This is the second fastest growing segment of action shooting. The men that started IDPA are all previously top notch IPSC shooters. Many of the IDPA competitors and the founding members were disenchanted with the direction IPSC had gone since its humble beginning with stock guns to the current Star Wars Blasters that dominate the unlimited segment of IPSC.
IDPA has a gun classification to fit almost any defensive handgun a shooter owns. This sport has also neutralized the high capacity ammo race, by limiting magazines to 10 rounds per the 1994 Crime Bill. You can actually compete with the same equipment you carry in real life. The shooting scenarios in IDPA are usually shorter and do not normally require the movement that IPSC matches do.
The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 17,008, including members in 50 foreign countries.
One of the unique facets of this sport is that it is geared toward the new or average shooter, yet is fun, challenging and rewarding for the experienced shooter. The founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively. An interested person can spend a minimal amount on equipment and still be competitive. The main goal is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship.
“Competition only” equipment is not permitted in this sport.
The firearms are grouped into five (5) divisions:
1) Custom Defensive Pistol (.45ACP semi-automatics only)
2) Enhanced Service Pistol (9 mm (9x19) or larger caliber semi-automatics)
3) Stock Service Pistol (9 mm (9x19) or larger caliber double action, double action only, or safe action semi-automatics)
4) Enhanced Service Revolver in .38 caliber or larger double action revolvers)
5) Stock Service Revolver in .38 caliber or larger double action revolvers).
Shooters are then classed by like-skill levels with progression from Novice (NV); to Marksman (MM); to Sharpshooter (SS); to Expert (EX); and, finally, to Master (MA).
Yes, you can compete with your stock out of the box handgun and that is a great idea to see if you like the sport both for the competition and the defensive shooting skill that you will develop.
Want to know more about IDPA http://www.idpa.com/
However, the competition end of the equation and human nature usually cause shooters to look for equipment enhancements that allow them to compete more successfully than their stock gun will allow. Simply put, "upmanship". This usually manifests itself when your buddy who shoots at about the same level as you do normally whips your pants off because of some modifications he has made to his firearm. The next thing you know, you're doing the same thing and maybe a little more for an edge on him.
Fortunately, IDPA rules only allow you to be so far with modification within different class of firearms.
The Colt 1911 style auto loaders are main area where bigger bucks are spent. If you check the rules you will find that you can move from the simplest firearms classification to the highest by continually upgrading a 1911 Colt style pistol. Due to the variety of firearms AP&W and Our Cogan Custom division deals with in our Finishing Department, there are very few firearms we if any we haven’t worked on.
If you look at the Concealed Carry Section of the Web Site you will get an idea of what I am talking about. Also, refer to the section on customizing firearms and the finishes we offer. Action work and top notch sight systems are the best place to invest your hard earned dollars. Hard Chrome enhances performance and wear on moving parts. Remember my staff and I are here to please you. This is your gun not mine. We will be glad to consult with you on any project and offer our advice. If the modification you desire is legal for competition and doesn’t adversely affect the safe function of the firearm, we will be glad to handle it for your, even if we don’t like it.