Please Note: This is a live doc. Expect many updates and revisions to be made as I complete the various parts of this EDU. So check back often for revisions. If there's a question you have that I have not yet covered, please feel free to bring them up. I've had a few people both PM me and asked me in threads about getting involved in competitive shooting. There are two distinct misconceptions I will often hear from interested shooters that I'd like to address. Misconception #1: "I'm not "good enough" to compete..." I placed this #1 because this is about the most used reason I see when I am promoting IDPA or USPSA. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A BULLSEYE SHOOTER TO BE COMPETITIVE A vast majority of our target arrays will be within realistic "defensive enagement lengths". So targets are normally set from 1 yard, to 10 yards. We have had COF's in the past where we had to shoot targets out to 35 yards prone with a handgun, but that's few and far between. For the most part, if you could put two shots in an 8" area from 5 yards, you are good to go. Misconception #2: "Don't I need a race gun to be competitive?" The "race guns" people that we often see or talk about, probably make up only 15-20% of the match. And for the most part, they only compete with other "race guns" aka "Open division guns" so you don't have to worry about them anyhow. A vast majority of competitors in a regular match run regular production guns that are only slightly modified. Guns like Glocks, XD's, M&P's, etc. IDPA is a lot less of an equipment race, and they actually frown down upon race guns. That aside, lets get to the meat and potatoes: What should I get involved in first, and how do I get involved? I will often advise new shooters to try IDPA out first. I think it's better structured for new shooters getting into shooting dynamically. As long as I lived in my state, I didn't even realize how many active clubs are in the area, and I'm fairly confident that once you dig into your area, you will also be surprised at how active they are. I would simply do a "google search". And search for "insert your state" IDPA or USPSA matches / Schedules. If you don't get any hits there go to the two respective sites and they have a "locate a club near you" feature on both IDPA and USPSA's site. www.idpa.com www.uspsa.org What equpment do I need to get started? Because there's two disciplines, I'll break it down. IDPA: -Gun -Eyes and Ear protection -belt holster. I highly recommend Kydex holsters. But IWB holsters work, like the ever popular Milt Sparks, etc (not allowed: SOB holsters, ankle holsters, shoulder holsters, pocket holsters) -a mag pouch that will hold two magazines on your belt. ( Uncle Mikes, Galco, Bladetech, Comp tach all make dual mag pouches ) -100 bullets a match -Time IDPA is where I always send new people because they are much less stressful and they're course of fires are much more "defined" meaning. They will tell you "exactly" how they want you to run the stage. Example of a regular "COF" for idpa would go something like this. Standing in Box A, shooter must engage targets T1-T3 strong hand only while retreating behind low cover. From low cover, shooter must perform a reload and enage targets T4-T6 with two shoots each. And they'll ususally precede the course description with the scenario: You are standing in line at the ATM, when 3 assailants attack you. You must defend yourself and retreat with your SO. yada yada yada USPSA: -Gun -Eyes and Ear protection -belt holster depends on what division you want to compete in. Most beginners will be better of competing in "Production" division. Which is where most stock guns are, like Glocks, XD's, etc. For this division a OWB Kydex holster is ideal. For Limited, Limited 10 and Open you can use a "race holster". Here are two examples of "race" and "production" rigs. Race: Production: - Mag pouches. You will need upwards of at least 4 mag pouches. 6 if you want to come prepared. But I've competed plenty of times with only 4 mag pouches, and currently only use 5. You can buy two Uncle mikes kydex dual mag pouches on your belt. Or do the adjustable mag pouches like the CR speeds I run. Uncle mikes pouches: $10-15 for dual pouches. or a single CR speed adj pouches: $35 each CR's are a great investment even if your only shooting production for now because it offsets the pouches better, so it's easier to grab and if you ever decide (and you will) to play in Limited, you can mount it tilted on the front of your belt for easier mag grabs. (which is what I do) -150-200 bullets a match -Time I'm hoping other competitive shooters like Sprite chimes in. I can't do this alone. So please feel free to chime in with anything I haven't alredy covered. I anticipate a lot of basic questions like rules, scoring and approriate equipment. I was approached by the president of our club to do a film about something exactly like this to target interested shooters into our sport which will cover all of the basics I just addressed as well as equipment misconceptions, rules, range commands and gun handling. I'll post that up as soon as we get it done here.