Home / QnA / Q&A: Unfair IDPA Match, Sighting in a Pistol, and Misinterpreted Rules

Q&A: Unfair IDPA Match, Sighting in a Pistol, and Misinterpreted Rules

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Here’s this week’s questions:



I was wondering if there are certain spare parts someone should keep in their range bag for competitions and or range trips.




Hi Luke,

Just finished the news podcast and I’ve got a question or two for you.

When you start from the beginning to develop a brand new load for competition, how do you go about that? I understand that you should start at the minimum and work up, but what about figuring out the optimum overall length (OAL)? How big are your batch sizes for every unique recipe? 5, 10 or more?

Once again thanks for all of your help!

Rick, again:

Hi Luke,

What yardage would you recommend to site in a competition gun at?

Best Regards


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Hi Luke I was wondering what do you do if you run into a stage that hasn’t been reset properly that you are shooting. Example my last uspsa stage I shot there was a target that wasn’t pasted so I shot it twice and went on. Should you just leave the target there since it was already shot? I also had an idpa match a few weeks ago where a popper wasn’t reset and I was going to end on it. So I stopped and said the popper isn’t reset and I had a re shoot should I have got credit for the target and didn’t have to re shoot?

Thanks Alex from Iowa



Q: When do you know it’s time to find a new range?

  1. As a noOb to IDPA, this weekend was only my second time out. I shot ok (middle of the pack overall), but I still had some questions. I read the rulebook (at least twice) before this second match, but it seemed that every stage ended up a fight over the correct way to approach it…starting with the walkthrough, and then often questioning calls with nearly every shooter. As a noOb, whenever I asked a question (this match or the first), the SO or more senior shooter would get defensive and treat me as though I was lawyering and trying to get out of a penalty. I was just asking for clarification to gain a more thorough understanding of the game. One person even took it upon himself at the end of each stage to immediately approach and ask, “Do you know what you did wrong?” While I want to know what my penalties are, some of these instances were…more points of technique. Or pointing out the malf that I cleared, thereby leaving a partial mag on the ground. It happens. Or being close to the 180. When during the walkthrough we talked about how we’d all be close to the 180. It became difficult, it not impossible to ask any questions at all.
  2. Penalties were awarded inconsistently, so it was even more difficult to gain an understanding of the correct procedure. Two people could shoot an array in the same order, and one would get a penalty for shooting it out of order. Some would get penalties for leaving mags with rounds, but not others. One person was even told his ammo was illegal for IDPA…but was not DQ’d. There was one DQ for breaking the 180…but it was too obvious to even pretend otherwise, even over all the background noise of banter and chitchat.

So, find a new range until I have more experience and know more? Or stick with it? It’s the closest one to my house, and it seems to be only an issue for IDPA, not USPSA. I’m enjoying the game, but it becomes frustrating and distracting to fight through every stage as such.

Thanks for all you do,



What are some of the rules you see misused or misinterpreted the most?

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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