First IDPA match After Action Report

Discussion in 'Competition 1911's' started by B81, May 26, 2019.

  1. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I participated in my first IDPA match yesterday. I had an awesome time, and met a lot of good people. I thought it would be constructive to write up an After Action Report (AAR) of my experience: it helps me to process and learn from my experience, and it opens the opportunity for others to learn from my mistakes and/or provide advice.

    The match was a Tier 1 match with 10 stages. The range that hosted the match had 5 outdoor pistol bays. Each bay contained two stages. Only one squad occupied a bay at a time. (There were 5 squads.) The bays were built side-by-side into a hill, with concrete walls separating each bay. This meant that, with the exception of the stages in the bays on the far left and right end, all stages were setup like a scene in a play, with all targets necessarily facing the same direction. This also meant that you really needed to watch your muzzle direction. The 180 rule was really more like a 90 or 45 rule on some stages.

    The match started a little after 10 am, and finished around 4 pm. The weather was perfect.

    I competed in the CDP division as an Unclassified shooter. There was only one other Unclassified shooter in CDP. All others were either Sharp Shooter or Marksman class. Out of the 65 participants, CDP only had 9 people (including myself). I was the only person in CDP that was not in the "senior" category. Everyone my age and younger were either shooting CZ's or some kind of plastic fantastic in 9mm.

    I used my GI No Name (45 ACP) with a Bravo Concealment OWB kydex holster and dual mag carrier and a Wilderness Tactical 5 Stitch Instructor belt. My concealment garment was just a cheap travel/safari style vest I bought off Amazon. The GI No Name performed well, with the exception of two instances where it failed to return to battery. The gun is still rather new. So, I'm going to shrug this off as a break in issue. Everything else worked fine.

    Overall, ignoring shooter classifications, I came in 6 out of 9 in CDP. My ranking on the individual stages ranged anywhere from 2nd on my best stage to 8th on my worst, with a lot of the stages falling somewhere in between. I shot some of the more complex stages somewhat conservatively because I was worried about doing something that would get me disqualified. And there were a couple of stages that I just plain f'ed up.

    One of the stages was a simulated armored car scenario. I came in 6th (out of 9) on this one. You really had to use your imagination if you wanted to see the connection with the story that went along with this stage. The armored car was represented by two plywood walls meeting at a 90 deg angle (think the corner of a room), with a small 2'x2' square port hole cut into each wall. A mix of barrels, no shoots, and regular targets were scattered around the "armored car." Over each port hole was a door that you had to manually open. The entire stage was shot from inside the car. The biggest challenge with this scene was making sure that you didn't sweep your support arm when opening the door. It also had some tight constraints on where your muzzle was allowed to point. The safety officer made it clear that anyone who swept themselves or pointed their muzzle past an orange cone (which was right next to one of the targets) would be immediately sent home. I got good hits, but I moved like a snail because I was worried about getting disqualified.

    I almost got a procedural penalty (on a different stage) because I misunderstood what it meant to be loaded to division capacity. Division capacity for a CDP is 8 rounds in each mag + 1 in the chamber. I misunderstood this to be an upper limit, and that you could start out with less in the gun if you wanted. Downloading the first mag was an advantage on one of the stages because it optimized when you did a reload. To make a long story short, you can't download your mags. You must always run at full division capacity. They let me off with a warning.

    I screwed up one of stages because I lost track of where I was at. Apparently, doing an emergency reload while under stress can cause my brain to dump it's record of what I was just doing. I ended up being down 6 because I failed to shoot one of the targets.

    I screwed up another stage because I misunderstood the instructions. There was an orange box that you were to start in. I incorrectly thought that you had to shoot from this box. It turns out, you could move out of the box immediately after the beep. Moving out of the box would have made this stage a lot easier.

    I'm really slow when engaging swinging targets. I get the idea of how to do it. But it's not something that I've had a chance to practice. There were two stages where I lost a lot of time just waiting for the swinger to cycle back into a position where I could shoot.

    I definitely have some things to work on. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun, and I look forward to the next match! If you're not yet involved in some kind of competition, you're really missing out. It's a great way to improve your skills and make new friends.

    EDIT: Spelling, grammar, and wording/phrasing.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
  2. SparkyAZ

    SparkyAZ It is a dry heat, right... Supporting Addict

    Sep 11, 2012
    Thanks for posting this.
    B81 likes this.

  3. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    The most important thing is did ya have a good time? Scores don't really matter at this time.
  4. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    sounds like fun, I need to search one out in the Phoenix area and give it a go
    SA_Twister and B81 like this.
  5. DukeSoprano

    DukeSoprano Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Jan 17, 2013
  6. razorbacker

    razorbacker Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Dec 2, 2011
    Thanks for posting this report. I've never tried a shoot but would like to try one sometime.
    B81 and gps man like this.
  7. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    Absolutely! I'm going to go each month if I can swing it.
  8. gps man

    gps man Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    Sounds like a great time!

    It is very easy to get confused during some stages!

    Swingers.... they are fun but tough and hard to find any to practice on!

    We shot a club level IDPA “style”match yesterday.

    Lots of fun.

    Great report!
    B81 likes this.
  9. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I agree. Unfortunately, however, I didn't take any pics or video. I should get one of those body/hat cams so that I can review what I did afterwords... and so that I can make more exciting forum posts ;)
  10. DukeSoprano

    DukeSoprano Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Jan 17, 2013
    You got me off my ass to upload all my videos, I just started competing in October
  11. gps man

    gps man Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2015
    It’s tough to take pics of yourself when you are shooting!

    All mine are of other folks...

    The fun swinging target.

    To it’s left is the drop and turn. It faces you twice as it drops. The goal is to get four rounds on target...

    RN47, cwoods, B81 and 2 others like this.
  12. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    I can’t even get someone in my lazy ass town to got shoot at mine or the indoor range, while I’d love to do something like this I wouldn’t even begin to know where to look, but you can bet it will be at least a 4 hr. Round trip. But, like Ed said if ya had fun at this point and came back with all your digits in tact, the mission accomplished imo.. lol
    FWoo45 and B81 like this.
  13. Barstool Aviator

    Barstool Aviator "Select Zone 5 and engage...."

    Feb 25, 2016
    Sounds like you had a fun time. After shooting USPSA and IDPA I do think I prefer IDPA. Sadly I wish the USPSA Carry Optics Division allowed Single Stack 1911's, IDPA does.

    Should have used my old Wilson Xtac, that gun won me two IDPA local matches in the CDP division!
    B81 likes this.
  14. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    That gun is actually on it's way back to Wilson. The hammer falls when I drop the slide after a reload.
  15. Barstool Aviator

    Barstool Aviator "Select Zone 5 and engage...."

    Feb 25, 2016
    Seriously? That's crazy, that 1911 never gave me any issues. Sorry about that...could be some were the sear engages the hammer? Even then, you could tell that gun did not have that many rounds put through it. They were mostly softball 200Grain SWC reloads.
  16. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    I'm not sure what is causing the problem. I just noticed when I started practicing emergency reloads, the hammer would sometimes drop to the safety notch when I released the slide (using the slide release).

    I did put an 18.5# recoil spring in it because I'm shooting full power defensive loads (but not +P loads). I'm not sure what weight recoil spring you had in it, but it felt pretty light, and the shock buff looked like it was getting battered pretty hard. Naturally, the heavier recoil spring would cause the slide to slam home with more force, inducing more vibration/bounce within the gun. If there were any latent issues with the hammer - spring interface, or perhaps a trigger bounce problem, you might not have noticed it with the lighter recoil spring.

    I've already contacted Wilson. They should be able to fix it, and there is a chance that they will even do the work under warranty.

    There are no hard feelings on my end. I don't suspect that you or anyone tried to pull a fast one on me, or anything like that. These things happen.
    Mike Meints and FWoo45 like this.
  17. Barstool Aviator

    Barstool Aviator "Select Zone 5 and engage...."

    Feb 25, 2016
    I was running the flat wire Wilson Spring that the gun shipped with. Their flat wires feel like they aren't as sprung as a regular recoil spring. But they supposedly provide the same amount of pressure just its a "constant" pressure. The main advantage is that you don't have to replace them as often. I think that was the second shock buff, the first one I changed out at 500 rounds.

    Also why would Wilson give you a hard time fixing it under warranty? Not for nothing that is a serious issue and you did modify the pistol nor did I.
    B81 likes this.
  18. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    The customer service guy I corresponded with just gave me a boiler plate response, saying that they'll warranty it if it's due to original manufacture. I got the feeling that the guy I was corresponding with worked for a third party customer service company, and was just following a flow chart. In the end, he just said to fill out their custom work form and send it in with the gun. It was like dealing with my cable company.
  19. Barstool Aviator

    Barstool Aviator "Select Zone 5 and engage...."

    Feb 25, 2016
    Weird, whenever it came to warranty work I never encountered a response like that. They always seemed more then happy to accommodate.
  20. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    Welcome aboard.
    Nothing like scored competition to give you an incentive to practice.

    IDPA is pretty choreographed and you will get used to listening to the CoF and mentally rehearsing before you shoot.

    Loadout to 8+1 (or 10+1 in other divisions) is required just to prevent timing the reload.
    gps man and B81 like this.

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