Which is better for defensive shooting, IDPA or USPSA?

Well, it’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I felt like beating an already dead horse just a little bit harder. But in all seriousness, I get asked this question a lot: “If I can only do one shooting sport, which one should it be?”

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  1. Never competed in either, so this is from an outsiders POV. Both look like fun, USPSA looks harder, and it seems both would result in, or at least encourage better gun handling skills. I understand that both are sports, but given IDPA’s claim that it “simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters”, it seems IDPA falls short on several counts.

    1. Ideally participants wouldn’t see the stage until the timer sounds. Yes, this would probably be difficult to execute, but it seems to me it would be far more realistic, and far more challenging than USPSA because there would be no stage planning. Does anyone get to plan a gun fight, let alone be walked through the exact scenario beforehand?
    2. Use of unbuttoned jackets (especially those stupid looking fishing vests) would be limited. In most of the continental U.S., t-shirts, button down shirts, or sweatshirts are “real life” at least half the year.
    3. Ideally more targets would be moving.
    4. In most real life defensive encounters, isn’t is a good idea to be retreating if at all possible? I could be wrong, but it sure looks like the “defender” is advancing on targets as often as retreating.

  2. The best thing about IDPA is that, Hillary Clinton will NEVER be president of the United States.


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