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Help me get into competition shooting


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#1 Honeybooboo

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:42 PM

Hey guys. I've been wanting to get into competition pistol shooting and need some help. I plan on doing USPSA, IDPA, and whatever is available around me. I will be purchasing a gun for comp shooting and was thinking a Glock 34 for production class. Is this a good way to start? Will a Glock 34 work in IDPA? I'd love to get into 3 gun as well but I want to build my pistol fundamentals before getting ahead of myself.

I don't have a ton of shooting experience but I really enjoyed what I have. The good part about that is I can get some instruction and learn the right techniques before getting used to bad form. I have a PA driver's license and permanent residence but have been living in NY so I've been holding off. I'll be moving back to PA soon and want to get started right away. Are there any good schools/instructors in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas that are targeted towards competition pistol shooting?

Also, how does traveling to different states with guns work? Is it dependent on the state? Say I legally own my guns in PA and want to go to NJ or NY to shoot, how does that work? Sorry for the dumb questions and thanks in advance.

#2 chirpy

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

HBB, there is a ton of info here. Check out the USPSA and IDPA web sites for info and rules and use he "Club Locator" function to find club near you. Also, check out any practice nights your local clubs might have. Good practice there and a chance to see what the other shooters are using.

Richard

Edited by chirpy, 23 November 2012 - 04:53 PM.


#3 PROBIKE101

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:24 PM

IDPA ALL THE WAY..........

#4 Hi-Power Jack

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:51 PM


how does traveling to different states with guns work? Is it dependent on the state?

Not a dumb question, at all. NJ & NY are not good examples of states to enter
with your PA legal guns. I'd stay in PA for a while, and talk to some of your
fellow shooters - see if any of them venture into NY or NJ, and if so, how.

Good luck with the shooting. :cheers:
Thank you,

Jack, Super Senior

B Open - STI TruBor 9mm major; C Limited - Browning Hi-Power 9mm minor

#5 alecmc

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:55 PM

Don't even consider entering NY with a firearm, NJ spends on the gun and its features. You have to consider mag capacity, pistol grips , adjustable stocks, etc

#6 johnmac

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

Transporting a handgun to most states from PA is not difficult, especially if you have a CCW and are traveling by car. But you have to carefully read up on each state's rules on transport of handguns, and whether or not they recognized PA CCW permits, if that's a factor in your case. For instance, in some states the handgun will need to be unloaded in the trunk if you don't have a CCW recognized by that state, in some states, e.g., Kentucky, you're good to go with a loaded handgun in the glove box, even without a CCW. So driving down the road, you're perfectly legal one minute, and you cross a state line, you're committing a felony. PA CCW is very easy to get and I'd suggest looking into getting one if you're at all interested.

Traveling via air you're dealing with airline and TSA regs on checking of guns in checked baggage, which introduces a potential theft factor. I'm not sure if you can transport ammo in your checked baggage or not, which could present logistical issues for matches.

NY State presents a unique problem in that posssesion of a handgun is illegal without a NY state pistol permit, and the NY pistol permit is not available for non residents. However, the NY law allows transport of a handgun to NRA-sanctioned matches, with proper documentation. So if you wanted to shoot an IDPA or USPSA match in NY State as an out of stater, the match would 1) need to get sanctioned by NRA and 2) need to provide the proper documentation to out of state particicipants.

Not sure about NJ rules, but I'd be careful venturing into NJ without a very thorogh understanding of state laws regulating handguns and ammo.

John

Edited by johnmac, 23 November 2012 - 07:03 PM.

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#7 johnmac

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

As far as getting started with competition, just find out when the matches are local to you, pick one that fits your schedule and is no too far away, and go to one reasonably ready to shoot (enough ammo and mags, holster and magazine holders, cover garment for IDPA) as dictated by the game. Probably you'll need to show up early for new shooters orientation/safety check. I think the G34 is one of the most popular guns for IDPA for SSP and ESP divisions, and I imagine it would work at a USPSA match in the appropriate division (Production?) as well.

Edited by johnmac, 23 November 2012 - 07:26 PM.

John MacLean

#8 old506

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:18 PM

A Glock 34 would be a fine choice for Production and Limited to start out. When you go to your first match or two don't hesitate to sign up for Limited Minor. Load your mags up all the way and just work on getting through the match (so you don't have to worry so much about reloads).
...Until No Doubt Remains...

#9 daves_not_here

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

In the end the gun you'll shoot well is the one you like.

As far as getting started with competition, just find out when the matches are local to you, pick one that fits your schedule and is no too far away...Probably you'll need to show up early for new shooters orientation/safety check.


I'd like to add, visit a local match just to watch. If you don't feel welcome and aren't itching to buy a rig and shoot at the very next match then try another group.

For me it's the social aspect that keeps me returning. You'll most likely find a lot of friendly people that you'll want to hang out with. Just like this forum.

If you've really got the bug and you're married, when you get back home your wife might encourage you to return. My wife encourages me to shoot but I dont' know whether it's because I'm in a good mood after my "trigger therapy" or she doesn't want to hear about my strategy for my next match again... :blush:

DNH

#10 PROBIKE101

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:14 PM

IDPA ALL THE WAY............THERE ARE MANY GREAT MATCHES IN PA AND SOME FINE CLUBS....I WOOD START AT CLUB LEVEL events you can learn your safety and shooting basics,you will find plenty of help there
and you will make new friends.

Edited by PROBIKE101, 23 November 2012 - 10:18 PM.


#11 Jesse Tischauser

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

Glock 34 is perfect for production! Probably the most popular gun in the division. It also is very popular in 3 gun too.

My best advice would be to start 3 gun ASAP. It's way more gun and there are a lot of lessons you can't learn until you encounter them in matches.

Holler if you need any help getting started or finding a match.
Jesse Tischauser

#12 davisjarrett

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:23 PM

Like many other things, the sport is what you get out of it! Just check the web calendar and show up with whatever you already have. As a noob myself I did just the same and shot my first idpa with my old beretta 92fs that was issued to me in prior roles.

It didn't Long to quickly realize the government doesn't issue the best platforms for games. But showing up and giving it a try fellow shooters gave me plenty of good ideas. Now I shoot a G34 gen4 and love it.

Just get off the couch and continue to cruise tree boards. Amazing amount of information here.

#13 Fried Chicken Blowout

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

Honeybooboo,

The following is a post that I made on my blog. It was written for students of my CCW classes trying to get them engaged in competition. I've found that it's very hard to get the average gun owner interested in competition and even some serious gun owners won't do it because it's too painful on their ego to get whooped every weekend until they get the hang of things and pick up their speed while retaining the accuracy they thought that had. Being that you're here on BE Forums, you're already educated more than most and my information may be "below" you, but I'll provide it anyways. There may also be other posts on the blog you would find educational.


https://weaponkingpi...he-competition/



Shooting in "practical" or "Action" matches is the best way to test yourself, recognize your weaknesses and strengths, as well as compare yourself to others and test the progression or decline in your skill level. It is also a good way to get cheap practice. Most matches require a $15-20 match fee but that is all you pay. You do not have to be a member of the range to shoot a match there. There are two major pistol-based sanctioning bodies, USPSA and IDPA. The former is more professional and money-based with professional shooters and teams that travel to large matches to promote different products or organizations. For example, the Army and Air Force have their own "Action Shooting Team" or "Marksmanship Unit" that normally do VERY well. There are also other teams from Glock and S&W, among others who have more famous shooters that dominate in their own fields.

Smith & Wesson's Shooting Team includes one of the most winning female shooters ever, Julie Golob. She also happens to be the captain of the team. Their team also includes one of the greatest shooters ever, Jerry Miculek. In what other sport can a woman kick the men’s asses and a shooter that is old enough to collect social security dominate at any match he goes to? The shooting sports are the ultimate equal opportunity sport. Julie G. also has a new book out called “Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition.” I highly suggest reading it to anyone looking to get into shooting sports. It's available through Amazon.com, as well as for your iPad and other mobile devices via the iTunes Store.

IDPA is a more grassroots organization that is normally easier to get into, requires less gear, and is very new-shooter friendly. IDPA is a great way to get started since they strictly forbid prizes and monitory income from shooting in matches. This doesn't mean that they don't have sponsored shooters in IDPA, but winners do not take home any money so the number of professional shooters and teams is pretty slim in IDPA. IDPA will also have some "side matches" that will allow you to use rifles and shotguns in a stage normally held at the end of the match which is scored separately from the main match.

For most shooters that are interested in getting going with competitive shooting I suggest they start with the IDPA match held near Idaho Springs. It is an easy drive up I-70. They welcome first time competitive shooters and keep them all together in one group for the entire match. Most shooters will already have all the gear they would need to compete. A class is held prior to the match that will get new shooters briefed on the rules and safety issues they will encounter. Once you are done with the first match you will be given a safety card that will allow you to shoot at many other matches on the Front Range without having to take their specific safety class. Many of the USPSA matches are more strict with who they allow to shoot and normally require that you attend one of their safety classes prior to your first USPSA match. The competition is also much more serious at the USPSA matches. For more information on how to get started in USPSA, you can see the Eastern Colorado USPSA webpage.

The next step in the evolution of practical shooting is Multi-Gun or 3-Gun matches. A typical match requires the use of a pistol, carbine, and shotgun all in one match and sometimes all in one stage. This aspect of the shooting sports has become hugely popular recently and even has it's now TV show called 3-Gun Nation. All of the first season and second seasons is available to watch online at the link I provided above, the third season is airing right now. The reason 3-Gun has become so popular is because of the action. They is usually much more movement, higher round counts, and fewer competitors (this is only applicable at the local level. Large regional matches are packed with shooters). This makes the matches go faster and with less time between stages. The typical local level 3-Gun match has an average of 30 shooters per weekend. The typical pistol match will have a minimum of 60 shooters that causes some extra down time between the stages. The reason there are fewer shooters is also the only downside to 3-Gun... The amount of gear required is much higher. With a normal pistol match you will need about $600 of total gear since you only need a pistol, holster/mag holders and extra mags. At a typical 3-Gun match, I arrive with about $4,000 worth of gear. I'm right in the middle of the road for the cost of the gear I have. You can get away with less, but many people have more invested in their gear.

3-Gun or Multi-Gun matches are sanctioned mostly by the USPSA and have their own set of rules separate but similar to the pistol match rules. If you are interested in 3-Gun you should take a look at the USPSA Multi-Gun specific rules. These rules will get you most of the information you need prior to shooting your first match, but most matches are actually considered "Outlaw" matches. These matches run their own set of rules that allow for more flexibility, easier scoring, and faster matches. Good examples of this on a local level are the Multi-Gun matches held at the WCFW range and run by Zak Smith. Zak has several companies that he either owns or has a part in their operation that is shooting related. The one specific to Multi-Gun matches is Colorado Multi-Gun. Zak's site is a great resource for other similar matches in the area as well as the rules and dates for his match.

Zak's site also bring me to the next level of practical shooting matches. It is what I consider to be the pinnacle of this type of shooting competition, the practical field match. These matches take place in natural and typically rugged terrain that requires a good level of fitness and an extreme amount of gear and skill. Some of these matches are shot as a single person like other practical matches; but more of them are becoming team matches where two shooters are on the clock together, each having separate responsibilities during the match but working together to complete their task. These matches make the typical Multi-Gun match look like a walk in the park. I shot my first of these matches in 2011 in New Mexico at the first ever Thunder Beast Arms Team Challenge. Was hooked! My partner and I didn't finish very well, but we still walked away with enough in prizes to make up for the event entry fee and we had a great time. In my opinion this match was the ultimate test of a rifleman's skill. For more info on these matches and other extreme-type field matches, see the website for Zak's new company that will be putting on some of the best matches in the country, Competition Dynamics. Our second run at these field team matches was at the 2012 Wyoming Tactical Rifle Championship. What an outstanding matches that turned out to be. We finished much better, learned even more and really enjoyed the match. There will be more to come about this match in another post soon...

In summary, those of you taking on this adventure should start with an IDPA match to get the feel for the rules. It will also allow you to focus more on shooting each stage and less on the gear it takes to compete. Keep in mind that you are competing against yourself more than anyone else. The mild stress of a match will cause you to make mistakes that you never would have thought possible. Take it slow and safe and be happy if you don't make any safety mistake on your first time out. Don't feel bad when your score does not meet your expectations. It takes time and most of those in the top half of the match results have been doing it for quite a while. Just because you feel good at the range on your own doesn't mean you'll be able to place well at a match. But it will give you a good idea of what you need to improve and work on for the next match.



#14 Honeybooboo

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

Thank you guys! Lots of great info and support.

#15 Honeybooboo

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 01:29 PM

Glock 34 is perfect for production! Probably the most popular gun in the division. It also is very popular in 3 gun too.

My best advice would be to start 3 gun ASAP. It's way more gun and there are a lot of lessons you can't learn until you encounter them in matches.

Holler if you need any help getting started or finding a match.


Thanks man. Big fan of yours! Always rooting for Team Stag when watching 3-gun nation.

Edited by Honeybooboo, 24 November 2012 - 01:30 PM.





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