Friday, May 6, 2011

Belts and Gear.

I'm not much of a "gear queer" - I tend to keep things simple and focus on training my skills harder. That said, I do appreciate good equipment that won't let me down. Most of my choices have been made to optimize simplicity and or deal with some physical limitations I've got.

For IDPA, I use a Safariland 6378 ALS retention holster on a paddle. (Safariland products that end in "77" are with belt loops, while "78" denotes a paddle...) I've got really tight shoulders, so the fact that holster projects a bit more from my hip than other great holsters like, say, Comp-tac or Blade-tech, helps me get to the gun faster. I know the retention button adds ~.1-.15 second to my draw, but I think that consistency is more important in the long run.

For USPSA I use a Safariland 5187 kydex holster cut for a Glock 35 - the extra length ensures I can use it with my Glock 22, Glock 23. These holsters are cheap, durable, and fast. There really isn't much to discuss about 'em: They just works.

The best part about the Safariland gear is that they are inexpensive - running $20 - $35. I ordered mine from Optics Planet since they're local.

Additionally, I managed to pick up a great KyTac Sooper Hooper at the 2011 WIIT - while it is an odd shade of blue, it works great and is a tough piece of kit to find. I'm planning on using it as a Limited rig in the future when I get around to putting one together.

When I conceal and carry, in states that allow it, I use an "Ehud" appendix holster made by Dale Fricke of One Source Tactical. Again, due to my shoulder situation, I find it very difficult to draw from a traditional strong-side hip inside the waist band holster.

Magazine Pouches
For IDPA I use very simple Safariland 57 paddle pouches - I can position them anywhere on my belt without having to loop 'em or worrying about belt loops.

Some folks have seem my "sideways" USPSA pouches - they're Ghost Holsters that can be positioned perpendicular to my body - again it is more due to my shoulder mobility than high-speed, low-draggear.

Other Gear
I'm a big fan of Dan Gucciardi's belts! Who is Dan G? He's shoots with the MISS club on a regular basis and makes super-cool nylon gear when he gets the chance:

The inner belts have a high density polyethylene stiffener and a mesh covered foam liner so they breath better and offer some padding for long wearing comfort. The outer belts also have a high density polyethylene stiffener. The outside is covered in 1000D cordura to make them very abrasion resistant. On the inner and outer belts the hook and loop goes all the way to the edges of the belt for maximum grip and stability.

The inner belts can either have OD hook or black hook. The outer belt can be just about any color you want. On hand I have solid colors in black, khaki, blaze orange, and OD. I also have some camo fabrics in woodland, multicam, CADPAT, ACU and MARPAT. I also have some green, tan, and black snake skin lying around. If someone wants a different color I can get a hold of just about any type of camo or solid color. I just need the exact waist measurement of where the belt will sit.

The inner belts are $30 and the outer belts are $40. Any belts over 48" add $10.

I so wish I could use his gear for IDPA, but since inner-outer belts are illegal, I use a Wilderness belt.