IDPA dumps flatfooted reload rule and other news

Lost in the election news was a big announcement from IDPA. In an email blast to members, IDPA made several very big announcements. We’ll go through them in order with commentary.

1. Removal of the flatfooted reload
One of the new rules from the the New Rule Book was that shooters could not move while they reloaded, even if they were behind cover. The exception was if you were caught in the open with an empty gun, but for the most part the mobile reload was dead.

The backlash to this rule was staggering, as membership voiced multiple, vocal complaints through all channels. No one likes the rule and nearly everyone thought it was a bad rule for the sport.

In the blast to members, IDPA has announced that as of the next rule book revision, flatfooted reloads will be gone. This is the right decision, and I’m glad to see IDPA listening to their membership.

2. Addition of a new division
IDPA HQ also announced that they would be adding a new division from two candidates based on member feedback. The options are a CCP division for compact carry guns, which IDPA describes as Glock 19 or smaller; or a optic/laser division for pistols equipped with laser sights and slide mounted RDS.

Long time readers will know I’ve been advocated for IDPA to get on board the RDS game for a while now, and that is precisely the division I voted for in the poll. While I think that the CCP idea has merit, there is already a place for those guns to compete. There is nowhere right now for RDS and laser equipped guns to compete with each other on equal footing. Yes, they can compete in USPSA open, but a slide mounted RDS vs a compensated, fixed mount red dot really isn’t equal footing.

I think that offering a place for RDS and laser equipped guns gives IDPA a legitimate position as a thought leader in concealed carry, and since concealed carry is what the sport is all about, allowing these guns in only makes sense.

3. Goodbye, ESR
The email blast wasn’t all happy news. After several years, IDPA is removing ESR as a division. I’m sad to see it go because it’s where I got my start in the sport, but it does actually make sense. There just aren’t enough dedicated ESR shooters to make the division worth while, and with USPSA effectively killing the 625 for their matches, the number of 625 gunners was only going to dwindle further. There is talk about rolling ESR back into SSR and having one combined revolver division. If they did that, and could manage it in a way that didn’t give one gun an unfair advantage, I’d support it.

4. 2015 World Championship moved to Tulsa
Apparently there wasn’t enough demand from US shooter to travel to Puerto Rico for the 2015 World Shoot.

It’s too bad, but it makes sense. IDPA lacks the level of international participation that you see in IPSC, and that level of international involvement is exactly what you need to make a non-CONUS World Match work.

Final thoughts: despite the loss of ESR and the World Shoot moving, the email from IDPA is good news. It shows they’re listening to shooters and moving in the right direction. I hope that next year I’ll be able to run my RDS M&P at IDPA matches.


  1. I would like to see a more mainstream CCP type division. I know they have some BUG divisions just not at many of the local matches around here.

  2. Will be interesting to see. I wonder which pistols they would consider to be “Glock 19” size. The M&P and SR9 are both a touch too large. That means you’d be looking at the M&Pc and SR9c, both of which would give up an too much to the Glock 19. Sounds like it would be a “Glock 19” only category.
    Might be more interested in laser/RDS category.

    1. Jesse – thanks for the suggestions. Most of those aren’t “Mass compliant” so I can’t get them through a dealer (face-to-face legal with mark-up, idiot laws). That’s why I had zoned in on M&P or SR series. Even models within those aren’t compliant (M&P 9L, CORE, etc).
      I think the P30 and VP9 are compliant, as is the 229. Springfield and FN both told the State to screw off, they just won’t sell guns to dealers here. CZ said the same.

  3. The rules clarification also made all “bullets out” mag pouches illegal, even if they otherwise meet all the IDPA requirements. Very disappointing.

  4. It’s heartening to see IDPA considering an RDS/ laser division. RDS equipped guns are on the rise and lasers have been around since Arnold first said, “the 45 longslide, with laser sighting.” Lots and lots of folks have lasers. Whether or not they’re optimal for the game can be argued (and will be). However, and this is much more important, opening a venue for laser owners to compete in would be a nice move. Hope IDPA shows a little more leadership than USPSA on this one.

    That raises the second point. Some of us are a) longtime USPSA’ers and b) really miffed by recent non-progress there. Caleb, anything you can do to awaken management and combat the neanderthals will be appreciated. For clarity, USPSA should do a laser and RDS production division (production optics and lasers). Many service pistol guys want RDS and laser without having to fight off the rooney gunners. The new division could even be major/ minor PF and allow full magazines. It would be well differentiated from production, limited, and open.

    Sad to see ESR go away.

    Here I’d note that there are divisions all around with little participation. I see very few revolver guys, or even single stackers, in my travels. So what. Let people shoot. Create frameworks that allow people to bring whatever they have and participate. I am still shaking my head that one of the classic pistols and initial IPSC favorites, the Hi-Power, has no natural home in USPSA. That’s so weird. But USPSA makes a place for a gigantic, 50 ounce not-a-pistol carried in a not-a-holster. It’s almost USPSA is making rules to satisfy gunsmiths’ need for business.

  5. Days before the bullets out ruling, I was going to have some IDPA legal bullets out pouches made. Been playing with bullets out in USPSA, and I’m to the point that I need to either go all in and shoot bullets out for every game and CCW, or go back to bullets forward. I’ll probably have the pouches made anyways just to point out how dumb the blanket ruling is.

    The Ghost 360 pouches have always been illegal for IDPA, whether you run them bullets forward or out, so I don’t understand why they took the opportunity to ban all bullets out pouches.

    1. Because someone at a Georgia match got in a huge shitstorm because they had bullets-out pouches and got a FTDR then a DQ over the rules argument.

      If you want to know the reason for banning bullets-out, it boils down to not being USPSA. There is no other explanation because “suitable for all day concealed carry use” is a blanket catch-all used to justify individual officials’ preferences.

      The pouches in question were DAA racer single stack pouches modified to be IDPA-legal.

  6. Of the two proposed new divisions, one seems to be about forcing people to actually use the kind of guns that they carry, rather than raceguns, whereas the other is about getting with the times and embracing technology.

    Of these, I really don’t see merit to the first, so I voted for the second.

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