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HomeASF: IDPA Programs


The Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club is now an affiliated IDPA sanctioned club!


Sunday May 24th, 2015…the day that the International Defensive Pistol Association arrived at the new Action Shooting Facility at the Charlotte Rifle and Pistol Club with our inaugural IDPA Classifier Match!



33 shooters came to the ASF and completed 52 individual courses of classification placing them in classes of Novice, Marksman, Sharp Shooter, Expert or Master depending on their individual score in divisions of Custom Defense Pistol (CDP), Stock Service Pistol (SSP), Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP), Revolver (REV), Concealed Carry Pistol (CCP) or Back-Up Gun (BUG).  Classification is required if a shooter, as an IDPA member, wishes to shoot in a sanctioned match on a State, Area, Regional, National or International level. Classifications can be attained thru competition at these matches, as well.  Classification is not required on your first couple IDPA club level matches.  These matches, which will soon be scheduled at the ASF, are a great way to experience the sport and improve your defensive shooting skills.

Well…What IS IDPA, exactly?


IDPA is the use of practical equipment including full charge service ammunition to solve simulated “real world” self-defense scenarios using practical handguns and holsters that are suitable for self-defense use. The main goal is to test the skill and ability of an individual.




The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 22,000, including members in 50 foreign countries.


IDPA offers an exciting forum for practical shooters in which truly practical equipment, techniques and courses of fire are mandated. Prior to IDPA, there was no place to compete with common service pistols. There were no shooting sports where your concealed carry holster could also be your match holster without handicap.


When you come to an IDPA match, you can not only use your duty/CCW equipment, you can be completely competitive with it! Other shooting sports have become equipment “races”; IDPA will not.


If you’re interested in using truly practical pistols to solve challenging and exciting defensive shooting problems, then IDPA is the sport for you. Learn more about what makes IDPA great, from the practical skills training rules, the variety of matches, the wide range of competitors and the ever growing community.

Who Competes in IDPA?

In a word, everybody. IDPA membership and matches are open to all people who can legally own a handgun, regardless of occupation, race, gender or religion. IDPA members come from all walks of life and represent all skill levels within the shooting sports.


The IDPA community is made up of shooters like you who are looking to test and improve their skills through the structure of competition. While time and accuracy measure a shooter’s skill, it’s the fun and excitement of spending the day on the range with other like-minded individuals that is the true reflection of the IDPA community.
Each weekend, ranges all around the country are hosting IDPA competitions where friends gather to do more than just shoot a match. By shooting together, IDPA members help one another improve their shooting skills and form close bonds of friendship that often span the globe and last for years. We invite you to join the IDPA Community.


Most IDPA competitors are members of a local IDPA club, and there are more than 300 affiliated IDPA clubs around the country. Every weekend you’ll find a weekly, monthly, regional or championship match taking place at one of these clubs. Finding a club and getting started in IDPA competition is easy, and as an IDPA member you’re always welcome at any IDPA club. Think of IDPA clubs as your home away from home, well, your shooting home anyway.


When not impacted by weather, most IDPA clubs run matches year round and these events are open to IDPA all members, although space sometimes limits the total number of shooters competing. Clubs across America list their regular weekly or monthly matches along with registration and contact information. IDPA’s major matches, such as state, regional and national championships, make up the main IDPA competition calendar and many members schedule vacation and time off in order to attend these events. The popularity and growing demand for major IDPA matches can sometimes make entry into these events difficult, so interested shooters are encouraged to plan ahead.


To help keep IDPA members up to speed on rules changes, match results and product news, IDPA publishes The Tactical Journal, the official quarterly magazine of the International Defensive Pistol Assn. In addition to The Tactical Journal, IDPA also provides regular news and updates on the organization’s official blog, the Down Zero Blog. 

IDPA Matches

Self defense and standard exercises are the basis for all IDPA Matches, but the layout, course of fire and exercise details can differ greatly from match to match. Learn more about what makes IDPA matches unique. 

The IDPA Match Format

Courses fall into two categories: Self-defense scenarios or Standard exercises. The self-defense scenarios are simulations of actual or possible “real world” confrontations. These scenarios typically require shots from 3 - 20 yards and often require the shooter to change firing points and shoot from awkward positions. Standard exercises do not attempt to simulate a potential threat situation but are designed to test specific shooting and gun handling skills. IDPA matches offer diversity and truly test both accuracy and speed. Physical condition has very little to do with your performance in an IDPA match.

Self Defense Format


Most courses of fire in IDPA matches fall into this format. IDPA is based on “defensive shooting” and therefore the match designers try to simulate scenarios where you would be forced into using your gun to defend your life or others. Common stages found in matches involve you being caught in a convenience store robbery, a home invasion, car jacking, ATM/bank robbery and more. Many scenarios are drawn from newspaper and TV reports. Others are drawn from the stage designer’s imagination in which worst case scenarios are encountered while performing ordinary, everyday tasks or errands. Self defense stages will find you having to engage targets from awkward or difficult positions. You might find yourself having to engage targets from inside a car or from beside it, having to move from point to point while shooting, jumping up from a recliner or bed during a “home invasion” or shooting while seated. The possibilities change with every match. You might not even draw from a holster although that comprises the majority of the stages you will see. You could draw your gun from a glove box, a nightstand drawer, under a counter or from a bag or case. All of this combines to keep theses stages unique and challenging for each match.

Standard Exercise Format


In standard exercise stages you are required to perform the basic components of shooting such as drawing the gun, sight alignment and trigger control without the more complex decisions and movements required in a self defensive stage. The standard exercises are usually designed with minimal targets and require little or no movement. The key is to test specific items such as strong hand only shooting, weak hand only shooting, simple draw and fire, accuracy at short and long ranges and basic movement while shooting. These standard exercises help the competitor to gauge their skill level and note areas that they might need to work on improvement. They provide a base line that in important in the continued development of the core skills that not only will elevate your match performance but carry over into your daily life should you ever have to use a gun in self defense.

Benefits of Membership


The IDPA community is one of the most active in the shooting sports. Keep in touch with members of the IDPA community, regardless of where they live, through IDPA’s social media network. Whether it’s our quarterly magazine, The Tactical Journal,, on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or the Down Zero blog, IDPA puts you in daily touch with rest of the IDPA community in the U.S. and around the world.
Compete Locally or Internationally
Never miss an IDPA - well, almost never - with our Match Directory. Planning a trip, visiting relatives or just looking to compete outside your area, the IDPA Match Directory helps you find IDPA affiliated clubs and sanctioned matches throughout the U.S. and abroad so you can always be in the middle of the action.
If you are interested in getting started in this dynamic shooting sport…the very type our Action Shooting Facility was built to host…
Contact Tom Iradi, Director of Pistol Programs at
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