Before the 1996 formation of the International Defensive Pistol Association, there was no place to compete and hone one’s skill with equipment designed for and suitable for self-defense. Other shooting sports are just that: Competitive sports with no relevance to self-defense. IDPA offers an exciting forum for practical shooters in which truly practical equipment, techniques and courses of fire are mandated.
IDPA as a sport is quite simply the use of practical equipment including full-charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios. Shooters competing in IDPA events are required to use practical handguns and holsters that are truly suitable for self-defense use. No “competition only” equipment is permitted in IDPA matches, since that would defeat the main goal of testing the skill and ability of an individual, versus his equipment or gamesmanship.
IDPA matches typically require the use of a service-type pistol or revolver of 9 mm/.38 Special or lager caliber. If your handgun is suitable for self-defense use, it will probably be competitive for IDPA matches. If you’re interested in participating, the Tri-County Defensive Pistol League Website has the information that you need.