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responsibility for any opinions expressed here.

Something I frequently hear in IDPA is that you should "shoot what you carry." I think that this is true to a certain extent, but there are valid reasons for not doing it also. Many carry guns are not as durable as full size weapons and will wear much more rapidly if shot too much. Also, because it is a competition, most IDPA scenarios are much more complicated than the statistically significant range of armed self defense encounters by private citizens, and are designed around the capabilities of a full size pistol. What I do think is valuable is to shoot an "analogue" of your carry gun. So if a person carries a .38 snub daily, shooting a revolver in competition provides a similar set of operational issues. Someone who carries a DA/SA .380 could compete with DA/SA service auto and gain the benefit of a similar experiential learning environment. By using a "competition" gun which works similarly to one's carry gun, in self defense, the gun's operation will be similar to what has been ingrained in competition. It is useful to use the carry gun occasionally, just to know it works under stress. But the most important issue is to shoot SOMETHING. I frequently see people come to the range to "practice" who are totally unfamiliar with firearms in general because they seldom shoot at all. I believe this is a grave error because firearms are so different from almost any other mechanical device we are regularly exposed to. So just being familiar with recoil, muzzle blast, and mechanical operations has a great deal of value even if they are from a firearm different from one's carry gun. Claude Werner