What is IDPA?

IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No “competition only” equipment is permitted in IDPA matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship.

Why do we need another shooting sport?

Prior to the formation of IDPA, there was no place to compete and hone one’s skill with equipment designed for and suitable for self-defense. Other shooting sports are just that, sports that have no relevance to self-defense. IDPA offers an exciting forum for practical shooters in which truly practical equipment, techniques and courses of fire are mandated. Prior to IDPA, there was no place at all to compete with common service pistols such as the Beretta, Glock or Sig. Nor was there a shooting sport where your concealed carry holster could also be your match holster without handicap. When you come to an IDPA match, you can not only use your duty/CCW equipment, you can be completely competitive with it! Other shooting sports have become equipment “races”; IDPA will not. If you’re interested in using truly practical pistols to solve challenging and exciting defensive shooting problems, then IDPA is the sport for you.

What are the goals of IDPA?

  1. Promote safe and proficient use of guns and equipment suitable for self-defense use.
  2. Provide a level playing field for all competitors to test the skill and ability of the individual, not their equipment or gamesmanship.
  3. Provide separate divisions for equipment and classifications for shooters, such that guns with similar characteristics are grouped together and people with similar skills compete only against each other.
  4. Provide shooters with practical and realistic courses of fire that simulate a potentially life-threatening encounter or that tests skills that would be required to survive a life-threatening encounter.
  5. Offer a practical shooting sport that is responsive to the shooters and sponsors, with unprecedented stability of equipment rules.
  6. Offer a practical shooting sport that allows the competitors to concentrate on the development of their shooting skills and fellowship with other like minded shooters.

What types of people compete in IDPA matches?

IDPA membership and matches are open to all people who can legally own a handgun, regardless of occupation, race, sex or religion. IDPA shooters come from all walks of life and include many women, too.

What types of matches does IDPA hold?

Courses fall into two categories: Self-defense scenarios or Standard exercises. The self-defense scenarios are simulations of actual or possible “real world” confrontations. These scenarios typically require shots from 3 – 20 yards and often require the shooter to change firing points and shoot from awkward positions. Standard exercises do not attempt to simulate a potential threat situation but are designed to test specific shooting and gun handling skills. IDPA matches offer diversity and truly test both accuracy and speed. Physical condition has very little to do with your performance in an IDPA match.

What type of equipment do I need to compete in IDPA matches?

IDPA matches typically require the use of a service type pistol or revolver of 9mm/.38 special or lager caliber. If your handgun is suitable for self-defense use, it will probably be competitive for IDPA matches. Practical concealed carry type holsters are stipulated for IDPA use. A common service pistol or revolver such as a Beretta 92F, Glock 17/22, Sig 226, Colt 1911A1, S&W 686 or Ruger GP-100 carried in a common pancake style holster is all that is needed to be competitive in IDPA matches.

Does IDPA offer a place for both pistols and revolvers?

Yes, as a matter of fact, IDPA competition is divided into five divisions so all popular service type pistols and revolvers will have a place to compete competitively. They are: Stock Service Pistol for DA, DAO, Safe Action users; Enhanced Service Pistol for SA users; Custom Defensive Pistol for custom .45 ACP pistol users; Enhanced Service Revolver for full moon clip revolver users; and Stock Service Revolver for revolvers that don’t use full moon clips.