Infographic: Ammo Of The 2012 IDPA Nationals

by Editor 8. November 2012 10:10
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Infographic: 2012 IDPA Nationals

by Editor 1. November 2012 07:00
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IDPA Insights: Carolina Cup Eyes and Ears

by Editor 25. October 2012 07:00
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When it comes to eye and ear protection, the preferences of IDPA members shooting the 2012 Carolina Cup are wide ranging. The rather nondescript category of 'Other' leads with 30.4% of eye protection, made up of a variety of brands with minimal representation or just random eyewear deemed protective enough for use on the range. Among the major brands, Rudy Project (17.6%) edged out Oakley (16.7%), followed by ESS (13.7%). Prescription glasses account for 11.8%, presenting ample opportunity for eyewear makers to expand their presence with RX versions of their shooting glasses.  

When it comes to hearing protection the distribution by brand among Carolina Cup shooters was much more even. Peltor (24.5%) led with EAR Inc. (17.0%) and Howard Leight (12.3%) trailing. Unfortunately, survey responses did not clarify if the hearing protection in question was electronic or not. Nor did they provide for a more exact assessment of what percentage was of the molded in-ear style of hearing protection.

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IDPA Insights: Glock, S&W Rule On and Off the Range

by Editor 24. October 2012 09:15
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At the inaugural IDPA World Shoot in 2011 results from the equipment survey showed that together Glock (37%) and Smith & Wesson (30%) combined for 67% of the handguns used in the competition. That position of dominance hasn't changed with the two again combining for the overwhelming majority of the handguns at the 2012 Carolina Cup. 

Results from equipment surveys returned by 126 of the 324 shooters showed that 70.6% of the competitors chose either a Glock (35.7%) or a Smith & Wesson (34.9%). The most popular model by far was the Glock 34 which accounted for 51.5% of all the Glocks used in the match. With another 26.7% going to the Glock 17, the two models approach 80% of Glocks used in the match.

For Smith & Wesson which makes a model of firearm for each of IDPA's five divisions, variants of the M&P accounted for 68% of the S&W handguns used. Revolvers – where S&W is the undisputed King of Kings – wheelgunners accounted for 27.3% of S&W's total.

The use of Glocks and Smith & Wesson's M&P fuels the dominance of the striker-fired pistol, at least at the IDPA's Carolina Cup but presumably across the other major IDPA events. Between striker-fired handguns and the 1911 platforms (including the double-stack variants), little room is left for the DA/SA (or DAO) hammer-style pistol which pulled just 5.6% of the pistols at the match.

Included in this equipment survey was a request for information regarding CCW habits. Of those that responded, 92.9% of IDPA shooters competing in the 2012 Carolina Cup have a CCW. As for their preference in a carry gun, the results follow closely their preferences in a competition gun. Glock (31.8%) and Smith & Wesson (23.6%) combined for 55.4% of the CCW handguns. As one would expect, models and brands not found on the competition range – such as Kahr and Ruger – find their way into the CCW profile of the IDPA shooter, reflecting those brands' strong performance in the CCW consumer market. Please note that the survey asked for the competitor's primary CCW handgun and not a list of all the makes and models they carry.

Since IDPA is a sport based on personal defense scenarios, it is difficult to determine to what extent the CCW gun influences the choice of competition gun, or if it's the competition gun driving the CCW firearm choice. It's likely that competition is ultimately the key influencer since it provides the opportunity to build proficiency and thus reaffirming the CCW holders choice in a carry gun.

Regardless, the breakdown in CCW firearm type mirrors that of the competition choice with striker-fired models and 1911 variants the clear preferred choices.

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IDPA Insights: It's Comp-Tac for Competition & CCW

by Editor 23. October 2012 09:15
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Similar to firearms brands used by IDPA competitors – at least at the major matches – the choice of holster comes down to two main players: Blade-Tech and Comp-Tac Victory Gear. This was true at the 2011 IDPA World Shoot where Blade-Tech had 31.7% of the competitors to Comp-Tac's 30.4%. The numbers from the 2012 Carolina Cup were almost the same but with Comp-Tac taking the lead with 30.3% to Blade-Tech's 29.5%.

Below is the breakout of the top holster brands at the Carolina Cup. The numbers are based on the equipment survey. Please note that while we had just 122 respondents (37.6%) out of of 324 competitors, the numbers do reflect those from the World Shoot.  

In addition to tracking preferences in competition gear, the equipment survey for the 2012 Carolina Cup also asked about preferences in CCW gear. Of those that responded, 92.9% hold a CCW with 7.1% either responding "no" or not answering the question. The high percentage of IDPA competitors holding a CCW clearly reflects the sport's foundation in real world defensive style shooting.

When it comes to the preferred brands of holsters used by competitors for their primary carry gun, the list was much broader than that for competition. Unfortunately a large number (17.9%) declined to name a brand, so the true breakdown is difficult to tell with certainty. However, Comp-Tac Victory Gear once again emerges as the top choice with over one fifth choosing holsters from the Houston-based maker. 

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IDPA Insights: 67% Handloaded for 2012 Carolina Cup

by Editor 22. October 2012 10:00
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During the 2012 Carolina Cup IDPA asked competitors to fill out an equipment survey in order to collect additional data following up on the survey conducted during the 2011 IDPA World Shoot. While we have completed surveys from only 126 (38.8%) of the 324 shooters, the data collected does provide some interesting insights, especially when compared to the information from the 2011 World Shoot.

Ammunition is one of those areas where there was a significant change. Whether because of a smaller survey sample, issues with availability, or cost, the percentage of shooters handloading jumped from 53% at the World Shoot to 67.2% at the Carolina Cup.

Though the percentage of respondents shooting factory loads declined from 47% to 32.8%, IDPA added an ammo brand question to find out what factory loads competitors were shooting. Not surprisingly Federal (22.5%) and Winchester (20.0%) led the pack, and along with Atlanta Arms & Ammo (12.5%) accounted for over half of the factory ammo used during the Carolina Cup.

For those loading their own match ammo, Hodgdon once again held the lion share with 58% compared to 48% for the World Shoot. Winchester moved ahead of Vihtavuori as the second most popular brand of powder with 19.8%.

When it comes to primers, the numbers skew down for Federal and CCI due to the nearly 30% of the respondents failing to indicate which brand of primer they used. Interestingly, Winchester held firm with 24.7% of Carolina Cup reloads compared to 25% at the World Shoot.

The story on brass is the increase in the number of shooters opting to mix the brands they use instead of committing to just one. At the World Shoot "mixed" brass accounted for 53% while at the Carolina Cup it's up to almost 80%.

Jacketed bullets were the preferred bullet type with just over half those reloading choosing jacketed over plated (28.4%) or lead (21.0%). 

The number of bullet brands was down significantly at the Carolina Cup with competitors loading 16 different brands compared to 44 at the World Shoot. This may yet again be a reflection of the fewer completed surveys. However, Montana Gold Bullet once again proved the dominant brand with almost a third shooting their bullet. Berry's finished as the second most popular bullet, just as they did at the World Shoot, while Precision Delta finished third.

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53% Handload - 2011 IDPA World Shoot Ammo By The Numbers

by Editor 30. April 2012 12:35
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If "money is the mother's milk of politics" then certainly ammo is the mother's milk of competition. While Jesse Unruh's famous quote isn't an exact fit for the shooting sports, there's no denying that without ammo there wouldn't be much in the way of actual shooting in the sports.

When it comes to ammunition for competition there are two routes shooters can take. One is buy factory loaded ammunition and the other is to reload. It's difficult to say without a broader-based survey how many IDPA members reload, but the survey results from the 2011 IDPA World Shoot (found on pages 26-33 in Vol. 15, Issue 4 of the Tactical Journal) give you a good idea of the possible trend among the sport's most active shooters where 53% handloaded and 47% opted for factory loads.

Though the survey didn't go into the various brands of factory ammunition shooters used at the World Shoot, it does shed light on the reloading habits of the competitors. When it comes to reloading, it's probably no surprise that Dillon Precision leads the pack with an overwhelming 88% of the shooters using one (or more) of their reloading presses. Hornady and RCBS trail with each accounting for 4% followed by Lee Precision with 3%.

Three brands make up 81% of powder used by those reloading at the World Shoot. Hodgdon brand powders led with nearly half of all reloaders (48%) choosing one of their powders. Vihtavuori powders account for 19% followed by Winchester powders with 14%. Accurate and Alliant powders accounted for another 8% each.

Similar to IDPA shooters' preference in powder brands, three brands of primers make up 95% of the primers used by competitors at the 2011 IDPA World Shoot. The top primer brand among the competitors reloading was Federal Premium with 42%. CCI primers were the primer of choice for 28% of competitors, followed by Winchester brand primers with 25%.

The component categories of brass and bullets saw the widest divergence of preference among competitors. No single brand of brass dominated the survey with 53% of all the competitors reloading reporting that they used a mixed variety of brass. Of those dedicated to a single brand of brass, Starline led with 14% followed closely by Winchester with 12%. Fiocchi was the only other brand with a significant percentage (7%) of the shooters. Ten other manufacturers account for the remaining 14% in the survey.

And finally....bullets. Survey respondents noted 44 different brands of bullets used in reloading, the largest selection of any category - even holsters - in the survey. Only two brands could claim a significant share of the reloading market at the World Shoot. One quarter of the shooters reloading (26%) went with Montana Gold Bullet as their bullet of choice. Berry's Manufacturing was the other major player in bullets with 17%. The remaining brands each pulled less than 10% of the shooters. Precision Bullets (8%), Precision Delta (6%), Zero Bullet Co. (5%), Rainier Ballistics (4%), and Bayou Bullets, Black Bullets Intl. and Hornady each with 3%.


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Blade Tech, Comp-Tac Top Holsters at 2011 IDPA World Shoot

by Editor 21. April 2012 11:04
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You can't compete in International Defensive Pistol Association competition without a gun. And, obviously, you can't use the gun without a holster. So which companies make the most popular holsters in IDPA? Well the equipment survey results from the 2011 IDPA World Shoot (found on pages 26-33 in Vol. 15, Issue 4 of the Tactical Journal) gives us a snapshot of what the top shooters are using.

Much like the competitors' choice in competition firearms, of the 42 brands competitors listed it was two well known companies that dominated the holster survey. Blade Tech and Comp-Tac Victory Gear combined for a total of 231 users, or 62.1% of all holsters used in the match. Blade Tech had 118 shooters (31.7%) using their gear, edging out Comp-Tac who were the preferred holster maker for 113 shooters (30.4%).

Top Holsters at 2011 IDPA World Shoot

The top seven holster brands, which included Blackhawk, Fobus, Ready Tactical Products, Safariland and Uncle Mikes, accounted for 83.1% of all holsters at the match. Below is a breakdown of each brand, the total number of models used and what percentage of the 2011 IDPA World Shoot competitors each manufacture captured.

5.11 1 0.3% Heinie 1 0.3%
Ace 1 0.3% Homeade 1 0.3%
Amadini Ghost 1 0.3% Kirkpatrick
1 0.3%
Blackhawk 1 9 5.1% Kytac
3 0.8%
Cal Tec  1 0.3% Master Tac 3 0.8%
CC Holsters  1 0.3% Mitch Rosen 1 0.3%
Compact  1 0.3% OLG
1 0.3%
D&D  4 1.1% Rapid Tactical 1 0.3%
De Santis 1 0.3% Raven 1 0.3%
Deadeye Luke 1 0.3% Ready Tactical Products 12 3.2%
Double Alpha 2 0.5% Safariland 23 6.2%
1 1 3.0% Sparks 1 0.3%
Front Line
 1 0.3% Springfield 1 0.3%
Garrett  1 0.3% Tactical Kydex 2 0.5%
G-Code  1 0.3% Talon Tactical 6 1.6%
Ghost International  1 0.3% TKC 1 0.3%
Glock  1 0.3% TKW 7 1.9%
Grip Tac  1 0.3%  Uncle Mikes 13 3.5%
Gunberg  1 0.3% Wilson 9 2.4%
 Hazel Gunleather 1 0.3%  X-Concealment 1 0.3%


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With 67%, Glock and S&W Dominate List of IDPA World Shoot Guns

by Editor 20. April 2012 15:59
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In the Tactical Journal (Vol. 15, Issue 4) you'll find on pages 26-33 the equipment survey results from the 2011 IDPA World Shoot. Looking at the brands of handguns used by competitors one fact stands out above all else, two manufacturers, Glock and Smith & Wesson, dominate the list.

Glock 34

Together the two gun making titans account for 67% of all handguns. They are also the only manufactures that had individual models in the double digits. Glock had the most guns at the match with 37.3% of the shooters choosing Gunny's favorite blaster. Of the 142 Glock pistols used at the World Shoot, the Glock G34 was the most popular model with 62 shooters (16.3%) competing with the longer slide competition model. Right behind it was the G17 which had 57 shooters (15%) campaigning with the company's flagship pistol.

Smith & Wesson had 29.7% of the World Shoot market with a total of 113 pistols and revolvers. Their M&P 9mm pistol accounted for 10.2% of all guns and was used by 39 competitors. The M&P Pro 9mm, S&W's direct challenger to the G34, found its way into the holsters of 18 competitors (4.7%). The last model to break into double digits was the Model 686 revolver from Smith & Wesson with 12 competitors (3.1%) carrying it.

As for the most popular platform at the IDPA World Shoot, the striker-fired pistol, led by Glock and Smith & Wesson models, made up 57% of all the handguns with 217 shooters opting to compete with that design. The venerable 1911 had 96 competitors (25.2%) selecting it. If you were to add in the double-stack variants that number goes up to 111 or 29.1%. Below is a breakout of each brand, the total number of models used and what percentage of the World Shoot competitors each manufacture captured.

ADC 1 0.3% Nighthawk 4 1.0%
Amadini 2 0.5% Para 2 0.5%
Beretta 1 0.3% Pistol Dynamics 1 0.3%
Canada 1 0.3% Predator Tactical 2 0.5%
Caracal 2 0.5% Remington 1 0.3%
Caspian 5 1.3% Ruger 2 0.5%
Chiappa 1 0.3% Sig Sauer 3 0.8%
Colt 7 1.8% Springfield Armory 18 4.7%
CZ 3 0.8% STI 22 5.8%
Dan Wesson 1 0.3% SVI 1 0.3%
Kimber 16 4.2% Tanfoglio 4 1.0%
Les Baer 3 0.8% Taurus 2 0.5%
Lightning Strike Tech
1 0.3% Wilson Combat 20 5.2%


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