IDPA is Better with Friends

Not a bad IDPA match overall, with the exception of stage 5 and hitting a non-threat on stage 3. Best part of the match was getting squad up with folks I interact with regularly.

My most recent IDPA match might just be the most enjoyable match I’ve participated in. This isn’t because I did exceptionally well. Frankly, I did okay. It’s also not because I ticked something off the bucket list. I didn’t. More so it’s because of the squad I was in which was composed of some fellow blog readers, a few folks I’ve been interacting with on Twitter, a couple of colleagues, and a neighbor. In other words, the squad was mostly composed of folks I know outside of the match environment and this took my enjoyment to the next level.

DateJuly 24, 2021
Match TypeLocal IDPA Match (Level 1)
Division / ClassCarry Optics (CO) / Unclassified (UN)
RangeAustin Rifle Club
HostTexas Tactical
GunHeckler & Koch VP9 with a Trijicon RMR
HolsterG-Code Incog Eclipse
Mag PouchesConcealment Solutions Venom Single Magazine Carrier x2
BeltConcealment Solutions 1.5″ Python Gun Belt (Horsehide)
AmmoFederal American Eagle 9mm Luger 115gr FMJ
StandingOverall: 30 out of 36
Division: 8 out of 11
Division & Class: 6 out of 8

Performance wise, there isn’t much to write home about. Standing was lower than I would have liked, but my overall score wasn’t bad when looking at it against my past performances. This wasn’t my best match, but it wasn’t my worst. Sure, I could have prepared better. I also made plenty of mistakes (which are highlighted in the embedded video below). Definitely more mistakes than I made on the last match. However, I think I have an explanation for it and I believe I got more out of this match than I have in recent matches. I’ll explain more in a bit, but first let’s look at my updated score trends.

As the chart indicates, my most recent overall score was above the trend line and a bit higher than the last one. However, it’s just barely worse than my top five scores. My raw time was within my top five raw times, but as the orange line indicates, my shooting was a bit sloppy which resulted in a higher number of points down. While I could blame that on me trying to go faster, I think the squad makeup had more to do with it.

See, the squad was composed mostly by folks that I know outside of the competitive circle. This artificially elevated the stress I felt in this match. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I haven’t felt this much match pressure in a while. It’s one thing to have an audience. It’s another to have an audience of peers. As such, I felt more pressure to not look like a chump. Perhaps the higher penalty count (including the non-threat hit I managed) was a result of both pushing to go a little faster and the additional stress I felt in this match. I also can’t entirely discount the fact that this match took place on the hottest day of the year so far.

Regardless of the reason for my final score and the increased penalty count, I’m having a hard time remembering a more enjoyable match. I can’t deny that being among friends made the match more enjoyable for me. I’m also thankful for the elevated stress I felt by being amongst peers as I’ve become used to the pressure induced by the match, the typical audience, and the timer. The additional stress was a welcomed bonus as I find a lot of value in shooting under stress and that’s one of main reasons I compete in matches.

I hope to get the chance to attend a match in a squad made up of mostly peers again soon.


  1. Absolute pleasure to come and out shoot with that squad! No DQs, everyone was absolutely polite and supportive the entire time. Just showing up to benchmark yourself against other shooters puts you in the top tier of gun owners who will never bother to try competition. Together, we make ourselves better shooters and push each other’s limits.

  2. I love shooting with friends, but I’ve also made some awesome friends on the range at classes. It takes a solid amount of trust for you to stand next to someone and hope they aren’t a head-case with a loaded weapon. I’ve learned as much from a few of the other attendees as I did instructors. Plus, most of my former friends can’t or don’t shoot. Emphasis on the ‘former.’ Haha.

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