I used to regularly shoot IDPA (and a few IPSC matches). Glock Model 19’s and 17’s were very common. In everyday real life I preferred (and still prefer) to use 45 ACP caliber pistols; so I almost always shot 45 ACP in ‘major caliber
’, rather than using a 9 x 19mm.
Probably because I’m so heavily practiced I’m able to shoot a 45 pistol (almost) every bit as fast and as accurate as, actually, anyone I’ve ever competed against who was using a 9 x 19mm pistol. On paper IDPA targets I never saw a difference; but on other steel targets I often noticed that peripheral hits made with 9mm bullets FAILED to drop the target; and, on those few occasions when my own pistol marksmanship became a little sloppy, no matter where I hit a ‘pepper popper
’ down it went!
One thing I have (again, almost) never done throughout my entire long and always too competitive life is to do anything in gunnery practice that I wouldn’t or didn’t intend to do in real life. This means that, on occasion, I would anger whoever was standing on my left-hand side by my insistence to reload a revolver with my gun hand (a la Jim Cirillo’s superior method of revolver gunfighting) rather than attempting to ‘play nice
’ and load with my ‘weak
’ left-hand in the same way as most PPC shooters usually do.
When I was moving fast, the pistol’s muzzle, sometimes, SEEMED to turn to the left as I spun the revolver in my left-hand; but, whenever I slowed the movement down a little in order to demonstrate what I was doing, it became apparent that my muzzle never pointed anywhere except straight ahead at the targets!
Jim Cirillo and I, each, reached the decision to reload a revolver using our ‘strong
’ gun hand independently of one another; (Although I would have like to I never met the man.) and, when I found out that Cirillo was doing this, too — It made me feel, kind ‘a, vindicated!)
At other times I have might have annoyed another competitor who didn’t like standing next to me during a PPC match in which I used (not ‘full house
’, but) ‘healthy
’ 357 Magnum ammunition. Like I said I have never, not even once in my life, practiced or competed with a gun or ammunition that wouldn’t also be suitable for actual self-defense, ‘street
’ use. (A personal security habit that, all the way back in 2007, paid me back in a very big way!) This habit does NOT mean that I always use ‘super duper’ self-defense ammo. It does mean that I stay away from lightweight ‘powder puff’ loads.
Although it’s been a few years, now, I don’t shoot any of the competitive pistol courses anymore. Still, I have kept in touch with several acquaintances who do; and the pistols they talk about are the CZ 75, SP-01, ‘Shadow
’ (Which seems to be most USPSA/IDPA shooters’ current first choice pistol!), and Glock Models: 19, 17, and 34. There was a smattering of everything else, of course; but the only other pistols I got used to seeing and hearing about were SIG 226’s and 229’s.
When I was most active, maybe, 1 or 2 shooters out of every 10 used a 1911 pattern pistol. These were always nice pistols, of course, but required way too much loading and reloading for me to feel comfortable using. (I’ve owned 7 1911’s; 1 nicer than the other; and 3 of them were built by Austin Behlert on Colt frames.)
My own PPC competition pistols were one model or another of Smith & Wesson revolvers; (I destroyed my beautiful Austin Behlert built, S&W Model 19 during one practice session by firing it too frequently with, admittedly, ‘full house
’ 357 Magnum ammunition.) My usual semiautomatics were (and are) completely rebuilt Glock Model 21’s, (Although, since I sold off my reloading equipment, I now only rarely use 45 Super.) and, sometimes, another similarly rebuilt Glock Model 19 that I liked, and still like, to ‘fool around
’ with. (9 x 19mm is, sort of, like a 45 ACP for women!)
The best IDPA shooter I’ve ever known most often used a Glock Model 35; but, he was a big very powerfully built man; and, he had the arm strength and shoulders on him to effectively control 40 caliber recoil — Something that, in my experience, very few pistol shooters are truly able to do, repetitively, with BOTH speed and accuracy.