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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested in shooting competition for fun while improving my skills. I'm only interested in shooting pistols right now.

What are the main differences b/w these shooting clubs? Is USPSA and IPSC the same or related? And which one do you think would fit me the best? They all have 'practical' as part of their names but which one is the most practical? Thanks!
 

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It appears to me (after an exhaustive 3 minute search on the internet) that IPSC is a part of USPSA.

However, I have looked into IDPA a lot more and it seems to be more my style: regular people shooting their off-the-shelf personal defense/carry guns in simulated real world situations. In the IDPA videos I've watched I haven't seen any participants with endorsements on their shirts speed-shooting their way through the range with space guns.
 

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rjinga60 said:
It appears to me (after an exhaustive 3 minute search on the internet) that IPSC is a part of USPSA.

However, I have looked into IDPA a lot more and it seems to be more my style: regular people shooting their off-the-shelf personal defense/carry guns in simulated real world situations. In the IDPA videos I've watched I haven't seen any participants with endorsements on their shirts speed-shooting their way through the range with space guns.
I've never been to a IPSC before but my experience with IDPA has been like yours.
 

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hgmike said:
I'm interested in shooting competition for fun while improving my skills. I'm only interested in shooting pistols right now.

What are the main differences b/w these shooting clubs? Is USPSA and IPSC the same or related? And which one do you think would fit me the best? They all have 'practical' as part of their names but which one is the most practical? Thanks!
USPSA and IPSC are more or less the same for domestic purposes. The USPSA is the organization that handles IPSC events here in the U.S..

The IPSC and IDPA rulesets are somewhat different, and which one is more "practical" or "realistic" is up for debate.

Off the top of my head:

IDPA:
Often requires the weapon start concealed.
Limits all magazines to 10 rounds.
Reloads require you to be at slide-lock or you must retain/retrieve the half-empty mag.
Scoring is simpler.
Requires firearm be reasonably close to "stock" for most divisions, and limits modifications somewhat in all of them.

USPSA/IPSC:
Less restrictions on how you carry.
No limits on magazine capacity in Limited and Open formats (although there's a size limit to the magazine so in Limited it's not ridiculous).
Reload however you like.
Scoring is more complex (but arguably more accurate).
Firearms are allowed more modifications in some divisions, ranging from Production (where firearms must be close to stock) to Open, where serious competitors will have decked out "Raceguns".

If you just want to practice shooting and moving, reloading, and other basic skills for self-defense, and you don't care how you rank compared to other shooters, shooting IPSC Limited is probably the best place to start. There's very few technique-based rules you have to follow, you can pretty much shoot what you want and how you want.

If you want to take a stock gun and be competitive, and be forced by the rules to conform to what many people consider "realistic" (specifically, reloading only from slide-lock or forcing you to retain a non-empty mag), then IDPA is better.
 

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IDPA also requires that your reloads must start and end from behind cover. I've been caught reloading an empty mag running from one spot toward cover - which is likely what I'd do if ever in a real defensive scenario.

I've been shooting IDPA for about a year and have never shot an IPSC match, so I can't compare the two. Shooting IDPA on a regular basis has allowed me to be more proficient in my gun handling skills. It's also good to shoot under the stress of a competition with other folks watching.
 

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Try them both. Try a steel match too. See what you like. Just my :2cents:
 

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As you already read, USPSA and IPSC are the same. IPSC is international and USPSA is US only, but they are the same rules and courses (with just some minor differences).

As far as which is better or more practical (USPSA or IDPA) I would say the one that has the match that is more convienent to you. The USPSA Production class is very similar to the IDPA with respect to the limits on rounds in the gun (10) and modifications to the firearm (very few or none). They do have some differences in how you play (and, yes, they are both games) but the differences are fairly minor.

I started shooting USPSA about 3 years ago in production class and it has made a tremendous difference in my confidence and abilities with my gun. It won't turn you into some elite special forces type of shooter, but it will teach you to shoot under stress, shoot on the move, deal with weapon malfunctions, think about how to shoot a course and adjust on the fly, shoot from positions you may not normally be able to train at a indoor range, and shoot both, strong hand only, or weak hand only. Not only all of that, it's also a blast!

Again, don't worry too much about trying to decide between USPSA and IDPA. Find a match that you can get to and give it a try. You can shoot at least one match of IDPA without having to join, and USPSA doesn't ever require you to join (unless you compete in regional or larger matches).

Cliffhanger
 

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cliffhanger said:
it will teach you to shoot under stress, shoot on the move, deal with weapon malfunctions
Do they give instruction on how to do these? Or are you expected to know on your own before you can compete?
 

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Rugerer said:
Do they give instruction on how to do these?
USPSA guys will want you to go through a safety briefing before the match, whereas IDPA is a little more informal and the RO will go over the rules before the stage begins. Just inform the people @ the registration table that your a new shooter and they'll help you out. Lots of good people in both these groups and most are willing to help someone learn the game.

I like both groups and appreciate their differences. IDPA has alot of rules, and more realistic scenarios, it also has lower turnout at the matches I go to so, the day is shorter. USPSA gives you the opportunity to put alot more rounds down range, with a larger variety of targets, more game like, matches are large and last all day. I've only been to Cherokee matches so thats all I have to draw off of.

Both are great practice and will improve your abilities and familiarity with your gun, not to mention a great past time.
 

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Rugerer said:
cliffhanger said:
it will teach you to shoot under stress, shoot on the move, deal with weapon malfunctions
Do they give instruction on how to do these? Or are you expected to know on your own before you can compete?
You're expected to have safe gun handle skills already. While there isn't a formal training at USPSA, most of the shooters there are willing to help new shooters along. You can move and shoot at your own pace and you won't be rushed or pressured.

They will go over safety rules and such, but you can read about them on the USPSA website. http://www.uspsa.org/rules/

Cliffhanger
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the information, I understand the differences now. I see matches are at the South River GC, Cherokee GC, and Griffin GC. Are there any closer to Marietta?
 

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hgmike said:
Thanks for the information, I understand the differences now. I see matches are at the South River GC, Cherokee GC, and Griffin GC. Are there any closer to Marietta?
Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range has IDPA every tuesday @ 6:30 if that helps...also go here. http://www.gadpa.com/

Cheers.
 

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rabbivj said:
hgmike said:
Thanks for the information, I understand the differences now. I see matches are at the South River GC, Cherokee GC, and Griffin GC. Are there any closer to Marietta?
Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range has IDPA every tuesday @ 6:30 if that helps...also go here. http://www.gadpa.com/

Cheers.
Hi Caliber in Holly Springs up I-575 at Sixes Rd has IDPA matches the 2nd and 4th Wed of the month. Usually about 20 shooters and we shoot about 3 different stages. Well, they shoot it - my Wednesday evenings have been tied up for the last couple of months, but hopefully that's about to change so I can get back up there.
 

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Re: IDPA vs USPSA vs IPSC

IPSC allows 357SIG in the major power factor. IDPA doesn't - anything under 40cal is disqualified automatically, even 9x25 Dillan (dumb rule).
 

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Re: IDPA vs USPSA vs IPSC

Mrs_Esterhouse said:
IPSC allows 357SIG in the major power factor. IDPA doesn't - anything under 40cal is disqualified automatically, even 9x25 Dillan (dumb rule).
IDPA doesn't have power factors and don't differentiate calibers at all. Semi autos must be 9X19 or larger and revolvers must be .38 Spec or larger. The vast majority of IDPA competitors are shooting 9mm.

The only caliber specific class is CDP - which is single stack 1911 in .45 ACP only.
 

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Re: IDPA vs USPSA vs IPSC

GooberTim said:
Mrs_Esterhouse said:
IPSC allows 357SIG in the major power factor. IDPA doesn't - anything under 40cal is disqualified automatically, even 9x25 Dillan (dumb rule).
IDPA doesn't have power factors and don't differentiate calibers at all. Semi autos must be 9X19 or larger and revolvers must be .38 Spec or larger. The vast majority of IDPA competitors are shooting 9mm.

The only caliber specific class is CDP - which is single stack 1911 in .45 ACP only.
Whoops, I had my initialisms mixed up. :oops:

The 357 Sig caliber is recognized in the new IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association), which has an edge on 'practical' defense shooting with stock duty/defense guns. The IDPA also uses a more realistic power factor rating for duty cartridges. Unfortunately, the IPSC/USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association) still uses the 'obsolete' major power factor of 175 along with a different, biased point standard for those that shoot in the major category.
 

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Re: IDPA vs USPSA vs IPSC

GooberTim said:
Mrs_Esterhouse said:
IPSC allows 357SIG in the major power factor. IDPA doesn't - anything under 40cal is disqualified automatically, even 9x25 Dillan (dumb rule).
IDPA doesn't have power factors and don't differentiate calibers at all. Semi autos must be 9X19 or larger and revolvers must be .38 Spec or larger. The vast majority of IDPA competitors are shooting 9mm.

The only caliber specific class is CDP - which is single stack 1911 in .45 ACP only.
Technically both are incorrect.
IDPA:
ESP, SSP and SSR have a 125,000 power floor.
CDP and ESR have a 165,000 power floor.
Calculate by multiplying velocity and bullet weight (ie 230gr bullet at 800fps = 184,000)

CDP is .45 only but there is no regulation on single stack or single action. I know many who have shot other than 1911s in CDP. Ernie Langdon won the nationals a few years back with a Sig and there have been a few more recent wins with double stack, striker fired guns.
 

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GooberTim said:
I've been shooting IDPA for about a year and have never shot an IPSC match, so I can't compare the two. Shooting IDPA on a regular basis has allowed me to be more proficient in my gun handling skills. It's also good to shoot under the stress of a competition with other folks watching.
Hey Tim, you mind if I shoot you a PM with some IDPA related questions? I was really planning on doing my first IDPA match at Hi Caliber this month(was gonna go spectate yesterday to get a feel for it but it got canned 'cause of the weather) and wanted to get a good idea of what to expect from someone who has experience with it.
 

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I recommend you shoot a couple of steel matches before running around with a gun in your hand and glory in your heart. Steel Matches will teach you the commands and feel the stress without the running and manipulation of the gun, ie loading.

www.griffinsteelmatch.com

You'll see the same folks shooting there that you see winning IPDA and USPSA matches.
 

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Re: IDPA vs USPSA vs IPSC

madcapmagician said:
Technically both are incorrect.
IDPA:
ESP, SSP and SSR have a 125,000 power floor.
CDP and ESR have a 165,000 power floor.
Calculate by multiplying velocity and bullet weight (ie 230gr bullet at 800fps = 184,000)

CDP is .45 only but there is no regulation on single stack or single action. I know many who have shot other than 1911s in CDP. Ernie Langdon won the nationals a few years back with a Sig and there have been a few more recent wins with double stack, striker fired guns.
SSR will change to 105 PF effective 17 January 2011. An email just went out to the ACs and Club Contacts and there is a link at the top of the IDPA website. Shooters can now compete with store bought ammo that previously would most likely not make 125 PF.
 
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