IDPA Basic Equipment


The following is a list of basic equipment that you will needed to shoot in an IDPA match.  
Please keep in mind, "The main goal of IDPA is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship"

For more detailed information, please see the "Equipment Section #8" of the IDPA Rule Book (pdf document, 3.6 MB) as well as the document links below.


  • Eye protection (required at GMSA) An ANSI Z87 rating is highly recommended - get the best pair of safety glasses that you can afford and don't be too proud to wear those side shields, we've only got one pair of eyes!
  • Ear protection (required at GMSA) Some shooters like earplugs, some like earmuffs, some like the electronic type, the choice is yours but be sure you have something, hearing damage from gunfire is cumulative and irreversable!
  • Pistol or revolver meeting IDPA equipment requirements (See Note 1)
  • Strong-side hip holster meeting IDPA equipment requirements. click here for webmaster's favorite IDPA legal holster!
  • Magazines, speedloaders or moonclips (See note 2)
  • Double magazine pouch, single mag pouches, speedloader holders, or moonclip holders, as appropriate (See Note 3)
  • Sturdy gun belt (1-3/4" maximum width) that securely fits the belt slots in your gun holster and magazine pouch
  • Cover garment: Vest, jacket, coat, long shirt-tail, etc. (must completely conceal or cover your pistol)
  • Ammunition meeting the IDPA minimum power factor levels (See Note 4)
  • Range or gym bag to carry the above items
  • IDPA Scoring click here
  • Range Commands you will hear click here


Recommended items:


Though not essential, the following items are highly recommended.

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses - also should be ANSI Z87 rated
  • Water - sports drinks etc.
  • Snacks - crackers, peanuts, granola bars etc:
  • Sunscreen
  • IDPA Rule Book
  • If you've built a shelter over your belt buckle (like many of us have) and/or your back side resembles a bullfrog standing up on his hind legs,  "Perry" type suspenders are highly recommended.  No need to be too proud to wear them "old man straps", just look at it this way, you're toting around a nearly 2 pound chunk of steel and another 2 pounds worth of ammo and magazines on your belt all the while bending, squatting and shooting...no matter how bad we want to, we just can't rewrite the laws of physics!...gravity IS NOT your friend with steel, brass and lead!


NOTES:

1) Practical concealed-carry or police patrol-type guns only - No highly-specialized competition-type guns are allowed in IDPA.


2) You will need a sufficient number of magazines, speedloaders or moonclips (generally, two or three at a minimum, depending on equipment division) to complete an 18-round-maximum course of fire using only these ammunition carriers (plus, for pistols, one additional round in the chamber at the start of the course of fire).
Please be aware that IDPA limits the number of rounds in a magazine:
- 10 (ten) in the ESP and SSP equipment divisions
- 8 (eight) in CDP division
- 6 (six) rounds in the cylinder for
ESR and SSR revolver divisions

3) You will need magazine/speedloader/moonclip holders to carry all but your first magazine, speedloader, or moonclip, which will be used to load the gun at the start of the course of fire.

​4) Bring enough ammo!  You will not know how many targets you will be shooting at, what the total round count is or how many times you may or may not miss the target(s), your mileage may vary. We recommend bringing a minimum of 100 rounds with 150 rounds being ideal. While this may result in bringing too much ammo, this is certainly better than not bringing enough!
It is conceivable that an IDPA match might involve as little as 25 rounds or as many as 108 rounds. 
There is no such thing as a "typical" IDPA match so it's better to just be prepared.


​Please keep in mind the following quote from the IDPA rulebook when selecting your IDPA gear:
"The main goal of IDPA is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship." 
Your IDPA equipment must be suitable and practical for all-day concealed-carry use. 
Commissioned law enforcement officers and active-duty military personnel may use their standard-issue duty gear