Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in shooting in an IDPA match at Chabot.

1) I've never shot in a match before, are there any special credentials I need to bring? (i.e. NRA pistol instructor card, Front Sight Defensive Handgun course certificate, etc.)

The only requirement is that you attend the new shooter orientation prior to the match. Depending on your experience and training, you will be assigned a mentor to guide you through the match and answer any questions you may have.

You will need to plan to arrive BEFORE 8:30am for our new shooter orientation and holster qualification. This is necessary to familiarize all new shooters to the safety and procedural issues specific to the Chabot range regardless of your previous shooting/competition experience.

2) Do I have to wait for a classifier before I can shoot my first match?

No. You only need to arrive early enough at any match to attend the 'New Shooter Orientation'.  We have one before we start every match!  When you sign in for your first match, notify the the person that takes your money you are a new shooter and they will tell you where to go for the Orientation.

3) Do I need to be a member to shoot?

No. You do not need to be a member of Chabot Gun Club to compete in IDPA matches held there. We do encourage everyone who intends to compete regularly, to join Chabot. It's probably the cheapest gun club membership in the Bay Area.

You can shoot your first IDPA match without becoming a member of the IDPA, but you will need to join IDPA prior to your next match. We don't check cards at the door, but we strongly encourage membership.

4) Can I obtain membership at the event or should I do so online?

Chabot membership signups are available during the match, IDPA memberships will be available at the match and can be obtained on the IDPA website at

5) Are there any restaurants or vending available at the range for lunch?

Chabot does have some basic vending machines available at the office behind the public line.  I would recommend that you bring a lunch for the break between the morning and afternoon stages.

6) How much ammo should I bring?

If the match is a classifier, you will need a minimum of 90 rounds to complete all three stages. Regular matches vary, but three 50 round boxes should be plenty. Although, a wise man once told me, "NEVER short change yourself on ammunition!"

7) Though this won't do much for my times, can I shoot the course with flash-light attached to the rail of my Glock 23? (That's how I normally carry.)

If you have a holster that accommodates your flashlight and it's either listed as an approved holster by the IDPA or it meets the safety requirements for Chabot / RO's and does not provide any competitive advantage, you may use it without penalty.

8) How long will the event last?

Each match generally runs from approximately 9 or 9:30am until around 3 or 3:30pm. Actual time will depend on the number of competitors that show up and the complexity of the stages.

9) How many magazines do I need?

IDPA allows you to have 3 magazines with you during a course of fire. One in the gun and two spares in approved magazine carriers. I recommend you get a couple more, unless you want to spend time reloading magazines between stages. I generally bring 18 loaded magazines, so I don't have to take a break to reload during the match.  That's obviously excessive, but I like to have enough loaded magazines for the entire match!

10) I have an otherwise unmodified Kimber "Custom Carry" .45 -- which, if any, course can I shoot with this?

IDPA regulations require you to use a "Stock" handgun in .38 Special or greater caliber for revolvers and 9mm or greater for Semi-Automatics.  The Kimber Custom Carry is fine for competing in any and all IDPA stages.

11) Beyond pistol, holster, mags, eye and ear protection, is there any other equipment I should bring?

Keep in mind, the spirit of IDPA is about stock guns and stock holsters.  Off the shelf stuff will do, but leave the comped guns and speed holsters at home.  The only other thing I would add is a light weight jacket or vest for a concealment garment that completely covers your handgun and any exposed holster.  By default, all stages are shot from concealment unless it's a Classifier or the course of fire dictates otherwise.

12) Are these "club events" or "championship events" for the purposes of competing in more than one division?

It is a club event and you may compete in more than one division or in the event of a classifier, classify in more than one division. However, except for the classifier, since IDPA specifically precludes any 'Personal' walk through's, you will have to identify which gun you are shooting as the primary and will be required to shoot that gun first through any course of fire.  Your second gun will be scored, but will not count for match total or for any awards that may be presented.

We look forward to seeing you there!