Not having shot an IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) match since January 2018, and feeling a need to do so before shooting their big Sheepdog match next month, I shot the Monster Match conducted by Little River gun club in Valdosta, GA the first weekend in November.  Sheepdog is all CCP, Concealed Carry Pistol division, based on the size of the uber-popular Glock 19, listed by its manufacturer as a “Compact” 9mm.  I used a Gen5 G19 that I’ve spent considerable time with since its introduction in 2017.

Lee Turner and his Valdosta host group did something I thought was brilliant, for a couple of reasons: they made the Classifier course of fire one of the stages in the November match. I say it was brilliant for two reasons.  First, they are also the hosts of the upcoming Sheepdog event, and it gave everyone in the region who was planning to shoot that one a chance to get qualified. But, second, making the contestant shoot for classification during a match, helps to eliminate “sandbagging.”  A sandbagger is a cheater who deliberately shoots slowly or with poor accuracy in a classification test to get into a lower classification, so he can compete against less skilled and less experienced shooters to win a trophy in their category instead of the one he rightfully belongs in.  There’s a disincentive to dog it in a classifier that’s within a match: it’s going to lose the match for you if you do.

I felt slower than hell shooting that part of the November match, and wound up with 23 seconds and change: to classify as Master you have to break 20 seconds aggregate of the five stages, including penalties for points down; a second per point less than perfect is added to your time. I was stuck in Expert class, one notch down from where I wanted to be.  The categorization goes like this:  Master: 20 seconds or less. Expert: 25 seconds or less.
Sharpshooter: 32 seconds or less. Marksman: 41 seconds or less. Novice: Over 41 seconds.

So, the next day I tried it again on my home range, “shooting cold” with no warmup. No concealment garment, despite the fact that IDPA is “the concealed carry sport.” I suspect the reason is that so many new shooters are shooting the classifier, IDPA wants the range safety officers to be able to see how the hands are contacting the guns in the holster.  Here’s how it went:

Or watch video here.

Raw time for my 25 shots, 4 draws, and 1 reload was 18.9 seconds. What I thought was three hits outside the “down zero” zone in the chest turned out to be two, with one cutting the line for the higher value. However, I was using the old IDPA target, not the new one which has a maximum value “head box” in the form of a 4-inch circle, and my head hit would have been outside that. Thus I was three points down after all.  Current rules call for one full second, not a half a second as before, as penalty for a head hit outside that circle. Adjusted score was 21.9 seconds. I need to cut two more seconds off. Better hits or faster shooting and reloading? Um…yes.

But, hey, don’t model on the slow septuagenarian above. Model on World Champion Mike Seeklander, seen here shooting it cold, from concealment, with a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm, circa 2015. Awesome. And I’ll bet you money he can do it faster now.

Or watch video here.

Give it a try yourself, and let us know what you think of it, here.


  1. Nothing pisses me off faster than a cheater AKA sandbagger in this case. I’d bring my G26 with the 12 rd MagPul magazines that she loves so we’ll. Yep, I said “she”,her name’s Katie, after a good friend and former boss in CO. Thanks Mas!

  2. I shot one of these yesterday, after a match at the Hernando Sportsman Club, in order to compete in this same Sheepdog match. During the 3rd string both of my eyes went cloudy after the first shot. I ended up .02 second under my previous classification. Never fear…I still get to compete at a level above my recent classifier.
    On a bright note I did hit the zero down on the head!

  3. I wish I could load my S&W Shield M&P mags that fast. I have to use a LULA loader on the dang things after about four rounds. And, I carried a Colt Commander .45 for over 35 years on duty…not like I’m not used to mag loading.

  4. I’m also shooting the sheepdog match in the expert classification, and I’m not looking forward to be competing directly against one of my Heroes. I’ll be shooting Saturday and I truly hope I get a chance to run into you and thank you for all you’ve done for gun rights, firearms education, and the shooting sports.

  5. A nifty if subtle sort of competition between Mas and Mike. The latter’s draw of his semi-auto from the appendix is typically super-quick, but I would rather carry a revolver at the appendix, a semi-auto with a very positive locked safety as a second choice. Wouldn’t carry any semi-auto unlocked at the appendix. Just fear of ND’s. Yes, me scared!
    The 5×5 seems like a reasonable competition exercise between shooters. Likely taken with a single adversary in mind. I value taking repeated triple-taps more, though, with multiple failure (Mozambique) drills of three shots being more useful street tactics vs. multiple assailants. Three shots take long enough, let alone five. Five shots taken automatically might be more likely taken as “overkill” by the local DA, as well.

    • I agree Steve, and never use appendix carry except on rare occasions when I need to go with a fanny pack, in which case the gun is either a Kahr CW9 or M&P 40c with the 1911 safety option.

  6. This is off-topic but I thought that I would mention it.

    A “murder-suicide” recently occurred just outside a Walmart store in Duncan, OK. See this story:

    It appears that the intervention of an armed citizen was instrumental in bringing this tragic incident to an end. Who knows how many other innocent people might have been murdered had the armed citizen not intervened?

    What is interesting is how the Anti-American Media is “downplaying” the role of the armed citizen. Most of the media stories on this incident do not mention the armed citizen at all. They are simply reporting it as a “murder-suicide”.

    Of course, the reason for the media spin is obvious. A straight “murder-suicide” can be spun as yet another example of out-of-control “gun violence” here in America. It supports the Firearms-Prohibition narrative.

    The intervention of an armed citizen runs counter to this preferred narrative. Thus, the effort to suppress or omit his role in the incident. I hate to say it but my impression of the media is that they despise that the armed citizen intervened. If he had not got involved, the murderer might have went on to kill a number of other people too. This would then have become a “mass-shooting” that they could have milked to really push the Firearms-Prohibition narrative. The media would have had a great time “dancing in the blood” of these victims. However, the armed citizen intervened and stopped the body count short of the “4 or more killed” which would count it as a mass-shooting. I imagine media “spin doctors” cursing the armed citizen under their breath. It is just like a right-wing, armed citizen to ruin a good narrative story!

    With the Anti-American Media, it is ALL about SELLING the Left-Wing narrative. The American People are being fed lies thousands of times per day. I doubt that, in the history of the World (even in the old USSR or NAZI Germany), there has ever been a greater propaganda effort made to manipulate pubic opinion as is now occurring in the USA.

  7. Since the IDPA concept is concealed carry, the spec gun for Concealed Carry Pistol is discriminatory to those who carry full size firearms concealed. (that’s intended somewhat tongue in cheek) Surely they could come up with a better class label.

  8. TN_MAN,

    I heard about this story from two other sources. I think one was TV and the other was a newspaper. I do not remember any reports about an armed citizen being involved. I just heard murder-suicide.

    For the armed citizen’s sake, I am glad he didn’t have to fire. “Innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to citizen self-defense. It is the other way around, as Bernhard Goetz and George Zimmerman found out.

    I’ve heard about shootings every day for the last few of days. When someone asks me what should be done about all the shootings I’m going to say, “Shoot back.”

Comments are closed.