I recently began USPSA shooting with a local club and find that there are a number of training benefits I’ve received. I shot in the limited class with a Glock 35 which is very similar to the set up on my carry weapon. I do, however, use a competition holster. Since I shot every Tuesday night, I see a different set up and targets are various ranges with obstacles and hostage type blocking. Although, I don’t feel this is as good as scenario-based training, I think it’s one step up from straight target practice. I’m curious how many others are here and what you feel this brings to the table?
I think that kind of competition brings gun handling and pure marksmanship to the table. I agree with your assessment, I think sprinkling some of that competition in is superior to solely doing straight stationary square range target shooting, but also is not as useful as scenario based (airsoft, sim, pretend guns, etc) being sprinkled (for best results, do all 3! and dry fire) and I think it’s most useful when stages are a surprise and no competitor gets to know anything about the stage until they run it themselves.
I also think the degree of relevance to self defense varies with the rules of the competition. Some rules get so far removed I think it almost runs the risk of hindering you for self defense, or at least has you spending time and energy training something almost guaranteed to be irrelevant.
But most importantly I think it’s great because it forces an honest accounting of your hits and misses while on the clock, without do-overs or hand picking your best. AND you don’t get to pick what you are best at, you have to do what is required, whether it’s something are relatively good at, or not.
I took the IDPA training class at my club a few weeks back…We ran 4 courses, and it was great…Our club is busy with the league, moving targets this Saturday…but I got drag races Friday night, and am finding it hard to spend 9 hours at a competition. I did well at the training session and that answered some questions I had. Might make a comp when the weather cools down.
My substitute is our falling plates range, plates at 15-25 yards from the shed, room to move and walls to utilize.
I’ve been joining the IDPA matches at my range whenever I can for the past 6 months or so. Lots of fun and definitely beats your standard range practice session.
Don’t get anywhere close to the top scores, but enjoy it anyways. I usually use my G43 so end up losing time on the reloads. Also don’t have a mounted light.
I shoot IDPA regularly. I have shot USPSA but find the defense structure of IDPA a little more to my liking, but both are still a load of fun and great experience.
I strongly encourage people to participate in shooting sports. Not only is is great practice you learn things under time constraints (stress), but it helps build skills you just won’t get poking holes in a target. You’re on the move, faced with different scenarios that make you think. Have non-treats and barricades to consider, what to do when going through a door, how to address threats (close to far and slicing the pie), etc…
I’ve corrected grip problems, improved mag reloads, practiced jam clearing under ‘fire’ (so to speak), modified my gun to improve accuracy, etc.
If you want to improve your shooting and personal defense skills these are a boat-load of fun way to do it. Costs in my area range from ~$25 per match and you’ll shoot about 100 rounds.
I’ve just come back home (VA) from a very long hiatus. I’m looking for USPSA in the local area as I’d like to hone skills, and I think this type of competition can help with that.
Are there any barriers to entry into the sport? Is there some needed/required equipment? I have seen belts, holsters, mag pouches but I’m not sure that I want to invest gobs of money if I don’t have to.
Thanks for any responses.
I was getting ready to take part in my first competition last fall before my life got temporarily derailed. Aside from having a pistol set up for whatever class you intend to compete in the only requirement I saw for my local group aside from eyes and ears was a holster that did not use the finger lever retention. Guess they are worried about people hitting the trigger while hitting the release and drawing? Though the way I press the release there is no way my finger would be able to activate the trigger.
I wasn’t planning on getting all fancy so I could match up with the big boys. Just wanted to add some adrenaline to my practice. Was just gonna use my regular mag holder and a sturdy belt. I did purchase a no manual retention holster. Hopefully will get back on track to actually compete by next year.
Thanks for the reply. Hope you can get back on the saddle soon.
I’m really interested in getting better at draw, aim, shoot. I think the competitive environment will be a good practice venue.
Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the range for regular practice. But I agree with you, a little adrenaline drills never hurt anyone.
Follow the rules of gun safety to include the rules of the host, and listen to instruction. That’s pretty much it.
Break them, and likely you’ll be ask-told not to touch a firearm for the remainder of the class/match. What else, depends.
I suppose that you will be required to have a functional holster for what is being done
Yep, figured as much. Safety has to be paramount for these things. Thanks.
So can I use my AIWB kydex holster? Or is outside waistband the only option?
There seems to be a local match tomorrow, and I’m going to go “spectate” and ask questions, but I’d like to get perspective now in case I can simply go and shoot tomorrow.
You’ll have to check with the particular organization and host range, many do not allow AIWB/require at or behind the hip (3:00).
I know you posted this a bit ago but to answer your question what I needed when I started was a good holster and belt for drawing. The gun top must be level with the top of the belt when fully holstered, you can find many options for both holster and belt. The belt should be very stiff to aid in drawing, I purchased a DAA competition belt which runs around $50 but you can find belts on Amazon which range in price from $20 on up. There are many options for holsters which sell for around $50 on up. One factor is adjustable tension as you will need your pistol to stay in place yet be easy to draw. I’m using a comp-tec competition holster which I think was around $60. Looking up USPSA holster\belts will help you locate suitable items. The only other thing you really need to think about is magazines and magazine pouches. You will want to have enough for at least 30 rounds and a few magazines. Most stages can be fired with 30 rounds or less, but you may want extra ammo to reshoot missed targets. There are also some stages which have mandatory magazine changes. I’ve found that 3 magazines work best for me which gives me access to 40 rounds, 2x15 1x10. These items your gun and ears\eyes should get you going. I have yet to shoot a competition and since I broke my left wrist last month, I don’t think I will this summer, but I have enjoyed shooting practice seasons with our local USPSA club. Hope you have a great time!
Thank you everyone, for all the information. I was able to go to a local club match today.
Talked to the organizer and got all squared away as to equipment. For competition they recommend outside waistband holster, but since my purpose is to hone the carry options I’ll be using my inside waistband holster, which they allow. I’m not planning on winning any matches, but I want/need the practice. The group of guys and gal were very welcoming, and it was very interesting to watch the match. It was an indoor match at the NRA HQ firing range.
The only issue seems to be that matches fill up very quickly, so they all told me to be ready on the day of registration. LOL
Right now the only thing I’ll probably buy are some better mag pouches. I’ll use my belt and holster for now.
Next I’m going to go find an IDPA club.