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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