Deliverance IDPA held a nighttime International Defensive Pistol Association match last Saturday. It was shot at Pickens County Sportsman's Club in Talking Rock, Ga. The match began at 5:55 p.m. and finished about 8:30 p.m. Temperatures were slightly above freezing before dark but dropped to thirty degrees by the end of the match. There was a sprinkling of snow and vehicles had noticeable snow on them by the end of the match.
As an exception to regular IDPA rules, lasers and weapon mounted flashlights were permitted in the match. Shooters who did not have a holster compatible with their laser or light were allowed to place the pistol on a barrel and pick it up to start. Small lanterns were placed in and about the shooting area for the safety of the competitors and guests as they moved around in the dark.
Approximately half of the shooters used lasers and/or weapons lights. Making the exception allowed shooters to test home defense pistols or carry lasers in a format that is not usually available. A comparison of the effectiveness of the devices in the hands of approximately equally skilled shooters was also possible.
There were 18 shooters total for the match. Two Divisions were represented; Stock Service Pistol and Enhanced Service Pistol. Expertise ranged from Novice Class to Master. Four lady shooters competed. Pistols were predominantly Glocks and S&W M&Ps but there was also one Beretta and a Sig.
The Division winners were:
Mike Benedict SSP 44.64
R. House ESP 81.79
Robin Scopa High Lady 63.28
The match was comprised of four stages. Two stages were relatively simple draw and shoot exercises while the other two stages required the shooter to engage targets at different locations around simulated walls.
Shooters who had lasers on their pistols exhibited markedly better scores than those who had standard sights or even night sights. Similarly, those with weapons mounted lights found it much easier to identify and engage their targets than those who used hand held lights. Those who used hand held lights exhibited a tendency to shine the light low and then direct their shots toward the low shine of the light.
One shooter commented: “I couldn’t see the sights so I just sort of point shot the targets. That didn’t work out very well.” Another shooter wore gloves while shooting to test the effect of gloves and found it had a significant negative effect on his shooting.
Deliverance IDPA holds regular IDPA matches at PCSC the third Sunday of each month. Night matches are held once or twice annually during Daylight Standard Time. Signup for regular matches begins at 11:30 a.m. and shooting starts at noon. The public is invited to watch or participate.