Monday, September 5, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities

In the McHenry area there are two clubs, McHenry IDPA and McHenry IPSC Shooting Society, that see a fair amount of crossover between members.

Both clubs shoot their respective versions of El Presidente in the fall. McIDPA will run it at the September 22nd match as a little competition and MISS always kicks off their indoor season with it as a homage to Jeff Cooper.

So, what is El Presidente and what are the differences between the IDPA and USPSA versions?

Wiki has a fairly accurate summary of El Prez:

Developed by Jeff Cooper in the 1970s and published in the January/February 1979 issue of American Handgunner magazine. This is used as a benchmark to gauge a shooter's skills, as it tests the draw and reload, and requires good transitions and follow-through.

The El Presidente drill is set up as follows:
-Three silhouette targets are placed 1 meter apart in a line 10 meters from the shooter
-The shooter starts with six rounds in a holstered handgun, and a spare magazine or speedloader with another six rounds
-The shooter begins facing directly away from the targets, often with hands clasped in front or over the head.
Upon the starting signal, the shooter turns and draws, fires two shots at each target, reloads, then fires two more shots at each target.

Scoring varies; the simplest method uses hit/miss scoring, with a time penalty (often 10 seconds) for each miss. El Presidentes scored under the IPSC Comstock system take the total number of points on the targets (possible 60 points) and divide that by the time taken to complete the drill. This generates a number called "hit factor" which is a numerical representation of how many points the shooter placed on target per second during the drill. Example: shooting 55 points in 5.5 seconds would give the shooter a 10.0 hit factor. Originally a time of 10 seconds with a stock handgun, and all the points on target, was considered good. Today shooters using modern IPSC raceguns with muzzle brakes and red dot sights are close to breaking the three second barrier, and even shooters using production guns with no muzzle brakes or optical sights routinely break the five second mark.

The USPSA version counts as a benchmark/classifier, contributing to a participants overall standings, is shot on USPSA targets, requires no slide-lock reload. Below, Ben Stoeger smokes it with a blazing 3.93 run:

The IDPA version that McIDPA shoots requires IDPA targets, a cover garment and starts with the hands in a "relaxed at sides" position. Here's me scratching my way through it at McIDPA last year.

Both clubs have fun running this favorite... Maybe we'll see you at one of the matches trying your hand at it?