What is IDPA?

IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No “competition only” equipment is permitted in IDPA matches since the main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual, not his equipment or gamesmanship.

Who can shoot IDPA?

If you shoot a handgun safely, and can legally bear arms, you will be welcome to participate in our IDPA matches. Northwest Missouri Defensive Pistol Club makes it a practice to welcome shooters from other clubs, law enforcement personnel, and new shooters to join us.

How much does it cost to shoot an IDPA match?

Range fees vary at different clubs. It will cost you $15 to shoot a match with Northwest Missouri Defensive Pistol Club. The range fee is used to cover the cost of the range, targets, and equipment.

How old do you have to be to shoot an IDPA match?

You must be 12 years old to shoot an IDPA match. Children who want to shoot a match must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian for the ENTIRE match.

What kind of gun do I need?

IDPA requires the gun to be “safe and serviceable”. That means they have to operate safely and reliably. IDPA also requires a minimum “power factor”. The power factor is usually met by pistols shooting 9mm or more powerful cartridges. You may shoot either a revolver or semiautomatic.

What else should I bring?

Hearing protection (either muffs or ear plugs), eye protection (impact resistant sun or regular glasses or clear shooter’s glasses), and a holster (hip only, no shoulder holsters, cross draws, or pocket holsters, IWB is ok). You will need three magazines or speed loaders for revolvers (only two are required for almost all scenarios but it is much better to have three). You should also have a garment that conceals your handgun in its holster.

What are the requirements for concealment for a match?

One of the goals of IDPA is to more closely approximate real world situations in a safe environment. The handgun must not be visible when your arms are held straight out to the side. If you are shooting for the first time, we will waive this requirement so the Range Safety Officer can more easily watch your gun handling. Additionally, if you don’t regularly draw your pistol from concealment, you will want to be comfortable with the draw before the added difficulty of the concealment garment.

Can I just watch the match?

Yes! Spectators are always welcome. You are required to wear hearing protection and safety glasses just like the shooters do. That said, we encourage participation above merely looking. No one will think the less of you if you are not a highly accomplished shooter. If you are going to be there, you might as well join in the fun. Should you decide to simply observe please let one of the match directors know you are there simply to watch. Don’t be scared off by the fast shooters. Some of these shooters have been doing this for years and they started off slow just like the rest of us.

I just want to improve my skills; I am not interested in the competition. Can I shoot just for practice?

Lots of people come out and shoot just for practice. Because of safety requirements, we will treat everyone who is shooting the same. You will have a safety officer behind you at all times and he will time your run. If you are not interested in your scores, just ignore them. Focus instead on shooting safely and accurately. Each run is made individually, the only real competitor you have is yourself. We are all trying to learn how to shoot faster and more accurately within the strict limits of safety. If you are not interested in your scores, no one else will be either. No matter how well or badly you shoot, if you shoot safely, you will be welcome.

Do I need a concealed carry permit to shoot IDPA?

No. Although a lot of concealed carry folks come to shoot IDPA for practice with the concealed carry gun. It is a good idea if you are going to get a concealed carry permit to know your firearm and practice with it, to make sure that it is in good operating order.

What do I do when I show up for a match?

If you are a first time shooter, please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the match. Northwest Missouri Defensive Pistol Club holds matches the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:00-10:00 pm, so you would need to arrive at 6:30. The match fee is paid inside the gun shop prior to shooting. We will then meet in the classroom in the range, which is the building next to the gun shop. Come up to anyone standing around there and let them know you are a new shooter and ask what to do next. They will make you feel welcome and set you up with the right people to give you a personal safety briefing.

Is IDPA safe?

Yes. IDPA has an admirable safety record, far better than other recreational activities such as softball and jogging, and we intend to keep it that way. Shooting a firearm can be a risky activity but as long as everyone observes the safety rules you are more likely to be hurt playing football or soccer. To minimize risk there are stringent safety requirements. WE WILL NOT BEND, ALTER, WAIVE, OR OTHERWISE TRY TO SHORTCUT SAFETY RULES.

There are four basic rules of gun safety:

* The gun is always loaded.
* Never point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy.
* Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
* Always be sure of your target and what is behind it.

A safety officer (SO) remains just behind the shooter for every scenario. Safety violations such as dropping a loaded gun or pointing the muzzle past the designated muzzle safe points will result in immediate disqualification from the match. Handguns can only be removed from their holsters in a designated “safe handling area”, or when called to the line. The SO will check downrange to confirm it is clear. The SO will then tell you to “load and make ready”. The SO will ask if you are ready. When you confirm this, the SO will call “Standby” and after a short pause, you will hear a buzzer that indicates to you to begin the course of fire (COF). After you are finished shooting, the gun muzzle must remain pointing down range until the SO tells you to “Unload and show clear”. For a revolver, that means opening the cylinder and removing all the rounds and showing the SO an empty cylinder. For a semiautomatic, that means removing the magazine and pulling back the slide. When the SO sees an empty gun and chamber, he will say “I see clear” confirming that there is not a round in the chamber. The next command is “Slide forward” or “Cylinder closed”. For semiautomatics, the SO will say “Hammer” which directs the shooter to pull the trigger (still keeping the gun pointing down range). Then “Holster”. Once the weapon is thus proven to be unloaded and safely stowed in your holster, the SO will call out “The range is safe”. Then and only then can you move down range to check your targets while they are being scored for that scenario.