Match Equipment Required
IDPA Match Equipment – What Do I Need?
IDPA was specifically created to allow competitors to use the same types of items they use for everyday carry. Does that mean there is nothing you need to buy? Probably not. You are for example going to want a concealed carry vest. This is something that not everyone walking along the street carrying a firearm may be wearing. Can you wear a button down shirt? As long as it meets the cover garment guidelines you can wear it. I would argue that after a few matches you are going to want to wear something that holds it shape so it doesnt snag or get in your way when you draw your firearm.
Basically you will need the following: An IDPA legal firearm an IDPA Legal belt, qppropriate ammunition feeding devices (speed loaders/moonclips or magazines)’ ammuntion carriers (magazine pouches or speed loader holders, ammunition suitable for your firearm, IDPA legal holster, concealment garment, ear protection and eye protection.
So, in order to compete in an IDPA Match what will you as a shooter need?
The following rules apply to ammunition used in IDPA matches.
A. Metal piercing, incendiary, and tracer ammunition is prohibited.
B. Clubs may prohibit cartridges that may damage metal targets.
C. All ammunition must use a single projectile.
Ammunition Power. The goal is to compete with commonly available ammunition. The minimum power factors are:
|Division||Minimum Power Factor|
|SSP, ESP, CCP||125|
Calculate the power factor by multiplying the bullet weight in grains by the bullet velocity in feet per second (fps), divide by 1000, and ignore numbers to the right of the decimal. For example, a 230.1 grain bullet at 794.7 fps: 230.1 x 794.7 /1000 = 182.86047, or 182 power factor.
Official Chronograph Procedure
Chronograph is conducted with the competitor present. Ammunition is pulled and/or bagged prior to arriving at the chronograph stage. The chronograph official will use the competitor-supplied firearm, and the following procedure will be used:
A. If two of the three rounds meet or exceed the required power factor, the ammunition is in compliance. Prior to each shot, the muzzle of the firearm will be elevated to vertical (if range rules permit) to move the powder charge to the rear of the case, thus giving the competitor every chance to achieve maximum velocity.
B. A bullet will be pulled and weighed using a powder scale. If two rounds exceed the highest velocity for the caliber and power factor, pulling the bullet and weighing is optionally waived.
C. A competitor whose ammunition fails to make power factor will be allowed to shoot the match, but their total score will be a disqualification.
Check out the Power Factor Tables HERE.
Belts may be no wider than 1 ¾ inches or thicker than 5/16 inches and must pass through a minimum of all but two of the pant loops.
The following criteria apply to IDPA legal holsters:
- Must be suitable for all day concealed carry, and worn on each stage regardless of the start position.
- Must be a strong side hip holster worn inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waist band.
- Must be worn on an IDPA legal belt.
- Must prevent activation of the trigger while holstered.
- Must carry the firearm in a neutral (vertical) or muzzle rear cant.
- Adjustable cant holsters are legal if bolts must be removed and repositioned for cant adjustment. IWB holsters are exempt from this rule.
- Must hold the firearm with enough tension to allow the wearer to complete normal daily tasks without fear of losing the firearm.
- Must be constructed of normal thickness common holster making materials (leather, Kydex, plastic, nylon, etc.).
- For male shooters, the holster must carry firearm so that the entire front strap (to the trigger guard) is at or above the top of the belt. IWB holsters are exempt from this rule.
- The shooter’s holster location must remain on the same side of the body throughout the entire course of a match.
- Must be positioned on the belt so that the center of the trigger pad is behind the centerline of the body.
- For IDPA purposes, the centerline of the body originates in the center of the armpit and goes straight down.
- All retention devices on the holster must be used.
- Retention devices may be permanently removed or permanently disabled, but not temporarily disabled for a match.
- The front edge of the holster may not be more than 1 ¾ inch below the breech face (autos) or 1 inch below the rear of the cylinder (revolvers).
- Holsters may be modified to meet IDPA rules.
- Holsters with screws or knobs that extend past the outer face of the holster are allowed if the adjustment screw(s) require a tool to change tension, the screws protrude less than 0.125” from the outer face of the holster, and they meet all other holster requirements. Additionally, all tension screws anywhere on a holster must require a tool for tension adjustment.
- For male shooters only, the holsters must fit the shooter’s body such that a ¾ inch diameter dowel placed between the shooter and the firearm anywhere above the belt contacts both the shooter and the firearm simultaneously.
- A holster may be legal for some shooters but not legal for other shooters due to different body shapes.
- A holster may be legal if worn snugly but illegal if sagging away from the body.
- For women shooters only, a dropped and offset (DOH) holster may be used. Concealment and cant rules apply.
- For women shooters only, when viewed from the front, a women’s holster may not tilt out away from the body further than vertical, unless the shooter's body touches the grip of firearm.
Non-Permitted Holsters (Non-Inclusive list):
- Cross-draw carry
- Shoulder holsters
- Small of the back carry
- Appendix carry
- Pocket carry
General Ammunition Carrier Rules
- Instead of using ammunition carriers, shooters may carry spare loading devices in their pockets. Shooters may mix carry methods.
- One ammunition carrier per allowed ammunition feeding device may be worn on the belt. Each individual pouch in a multi-pouch carrier counts as one. One additional ammunition carrier may be worn behind the centerline of the body for the purposes of loading at the start of a stage. This carrier must be empty before the “Stand By” command.
- Ammunition carriers may be modified to meet IDPA rules.
- For male shooters only, ammunition carriers must hold the loading devices such that a ¾ inch dowel placed between the shooter and the device contacts both the shooter and the device simultaneously.
- Must be suitable for concealed carry and all day continuous wear
- Must be worn on an IDPA legal belt
- Must cover 2” of the magazine as measured from the top of the cartridge rim down the back flat of the magazine tube.
- Must cover the entire outer face of the portion of the magazine inside the carrier. The outer face is the side away from the shooter’s body
- Must hold the magazine within 10° of vertical relative to the belt. (80° to 100° relative to the belt).
- Screws or knobs that extend past the outer face of the carrier are allowed if the adjustment screw(s) require a tool to change tension, the screws protrude less than 0.125” from the outer face of the magazine carrier, and they meet all other magazine carrier requirements. Additionally, all tension screws anywhere on a magazine carrier must require a tool for tension adjustment.
- “Bullets out” magazine pouches are not allowed.
- Magazine carriers must be worn in a location on the belt so that the front edge of the carrier or magazine is behind the shooter’s hipbone.
- The same exact location for magazines, magazine pouches, and/or ammunition feeding devices in pockets must be used for every stage in a single match, unless otherwise specified in a stage description.
Speed Loader and Moon Clip Carrier Rules
- Be suitable for concealed carry and all day continuous wear.
- Speed loader carriers must either be of open top configuration that covers at least 45% of the diameter and 100% of the cartridge height when viewed from the front, and must retain the speed loader by tension or retain the speed loader with a snap or Velcro closure. Side cuts are permitted for thumb and index finger access only.
- Moon clip carriers must either be of open top configuration that covers at least 45% of the diameter and 100% of the cartridge height when viewed from the front, and must retain the moon clip by tension and a stud that protrudes through the center of the clip, or retains the moon clip with a snap or Velcro closure.
- Moon clips may not be retained in the carrier by 3 or less cartridges. Side cuts are permitted for thumb and index finger access only.
- Two speed loaders/moon clips may be worn directly in front of the holster. The speed loaders/moon clips worn in front of the holster must be within 1” of each other, and the speed loader/moon clip nearest the holster must be within 1” of the revolver pouch of the holster.
- The shooter may wear additional speed loaders/moon clips behind the hipbone on the weak side or behind the holster.
- The same exact location for speed loaders, speed loader pouches, moon clips, moon clip pouches, and/or ammunition feeding devices in pockets must be used for every stage in a single match, unless otherwise specified in a stage description.
Concealment garments are meant to hide the holster, firearm, ammunition carriers, and loading devices from view.
- To see if the garment is legal, the competitor stands with their arms straight out to their sides, parallel to the ground. If the standing SO cannot see the previously listed equipment from the front, sides, or rear, then the concealment garment is legal.
- Concealment garments may not be modified with plastic zip ties, wire, metal, Styrofoam, cardboard, or any similar material that would stiffen the garment or pockets. Patches may not be placed on concealment garment pockets. Use of standard laundry starch is acceptable.
- Weights may not be attached to concealment garments, but items may be placed in pockets.
- Pocket flaps may be inserted into pockets.
- Specially made pockets for magazine stowage after a reload may not be used.
Knee Pads & Elbow Pads
- Hard shell kneepads and elbow pads are not allowed.
- Soft shelled pads, braces, and tape may be worn throughout a match without being concealed, provided they are worn for each stage of the match. Pads, braces, and tape worn under concealment garments may be put on and removed as the competitor sees fit.
Cleats: Cleated shoes may be worn so long as the cleats are made entirely from a rubber compound that you can push your fingernail into. No hard plastic or metal cleats are permitted.
Gloves: Gloves may be used.
- Only hand held lights may be used in IDPA competition. For Physically Disabled shooters, refer to Physically Disabled Shooters Section.
- Lights may not be attached to the shooter’s hand, wrist, or arm in any fashion.
- Rings or straps that go around any part of the shooter’s body (finger, palm, wrist, etc.) are not allowed.
- Lanyards may be present, but may not be used.
- Police and military personnel using the Duty Gear Exemption with a firearm mounted light may not activate the mounted light, and are otherwise subject to the same hand held flashlight usage rules as other competitors.