So, what exactly is an IDPA shoot?
Accoring to the IDPA Website, IDPA (The International Defensive Pistol Association) is an organization founded in 1996, which promotes defensive pistol shooting as a sport, using equipment including full-charge service ammunition to solve simulated "real world" self-defense scenarios.
We'll have some video on photos posted soon to give you some concrete examples, but in essence, IDPA shoots are a series of competitive shooting scenarios or drills which focus on defensive pistol shooting (often, but not always, with emphasis on concealed carry) using regular, out of the box firearms. Ergo,the overall emphasis is on speed and accuraccy, not tricked out race guns or fancy equipment. Any gun you shoot in an IPDA event basically has to be the same gun you'd be using in a self-defense situation, with regular ammunition. There are some limits on the caliber and size of gun - must be 9mm/.38 special caliber or larger.
Check out the IDPA Website, for a more in-depth explanation of rules and regulations.
So, exactly what do I need to give it a try?
Essentially, just a gun, holster, and ammo! To come out and try your first match, you'll need a handgun of 9mm/.38 special or larger caliber, at least two magazines (recommend 3, but 2 will suffice to start), and a holster. Again, check the IDPA website for an exhaustive list of equipment regulations as to what holster are permitted, but unless it's a sanctioned shoot, we're flexibile on your first time in regards to most of the fine print. Bring around a 100 rounds of ammunition, and some kind of concealment (vest, shirt, jacket, etc.). Of course, as with any shooting event, eye and ear protection are required as well.
Sounds fun, when can I try it, and what does it cost?
IDPA Shoots currently are held on the 4th Saturday of the month, beginning at 10:00 a.m. There is a $10(members) or $15(non-members) cost to particpate. You need not be an IDPA member to participate.