IDPA, AIWB and BUGs

Or, how to write a headline that only a very few people will understand.

Tam had a good post awhile back on how the state of the art for IDPA seems stuck in 1995, and yet at the same time, the IDPA is doing their first National match for Backup Guns (BUGs). 

On the one hand, I applaud the IDPA for realizing that not everyone carries a Wilson Combat .45 and/or a Glock 34, and I completely understand why they ban appendix-style inside the waistband holsters (Worst-case scenario with an ND in a “regular” IWB holster: You put a round into your foot. Worst-case scenario with an ND in an AIWB holster: You put a round into your femoral artery and/or genitalia. Ouch.). 

I’m a big, big fan of competing in IDPA with what you carry, so I like the idea of a BUG gun Nationals, it’s just that IDPA’s idea of a “back up gun” is a little interesting. According the IDPA, a backup gun is either a single action, double action, double action only, or striker fired semiautomic or a revolver, and is in a center fire caliber with a barrel length of  3.8” or less for pistols and 3″ or less for a revolver. 

My CZ-P07 is a BUG gun according to those rules, so is a Glock 19*, and you can use those guns in a BUG match as readily as you can a LCP or an Airweight. 

Any guesses who will win THAT matchup?

Part of this boils down to gun owners constant infatuation with WHAT instead of WHY. IDPA Divisions are set up according to how a gun functions, not what its purpose actually is. The effective difference between a tricked-out CZ75 and a tricked-out Glock 34 is pretty much nil, but in IDPA, one gun competes in SSP and the other in ESP because, um, trigger action, even though they both are hovering around a 3-4 pound trigger pull once they’ve been worked over.

Personally, I’d like to see the IDPA move away from the striker-fired/single-action only distinctions of SSP and ESP and move towards splitting things up into race gun/EDC divisions. I think (and this is a guess) that the old divisions are a leftover from when 9mm and striker-fired guns were the order of the day, when the 1911 was king of the hill. Let’s keep CDP as-is as an ode to the past and build EDC with the M&P 9mm / Glock 19 / Sig 226 in mind. The Race Gun division would be much the same as Open in USPSA, with the idea of testing the state of the art in defensive gear in the crucible of competition to see what works and would be pretty much anything goes, with red dot sights and anything else that doesn’t affect safety being A-Ok in that division.

* Yeah, so a Glock 19 has a 4.01″ barrel and I was wrong. My point still stands with the CZ P07 and others, though.