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I'll try to answer your question. First off, USPSA and IPSC are basically the same thing. International Practical Shooting Confederation, IPSC, is the international organization for the sport. United States Practical Shooting Association, USPSA, is the USA arm of IPSC. They have several divisions, Open, Limited, Limite-10, and Production. You can take a look at their websites at www.IPSC.org, and www.uspsa.com.

IDPA stands for International Defensive Pistol Association. It has divisions as Custom Defensive Pistol, CDP, Enhanced Service Pistol, ESP, Stock Service Pistol, SSP, and Stock Service Revolver, SSR. There may be one other division I'm spacing out.

Both of these sports involve balancing sufficient accuracy, power, and speed. The two sports have very different rules in the way you are allowed to engage targets and in doing reloads. You can find the detailed rule books on the web sites if you're interested in the details.
 

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The major difference is the scoring; IPSC emphasizes speed to a greater extent than IDPA, which puts the emphasis on accuracy.
 

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The two games have a lot more in common than many think:

-both feature mostly torso-sized cardboard targets that earn a higher score if you hit the Center of Mass (COM). From a distance, the targets look alike.

-both have you start generally with the gun in the holster & on a start signal, you will draw, engage targets, and possibly move while engaging those targets.

-both require you to sometimes shoot, then reload, and then keep engaging targets - while "on the clock". Can you reload quickly? There are no "time outs" in a real gunfight and reload speed can save your life.

-both require 9mm as the MINIMUM caliber

-both have a MINIMUM power factor of 125,000 - which translates into bullet weight in grains X velocity in FPS (sometimes divided by 1,000). Roughly, this means a typical 9mm shooter will shoot 147s travelling at 875 to 900 FPS Go below 125,000 and you get ZERO score no matter how well you shoot.

-both have "Divisions", categories or classes that allow .45 ACP but it usually (not always) has a power floor of 165,000; ordinary hardball 230 easily makes it.

-both accomodate different types of handguns; most any handgun you would carry will fit into a DIvision or class so you will only be shooting against the same type of gun. Carry a 6 shooter? you compete against 6 shooters. One exception is the ported guns like the V-12 or a "C" model glock. Its best not to bring those to a match.

Take a look at the on-line essay over on www.idpa.com entitled: The "Other" IDPA. It is about USPSA's Production Division and how its nearly identical to IDPA.

Now, what is the most important thing to do now?

Show up. I do not care if you leave your gun at home and just go to watch. Just go! IDPA, USPSA, -whichever. There is probably a competition this weekend within driving distance of your house. What you witness this weekend could save your life.

Regards,

D.C. Johnson
 

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IPSC and IDPA

Both disciplines have more similarities that differences.

IDPA is more structured and the scoring system generally emphasizes accuracy over speed. IMHO it's a good place for a beginner to start. It also has simpler, more realistic courses of fire, and is oriented more toward the defensive shooter.

IPSC has less structure and the scoring system slightly emphasizes speed over accuracy. It's a good place to learn dynamic shooting skills. Some of the courses are complex and require lots of movement, and IPSC is oriented more toward the shooter who's interest is primarily just in competition.

I shoot both and enjoy both. IDPA is more in line with my personal preferences, but I shot IPSC for 22 years before any IDPA clubs became active in my area.

If you do elect to begin with IDPA, watch to see if any of the USPSA clubs around you offer special classifier matches. IDPA has a classifier match which is a very good test of basic skills. USPSA has multiple different classification stages that are used for the same purpose. Once you are a USPSA member and have shot at least four classifiers in any particular division, you will have earned a classification in that division. The USPSA classifiers are also great tests of basic skills.

A lot depends on who is designing matches at your local club. Some clubs like to keep it simple (more my preference) and some clubs like to have long complicated courses of fire requiring 20+ rounds and lots of movement (which can be great fun but aren't realistic)

It just depends on what kind of experience you are looking for and what kind of clubs are located in your area. Chances are, you'll do some shooting in both, once you become familiar. That seems to be the way it usually works for most shooters.
 

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The main difference is that there will be a club running one closer to you and a longer trip to the other. Or that one of two nearby clubs will be better run and more welcoming.

Don't try to make up your mind over the internet, use the USPSA and IDPA club locator functions and go check them out.
 

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Another key difference between IDPA and USPSA is the equipment used.

A decent rule of thumb if you aren't sure what you'll end up shooting is to make sure your equipment meets IDPA rules. I believe anything legal for IDPA is also legal for USPSA, but the reverse isn't true. About the only equipment change you'd have to make to shoot USPSA is add another double mag pouch and make sure you have 5 mags. Depending on the division you shoot in USPSA, you might get to move your mag pouches and holster on the belt (not a great idea if you switch back and forth between sports).

As has already been mentioned, whichever type match is closest should be the first thing you try. Either will be fun.
 

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Big crush said:
Anyone else see a muzzle in the last vid? WoW:scratch:
Yep, good eyes. Hard to tell because we don't know where the muzzle safe points were. As IDPA doesn't have the 180 deg. rule. The cameraman might have gotten too far forward. But it did appeared that somebody was in the wrong place. That the hazard of doing reload while moving laterally, care must be taken to keep muzzle pointed safely.
 

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That the hazard of doing reload while moving laterally, care must be taken to keep muzzle pointed safely.
If you notice in the vid the position the competitor has placed himself in relative to the wall (he is crowding), his ablity to reload was restricted and when reloading was forced to pivot to reload. Additionally he withdrew the reload from the rear mag pouch, again due likely to his proximity to the wall.
 

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my take

IDPA specifies what to do; execution is the 'game'.

USPSA is 'free-style', so mental acuity is mandatory.

IDPA may not be shot "IPSC-style", yet USPSA can be (but one will not 'win').

I have tried both but prefer USPSA due to its 'thinking' requirement (plus I CAN shoot it like IDPA) and (considerably) higher round count.

Both offer the place to enhance one's s gun-handling and safety skills.
Neither offer tactical training.
Both are fun.

A33102
 

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watchluvr4ever said:
I am not new to shooting, however I have never competed a day in my life. I would like to know what makes these groups different from each other and if there any other competitive groups I should look into? Thanks.
If you want to start shooting I suggest IDPA first... it's a blast and it isn't all that hard to do... I love it.... once you feel you are coming up to speed at handgunning then start shooting IPSC/USPSA in the Production division or Limited 10.. you'll love it.. it's an adrenalin rush.. and it's addictive...
 

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What WESHOOT2 said!

You will need to be a better shooter in USPSA as you will run farther, shoot farther from more contorted shooting positions in a typical USPSA match, then you will in the more stagnant IDPA match.

IDPA is a good entry level game that has good shooters and I’d suggest you start there. Once you feel comfortable with IDPA give USPSA a try.

Good Luck!


Respectfully,

jkelly
 
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