We’ve had a bunch of good, small 9mm’s arrive on gun store shelves as of late. The Ruger LC9, the Sig P239, the S+W Shield and the Beretta Nano are all first-rate and teeny-tiny defensive pistols that are VERY popular right now.
And if you want to compete with any of those guns, your choice is IDPA BUG (BackUp Gun) matches …
… and that’s about it.
I’m not a big fan of BUG gun matches because they’re one-size-fits all. To quote from the IDPA Rulebook,
All CoF for the Back-Up Gun Division must be limited to five (5) rounds maximum per string (no reloads on the clock) to allow autos and revolver shooters to compete equally.
Which kinda sucks if you own a small 9mm that holds more than 5 rounds, as 5 round stages are BORING.
So BUG matches are 5 rounds only, which leaves pocket 9mm owners without a match to shoot. Even a comparatively short 14 round IDPA stage is a looooooong time to be shooting with one these little guns (even if you can talk your way into shooting in whatever division you manage to hornswaggle yourself into) and even if you do, you’ll most likely run out of ammo before you run out of targets if you shoot an IDPA stage with these guns.
How do we “train like we fight, fight like we train” if there’s a dearth of competitions out there in which to train? Maybe something like a Steel Challenge or Bianchi cup for BUG guns, where each match consists of the four same stages all the time, and those stages would be designed to reflect a variety of “Real world” scenarios.
Something like this…
Limited Vickers count. The idea here is to practice retreating to cover and the need to do a “failure to stop drill” when needed. I specifically avoided the “Put two on T1, three on T2” type of briefing because we just don’t know when we’ll have to do a failure to stop, and leaving it up to the shooter to decide is more reflective of that fact.
An “Oops, what the heck is going on here!” stage, designed to help with opening doors while armed, movement and use of cover.
A simple mugging defense scenario, based on the classic scene from Collateral (minus the final coup de grace, of course…).
Again, a “Oh, crap, what’s going on!” stage. I hate stages that are supposed to represent “surprise” real-world scenarios but then have you start out facing your target, knowing where everything is in relationship with where you are.
And yeah, there’s no distances written on any of these stages, as these are just me spitballin’ what a standardized defensive match format might look like, but figure 10 yards as a maximum distance for any target.
So that’s just one idea I had to get all those pocket 9mm’s out of their boxes and on to the range. IDPA was created before sales of pocket guns went through the ceiling, so their idea of a “defensive” gun hasn’t caught up (yet) with what we’re carrying, so there’s an opportunity out there for “IDPA V2” to accomodate gun owners and their brand new pocket pistols.