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 Shooting your first IDPA match

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Male Number of posts : 229
Age : 37
Registration date : 2008-10-22

PostSubject: Shooting your first IDPA match   Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:30 pm

Shooting your first IDPA match

Shooting your first IDPA match can be daunting. To better prepare for your first match, the following will be helpful. If you can safely handle a firearm and understand the basic commands, you will do well in IDPA.

Something to remember. The Safety Officers are there to help you. If you have questions, please don't be afraid to ask.

The Commands:

1. Does the shooter understand the course of fire?

The Safety Officer will ask you this question, when you arrive to the line. If you have any questions, now is the time to ask.

2. Load and make ready.

The Safety Officer will ask you to load your firearm to capacity (unless otherwise stated) and place the firearm back into your holster (unless asked to place it elsewhere).

3. Is the shooter ready?

The Safety Officer will ask you if you are ready. This is not the time to ask questions. It is the time to collect your thoughts and prepare to shoot. You may however stop the process, should you have a saftey concern.

4. Stand by!

This is your signal that the timer is about the buzz and the game to begin. The buzzer should sound within 4 seconds of this command.

5. Beep (sound made by the timer)!

This is your signal to draw and engage the targets as required by the course description. Remember, shoot at your own pace and don't let the buzzer freak you out. As they say in Practical Shooting, you cannot miss fast enough.

6. If the shooter is done, unload and show clear.

This is what you will here when you are done shooting. At this point, you should drop your magazine, ejected the loaded round, and hold the slide back so the S.O. can confirm that the gun is clear. Don't try to catch the ejected round. Let the round fall to the ground. No one is going to take it.

7. Slide forward, hammer down.

Once the Safety Officer confirms that your gun is safe, he or she will ask you to release the slide and drop the hammer (pull the trigger).

8. Holster.

This is your que to holster the firearm (first) and pick up (second) your ejected round of ammunition.


The scoring system in IDPA is designed to reward accuracy over pure speed. Vickers Count converts everything to a time score and the fastest time wins.

Vickers Count scoring is based on assessing the shooter a “Time” penalty for every point the shooter drops from the total “Possible” point score (points down). To score Vickers Count, simply take the time it took to complete the string of fire (raw time) and ADD one-half (.50) of a second for each point down. Add any applicable penalties and total to get the Final Score.

The target used in IDPA has three zone as shown below. Each zone contains points. Every one point is worth 1/2 second. All paper targets must have at least 2 shots to score.

Down 0 = No time added to raw time
Down 1 = .50 second added to raw time
Down 3 = 1.50 seconds added to raw time
Miss/Down 5 = 2.50 seconds added to raw time

Note 1: A target must score at least one four zone or higher to score. To do this, one or more shots must score a "down one" or better. As an example, lets say both shots were down three (6 points total, 3seconds). Because you didn't have a shot in the Down 1 or 0 area, you also get a Failure to Neutralize (FTN). A FTN is worth 5seconds per target. In this example, you would have gone down 8 (5+3) seconds on just this target. As we said earlier, you cannot miss fast enough. Take your time and get your shots on target.

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