IDPA seems to switch up their rules and scoring systems every year. Quite frankly, I don’t even worry about it, I just shoot the occasional match and have fun. Of late, they have implemented a 25 round course of fire as an optional qualifier match. The current standard qualifier is 70 rounds, the old one was 90 rounds. Needless to say, either one takes a very long time to put a shooter through.
From what I can see, most guys say that the actual score rankings of the 5X5 test seem to corresponded very closely to the longer classifiers. For example, an expert level shooter on the long classifier will typically pull an expert level on the 5X5. One thing of note, there is no movement or shooting from barricade on the 5X5, so this abbreviated classifier is focused only on shooting, not other competition skills. The course of fire is:
All Shots fired at 10 yards on a single IDPA Target:
String 1: Draw and fire 5 rounds free-style
String 2: Draw and fire 5 rounds, strong hand only
String 3: Draw and fire 5 rounds, reload from slide-lock, fire another 5 rounds
String 4: Draw and fire 4 rounds to the down zero body, and 1 round at the 4 inch head circle
As far as I can tell, current IDPA scoring applies to this, so every point down equals 1 second added to score, rather than ½ a second as was the case up until the past year or two.
Therefore, I was curious to see how I could do on the 5X5 with my actual carry gun, from actual concealment. IDPA does not require the classifier to be shot from concealment, but for myself, there is no such thing as shooting from an open holster, as that is not what I do. So, about a month ago I shot the 5X5 using my Glock 26 from IWB, concealed under an un-tucked t-shirt, and my spare mag for the reload was in a pocket pouch, in my pocket. Obviously, this slows my reload exponentially compared to reloading from the hip, but again, I shot this with my carry gear and that is how I currently carry my reload for real EDC.
I only shoot in the Compact Carry Pistol division in IDPA, which allows Glock 19 sized guns or smaller. I shoot in this division even when I use my Glock 26, which I have done, although I most often shoot a match with a Glock 19. The Glock 26 technically falls in the BUG (backup gun) division in IDPA. By the way, it has been about a year since I shot a match, I hope to do a few this fall.
So, I shot the 5X5 once, cold. I did not do it several times and then just keep the best score. The idea with these kinds of tests and qualifiers is to measure your on-demand shooting at a given time. My total was 21.35. I dropped two points, adding two seconds to my raw time of 19.35. My goal was to be under 20 seconds. I did not make my goal. Oh well. However, I did squeeze under IDPA master class for Compact Carry Pistol, which requires a score below 21.7 seconds. My personal goal to go below 20 seconds is based on the fact that the Enhanced Service Pistol division, which is the most race gun-like division that allows the most capable full-size and enhanced competition guns in IDPA, requires 20.00 seconds or below for master class. Therefore, I will re-visit the 5X5 after doing some work and see if I can do it under 20 seconds with my carry gear, from concealment.
The 5X5 test is a great way to assess fundamental shooting skills. Give it a try with your real carry gear.