About IDPA

The sport started within South Africa in May 2001 and has grown to an active 1000 odd shooters in 26 active clubs shooting over 300 matches a year. It is geared for easy entry to a novice shooter with NSO (New Shooter Orientations) provided to facilitate easy and safe participation for all levels of shooters.

We cater for Multi-Gun shoots (Handgun / Shotgun / Semi-Auto Rifles) and are an officially SAPS / CFR recognized dedicated sport shooting body.

The International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 17,000, including members in 50 foreign countries.

One of the unique facets of this sport is that it is geared toward the new or average shooter, yet is fun, challenging and rewarding for the experienced shooter. The founders developed the sport so that practical gear and practical guns may be used competitively.

An interested person can spend a minimal amount on equipment and still be competitive.

The main goal is to test the skill and ability of the individual, not equipment or gamesmanship. “Competition only” equipment is not permitted in this sport.

Firearms used in IDPA are grouped into five (5) primary divisions and two (2) Additional divisions :

PRIMARY Divisions

  • CDP Custom Defensive Pistol (.45ACP semi-automatics only);
  • ESP Enhanced Service Pistol (9mm (9×19) or larger caliber semi-automatics, single action);
  • SSP Stock Service Pistol (9mm (9×19) or larger caliber double action, double action only, or safe action semi-automatics);
  • REV Revolver (.38 caliber or larger double action revolvers);
  • CCP Compact Carry Pistol (9mm (9×19) or larger single action only, DA/SA or safe action semi-automatics );
  • BUG Back Up Gun (BUG-S semi-automatic .380 ACP or larger) and (BUG-R – Any Revolver .38 or larger not loaded with moon clips).


Defensive Multi-Gun (DMG) is also available as a division to allow use and practice with our shotgun (pump / semi) and rifle (bolt / semi).

Shooters compete against and with similar skilled competitors

Shooters are then classed by like-skill levels with progression from:

  1. Novice (NV);
  2. Marksman (MM);
  3. Sharpshooter (SS);
  4. Expert (EX);
  5. Master (MA)

The Sport

This section is intended to provide summary information about the sport of IDPA Shooting.

1. SAFETY FIRST – The 4 Laws of Gun Safety

  • 1st Law – The Gun Is Always Loaded!
  • 2nd Law – Never Point A Gun At Something You’re Not Prepared To Destroy!
  • 3rd Law – Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!
  • 4th Law – Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!


We engage in different shooting scenarios designed to test combinations of shooting skill, tactics, speed, accuracy and stress.

We strive to practice realistic skills and scenarios that can emulate real situations allowing the shooter develop and maintain real defensive shooting skills.

Typically the exercises can be one of the following:
Standard Exercises: – Tests the shooters firearm handling and shooting skills.
Speed Shoots: – Fast stages with emphasis on speed and accuracy.
Scenarios: – Stages that emulate real world situations often involving movement, reloading of firearms and use of cover.


We engage targets that broadly represent a human torso and more often then not are covered with a T-Shirt.

We also engage reactive steel plates and pepper poppers.A time penalty is given for inaccurate or missed shots.


The Firearms and gear we use are all intended to be usable on a day to day basis (Carry). Even though we are a sport the underlying premise is to practice with equipment that is available to the average man.

All firearms have to comply with IDPA rules. A minimum of 3 magazines for the firearm you are shooting is recommended.

Your belt is extremely important since it is the foundation of your shooting platform.

A wide, thick leather belt is recommended. See IDPA RULE BOOK .


Shooting glasses are required to protect your eyesight against flying lead splinters that very rarely ricochet off steel plates as well as potential metal and powder debris that may occur should you have a round blow up due to double charge OR gun failure.

Ear Protection is required and is recommended you purchase the best equipment you can afford.


Strong pants with numerous belt loops are recommended.

Your shirt should be long enough to be tucked in properly and we recommend that a smooth shirt is preferable. Certain shirt material gathers and sticks to equipment and hands hampering your draw.

A conceal garment has to be used that covers the firearms, holster, magazines and magazine pouches with arms extended.


Your shooting bag is crucial to enjoy a pleasurable day on the range.

The new shooter may find that the large BIG JIM plastic tool box is initially the best purchase till you decide what you require.

It can also double up as a range chair.