How do I get started in IDPA?

We run a cold range at Woburn Sportsmen's Association.  The following rules and procedures apply at all times:

  • At no time should anyone be carrying a loaded firearm on the ranges/stage areas during a match or practice except while under the control of an SO/Range Officer during a course of fire or practice drill.
  • If you arrive to a practice or match armed, please promptly see a member of staff so your firearm can be cleared at the direction of an SO/Range Officer. When practice is over, please see an SO to get your carry firearm reloaded and holstered.
  • During practice or matches your firearm must be in a holster unloaded with an empty magwell at all times and you are not allowed to remove the firearm from the holster unless you are within a designated stage area under the direct control of an SO/Range Officer.
  • If you need to handle your firearm, for repairs or any other reason, and you are outside designated stage areas and not under control of an SO/Officer, you may only holster and un-holster or otherwise handle a firearm at a designated safe table.  
  • No ammunition or loaded magazines/speed loaders are allowed on a safe table or on your person while at the safe table.
  • ​You can handle ammunition and load magazines or speed loaders anywhere other than at a designated safe table.
  • All competitors not currently shooting a stage must remain back from the stage area while a shooter is running a course of fire.
  • All competitors helping to tape and reset a stage or practice drill must wait for the SO to announce that the range is clear before crossing forward into the course of fire and must promptly clear the area before the next shooter is made hot.
  • All shooters must respect stated or marked stage boundries and safe muzzle points.
  • All shooters and spectators must wear appropriately rated eye and ear protection while on the ranges during active competition.
  • While participating in an IDPA practice or match at Woburn Sportsmen's Association you are ultimately responsible for your firearm and any shots you fire while on the premises.  Please make sure you understand and follow all applicable rules.  
  • ​Please also review the IDPA safety rules under section 2 of the IDPA Rule Book.
  • These rules are in place for the safety of everyone.  Anyone failing to follow the above rules will be subject to disqualification and will be asked to leave the premises for the remainder of the practice or match.


NOTE: “STOP” is the universal command to immediately stop moving, and stop firing.  Everyone present has the authority and responsibility to call “STOP” if they see an unsafe situation.


If you have any questions about any of the above, please ask a member of staff when arriving at the range or via the "contact us" link above.


A good way to start in IDPA is to go to a practice!


Woburn Action Shooters runs IDPA practices at Woburn Sportsmen's Association on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month from 4pm - 7pm in the indoor range during cold months and on the outdoor pistol range in the warm months. Fee is $5.00.


Once you have a practice or two under your belt, make sure to go to a match.  Woburn Action Shooters runs IDPA club matches at Woburn Sportsmen's Association on the first Saturday of every month, weather permitting, and several classifiers throughout the year.​ 

What safety rules apply at an IDPA match or practice?

To participate you will need:

- A Centerfire pistol or revolver (9mm or 38 special minimum)
- A holster that covers the trigger guard. The holster may be inside or outside the waist band, but no appendix carry holsters allowed.
- Three or more magazines or speed loaders
- Approximately 150 rounds of ammunition
- Eye and ear protection. 
- A concealment garment: a light jacket, vest or oversized shirt that conceals your pistol and mag carriers
- A good attitude.


If you are a new shooter and don't have some of the above, come anyway and talk to one of the people running the practice.  They will help you with what you are missing and guide you through the process!

What is IDPA?

What do I need to bring to IDPA practice?

IDPA Information for New Shooters.

"International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) is the governing body of a shooting sport that simulates self-defense scenarios and real life encounters. It was founded in 1996 as a response to the desires of shooters worldwide. The organization now boasts membership of more than 20,000, including members in 50 foreign countries."  IDPA.com

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Woburn Action Shooters

Woburn Sportsmen's Association, 155 Middlesex Turnpike, Bedford, MA

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