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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend was a big weekend for my S9. After its debut class win last weekend in its first outing (and after only 200 rounds of practice/break-in) I shot no less than 3 events on Saturday and Sunday: an IDPA classifer and 2 IDPA matches.

Saturday IDPA Classifier
The IDPA classifier consists of many of the drills that are commonly encountered in an IDPA match, and is shot on 3 targets about 2 yards apart from ranges of 7 to 20 yards. Learn more about it here:
It is about 100 rounds and would make a great routine for training, IMHO. Since getting back into shooting and starting IDPA competition only 2.5 months ago, I shot the first qualifier with my 1911 and WWB ammo, qualifying as Sharpshooter (IDPA classifications from lowest to highest are Novice, Marksman, Sharpshooter, Expert, Master).

I shot the S9 using WWB ammo from the Comp-Tac C-T.A.C. Kydex IWB holster and an Unlce Mike's double-mag Kydex paddle carrier. Despite doing stupid things like shooting too fast and not looking at the front sight, I qualified as Expert, making the cutoff by about 2 seconds. I consider this a testament to the natural pointing ability of the Steyr, becuase I really had a problem not focusing on the front sight and relying on my Isosceles stance and muscle memory in 7-10 yard strings dropping quite a few shots into the -3 target areas. IDPA shooting favors accuracy over time, something this old IPSC Limited shooter has yet to burn into his brain.

Saturday IDPA match - indoor range
There is an local indoor range that has 2 ranges and holds IDPA matches. This was the first time I shot this match and was really impressed with how creative the course design could be with such a limited space and only 1 direction of fire. They only had 4 stages.

I had complete brain fade on 2 of these stages so that ruined any chance of me placing, and I found that I was shooting a bit to the left - I think because I was anticipating and was pushing the gun a bit. But the 2 stages I did shoot well I was really pleased with. I am convinced that the Tri/Trap sights are a real advantage once you get used to them for combat-style shooting scnearios/distances. Like many others, I WISH they would offer them in Tritium night sights as my S9 is intended as my carry gun.

Sunday IDPA match - outdoor range
My local outdoor range has 6 bays (3 directions/180 degrees of fire each) including a 2-level shoot house. Today they had some very challenging courses of fire including steel pepper poppers that activated turning and rising/lowering targets. Our SO's are in training for the Carolina Cup regional match so they were really calling cover and movement when you requred to do so.

I used Remington UMC 115 grain FMJ (green box) for today's match. I had 3 forgettable stages that started out good but ended poorly because of shooter error. The first big problem was a dreaded "hit on a non-threat" which automatically adds 5 seconds to your score. The second was a procedural penalty (3 seconds added to your time) in a stage where you had to do a tactical reload (reloading the gun while retaining the partially filled magazine on your person) from behind cover while on one knee. The SO said I got up from my knee before I had fully seated the magazine, but my squad mates told me it was questionable. I was really happy with the other 3 stages. I even saved a bunch of time on one stage by making a required head shot obscured by 2 non-threats while moving, which really made my day. If I could get my consistency better I would be much happier.

The overall results aren't out yet, but I stayed for the division results where I placed a relatively dismal 5th in SSP-EX (Stock Service Pistol). I don't feel bad as this was the first time shooting in this class and the gun is only barely a week old to me. My goal is to spend the rest of this year learning this gun and getting back up to speed and hopefully qualify as Master next year. I'm wondering if there is any difference for me in shooting with an M9, because of the slightly longer sight radius and 6 ounces more weight. I bought the S9 first because they are almost all gone and also because I wanted to compete with what I would carry daily. Unfortunately I think I'm succumbing to the "gaming" aspect of IDPA and am starting to look for advantages where I can get them.

I let 3 other friends shoot the S9 today after the match was finished. A friend who competes with a Glock 34 (long slide, supposedly super-accurate Glock designed for competition) like it a lot and shot a 1.5 inch freehand group from 15 yards with his first magazine. He said he didn't like the reset compared to his G34, but noticed how well it fit his hand and how much lower the bore axis was. Another shooter was a friend's wife who is new to IDPA (shooting her Kahr PM9) and shot both my S9 and the aforementioned G34. After she shot both she turned to the G34 owner (who is quite fond of his gun) and said "I'm sorry but I like the little one much better" after shooting a tighter group with the S9.

I now have about 800 rounds through the S9 since last Saturday and 3 IDPA matches with NO FTEs or FTFs to report among the 7 shooters to handle it including me. I love the sights, trigger, grip angle and general handling. My only beef is the erratic ejection of spent rounds. This weekend during the qualifier I finally took a shell in the face, and so did my friend's wife trying it for the first time. I watched others shooting it and the ejected cases went everywhere. I asked in another thread if the MA1 is any better and if the extractors are interchangable.

There is a 3-Gun match next weekend that I will probably shoot in the all-pistol class, so we'll see what happens there.


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sounds promising. I can't wait to pickup my S9 this morning.

Though I can't say I'm a fan of the "tactical reload" in IDPA matches but I guess it's the thing of the comming future. Especially when Ex IPSC guys start designing the IDPA courses.

I look forward to your next update.
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