Uncharted territory! The largest number of IDPA matches I ever shot in a year (prior to 2020) was five. And the largest number of matches overall in a year was six. I have now beaten both of those personal records, shooting in my seventh IDPA match of this year. As the readers will see, this would not be the only “personal best” for me on this day.
The Venue and Weather
This match was another held at the “newer” of the venues at which I typically shoot. Nothing much to say about it. Weather was a little chilly in the AM, and the anticipated appearance of the sun did not take place until the match was about over. Temperatures were probably in the upper 40s to lower 50s most of the morning.
My usual here. Generation 3 Glock 19 equipped with Ameriglo I-Dot Pro sights and otherwise modified as per this article. I used a Bravo Concealment outside-the-waistband holster and my no-name kydex double magazine pouch. I used Blazer Aluminum 124 grain ammunition.
The match consisted of one “warm-up” stage (set up in each bay so we’d all shoot that first) followed by five more stages with a fair amount of movement involved in almost all of them. I would participate in my typical Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) category, which limited me to 8 rounds per magazine (can start each stage with an extra round in the chamber unless otherwise specified). I should mention that this was a very “right-hand friendly” match, and I felt bad for my friend R____, who is a south-paw. Some of the stages were quite a challenge for him.
One note: due to the current ammunition crises/shortage, this was the first IDPA match I have attended that allowed the use of .22lr autoloading pistols. Only three competitors chose to take advantage of this.
I will also mention that this match included a separate classifier after the match was over (an additional $10 on top of the $20 for the match proper). I had not shot a classifier in about a year, and as an IDPA member I am supposed to shoot at least one per year, so I went ahead and signed up (as did 14 other shooters) and participated after the match.
This was a very simple stage. Seven yards in front of a single IDPA target, gun holstered and covered with cover garment. Start with firearm loaded with exactly six rounds. On the beep, draw and shoot six shots to the body, perform a slide-lock reload, and shoot three more to the head. This was identical to the warm up stage from the last match. I shot this in 5.77 seconds with one hit outside the head A-zone, so 6.77 seconds with that penalty. This was good enough for 9th of 42 overall, 1st of 5 in CCP.
Interesting note. At the last match I shot this clean in 8.83 seconds, good enough for 4th of 43 overall, 2nd of 6 in CCP. So I just find it interesting how a significantly slower time last time got me a higher place overall but a lower spot in CCP.
The match director must really have a thing for handcuffs, because this was at least the second or perhaps third match in which handcuffs were utilized at this venue this year. On this occasion, we had both of our hands cuffed together in front of our bodies. We began seated at a table with firearm unloaded on the table with magazines alongside. On the beep, we had to load the firearm and engage 4 targets positioned behind 3 non-threat targets. Each target had to be hit with two shots each. And, as if things were not interesting enough, we had to shoot strong-hand only. Our support hand could be used underneath our strong hand to support, but we were not allowed to grip in any way with the support hand.
I struggled a bit with the loading and, seconds later, my reload. The handcuffs were just not easy to work around, and I even slightly tagged a non-threat. I finished this stage 18th of 42 overall, 2nd of 5 in CCP.
Quite the contrast in setup (and result), this stage involved a lot of movement as we would engage 7 targets from 4 different spots as we moved around “walls” in an “office” setting. This was one of the right-hand friendly stages. I planned my stage well, reloading on the move between firing positions. I finished this stage 1st overall (and obviously 1st in CCP). This was only the second time since I have been shooting in IDPA that I have won a stage.
This stage was oddly similar to the prior stage, only this time we were ostensibly clearing our house of bad guys rather than our workplace. This was another right-hand friendly stage, starting at the far left, engaging two targets there, then four more targets from a second firing position further right, and finally two more from a third firing position to the far right. I had a single hit outside the down-zero zone on one target and finished this stage 7th of 42 overall, 3rd of 5 in CCP.
Yet another right-hander friendly stage where we were essentially clearing four aisles at a Stop ‘N Rob. Two targets at the end of each aisle (only about 7 yards away), each of which had to be engaged with two body shots and a single head shot. I finished this stage 2nd of 42 overall, 1st of 5 in CCP.
Well, since we had one stage shot strong-hand only, it only seemed fitting to have another that would be shot support hand only. Since we would be moving right to left on this stage, it STILL favored right handed shooters (since right-handers would be using their left hand). There were six targets that had to be hit with two shots each. The one reload necessary for this drill could still be executed in the “regular” way after first moving the gun to the strong hand. I finished this stage 7th out of 42 overall, 2nd of 5 in CCP.
I finished the match 3rd of 42 overall, 2nd of 5 in CCP. I shot the entire match down 9 points (plus 5 for the hit on the non-threat, which ultimately cost me second place). The match winner was someone I do not know who shot in the Carry Optics division, and the second place finisher (winner of the last match) is classified a Master and was shooting in CCP.
I shot a total of 74 rounds during the match.
My friend and I then waited around for the (somewhat) inefficient start to the classifier. The IDPA Short Classifier (I think it may now be the only classifier) is identical to the Bill Wilson 5×5. It is shot in four stages and uses only 25 total rounds. All are shot without cover garments from 10 yards away.
Stage 1: Draw and shoot 5 rounds freestyle (two-handed)
Stage 2: Draw and shoot 5 rounds strong-hand only.
Stage 3: Draw and shoot 5 rounds freestyle, perform a slide-lock reload, and then shoot 5 more rounds.
Stage 4: Draw and shoot 4 rounds freestyle to the body and then 1 shot to the head.
Competing in CCP and already classified “Expert”, I really went for it, hoping to finally achieve “Master” status. Accordingly, my overall time (time + any points down) would have to be 21.7 seconds or less. Time-wise, I easily achieved my goal, shooting the four stages in a combined 18.31 seconds. Unfortunately, I missed too many shots outside the down-zero scoring zones and will remain an Expert. I think this really speaks to the lack of practice I have put in this year on my own. More on that at a later date.
That’s about it. As always, thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below, as we always welcome civil discourse. In the past we have also suggested posting questions or comments on our Facebook page, but that has now been disabled for reasons neither John nor I understand. So it goes.