Help me decide which division for my gun.

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Grant Mitchell
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Joined: Apr. 8th, 2011
Help me decide which division for my gun.

First, the pistol I plan to shoot is my Ruger p345. This is an 8+1 single stack with a double action on the first trigger pull. Just curious in which class this pistol will land me. Second, this pistol has a magazine disconnect. My instruction manual tells me do not dry fire this pistol without a magazine inserted because damage could occur. With my p345 and a magazine not inserted, a sear pops up and blocks the firing pin if the trigger is pulled. This in the past has been known to damage the firing pin, either bending it, our mushrooming it. At the end of the stage I am asked to drop the mag, clear the chamber, and pull the trigger. Normally I would use the decocker to drop the hammer and then pull the trigger although there wouldn't be the click of the firing mech. The SO at the SDPS Intro to IDPA made me pull the trigger without the mag so he could hear the click of the firing pin strike. If I remember correctly, while at the NVSA match, I was able to drop the mag, clear the chamber, then use the decocker to drop the hammer, then pulled the trigger which moves the hammer but does not cause a hammer strike. I am very concerned because I use this pistol as my daily CCW carry, and want to use IDPA to help me practice with it the things I can't do at a square range. I would apprecitate some input on this. Thanks!!!

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NVSA Staff
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Joined: Feb. 8th, 2011
The P345 Is a Double Action

The P345 Is a Double Action .45 that holds 9 rounds. 8+1. The P345 is legal in all 3 IDPA pistol divisions.

The best division for that is CDP. It is a division that only allows 8+1 and requires 165 power factor. This is perfectly suited for a .45 that only holds 9 in the gun to start.  If you ever wanted to classify in SSP or ESP later down the road you could use that gun to do that. On match day however it would be at a disadvantage as you will be competing against other 9mm guns that hold 11 in the gun.

As far as the unload show clear:

The purpose of pulling the trigger is to verify that the chamber is empty. Decocking the hammer does satisfy that the chamber is empty. It is a double check. The first check is when you unload. I will verify a round exits and that the chamber and magazine are absent the weapon. I will then ask you to slide down hammer down, holster. You will only get the holster command from me after I see the hammer is falling with all safeties deactivated. This can only be accomplished with a trigger pull. Dococking a weapon that has a round in the chamber will not render it safe for the purposes of IDPA or me. You may find other safety officers who may not require this. All of the safety officers at NVSA will require a trigger pull.

The rule book states that all pistols start at division capacity or the maximum capacity for the gun using the smallest magazine you have. So all IDPA starts will REQUIRE you start with 9 in the gun and 8 in each of your magazines.

Here is what I suggest. Get yourself 4 magazines. Top 2 off and put them in your magazine holster on your waist. Top of 1 and place it in your left front pocket (assuming you are right handed) Take the last one and place one single round in it. Typically called a Barney mag after Barney Fife who was only allowed one bullet on the Andy Griffith show. Hold your Barney mag in your left hand as you walk up to the firing line. When the SO asks you to "load and make ready" you load the single round from your Barney mag and place the now empty magazine in your left rear pocket. I say rear for a reason. You then take the full magazine you placed in you left front pocket and insert it FIRMLY into the gun. This will give you a total of 9 in the gun. Your front pocket is now free to accept any magazine you may need to stow during a "reload with retention stage". You also just praciced the location of your pocket in case you will be using it to stow a magazine. At the end of the scenario when the SO asks you to unload and show clear, you will open the slide and show him an empty chamber. you will then slide down and retrieve you empty magazine, while doing this you will explain you have a magazine disconnect. Every SO knows what this means. He will ask to see your empty magazine. You will show him your magazine is empty. The SO will ask you to put it in the gun and hammer down or pull the trigger. You will do so. You will then remove and stow your empty magazine and holster your now double-checked-safe-weapon.

If you do it exactly as described above you will never attempt to retrieve an empty magazine during a course of fire. You will never grab a loaded magazine to use as an empty one to show clear. It is a great routine that after done several times will become second nature. Once second nature you will then be better able to concentrate to the course of fire without worrying about a unload and show clear routine. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing however in my opinion this is the best routine to memorize with 8 round magazines and a gun with a MD. You accomplish multiple things in the most efficient order while practicing the location of your pocket moments before you may use it.

Work on getting 4 magazines and practice the load and make ready routine as I suggested to you. Only use dummy rounds or practice at a range where you can use live ammo and a holster. When you practice, do it slowly, pausing for each imaginary command. Nothing puts an SO in full panic mode faster than a shooter unloading before a command is given.

I hope this helps.

"If you plan to leave early, please arrive early to help set up. If you arrive late, please stay late to help take down. If you plan to arrive late and leave early, please do your shooting someplace else."

Grant Mitchell
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Joined: Apr. 8th, 2011
Thank you very much for the

Thank you very much for the detailed info!
I will be picking up a fourth mag this week.
Mag storage locations make perfect sense.

Headed to SDPS to classsify in Sept.

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NVSA Staff
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Joined: Feb. 8th, 2011
Sounds good. Hope to see you

Sounds good. Hope to see you next week for the IDPA match.

"If you plan to leave early, please arrive early to help set up. If you arrive late, please stay late to help take down. If you plan to arrive late and leave early, please do your shooting someplace else."

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