Tuesday, September 22, 2009


What is the big deal with IDPA/USPSA folks hating one another? I've heard it from both sides and I don't understand?



Oberstlt said...

Hate is such an ugly word. Cordial dislike may be more appropriate. But to understand where you are you need to understand where you have been.

Before you were born, young Jedi, in a land far away, Uncle Jeff and his apostles created IPSC as a test bed competition to further the Modern Technique (now abandoned) and the art/science as it was at the time, 1970 something. By the late 1980's it had become something other than intended by evolution. The rise of the dreaded Gamers overtook the Martial Artists and the seeds of discontent were sown.

While they are essentially gun games both, there is a subtle but significant difference. IPSC is more theoretical than practical and is dominated by the Gamers. Dominated by speed, it has contributed greatly to the evolution of equipment over the years but you do not see electronic sights or monster magazine arrays on any but the elite commandos at present.

IDPA was created by the Martial Artists in response. It was intended to limit the equipment to OEM type stuff, simplify the COF and add some measure of tactics into the mix.

Defensive shooting is generally boiled down into marksmanship (the ability to hit the target), gun handling (the ability to physically manipulate the gun) and tactics (the ability not to get shot).

Pure marksmanship is the purview of "bullseye" competition. We of the one true faith (IDPA) are not critical or contemptuous of our B/E cousins. They do their thing and we do our. We do not criticize or spew venom over our cousins in the Police Pistol Competition either. We stand in awe of their careful trigger manipulation and keen eyesight. Nay, we do not even launch into diatribes about Cowboys who are dressed inappropriately for the XXI Century and have never been out of the Commonwealth.

Our "frenemies" in IPSC have excellent gun handling skills. I have seen the Champion clear a jam faster than I can think. Big Bad John can change magazines as fast as lightening. They have excellent finger and muzzle control. We have much in common with them in that respect.

We do not however share tactics. IPSC makes up for that with speed and an emphasis on making shots we in IDPA should probably not make at all. The use of Cover and Concealment are stressed more than my experience with IPSC.

What I think some IDPA shooters object to about IPSC folks is bleed over. Because no one wants to go and get thumped by some guy with a $$$$ experimental gun they generally do not have clubs that last long. BCSA used to have one but now it appears to have died. CAVP doesn't have an IPSC club. That is because it does not appear to the average guy as much as IDPA.

Then the GBs show up with the wrong equipment and complain about our rules! If I was MD, I would rusticate them on the spot forever. Are IDPA rules silly? Sure but they are still the rules.

I don't hate IPSC GBs. I just don't want to associate with them. And, I don't. If your match is rooney or you don't require nonrooney equipment, I don't go. Nothing personal.

But hate? That is such an ugly word.

Glock26idpa said...

Can one shoot both without ruining any thing learned from the other?


Oberstlt said...

Can one serve Mammon and God? No man can serve two masters! But, here we are not talking about religion are we? I know that there are those of us who consider it so but here is my position:

I used to shoot bullseye. I had all of the equipment and lived by the rules of Conventional Pistol. It was pretty hard to beat the AMU who did it for a living.

Then, I used to shoot PPC. I had a Colt's 6" Python and the support appropriate gear. I did ok but got clobbered by those with the custom made bull barreled short cylinder guns made by the late, great Fred Schmidt or Ron Power or Lou Camillo or the others. I would not do so because they were not street worthy and I was into that. But my snake had been smoothed by Reeves Junkind of the TX DPS. I enjoyed it. I did ok within my limitations but I was not going to beat the USSS or the unlimited resources of the FBI. The guy from AL State Police was a fluke!

I did the Army Combat competitions using issue guns. The AMU was not included in that and we had a pretty good time. I got the EIC badge for pistol, rifle and GPMG but the Dad's Army/Reserve Marksmanship Training Units were included and did not actually have any other assigned duties as soldiers. Real REMFs!

Simultaneously to all of this, I did the early IPSC/USPSA thing irregularly. I used to be a member but I found by about 1985 that my gear was no longer the same as most of them. I had a 1911 in 45 ACP, a thumb break carry holster and a double mag carrier. Compensated 9mms quickly took over and I honestly got bored.

My point here is that when I shot those games, I followed those rules. What I object to now is that we IPSC alumni now follow another sport with other rules.

Don't bring your NASCAR go fast turn left hardware, software or mouth to our game and not expect to be razzed! Bring your concealment, a street gun, holster and PF ammo to play IDPA. If not, wait for the non-IDPA match.

You can do both but you cannot mix them without being severely chastised about the face and lips. Did Mario Andretti go to the 24 Hours at LeMans and tell them about the Brick Yard? Can a dragster compete on the oval?

I will soon be posting a new rant right here about IDPA and COFs. Stay tuned.

Glock26idpa said...

I started out in USPSA at Black Creek, in a galaxy far, far away. I got into IDPA because I wanted some practical experience with guns I would carry. While USPSA is great for learning to shoot, fast and accurate, the COF's left a little to be desired in defensive usefullness ( did not want to use the word tactics or realism). I like both but would rather shoot an IDPA match given the choice between the two( just personal pref.)
I agree that if you shoot a game you follow it's rules, not hard concept to understand.

With the advent of Production in USPSA I think they have opened the door to more IDPA shooters like me to return to their sport. It's fun and I enjoy most of the folks at the USPSA matches!

CAn't wait for the next rant!


Jim said...


It was great to shoot at the North Mountain USPSA Match with you and Dave last weekend. We had a great squad and a great time shooting our IDPA gear (mostly). It is interesting to note that the top 4 in Production were shooters out of IDPA who have expanded into USPSA.

It seems to me that stirring up controversy and fostering argument is more important with some that the shooting of matches. No matter what anyone says, both are games- end of story.

I like the athleticism required to shoot well in USPSA even though I am over 60 and hurting from my piriformis syndrome right now. Even so, I'm not giving up much to the younger guys and am still getting better.

Even if I could shoot USPSA all the time, I would not do it because I like IDPA and NRA Action Pistol too much to walk away. Different games keep you focused and challenged.

It is interesting to note that the so-called followers of the "one true faith" are rarely at the top of the match results in spite of their obvious superior of knowledge of tactics, rules, etc. Maybe a little more time spent in the gym and on the practice range would serve them such that they could actually walk the talk instead of talking us to death.

Best regards,


Oberstlt said...

Jim - in your case, hate may not be too strong a word but thank you for your personal attack! To quote John Bernard Books, "It ain't about fast. It's not even about being accurate. It is about being willing."

My personal physical condition is better than yours even if my poor old eyes have grown bad in the service of my country. I am sorry that there is not physical therapy my ophthalmologist can prescribe to fix my eyes.

You have no known record of military service. You have no record of police service that I am aware of. You do not carry concealed. This is just a game to you. There in lies the difference.

But hate is such an ugly word. Maybe too much to waste on a game player.

Have a nice time playing your games. Other than that, you are a fine fellow! Have you considered three gun?

Ed said...


So, and please help me understand this one.

If a brand new person comes to IDPA with gear that aint legal, we allow that person to shoot and guide him towards the correct gear. If you had actually been behind a timer or clipboard or put a target up in the last 3 years, you would know this. But if a person comes over from another shooting sport, who has no experience with IDPA, we are supposed to draw, quarter and bid him adieu? That position suffers so badly from cranial anal inversion that it just can't be supported.

First, let me help you with actual facts: At the last 5 USPSA matches I have personally attended, 91% of the guns at those matches could shoot an IDPA match with very small or zero modifications; in other words, only 25 of the 275 shooters had "gee-whiz buck rogers, dotted, comped" firearms. On a personal note, I derive a ton of satisfaction when I can get lucky and beat one of those dotted comped guns, but you know what, I admit it, I am a gamer who plays the game.

Second, I started in IDPA and for a while had the same head up my ass attitude that you personify of "gee-whiz its all about equipment"... Then I actually WENT to a match (OMG Stuart, I am treading on thin ice here with that profound statement) and found out that hmmm... they have divisions just like ours. SSP/Production, ESP/L-10, CDP/Single Stack. Just add a couple more mags and go for it. Guess what, I like USPSA for its challenges. Stages can be harder, with tighter shots, and if you are so ignorant that you cant determine if it is a game, guess what, it is. It is a game filled with folks who want to have fun involving the application of bullets into cardboard and steel while having fun with like minded folks. They are independent minded, self-sufficient folks who understand that shooting sports are fun. Sometimes IDPA matches with the "dance the dance" mentality, can get a bit tiring. I personally enjoy the idea of solving the problem with the way that works best for me and my abilities. Being forced to do something the same as someone else strikes me as a bit socialist.

Third, to my IDPA friends, I am known as the USPSA guy, and to my USPSA friends I am known as the IDPA guy. You know the #1 comment made by my USPSA friends? "Why are IDPA people so angry?" Stuart you typify that position. Have you ever attended a USPSA match? If you haven't, and please prove me wrong with results from one, attend one or just shut up. Your positions are so nonsensical that they sound like Obama/Clinton trying to understand what I dealt with as a young Marine.

As to those with military/law enforcement experience, well hells bells, a lot of people with military experience cant shoot worth a crap.

As to the differences between the two sports, guess what... for once you have something correct. But, regretably its like comparing sporting clays and trap... you can do both with the same equipment as far as I know.

As to your comment of "adding some measure of tactics to the mix", please go back and read your rulebook.

Let me get this down to your level. USPSA is a game, IDPA is a game, both are games, both keep score. People shoot both. Good folks shoot both. IDPA was my first love shooting sports wise, but you can have a lot of fun playing other games as well.

Oberstlt said...

Good! Now, it is just not me and the Ayataylor. Thank you for chiming in, Ed. Soon you will be doing that Marine "ohhh, ohhh, ohh" that you do when your small (but "well armored brain") catches up with what you see. And, you know that I do love you.

First, you know good and bloody well that it is not the new shooters who I am after but the IPSC gamers who show up knowing they have non-IDPA gear on! It is the GRBs who show up with equipment from IPSC that has to be pounded into the box and skirts the spirit of the game!

This also includes the MDs who skirt the COF intent to design hybrid IPSC-Steel Challenge-Bianchi cup matches. But they advertise as IDPA. If the rumour is to be believed, they will soon stop this flying of false colours.

You are a gamer (if not a GRB) but my biggest complaint is the IPSC folks show with rooney crap and then bitch about IDPA rules. Can they shoot well? You bet! Are they fast? Yep. Are they accurate? Yes, they are.

And, as I am too stupid to edit this thing, I want to go on record of saying that Jimbo comes late to this game as he started shooting only a few years ago. He is also an engineer by trade and an inveterate tinkerer. I have never seen him shoot a gun that would pass a M&P armorer inspection. We have different perspectives on that and pretty much everything else. My point here is that I like IDPA not because it is an exercise in engineering or marksmanship but a more defense oriented GAME (there I said it).

The owner of this blog, a true GRB if there ever was one, once said that he could shoot faster than he could think. IPSC epitomizes that but it was not always so. IPSC has evolved into a speed oriented event (Go fast. Turn left.) The introduction of new classes of guns into the platoon in the assault scenario bares little interest to your average shooter.

It is true that my days as an SO are behind me. And, as noted by Jim, I no longer get to compete in IDPA as often as I would like to. Retirement made some changes to my $ and my schedule. But when I get the chance I still like to go out to an IDPA match and not somebody's idea of how to make it interesting for the IPSC guys!

I would really like to see more scenario based stages. I would like to see more interesting target arrays. What I don't really care about is making it full of shots I would never take on the street, head shots and physical challenges like I am still a youngster. They already have that game.

Keep IDPA as IDPA. Use real guns and real scenarios.

If IDPA is not enough for you, go shoot IPSC. Just don't set up an IPSC match and call it an IDPA match. Just don't bring your cobbled together crap with whisper loads and a skelington holster to an IDPA match then stand about bitching about having to use cover.

Now when we get a real live IDPA Match Director over to CAVP, I just hope I can continue to compete. I look at IDPA like golf. I only beat myself. I candidly don't care about winning. Only competing. But, it is my role on this planet to be the critic. I think I am a winner in finding the nerve!

Ed said...


I guess I am required to follow up and address your incorrect statements.

"...but the IPSC gamers who show up knowing they have non-IDPA gear on." How do you know this? Can you read minds, did you discuss this with each and everyone of them in person? Did you discuss it with one and lump all other into this position?

I dont want to begin to try to understand your relationship with Jim and I am not going to insert my "small but well armored brain" into that deal. Understanding the financial and other restraints on shooting, you should have attended a couple of the last BC matches. They were idpa matches as much as you can have them and still keep them "realistically based" (whatever the hell that means).

BTW, what is wrong with "tinkering" with your guns. If you go to the IDPA forum, you will find that the ESP subforum is called the "tinkerer's division". As to Jim's entry into the sport, it was probably before my time. What are you trying to say, that only people who have membership numbers below 10,000 can ever be right or hold an opinion? My membership number is 16,000, does that mean I don't know my ass from left field about this sport?

Whisper loads... well let me help you out... ONLY 2 of 5 divisions in IDPA have a power floor that equals 165,000 or better. In USPSA all but one (that would be 5 of 6) have minimum power floors above 165,000. How in the world can you classify it as whisper loads? Is this your opinion or do you have ANYTHING logical or cogent to base this on?

I tell you what, take Seth Mullins up on his offer, come to a match (I will pay him for the gas), you bring your gun, and I will supply you ammo and your entry fee and extra mags and pouches. No cost to you but time. Come out and at least watch. I would wait for you to show up and prove me wrong, but I dont have that much time left on this rock.

Not knowing what being a Gaming Rat Basturd actually entails, I can't and won't respond to that, mostly because I just don't care. I do have one question, is being a gaming rat basturd constitute carrying your bag around a stage and making sure your spent brass falls into it while performing your reloads mid stage?

While you may think you "hit a nerve" with me, you are incorrect, you happen to be like most keyboard types who can't and won't say half the crap in person that they type for the obvious repercussions. I say the same things in person that I would say on this thing.

The most egregious error in your whole entire post is your insult to Andy. He has dedicated more than you and I combined (by an order of magnitude) to the sport of IDPA that mere words cannot even begin to thank him. Yet you have disparaged his work over what, last 10 years? Just because he doesn't design and build stages that meet what YOU think IDPA should or should not be? That is probably the most assinine statement you could possibly make. Your conflict with Jim is something else entirely, but Andy? He was the match director at BC, Dominion, Cav, helps at EVERY match he attends, works tirelessly to promote the sport. In this sir, you have earned my extreme disappointment in you personally and you owe him an apology.


Oberstlt said...

You win. I quit.