IDPA Nationals Division Preview: Enhanced Service Pistol

At the 2013 IDPA Nationals, only two divisions have what appear to be on paper as tight races for the championships. Custom Defensive Pistol has Glenn Shelby as the runaway favorite to repeat as champion, Jerry Miculek will win his 1,532nd Enhanced Service Revolver title, and everyone expects Bob Vogel to run away with Stock Service Pistol like a fat kid with a purloined cookie. The biggest challenger to Glenn in CDP was Mike Seeklander, who was unfortunately DQ’d to an equipment issue. While there’s still the possibility of an upset in CDP, the two tightest divisions at Nationals this year are going to be Enhanced Service Pistol and Stock Service Revolver.

IDPA Nationals Day 1 553

In ESP, at the start of the match there were two Distinguished Masters shooting, Matt Mink and Brandon Wright. They’re being chased by 20+ Master class shooters in ESP, including USPSA Grandmaster Nils Jonasson. Fans of the sport will remember Nils coming out of nowhere in 2010 to win USPSA Limited Nationals over a tough field; he followed that up in 2011 with 3rd place finishes at both Single Stack Nationals and Limited Nationals. Then in 2012 he won Single Stack Nationals, taking home his second USPSA National title. If there’s one shooter here to keep an eye on the ESP race, it’s Nils. What we’ll be watching to see is if he can adapt from the run and gun style of USPSA shooting to the more scenario based approach to IDPA.

Initially, Mike Seeklander, also a USPSA GM was expected to compete in ESP, but according to the Day 1 (or 3, depending on how you count) scores, Mike shot CDP. Mike was disqualified after his fifth stage for an equipment violation, while I’ve not spoken with him directly, word on the street is that he forgot to put the Series 80 parts back in his 1911 before the match. IDPA views the Series 80 parts on a 1911 as a safety which cannot be disabled, so a gun that doesn’t use them is automatically illegal.

Removing Mike from the ESP field (and the CDP field) brings the race in ESP to what appears to be a 3-way battle between Nils, Matt Mink, and Brandon Wright. Last year’s surprise ESP challenger Ravin Perry isn’t at this year’s match. There are quite a few unknowns on the match list this year as well; Eric Fuson started last year’s match strong and didn’t finish well; could he step his game up this year? We’ll find out the answers to all these questions by Saturday evening, as we go through two more full days of shooting at the IDPA Nationals.


  1. You can shoot a Series 70 gun, but you can’t shoot a Series 80 gun modified (internally) to remove the Series 80 stuff. Because IDPA.

    1. That to my mind is one of the IDPA rules that just doesn’t make any kind of sense to me. It’s also legal, for the record, to shoot a Series 80 frame with the dicky bits removed as long as you have a Series 70 top end or vice versa.

      1. Wait, so it’s illegal to remove the 80 Series parts and keep your slide, but it’s legal to remove the 80 Series parts and add a 70 Series slide?

        That is utterly beyond stupid. Way to alienate yet another top shooter, IDPA.

        1. Here is the actual quote from the Tiger Teams on this rule:

          The Series 80 has been a prohibited modification for many years as it is defined by many firearm manufacturers as a safety. Many shooters looked to remove these parts under the “trigger improvement” clause of allowable modifications. However, removing the Series 80 parts to improve trigger pull is defined as removing/disabling the safety. IDPA did rule that replacing the entire Series 80 slide with a slide that has no provision for the Series 80 safety parts to be installed is allowable and does not constitute “removing/disabling a safety device”.

          I have always disagreed with IDPA on this rule, and have made that disagreement known. They did actually clarify it in the new rulebook as well to say “no removing Series 80 parts” or that other dicky mechanism, the Swartz. I haven’t yet talked to Mike about the DQ, so I don’t know if he knew about the rule and just forgot, or didn’t know about the rule.

          1. Every time I want to rekindle my love for IDPA something like this happens.

            Remove Series 80 parts = make gun less safe.
            Remove Series 80 parts & replace slide = gun is perfectly safe.

            It’s basically just punishing people for buying the wrong model. I totally get not wanting to allow removal of the firing pin block components from guns that ALWAYS come with such components installed, but the Series 70/80 thing is no different than allowing any “factory configuration” slide stop on a Glock, etc.

            And I hate even to ask this because it may be unfair to the folks running the match, but based on my past first hand experience at Nationals viz well known IPSC GMs: are all of the guns at the match being inspected this closely?

    1. I tried to like IDPA but the idiocy of the rules created by a ruling class made me run a way like my hair was on fire. This is a good example of that type of rule.

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