Earlier this year, the International Defensive Pistol Association published a survey about allowing appendix carry in the sport. The results of the appendix carry survey were overwhelmingly in favor of allowing it. Now the new 2022 IDPA Rules are out and appendix carry, along with a lot of other positive changes, are in!
2022 IDPA Rules Summary
Alright, first things first we’re going to bullet point the big changes, then after that we’ll get into deeper detail on some of these items.
- Appendix carry now legal for all handgun divisions
- Stock Service Pistol division capacity is now 15 rounds
- Compact Defensive Pistol division capacity is now 10 rounds
- Clubs must follow all IDPA rules to hold matches
While these changes are the most significant, they’re not the only changes. However, let’s take a look at why these Big Four are important, then get into the smaller stuff.
Appendix Carry is Legal!
Honestly, if this was the only change IDPA made, it would have been good enough. IDPA is purportedly the concealed carry sport. Not allowing a type of concealment that has grown rapidly in popularity doesn’t make a lot of sense. Incorporating appendix inside the waistband carry means that people can just show up with their carry gun in their carry set-up. Then shoot a match, reload their carry ammo, and go home. It’s awesome.
The 2022 IDPA Rules break down that guns concealed inside the waistband must be from 12 o’clock to 4 o’clock on a person. The “12” position starts at the centerline of the body, which is where many people who carry AIWB keep their guns. Holsters still have to be attached to the belt. For example, the PHLster Enigma isn’t legal for IDPA without modification. However, other appendix carry holsters that attach to the belt are.
More Rounds is More Better
In another happy development, the division capacity for Stock Service Pistol (SSP) increased to 15 rounds. Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) went up to 10 rounds. These are both positive reflections of the real world capacity of guns that fit into these divisions. Interestingly, Carry Optics (CO) didn’t increase its capacity. This is likely owed to the fact that CO’s rules derive from Enhanced Service Pistol (ESP). ESP is the primary competitive division for 9mm 1911s, which can realistically only hold 10 rounds.
Clubs Must Abide By All the Rules
While the above changes are great, the best change is the elimination of “local” rules. For example some IDPA clubs would have their own “house rules” that weren’t based in the rulebook. The new match administration handbook clearly states:
Clubs must follow IDPA rules and principles for every match. Clubs having special conditions or safety rules for equipment or props must obtain a special written exemption from standard IDPA practices and publish these rules publicly in match and club announcements before an IDPA event. The Area Coordinators* facilitate these exemptions with Headquarters.
So, for example, if a club wants to ban appendix carry at their IDPA matches, they can’t. Or they can, and just not be an IDPA match anymore. This is a fantastic change.
Other Important Rule Changes
There are other changes as well to the 2022 IDPA Rules. Some of the changes are intended to remove ambiguity about positions of cover. However, the one I personally like the most is that empty magazines no longer have to be retained. Under the old rules, if you had a round in the chamber and an empty mag, you had to retain that empty magazine when you did a reload. Silly? Absolutely. Under the new rules, empty mags don’t have to be kept, regardless of whether you have a round in the chamber or not.
Another good rule change is IDPA eliminated its poorly written “sweeping” rule. This rule meant that if you swept your lower extremities on the draw, regardless of whether or not your finger was on the trigger, you received a disqualification from the match. The new rule is much better. You’ll see fewer DQ’s for sweeping as a result, and that’s a good thing.
All in all, I think the 2022 updates to the IDPA rules are excellent. They represent a progressive step forward for a shooting sport that’s going on 30 years old. Personally, I plan on running at least one match from AIWB when the new rules go into effect in June.
For a full breakdown on the new rules, you can visit IDPA’s website.