Shooting the IDPA Classifier

Published April 8, 2014 by
Filed under Competition, IDPA, Practice

IDPA is a fast-growing shooting sport that is more focused on “defensive” situations than other shooting sports such as USPSA. People competing in IDPA are sorted according to how well they shoot the IDPA Classifier, a standardized course of fire that is the same for shooters around the world and allows people of equal skill to compete against each other.

The Classifier stage setup looks something like this:

classifier

The course of fire is as follows:

Stage One  7 Yards 30 Shots
String 1 Position #1 Draw and fire 2 shots to the body and 1 to head on T1. 3 shots
String 2 Position #1 Draw and fire 2 shots to the body and 1 to head on T2. 3 shots
String 3 Position #1 Draw and fire 2 shots to the body and 1 to head on T3. 3 shots
String 4 Position #1 Draw and fire 2 shots at each head T1 – T3. 3shots
String 5 Position #1 Start gun in “WEAK” hand pointed down range at a 45 degree angle, safety may be off, but finger must be out of trigger guard, fire 1 shot at each T1 – T3. 3 shots
String 6 Position #1 The shooter will load three rounds maximum in the handgun and begin standing, facing up-range (back to target). On the start signal, the shooter will turn, draw, and engage targets T1 through T3 with one round each. The shooter will then perform a slide- lock reload and re-engage targets T1 through T3 with one round each. 6 shots
String 7 Position #1 Draw and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 “STRONG” hand only. 6 shots
Stage Two 10 Yards
String 1 Position #2 Draw and advance toward targets, fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 while moving forward (all shots must be fired while moving) there is a forward fault line at the 5 yds line for this string 6 shots
String 2 Position #3 Draw and retreat from targets, fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 while retreating (all shots must be fired while moving). 6 shots
String 3 Position #2 (Load 6 rounds MAX. in pistol) Start back to targets, turn and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3, reload from slidelock and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3. 12 shots
String 4 Position #2 Draw and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 “STRONG” hand only. 6 shots
Stage Three 20 Yards (Bianchi style barricade and 55 gal. barrel required)
String 1 Position #4 Draw and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 from either side of barricade, perform a Tactical Reload and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 from the opposite side of barricade. 12 shots
String 2 Position #4 Draw and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 from either side of barricade, perform a Tactical Reload and advance to Position #5, fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 from around either side of 55 gal. barrel. 12 shots
String 3 Position #5 Draw, kneel and fire 2 shots at each T1 – T3 from around either side of 55 gal. barrel. 6 shots
Start position for all strings EXCEPT Stage One/String 5 is hands naturally at your side.

While all those shots look intimidating for beginning shooters, the fact is, the IDPA Classifier is a good test of a your ability to deal with close range targets, long range targets and moving while shooting. As with all IDPA stages, your score on classifier is a mixture of your raw time as measured by a shot timer plus extra time added for poor shooting or not following the rules.

Your score on the Classifier will put you into one of five IDPA classifications:

Times for: ESP SSP CDP ESR SSR
Master (MA) 89.00 or less 91.00 or less 92.00 or less 101.00 or less 102.00 or less
Expert (EX) 89.01 thru 109.00 91.01 thru 110.00 92.01 thru 111.00 101.01 thru 122.00 102.01 thru 124.00
Sharpshooter (SS) 109.01 thru 138.00 110.01 thru 140.00 111.01 thru 142.00 122.01 thru 155.00 124.01 thru 158.00
Marksman (MM) 138.01 thru 190.00 140.01 thru 192.00 142.01 thru 195.00 155.01 thru 212.00 158.01 thru 218.00
Novice (NV) 190.01 or greater 192.01 or greater 195.01 or greater 212.01 or greater 218.01 or greater

So if you raw time plus equals 190 seconds or greater and you’re shooting a Glock in Stock Service Pistol, you’re considered a Novice shooter and compete against other people of similar classification in a match.

Me? I’m on the cusp of breaking into SSP Sharpshooter, and I *almost* made it there last weekend, but alas, I fell short. I’ll have a walk through of how I shot the Classifier and what I can do better to make it to Sharpshooter the next time I shoot it in my next post, and hopefully we’ll both learn something as a result.

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