Archive for October, 2008

I first started off with a 5″ Kimber Classic in stainless and a fobus holster. Then I moved to a Springfield XD45 with a comp-tac holster and a leather safariland mag pouch. At the last match I switched from the XD to a Para P14 with an Uncle Mike’s “Law Enforcement” model holster and had a lot of success, so today I just ordered a blade-tech kydex holster and comp-tac mag pouches because the Safariland mag pouch is falling apart. I realized soon after I bought the Uncle Mike’s holster that it was not IDPA legal, but fortunately noone really cared at the last local match. Since I plan on shooting some state matches perhaps next year, I want to make sure I get equipped with an IDPA legal hoslter and mag pouch.

Last night I received a Competition Electronics Pocket Pro II, which I tested out. I need to tape the speaker when I’m dry firing so I don’t wake up my sleeping babies. I also need to make it to an outdoor range so I can practice some drills using the timer.

With all this new gear I should be better right? Will it make a difference? I really don’t know how much difference the holster and mag pouches will make. Even if they don’t amount to any time difference, if I think I have the best equipment because it’s what the top shooters use, then perhaps that puts me in a more confident and positive frame of mind, so I will shoot better overall. Well, that’s the theory…

When I first started IDPA, I saw a couple of people use the barricade as support, so I tried it out. It didn’t go so well because the barricade moved and wobbled around, but since I saw other people doing it, I persisted, thinking that it surely must give you a more stable platform.

Unfortunately it took me a few more matches to figure out that using a barricade in IDPA is a bad idea. The problem is that they’re never stable, or consistenly stable. Each one is different and at each match the stage layout is different meaning that you can’t get into a routinely stable position like in bianchi. Even if you do have a solid/stable barricade you still end up having to shift your grip a little, or then if you’re shooting around the left side, you have to be mindful of the ejection port to make sure the brass can make a clean getaway, otherwise it ricochets and comes to rest on the web of your strong hand.

So all in all, I found it best to avoid using a barricade for support. It enables me to transition quicker, removes stress from a stage and there’s one less thing that can throw me.

511 Tactical Vests for IDPA

Posted: October 26, 2008 in Equipment, IDPA

Today one of my fellow shooters pointed out that the 511 vest I use has the mag pouches on the left side. Since I’m a righty, this makes it very convenient for me. I use the front pouch for my barney mag, and load all the others to 8 (division capacity for CDP). I’ve found that having routines really helps remove some of the stress during a match.

Anyway, back to the vest, his vest has the pouches on the right side and he mentioned that he never understood why they were placed on that side. I bought mine from LA Police Gear and didn’t really think that there may be sided options.

A tip that was passed on to me today was that the 511 vests have loops inside, which are supposed to snap onto a belt so that your shoulders can be used to help carry the weight of a heavy load. I’m sure this is a great feature for the people who need that, but it’s redundant for IDPA. The story I was told, was that one day during a match the pistol grip managed to sneak its way into the loop, so that when it was time to draw, the gun was all snagged up in his vest. So today there are 2 more 511 vests without a loop on the holster side.

The cripple wins at Big Darby Creek

Posted: October 26, 2008 in IDPA

Just over a week ago, I sprained my ankle playing volleyball. I was quite fortunate I didn’t break the 5th metatarsal, which is very common when you roll your foot with all of your bodyweight. I’ve been limping and hobbling around and wondering how it would affect my shooting. I can’t stand still very long, so I had to cut short my dry firing routine.

Eventhough I was not able to sprint between positions, I still managed to shoot pretty well and ended up winning the division and the whole match. While I’m happy with this, I do realize that only 15 people showed up today, perhaps due to the weather forecast, or the OSU game. I had a great time and managed to also help a fellow shooter that’s new to the sport. He was having grip issues, but a quick tutorial at the end of the day got him going on the right track. 

Today was also the first time I switched from my Springfield XD to a Para P14-45. I had changed the sights on the Para to novaks and had the trigger lightened to 4lbs. I had also filed down the followers to make them work in the stock para mags, since para likes to make them oversize so they bind. I knew I wasn’t going for an all out performance due to my ankle, so I thought it was an opportune moment to try out the para. It worked flawlessly and I was very happy with its performance. The mags could still be a little more slick in operation, so perhaps I’ll work on them a little more, or try to find some replacement followers.

One of the stages was a standards, which is similar to stage 3 on the classifier. After previously reading up on strategies to shoot the classifier, I employed them here and they worked beautifully. The stage had 2 targets which required 8 hits on each target. I finished the stage with only 2 points down, so I was really pleased with that. Even more so because I actually knew which shots I dropped.

I tend to crowd cover, so I need to work on that. When my ankle is better, I need to set up some movement drills in the basement.

IDPA Classifier

Posted: October 21, 2008 in Classifier

Even though I’d been shooting IDPA on and off for the past 3 years, I never really cared about the classifier. It was a casual hobby and I saw this as just a means to enter the state matches. Since I knew I was never going to enter a state match, I didn’t make any effort to shoot it.

Since I made the decision to take up IDPA more seriously, it’s time I did this event, just to see where I place. Usually during local matches, my times usually fall somewhere between the MM and SS guys. I acted as score keeper for most of my squad, so I watched how everyone else was shooting it. Unfortunately when it came to my turn, I had seen so many people shoot it before, and I hadn’t really done much this year, so I thought it was easy. The first 2 stages weren’t too bad, but the third one killed my times. I had fallen into the trap of trying to go too quickly and compounded with a fumbled tactical reload I totally blew it. I ended up shooting a 158.93 with 107 points down. The bulk of which I know I blew on the third stage. For CDP I’m only 17 seconds short of going up to SS, which is not that hard to achieve if I can eliminate more of the penalties and hit my reloads correctly.

In reading the forum, one of the members there (jnclement) posted a pdf guide to shooting the classifier. The idea in a nutshell is to not worry about the time but shoot accurately, especially on the third stage due to the longer distances.

I’m not entirely sure when the next classifier will be held, but I’ll definitely be looking out for my front sight on stage 3 as well as waiting that kodak moment.

Welcome to IDPA Shooting

Posted: October 21, 2008 in IDPA
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For a while now I’ve been kicking around the idea of documenting my experiences in taking up the hobby of shooting IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association). This is an action pistol sport where competitors shoot a timed stage or course of fire.

I started shooting IDPA around 2005 and have been hooked ever since. I had to borrow guns from my inlaws to start with, and was taught how to reload my own ammo by my father in law – a high ranking officer in the Ohio State Patrol. He was eager for me to start shooting and would take me to the indoor range at New Albany to concentrate on the fundamentals of grip, sight alignment, trigger control and mental discipline.

I had to take a break from shooting in 2006 and 2007 due to my family expanding with 2 more girls, a new job and new house. Earlier this year I managed to take a weekend away from the family and take an IDPA class with Scott Warren, a master in the game of IDPA. He took us through the fundamentals to more advanced training techniques and the mindset needed to compete and win. Until that point I had never seen a champion shoot in real life. It was inspiring to say the least.

It was after that class that I decided that I’d take IDPA more seriously and take on the competitive mindset, unfortunately my home life was rather tumultuous and I did not get started until a couple of months ago.

What follows is a documentary on my own training, performance and research into the sport of IDPA.