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IDPA is still a game. The second that the timer goes off and someone keeping score, it's a game, just different rules.

Many IDPA shooter think that IPSC is evil, it's not practical, etc. However, IPSC is great practice for IDPA. IPSC stages tend to be much tougher to shoot than IDPA stages. Most of the top shooters in IDPA also shoot IPSC.

My personal opinion is that any shooting competition is good training. Whether it is IPSC, IDPA, Steel Challenge, Bullseye, skeet, trap, or high power rifle, they will all improve your shooting. After all, they all boil down to two things, sight picture and trigger control. Who cares if you don't place well in IPSC, as long as you are shooting, you will be improving.
 

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Even though IDPA requires the use of tactical skills, the downside is that it is still a game. You have to decide whether you want to shoot the stages tactically or do you want to shoot it fast for a good score. Generally most try to shoot for a good score because it sucks being at the bottom. If you decide to take up IDPA to learn defensive tactics, it is a bad choice. IDPA is where you can apply tactics, not learn them.

The only time where IDPA stages become more tactical is when you start using shoot houses, or setting up walls to prevent someone from seeing the layout of the stage before hand. If you see the stage prior to shooting it, immediately you start formulating a game plan like in IPSC. I personally enjoy shooting the shoot house style stages because you don't know what to expect once you step through the door. However, logistically they are a nightmare to deal with. You have to keep the number of people setting up the course to a minimum. You can only allow people that have shot the stage to go in to tape targets and pick up brass. It takes a long time to run through the first couple of shooters before you have enough people to reset the stage. That's why most clubs tend not to do those stages despite they reflect real life situation.

Some of IDPA rules don't make any sense at all even tactically. Like if kneal behind a barrier, you must have at least one knee on the ground because if you squat you are gaming it. Putting one knee down just makes it harder to move. Another stupid rule is with the no-shoots. If you shoot a no-shoot and that round also passes through a target behind it, you are scored for the target and penalized for the no-shoot. However, if you shoot a target and that round passes through a no-shoot, you are not penalize for the no-shoot. IPSC scores it the opposite way. Either way does not make sense.

Even though IDPA is designed to reflect more real world situations and requires you to be more accurate. You can often point shoot most of the stages and still get 90% A's. Many new shooters do end up point shooting and not using their sights. It's a bad habit that many pick up. If you can, try shooting steel challenge matches. Although there are no tactical skills what so ever, it truely tests your shooting skills in accuracy and speed and it provides instant feedback if you miss unlike paper targets.
 

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I guess some of us have it lucky, there are 6 ranges within 1 hr drive of Sacramento. There are 3 IDPA matches, 1 steel match, and too many IPSC matches each month. Essentially every weekend you have to decide what you want to shoot on Saturday and Sunday.

I think you might be able to find bowling pin shooting on the east coast. It's just as fun as shooting steel.
 

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You might want to look for a new IDPA club.

1. You don't get penalized for storing an empty mag. It slows you down, but you shouldn't get penalized for it. Nothing in the rules state that you cannot store an empty mag. The only penalty that can be assessed is dropping a loaded mag, and not retrieving it.

2. You always shoot in tactical order unless specified otherwise. Tactical order is to shoot the first visible target when cutting the pie or if multiple targets are present, shoot from close to far. Tactical spread is sometimes used, that's where targets are same distance, and you shoot each with 1 shot and come back and do it again.

Glocks can be shot in stock service pistol, and enhanced service pistol or custom defensive pistol depending on the caliber.

I'm a little confused with the "classifier" that you shot. The IDPA classifer has the three targets 2 yards apart at 4,5, and 6 feet high. There shouldn't be a closer target because they are all the same distance from you.

The scoring system is fairly simple. On the targets you have a -0, -1 and -3 zones. We refer to them as A, C, and D, it's an IPSC thing. If you hit all A's, you are 0 points down. Theoritically an A hit is worth 5 points, but the scoring is simpler to work with using points down. With the classifier there should be 10 shots per target per stage. So say you shot 27 A's and 2 C's and a D on the first stage. You will be 4 points down. Take your total time say (20 seconds), add 3 seconds per procedural error in this case 0, add the points down times 0.5 (7 x 0.5=3.5), 5 seconds per hostage shot, 5 second for failure to neutralize a target (less than 4 pts on a target, basically 1 D and a miss). The total time would be 23.5 seconds. Most people don't understand the scoring because it's not published.

Since it's not a true IDPA classifier, you time might not mean anything. Go to http://www.idpa.com/classifier/classif1.htm That's the classifier and the times breakdown.
 

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Anyone ever show up with a rule book?

I can't imagine them shooting IPSC/USPSA. USPSA would have a cow if they saw that they were altering their classifiers. Imagine a club that has all grandmaster shooters, shooting at 100%. That would piss off the pro's.
 
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