, sure. Open only to handloaders, ok. Unrealistic? Only in SAAMI loadings.

    All this ruling does is ensure that revolver shooting in IDPA remains dominated by revolvers firing automatic pistol cartridges. How common are they in real life compared to .38/.357s? Not very.

  7. Jeff the Baptist has a great point – I’ll add my take on it too:

    A multi-caliber revolver is just that: multi-caliber. If the cartridge is meeting power floor, why wouldn’t you use it?

    Sure there is a slight reloading advantage to the shorter cartridge, but, then again is using .38 vs. .357’s, just like there is an advantage to using a heavy-underlugged barrel vs. the pencil thin barrels of yesteryear. Just like there is an advantage to using adjustable sights vs. gutter sights of old Model 10’s.

    As a final note, I’m finally understanding why rules-laywering is so popular in USPSA – because the rules really are pretty clear, that when there is contention, it gets handled out in the open with $$ being put up…

  8. So lets say that Smith and Wesson or Taurus makes a revolver in 38 short colt (probably not going to happen), would that revolver be allowed in SSR?

    I agree about the “secret” rulings, IDPA should have published rulings like uspsa’s NROI ruling archive.

  9. I thought that the whole point of power factors was to ensure you had realistic loads?

    A certain amount of “gamesmanship” can often result in a Real World shift in gear.

    If hot-loaded .38 Short Colt in a revolver can be loaded to .38 Special defensive performance or better, that sounds like a snubbie waiting to be built!

    IPDA shouldn’t through out the good merely by trying to “not be IPSC”.

    NO RULE, that is long standing and firmly set, should be left out of the rule book.

  10. I’m going to fly my geek flag high and state I know exactly what you’re talking about Caleb. In my case it’s over a nerdy as hell miniature table top game called Warhammer 40K.

    The game publisher, Games Workshop, ships a new rule book edition (which they are notorious for being awful and vague with an index that’s total crap) which starts the mad rush. Then they publish books specific to each race in the game (called a codex). This immediately makes those players without a codex hambuger because they don’t have any fancy rules just for them. And how do I know what’s in their codex? Yeah, you have to trust’em or buy and read every codex.

    Then GW has a forum where gamer geeks can get their geek on. Arguing why a rule is stupid is a huge part of this, gamers being games after all. Just like IDPA – vaguely defined “leaders” in the game hierarchy hold court and decree this or that. These decrees are scattered all over the board, scattered in time and often conflicting.

    Result? Chaos.

    I stopped playing six years ago, after trying to get back in a few times. My quitting was 100% because of this kind of crap.

  11. Hmmm….When IDPA started up many years ago I tried it in lieu of IPSC because it sounded both fun and more realistic. I gave it up after 3 matches because of continual rule book fiascos. In my case the Bianchi holster I had used daily with my 1911 for over a decade – a 19L – was ruled illegal because it wasn’t on the approved list. The 19 was, but the identical lined version wasn’t.

    OK, thinks me, I’ll skip the schoolyard pettiness and just go back to IPSC, which I did for years. Recently, however, IPSC seems to have gone full bore “Run ‘N’ Gun” with 40+ round stages and wind sprints between the shooting boxes. At the last match I shot – which will be the last IPSC match I shoot – there were fellow shooters with more ammo in mags on their belt than I brought to the match. Well, different strokes for different folks, as the old Yamaha ads used to say, so if you like IPSC in its present incarnation, that’s plenty alright with me. I’ll find something else to do. It sounds like that “something else” may not be IDPA; those who elect to voluntarily participate in any structured sport are certainly permitted to select the leadership they desire, and structure the rules any way they want. No one is being forced to participate. The key word there, however, is “structure.”

    “Give up the 625 and get a Lotsashots Wondernine” isn’t the answer to enjoying IPSC, nor is “not getting cranky about phantom rules” a solution to IDPA happiness.

    Maybe there really are enough interested shooters to support IPSC, IDPA and some sort of third lower-level, less competitive, less formally structured grouping. I suspect,however, that something Caleb mentioned a while back is true (or, it might have been Tam, I can’t remember), to the effect that once the keeping of score starts people will seek maximum advantage to enhance their scores, so no matter what develops eventually the result will parallel what we have now, so perpetually generating new competition formats won’t help much, either.

    Somehow, though, I sense there’s a need for shooters to gather and share their endeavors with minimum hassles, and that there may be more of us than some realize.

  12. I definitely agree with Caleb’s point of view on this. It’s fine for them to make any rules they want. But if you’ve decided that something is a FTDR violation, it should be in the rules, or at least somewhere on the official website.

  13. Using .38 Short Colt in your magnum wheelgun to speed reloads? I’m sorry, Caleb, but that’s exactly the kind of gamerfag shit that caused IDPA to split from IPSC in the first place. Why even have the “D” in IDPA if you’re going to do that?

  14. …and maybe I should have read all the comments. 😉

    Still, Caleb, it makes me sad that you were considering doing this. Things like this make the Baby John Moses Browning cry.

  15. Speaking of IDPA, I’m shooting another classifier match this weekend, this time with my SSR gun.

  16. Out at ACC on Sunday. It’s not a match match, I’m just setting up the classifier for myself and anyone that wants to come play. The benefit of being an IDPA certified SO.

    Send me an email if you want in!

  17. “All this ruling does is ensure that revolver shooting in IDPA remains dominated by revolvers firing automatic pistol cartridges. How common are they in real life compared to .38/.357s? Not very.”

    That’s why there are two revolver divisions. The moon-clip guns with autopistol cartridges go in ESR, and the rimmed cartridge guns with speedloaders go in SSR.

  18. I kind of forgot all about IDPA as being “Defensive” or “Practical” when I realized they were prohibiting fixed iron sights of a style the organizers didn’t like, or factory ported compact guns.

    Even though I knew several people who carried them on their daily CCW guns.

    It was apparant that IDPA was intended to be more of a Fundamentalist Jihad against the Star Wars gamerguns of IPSC. And that any innovation in defensive guns design post dating about 1985 was not welcome — so it was destined to stay frozen.

    I understand that IDPA has come a long way back towards sanity since then, but it left a VERY bad taste in my mouth at it’s inception, and I lost any interest in checking it out.

    Now, of course, I barely have time to get adequate practice in, much less start blocking time out for matches.

    One of these days, I’ve got to block out the time and try it out — but if I showed up and got DQ’d (or had a FTDR penalty) based on a long standing rule that wasn’t published in the offical rules, that would be the end of it. Or if I they slapped my hand for using a perfectly viable (as in, “It’s what I actually USE when carrying”) piece of kit, while the line is full of guys with full size “service pistols” in barely concealable (but fast) belt rigs under photog vests. Who all carry BUGs as primaries.

    Heck, some of my tactical training — what I learned to do for shooting for real, rather than for a game, would be procedural errors. P42 on speed reloads — apparantly, to the IDPA board, punching the mag button while moving to cover is “gamerfag” stuff. Because, I guess, it’s impossible to thumb a button while moving, unless you’re an Evil Bad Gamerfag, and it is somehow more tactical to go all the way to cover before you take ANY actions to reload — even though your FEET aren’t involved in LETTING EMPTY MAGS HIT THE DIRT or DRAWING LOADED MAGS.

    If real people are shooting at me and my gun is empty, I’m not going to wait until I get behind cover before I bother to START reloading — not that I’ll delay moving to cover in order to reload, but I can CERTAINLY dump a 1911 magazine without slowing me down.

    Heck, according to P39, the method by which I’ve been ACTUALLY carrying speedloaders since 1991 when I wear a revolver IWB is “gamer”. I wear a speedloader carrier with two speedloaders BEHIND the gun — the rulebooks states that two may be worn IN FRONT of the gun, and ONE speedloader may be worn behind the centerline. Funny, I started wearing them there, becuase if I wore teh speedloaders inf front of the gun, it was more difficult to conceal, so I snugged them up immediately aft of the holster.

    They really ought to rename it “International Action Pistol, But Only if You Like teh Same Gear We Do”.

    I understand the prohibition on cross draw or shoulder rigs — it can be a safety issue that requires careful course design to avoid problems.

    But other than that, if you cannot “Run what you brung”, with actual Real World daily carry stuff, it is neither “Defensive” nor “Practical”. It’s just more Gamemeister stuff, but on a tighter budget than IPSC.

    1. One thing to remember about IDPA is that it was founded by 1911 faboys, and remains primarily oriented for 1911 fanboys.

  19. At sanctioned matches, I usually see more Stock Service Revolver guns than I do moonclip guns; I attribute this to the plethora of dinosaurs with ancient S&W .38s.

  20. I ahve no problem with that — I’m a 1911 fanboy. I’m also a K-frame fanboy, all ’round Browning disciple, Sig fan, and a Combat Tupperware cheerleader.

    I noticed the “revolver neutral” rules, and I wonder — on a “tactical” reload, you’re expected to dump the cylinder in your hand, fish out the live rounds, and stick those in a pocket (but God forbid you use a shirt pocket — even though it’s often the handiest pocket to fish loose rounds out of!)?

    Or are you suppsed to half eject the rounds in a method NOT similar to proper combat cyulinder ejection technique, fish out the empties (taking your eyes off threat direction), juggle hands so you can discharge your speedloader into your hand holding teh gun, so you can fish out enough loaded rounds to top off teh cylinder, then close revolver (without dropping live rounds), and stick the extras in a ocket?

    Rather than the safer, more “tactical”, Ayoob endorsed method of “Dump ’em ALL, shove a fresh speedloader in, and forget about the couple of live ones you left on the deck.”

    The idea being, to get the gun hot as fast as possible, just in case the fight isn’t over yet.

    Rather than be the guy who gets stabbed to death while sorting through his fired empties. Didn’t enough cops get killed in the 209th century doing EXACTLY this kind of stupidity to teach us that the important part of reloading is GETTING THE GUN LOADED NOW?!?

    IDPA is just another Gamer Haven — only they aren’t as honest about it as IPSC.

  21. Boy, I type badly when I’m worked up. . .

    209th Century?



    Sheesh. . .

  22. Homer talked about “some sort of third lower-level, less competitive, less formally structured grouping.”

    This sounds to me like a bad idea. “Less competitive” sounds to me like “no pressure” – the one thing that makes games like IPSC, IDPA et cetera a good thing to do. “Lower-level” sounds to me like “oh no, we couldn’t make the stage requirements realistic, that might be difficult and we can’t have that now can we” – exactly the sort of attitude that bugs me about a local three gun “tactical” (ha!) game. Don’t get me wrong, I think bringing in new beginner shooters is a great thing that should be encouraged a lot – but shooters should have the opportunity to develop past that beginner level too. Granted, maybe my experiences color my perception and Homer meant something else, that’s just how it sounds like to me.

    There is a demand for a three gun sport that will push shooters to improve, trains them to function under pressure, and yet does so in a manner which supports using proper tactics. How to do this is not such an easy thing to do, however… I believe stage design plays a much bigger role than nitpicking equipment rules and such – unfortunately, good stage design takes more than a line in the rule book demanding it.

  23. Again, I feel the need to stress that my beef is not with the sport of IDPA or the rules of IDPA, but rather how the shadow rulings are being enacted from a friggin’ Yuku forum.

    I like IDPA. I like it a lot, actually, and I shoot it over a lot of other sports.

    As far as revolvers go, I’ve never seen a course of fire that mandated a tactical reload/reload with retention after less than 6 rounds. Most Tac loads are mandated after 6 rounds in IDPA courses, which for wheelygun guys means it’s a standard reload.

  24. True. You can’t quantify “good stage design” into cut and dried rules. Although, the IDPA rule book does have a decent section on how to do it (more accurately, the section is more about “This is how NOT to do it. No rocking horse silliness, no 50 meter sprints, no 30 friendlies and one bad guy, etc..” It’s easier for them to point out stupid ideas and say, “Don’t do this.”)

  25. Sheesh! So much hate for IDPA. Well gents, Don’t shoot IDPA if you don’t like it. IPSC tickles your fancy because it has a rulebook the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica and keeps you honest, the shoot it and stop whining about getting an FDTR.
    And Caleb, at least be honest: By fudging around with .38 Short Colt you are trying to get an unfair advantage.
    Range Shysters are really annoying.

  26. Caleb —

    I have no problem with IDPA as a sport.

    i have no problem with IDPA as *A* useful componant in teaching you how to shoot under stress.

    I have no problems with arbitrary rules, per se.

    I DO have a problem with presenting arbitrary rules as “Practical” or “Defensive”, when they are neither, and in fact, actively HINDER the “Practical” and “Defensive” aspects.

    I DO have a problem with something that has the stated GOALS of IDPA completely shut out by it’s own RULES. To qualify as a reasonable “Practical” or “Defensive”, it shoudl ENCOURAGE equipment and tactical innovation, else it becomes as fossilized and artifical as modern Olympic Biathalon. Don’t fossilze —
    “fissilize” (i.e., allow splitting off of concepts to see what bears good fruit).

    I DO have a problem with the “shadow rules”, as you point out. If it’s a solid, long standing rule, it should be in the rule book.

    Hey, at least they got away from the Holy Book of Approved Holsters. THAT was arbitrary idiocy from the beginning.

    But, look at Enhanced Service Pistol and Custom Defensive Pistol–

    Checkering? OK

    Stippling (which is easier to do at home)? NOT OK

    Full length dust cover of stainless or carbon, UNLESS the pistol also meets Stock Service Pistol requirements? FORBIDDEN
    (Anyone care to answer why? If I take a SSP with a full length guide rod, and I change the mag release button to a slight ly extended one – an allowable ESP or CDP mod – it isn’t ESP or CDP eligible anymore and cannot be fired in ANY division?)

    By the letter of the rulebook, my M65LS and Model 10 aren’t eligible for Enhanced Stock Revolver or Stock Service Revolver — I took off the oversize “combat” grips from the M65LS and installed wood “boot grips” so it conceals better. My Model 10 came from the factory with the skinny S&W grip scales many moons ago, and now wears Uncle Mike’s boot grips (a comprimise — it’s a “family” gun and my wife doesn’t like true boot grips, and I don’t like Pachmeyers or Hogue rubber). NEITHER of these guns is wearing a grip “similar to factory configuration”. . . yet neither has “gamer” grips — they both have grips that were chosen for practical, defensive purposes to enhance them as CARRY guns.

    How about P18?

    “IDPA realizes that a “ported” Springfield or Para ultra compact does not offer a competitive advantage over a non-ported full size pistol, however, once we open the door, where will it end?”

    Um. . . if you’re worried about guys porting full size guns for game advantage, then you can state that factory ported guns must meet X dimensions, but shoot in ESP or CDP divisions. A factory ported Officer’s Model showing up will NOT have been chosen for “game advantage” then. It will be there so teh guy can “run what he brung”.

    Problem solved — and guys can still compete with street valid carry pieces that they likely actually carry. Which is what IDPA crowed it was all about when it started — a practical, defensive shooting discipline where people could use their EVERYDAY CARRY GUNS AND GEAR.

  27. Miguel,

    If IDPA is going to get so fussy about mandating the position of speedloader pouches so they are LESS concealable — and thus less “Defensive” and “Practical”, they can certainly include long standing de facto “official” IDPA-wide rules in teh same book.

    Instead they bury critical information in a web based forum. But they’ll be more than happy to DQ you based on posts in that forum, nonetheless.

    IDPA is neither “Practical” nor “Defensive”.

    It is merely a GAME. Despite the fact the very first page in the rulebook says, “The founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively.”

    Yet they have, from the very beginning, EXCLUDED reasonable, practical Real World equipment on the gorunds of, “Well, WE don’t like it, so it doesn’t work.”

    FTDR has become an excuse to hammer people who don’t use the Annointed Technique – even if what they do would be MORE practical in the Real World and is noless safe on the range.

    Seriously — it would be like getting penalized for using Isosceles if the game master du jour preferred Weaver Uber Alles.

  28. Miguel, I’m not hating on IDPA the shooting sport, I’m hating on IDPA not releasing clearly stated rules. If you’d read my comments, you’d have noticed that I actually AGREE with the IDPA ruling. I think that ruling against .38 Short Colt from .357 chambered revolvers is the right thing to do, I’m not upset with the ruling itself.

    I’m specifically calling IDPA out for not publishing these types of rulings on their website, but instead relying on emails and web forums that aren’t officially associated with IDPA to get them out. That’s bad business, straight up.

    And of course I was trying to gain an advantage by using .38 Short Colt. Last time I checked, IDPA was a game, and I’m in it to win it.

  29. Rick R. – you have very good points there. The only thing I was wondering: isn’t that “thirty no-shoots and one bad guy target” a very realistic active shooter scenario?

    Miguel, I think IDPA as a whole and individuals involved in it would benefit more from taking constructive criticism constructively – a “love it or leave it” attitude is just going to make a lot of people choose “leave it”. Isn’t the point to attract more people, not drive them away? It would seem to me that the criticism presented here has been overall well grounded, people have stated why they think some things should be changed.

  30. I just don’t think “Active Shooter” is a viable stage for something that is what IDPA claims it is for.

    Now, if it was a special stage where it was “1 hit to the head 0 zone or 2 hits to the chest 0 zone”, and the target wasn’t obscured by all the NO SHOOTS — so that the only purpose of the NO SHOOTS would be to hide the target (with the gun shillouette) in the clutter, NOT provide soft cover for the target, you could make it viable.

    But it would be a variance from the IDPA rules.

    I suppose you could set it up as a “special” stage parallel to (but not actually part of) an IDPA match.

    Given the silliness of some course designs I have seen (I’m thinking IPSC here, specifically late 80’s through early 90’s, when I wanted a two-tone racegun so bad I could taste Wilsons Red Grease), the kind of stage where Dick Marcinko would be getting wobbly in the knees at the thought of what it represents, I’m more than happy to see the IDPA rule of no more than a 1:3 NO SHOOT/target ratio.

  31. Tony – Please re-read my comment; I think I established that some sort of “New! Improved!” 3rd type of competition wasn’t the answer.

    That said, I do recognize that competition is competition, and in everything from IDPA to NASCAR to the NFL there are “rule book lawyers” because there must be a rule book (even the NFL has the “red protest flag” for coaches for when they disagree).

    What I was trying to point out, and probably failed at, was to point out that there are a bunch of us who really like guns and shooting, and who want to just go shooting challenging courses of fire with each other without all the Rule Wrangling.

    During the day I carry a particular gun which, in my case, isn’t mandated but given the circumstances in which I carry it it makes sense to comply with certain standards; after hours I drag out a revolver because I’m a revolver junky (actually, two revolvers because I don’t take off the backup) and because in Private Life I doubt I’ll need more than 6+6+6 of .45 Colt (thanks again, Tam) and 5+6 of .357. That, plus my Partner in Crime is very comfortable with my revolvers and knows how to manage speed loaders and Speed Strips so she can use either the .45 or the .357.

    Which is why I shot a 625 in IPSC, and not my USP. Practice with the USP was mandated, but with wheelguns, not so much. Did I mention I’m also a revolver junky?

    On to competition: Hit Tam’s site and read her 0922 post. She references “casual pistol matches” and, unless I misinterpret her, casts some aspersions on “silly gamer stuff.”

    I agree with her, and stand by my reference to either Caleb or Tam that once scorekeeping begins “silly gamer stuff” will start driving the tools competitors use. I have no problem with that; rules exist to be used to the fullest.

    MY problem is that “competition rules” become the framework for all participants, as in “limits to be explored” rather than guidelines of “this is what pretty much everyone agrees to.”

    I’m not suggesting – and I think re-reading my comment will confirm that – a brandy-new competition discipline be created. That would just create another rule book to be explored. If the USPSA and IDPA ruleboooks don’t offer enough exploration space you might want to look at NASCAR or IRL.

    I’m one of those people who “just wants to go shooting, and if I can learn something in the process, so much the better.” Tony, can you come up with a discipline for that?

  32. If you’re going to have a rulebook at all, the game has to be played according to it.

    If you’re going to ban shit that meets all the requirements listed in the rulebook, no matter how “gamerfag” it might be, you need to put that in the fucking rulebook.

    Christ almighty, this is the 21st century. We’re talking here from all different corners of the globe on this here magical internets. Updating the rulebook is fucking easy, from a technical perspective.

    If it were my org (which, clearly, it’s not) anyone who didn’t have the authority to edit the rulebook on the official website wouldn’t be allowed to issue “rulings” on the rulebook on some other website either.

  33. The sad thing is that I have lots more examples of seekrit rulings that really should be in the IDPA rulebook.

  34. Can I just say that a snubby chambered in a “.38 Short Colt +P,” with performance equivalent to.38spl or .38spl +P, and a cylinder commensurately short for that “.38 Short Colt +P” would be something I’d buy in a NY minute?

    Make it titanium/Scandium/Aluminum alloy with a break top and you’d see me do the happy dance.

    S&W, Taurus, etc. have increased the strength of their lightweight designs and chambered them in magnum cartridges. I think it high time that they use those same materials & techniques to see just how small & light a .38spl/.38spl+P power-level snubby can be built. A 12 oz steel & alum alloy snubby? An 8 oz titanium & scandium alloy snubby? Yes, please!

  35. Jfruser —

    An EXACT example of how IDPA works AGAINST it’s supposed purpose by actively hindering the development of legitimate “practical” and “defensive” tools and techniques.

    People forget that car race rules used to be intentionally tweaked to encourage automotive development — and many ideas that came out to play gamerfag with the rulebook ended up being incorporated into production automobiles. . . after having been proven in concept at Indy.

    If you have a “power factor” AT ALL, then it should be the only real limit on the ammo loaded.

    A 147 grain bullet at 900fps is a 147gr bullet at 900fps — regardless of what BRASS you loaded it into.

    The only “gamerfag” involved, would be if you were shooting it out of a “competition only” revolver that could not load a standard cartridge — such as .38 Special case throwing a 147gr bullet at 900fps.

    The recipient in a “defensive” “practical” shooting doesn’t care HOW the 147gr bullet got to 900fps when it punches through his thorax. . .

    As for the rules standpoint, I think Perlhaqr has summed it up.

    If I was addressing the IDPA board, I would say, “Ban it if you want. . . BUT WRITE IT INTO THE RULEBOOK IF IT’S A BLANKET ‘OFFICIAL’ IDPA-WIDE BAN! Then, drop the ‘D’ and ‘P’ from your title, and rename the organization the ‘Anti-IPSC Pistol Game’. (AIPG) . . because that’s all you are.”

  36. Heck, there’s a guy on the forum Caleb linked (who DOESN’T shoot IDPA, so he isn;t looking for an IDPA rules-bending advantage) who points out the PRACTICAL use of doing this with .38 Short Colt.

    Same perfromance as good .38 Special BUT, the ejector stroke is long enough that the cases are punched fully clean, even if the gun isn’t vertical.

    Sounds like a practical, defensive advantage to me — not gamerfag.

    I need to try this out with a .38 Special snubbie with trimmed .38 Special cases. . . sounds like a solution to short ejector stroke on a Chief Special. . .

  37. however, once we open the door, where will it end?

    And that tells you that they didn’t get a proper technical writer to help.

    You don’t ask questions of the reader in a rule book. You lay down the Rules. Period. If it’s not in the Rule Book, it’s not a Rule. (Publish Errata if needed.)

  38. You shut up, UJ there will be none of that LOGIC up in here! IDPA IS THE TRUTH, AND TACTICAL RELOADS ARE THE WAY TO ENLIGHTMENT.

    Or something.

    I say let’s just go shoot some guns, eh?

  39. Yeah, and stuffing your half-empty magazine into your shirt pocket is a bad, no-good, “competition only” gamerfag method.

    Even when it’s often the most PRACTICAL place to put it in a DEFENSIVE situation.


    Unix-jedi, I have done a skosh of tech writing in my life — as I suspect you have.

    What would you see worng with specifying a gun sizing box that is smaller than a Commander (thus any “Officer’s” style pistol would fit, but no full size pistol), and saying if it was factory porting, it’s got to fit in THIS box, but shoot against the Big Boys in the Enhanced or Custom categories?

    Problem. . . Solution. . . Done.

    If someone is making better scores with a ported .45ACP Officer’s Model than the guys with the full size Kimber Governments, it is pretty apparant it ain’t the ports that are making the difference.

    (Note — I happen to ABHORE barrel porting on defensive pistols. . . I find the distraction more significant than the advantage. Racegun compensators make a big enough difference — but they aren’t practical for Real World daily CCW. However, I know people who don’t find ported barrels the least bit distracting on their OM sized carry pieces.)

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