Sunday, November 25, 2018

Practice 2018: IDPA 5x5 Qualification Drill

IDPA 5x5; SAPD Target
I managed to get to the range for a short time this last weekend and continued to practice self-defense drills.

For this session I started with the IDPA 5x5 qualifier. This qualifier serves as a good baseline measure of competence.

The 5x5 is shot on a single target placed 10 yards from the shooter as follows:

String 1: Draw and fire 5 shots freestyle

String 2: Draw and fire 5 shots using primary hand only

String 3: Start with only 5 rounds in your pistol. Draw and fire 5 shots, emergency reload (slide lock) and fire 5 additional shots freestyle

String 4: Draw and fire 4 shots to the body and one shot to the head freestyle

I shot the first qualifier cold on the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) qualifier target. This target is slightly more forgiving than the standard IDPA target with a 9-1/2 x 9 inch “zero down” area in the body and a 5 x 2-3/4 inch zero down rectangle in the head.

I used my SIG P320 carry pistol. This pistol has an X-Carry Grip Module, a 3.9 inch barrel, and the slide modified to use the Trijicon RMR06 with the 3.25 MOA dot.

My times on the first qualifier were:

String 1: 3.29;  String 2: 4.41;  String 3: 7.52;  String 4: 3.68

Points down: 1 point

Score: 19.90

As you can see in the photo, I dropped on shot in the -1 equivalent on the target. The head shot on the target is a down zero when measured from the center of the rectangle. The score would have been a Master run on a standard IDPA target. 

I then shot three more qualifiers with the red dot and got progressively slower on each. My average times for all four were:

String 1: 3.42;  String 2: 4.48;  String 3: 7.56; String 4: 4.10

Average Points down: 1.5 points

Average Score: 20.64

I finished the 5x5 session with two qualifiers using iron sights only. I did OK with the irons shooting the exact same overall score of 21.42 for two runs. Even if you use a red dot sight, you should continue practicing with you iron sights periodically.

I stepped back to the 50 yard line and shot five head shots with my reloads and five with a new lot of Hornady Critical Duty standard pressure ammunition using iron sights. I periodically rotate my carry ammunition and always confirm that the point of impact for a new lot is where I expect it to be. The Hornady Critical Duty is typically a bit more accurate than my reloads at longer distances.


At 50 yards, the front sight that I have on my SIG completely covers the standard IDPA target's head.

I then did several 4-yard speed drills on a standard IDPA target of 2-shots to the body followed instantly by a head shot. I started with my hand on a concealed pistol. My average times were:

Draw: 0.99 seconds        Total for 3-shots: 1.43 seconds

I then completed the Texas Department of Public Safety license to carry qualification course. I shot the course using the DPS times; however, drew the pistol from concealment and reloaded the pistol when necessary on the clock for the 10 and 15-second strings. (Note: The standard LTC course is shot from low ready and does not require reloads on the clock)

Texas Department of Public Safety LTC Qualification

I finished the practice session with five head shots from 75 yards using the red dot sight and the Hornady Critical Duty ammunition. The picture below shows the results of these shots on the SAPD qualification target. This target’s inner (light-colored) bottle measures 6-1/4 x 3-3/4 inches.

Does the red dot sight make someone who cannot shoot a better shot? No, it does not; however, it can make a good shooter more precise.  The red dot sight shines at longer distances

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1 comment:

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