Next match: 2014 IDPA Nationals

Time to get ready for the match that usually closes out the majority of my shooting season, IDPA Nationals. After IDPA Nats there’s the BUG Nationals, but the training for that mostly consists of shooting my J-frame a bunch. But IDPA Nationals is important to me; I’ve shot every Nationals since 2011, which seems like forever ago. In 2012 I started shooting SSR at IDPA Nationals, finishing 5th overall and 3rd Master. In 2013 against a deep field, I finished 8th overall and 4th Master. I shot the BUG Nationals that year as well, finishing 5th overall and 2nd Master. Then it was 2014 Indoor Nationals, where I finished 4th overall and 1st Master.

Photo courtesy Yamil Sued
Photo courtesy Yamil Sued

In 2013 I didn’t spend a lot of time with revolvers before the match, in fact I shot most of the year using a Colt 1911 in .45 ACP. I switched to SSR a week before the match, and it showed in my poor performance. At Indoor Nats in 2014, I had done some training, and was able to shoot a better match, still not my best but not bad. This year, I’ve spent a lot of time with revolvers, and while I’ve shot other guns for work, my focus has been on revolver training.

Lots of training, although not all of serious. But to the point (no fakin’, cooking MCs like a pound of bacon) this year I have practiced more than I did in 2013, and I have a training plan for the next three weeks until I leave for Nationals. I have three weeks to train for Nationals, which is actually a pretty decent amount of time. My primary focus during that is absolutely going to be reloads from concealment, because that’s where SSR matches are won and lost.

My best dry fire reload from concealment is a 2.50 with a speedloader. My training plan is pretty simple, it’s 3 days a week, two of which are all dry fire and one live fire on the range.

  • Monday: Dry fire reloads and draws to an 8 inch circle with trigger pulls. No par times used, focus on form.
  • Wednesday: Live fire. Draws, transitions, etc.
  • Friday: Dry fire reloads and draws, use a par time and focus on speed.

It’s not complicated, because honestly I don’t have a lot of time in my day. But it’s training. And it’s good training, because it allows me to work on all the fundamentals. The reason I have no par times on Monday is because that’s my opportunity to focus on economy of motion. Taking myself off the clock allows me to develop a clean reload with as little wasted movement as possible. Then Friday we take that clean movement and put it against the timer, working to shave it down to around 2.00 seconds in dry fire. Getting under 2.00 in dry fire would be a pretty dope reload.

Three weeks from now I’ll be walking the stages in Tulsa, and getting ready to aim my ass off. I’m really excited because Shelley will also be there, shooting her first IDPA Nationals. It should be a pretty good time.


  1. I’ve totally copied you on the GP100, and your setup. The only difference is while you’re shooting Nationals, I’ll be shooting Idaho’s state match. Well, I guess the other difference is I suck. I’ve got a fast reload though so that’s something.

  2. Hello Caleb,

    I sure love your enthusiasm for revolvers. I have a new 3″ GP100 and a 6″ SW 586 I bought 20 years ago. Awesome fun.

    When you are training for a match (using either a pistol or revolver), how many rounds do you go through in a week or month?

    And do you reload? A lot of my buddies you shoot IDPA reload, stating that is saves them money in the long run.



    1. I don’t reload; I honestly don’t have the time.

      When I’m doing serious training for a match, I’ll go through anywhere from 200-500 rounds a week, depending on the match and the ammo I have available.

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