Revisiting IDPA After A Year of Shooting USPSA
After my initial firearms training I started shooting IDPA to continue developing my handgun handling skills. I enjoyed the real-life scenarios involving moving and shooting. It seemed like a natural extension of the self-defense training I had been involved in. I enjoyed being a active member of the local IDPA club. I came early to help set up stages, and stayed late to take them down when I could. I helped by keeping score and sometimes ran the timer.
I had begin to hear about another club that held matches on the same range. I came out a watched some of their matches. I was encouraged to give it a try I, but the rules looked much different and I didn’t want to confuse what I was learning in IDPA. After about a year of shooting IDPA I decided to try shooting a USPSA handgun match.
I shot both club matches for a little while, and eventually decided I liked shooting USPSA handgun matches more. I like that USPSA is not scenario based, and feels more like a game. The stages are larger. You move more, shoot more, and decide for yourself from where and how you will shoot the targets. You can also encounter a wider variety of targets including: moving steel, plate racks, and knock downs, plus moving paper targets such as swingers and max-traps.
I am excited about shooting as many matches as I can. And, when I found myself with no USPSA match to shoot on a Sunday, I decided to shoot IDPA. I found I did not enjoy it as much as I once did. I have nothing bad to say about IDPA, the local club, or the people who put it on. They all do a wonderful job. I just discovered I enjoy one style of action shooting over another.
After shooting USPSA only, for over a year, I found IDPA to be more restrictive in that you are instructed how you will engage the targets, and from where. When you can reload. You must retain loaded magazines, or go to slid-lock, both techniques that differ greatly from USPSA.
This is not to be in any way a poor reflection on the IDPA shooting sport. It is simply my opinion, that I personally prefer shooting USPSA handgun matches. Give them both a try, and decide for yourself.
Do you shoot IDPA or USPSA matches? Which do you prefer, and why?