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  1. #1
    mattdillon's Avatar
    mattdillon is offline Junior Member
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    IDPA/USPSA Which one? Or Both?

    There is a club 90 minutes away that has both the IDPA and USPSA as well as Steel Challenge once a month. It only costs $10 for non-members. They recommend several magazines. I was curious since my Sig P226 holds 15 rounds would I need to carry that many mags? The video cllips I have seen look fun. I did participate in their steel challenge but since I didn't have a holster at the time and not enough mags I had to borrow a member's .22 Ruger.
    I have Sigs in 9mm and .45 so which one would be the best for either competition. I am there only for self improvement and not after winning trophies. Thanks.

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  3. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    I'm not familiar with steel challenge, so I can't help you there.

    In USPSA you will need 4 mags minimum and in IDPA you need 3 minimum. In IDPA you are limited to 10rds in a mag (+1 when on initial loading of the gun).

    IDPA and USPSA have different sets of rules, some are very goofy. USPSA stages generally have more targets, both cardboard and steel. IDPA has much fewer targets and stages are supposed to be more "real life scenario".

    Both build skills, try both and see which you like better. The steel challenge seems interesting, but I'd rather shoot IDPA or USPSA.

    As for what to shoot. There are different divisions that have different requirements. As for which caliber, 9mm is cheaper and if you don't reload and plan on shooting a lot of matches, cheap is good.

    Many say that USPSA is more "gamey" than IDPA, that's not really true. Both are games and IDPA can be just as gamey pending on who's running the show.

  4. #3
    mattdillon's Avatar
    mattdillon is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    I'm not familiar with steel challenge, so I can't help you there.

    In USPSA you will need 4 mags minimum and in IDPA you need 3 minimum. In IDPA you are limited to 10rds in a mag (+1 when on initial loading of the gun).

    IDPA and USPSA have different sets of rules, some are very goofy. USPSA stages generally have more targets, both cardboard and steel. IDPA has much fewer targets and stages are supposed to be more "real life scenario".

    Both build skills, try both and see which you like better. The steel challenge seems interesting, but I'd rather shoot IDPA or USPSA.

    As for what to shoot. There are different divisions that have different requirements. As for which caliber, 9mm is cheaper and if you don't reload and plan on shooting a lot of matches, cheap is good.

    Many say that USPSA is more "gamey" than IDPA, that's not really true. Both are games and IDPA can be just as gamey pending on who's running the show.
    Good info. Thanks.

  5. #4
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    If you shot a 9mm in USPSA you will be considered a minor caliber and if you do not make Alpha or "A" hits you will not get as many points for the B C and D hits you make. If you are only out to improve and not set the world on fire I would go with 9mm because it is cheaper and easier, to get on your second shot. If you are using a production Sig you will likely be in the "production" class which only allows you to have 10 rounds per mag no matter the mag capacity. It is actually one of the fun parts of the event, knowing when to drop mag and reload.

    It is a very fun thing to do and if you like the videos you will enjoy the game.Listen to the RO and the guys who are doing it,they will help you and learn the basic rules.

    My advice is

    First time....be a spounge listen and listen and watch. ask to be put in the bottom of the pile so you can see how others run the course. Go slow. be safe.

    As you get better run fast shot as slow as you have to to be accurate. Or as fast as you can accurately. Compete against your self and always have fun. The buzzer will make your plan dissapear. Don't worry if you miss or forget. always be safe. It is great fun. I always have 5 mags. 4 is ussually enough but 5 is always enough if I miss a couple or drop with too many one time.

    IDPA is also very fun with less shots and more "it could really happen " situations. There are more CC weapons used in IDPA and more full sized weapons used in USPSA. Both are great fun and a real good way to get to know other shooters and other guys and gals who like doing what you like and very willing to help you get better. their goal is normally to be sure you have enough fun as a beginner to come back next week.

    Good luck have fun! Rock on.

    RCG

  6. #5
    mattdillon's Avatar
    mattdillon is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by recoilguy View Post
    If you shot a 9mm in USPSA you will be considered a minor caliber and if you do not make Alpha or "A" hits you will not get as many points for the B C and D hits you make. If you are only out to improve and not set the world on fire I would go with 9mm because it is cheaper and easier, to get on your second shot. If you are using a production Sig you will likely be in the "production" class which only allows you ro have 10 rounds per amg no matter the mag capacity. It is actually one of the fun parts of the event, knowing when to drop mag and reload.

    It is a very fun thing to do and if you like the videos you will enjoy the game.Listen to the RO and the guys who are doing to help you and learn the basic rules.

    My advice is

    First time....be a spounge listen and listen and watch. ask to be put in the bottom of the pile so you can see how others run the course. Go slow. be safe.

    As you get better run fast shot as slow as you have to to be accurate. Or as fast as you can accurately. Compete against your self and always have fun. The buzzer will make your plan dissapear. Don't worry if you miss or forget. always be safe. It is great fun. I always have 5 mags. 4 is enough but 5 is always enough if I miss a couple or drop with too many one time.

    IDPA is also very fun with less shots and more "it could really happen " situations. There are more CC weapons used in IDPA and more full sized weapons used in USPSA. Both are great fun and a real good way to get to know other shooters and other guys and gals who like doing what you like and very willing to help you get better. their goal is normally to be sure you have enough fun as a beginner to come back next week.

    Good luck have fun! Rock on.

    RCG
    I have a Sig P220 also in .45 so I could use that in USPSA as well. However, the IDPA sounds initially more up my alley. I will try both however. The first one that comes up is the IDPA. Good input thanks.

  7. #6
    Handgun World's Avatar
    Handgun World is offline Junior Member
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    I've shot a lot of both and I see fewer "gamer" guns in IDPA. I didn't say there aren't any, just fewer. IDPA seems a little bit more realistic.

  8. #7
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    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    I shoot USPSA because BOTH are unrealistic, but USPSA is less "subjective" on the penalty calls. USPSA is a game, trying to be a game. IDPA is a game, trying to be realistic.

    Both will help with your gun-handling.
    Both will make you a better shooter under pressure.
    Both will train you to shoot fast, and accurately.
    Both are populated by fellow gun-buts, and downright GOOD people.

    With the 9mm, I'd shoot "Production" Division in USPSA, and get 4-5 mags, 3-4 mag pouches. Load 10+1 and have fun, while being safe!

    Jeff

  9. #8
    SigZagger's Avatar
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    Like yourself I was curious about both sports. I tried USPSA first. Nice and fast. Lots of rounds and the stage can be shot to your liking. IDPA came next. Less rounds, had to get used to wearing a cover garment, loading behind cover, slicing the pie, and the stage had to be shot as designed. For me a couple things made me focus on IDPA. Since I purchase factory ammo, the cost and amount of ammo needed favored IDPA. The gun or equipment used wasn't really an issue. But, the big factor were the participants. I found the USPSA shooters to be more competitive and mingled in special groups. The IDPA shooters were more approachable for questions. It seemed more relaxed and enjoyable. I'm sure each range and group of shooters are different, but sometimes that will make or break ones choice of game.

  10. #9
    RePete is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    I'm not familiar with steel challenge, so I can't help you there.

    In USPSA you will need 4 mags minimum and in IDPA you need 3 minimum. In IDPA you are limited to 10rds in a mag (+1 when on initial loading of the gun).

    IDPA and USPSA have different sets of rules, some are very goofy. USPSA stages generally have more targets, both cardboard and steel. IDPA has much fewer targets and stages are supposed to be more "real life scenario".

    Both build skills, try both and see which you like better. The steel challenge seems interesting, but I'd rather shoot IDPA or USPSA.

    As for what to shoot. There are different divisions that have different requirements. As for which caliber, 9mm is cheaper and if you don't reload and plan on shooting a lot of matches, cheap is good.

    Many say that USPSA is more "gamey" than IDPA, that's not really true. Both are games and IDPA can be just as gamey pending on who's running the show.
    +1.

    I shoot both and enjoy myself.

  11. #10
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    I shoot both, 4 weekends a month. In USPSA your Sigs will be at a distinct disadvantage to the GLOCKs and M&Ps in Production, but you're not going to be competitive for a good long while anyway--GO SHOOT IT. In IDPA you'll be in better shape as it stresses accuracy over speed (both are important).

    In IDPA you can shoot SSP, but you'll have to make your first shot DA. You can shoot ESP and have a single action first shot with the safety engaged. In USPSA, it's going to be DA on the first shot no matter what. Now, you COULD shoot your .45 in IDPA's CDP Division, mags downloaded to 8 rounds, but the 9mm is going to be the ticket. That's also true for USPSA Producion--you'll score "minor" but so will everyone else that you're competing against.

    I'd tell ya to have 5 mags for USPSA and 3 for IDPA. 15 is better. LOL

    Dan

  12. #11
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Try all 3 continue with the one's you like. If participating to learn and become familiar with your gun (self improvment), I would choose the gun you intend to carry. Once you are very comfortable with the primary carry you could use your others from time to time.

  13. #12
    Skunk Pilot is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    Both will help with your gun-handling.
    Both will make you a better shooter under pressure.
    Both will train you to shoot fast, and accurately.
    Both are populated by fellow gun-buts, and downright GOOD people.

    With the 9mm, I'd shoot "Production" Division in USPSA, and get 4-5 mags, 3-4 mag pouches. Load 10+1 and have fun, while being safe!

    Jeff
    I know I want to go and watch at least one of these in 3 weeks if possible. If there aren't enough of them I'll try to be a gun-but. Then you say, yeah I've read some of your other posts here and on other forums and that fits nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by SigZagger View Post
    USPSA.. Lots of rounds and the stage can be shot to your liking. IDPA came next. Less rounds, had to get used to wearing a cover garment, loading behind cover, slicing the pie, and the stage had to be shot as designed. I found the USPSA shooters to be more competitive and mingled in special groups. The IDPA shooters were more approachable for questions. It seemed more relaxed and enjoyable. I'm sure each range and group of shooters are different, but sometimes that will make or break ones choice of game.
    Lots of rounds and the stage can be shot to your liking.

    What does this mean exactly?

    Thanks.

  14. #13
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    I think he's referring to the scripted nature of some IDPA stages. Basically everyone shoots it the same way, butin USPSA you're rewarded for unique solutions (or punished) LOL. There will be far less competitive pressure at IDPA, so it's good that you're hitting that first.

    He is right about the subjective nature of penalties in IDPA.

    Dan

  15. #14
    darbo is offline Junior Member
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    I have now officially shot ONE match of each! I like, and will continue to shoot both, because they are different and fun in their own way. All of the advice so far has been good. In IDPA you have to shoot the targets in a predetermined order by "tactical priority". In USPSA you can shoot this target on the left, run over and shoot a target on the right or in whatever order you feel is best...."shoot 'em as you see 'em" was the phrase I heard a lot yesterday! Go there with 2 expectations...be safe and have fun! Yesterday there was a total of 32 entrants among the different divisions and classes....I finished 31st! Am I embarrassed in any way saying this...hell no! I had very few penalty points for the entire match. There was one stage that was called "long range maze", it was exactly that!, I was 22nd overall for that stage, hit all 6 steel and had 21 out of a possible 22 A's, I was just very slow compared to others.
    Good luck!

    PS: I shoot a completely "un-cool" gun for competition but it's what I like and want to learn to shoot as well as I can. Beretta PX4 full size 9mm.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by darbo View Post
    I have now officially shot ONE match of each! I like, and will continue to shoot both, because they are different and fun in their own way. All of the advice so far has been good. In IDPA you have to shoot the targets in a predetermined order by "tactical priority". In USPSA you can shoot this target on the left, run over and shoot a target on the right or in whatever order you feel is best...."shoot 'em as you see 'em" was the phrase I heard a lot yesterday! Go there with 2 expectations...be safe and have fun! Yesterday there was a total of 32 entrants among the different divisions and classes....I finished 31st! Am I embarrassed in any way saying this...hell no! I had very few penalty points for the entire match. There was one stage that was called "long range maze", it was exactly that!, I was 22nd overall for that stage, hit all 6 steel and had 21 out of a possible 22 A's, I was just very slow compared to others.
    Good luck!
    I have noticed a number of people make procedural mistakes in IDPA because they shoot USPSA and the rules are different. Just be aware that as you want to get better it will be more challenging for you to be fast AND remember the rules for the game you are shooting. The more I practice IDPA, the more I KNOW the rules...meaning the more my body automatically remembers the rules, thus leaving my brain to make critical decisions during the COF without having to think about whether I can let the mag fall or not.

    Secondly, proximity to active clubs is a major factor in deciding on which sport. There are a lot more active IDPA clubs near me than there are USPSA, so that I am focusing entirely on IDPA. If I ever get good enough at IDPA games, and at my current rate of improvement, I hope that happens before I die...I may try another sport.

    Practice, practice, practice.

  17. #16
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    I've actually quit shooting USPSA. I went out on the top of my game; if I showed up at a match, I won. Then, after 7 years, I realized that it was teaching me things that were detrimental to my self defense shooting, and I quit. I still shoot IDPA, not so much for the realism but that it doesn't reinforce things that could get me killed and it's good practice.

  18. #17
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    I shoot steel and USPSA. The big difference for me is that if I shoot alot of steel I do worse at USPSA because all you have to do is hit the steel targets anywhere and USPSA is a game where accuracy counts too. So you can shoot steel crazy fast and win then go to USPSA and do very poorly with the same mindset. They are all just games because no one is actually shooting back, but they are all very good places to learn shooting skills and develop safe gun handling skills under pressure. Have fun!

  19. #18
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    RG--Is it that or is it the multiple shots required on cardboard that is doing you in? Most guys have a devil of a time with their transitions, but I would think that would be your strong point, coming from SC to USPSA (or IDPA).

    Now, guys who shoot USPSA can go shoot their first IDPA match and win (if they are good at USPSA) while an IDPA guy can be a consistent match winner and not even place at the middle mark in USPSA due to the nature of the competition. USPSA is an "accuracy incidental" sport. If it happens, great, but faster is better no matter how you cut it.

    Example--shooter one shoots an El Pres in 7 seconds--respectable--and scores 56 points. Again--not bad. His "hit factor" is 8.0.
    Shooter two shoots it in 5 seconds--blazingly fast--but only scores 41 points. He's all over the map on his hits. His hit factor is 8.2 and he wins.

    In IDPA shooter 1's adjusted score is 9.0 seconds. Shooter 2 is 24.5 seconds. He loses big time. That is how IDPA rewards accuracy over speed, and how USPSA rewards speed over accuracy.

  20. #19
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    I'm well aware of the scoring, then there's Virginia count vs Comstock count scoring. Oh yeah I nearly forgot about the penalties for no shoots. I got 11 "hostages" one shoot for 110 points off. Bad bad day! I've been off for a month or so hunting elk and deer (got 2 elk and one deer) so the next two weeks should be a diaster with no practice. Then it's off to another hunt for waterfowl after which I can settle down and get back to business. It doesn't matter, I have fun and at this age that's all I can ask.

  21. #20
    HK Dan is offline Member
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    I assumed that you were, but the OP probably is not aware of how the matches are scored. And the comparison between similar runs in both sports is pretty illustrative. 11 Hostages? Dude, if they didn't wanna get shot they'd be hanging around in a better neighborhood. Let's call them "possible evil doers" until we hear different...LOL

    Congrats on the hunt, man! I wish I could have been with you.

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