There are several folks that shoot in some semi-local IDPA matches that show up with the exact same equipment they carry, if they are carrying, and I'm one of them. I wear the same slightly-ratty jacket that I wear around town and to work, usually use my IWB holster, and generally try to make the competition as relevant as possible to improving my CCW skills. Although some folks laugh at the concept of competition being used as training (and I can see and will grant many of their points), one thing it DOES do is force me to react to a situation not of my own making. It is this that makes the experience valuable, in my eyes. If I am setting-up a training exercise or some drills, I know exactly what I'll be doing BEFORE the time comes to do it. At defensive-style pistol competitions, I try to set up the scenarios in my mind as I would if I had to deal with them in real life. Sometimes that means I will take a Procedural Penalty on purpose, if I think what is required is unrealistic; I will NEVER violate any safety-related rules, but I also try not to do anything that I think is strategically or tactically unsound, or counter-intuitive. I don't win many (hardly any?) matches, but even winning a single stage under these self-imposed conditions is very satisfying; and every now and then, everyone else crashes and burns on a couple of stages and I get an early Christmas present.
Originally Posted by cclaxton
I've done the same thing for USPSA-style competitions, by shedding the jacket and the IWB holster (usually not allowed), and adding a few more spare magazines -- carried in my back pants pocket. Even minor successes there are VERY rare, but oh so sweet when they do occur. And I enjoy the confidence that results when I am pushing myself and my street equipment into unfamiliar territory and still coming out above the middle of the pack, who are grasping at every tiny equipment advantage they can afford.
About the performance tweaks allowed on Glocks (and other guns, too); I think most of them fall under the "There's no realistic/easy way to detect and/or prohibit this, so we might as well allow it" category. For instance, there's no real difference between a basic smoothing trigger job on a new gun, and a well-used gun that has been fired thousands of rounds which has smoothed itself out (other than time and the cost of the ammo). Unenforceable rules are a waste of time, and if you have folks who truly embrace the basic concept, then you actually have very little need of rules at all -- until the scores are posted, and somebody decides they could have done much better if they'd only bought/used/tried a (insert first step into gamesmanship, here).
Competitions are great for finding areas where your performance is weak or could be improved, but it's up to the shooter to work to improve those areas during practice/training. Personally, I can always find a couple of spots where I could have improved my presentation/shooting/reloading performances enough to raise myself a place or two, or even win the match. I try to concentrate on improving those areas, vs. buying the latest/greatest whiz-bang high-speed/low-drag accessories, and then re-training myself to effectively use them (over and over again).
"Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
(RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)