This was not covered in Tacticool School!

Our totally deranged Course of Fire designer came out with some doozies for our last IDPA match. So what would happen if you were using crutches due to a small accident and you were in need to defend yourself? About 50 shooters yesterday found out yesterday and it was enlightening to say the least for yours truly.

Even though none of us was injured in the way required to use crutches, we found ourselves fumbling to find a way to even think how to approach this stage. Your arms are forced up, you cannot sweep your cover garment properly and all of the sudden your gun is way down there while the crutch is having a field day restricting your movements. Add to that the need to safely do all this or be sent home for sweeping yourself or your buddies and you have yourself an eye opener.

The good news was that once you managed to draw your gun, you had one seriously stable shooting stance. Them crutches were a solid base! I even managed to get all zero down which is consider a minor miracle in South Florida shooting.

There was another stage where we were supposed to shoot from a wheelchair, but apparently wheelchairs come in sizes and the one we had were for anorexic runaway models which precluded about half the club from even sitting, much less drawing the gun.

Nugget of Learning obtained: Life happens and you better adapt really quick.

IDPA: SSR Power Factor coming down!

Those shooting in the Stock Service Revolver of IDPA had been whipped into reloading or shooting .38 spcl +P because of the established power factor of 125,000. Almost no commercial .30 special ammo managed to go that high and if you wanted to compete at a sanctioned match, you would either shoot +p or your loads that were close to +P anyways.

From the ProArms Podcast Forum:

For those that shoot IDPA Stock Service Revolver (SSR) there is some big news! The Power Factor (PF) has been reduced from 125 to 105. This is not rumor. It is fact. I have spoken to Robert Ray at IDPA HQ several times this week, and did not post this until it was confirmed. The new PF will go into effect Monday 17 January 2011.
The new 105 PF means that the following bullet/velocity combinations in .38 Special, from a four-inch barrel, are now legal Sanctioned Match loads – 158 grain@675 fps… 140@750… 130@815… and 125@840. This means that those who want to shoot SSR no longer need to reload heavy loads (often above .38+P pressures) to compete. Many factory loads will now work. Any 158 grain LRN standard pressure factory load (Rem, Win, Fed, Speer) will make it easily. Some of the popular 130 grain “Wally World” loads may not. They are borderline… and you will need to chrono them in your gun to be sure.
The bottom line is that you no longer have to be a reloader to shoot SSR. There are a large number of factory loads that will now be legal. For those that do reload, any 158 grain cast or swaged lead bullet can easily make this PF with a fast burning powder like, Bullseye, Red Dot, AA 2, AA5, 700X, and do it at pressures within standard .38 Spl (16,000 CUP) pressures, with loads found in any current loading manual from any of the major powder makers. Bullet weights of 125, 130, and 140 are in the same boat… standard pressure loadings. You don’t have to beat up your .38 chambered gun with +P loads. Thos may prompt some shooters who might like to shoot SSR, but don’t reload, to give it a try. I applaud IDPA for this move… since the previous PF has been somewhat controversial for years. This new PF more reflects Real World and the ability of IDPA shooters to compete with off the shelf ammo.
Chris Christian

Update:Yes, published by IDPA HQ

Types of IDPA Shooters according to the Classifier.

The International Defensive Pistol Association as any other sport shooting endeavor, classifies its shooters. IDPA has an specific match called The Classifier designed to exact the same challenges to all shooters and to quantify how much or how good a shooter has become assigning a classification (Novice, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master) based on the performance in said Classifier.

However there is another Classification of IDPA shooters through the Classifier but based on their behavior at the range and that is the one I intend to share here. Without further ado….

The Newbie: The shooter might be new to the sport or have been shooting it for a decade, but this is the one that is not a gifted individual but reaches a higher level of classification by sheer determination and celebrates the new milestone as if he or she just discovered sex or fart jokes. They are a joy to watch hooting and hollering and make working a Classifier lots of fun.

The Old Hand: This is the guy who finds out today is the Classifier and shoots it for the hell of it. He’s been at the same classification since Bill Wilson founded IDPA and really do not care about moving up. He shoots for the pleasure of it and to comply with the One Classifier A Year rule in case there is a sanctioned match in his future.

The Mathematician: Easy to recognize because they have a huge scientific calculator in a pouch next to the magazines. He carefully examines each stage’s performance and makes a mental note of how fast and how many points down he can obtain in order to rise in classification. They usually kidnap the scoresheet, check carefully, does notations on the paper and finally figure out that Stage Three is the killer when you drop 26 points down in one target alone. He is truly surprised to find out that he was given 2 procedurals for cover because the calculator was sticking way out the Bianchi Barricade.

The Rock Star: He shows up with an entourage that include assorted girlfriends, two shooting coaches, a meteorologist, the gunsmith who built his “out of the box” gun, representatives from every ammunition manufacturer with lots of “finely tuned” (read gaming) ammunition, three lawyers, a masseuse, a Zen teacher and a choir of singers belching meditation music. The Rock Star has been stuck in his level for the past 8 years and tries to eek every possible advantage and spend any amount of money in order to get that next Classification. His temper tantrums when he does not make it tend to be quite spectacular and they include blaming everybody from the Safety Officer to the Trilateral Commission for his failure.

The Embarrassed: He is the poor cousin of the Rock Star and he owns a dremel tool. After blaming his poor performance on cosmic events, the position of the sun or the new set of Wolff springs installed in his modified Glock 34 for max performance (as shown in, he usually snatches his scoresheet and destroys it before anybody finds out that he missed his goal by 45 seconds, penalties not included.

The Sandbagger: Evil Twin Brother of the Mathematician. He is going to a sanctioned match and he will do the Classifier keeping track of his score and then, suddenly, drop enough time NOT to raise in classification. His goal is to reach the new level at the sanctioned match and bask in self-adoration when he receives his winner plaque and has his IDPA card signed by the Match Director.  The Laws of Unintended IDPA Consequences dictate that he will either perform poorly at the sanctioned match of there is not enough shooters in his classification to bump him to the next one.

The Barrister: This is the guy that shoots with one hand in the IDPA rulebook and works as intern at the Supreme Court to improve his argumentative skills. He will challenge every call the Safety Officer makes and lodges a legal challenge with the  Match Director (“But my ethereal body was totally behind cover and that is the intention of the rule.” or ” The farthest target had the rocket launcher and had to be engaged first. Slicing the Pie does not count in this stage.”) He is usually invited to serve as target holders for the next match.

Special mention to a sub classification: The Gypsy. He spends his weekends traveling from town to town wherever a Classified is being offered. This could be combined with one of the above types (Newbie and Old Hand not included) and Like a modern Galahad, he wonders around the land seeking the Grail of Higher Classification.

Important Note: With the exception of the Newbie and the Old Hand, the annoyance level of the types above described reach volcanic proportions if the subject is an Expert vying for a Master Classification. And old IDPA shooter (who shall remain anonymous) said that some people should be executed once they become Experts because like zombies, they turn into assholes once bitten with the idea they may become Masters.

I think I might be missing one or two more types, but I am still suffering from the effects of too much Christmas Food Intake and brain process is a bit under par. Anyway, I must get ready, I have a Classifier to prepare and score next month.

Too cool for IDPA.

This animation making righteous fun of IDPA is doing the rounds around assorted gun blogs and forums.

I had a good laugh and most anybody that shoots IDPA also had a good old chuckle. Unfortunately, reading the comments in some of the blogs, you realize that the ButtHurt Boyz wasted no time in denouncing IDPA as the Evil of all Evils in the Shooting World. Sort of the old “IDPA will kill you in real life”  meme you found in the forums some years back. That people in our culture would actually snipe at a shooting sport is something I still cannot wrap my brain around.

This “Fuddish” attitude is baffling. What reasons would anybody have to perversely attack anything that bring people to shoot and sponsors camaraderie and interest in improving skills? Mostly can be explained by the two main class of attackers to the sport: Dumb Instructors and Cowards.

The Dumb Instructor is the guy who opens a Ultra Ninja Tactical School after he served a tour distributing MREs in some third rate National Guard unit or were members to the Meter Maid Tactical Team Towing Team in a somewhat major urban community. They wear lots of Under Armor, 5.11 and Oakley stuff, sport a butch cut and look tough for the students. Their classes consist in rehashing what the they saw on a Clint Smith video and read in a couple of Gabe Suarez books. These people resent IDPA for two reasons: 1) IDPA is an affordable way to practice some basic handgun skills compared to the high three digit and even four digit amounts of money they demand for their fake classes thus hitting them in the pockets. 2) They probably attended a couple of matches where they got absolutely burned by some 60 year old with a exceedingly protruding belly and a bad knee in both speed and accuracy and they resent the shit out of the fact.

The Cowards tend to be those who are simply too scared to risk being embarrassed by a bad performance in front of other people or having proclaimed to the world their “badness”, do not wish anybody to know most of their “badness” is based in static range practice or XBox scores. Or in a moment of weakness they actually participated in a match and the total time for the match was scored in weeks rather than seconds with points down equaling the Stock Market crash of the 1920’s. So rather than admit they need to improve, It becomes much safer for their ego to criticize from afar and echo the complaints of the Dumb Instructors than actually have the balls to step into Position One, wait for the timer’s beep and actually shoot under pressure match after match.

The only ones I will not criticize are those who actually do not find the sport appealing and choose some other form of shooting to have fun. If you have attended an IDPA match and simply not found it to your liking, God Bless and I hope you are shooting in a activity you truly love. I am not a fan of Cowboy Action Shooting or IPSC but I cannot bring myself to say anything bad about them because they are fellow shooters doing their part and I admire them for it. Besides, have you seen CAS shooters reloading & shooting their shotguns? Suckers are damn good, you need a Class III gun and lots of ammo to face them somewhat evenly.

I was going to finish with a long list of notable and knowledgeable people who actually compete and promote IDPA, but I had enough for today. I leave you instead with a quote by some unimportant instructor that nobody knows:

” 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

IDPA World Championship… Oh hell yes!

I won’t even bother to comment. The following is the Email sent to IDPA shooters everywhere.

Awesomeness factor of 100 over 50.

The International Defensive Pistol Association is excited to announce the inaugural IDPA World Championship to be held September 21st – 24th, 2011 at the Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof, Florida.

As IDPA continues to grow within the United States as well as abroad, and from interest within the membership, we realize that the time has come to host a World Championship. We have been working diligently to iron out the details of this event in order for our competitors to arrange their vacation schedules. We will keep you continuously up to date as other details are finalized.

An extra day will be added to this match to accommodate the increase in shooters interested in participating in this inaugural event. Competitors will compete over the course of two half days, thus allowing time to visit vendor areas, side matches and some of the attractions the area has to offer.

The Universal Shooting Academy (USA) facility comes with a knowledgeable staff that is accustomed to hosting large matches. We feel that between their dedication and the local area attractions we have selected an ideal location for the World Championship.

Located in central Florida, USA’s facility is located between three major cities: Orlando, Tampa Bay and Fort Myers. Between the three cities there are over 1,400 commercial flights daily. Competitors, media and bystanders can take advantage of all that central Florida offers including: Universal Studios, Disney World, Sea World, Cypress Gardens and the over 50 theme parks associated with these properties. These attractions are approximately 45 minutes from the tournament facility. Besides the major theme parks, there are hundreds of other fantastic attractions in this area. This is a perfect opportunity to schedule some family vacation time in conjunction with the match.

The 2010 National Championship had a record setting 392 competitors with 62 coming from outside of the US. This is almost double the foreign participation from the previous year. We expect the World Championship will substantially increase both of these numbers. The entry forms for this match will be released in the May issue of the Tactical Journal as well as on the IDPA website at the same time.

Afraid of shooting IDPA?

IDPA Rules: Revised.

IDPA can be as bad (or as good) as the Catholic Church about changing and adapting. It did take us Catholics some 1,960 years to make peace with the Jews!

Catholic Joke aside, IDPA now has what call the New Rule Addendum with some changes that are interesting. I will cover some, not all, and share my thoughts about it. I recommend that you pull the rulebook and compare in order to make sens of some of the stuff.

Addition to C 15. page 10
A. Pistols may only be loaded to below division capacity if stipulated by the written stage description.

I am guessing somewhere this became an issue? I thought that having capacity (as long as it does not go above division) could always be determined by the Course of Fire narrative. My bet this is to quell Range Lawyers who love to argue that the direction of the wind was unfavorable when it was their turn. I would call this the “Shut the Heck Up and Shoot” rule.

Additional language to CoF 4. page 12
Only one (1) non-threat target may be used per every three (3) threat targets in any string of fire. Stage designers may use one non-threat for 1 to 5 threats, 2 non-threats for 6 to 8 threats and 3 non-threats for 9 threats or more.

This addendum is just a clarification of the standing rule. From my first day at IDPA I always considered this No-Shoot to Shoot ratio silly.  Real world will have more No-Shoots available than stipulated by IDPA. A gaming enhancement IMHO.

These next two modifications:

Change of language to CoF 9. page 12

When cover is available, it MUST be used when shooting unless the competitor starts in the open and must engage targets while on the way to cover. If cover is available anywhere in the COF it must be used for reloading. Competitors may NOT cross any opening (doorways, windows, open spaces, etc) without engaging targets.


Additional language to PP 1. page 15
B. There are two exceptions to the “one PE per infraction rule”. One is for cover violations. A competitor may incur more than one cover PE per string of fire. The number of cover PE’s may not exceed the number of positions of fire. Regardless of the number of rounds fired or targets engaged from any position, only 1 cover procedural may be issued at each position. The second exception is for reload violations as detailed on page 41.

Right on spot. Some gamers would examine a poorly designed CoF and determine they can stretch that cover a bit or take a procedural and still come ahead. FTDRs would be issue and all hell would come loose. This way you can collect several procedurals and pretty much ruin those carefully crafted plans.

Addition to rule PP 1. page 15
C. A Match Director may allow a handicapped or mobility-challenged shooter to take one or multiple PEs (at the MD’s discretion) rather than perform an act required by the CoF

I am guessing this is just adding to the rule book a well established practice. There might be some Range Nazis out there that would not bend and accommodate a shooter with special needs, but I haven’t heard about them. I know many clubs that were gladly applying this concept for a long while. Kudos on this to HQ.

Change of language to PP 3. page 17 (Failure to Neutralize)
A. Will add five (5) seconds per infraction. This penalty applies to any target that does not have at least one (1) down zero or one (1) down one hit

Clearing the language a bit about FTNs. But I don’t think it will help with my Score Keepers, short of whipping them they still manage to screw this one up. [sigh]

4. Ammunition Carrier Notes:
Modification of rule page 39
1. A three (3) second procedural penalty will be assessed any time a loaded ammunition feeding device (magazine, speedloader or full moon clip) is dislodged and falls out of the carrier during a course of fire. Dropping a loaded ammunition feeding device during a reload is not a procedural as long as the competitor does not leave ammunition behind retrieves and properly stows the device before the last shot of the string is fired. The prior sentence does not include devices dislodged from a carrier which ALWAYS receives a PE

Another Gamer Killing ruling. Loosey mag and speedloader pouches may give you a bit of a headache instead of an unfair advantage. If you belong to the crowd that competes in IDPA not for the game but for the practice, this procedural reminder will emphasize the fact that your gear is a life saving kit that must work at all times.

7. One additional ammunition carrier may be worn behind the center line of the body for the purposes of loading at the start of a stage. This carrier must be empty before the “stand by” command.

Good call. This also eliminates Range Nazi problems and gives the shooter (and the SO) a bit more safety while manipulating and loading the gun. Anybody who has SOed a 1911 shooter knows what I am talking about.

3. Concealment Garments.
Additional language to rule page 40
visible when standing normally, artificial stiffeners of any material (other than standard laundry starch) used in any location, use of chest pockets,

Can you hear the pennies being dropped from the shirts yet? I know I am going to have troubles with this one if I use my regular-everyday vest during matches as i have been doing mostly this year (shoot what you carry and how you carry). In my right vest pocket I usually carry my smokes & lighter so they might be considered stiffeners. We’ll see.

Appendix TWO – Approved IDPA Reloads

Additional language to rule page 41
At no time is it permissible to fire while holding a magazine or speed loader/moon clip.

Ambivalent on this one. It is good practice to be able to re-engage the target ASAP and one handed, but I see the ruling as a safety measure to avoid unnecessary fumbles, safety issues or extra penalties for dropping mags.

Additional language to rule page 43
At no time should a competitor stand directly in a “window” or port to engage targets. Competitors must “slice the pie” around the edge of the “window” or port.

Another good call on its spirit but it will be a bitch to SO.  I foresee lotsa problems with this one. Range Lawyers will have a field day.

Additional language to E. Threat / Non-Threat Designation page 47

Painted hands or cutouts for non-threats must be of normal adult size. At least one full had must be visible from the shooting position.

Our club will have troubles with this rule. Our painted hands look like ET’s cousins were strolling by and a gang attacked them. Here is an example:

Blessed with graphic artists we are not!

I am gonna leave the rule changes for now.  Overall the changes are not earth-shattering or really bad.

And I have a match Saturday…. this is gonna be fun!