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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My whole life, I have been "above average" at just about every sport of competitive endeavor I have ever done—golf, baseball, auto racing, mountain bike racing, karting, darts—you name it. Just good enough to enjoy it, but not good enough to compete at any high level. I took up firearms last year and in a short amount of time, I recognized that I had a real natural ability and comfort, for the most part.

Lately, I have been contemplating getting involved in organized competitive shooting. I would be starting from scratch, from the bottom, but not only don't have any idea what is involved, but no idea where to begin. What is the best path to start shooting in IPDA or GSSF matches? What do I need to begin?

I'm a range guy who has never even belted on a holster. I don't carry, I don't hunt, I'm not LE or former military. I just enjoy the mechanics and simplicity of firearms, I love to shoot, and I'm relatively capable with a pistol or a rifle in my hands. I'd like to give it a go sometime down the road, but would love to know the best way to get there.


Any ideas and suggestions from those of you who have gone down this path?



As always, thanks in advance,




doug
 

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My whole life, I have been "above average" at just about every sport of competitive endeavor I have ever done-golf, baseball, auto racing, mountain bike racing, karting, darts-you name it. Just good enough to enjoy it, but not good enough to compete at any high level. I took up firearms last year and in a short amount of time, I recognized that I had a real natural ability and comfort, for the most part.

Lately, I have been contemplating getting involved in organized competitive shooting. I would be starting from scratch, from the bottom, but not only don't have any idea what is involved, but no idea where to begin. What is the best path to start shooting in IPDA or GSSF matches? What do I need to begin?

I'm a range guy who has never even belted on a holster. I don't carry, I don't hunt, I'm not LE or former military. I just enjoy the mechanics and simplicity of firearms, I love to shoot, and I'm relatively capable with a pistol or a rifle in my hands. I'd like to give it a go sometime down the road, but would love to know the best way to get there.

Any ideas and suggestions from those of you who have gone down this path?

As always, thanks in advance,
doug
I can't speak for IDPA, it's never been on my radar. I do shoot USPSA and GSSSF, mostly USPSA. Here's a thumbnail summary of both forms of competition, which I'm sure will be incomplete. At least it's a starting point.

GSSF (Glock Sport Shooting Foundation)
(think PCA track days)

. open to Glock owners
. classes for any Glock
. events scheduled all over the US
. schedule in my area allows one or two matches per year
. intended mainly as a promotional vehicle for Glock
. prizes include guns (!)
. does not require holster
. starting position is low ready
. stages are published and well known in advance
. no movement is required to shoot GSSF
. lack of movement helps make it safe, but simple
. Range Officers not as uniformly trained as other disciplines
. friendly, relaxed, safe
. accuracy and speed are required
. inexpensive

USPSA (Welcome to USPSA.org - Home of the United States Practical Shooting Association)
(think SCCA)

. US franchise of IPSC
. good national organization
. schedule of matches allows two to four matches per month in my area
. no prizes except maybe ribbons
. stages require movement most of the time
. stages are often designed by local match directors, can be quite challenging
. stages are challenging and not always revealed before the match
. most matches include a standard "Classifier" stage, your classification is earned by shooting classifiers within a Division
. Divisions include Production, Revolver, Single Stack, Open, Limited, Limited 10
. very professional Range Officer certification program
. excellent safety record
. the firearms manufacturers have pros who shoot in USPSA matches.
. accuracy and speed are required, handgun power is taken into account in scoring (power is Power Factor)
. holsters, belts, magazine pouches, good ear protection, good eye protection are required.
. it can get expensive, depending on the Division you shoot.

I will think of other things and post updates I'm sure, but that's a beginning picture.

Chris
 

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My humble advise, or at least what I did. Get one if your pistols, 3 magazines, a good holster and a double magazine pouch. Then go to a match. IDPA or USPSA. Take 150-200 rounds with you. Shoot a few matches to get a feel for things. After that, you'll start to figure out what's going to be best for you. You'll get a lot if advise, meet a bunch if great people who will help guide you.

I finally started shooting competitively about 5 months ago. I waisted some money on equipment I ended up not liking or just didn't need.

Go to the IDPA website and get a membership. Also, their website will help guide you to matches, legal equipment and rules.

That's basically how I got started. Fortunately for me, I met up with an old friend who shoots. I didn't know he even did that. Now we are what you might call " Match Buddies". We help critique each others stages and shooting. Back each other up with equipment when needed. Car pool to save on gas. Plus, it makes for a better experience.

Shoot your own match. Trying to heat the Vogels out there is tuff. Improve your game, ride to the next level by continuing to improve your skills.


Have Fun with it.:) just my quick $0.02 while I'm at work. Feel free to give me any change left over.

Check local gun clubs for matches. That's another great place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GSSF
(think PCA track days)

USPSA
(think SCCA)
Speaking my language... thanks! :D That's a huge help for me and anyone else thinking of dipping a toe in.

Any recommended things to make sure I have/own before venturing into this? I already want a G34, but I will start with my G19. I just want to enter as a novice with low expectations and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Get... a good holster and a double magazine pouch.
I know this is a whole can of worms, and hundreds of threads all over teh internets about what to buy, but do you guys have any suggestions on either holster or mag pouches for the G19? I have absolutely ZERO experience with either.
 

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Speaking my language... thanks! :D That's a huge help for me and anyone else thinking of dipping a toe in...Any recommended things to make sure I have/own before venturing into this? I already want a G34, but I will start with my G19. I just want to enter as a novice with low expectations and go from there.
If you can get to a GSSF match, all you need is safety equipment, a Glock, and ammo.

For USPSA you can shoot as a non-member, at least at first. Your G19 will be OK for starters, if you can do well with that I would take it as a very encouraging sign. The gun is fine, it's just that the G34 is much better and will be easier to shoot competitively. You'll need a belt holster that completely covers the trigger, no fewer than three magazines, and mag pouches to hold the magazines on your belt (not in your pocket). Outside-the-waistband holsters predominate, mainly for safety I think.

I would get the minimum equipment (except I'd spend some money on hearing protection) and go shoot a USPSA match before spending a lot. Identify yourself as a new shooter and people will (always) take you under their wing to make sure that you are safe, and that you have fun and learn something.

Then, if you acquire a taste for it, you can go shopping.

  • I will recommend Blade Tech for holsters and mag pouches (OWB Holster)




This conversation is going to continue for a while, just be prepared. There is a lot of different equipment available, and we all like what we know. I am not telling you that what I use is the best, just that I'm familiar with it and it works for me.

If you stick with Glocks, like the G34, your gun expenses will be easily controlled and you can focus on the shooting part.

Chris
 

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Good luck in your new adventure. Keep us posted.

+1 with a G34. It's what I've started using for the last three weeks. It's freaking awesome!!! Don't know why I waited so long. Lol
 

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Totally agree with what everyone's said so far. To add to the list I use Comp-Tac products. Straight drop paddle holster and double mag pouch.

To answer your question-- what type of competition? Go for what's offered around where you live. Geography and distance might dictate what choices you have.

Also, I'd recommend sticking with the G19 first and get your feet wet. You might find out you'll go in other directions: .22 for Steel, G35 for major power factor USPSA. Who knows?

Start slow, get your gear, shoot safely, and most of all enjoy!
 

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Find out if there are any shooting clubs/ranges in your area... If so... see when they have matches and go watch one... see if it looks fun to you... talk to the people... Shooters are usually very kind/helpful people that love to talk about their sport...

Find out if a local club has a competition introductory/training class... if so... sign up and take it...

Visit as many different types of matches as possible... IDPA is very self defense oriented... USPSA is open and more fun... Steel Challenge is fun and doesn't need a whole lot of equipment... GSSF needs almost no extra equipment... 3gun is more expensive (duh three guns)...

If no local club... see if there is a Glock GSSF match within driving distance from you... They are a blast and require almost no extra equipment... a few magazines, but no drawing from holsters... I started in GSSF and enjoyed it so much that I started Steel Challenge to practice for GSSF... Then started shooting USPSA to practice for Steel Challenge... and then I was hooked...

Don't buy anything yet! Each of these sports requires different setups and guns... Some holsters are outlawed... sometimes holsters aren't needed... Sometimes you need a vest... sometimes you don't... Wait until you find out what's available and what you like before you buy any extra equipment...
 
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