IDPA Frequently Asked Questions
Who can shoot an IDPA event?
If you can shoot a handgun safely and can legally bear arms you will be welcome to participate in our IDPA matches. St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club, Inc. make it a practice to welcome shooters from other clubs, law enforcement personnel, and new shooters to join us.
How much does it cost to shoot an IDPA event?
St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club, Inc. range/match fee is $15 for the monthly matches and $5 for the Wednesday night practice matches. These fees cover the cost of targets, equipment, and insurance.
What kind of a gun do I need?
IDPA requires the pistol be “safe and serviceable”. That means they have to operate safely and be reliably. The IDPA also requires a certain minimum “power factor”. These power factors are usually met by pistol shooting .38 special or more powerful cartridges.
Is IPDA safe?
Yes, IDPA has an admirable safety record; far better than other recreational activities such as softball or jogging. And we intend to keep it that way. To minimize risk there are stringent safety requirements. We will not bend, alter, waive, or otherwise try to shortcut safety rules.
A Safety Officer (SO) remains just behind every shooter for every scenario. Handguns can only be removed from their holster in a designated “safe area” or when the SO tell you. The SO will check downrange to confirm it is clear and then tell you to “Face downrange, load and make ready”. The Safety Officer asks “Is the shooter ready”? When the shooter confirms that they are ready, the SO will say “Standby” and start the timer. On the signal the shooter may start their run, when they finish, the muzzle must remain pointed downrange. The SO tells you to “Unload and show clear”. For a revolver that means to open the cylinder and remove all rounds, showing the SO an empty cylinder. For an automatic, remove the magazine and pull back the slide, showing the SO and empty chamber. The SO tells you to “Close your Cylinder/Drop you slide”; “Drop the Hammer”; “Reholster”, and “Range is Safe”
What types of matches are held by the IDPA?
There are levels of competition within the TDPA. Local club matches are the most informal. We have a practice match every other Wednesday evening. Monthly matches are typically held on Saturday and are larger, and more complex. Major or sanctioned matches are the most rigorous and complex matches. They are more expensive and typically involve advanced competition with trophies being awarded. An example of such a match would be a state championship. Finally there are local classifier matches; these are highly structured stages to classify each shooter’s skill level.
What is a classifier?
In order for shooters to be able to compete fairly with their peers, IDPA competitors are divided into five classifications based on skill level. A “Classification Match” is a standard formatted match scored by an accredited Safety Officer. We recommend you shoot a classifier if you are going to compete at any level. St. Joseph County Conservation and Sportsman Club, Inc. hold a Classifier match in the spring or by special arrangement.
What are the Classifications and Divisions?
IDPA classifications are: Novice, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, and Master. These classifications are determined either by performance in a Classifier match or meritorious advancement by winning a classification/division in a major match.
Divisions are the five different types of pistol used in competition.
Service Stock Pistol, SSP – Semiautomatic 9 mm or larger:
Enhanced Service Pistol, ESP – Semiautomatic 9 mm or larger with certain modifications;
Custom Defensive Pistol, CDP – Semiautomatic .45 ACP;
Compact Carry Pistol, CCP – Semiautomatic, 9 mm or larger, barrel length of 4.10: or less
Revolver – revolvers all types
What else should I bring to matches?
Hearing protectors (either muffs or ear plugs), eye protection (impact resistant sun or regular glasses or clear shooter’s glasses), a holster; hip only, no shoulder holsters, cross draws, or pocket holster. Inside the waistband holsters are ok. You will need three magazines or speedloaders for revolvers (only two are required for most scenarios but it is much better to have three). You also should have a garment that conceals you handgun in its holster.
I just want to improve my shooting skills; I am not interested in the competition. Can I just shoot for practice?
Lots of people come out and shoot just for practice. Because of safety requirements we will treat everyone who is shooting just the same. You will have a safety officer right behind you all the time and he will time your run. If you are not interested in your scores, just ignore them.
Do I need a concealed carry permit to shoot IDPA?