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Glock’s G34 in 9mm (top) and G35 in .40 S&W (bottom) are terrific competition guns, combining reliable and impressive performance with reasonable price points.

The original concept for IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) can be loosely defined as “competition shooting with your carry gun.” But, as “mission creep” works its inevitable mischief, the reality has become a bit different.

Carry guns do not often make winning guns for shooting IDPA. Inversely, the guns and cartridges that dominate IDPA are not necessarily the first choice for concealed carry. There is some overlap of course, but those who are very serious about both concealed carry and IDPA competition are likely using two different pistols.

idpa-1911
The 1911’s, like this one from the S&W Performance Shop, tend to dominate the Custom Defensive Pistol Division.

Most of us will need to make a decision. Do we consider IDPA a sport where we want to win, or do we look at IDPA matches as a place to practice with our carry guns? If it’s option two, then by all means shoot the gun that is with you every day. But, realize that you probably won’t be spending a lot of time admiring your name at the top of the winner’s list. If you choose option one and want to shoot the best possible scores, you will probably need another gun. Of course, to my way of thinking, any excuse to buy another gun is a good thing. So which handguns are the most popular for each of the divisions? Let’s take a look the guns used in the 2010 IDPA National Championships for clues.

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