View Poll Results: Do you compete with the same gun you carry (or essentially the same gun)?

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  • Yes

    15 48.39%
  • No

    8 25.81%
  • Yes, IDPA Only

    4 12.90%
  • Yes, IDPA and USPSA

    1 3.23%
  • Yes, USPSA Only

    2 6.45%
  • Sometimes

    1 3.23%
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  1. #1
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    Do you compete with the same gun you carry (or essentially the same gun)?

    This primarily considers IDPA competition since USPSA has become so dominated by customized pistols and sights. (you are not likely to carry around one).

    Do you carry the same gun you compete with, or the same make/model or something substantially the same?
    I don't think carrying a Glock 17 and competing with a 34 is substantially the same.
    But Shooting a Cz75Shadow for competition and carrying a Cz75B might be substantially the same.

    The debate came up in an experimental Action Pistol competition where they are trying to rewrite a better game than IDPA, and they excluded all guns with barrels longer than 5" because they want to keep the competition to a class used truly for CCW.

    Thanks,
    CC

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Back when I was competing in IPSC/SWPL, my answer would've been, "Yes, I carry the same gun with which I compete."
    When IPSC became fully-impractical-race-gun dominated, I quit and moved to a new, truly practical discipline. Thus, I still competed with my carry gun (or carried my competition gun—your choice).

  3. #3
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    This primarily considers IDPA competition since USPSA has become so dominated by customized pistols and sights. (you are not likely to carry around one).

    Do you carry the same gun you compete with, or the same make/model or something substantially the same?
    I don't think carrying a Glock 17 and competing with a 34 is substantially the same.
    But Shooting a Cz75Shadow for competition and carrying a Cz75B might be substantially the same.

    The debate came up in an experimental Action Pistol competition where they are trying to rewrite a better game than IDPA, and they excluded all guns with barrels longer than 5" because they want to keep the competition to a class used truly for CCW.

    Thanks,
    CC
    I compete with (and occasionally carry) small-frame Glocks (9mm and .40) of nearly all lengths. They are all very similar, and I think drawing the line based on barrel length and nothing else is a strange way to classify guns on whether or not they are "used truly for CCW". I have carried my G34 concealed with absolutely no problem. It is shorter in overall length than all 1911-style guns with a 5" barrel, and lighter than most, too (loaded or empty).

    The problem with coming up with a "better game" than IDPA, is how and where you draw the line on the weapons, and for what reason(s). So far, I have not seen anything that I would consider better, and the experimental competitors you refer to are not the first group to try, by far. Allow me to illustrate, using your examples of weapons you think might be suitable (Cz75 Shadow) and unsuitable (Glock 34) for CCW.

    Weight, empty:
    Glock 34: 22.9 ounces
    Cz75 Shadow: 39 ounces
    Note: the Glock 34 fully loaded is lighter than the Cz when it's empty.

    Length, overall:
    Glock 34: 8.15 inches
    Cz75 Shadow: 8.1 inches

    Barrel length:
    Glock 34: 5.32 inches
    Cz75 Shadow: 4.7 inches

    Height (not including magazine, I assume):
    Glock 34: 5.43 inches
    Cz75 Shadow: 5.4 inches

    Width:
    Glock 34: 1.18 inches
    Cz75 Shadow: 1.4 inches

    I think the above stats clearly show the G34 is solidly in the same overall size class as the Cz, but is far lighter and a good bit thinner, both of which are major concerns for CCW. In fact, the barrel length is the one of the ONLY ways to separate the two guns into different "classes", with the Glock ending up on the "bad" side. However, I'd bet if you asked 100 CCW carriers if they had a choice between two guns with the same overall size, but due to design features, one of the guns had a barrel a half-inch longer, most would pick the longer-barreled piece (other considerations aside, which would never happen in the real world, of course). Add in the weight and thickness advantages, and based on these features alone, the Glock should win any selection for CCW-based uses hands-down.

    And that's before we get to the obvious problems with this particular Cz design when considering its suitability for CCW. From the Cz USA web page description of the Cz75 Shadow:

    "The Shadow series of handguns are designed specifically for target and competition work."

    "All Shadow models feature swept hi-rise beavertail frames, and slides designed without firing pin blocks for improved target trigger pulls."

    "Custom reduced weight springs"

    "Trigger with overtravel adjustment screw"

    "18+1 capacity extended base magazines"

    This gun is quite clearly NOT a weapon designed for CCW. Trigger overtravel screws WILL work loose and prevent firing; I've seen it happen on 1911s many times. No firing pin block? Drop it on the muzzle, from a great enough height, and it WILL fire the chambered round; that's what firing pin blocks were designed to prevent. Reduced-weight springs? It will beat itself to death when used with full-power self-defense ammo. Extended-base magazines? Makes the gun taller, and therefore harder to conceal (long gripframes/butts "print" more readily); already prohibited in virtually every CCW-based type(s) of competition, for this reason. In my opinion, any ONE of the above listed features should be reason for the Cz75 Shadow to be prohibited from any CCW-type competition.

    This example shows why it is so difficult to actually come up with a reasonable set of guidelines for this type of competition. And this is BEFORE everyone's biases begin to creep in, as they eventually will. I would guess that the 5" barrel limitation might be a good example of that; I can see no fact-based reason for it to be used, if the overall length of the weapon is the same size (or smaller) than another weapon. In fact, it should be an advantage to have a longer barrel in the same size CCW package, due to the minor but quantifiable gains in bullet velocity/energy and potential penetration.

    I wish the experimental shooters good luck with their enterprise, but I'd encourage them to look at more than one or two features when drawing the line on ok/prohibited weapons based on their usefulness for CCW.

    Info sources:
    Cz -- http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/75shadow/
    G34 -- http://glock.com/english/glock34_tech.htm
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  4. #4
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Niner View Post
    I compete with (and occasionally carry) small-frame Glocks (9mm and .40) of nearly all lengths. They are all very similar, and I think drawing the line based on barrel length and nothing else is a strange way to classify guns on whether or not they are "used truly for CCW". I have carried my G34 concealed with absolutely no problem. It is shorter in overall length than all 1911-style guns with a 5" barrel, and lighter than most, too (loaded or empty).

    I think the above stats clearly show the G34 is solidly in the same overall size class as the Cz, but is far lighter and a good bit thinner, both of which are major concerns for CCW. In fact, the barrel length is the one of the ONLY ways to separate the two guns into different "classes", with the Glock ending up on the "bad" side. However, I'd bet if you asked 100 CCW carriers if they had a choice between two guns with the same overall size, but due to design features, one of the guns had a barrel a half-inch longer, most would pick the longer-barreled piece (other considerations aside, which would never happen in the real world, of course). Add in the weight and thickness advantages, and based on these features alone, the Glock should win any selection for CCW-based uses hands-down.

    This example shows why it is so difficult to actually come up with a reasonable set of guidelines for this type of competition. And this is BEFORE everyone's biases begin to creep in, as they eventually will. I would guess that the 5" barrel limitation might be a good example of that; I can see no fact-based reason for it to be used, if the overall length of the weapon is the same size (or smaller) than another weapon. In fact, it should be an advantage to have a longer barrel in the same size CCW package, due to the minor but quantifiable gains in bullet velocity/energy and potential penetration.

    I wish the experimental shooters good luck with their enterprise, but I'd encourage them to look at more than one or two features when drawing the line on ok/prohibited weapons based on their usefulness for CCW.
    You make really good points here. I was frankly suprised that they chose the barrel length as a limitation. The more I think about it, the more I like the IDPA rules: It has to fit inside the IDPA box, and it can't weight more than X (where X depends on the division.)

    And, while I agree that the Shadow has major performance tweaks, IDPA allows a lot of tweaks to Glocks as well, essentially making them a competition gun. I am not sure the performance adjustments make the case but certainly weight and length do make the case.

    Some of the best LE shooters I have met have told me they like to compete with the same firearm they carry, so essentially they always shoot the same type of weapon, trigger, sight, etc. And, I can see the value of carrying the same weapon or essentially the same (brand, trigger, caliber, size, weight, sight, etc.). It just makes everything more consistent for better shots in a life-threatening situation...and in competition.

    Thanks for your time and effort to do that research and posting...good work.
    CC

  5. #5
    rgrundy's Avatar
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    I shoot my carry gun as much as I shoot my limited gun. They are both Glocks. My carry gun is a Glock 22 Gen 4. Lots of us shoot Production pistols that we carry. Singlestack division is full of stock 1911's that people carry. All I can say is that any game should not evolve past the point where there is no place for new shooters to find a comfortable place to enter. If you are focused on your own needs and glory in front of the cameras the sport will surely die. That's why Tuesday Night Steel @ Rio Salado Sportsman's Club has been so successful. It draws twice the crowd of most regular shoots because it's fun and easy for a newbie to complete.

  6. #6
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    You make really good points here. I was frankly suprised that they chose the barrel length as a limitation. The more I think about it, the more I like the IDPA rules: It has to fit inside the IDPA box, and it can't weight more than X (where X depends on the division.)

    And, while I agree that the Shadow has major performance tweaks, IDPA allows a lot of tweaks to Glocks as well, essentially making them a competition gun. I am not sure the performance adjustments make the case but certainly weight and length do make the case.

    Some of the best LE shooters I have met have told me they like to compete with the same firearm they carry, so essentially they always shoot the same type of weapon, trigger, sight, etc. And, I can see the value of carrying the same weapon or essentially the same (brand, trigger, caliber, size, weight, sight, etc.). It just makes everything more consistent for better shots in a life-threatening situation...and in competition.
    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.

    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)

  7. #7
    jimmy's Avatar
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    I compete with a Glock 17 and carry a Glock 19. I am using the same platform. However, the local club runs an IDPA match every October with the carry weapon of choice. So I shoot my G19 in that match. What adds to the variables are the holsters styles
    ; IWB, OWB, Plastic vs leather, in addition to gun size and capacity, such as compact vs subcompact, etc.. When you look at the score sheet, you get so many subgroups with 3 to 4 shooters in each group. I am talking of 50 shooters per match, and it is really hard to gage yourself
    from a competition game prespective. However, it is fun and allows the shooter to compete with the carry gun and the carry rig, so it some how highlights any pluses or negatives in each shooter choice of gun and carry rig. I am pretty much satisfied with my raven holster and Glock 19.

  8. #8
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    I'm in a PPC league at work. We shoot off hand, from different positions, and from cover. The restrictions are few, no optics, and only six rounds per mag (makes it "fair" for revolver guys).
    2 classes: rim fire and center fire. I shoot my Les Baer and Dan Wesson Valor, I carry both frequently. Its not really a standard league, only people who work for our company can shoot. They have probably been using the same format for 20 years or more. Not sure how they came up with it.

  9. #9
    darbo is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with a lot of what DJ Niner is saying. Although I'm thinking his shooting skills are a lot better than mine! I bought my first ever gun last May and I chose a Beretta PX4, 9mm. I bought that gun because it fit my hand like my hand was used as the model and I just simply liked the look of it. It has been an awesome pistol. A couple months back I discovered competitive shooting. Well the PX4 certainly is NOT the latest, greatest, cool gun for competition shooting. But I sure do have a ton of fun shooting with it and while I'm still slow running a given course my accuracy is pretty damn good! The way the local club runs their 3 gun match you can shoot it with just about anything and I have done so with only my pistol. It's great fun shooting targets as far as 45 yards or so and actually hitting Alphas and Charlies! Not too bad for a 57 year old guy but I'm also thinking no one at any of the matches is feeling any pressure from participation!
    To answer the OP no I don't use the same gun for carry and competion. My carry is a Taurus 709 Slim.

  10. #10
    darbo is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oak1971 View Post
    I'm in a PPC league at work. We shoot off hand, from different positions, and from cover. The restrictions are few, no optics, and only six rounds per mag (makes it "fair" for revolver guys).
    2 classes: rim fire and center fire. I shoot my Les Baer and Dan Wesson Valor, I carry both frequently. Its not really a standard league, only people who work for our company can shoot. They have probably been using the same format for 20 years or more. Not sure how they came up with it.
    That sounds like fun!

  11. #11
    Handgun World's Avatar
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    Since the whole point of creation of the shooting sports were to give people more experience with their carry gun, glad to see that's what most do, according to this poll.

  12. #12
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    i just finished 7th in my class/division at NY State IDPA. (SSP/MM) I used my G-19 (one of my carry guns, other is M&P9c) in a comp-tac spartan. the only change i do in competition is i use an OWB double mag holder (i carry 1 extra Mag in a---concealment rig)
    now, why i placed 7th instead of higher? i gave up 20 seconds with 3 HNT and 1 FTN. I can't blame those on equipment. (those 20 seconds would have placed me in a SOLID 3rd)

    It was apparently SO unusual to see an IWB holster, that the SO who checked me for rules compliance first asked if i had my gun on. Even with my vest (my motorcycle vest, not a "shoot me first" vest) open, he had to LOOK to see the grip of the gun.
    so, yeah, I use my carry gun (or guns) and rig, and dress. In the summer, my "cover" would have been a button down short sleeve. Possibly unbuttoned. possibly not (yes, i do shoot both ways, as i carry both ways)
    For me, i compete against ME (not that i am above a little friendly ribbing and competition with others).

  13. #13
    Nanuk's Avatar
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    A lot of you guys hit the nail on the head. I shoot IDPA to have fun. I did PPC on the PD pistol team in the 80's and quickly got jaded to the competitive "gamers". I shoot my carry guns and to date I have been using duty loads. I was fortunate in that my agency supported competitive shooting so I was getting ammo. Since my retirement the ammo has dried up so now I shoot reloads or the cheap stuff I can find.

    I am not fast enough to ever worry about winning, but my goal is always to finish a match without dropping any points. I find that IDPA is a great way to try my carry gear and this gun vs that gun. What I have discovered is this; A revolver after the first reload cannot compete with an auto. Where is counts I shoot a Glock better than a Les Baer or a Kimber (and I shoot 1911's really well). It is fun trigger time and practice.

  14. #14
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    I've chosen to compete with long slide guns.

    XDm 5.25 Competition



    Sig Sauer P226 X5



    S&W M&P 5" Pro



    Glock 34



    But I carry a

    S&W M&P C9




    All of them are much better shooters than I am.


  15. #15
    Pistol Pete is offline Junior Member
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    I shoot IDPA, I use a 1911, 625,586 and an FS92 . I carry a 642 or an LC9. I have shot IDPA with the 642, Haven't used the LC yet, but I will. Either gun win put me in last place. IDPA is only a game regardless of what the claims are. Look at the rules if you don't believe me. It is a lot of fun but it is just a game with a list of rules that almost compare with Obamacare. There are no rules in a gun fight nor does the normal SD situation require 18 rounds with retention of a magazine.

  16. #16
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    Regular sidearm

    I don't shoot IDPA or IPSC (too many artificial distinctions and 30 round bursts - Thanks Pistol Pete!) but I do compete in a local 'no rules' match. I often carry my regular carry set up (an H&K USCc40 in issue trim). When I don't carry that, I shoot one of my other sidearms. Probably the most 'game' oriented sidearm I shoot is a Government Model in hardball configuration; that is, adjustable sights and a decent trigger of more than four pounds. But the sight radius, length and all that sort of stuff is as issued.

    I carried a gun for a living for a number of years, so I tend to see competition as practice, not a game.

  17. #17
    Glock Doctor is offline Banned
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    Unless I really wanted to shoot the match, because of the decision to exclude all barrels longer than 5 inches, I would be prevented from using either of the two Glock pistols that I most often carry.

    I don't know, exactly, what this means; but, all of my Glock EDC pistols are heavily customized, are 100% reliable, and have barrels from 5/8's (.625") to 6/8's (.750") of an inch longer than standard length.

    Which makes both of my EDC/IDPA, G-21's barrels 5.225 inches long. My EDC/IDPA/ZOMBIE, G-19's barrel is 4.77 inches long. (I've got the original barrels, though; and, sometimes, I'll put them back into the appropriate Glock so that I can play, too.)

  18. #18
    rex
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    I never actually shot a sanctioned match.For years my local club held combat matches before IDPA really took off.It was based on USPSA and IPSC with scoring and some rules but more of a lenient IDPA structure.Hell,we built mock rooms with doors,cars,we even mocked up a bus one time to shoot your way through.

    In revolver class I shot my 586 I carried and after the auto transition I parted with it (like an ass) and used my Dan Wesson with the 4" barrel on it'

    In auto I always used my 1911 I carried normally,my duty Beretta 92,my 92,and a Smith 915.

    I was building a non comped 1911 just for the gaming but between having some screwed up machine work done and having to take a break from shooting,it never got finished.Still have it and have thought about throwing a 22 top end on the frame but there's always something more important to dump money in.Harleys can eat up some money when you hotrod them and maintain the stuff it breaks or bends.Right now I'm waiting to replace the drive pulley I stripped off the tranny shaft.The pulley is only $150 but the tools to do it and the seals trapped in that area are over double that.Boys and their toys.

    Anyway,I've always been a believer in shooting what you carry for ingraining your proficiency with it,I used the matches as practice because I would hype myself out before I hit the line.Most of the time when I was making safe I was shaking like a DTing crackhead.When you do that and pull off wins or place at the top you know you are about as close to an actual fight as can be without being in the real one.Induce stress and let proprioception take over,you'll find flaws and can correct them that way.

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