International Defensive Pistol Association
 
To: All IDPA Members
From: Joyce Wilson, Executive Director, IDPA
Date: February 2, 2015
Re: 2015 Rulebook Released - Part 2
 
The Tiger Teams have been working on the 2015 IDPA rulebook since the middle of August 2014, collecting data, reading member comments and suggestions, doing experiments, meeting regularly, shooting various firearms, talking to MDs, ACs, SOs, and shooters and doing other work. The BUG team began work much before that. All that work culminated in the 2015 IDPA rulebook release, and we expect some of you are asking why things changed. We understand that the devil is always in the details. Here is a bit of insight into the factors used to make some of the changes.
 
Why Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) and Why 4.1” Barrels?
There were a significant number of requests from members during the comment period for the 2015 rulebook that specifically asked for a Glock 19 sized firearm division. At first we were not sure there was enough difference in the compact platform, firearms with around 4” barrels, to warrant another division. But after having some DM and MA level shooters shoot the Classifier with an SSP firearm and again with a CCP sized firearm, that helped to change our minds. It was discovered that the CCP Classifier times ranged from 7% to 24% slower than SSP times with the same shooter on the same day. This is a bigger difference than SSP to CDP firearms and is roughly on par with the SSP to Revolver difference in Classifier times. The compact firearms are harder to shoot quickly and accurately than some originally thought. This is probably why they are rarely represented in sanctioned matches, up to now.
 
There were only a couple of 4” semi-auto firearms, out of 355 total entries in the 2014 IDPA Nationals, but the equipment survey indicated that the Glock 19 is the most popular firearm carried by those that shot that Nationals. The combination of membership requests, significant difference in Classifier times, and the equipment survey all added together were compelling reasons for the new CCP division and for CCP to include 4.1” barreled firearms. Nearly every manufacturer makes one or more firearms with a barrel length around 4”. We expect the competition should be great.
 
Initially including revolvers in a Compact Carry division was looked into. However forcing the semi-auto firearms to load only 6 rounds so that a few revolvers could be included did not seem like the right thing to do. Recall revolver shooters today are only about 3% of the total membership. The 4” revolver already has a place in the REV division and 3” revolvers are included in the BUG division which is now a regular division in local matches, and an optional division in sanctioned matches. Thus an 8+1 loading for CCP was chosen so that single stack and double stack firearms popular in the compact size would compete on a level playing field.
 
Why Not Carry Optics (CO)?
The recent online survey asking whether shooters would prefer CCP or CO showed significantly more than twice as many people wanted CCP vs CO. Additionally, NFC results today around the country show almost no Carry Optic participation, so interest in CO equipment is just not there today. Carry optics would require most competitors to spend about $1000 or more to compete, and IDPA principles have always said that IDPA is about firearms the shooters already own. That said, IDPA will reevaluate this decision from time to time.
 
Why Were SSR and ESR Merged?
There were a significant number of requests from revolver shooters during the comment period for the 2015 rulebook that specifically asked for the two revolver divisions to be merged. These requests may be because neither division is growing quickly. ESR only had one MA shooter in the 2014 Nationals. Combining two smaller divisions to make a bigger one will improve competition, and increase the possibility of a revolver shooter being able to get a match promotion. However we did not want to go back to the issues we had when there was only one revolver division and one power factor, so two power factors were used. Stock Revolvers (previously SSR) will continue to use 105PF and Enhanced Revolvers (previously ESR) will use 155PF.
 
Why Was 155PF Chosen for Enhanced Revolver?
We were influenced by analyzing large sanctioned match performance data from 2012 to 2014 for SSR and ESR revolvers. These matches all included SSR at 105PF and ESR at 165PF. It quickly became clear that ESR was not the match domination platform that many have assumed. (Of course we discounted Jerry Miculek’s scores since he crushes everyone else by such a huge margin.) We took the results from many large matches and selected DM, MA and EX classifications in SSR and ESR. Those results were sorted by total match score. This gave an “overall” type ranking of the best revolver shooters in big matches. There was a slight edge shown for the SSR equipment over ESR equipment in many of the matches. After excluding JM, there was no edge shown for ESR equipment in matches. We also sought the opinion of several DM and MA revolver shooters and even a GM shooting revolver, and they generally advised that any power factor at or below 150 would cause ESR equipment to have an edge. We chose 155PF for ESR so that there would be little or no equipment bias to Revolver match scores in the future. The outcome of the new Revolver division will be determined by the shooter’s skill, not the platform.
 
What About Reloading Along Cover?
The big question seems to be why one can’t reload across an opening if targets are engaged, and why can one reload while crossing a room if targets are engaged. The answer is in the concealed carry premise of IDPA. That is, the shooter does not know how many bad guys there are or where they are located. With that in mind, one can reload while moving across a room that has just been cleared because that is a known space with contiguous walls that the shooter controls. This is not true of an opening, which does not have a contiguous wall and may be 2 feet across to 10 yards across and that has not been cleared. The shooter’s attention should not be averted by reloading in this higher risk situation.
 
Why Did BUG Change?
There were a significant number of requests during the comment period for the 2015 rulebook and before, specifically asking for BUG (sub-compacts) to be a division in regular matches. The other thing asked for was to better define the size and weight of BUG firearms to level the playing field over previous years. We researched the size and weight of popular small carry firearms such as the Shield, XD-S, Kahr, G26, small 1911’s, small revolvers, etc., that are carried daily by many. When we researched BUG matches we found many IDPA clubs are running BUG matches every month or more often. We found many clubs running sanctioned BUG matches. We also found side matches where BUG firearms were being reloaded on the clock, and we found competitors using BUG in the NFC division in local matches. These things, taken together, were a tipping point for making BUG a division in regular matches.
 
We also realized that with BUG being a regular division in local matches, there would be shooters that only shoot BUG and no other divisions. The old BUG Classification method of using a shooter’s other Classifications would not work well. Additionally forcing shooters to shoot the 6 round strings of the Classifier with a 5-shooter would be sheer agony and frustration. For example, imagine Stage 2 String 3, shoot 6, tac-reload and shoot 6, being done with a 5 shooter? This and other factors led to BUG becoming a 6 round division. This allows BUGS to more easily fit into regular matches, and they will have the same number of reloads as the REV division. Like other divisions, firearms with less capacity are still allowed.
 
Of course this meant that BUG firearms have to be able to knock down steel targets and activators just like other divisions’ firearms. Quite a bit of range testing was done to find out that at least a 75PF to 80PF is required to reliably knock down steel targets. Then we tested many loadings of .380 practice ammunition chronoed through BUG firearms most likely to be shot in BUG matches, to set the minimum power factor for BUG at 95.
 
The Classifier times are still being worked out for the BUG division. This is quite a bit of work to do as well, but when they are finalized, they will be released in the IDPA rulebook. At that point Classifiers for BUG can begin to be held. There is a method described in the rulebook for determining an initial BUG Classification that will work until that time. The delay is unwanted by all, especially the Tiger Teams, but getting the rest of the rulebook out more quickly was the priority.
 
Together CCP and BUG provide a competitive place to shoot IDPA with the most common belt carried firearms.
 
Why No Fault Lines?
 
Fault lines per se’ as used in other shooting sports do not work well in IDPA because of the fundamental IDPA premise of using target specific cover when engaging a target. That is, each target in IDPA has a unique and specific cover line. To use fault lines as in other shooting sports the target specific cover would have to be abandoned, which IDPA is not prepared to do.
 
However, making the cover line visible was considered at length. Research for this decision included using visible cover lines in part of two matches to see how well they worked. The visible cover lines in one case were ropes laid out from the edge of cover back about 10 feet from cover. In the other case the visible cover lines were a length of blue painter’s tape applied to the floor of an indoor range, extending back from cover about 8 feet.
 
Each shooter’s use of two cover positions was recorded by video for later analysis. When interviewed after shooting and SOing these stages, the participants told us their thoughts. The SOs liked it because it made the job of calling cover much easier, but the shooters unanimously and vocally said they hated it. The shooters said that they felt like they were being held to a higher standard, even though the visible cover lines were in the exact same place as the invisible cover lines we have all used for years. Almost every shooter looked at their feet to place their foot close to the rope. This slowed them down, and they did not like the concept at all. Based on the video analysis and shooters dislike of the concept, visible fault lines were not implemented.
 
We hope 2015 is your best IDPA year yet.
 
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