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Cheating in Club Matches?

I’ve never had an RO complete an equipment check on my pistol, holster, or other gear during a club match. Not once. Ever. At club matches it is a pretty laid back atmosphere most of the year, with new shooters and veterans working on their game. When summer rolls around, and the IDPA Carolina Cup, East Coast Championship, USPSA NC State Championship start getting closer, more shooters begin to step up their game, and get more serious about their gear. The rest of the year however, I see a lot of cheaters at local club matches.

The most common cheater I see is the powder-puff pansy. The powder-puff pansy is the cheater that brags about shooting loads that do not make power factor. Sure, nobody is going to chronograph your loads at a club match, but are you really doing yourself any favors? With the amount of major matches we have in Eastern NC, it seems to me like it would be best to shoot loads that make power factor, and get used to shooting those loads, rather than having to change up your game when the majors roll into town.

The next most common cheater is the Glockophile. As most everybody knows, Glocks are great pistols (and my favorite) and being as popular as they are, just about everybody and their brother makes aftermarket parts for them. The Glockophile is the guy that adds all kinds of aftermarket parts to his Glock, but still shoots in SSP or Production. I see it all the time, from aftermarket magazine releases, slide stops, grip adapters, stippling (legal for production, I know), magazine wells, tungsten guide rods, etc. The glockophile might shoot another brand of pistol, but most often they will be seen with a Glock.

Last we have the “gamer”. The gamer is the most hated by the IDPA fudds. The gamer is generally a pretty good shooter, and generally knows the rule book inside and out. The gamer will show up to an IDPA match wearing “cleat like” shoes, and the most race-like holster and gear that he can while staying within the rules for the most part. The gamer cheats by knowing when and where he can bend the rules, and he does so quickly and discreetly without the RO noticing. The gamer will use speed to his advantage, moving quickly to a position and engaging targets before the RO notices that he was not fully behind cover. Some gamers will “ghost load”, loading their pistol with a full capacity magazine, and after firing a certain number of rounds, they will quickly throw an empty magazine from their belt onto the ground, and continue shooting with their full capacity mag. It takes skill to be a “good” gamer, but they are out there.

Is it really a big deal cheating at a club match? There aren’t any prizes or money on the line, so the cheater isn’t cheating anyone out of anything. I think most cheaters are cheating themselves, and to be honest, I don’t really care if they cheat during a club match. I’m confident in my abilities, and when I see myself score below a cheater, it just makes me want to perform that much better at the next match.

What do you think?

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. I've came to this post a little late but will comment anyway. As a long time shooter I can honestly (pun intended) that I've very, very rarely ever seen any blatant cheating, especially in USPSA. Most seasoned USPSA shooters self police. Also, they realize that to shoot substandard equipment in local matches will catch up to them at a sectional, area or national match. At each of these weapons and mags are examined, weighed (for SS and Prod) and ammo is chronoed. I do however see new shooters coming with equipment that's not legal out of ignorance. They fix it soon thereafter and nobody gets any heartburn over it.
    In IDPA the closest I see to cheating is round dumping. This is where a shooter will dump a extra round into a target to facilitate a slide lock reload. Is it cheating or simply "gaming"? If you can read a persons mind then it'd be cheating and if you can read minds you need to be in Vegas, not shooting. It's a silly, unenforceable rule and 99% ignore it.
    Lastly we can talk about powder puff rounds. Unless you have a chrono handy at a local match you'll never really know. The experienced shooter finds a decent load and sticks with it unless there is some compelling reason to change. Again, why have to keep up with 2 different loads when getting used to one is more efficient? I've found, again, that most serious shooters play by the rules. And they will beat you..no matter what. Just my 10 cents.

    • Thanks for chiming in Bill! You definitely bring good points. Have you been shooting much lately? Haven't seen you at the range in a while!

      I agree that the cheating is rare, but it definitely does happen.

  2. Of course people cheat. Somebody always has a drinking buddy who is an RO, CRO, or MD. That is why if you shoot with a club consistantly, the same people always win, place, and show. You see people show up 30 to 45 minutes late, and they are already squaded and signed up they jump stages because “they don’t have time”. These things happen in any amature event be it golf, bowling, a weekend 5k, little league ball game, whatever. The rest of us just show up and do what the event was ment to be in the first place:a good time with people you have something in common with.

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