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
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
2: Provide a level playing field for all competitors to
test the skill and ability of the individual, not their equipment or
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
6: Offer a practical shooting sport that allows the competitors
to concentrate on the development of their shooting skills and fellowship
with other likeminded 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
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
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
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.
What are the advantages
of IDPA membership?
1: You will be a member of an international organization devoted to
promoting defensive pistol shooting as a sport and preserving your right
to own and use self-defense handguns.
2: You will receive an official IDPA rulebook.
3: You will be eligible to compete in shooting events
at the local, national and international levels.
4: You will receive an official IDPA shooting cap.
5: You will receive an IDPA membership card certifying
you as a member in good standing.
6: You will receive a copy of the IDPA Tactical Journal
(the official publication of IDPA) every quarter.