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drmweaver2

USPSA - When do you start?

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Okay, real beginner here.

My question is simple. At what point should I consider starting to compete at a USPSA/IDPA event?

I'm mediocre at indoor ranges shooting paper targets (mostly bulls) out to about 12 yards. When I say mediocre, I mean my groups are hand/fist-sized with "routine flyers".

I've done NO/ZERO/Nada holster/draw work and the same with movement - the indoor range won't allow and isn't set up for either.

The closest USPSA/IDPA matches/clubs are 60 miles from me. I don't know anyone in any of the clubs for an introduction/first time meetup.

What I "know" about such events comes from some youtube videos and reading a bit about it on various websites.

Edited by drmweaver2

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Let me put it this way. None of us had any match experience before our first match! My suggestion to you is practice dry firing and dry draws for a while. NO AMMO ANYWHERE NEAR YOU AND THE PISTOL!!!!!!!!! Draw and take a sight picture. Use a target or spot on the wall...whatever. Slowly at first. Practice following the range commands which can be found in the rules section of both organizations web site. Practice reloads. USPSA are easier. IDPA has several different types. Try to find a practice partner to help. See if there are any local clubs that hold practice matches during the week. Also see if they have a beginners class. That should be enough for starters. Shoot a practice match when you feel more comfortable and make sure the RO knows you are new.

Be safe and enjoy

Richard

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I'd add that, you'll be surprised on how easy going and accommodating everyone will be.

You'll ask yourself why you didn't go sooner!

If you don't find this to be the case, find another range/club.

Remember, nobody showed up their first time and knew all the rules or was a perfect shot!

Be safe! Take direction from the range officer. Have fun!

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It's all about having a good time. Combat pistol is as much fun as a shooter can have and still keep their cloths on. The words "match or competition" have a tendency to scare people off that want to shoot. It's just a get together with a bunch other people that want to have fun. There are a few rules that keep it safe for everybody there. Go to a match and tell them that you are new. They will run you through a safety course and put you with someone that's been shooting for a while. And remember, " the dumb question is the one you didn't ask".

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Where are you located? Maybe someone here is close enough to give you a hand....

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Outside of a few things that are determined by individual experience, everything you need to know is on the internet, if not on this very forum.

Most shots are within 15 yards, so your accuracy is good enough to play. You can practice all the important fundamentals in dryfire.

You should start immediately so you can find out if you like it. USPSA is where you find out if you are a shooter, or just a gun person.

Go to the match, and ask questions. Someone will tell you about a place you can go to do drills and livefire practice. It is all an investment in yourself. Go to the next match. Shooters tend to be excellent people, and you will get help. Safety is number one.

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I new too. Plenty are. Just get a holster, mag pouches and go. Draw slow, move deliberately, shoot safe and have fun.

Dry fire drills help tremendously.

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As soon as you can read the rule book, especially the safety portion, and then apply those rules to yourself.

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I wasted 6 months of good match time, lurking , practicing , preparing my self. Made not the first difference once the buzzer went off. In retrospect, shooting the matches made me a safer, better shooter. As far as an Introduction goes. Here is my advice #1 go to a match. #2 find the match director, tell him you would like to help paste and learn the ropes to shoot the next match. Hang out , help, ask people about their gear. realize you will be moving and shooting. #3 safety first #4 did I say safety first. pay particular attention to the safety protocols'. Ask questions. Now comes the shocking part, with a rare exception. Every one is more than willing to help ! #5most important Don`t be shy when approaching #1 thru #5. enjoy and have a blast. it is a sickness with no cure LOL

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Where are you located? Maybe someone here is close enough to give you a hand....

In SE Louisiana.

I think I'll probably just go drop in on a match like a couple people have said.

I'm not an extrovert, but maybe the fact that no one recognizes/knows me will actually be motivation enough to do as suggested - offer to help with setting up and then just watching. Eventually someone will wonder what the "unknown guy" is doing there and I'll get a conversation going.

Still, I don't want to totally embarrass myself when I do enter a match... heh. Not that that isn't a definite possibility. :goof:

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Yesterday. You have to be the new guy sometime and this is an easy sport to be the new guy. I've never done anything where everyone is so friendly and willing to help out. The best advice I can give you is don't go crazy on equipment to start. You might think you know what you want but trust me you don't lol. Start simple with what you have or basic stuff and go from there. The sickness is real be careful

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As soon as you can read the rule book, especially the safety portion, and then apply those rules to yourself.

+1. Very sound advice. You can't play baseball without knowing "the rules" - read about them, first.

Tell the Match Director (he'll ask, anyway) that you are NEW - he'll take it from there.

The ONLY IMPORTANT thing to remember at your first match is:

1. safety

2. safety

3. did I mention safety?

You will be beaten, badly - don't worry about it. Don't try to shoot as quickly as the

better shooters - just hit the targets, safely, and have FUN :)

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If your scared you wont be safe or just want to get a feel for USPSA just go to a match. Tell them your new and want to follow a squad threw a full match. you will learn a ton this way and the next time bring your gun and have FUN!

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If there are Steel Challenge matches near you, that's an excellent gateway drug.

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Where are you located? Maybe someone here is close enough to give you a hand....

In SE Louisiana.

I think I'll probably just go drop in on a match like a couple people have said.

I'm not an extrovert, but maybe the fact that no one recognizes/knows me will actually be motivation enough to do as suggested - offer to help with setting up and then just watching. Eventually someone will wonder what the "unknown guy" is doing there and I'll get a conversation going.

Still, I don't want to totally embarrass myself when I do enter a match... heh. Not that that isn't a definite possibility. :goof:

I'm willing to bet money you will be welcomed with open arms. If the MD is on his game he will call for new shooters prior to the match and give a special briefing. Then probably pair you up with somebody to get you through the match.

Read the rule book enough to be familiar with the range commands and safety issues.

Go slow and have fun!

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No better time than the present. Give the match director a heads up that you are a new shooter. Every one there usually will bend over backwards to explain everything to you and make sure you have a safe and fun time. If you are still hesitant, Go watch a match.

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If your scared you wont be safe or just want to get a feel for USPSA just go to a match. Tell them your new and want to follow a squad threw a full match. you will learn a ton this way and the next time bring your gun and have FUN!

I'm not scared about my safety. Just don't particularly care about wandering around being a "loner".

Otoh, I like the idea of following a squad through a full match... I think I'll take that advice this coming weekend - there's a match about 60 miles away.

now to set my alarm for Zer0DarkThirty so I can get there "early enough".

Edited by drmweaver2

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I think I'll probably just go drop in on a match like a couple people have said.

I'm not an extrovert, but maybe the fact that no one recognizes/knows me will actually be motivation enough to do as suggested - offer to help with setting up and then just watching. Eventually someone will wonder what the "unknown guy" is doing there and I'll get a conversation going.

Before I entered my first match, the wife and I went to watch a local steel plate match. We hadn't been there for 30 minutes when the match director walked up and asked us, "Why didn't you bring your guns?" He then proceeded to spend considerable time filling us in on the club, the match and the next event.

I suspect most local clubs are like this.

Good luck,

Bob

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Dream - not sure if it was posted, where are you located? I've got a match this weekend in the Houston area that we'd be glad to have you attend.

Edit - I see you're about 7 hours from the match, if you're ever over here let me know!

Edited by SCTaylor

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I totally agree with Barebones........dont waste time overthinking it...when you feel you are safe to compete in a match do it ....DO NOT wait until your 59 to start....this will put you at a slight disadvantage .......bad eyes, slow , sore muscles , and the mind works 10 times faster than my body !!......but it's the best fun ever !!!!

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Where are you located? Maybe someone here is close enough to give you a hand....

In SE Louisiana.

I think I'll probably just go drop in on a match like a couple people have said.

I'm not an extrovert, but maybe the fact that no one recognizes/knows me will actually be motivation enough to do as suggested - offer to help with setting up and then just watching. Eventually someone will wonder what the "unknown guy" is doing there and I'll get a conversation going.

Still, I don't want to totally embarrass myself when I do enter a match... heh. Not that that isn't a definite possibility. :goof:

Whether you go to EAPS, Tangi, Thibodeau, or Poplarville MS... the people are quality. You'll see a lot of the same faces at all those matches, the only thing different is the venue. They are all welcoming to new shooters, most will let you shoot your first match for free. If you have safe gunhandling skills and can follow basic range commands, there is no sense in putting it off. The sooner you start shooting, the sooner you will start figuring out what skills are actually important.

Edited by tha1000

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My wife had zero shooting experience, once I felt she could safely handle the firearm and hit most of the targets I started her in IDPA. I told her not to worry about how many PE's she got, and not to worry about cover just kept it simple and worried about safety. This is probably easier for a woman as she probably has a little less ego then we do so she didn't feel like she had to win her first match.

Can you safely handle a gun? If so, go shoot a match and have fun. My wife just made C-class and has beat a lot of guys who've been shooting a lot longer than she has.

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First match I ever shot was the 86 Nationals in Dallas. Never had any practice but managed to come in 4th from last (of the finishers).

Just go and go real slow in the match. Experienced shooters will be glad to help, just tell the ROs that this is your first match.

Don't worry about where you finish, just finish safely !!!

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