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Q&A: Steel DQ Lines and Should You Try IDPA?

The Triangle Tactical Q&A Show is possible because of the folks who have pledged to the show on Patreon. Check it out at Patreon.com/triangletactical.

The audio podcast is up at the top, and below is the Facebook Live video, which I’m shooting for 9PM EST on Thursday nights each week:

In this episode I got a BUNCH of awesome live questions in addition to the questions I had prepared beforehand. Here’s the questions that I had prepared before the show:


Hi Luke,

In USPSA matches, have you ever seen a club use Steel DQ lines?  Let me explain.

The rule book states that the minimum distance steel may be engaged is 23 feet. However, if there is not a physical barrier the fault line must be placed at 26 feet so that if the competitor slightly faults the line it won’t be an unsafe condition and therefore a DQ.

A long long time ago at a club far far away, an stage was setup with an L shaped shooting area.  As a competitor cut the corner from one extreme end of the L to the other, he brain farted and engaged steel forgetting he was outside of the shooting area.  It took us a while to figure out if it was a DQ or not because we weren’t sure if he was closer than 23 feet.  With some discussion of RO’s who observed the incident, we figured approximately where the shots were fired from and measured the distance to the steel.  We decided no DQ because it wasn’t all too close to 23 feet and we weren’t positive exactly where the shots were fired from.  Ever since then we’ve been spiking down a red painted 2×4 designating exactly where 23 feet is so that we could save time and argument during the match.  It rarely comes into play, if ever, but at least everyone knows where the DQ line is for steel targets.

I overheard at the last match that DNROI caught wind of our Steel DQ lines and either said that they are not necessary or should not be used.  While they are not spelled out in the rule book, we don’t see how it could hurt.  We are not breaking or bending any rules, but just adding an indicator for RO’s and competitors alike.  

What is your take on this?




“I have a question for the Q&A Podcast for you.

I am an avid USPSA Shooter but also love Steel Challenge. I would love to shoot more than I actually get to and am still in “C” Class but still love the way USPSA is done.  

My Main question is: I have though about getting into IDPA just to experience it and to check it out but everyone always talks about how the rules make it not as fun as USPSA.

Should I Shoot Some IDPA Or Should I stick to USPSA?”

The Tom:

“What did you want to get out of competitive shooting when you started? How have your motivations changed? Do you want something different now?”

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.

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