This is the third in a series of blog posts helping competitors answer the question: “Is my pistol IDPA legal?”
The ESP division in IDPA competition is where you can pretty much modify your pistol any way you like, however, porting or compensators are still not allowed. Your Enhanced Service Pistol still has to fit in the IDPA box and meet the 43 oz. (2 lbs. 11oz.) weight limit. It can be double/single action or single action only, and must be chambered in at least 9mm Para. All pistols that are legal in SSP are also legal in ESP. As the rule book states, this provision may be used for firearms that violate an ESP rule to still be used in ESP, provided the firearm meets all SSP requirements, such as a CZ SP-01 series, or other steel dust cover or light rail over 3.25 inches.
There are a few different features or modifications that you can have in ESP:
- Slides may be machined to accept different style sights, but still have to be notch and post type.
- Robar-style grip reductions
- Replace the barrel and use a stock or non-stock caliber.
- Aftermarket triggers with visible over travel stops.
- Checkering, serrating, and stippling the frame
- Extended and/or ambi-safety and beavertail grip safety
- Grip tang extensions or beavertail
- Heavy or cone style barrels less than 4.25”
- Slide inserts for different recoil assemblies
- Magwell mods or add on magwells
- Slides with front cocking serrations, tri-top, carry melts, and high power cuts
- After market safeties along with Swenson style thumb shields and frame mounted thumb shields.
- Aftermarket magazine base pads may be used and magazine base pads may be modified by reshaping, texturing, or adding bumper pads if they do not make the magazine weight more than 1.50 oz. over the same capacity factory magazine. Magazines that are longer than stock may be used provided they meet all other division requirements.
Excluded, or not allowed, in the ESP division are:
- Steel dust covers and rails over 3.25” (82.6 mm) (as measured from the rear of the slide stop pin to the most forward portion of the dust cover or rail) are not permitted.
- Removal of material from the exterior of the slide other than front cocking serrations, tri-top, engraving, carry melts, and high power cuts.
- Trigger shoes.
- Disabling the slide stop.
Believe it or not, the rest of the semi-auto pistol divisions are fairly easy and are almost the same as ESP, with a few exceptions.
This post is not intended to replace the IDPA Rule Book, but is simply a guide to help the interested shooter become more familiar with the pistol rules. All competitors are responsible for reading, understanding and following all IDPA rules. If you have any further questions about your pistol, please feel free to call or email your local IDPA club contact, Chief Safety Officer, Match Director or Area Coordinator to help you with answers to your questions. We have the knowledge and ability to guide you through the rule book so you will have a fun experience with the sport and want to continue to further your shooting abilities.
Jason C Armstrong
Temple Gun Club IDPA CSO / Match Director
Owner of Hammerdown Sports Gunsmith Services