Hey guys, I want to get started shooting IDPA in West Virginia and was hoping to meet some shooters here that could help me get off on the right foot. I sent an e-mail to the Main IDPA guy for my region at IDPA.com (Lew Soccorsi, President MDRC) and he sent me a great little letter back about the details. I recently took a pistol course that greatly impressed on me the need to train with a timer, and the need to train outside of a standard square range setting. I would be willing to travel into Virginia to shoot, but I would like to try and find something nearby. I live in Morgan county West Virginia, South of Berkeley Springs. From what I understand, there is a shoot coming up on the first Saturday of September. If anyone is going to this event I would really like to talk to you. I've wanted to get started doing IDPA for some time, and a little guidance is all I'm looking for prior to jumping in. This looks like a LOT of fun. Any info is appreciated.
you can check out Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club's website, www.rrpc.org, they have IDPA events on a somewhat regular basis,
club is just off 64 in Charlottesville, i
if that is not too far for you to drive,
(I think I passed thru your area on the way to Perry, about an hour or so from Winchester??)
may want to contact Templar on this site, he knows a thing or 2 about the sport
Your options are limited. There are a bunch of us in the Charleston, WV area and we drive to Marietta, OH and Ashland, KY to shoot.
The best advice I can give you is to just take your gear and go to a match. Tell the folks running the registration desk that you're brand new and need a little help. Most likely, they'll put you in a squad with some experienced shooters who are almost always willing to help a new shooter. I've had complete strangers offer me the use of their pistols when mine broke at a match. It's very, very rare to run into a real ass at most IDPA events.
Go slow, have fun and most importantly listen to the safety officers. I'm a safety officer and really appreciate it when a shooter tells me they are new/inexperienced. I make absolutely sure they are safe but I also make sure they have fun. Every new shooter who I've seen have fun at their first match always comes back for their second match.
Good luck to you. IDPA is a lot of fun.
Wow! I didn't expect such great responses. Thanks guys. Creekerdoug, I'll be sure to tell the safety officer I'm new. Safety is a numero uno priority for me, and I have no problem admitting that I don't know what I'm doing. Good advice. Templar thanks for all the links and info. I think I'll be driving into Virginia to shoot just to get my feet wet. The combative rifle and shotgun sounds like a lot of fun too. The drive would be worth it. I'm going to start reading through these web sites you gave me, and try and get my ducks in a row, and get out to a match. Its helpful to know which of you guys shoot these events so I know who to ask when I have a question.
Thanks again for the detailed info. I'm [pretty excited about trying this. Hope to see some of you at a match soon.
Good info so far!
Want to add .... I THINK (better ask to be sure) that Rivanna changed their match this month to the forth Saturday (AFAIK, it was because of a north carolina match that a lot of the regulars/staff were planning to attend). So check before you go.
There is a certain amount of gear that you'll need.
pistol/revolver 9mm minimum
3 mags/4 speed loaders
holster has to "retain" the pistol and cover the trigger guard
mag pouches/speed loader carriers (could be your pockets, but you'll really want pouches ASAP)
willingness to help out - this will start with taping targets after a shooter is finished and could should grow into helping set up stages, teardown the match after it's done and maybe become trained as a safety officer.
2x the amount of ammo you think you need, or more (maybe someone else will be short ...)
garment to conceal your "heater" Can be an untucked shirt, lots of folks use a vest. If it is hot enough the match director may ease this requirement. But last weekend in the 95+ heat and humidity the match
If you are missing any of the above and you have a "common" gun type there's a good chance their might be a loaner around. Last match I saw couple of glock mags lent out, and a cover vest. And I sold someone a couple of boxes of ammo. As you are traveling I wouldn't leave it up to fate. Buy it, or check ahead just to be sure.
gun cleaning stuff
More mags - this will keep you from rushing between stages to get your mags loaded for the next string.
Mag loaders/thumb savers ... you'll stop using these after a few matches as you find loading mags isn't really that bad.
parts kit for your heater's most weakest links
Gunsmith work on your gat (cuz it will seem a lot easier to pay your way to the top than to practice :) )pencils or pens
Membership card (first match is usually not required). Membership supports our sport.
Lots of this stuff can stay in your car, but can be nice to have just in case.
New holster - doesn't matter which you have, you'll see something else you like better ...
New pistol - this usually happens just after you spring for new holsters :)
Electronic ear muffs - these are nice as they allow you to hear so much better!
New glasses - eventually you'll put your work safety goggles back in the tool box and get a set of unscratched lenses on your nose .... OH, that's what the target looks like.
New Glasses - then you'll see that yellow/rainbow/reflective lenses look sooo coool.
Video camera - you can pick up things to work on in your game.
Range bags - at first you'll think of all the things you need and buy a 15 cubic foot model. Then you'll realize that you really only need a box of bullets as you come to the match packing and with your eyes and ears perched on top of your head. So you'll get a minimal bag. Then you'll settle on a bag somewhere in between.
Timer - makes all of the difference in the world in how you practice. Dry AND live fire.
Reloading gear ... to get that perfect load that doesn't recoil
brass bag, to get your reloading hobby started with spent range brass. You'll toss this when you figure you'd like to know the history of the brass that you are loading, and when it becomes worth it not to pick up brass and just buy once fired brass online.
copy of the rulebook for reference
Tactical pants/shorts - to match your vest
Underarmor shirt - Cool on several fronts
Sooooo, there is lots of serioius stuff mixed in with some tongue in cheek. I've lived thru some of this advice, watched others go thru some of the others, and had a bit of fun making up the rest.
Also for your gear. Folks will let a newbie slide, so use what you have, but be careful when you buy that it is legal in the sport. If in doubt, ask before you buy, or consult the IDPA rulebook. (newly updated this year).
Lastly, if you think the list above is bad, multiply it times 3 if you decide that you want to get into 3 gun matches but also multiply the fun factor as well.
Ok folks .. what did I forget?
Templar, I'm going to plan on attending the match at Cavalier on the 28th. I just have to find a babysitter. I'll send you an IM with more questions tonight. Thanks again everyone.
Great! Bring a rifle if you have one. Or hell -- you can borrow mine.
ARs, AKs, FALs, M1As, SKSs, M1 Gerands, pistol-cal carbines.....you get the idea.
Best part of the match!
Please dont LIMIT yourself to IDPA. USPSA matches are all over too.
Give USPSA a try to, its also known as IPSC. Granted it's not as tactical as IDPA but it WILL improve your shooting and your IDPA scores for sure.
If your in the mood for A LONG drive ....
The world famous Blackwater Training Center has a USPSA match the last Sunday of the month.
You can play with the same equipment just more fun and less rules.
ARFcom says play BOTH
Thanks for the offer BlackScot. I have a couple rifles that should work allright. I'm just gonna bring my LMT 16" flattop carbine and stick to the irons. I plan on training with just irons for awhile. I'm not sure how much ammo to bring. If I just throw a box of 500 XM193 in the car will I be allright? I'll probably take 8 or ten mags if that's enough. Should I bring any pistol ammo? I'll bring a few rounds to be on the safe side.
U-baddog, someday I'll try an IPSC match. The big limiting factor for me is time. IPSC seems like it would be a lot of fun, but I feel that given the limits of my free time IDPA would give me more of what I want from the experience. YMMV. When I'm done with college IPSC is on the list of things that are going to get tried.
I started with IPSC/USPSA back in the early 90's, before there even was an IDPA. It is a lot of fun, and I continued with it for about ten years. I also started into IDPA soon after they came into being....sometime late 90's? Tried to do both for a couple years or so, sort-of alternating every few months, but didn't really have enough time to get into any consistent groove with either. Finally opted a couple years ago for solely IDPA because (1) it is at-least marginally more self-defense relevant (although it is still a game), and (2) it is what they hold at the range closest to my house (a very convenient 15-minute pop).
There also is some....how shall I say....cultural differences between the two venues, which I happen to prefer the IDPA aspect of, but that's just me. There's enough going on that you could try both to see which you might want to settle into. I think Cavalier will let you shoot your first IDPA match without becoming an IDPA member (need to check this). Also, USPSA was always open to non-members back when I used to do it
Man....you'd think after all this I'd have gotten past C-class/sharpshooter. Guess practice doesn't always make perfect. Anyway as they say: "If you had fun, you've won."
See you on the 28th!