Sandy Springs Gun Club hosted a special International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) event on Sunday January 16, 2011. The event was the IDPA 2010 Postal Match. The term Postal Match does not refer to “going Postal” but rather is a standardized course of fire (COF) that many shooters participate in over a period of time, regardless of their location. Postal matches have been used for many years by several shooting organizations to foster friendly competition over wide areas.
IDPA’s annual Postal Match is a nationally organized and recognized competition. It is shot by numerous clubs throughout the country and the world over a period of several months beginning in 2010, hence the date. Each club’s scores are forwarded to IDPA headquarters and included in the match results, which are released at the end of the match period. Competitors may shoot the match multiple times but only once in each Division.
The 2009 IDPA Postal Match had almost 2600 entries, shot by 132 clubs around the world. The national nature of the competition allows shooters to gauge their competitive skill against a broad range of competitors, which is what gives a Postal Match its appeal.
This year, the match was comprised of 4 stages, 48 rounds minimum, although 3 stages allowed the shooters to fire extra shots. The stages were a combination of standard exercises and scenarios, providing a good range of skill tests. Two stages, one of which is generally attributed to noted small arms consultant Ken Hackathorn, required shooting on the move. Three stages required the shooters to do a reload while being timed, called an “on the clock reload.” One stage included a designated “non threat” target, which carries a penalty if shot.
Sandy Springs Gun Club ran the match very efficiently. Three stages were initially set up in the Range’s three bays. The shooters were divided into 3 squads, each of which started on a different stage and then rotated through the other 2 stages that were set up. When all the squads had finished shooting the 1st 3 stages, a stage was replaced with the last course of fire and all the competitors shot it. The match started at 8:15AM and the shooters began to finish about 9:45AM. There were 29 shooters total for the Sandy Springs match and competitors used handguns from all 5 equipment Divisions of IDPA.
The Greater Atlanta Defensive Pistol Association holds matches each Tuesday evening at Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range. The public is invited to watch or participate.