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Getting started in competition

Jul 13, 2018 at 12:00am
By CSR .
Getting started in competition

Sweat beads on your forehead as you holster your loaded handgun in a Galco Combat Master.  Your mind races while you do your best to memorize every shooting position and target presentation.  Slowly, you raise your wrists above your shoulders into ‘surrender position,’ signaling the Range Officer that you’re ready.

Are you ready?



The adrenaline dump that follows the sound of a shot timer can be overwhelming.  I have personally seen the sound scramble a person’s brain until he or she could not function, much less navigate a course of fire while engaging multiple targets with a semi-automatic handgun.

If you’re reading blog posts by your favorite holster manufacturer, you are likely one of the many millions of Americans that undertakes the tremendous responsibility of carrying a firearm in public every day.  With that said, what are you currently doing to maintain and grow your firearm manipulation and marksmanship skills?  In addition to formal training, I suggest that you look into competition.

How do you get started?  Easy!  There are two organizations that I recommend looking into: United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), and International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA).  Read the rulebook, find a local club, and attend a match as a spectator.  Be sure to talk to the match director about what it takes to participate in the next event. 

After watching your first match, you will likely be tempted to go out and buy new gear.  Before you do, take inventory of what you already own.  Handgun?  Ammunition?  3-4 magazines?  Galco holster, magazine carriers, and belt?  If you answered yes to these questions you already own everything that you need.  Now you’re ready to compete!

Equipment guidelines are found in each organization’s rulebook, but you’ll be in good shape if you have something like an Avenger, Corvus or the aforementioned Combat Master. A couple of magazine carriers like the DMC will get you through most any match. And don’t forget to hang your gear on a solid holster belt like Galco’s Heavy Duty Instructors Belt, Cobra Tactical Belt or the leather SB5 Sport Belt. 

Your first match will be tough; don’t expect to win anything!  However, if you stick with it, your performance at the match and your confidence with a handgun will increase tremendously. 

What do you do to maintain your skills with the handgun you carry daily?  Will you try out USPSA or IDPA?  Tell us in the comments section.

- Reed G.