“I don’t shoot IDPA because…”



By now, I am used to the cyclical IDPA bashing rants that occur in forums and social media. I don’t even bother anymore to try and make people understand why things are done one way or why competitors like to use vests. I am willing to bet that 90% of the naysayers have never attended IDPA matches because they are embarrassed to perform poorly and they rather go to the static range and put a lot of holes in a target. What made this particular discussion hilarious was that some of the civilian badmouthers had taken tactical rifle classes and, in the past,  had shared photos of them sporting all kinds of tactical gear attached to their bodies. Apparently they think that if somebody breaks in the middle of the night, they will dress like a SWAT operator in less than five seconds, but a photographer vest at a shooting competition is unrealistic.  SMH.
My take is: If the great late Jim Cirillo thought it was a great shooting sport, who the hell am I to disagree?

Or for that matter, Massad Ayoob:

” If you worry about shooting a match and “Oh My God! I’ll never get over it if I come in dead last,” consider you are pretty close to the one in a million people who is willing to test their skills at this. If you ever do come dead last, you still came out ahead of a few hundred thousands of people who thought they were cool but didn’t have the guts to get out there and test themselves like you just did.”

Massad Ayoob on IDPA


Owner/Operator of this Blog. Pamphleteer De Lux. I lived in a Gun Control Paradise: It sucked and got people killed. I do believe that Freedom scares the political elites.


  1. I don’t shoot IDPA because it costs money and I’m not sure where any clubs local to me are or where to start.

    But it looks like fun.

    • I’ve had to cut back because of baby related costs. I have gone to shooting Rimfire Speed Steel. Not as much running around but still speed and accuracy with a pistol. A whole match costs me about $25 in .22 LR as opposed to $200 in .45 ACP (I don’t reload). Practice with a .22 is better than no practice at all.

  2. IDPA at my club: Match fee $10 + 12.00 for 100handloads = $22.00 for a fun day.
    USPSA at a nearby club: Match fee $20 + travel 10.00 + 24.00 for 200handloads = $54.00 for a fun day

    3Gun at my club: Match fee $10.00 + 38.00 for ammo = $48.00 for a day filled with cursing and tears.

  3. Now I got me thinking.

    Maybe it is time that the IDPA governing body create a rim fire class for IDPA. There are a ton of .22 pistols that are based off of center fire designs – e.g. M&P 22, Walther P22, 1911 uppers, a whole mess of K frame size revolvers etc. There are also more holster options available than ever, with everybody and their mother making custom Kydex. The cost of rim fire is much less than center fire,

    I know for myself the major limiting cost is ammo. In stores 9mm is averaging $15/box, .45 closer to $25/box, so 500 rounds is somewhere between $150 and $250. I’m getting Federal Auto Match .22 for about $20/box of 325. I can get 1000 rounds for less than $75 with tax.

    If the goal is to get more people shooting and more people using IDPA as practice, a rim fire division would do that in spades.

    Which is better:

    1) People not shooting IDPA at all because it is an expensive hobby to feed.
    2) People shooting IDPA with M&P 22s and Ruger SP101 .22s, and mastering the fundamentals at a price point that makes it possible for them to do it.

    To me, the answer is obvious.

    • Jay Hafemeister : October 3, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      You can shoot rimfires in NFC (not for competition) if you like. You’ll still be scored and you can still compare yourself to the other shooters there. That’s how my little brother got started when he was 10 years old.

    • If the rumors flying from the last big gathering were right, the idea was proposed but shot down. My guess partly because .22LR is NOT a defensive round, it would make a boatload of work trying to classify a new batch of guns. Also the Range Lawyers would start arguing to have .25 acp and .32 acp allowed during matches… It would have been a nightmare…

      • Make a historical class? Because .25 and .32 ACP were assuredly legitimate defensive rounds for decades. Just say that the targets cannot avail themselves of modern trauma medicine and antibiotics and you should be fine!


  4. So why do IDPA competitors wear vests? (A genuine question; I’m a knife nut, not a gun nut.)

    • Jay Hafemeister : October 3, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      The rules require that the gun be concealed. Most people use a vest because it is a quick concealment garment to get out of the way.
      There is no requirement to wear a vest. You can use an untucked shirt, a jacket, or an open front shirt. You could probably even get away with a poncho.

    • Convenience: The rules demand full coverage of the equipment. Vests do that very well. They are also durable, steel v. fabric is an easy fight to imagine the winner and shirts do not last long. Also the lower pockets are great for the spare mags to store in reloads with retention.
      Fashion: Hey, it looks cool and it is our NASCAR shirt without looking like clowns.

      And contrary to “expert” opinion, 99.9% of the population have no idea that you are carrying a concealed weapon when you go to Wally World or other public locations wearing a tactical/photographer/fishing vest. I’ve never been made except for other people in the know and all I got were grins and thumbs ups. I don’t care of another shooters makes me because what? This?

      Any shooter outing somebody carrying a gun because of he/she is wearing a vest, would make it to the All Time Pantheon of Assholes.

      • First guy I ever met who wore a vest, wore a “photographer’s vest” instead of a ‘tactical vest” and wore it because he kept running out of pockets. Also, this was about ten years before my state had CCW.

        I’m not saying there wasn’t ever a weapon concealed in or under that vest, mind… but that wasn’t its first purpose.

  5. My only actual reason for not shooting IDPA is that the guy who runs it at the local club to which I used to belong is a flaming Richard. Shooting should be fun, not an opportunity for ego self-abuse.

  6. I don’t shoot IDPA because I don’t have the time nor money and I doubt someone will have one within 30min-1hr drive

  7. IDPA is a blast. I shot local matches for years, I never wore anything but street clothes. I didn’t even use mag holsters, just tossed them in my back pocket. I stopped because I moved, its been about 13 years, I should look at getting back into it.

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .

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