1. How do you reconcile the usual competition 2-3 shots per target, versus the real-life attitude of “shoot them to the ground”?

    I have no doubt that IDPA is fantastic practice (I’m trying to figure out how to get to my area club), but I wonder if this one point is building bad habits.


  2. Good advice, most gun ranges will not allow draws from holsters, or movement on the firing line, or a lot of other things, and IDPA is a great and safe way to practice those skills

  3. This is an ancient problem. A Badguy-27 target is just another bullseye. Very good precis of the problem and some beginnings on a solution, but our ancestors were better shots than we are because they hunted for their soup and steaks. You want reactive, elusive targets? Go hunting.

    Enjoyed your articles for years, Mas! Keep it up.

  4. We’re fortunate to have our own range on our own property to safely practice when we want, usually once or twice each week. While I’ve shot IDPA occasionally in the past, I like honing the skills at home.

    Do you think that only shooting X number of rounds before reloading in IDPA matches instead of working with our actual number of rounds our magazine holds will cause a problem in a real situation?

    Also, I sometimes purposely load a dummy round in a magazine and then mix ’em up during shooting to practice clearing a jam.

  5. Chris & Dann, I don’t think the shot sequencing will be a problem. In IDPA I’ve faced targets that required one shot, two, three, or (with steel knockdowns) several. That keeps you thinking and prepares you for conditional branching. In real world incidents, most people lose count of their shots after the first three or four anyway, most of the time.

  6. Mas,I will agree with you, to a point. I have not shot IPDA but, as you know I have shot lots of IPSC. Two IPSC national matches, the first Bianchi Cup, The first 3-gun Soldier Of Fortune match, etc. The pressure induced on the shooter is helpful.However, having designed many IPSC matches, I have aways realized that having time as a factor is probably not a good idea. Sure, I suppose that there are isolated real life cases where time played a role. For the PRIVATE citizen, not a cop, rushing into a dangerous situation calling for possible gun play, does not seem like good technique. Unfortunately, in a match something has to be used to separate the wheat from the chaff. Otherwise all entrants would be Aces. As a private citizen, when the balloon goes up I have felt that you either have all the time in the world or you have no time at all. I am probably quoting somebody.
    By the way, my daily carry gun at my business is the Ruger LCR using Critical Defense 110 GR +P. It is light weight and easily concealed from those who might get needlessly excited. I would not care to shoot it in a match.

  7. Mas, plenty of people seem to think that “too much” match shooting for match types like IDPA will make you get into bad habits vs real self defense scenarios for things like the tactical reloads and use of cover when you are focus on getting a good match result.

    How do you train to not get into bad habits that could be a problem in a real self defense scenario?


  8. Magnus, tactical reloads are seldom necessary in the field until after the fight is over, and aren’t required that often in IDPA anymore. Use of cover is emphasized in IDPA, and I think that’s a good thing.

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