SPRINGFIELD, MASS. - After meeting world shooting champion and Smith & Wesson Team Captain Julie Golob at the SHOT Show in January, she invited me to come check out the 17th Annual International Defensive Pistol Association [IDPA] Indoor Nationals to get a first hand look at competition shooting.
This year's competition spans until Saturday but I'll be shooting today with a small group of Smith & Wesson executives and a couple other newbies to the competition world. It's my first real shooting competition, so I'm bracing myself for a humbling experience. There are thirteen stages that require 180 rounds (I brought 250 just in case). Each stage is set up to mimic real life self defense situations. For example, one stage is a camping scenario complete with low lighting and a tent. Another sets you up in a situation where you're working at a warehouse late at night and encounter an intruder. It's always very important to train like you'd fight and IDPA matches give shooters a fun way to do exactly that in addition to sharpening their skills and knowledge about the sport.
"Back when they initially developed it [IDPA] the whole concept was to build a skill set for real life scenarios to be able to protect yourself," Smith & Wesson's Paul Pluff said in an interview with the National Shooting Sports Foundation's Dave Miles last year. "As you start to go through these matches, we have some very elaborate matches. You're going to see everything from...we actually rebuild a van or an ambulance inside here, you've got docked boats, you've got a wedding going on, all sorts of scenarios."
Katie Pavlich is the Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her latest book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, was published on July 8, 2014.