IDPA - Why go? What to expect?

This is a discussion on IDPA - Why go? What to expect? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I may be going to an IDPA meet with my dear 20y/o daughter tomorrow. What do these involve? I understand they have one or more ...

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Thread: IDPA - Why go? What to expect?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    IDPA - Why go? What to expect?

    I may be going to an IDPA meet with my dear 20y/o daughter tomorrow.

    1. What do these involve? I understand they have one or more 'stages' and are somewhat akin at least in theory to Dirty Harry's fake town.
    2. Why should she want to go? My desire for her to be a Sarah Conner type has both elements of wisdom and foolishness, and I am probably not qualified to decide where the line is. Thus I'm leaving it up to her if she wants to go. But I will certainly pass on any thoughts you might have. The event is perhaps an hour-and-a-half's drive or more from here, and an afternoon/evening in the big city (Roanoke, VA) will sweeten the pot... but it would be nice if she made a decision based on the benefits of the meet.
    3. Do we want to go for the show, or do they let rank newbies participate? We're pretty good at taking out large, close-in, stationary paper bad guys, but I don't know if we ought to even consider doing any shooting ourselves.
    4. Anything else you want to add? Love to have your advice.
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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    What do these involve? I understand they have one or more 'stages' and are somewhat akin at least in theory to Dirty Harry's fake town.
    Most IDPA matches don't really have any scenery that elaborate. A few walls, some tables, and maybe a door or two are about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Why should she want to go? My desire for her to be a Sarah Conner type has both elements of wisdom and foolishness, and I am probably not qualified to decide where the line is. Thus I'm leaving it up to her if she wants to go. But I will certainly pass on any thoughts you might have. The event is perhaps an hour-and-a-half's drive or more from here, and an afternoon/evening in the big city (Roanoke, VA) will sweeten the pot... but it would be nice if she made a decision based on the benefits of the meet.
    IDPA is a good way to get some more trigger time. Is can be a chance to practice skills that you may not be allowed to on a square range, particularly if you shoot at a more restrictive range (no drawing from the holster, no rapid fire, etc.). It can be particularly useful practice for self-defense if you approach it with the goal of shooting it as you would in a defensive encounter, rather than trying to get the best score.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Do we want to go for the show, or do they let rank newbies participate? We're pretty good at taking out large, close-in, stationary paper bad guys, but I don't know if we ought to even consider doing any shooting ourselves.
    They let new shooters participate. You have to go through a new shooter briefing before participating in a match. Most matches will have a set time for this briefing (usually 30-60 minutes before the match starts), so if you're planning to shoot for the first time be sure to arrive plenty early.

    As to whether you should participate, that really depends on your level of experience. Not so much in shooting, but in gunhandling (drawing, reholstering, reloading, etc.). You don't need to consider poor shooting an impediment to participating, but you do need to have good, safe, gunhanding skills. Most clubs are pretty accepting of new shooters, and will help you out and make some allowances (as long as it doesn't impact safety).

    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    Anything else you want to add? Love to have your advice.
    Make sure you each bring appropriate equipment (a pistol 9mm or larger, a holster that sits at 3:00 or further back, two mag pouches, and three magazines) and enough ammo.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    IDPA is a gun game that loosely simulates concealed-carry situations, so unlic a static range you will get to move and shoot, use cover, draw from a concealed holster, and practice reloads on the clock.

    Most clubs I know are pretty receptive towards new shooters, though some will require an explicit safety briefing for newbies---this is frequently right before the match, but not always. In your case, I'd say pack for the trip as if she'll be shooting (gun, minimum 4 mags, holster, belt carrier, cover garment, and probably a couple hundred rounds) but prepare to find out that she might not be allowed to just yet.

    She should want to go because it is a fun game, with generally good people, and provides a chance to practice some things that you don't get a lot of other chance to do.

    My last caveat would be that while most clubs seem to run pretty good matches, there are some dipwads out there who design bad stages and are critical of shooters who don't shoot them just right. I hope you don't find yourself at one of those; if you do, try again at a different club and don't give up on IDPA just because of that.

    It will probably be a heck of a lot of fun, though!
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    What do these involve? I understand they have one or more 'stages' and are somewhat akin at least in theory to Dirty Harry's fake town.
    It is called Hogan's Alley and no, it is not anything near that. If you happen to go to a club with good monies, they may have somewhat elaborated stages based on fixed construction. Most clubs set up and tear down the stages the day of the match.


    [*]Why should she want to go? My desire for her to be a Sarah Conner type has both elements of wisdom and foolishness, and I am probably not qualified to decide where the line is.
    It is up to the individual to decide how far he or she wants to go. Whatever she decides, be supportive because there is a good chance that if she gets the bug, she will kick your butt.

    Do we want to go for the show, or do they let rank newbies participate? We're pretty good at taking out large, close-in, stationary paper bad guys, but I don't know if we ought to even consider doing any shooting ourselves.
    This is from our club's website:
    TSSA offers IDPA, draw from the holster, action shooting that stresses cover, concealment, and tactics in field courses that take the shooter through real-life simulations of self-defense scenarios. IDPA courses of fire are never the same. Props are used to simulate cars, doors and walls for realism. TSSA may includes rifle and/or shotgun elements in some of the matches. Bring your gun, belt, concealment holster that covers the trigger guard, and at least 3 magazines or speed loaders in ammo pouches. It is mandatory to bring good shooting glasses and ear protection to protect your eyes and ears. A vest, loose jacket, or long shirt for concealment is also required. Sunscreen, mosquito repellent, folding chairs and hats are recommended. Both ranges have some cover and TSSA tries to provide drinks for everybody.

    Also take about 120 to 150 rounds of ammo just in case.

    Anything else you want to add? Love to have your advice.
    Yep, go and have fun
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    Lead Moderator Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    What do these involve?
    They involve lots of different "scenarios." You've gotten some good responses to that.

    Why should she want to go?
    To meet cool guys! Seriously though, if she's interested in guns at all it's a GREAT way to increase your skills. It can be nerve racking at first but the kind of rush and sense of accomplishment that you get when you finish and do well is exhilarating. I've never heard of anyone not liking it, especially if they are trying to advance their skills.

    Do we want to go for the show, or do they let rank newbies participate?
    This depends. A lot of leagues let the newbies shoot but some have certain trials for newbies that they have to prove they have a certain level of skill before they allow you to shoot the hard courses.

    Anything else you want to add?
    Like I said, IDPA is a lot of fun. Even if she is shy or nervous, if she is interested in firearms at all I think she will really enjoy going. Even if she doesn't shoot I think she will still have fun.

    One of the things that impressed me when I first shot IDPA was that I was the only female and I was SOOOO nervous that I was going to do horrible and then be teased or be-littled by the guys. I did decent and got nothing but praise and encouragement and advice from the guys that had been shooting longer and more advanced than me. It really did a lot to boost my confidence and enjoyment. Everyone was very helpful and supportive and I felt almost instantly at home. I wanted to go again and again and again.

    That kind of experience could be exactly what she needs to be the next Annie Oakley!

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    IDPA - Why go? What to expect?
    Why go? Kind of like eating vegetables......they're good for you right?
    What to expect? Healthy nourishment for your mind and skills.

    Around here, it's mainly IPSC, and those are the matches I've gone to and attend. Not totally sure the main differences between the two, but it's practice in action, fun and exciting. I think anyone who carries should seize the opportunity if available at least once.

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