One of the fastest growing shooting sports, International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) events feature dynamic, defensive scenarios. IDPA is handgun sport that stresses both speed and accuracy and it can be a challenge for competitors to know how to balance these and other skills. With the competition season kicking off with Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals in February, here are 5 tips that will help you prepare for your next IDPA match and to take your defensive pistol game to a new level this year.
5 Tips to Help Improve Your IDPA Scores
- Familiarize yourself with the new IDPA rules to avoid penalties. It’s a good idea to get a copy of the latest IDPA rule book to make sure you are aware of any rule changes. If you compete in other shooting sports like USPSA or IPSC, re-reading the IDPA rules will help you avoid common mistakes that could result in procedural penalties for things like illegal reloads and not shooting from behind cover.
- Inspect your gear to make sure it is race ready. Go over your gun, holster and mag pouches and look for any loose screws, cracks or breakages. If you use night sights make sure the tritium still lights up in low and no light conditions. Change the batteries in your flashlight. It’s also a good idea to inspect your concealment garment for any holes or tears that could potentially snag your equipment. Finally, clean and organize your range bag so you are fully prepared for your upcoming matches.
- Examine how you move, set up into positions and how you approach cover in order to maneuver through a stage efficiently. Practicing your set ups with focus on having your gun up and ready to present onto the target will help reduce wasted movement on a stage. Incorporate position work like taking a knee and getting up from a kneeling position as quickly and as efficiently as you can into your training. Pay special attention to maintaining a workable distance between you and cover to make sure you are able to acquire targets quickly.
- Practice different shot sequences, target engagements and the number of rounds on targets to prepare for a variety of stages. Unlike USPSA where competitors mostly shoot 2 shots on each target 90% of the time, in IDPA the number of shots required on targets changes frequently. Practice shooting at targets from near to far and as you see them as well as in tactical sequence. Tactical sequence dictates that you must shoot targets with a specified number of rounds before engaging them again.
- Know your down zero zone, especially for difficult targets and challenging lighting conditions. IDPA rewards accuracy. Even though the targets are often at close range, resist the temptation to shoot too fast. Make it a point to aim for the down zero portion of the available target for every single shot. Keep in mind that low lighting conditions and targets obscured by both hard and soft cover can make it difficult to see where the scoring perforations are on the target.
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