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This month, I got to explore the world of IPDA from an insider’s perspective. Our readers consistently pose the question of whether competitive shooting has value in law enforcement. In order to answer this question, I spent some range time with...

The biggest complaint about IDPA is usually “gaming.” In Jordan’s words, a competitor will do “whatever it takes to win.” This is not a commentary on the scruples of the competitors; it is about winning over what police firearms trainers might consider “tactical.” I have the same mindset, but my version is “whatever it takes to safely make it home.”

Although competing at Jordan’s level can get expensive, IDPA was designed for the average shooter with average means. It is an excellent way for shooters to inject a little stress into handgun training. If you’re thinking about practicing for the next local match, I recommend it.


Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer and retired military small arms trainer. He teaches criminal justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif. He has a bachelor’s in criminal justice and an master’s in online teaching and learning. Bertomen has taught shooting techniques for over a decade. He welcomes comments at lbertomen@letonline.com.

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