What is the best pistol for IDPA / USP ?

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  • Josey Wales

    Active Member
    Aug 4, 2010
    422
    I cant use something with a really thick grip, and I would like it to shoot flat and fast.

    With that said can we narrow it down to three guns ?

    I appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    J.W.
     

    Racinready300ex-2

    Active Member
    Apr 10, 2020
    184
    This is a pretty loaded question, and the division you want to shoot with in those sports would make a big difference too.

    But, I'd look at Canik first, you can get a TP9SFX for like 400, or a rival for like 600, and a steel rival for 900. Solid choices. Some version of the 320 is good. The Legion is likely the most popular carry optics gun in IDPA and USPSA. Glock 34, Walther PDP, or Q5 in plastic or steel. If you're more into hammer fired guns, tanfo's and CZ's are good. Some version of a 2011, Staccato, prodigy, Girsan when it comes out.

    Really, there are tons of quality reliable guns that can all be competitive these days. Pick the one you like and shoot the crap out of it. That's the secret to getting good.
     

    Racinready300ex-2

    Active Member
    Apr 10, 2020
    184
    I'll add a little more, staying away from a thick grip. Look at the Walthers, I hear their grips are on the small side. CZ's are a good choice and you can change the grips to fit you better. I might stay away from the 320 legion. Most other guns these days you can swap back straps to help fit your hand.
     

    davsco

    Ultimate Member
    Oct 21, 2010
    8,587
    Loudoun, VA
    look for idpa and uspsa 'equipment surveys.' they show the most popular usage in each division. but also hit a few matches and ask to fondle some of the competitors' guns after the match at the safe table.
     

    Josey Wales

    Active Member
    Aug 4, 2010
    422
    Wow !

    Thank you all for the great points and yes, I have short stubby hands and I am looking for a smaller grip.

    Im still a bit miffed about the divisions though. What does one division give you that another doesnt other than optics and trick parts ?
     

    Racinready300ex-2

    Active Member
    Apr 10, 2020
    184
    Wow !

    Thank you all for the great points and yes, I have short stubby hands and I am looking for a smaller grip.

    Im still a bit miffed about the divisions though. What does one division give you that another doesnt other than optics and trick parts ?

    IDPA

    SSP will be guns vary close to stock with iron sights.
    ESP basically allows upgrades including magwells etc.
    CO is ESP but with a optic
    CCP is ESP but with smaller guns
    Bug is ESP but with tiny guns
    CDP is 45 ACP only

    USPSA
    Production, is striker guns and DA/SA guns
    CO is Production with a optic
    Open is basically anything, comps dots, 30 round mags
    Limited is iron sight 40 cal guns
    Single stack is 1911's only
    Limited optics is basically CO but allowing magwells and SAO
    Limited 10 is dumb
    PCC is dumb

    So what do you want to shoot? IDPA or USPSA? Striker or hammer? Optic or irons? Stock or upgraded? Answer that and you can pick a division, have a division it's easier to pick a gun.

    There is some crossover. A IDPA CO gun might fit well into USPSA CO or LO. A IDPA SSP gun should be good in USPSA production but maybe not the other way around. A P320 with a few spare parts could probably be shot in most of those divisions.
     

    alucard0822

    For great Justice
    Oct 29, 2007
    17,586
    PA
    Wow !

    Thank you all for the great points and yes, I have short stubby hands and I am looking for a smaller grip.

    Im still a bit miffed about the divisions though. What does one division give you that another doesnt other than optics and trick parts ?
    Divisions, and the rules for them are important to work with your skill, preferences and budget. IDPA has stock service pistol, enhanced service pistol, carry optics, mostly depending on features, DAO or SA operation and optics. USPSA has Limited, production, carry optics and open. Generally a Production/SSP is the best to start with, and you might already have one, P320, G34, M&P, it used 10rd mags, and simple guns without external modifications. Next is Limited and ESP, pretty much the 2011s dominate, and you can run some external mods, and this is where Sig X5 Legions, Customized Glocks and most others without comps or optics will fit, provided they are under 43oz and fit in IDPA's box. This division also will give you a decent platform for steel challenge or most 3 gun divisions. I started out with an M&P in production/SSP probably 20 years ago, did some work to it to make it a limited division when I got into 3 gun. I "upgraded" to a Sig 320 X5, and am happy with it, but it's pretty comparable to my old customized M&P pro setup. 2011s are usually better to some degree, but are a lot more expensive, and if the shooter doesn't engage the safety when dumping it, they get a penalty or DQ, where striker fired without a safety doesn't.
     

    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,835
    Rockville, MD
    The best? Well... there are really three main types of semi-auto pistols in IDPA:
    1. Enhanced: CO, ESP, CCP, BUG.
    2. Stock: SSP. The big limitations here are 1) not SAO, 2) must fit the box, and 3) must make weight with an unloaded magazine inserted.
    3. Traditional: CDP.

    TBH, my personal feeling is that as long as you choose a reasonably popular competition pistol for SSP (P320 X5 Legion, Glock 34, Q5 SF, etc.), you are not going to be at a significant disadvantage. So let's ignore SSP for now. The same calculus is generally true of CDP - bring your 1911 in .45ACP with a magwell and non-terrible trigger, and you'll be fine.

    The new 2023 rules allow "integral" comps (generally interpreted as not threaded on) and ported guns in the enhanced divisions. This is a huge rules change because ports and comps can make your gun shoot way flatter, which can really help in certain circumstances (esp the 5x5 classifier, oddly enough). I would argue strongly that we will soon see top-tier IDPA competitors going to such guns.

    ESP or CO: BUL SAS II TAC Pro (ported) or Staccato XC. This isn't to say other guns can't get it done, but you asked for the best...

    CCP: Glock 19 or P320 XCompact with after-market porting and an enhanced trigger installed.

    BUG: Glock 26 with after-market porting and an enhanced trigger installed.

    I'd love to recommend a P365, but there's currently no way to get the trigger as good as I'd like.
     

    hogarth

    Ultimate Member
    Jun 13, 2009
    2,503
    I cant use something with a really thick grip, and I would like it to shoot flat and fast.

    With that said can we narrow it down to three guns ?

    I appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    J.W.
    If you're asking this question then it sounds like you're a competition newbie. If so, I can assure you that what gun YOU use is not going to make a bit of difference. Not for a while. Pick one of your existing guns and go to a match and see what it's all about. Then shoot another. And then a few more. And then make a decision.

    I shoot a Glock 19 most of the time in CCP. Why? Because it's my carry gun and I use matches as an additional means of practice. And I rarely finish outside the top 1/4 in matches.

    Figure out what matches are like AND what your goals are and go from there.
     

    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,835
    Rockville, MD
    If you're asking this question then it sounds like you're a competition newbie. If so, I can assure you that what gun YOU use is not going to make a bit of difference.
    Not sure I agree with this completely. Most people are going to shoot better with a full-sized handgun than a subcompact, fiber optic sights do improve shooting, etc. Getting overly focused on equipment is a mistake, though, and it's better to hit the match with what you've got than not go.
     

    hogarth

    Ultimate Member
    Jun 13, 2009
    2,503
    Not sure I agree with this completely. Most people are going to shoot better with a full-sized handgun than a subcompact, fiber optic sights do improve shooting, etc. Getting overly focused on equipment is a mistake, though, and it's better to hit the match with what you've got than not go.
    I meant that, as a newbie, focusing on things like THE RULES are probably way more important than THE GUN. What good is a fancy new (full-size or other) pistol if you get DQed in the first stage.
     

    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,835
    Rockville, MD
    I meant that, as a newbie, focusing on things like THE RULES are probably way more important than THE GUN. What good is a fancy new (full-size or other) pistol if you get DQed in the first stage.
    Hey, I did that a couple matches ago, and I've been shooting for years. :P
     

    hogarth

    Ultimate Member
    Jun 13, 2009
    2,503
    Hey, I did that a couple matches ago, and I've been shooting for years. :P
    I'm sure my day will come.

    Frankly though, I'd rather get DQed now than in my first match. I can see someone getting DQed in their first match getting so embarrassed and frustrated that they never return. And that would suck for them and for the sport. So I'd rather someone show up with a small carry gun they know well so they can focus on rules and such for that first match rather than be worried about everything.
     

    martman

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 2, 2017
    81
    Anyone shoot IDPA at AGC? I'm just starting to get into pistol shooting and it looks interesting. Basically I'm wondering if I can practice with a pistol that might not follow every rule, and take it from there.
     

    Crosseye Dominant

    Active Member
    Sep 1, 2018
    990
    Anyone shoot IDPA at AGC? I'm just starting to get into pistol shooting and it looks interesting. Basically I'm wondering if I can practice with a pistol that might not follow every rule, and take it from there.

    From what I've seen with newbies in IDPA, there are 2 more important things than semantics about the gun:

    1) have a safe holster that actually fits the gun
    2) have enough mags that are capable of being loaded to actual division capacity (and plus 1 to make your life much easier)

    Wear electronic ear muffs or plugs so you can actually hear instructions.
     

    martman

    Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 2, 2017
    81
    From what I've seen with newbies in IDPA, there are 2 more important things than semantics about the gun:

    1) have a safe holster that actually fits the gun
    2) have enough mags that are capable of being loaded to actual division capacity (and plus 1 to make your life much easier)

    Wear electronic ear muffs or plugs so you can actually hear instructions.
    Sadly the electronic ear muffs is probably great advice. I never actually used the electronic stuff, but the specs never look that impressive
     

    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,835
    Rockville, MD
    Anyone shoot IDPA at AGC? I'm just starting to get into pistol shooting and it looks interesting. Basically I'm wondering if I can practice with a pistol that might not follow every rule, and take it from there.
    Locals tend not to be as strict, but it's still a bad practice to knowingly come to a match with an illegal (rules-wise) gun.

    Sent from my SM-G981U1 using Tapatalk
     

    davsco

    Ultimate Member
    Oct 21, 2010
    8,587
    Loudoun, VA
    Anyone shoot IDPA at AGC? I'm just starting to get into pistol shooting and it looks interesting. Basically I'm wondering if I can practice with a pistol that might not follow every rule, and take it from there.
    what gun do you have in mind?
     

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