International Defensive Pistol Association

You may have noticed dates on the white board in the meeting room or on the web calendar for IDPA. You may have wondered what IDPA stands for, and what it means to you. IDPA stands for International Defensive Pistol Association. IDPA is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates defensive and concealed carry scenarios, using firearms and equipment that are suited for real life. IDPA is not “tactical training”, but the gun handling skills developed will aid in solving a real life encounter. IDPA is a game with guns, and a very fun game at that.

When a lot of casual shooters hear the words”competition” or “match”, they immediately think, “I’m not good enough to compete in a match”. If you are familiar and competent with the use of your handgun, and have some basic common sense and are safety conscious, you have the skills to shoot IDPA. You may think that “I don’t have a high end competition gun” so I can’t shoot in a competition. The idea of IDPA is to use the type of guns that the average person would use for self defense, either on the street or in the home. The minimum caliber is 9mm for semi-autos and 38 special for revolvers.

In IDPA the targets are usually from 3 to 15 yards away and are a large cardboard silhouette, if you use those little bumps on your gun you will have no problem hitting the target. In IDPA you compete in a class against other shooters at your skill level. This skill level is determined in a specific course of fire called a “classifier”. If shooters compete in larger regional matches and beat most of the shooters in their class they are promoted to the next higher class.

The Phillipsburg Pistol Club is an official IDPA Affiliated club. There are only 4 such clubs in New Jersey. This affiliation allows PPC to call its matches IDPA instead “like” or “type” matches. But it also means that match directors Ken O. and myself must run the matches in strict accordance with the official IDPA rulebook.

The PPC monthly IDPA matches are the first Saturday of every month and the fourth Wednesday. The Saturday matches start shooting at 12 P.M and usually have 8-10 courses of fire, and require approximately 150-200 rounds of ammo. The Wednesday matches start shooting at 7 P.M. and usually have 4-6 courses of fire and require no more than 100 rounds.

Match time on Saturdays is 12-5PM, sign in at 11:30, new shooters must arrive no later than 60 minutes before the match and provide either proof of successful completion of NRA FIRST Steps or Basic Pistol or show proof of a classification in IDPA, USPSA or ICORE or they will not be allowed to shoot. Both ranges (inside and out) are closed from 10:00am to 5:30pm for setup and tear down.

Effective 2019: Wednesday matches are cancelled until further notice.

Wednesday match time is 7-10PM, sign in at 6:30pm, new shooters must arrive by 6:00pm and provide either proof of successful completion of NRA FIRST Steps or Basic Pistol or show proof of classification in IDPA, USPSA or ICOREor they will not be allowed to shoot. Both ranges are closed from 6PM to closing.

You can get a lot of IDPA information on the internet. The IDPA website has a lot of information and you can view the rulebook, which is the best way to start in IDPA. Click here for additional information on local IDPA clubs and match scheduled.

-Len J