IDPA or USPSA

IDPA or USPSA

This is a discussion on IDPA or USPSA within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If you had to chose which to shoot, which would be your choice and why? Also, in looking at the place near me where they ...

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Thread: IDPA or USPSA

  1. #1
    Member Array GMC's Avatar
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    IDPA or USPSA

    If you had to chose which to shoot, which would be your choice and why?
    Also, in looking at the place near me where they offer this, they also offer IHMSA International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association. Anyone ever heard of it? I'll look into it when I have more time. Just wondered if that might be a good choice also?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Array joepilot's Avatar
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    To preface my comments, I have not shot either IDPA or USPSA, but I have considered both. Some background: I started shooting "practical" pistol competitions back in the late 70s, when the IPSC was pretty new, and there weren't all that many local or state affiliates. (I had to drive a little over 100 miles to shoot in our monthly matches.) Everyone shot pretty much "stock" pistols at the time, and it was just what I was looking for - "practical practice" with my everyday pistol. But of course as the organization grew and competition became more heated, customized "race" guns started showing up and pretty much took over the sport. Many of us drifted away from the sport due to rising costs and shift of focus.

    Fast forward to more recent times, where Bill Wilson and a number of the original IPSC competitors realized that many of us had been left behind by the changes in IPSC competition. This led to the founding of IDPA, which was an attempt to bring back the basics that the original IPSC had started out with. Judging by what I have observed in my local area, it seems that IDPA is more in line with what I used to shoot in the early days of IPSC, and the USPSA is more like what IPSC became as time went on. There are a lot more modifications to the pistol and a lot more specialized equipment allowed in USPSA than there is in IDPA, or at least that's my perception.

    For me, IDPA is the way to go because it seems to place more emphasis on using the pistols and equipment that you would use in EDC. That's my interest level. I don't want to have to spend money on modifications to my pistol or for specialized holsters and equipment. I want to practice with my EDC pistol and related items.

    Everyone will have their own take on this. The above is mine. As always, YMMV.
    Cheers!

    Joe
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    I began shooting IPSC in 1979 or 80 with a 2" S&W 19. From there I transitioned to a Browning High Power. When I got on the local sheriff's reserve I started using a Ruger P89DC which was my duty weapon and used the duty rig during competition. As things got more and more into race guns I shot less because it no longer fit into my reasons for training.

    If I were going to go back to shooting competition, I would lean towards IDPA due to the emphasis on defensive pistols more than custom competition guns.

    JMHO
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    The IDPA format is more regimented. Such as....fire 3 rounds and then do mandatory reload.
    Both require moving and shooting and are great fun.
    IMHO, the USPSA is more competition oriented and IDPA is skill set oriented.
    Both have a place, but I tend to shoot more USPSA.

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    Member Array Robert_S's Avatar
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    USPSA is the only game in town that runs 3 gun competitions, so it's USPSA.

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    I have only shot IDPA once and would like to again, in my experience it was a realistic example of shooting on the move and a good learning experience.
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    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    Shoot whatever game is near you that you already have the gear to play. Or at least just spend a little more, usually for magazines, a holster and mag pouches.. You will benefit from any form of competition shooting. As time, travel and dollars permit, give all the competition games a try to see what you like best.
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    I have shot IDPA for about 13 years. I enjoy it and it is good trigger time, a great time with other like minded folks outside.... What could be better. Our club has side matches a couple of "three Gun" matches a year. I use my carry guns and gear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasbo00 View Post
    Shoot whatever game is near you that you already have the gear to play. Or at least just spend a little more, usually for magazines, a holster and mag pouches.. You will benefit from any form of competition shooting. As time, travel and dollars permit, give all the competition games a try to see what you like best.
    This is what I was going to say, but I got called away.

    Shoot them both if you have enough magazines, and don't worry about the gamers. Both disciplines will help you improve your shooting. As others have said, USPSA (which has pretty much replaced IPSC) is heavily populated with race guns and a few gun snobs, but for the most part they are very welcoming. After all, they know you will probably not be competitive, and it gives them a chance to show off their equipment. When I used to shoot IPSC, back in the '90s, it was often the guys with the race guns that had the most trouble. It always brought a smile when the guys with the $2,500 guns couldn't complete the scenarios because of malfunctions.

    I last took the time to shoot IDPA a couple years ago and have noticed it is beginning to go the way of USPSA, but the diehards are trying very hard to keep it as real as possible. Although there are not as many race guns, there are still a few guys who are stretching the rules as far as possible. At least the matches I have attended, the organizers try very hard to make sure new shooters are put into classes where they can actually have a good time.

    Whatever you decide to try, have fun and most importantly, BE SAFE!!!!
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    I shoot USPSA because those are the matches run at my home club, Rio Salado. Phoenix Rod and Gun runs IPSC matches, so if I need to scratch that itch its just a slightly longer drive in the other direction.

    As far as equipment is concerned - if you stay out of the race gun categories (Open, and Limited to some extent) your gun will be competitive if it's reliable. I shoot mostly Single Stack, and I've never seen a Baer or a Brown or a Nighthawk in competition, but a lot of STIs and Springfields. Likewise Production - you can't run a compensator or go crazy with costly mods, so there are lots of Glocks and Sigs and CZs and XDs.

    I don't kid myself that the games - any games - are realistic training for street survival. However, they provide trigger time under the stress of competition and the clock, and there's a degree of problem-solving involved. As previous posts have suggested, try the one that's closest to you that you're already equipped for - and have fun!
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  12. #11
    Member Array joepilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I don't kid myself that the games - any games - are realistic training for street survival. However, they provide trigger time under the stress of competition and the clock, and there's a degree of problem-solving involved.
    I totally agree with this. Anytime there's a competition, it's basically a game. And games have rules, which are usually not fully aligned with what might happen in the "real world" where the only real rules are physics. There can be many benefits to competing in either IDPA or USPSA, but don't think that such competition will make you totally prepared for the "real thing" should it ever happen to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    As previous posts have suggested, try the one that's closest to you that you're already equipped for - and have fun!
    Amen to that!!
    Cheers!

    Joe
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  13. #12
    Member Array GMC's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your replies. I was leaning towards IDPA anyway but it sounds like that would probably fit more what I'm looking for. I just have to wait for spring because it snows in MI and the season only runs from like April to October. Although shooting in the snow would probably be fun!
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  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array AZ Desertrat's Avatar
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    I have always enjoyed IMHSA and have been a silhouette shooter for years. I do both pistol and lever action. Not a big competitor,
    but I find this to be a little more relaxing than IDPA stuff.
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    I going with USPSA--first going to give Steel Challenge a try--then hopefully 3-gun--well 2-gun in my case. Tried Steel Challenge at a practice last week and it was a lot of fun. Today I used an area at my club where you can draw from a holster and move around--certainly better and more fun than static shooting.
    Bob
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    I've shot both and prefer IDPA. I felt like IDPA was a bit closer to real world shooting than USPSA. Of course, I don't give a damn about my my "score." To me, it's more about being able to practice and hit accurately. Speed is not a concern of mine. I have shot full size matches with the gun I was carrying, G26, and people thought I was crazy because I was "handicapping" myself with a smaller gun.
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