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New To IDPA?

What do you need to get started?

Firearm- IDPA is based around a defensive hand gun not a high end race gun. Almost any pistol 9mm or greater and most 4” or less 6 shot revolvers will work. Factory guns with open sights are fine, IDPA has rules against most custom add-on’s and modifications. There are 5 classifications to allow you to compete against others with similar style firearms.

Magazines & Speed Loaders- Reloading is part of the game and a course of fire can be as many as 18 rounds. You will need a minimum of 2 magazines and 3 or 4 would be better depending on your firearms capacity. If you are shooting a revolver you will need at least 3 speed loaders, more is better.

Holster- All shooting is done from the holster. A basic leather or Kydex belt holster will work fine to start out. It needs to be made for every day carry and ride at your waist. No drop holsters or competition holsters are allowed. Likewise SOB holsters, shoulder holsters or cross draw holsters are not allowed for safety reasons. I would not go out and spend a fortune on a holster until I had been to a couple of shoots and looked at several different holsters.

Magazine / Speed Loader Holders- You can carry your extra magazine or speed loaders however you like. A simple double magazine holder that attaches to your belt is cheap and easy and will work great. If you want to try it first you can always put them in your pants or vest pocket to get started.

Belt- Any belt will work but the more you start hanging on it the more you will appreciate a thick heavy weight belt. There are leather and synthetic belts made just for this purpose or you can find several reasonable priced workable options at stores like Cabelas. However what you already wear every day will work pretty well for quite a while.

Cover Garment- IDPA is designed to work around concealed carry and official events require a cover garment. The good news is most clubs do not require them for new shooters. Matter of fact we like you not to wear them so we can keep an eye on your gun and magazines during a course of fire. Once you get more familiar with the sport you can wear one. It does not need to be an expensive shooting vest as a long shirt will work fine.

Ears & Eyes- This one is pretty self explanatory. You will need ear and eye protection at any IDPA event.

The IDPA has a whole book pertaining to equipment and game rules so please note that these are basic recommendations to start out. As you learn the game and want to get more involved you can read up on the specific rules pertaining to all of the equipment above.


How does a match work?

As a new shooter you will get a 30 minute new shooter orientation class prior to your first shoot. It will touch on safety issues and some basic rules and range commands you need to know. Once you have the basics you can figure the rest out as you go.

Most ranges and all IDPA events are operated with a cold range. This means that your gun is unloaded; no magazine inserted and kept in your holster. There is a safe area at every match where you can handle your empty gun if needed. You can also load magazines at any time but you can only handle your gun in the safe area or at the line with the Safety Officers instructions.

Each course of fire will have a “Walk Through” where the course of fire will be explained in detail. When you step up to shoot you will also have another chance for questions. Most clubs will put new shooters towards the back of the list so that they can watch others ahead of them.

A typical course of fire will consist of either a standard exercise that relates to a needed defensive shooting skill or a simulated defensive scenario. You will typically draw from the holster and engage targets of varying distances both moving and stationary. You yourself will shoot standing, kneeling, setting and moving depending on the scenario. While all of this may be new to you I promise that we all started out just like you are.

When it’s your turn to shoot the Safety Officer will call you up and lead you through the process of loading and getting ready. He will also walk through the course of fire with you as you shoot and be there to instruct you in the unloading process. This all sounds a bit controlling but it really goes pretty smooth and after a couple of times it becomes quite natural.

There is a whole book devoted to the rules of this game but much of it does not apply to the basic shooting and you can learn it on a need to know basis as you progress. Getting started is easy and you will find everyone very helpful and supportive. Everyone out there had to start right where you are now and each one of use can still remember our first time.


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For any additional information Contact
Lee Tebbutt at or by phone at 785.494.2457
Ed Eller at or by phone at 785.608.6159


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