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Competition Mods

This is a discussion on Competition Mods within the Competition forums, part of the Shooting category; I am thinking about getting into competition shooting and I am a little confused on what mods are allowed on pistols. Can anyone enlighten me?...


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Old September 10th, 2013, 05:15 AM   #1
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Competition Mods

I am thinking about getting into competition shooting and I am a little confused on what mods are allowed on pistols. Can anyone enlighten me?
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Old September 10th, 2013, 07:14 AM   #2
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Rules vary among different competitions. Which are you interested in?
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Old September 10th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #3
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Local club near my house has IDPA and USPSA competitions
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Old September 10th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ADM169 View Post
Local club near my house has IDPA and USPSA competitions
Thats a big spread between each. Between both - yikes.
1. One thing to do is look up the categories for each. IDPA tends more towards production or competition mods that aren’t too expensive. They are the stock car rally of shooting. USPSA used to be all about raceguns, but have opened up similar production classes as well. Each competition will have very specific limits for each class. In general that will answer your question directly. I think both have these publicly on the itranetz.
2. Do you have a working pistol already? Is this something you’re into modifying or are you looking at a new competition piece? If you have one now, even if you intend to get something completely different, take it to a couple of competitions. This will help give you needed input on what YOU will like.
3. I’ve seen people with relatively cheap Glocks, XDM competition pistols, and S&W pros stomp, and then there are people with $3,000 pistols as well.
4. Regardless get good hearing protection. Additionally electronic hearing protection is really really helpful. Often the RO/SO is telling you important things while live fire is going on in the bays next to you.
5. Remember practice is what makes the winner and ultimately is the big expense, and of course a nice portable chair!!!

Some Questions to think about:
-Are you a weekend hack or do you get into serious competition mode?
-Above, modifying existing gun, or a new competition?
-Overall spend on firearms you’re comfortable with– How much? This is a big factor. In both you can spend a butt load, or minimal difference.
-What do I like to shoot? SA, DA, DA/SA? This means a lot and can immediately change your category (and price range).
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Old September 10th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #5
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In IDPA, the M&P is classified in SSP out-of-the-box. SSP only allows internal trigger work and different sights.

If you want to bump up to IDPA's ESP class, you can add a magwell and baseplates (as long as it still fits in the ESP box), internal trigger work, sights, guide rods/springs and (IIRC) an extended mag release.

IPSC/USPSA... There are way too many classes (and associated allowed mods) and power factors to cover. Just pick a class, decide if you're shooting major or minor power factor, look up the rule book and mod accordingly.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #6
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If I was you, and you like the M&P platform seeing as you are on this forum, I would buy an M&P Pro 5" gun and shoot it in IDPA SSP(Stock Service Pistol) class. These have nice sights and a better trigger than a standard M&P already. Though I think all newer M&P's are being built with the "improved" triggers in them but don't quote me on that. Additionally, you can have the stock internals worked on, you just cant replace them with aftermarket parts like Apex. If you have Apex internals you are automatically into ESP(Enhanced Service Pistol).

***Caveat, I've never shot USPSA so I cant comment much there***

At a minimum here is the gear I'd recommend for shooting competition:

-Cover garment (A lightweight vest with weights sewn into the bottom hem work great for IDPA comp, cover garment is only req'd for IDPA)
-S&W M&P Pro 9mm
-Kydex OWB holster from Comptac, Raven Concealment, or similar
-A mag carrier capable of holding two magazines
-Some type of Range Belt like a Wilderness Instructors, Blackhawk CQB Rigger or similar.
(The above belts are semi-normal. If you were looking for a full blown competition rig I'd look at the CR Speed belt for a cheaper full blown comp rig, but you don't need to jump right into this level of gear to be competitive)
-At least 5 magazines you know to be reliable for whatever gun you will be competing with
-Eyes and ears obviously. Electronic Ear Pro is nice but not required. I myself have custom molded silicone earplugs that I prefer. It is easy enough to hear the RO commands unless you are already a little deaf.
-Ammunition, 200 rounds more than what the competition round count is. Rather have extra because there is almost always someone who runs out and you can sell them a box for more than what it cost you.

Another competition circuit I recommend, even over and above IDPA, is Steel Challenge. To me it is more fun than IDPA because you get immediate feedback on hits with ringing steel and the rules/classes are less restrictive. For example are you running Iron Sights or an Optic? Is your gun centerfire? Single stack or double stack? That's about all they ask to classify you.

Thats about it. Steel challenge doesn't much care about modifications. This also might mean that you wont be as competitive but don't kid yourself. When you see the difference between your times and the other top competitors times, and watch the guys who run those times run a course of fire, it will be obvious hardware has little to do with their speed.


These links should help you tremendously
Steel Challenge Rules
IDPA Rules
Couldn't find USPSA rules easily, not suprised. USPSA is so complicated which is why I never got involved. Too many rules to keep track of.

Last edited by GlockBlock; September 10th, 2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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And oh yeah, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Dont get out there and immediatly try and be beating those top guys. It wont happen, at least not this week.

Just focus on getting better each time you go out and focus on getting hits on target. Fast misses dont count for anything. A little slower hits will be faster than fastest miss, and it wont cost you as much in ammo!

Remember to stay safe. At competitions being the new guy can be overwhelming but the shooting community is a loving one. Remember good muzzle discipline and listen to the RO. You will do great!
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Old September 10th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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http://uspsa.org/RifleShotgunMultigu...-2013final.pdf USPSA Rules

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Old September 10th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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I did see those but since it read for rifle, shotgun, and multigun I did not know if it was applicable to a pistol only match.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Here are the USPSA Handgun Rules .

I assume you have a pretty-much-stock M&P? If so, Production division is the logical start point. It allows very few modifications (see Appendix D4); the rule of thumb is do whatever you like inside, but no externally visible modifications. USPSA rules may be intimidating at first, but they make sense. You would be best off just going to a local club, watching a match, then diving in.

I recommend you not get too hung up on equipment - even if you make a mistake, the worst that can happen is that you shoot in Open division for a match. Instead, focus on understanding the safety rules, and make sure you don't get disqualified due to ignorance of the protocols:

- Make sure your gun is completely unloaded before you go to the range.
- No handling of the gun except in a designated safety area (there will be signs - if not, ask someone).
- Leave the gun UNLOADED (no magazine, empty chamber) in your holster until a range office tells you to "Make Ready"
- Be aware of the other safety rules (180, finger off the trigger etc.).
- Concentrate on being safe first and foremost... speed will come in time.
- If you are not sure, ASK!

Good luck, and have fun
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Old September 10th, 2013, 02:26 PM   #11
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Is the Apex Forward Set Sear Trigger legal in the SSP Division or is that considred and external modification? I have been thinking about starting to compete myself.
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Old September 11th, 2013, 03:28 AM   #12
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Since the FSS trigger itself is an externally visible, non-factory part, it wouldn't be allowed.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 03:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeter1911 View Post
Is the Apex Forward Set Sear Trigger legal in the SSP Division or is that considred and external modification? I have been thinking about starting to compete myself.
FSS trigger is an external mod. It will bump you to Limited in USPSA, and ESP in IDPA.

Jeff
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Old May 29th, 2014, 11:32 AM   #14
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Smile Totally Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthyBlagga View Post
Here are the USPSA Handgun Rules .

I assume you have a pretty-much-stock M&P? If so, Production division is the logical start point. It allows very few modifications (see Appendix D4); the rule of thumb is do whatever you like inside, but no externally visible modifications. USPSA rules may be intimidating at first, but they make sense. You would be best off just going to a local club, watching a match, then diving in.

I recommend you not get too hung up on equipment - even if you make a mistake, the worst that can happen is that you shoot in Open division for a match. Instead, focus on understanding the safety rules, and make sure you don't get disqualified due to ignorance of the protocols:

- Make sure your gun is completely unloaded before you go to the range.
- No handling of the gun except in a designated safety area (there will be signs - if not, ask someone).
- Leave the gun UNLOADED (no magazine, empty chamber) in your holster until a range office tells you to "Make Ready"
- Be aware of the other safety rules (180, finger off the trigger etc.).
- Concentrate on being safe first and foremost... speed will come in time.
- If you are not sure, ASK!

Good luck, and have fun
I too joined the USPSA crowd after many years in IDPA. Relax, go slow, and watch. Don't make the same mistakes the guys/gals in front you do and learn. Then plan for the next match trip
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Old February 11th, 2015, 01:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADM169 View Post
I am thinking about getting into competition shooting and I am a little confused on what mods are allowed on pistols. Can anyone enlighten me?
Magic modifications are no match for mastering the fundatmentals of pistol: stance, grip, sight picture and trigger control. Run what you have, but get a good holster and belt, like a BladeTech and Wilderness Tactical, at least 5 mags for USPSA production, and 4 mag pouches. And if you have any money left get electric ears, Peltor Tac 6's are about $55. Take shooting lessons from a USPSA Grand Master or IDPA Master, or at least an intro to USPSA class. Shoot at least 2 dozen matches before you change anything.

Last edited by 9x45; February 12th, 2015 at 09:57 AM.
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