The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) has provided a safe method for recreation, training, and competition for shooters interested in action pistol sports for 20 years. Shooters bring their own equipment, including handguns designed for self-defense and holsters.
IDPA members include women and men from many types of backgrounds. Matches and membership are open to anyone who can legally own a handgun. Equipment and types of guns must meet all requirements. There are five classes based on skill level:
A person can hold more than one classification if different categories of guns are used for an exercise. The scenario-based courses present an opportunity to improve your self-defense posture in a specified amount of time.
Five Tips to Get Started in IDPA
1.Take and complete a handgun safety course. Familiarize yourself with your pistol and get a concealed carry license when needed.
2.Find a gun club that sponsors IDPA events near you. Search online by city or contact national headquarters at www.idpa.com. Ask about the time, location, and range fee for the next event. You’ll probably get suggestions about what to bring, additional costs, and who to ask for when you arrive.
3.Complete the mandatory safety course/new shooter briefing. The initial safety course reviews basic handling of handguns. The safety officer also informs shooters about:
• Practical and tactical training areas.
• What to anticipate in everyday scenarios and simulated street conditions.
• The value of shooting from cover whenever possible.
Range officers are present at all times to verify that gun handling and safety are constantly practiced.
4.Select the right equipment. Check the FAQ section on the website of the IDPA you want to join or plan to visit, if you are a member elsewhere. Your gear must meet the restrictions of that chapter and should look like items worn on the street.
• Outside garment to conceal your rig.
• Durable gun belt that fits properly.
• Holster to hold the handgun securely.
• Double mag pouch for the belt.
• Three mags.
• Approved gun.
• Safety gear.
5.Meet the power classification. IDPA uses a velocity/ bullet weight formula to designate the proper loads. The lightest loading factory ammo may not satisfy the requirement. Common calibers like 9mm and .45 are popular weapons for members. There are six gun categories, including Custom Defensive Pistol and Stock Service Revolver.
Members in any classification enjoy the training and challenge of IDPA events. It is an opportunity to build skills, share knowledge, and meet friends with interests similar to yours.