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Thread: Tips for first IDPA match

  1. #1
    Member
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    Apr 2012
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    Louisville, KY

    Tips for first IDPA match

    I posted this same request in another forum earlier today and got some nice responses. I figured it couldn't hurt to toss the same issue out in another place. I expect to be shooting my first IDPA match this Saturday. Other than Youtube videos, I've never seen an IDPA match, much less been in one. I'll probably be shooting my Glock 19. I shoot a lot of cardboard but have no experience in draws, reloads, shooting on the move, etc. Accepting that I will not master any of those skills in the next 48 hours, I did go to the basement yesterday and start endlessly inserting and dropping mags at speed (for me) just to try to establish some level of muscle memory but I'm expecting that other than that, my skills are pretty much what they are between now and game day. My basic game plan is as follows: 1) Shoot safely; 2) Have fun 3) Be willing to sacrifice speed for accuracy; and 4) To a reasonable degree, not get too hung up on where I end up in the standings. That is obviously about as broad as someone can get in terms of goals. I guess I'm looking to relax, get through this and get a feel for things for next time. That having been said, has anybody got any quick tips or just things that I could keep in mind that may help out. They're also predicting 103 degree temperatures for what its worth.


    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks much.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Read the rule book. IDPA is a game and you need to understand the rules to play it without getting unnecessary penalized. For example, you should understand what tactical sequence and tactical priority mean and the rules for reloading and using cover. It sounds like you already have a pretty good outlook on how to approach your first match mentally. Shoot at your own speed and get good hits (don't try to shoot too fast just because you see others shooting fast) and have fun.
    Last edited by cmoore; 07-05-2012 at 07:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Member Shawn.L's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Pittsburgh, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by cmoore View Post
    Read the rule book. IDPA is a game and you need to understand the rules to play it without getting unnecessary penalized. For example, you should understand what tactical sequence and tactical priority mean and the rules for reloading and using cover. It sounds like you already have a pretty good outlook on how to approach your first match mentally. Shoot at your own speed and get good hits (don't try to shoot too fast just because you see others shooting fast) and have fun.
    I wouldnt suggest you read the rule book, but do let the staff know your a new guy and ask questions to the SO at each stage about how to shoot the stage within the rules. That will be easier for you to follow then trying to wrap your head around all the rules and recall them and apply them at each stage as you go.

    At any match Ive been to if its your first time they note that on your score sheet so the SO will know at each stage.

    Have fun, and be safe.
    The only person I know that won their first match they ever attended was me
    (There where only 3 guys in my division)
    Pittsburgh, PA host for www.aliastraining.com , and www.shivworks.com

    www.anti-fragile.net

  4. #4
    We are diminished
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornerpocket View Post
    4) To a reasonable degree, not get too hung up on where I end up in the standings.
    I'd amend that to "don't worry about where I end up in the standings at all." If you have little to no training or experience drawing, reloading, etc. then you're going to be in a different dimension than the regulars who show up. You're essentially taking the common advice of go and watch the first time and adding some trigger time to it.

    I'd recommend having at least passing familiarity with the parts of the rulebook that pertain to you. It can save you (and the ROs) a lot of headache. It also gives you an opportunity to figure out if there are any questions you have that the ROs or other competitors could answer.

    I'd ask the ROs or people on your squad for advice on each stage. You might learn little, you might learn a lot. But it will give them opportunities to point out potential pitfalls, safety hazards, etc.

  5. #5
    Member
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Repeat the course of fire to the RO as it's explained to you. some of the shooting instructions will sound a little weird at first, but once you wrap your head around them they're pretty easy
    I do my best proofreading after I hit "Send"

  6. #6
    Site Supporter cclaxton's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Vienna, Va
    It's hard to add much to what has already been said, but let me add a few safety and procedural things:
    1) Memorize the list of safety violations that can get you a DQ and dry fire practice making sure you don't violate them:
    a) Watch to see if you do anything during a draw or holster or reloads where you would muzzle yourself (Weak hand in front of muzzle, muzzle pointed at your feet, the muzzle pointed close to 90 degrees left or right, etc.)
    b) violating the 180 degree plane from your gun towards the target area. Sometimes this can be less than 180 in some ranges.
    c) a lot of clubs don't allow reloads with the muzzle pointing above the berms, so practice reloads keeping the muzzle pointed downrange;
    d) Running your weak hand in front of the muzzle when attempting to draw back the slide or put the gun into slide lock

    2) Have three mags that can handle 10-11 rounds each. You will start with 11 rounds in a mag most of the time and two mags with 10.
    3) Allow the SO to direct EVERY action during your loading and unloading:
    a) When you get to the line do not touch your gun until you hear "Load and Make Ready," which means put your first mag into the gun, rack slide and chamber check, then safety on, if necessary, then slowly carefully holster. If you need to do a Barney Mag, tell the SO. If you make a mistake, STOP, tell the SO what you need to do. Then allow the SO to direct you (OK, Holster the gun, change out mags, or Unload and holster, etc.)
    b) When the Buzzer goes off listen for SO "STOP" command in case of a problem, and immediately freeze what you are doing until the SO directs you.
    c) When you finish shooting, do not do anything until SO directs you: "If shooter is done, show clear gun." Release mag and put in pocket while holding muzzle downrange, wait for SO, "show clear" (Eject round), wait for SO, "slide forward" (release slide), wait for SO, "shoot berm/hammer down" (pull the trigger), "holster" (holster). Wait for SO to say "Range is Clear" or just "CLEAR," and only then can you move from your position. The reason you need to wait for each action is that the SO needs to verify each action visually, and if you go too fast or skip that step he might have missed it.

    4) It is easy to forget the COF when you start shooting, so before you start verify you know how many rounds per target and in what order they must be shot: Sequence, Priority, Slice the Pie, etc.

    Whatever happens your SO is your guide to help you figure out what to do next....just get that finger off the trigger and keep it downrange and ask.

    You are entering an exciting and fun sport....welcome. It won't be long before this will become routine.
    CC

    Morning after addition: In some COF, you will shoot multiple "strings" and you will be asked to top-off your gun instead of "show clear." In that case wait for the SO "Reload/top-off" command, then remove the mag while muzzle is downrange and put in pocket, pull out full mag and insert, chamber-check, and holster. THEN top-off your magazines, if needed or rearrange your mags in your pouch. (You may want to keep loose ammo in pocket if you only have three mags). You are not on the clock during your strings, so take time to operate safely.
    Last edited by cclaxton; 07-06-2012 at 08:08 AM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cornerpocket View Post
    My basic game plan is as follows: 1) Shoot safely; 2) Have fun 3) Be willing to sacrifice speed for accuracy; and 4) To a reasonable degree, not get too hung up on where I end up in the standings. That is obviously about as broad as someone can get in terms of goals. I guess I'm looking to relax, get through this and get a feel for things for next time. That having been said, has anybody got any quick tips or just things that I could keep in mind that may help out. They're also predicting 103 degree temperatures for what its worth.
    You've pretty much got it. Take your time and have fun! Regardless of whatever prep you do, when that shot timer beeps, your brain will take a brief vacation, so definitely repeat the sequence to the SO when they ask if you understand.

    Bring lots of water and sunscreen!

    I started shooting IDPA about 18months ago, and just got my SO certification. You won't be competitive your first time out, so look at this as a familiarization course.

    Oh, and did I say have fun?

  8. #8
    A lot of good advice already but I'll throw in you my want to pick up a copy of Julie Golob's SHOOT book.

    I'm new to competitive shooting also but have experience in shooting, drawing, reloading and I really enjoyed the book. It only goes over a basic overview on IDPA but has a large amount of info/illustrations around shooting fundamentals, items to take to competition, range etiquette, practice etc. This book is what finally got me to start shooting competitions and now I've been doing around 1 to 2 matches (USPSA/Steel Challenge) a week since aquiring this book .

    Plus the ladies in your life will probably like the book also. Mine do.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    TX
    I know locally they make it a point to let new shooters go last on each stage, giving them as many chances as possible to see it done before they go. I'd ask for that if they don't already do it. Other than that sounds like you've got it covered, just relax, have fun and be safe above all else.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2

  10. #10
    Site Supporter jetfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sioux Falls
    Don't get DQ'd.
    Find the guys who are awesome and see if they'll let you squad with them and ask questions.
    Have fun.
    Don't get DQ'd.
    Help tape, reset, and generally be cool.

    Everything else is just gunhandling and practice, so don't worry about it.
    I shot the PX4 before it was cool.

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