Picking a Handgun for Competition

Becky Yackley |

In today’s blog, we’re talking about picking a gun for competition. I have 3 guns in this video: a Ruger LCP, Glock 17, STI 2011. I’m going to talk about them each in relation to competition to help you figure out if the gun YOU have at home is one you could take out and compete with.

Starting with the .380: It’s small, so guns like this are often for concealed carry. You could however shoot this as BUG gun in an IDPA match. Some of the things a little gun brings to the table are, well, very small: It has a small grip, small slide, it’s somewhat difficult to manipulate and reload. Too, when you’re using gross motor skills running through a stage, but have to transition to fine motor skills for reloads, a tiny gun is going to be more difficult. The small size also means you will feel the recoil more – the mass of the gun can’t soak up any energy…my hands and arms will attest to that.

Next the Glock: It’s usually a “Production Gun” or Limited gun in USPSA. “Production” means that not much is modified in this gun – it’s mostly stock, as it came off the production line. But the beauty of that is you can grab it and a few mags and go shoot a match! The slide is bigger so you can manipulate it easier. There is more to grab onto – you can build your grip to be as advantageous as possible. It also has a longer sight radius and better sights.

Last we have the 2011: It has more bells and whistles: adjustable rear sight, ambidextrous safety, magwell, great trigger. It’s easier to manipulate and things like the big mag, well, are going to help you change magazines smoothly. It’s built for competition.

To shoot a match. you need a gun, mags, ammo, a belt and holster and some mag holders. And just an understanding that what you shoot isn’t as important as the fact that you go out and shoot! If all you have is the small concealed carry gun, call your local USPSA or IDPA league and ask if you can come. Usually clubs will pair you up with experienced shooters to help you out.

The last thing you need is ammo. I like Winchester Defender. I also like and shoot Winchester W Train & Defend. This product allows you to shoot the same ammo for training or regular carry. For practice you could also grab some of the USA Forged ammo. So check those out, but let’s see some video of how shooting each of these handguns looks!