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Thread: Tactical Gear at Matches

  1. #1

    Tactical Gear at Matches

    I am seeing a substantial number of shooters at USPSA and "style" matches with what I think of as tactical rigs, bulky holsters and belts, usually camo colors, with tiedowns, dump pouches, and tourniquets.

    Nobody I am well acquainted enough with to quiz, so what am I seeing? Is this stuff GI or wannabe?
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  2. #2
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    Nov 2012
    Erie County, NY
    My sample is limited to Texas and Erie County. I didn't so much of the camo in either state. TX had more of the med pouches but we basically had folks with full trauma kits in their vehicles and training. Some matches had a briefing and asking the crowds who was trained up on such. Personally, I had a tourniquet in a cargo pants pocket having taken a Caleb course.

    NYS - basically, the competition belts and some holsters and mag pouches, not particularly military. Not carry realistic though, a few folks wear carryish gear. No mention of medical kits. I once asked if we should have a bleed out kit and folks gave me the stink eye. Maybe there were some, but no one admitted to it. I had some in a car kit and shut up.

    Back to TX, on carbine days, a friend had the full gear - metal plates, etc. We accused him of COSPLAY which he freely admitted to.
    Cloud Yeller of the Boomer Age

  3. #3
    Site Supporter JohnO's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    CT (behind Enemy lines)
    I'm never going to begrudge a guy for carrying a tourniquet. The other stuff, unless it is your 'duty setup', stop trying to look like Joe Cool!

  4. #4
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    Nov 2012
    Erie County, NY
    in my competition experience or close by, 4 guys Serpa'ed themselves, one guy took a bad rifle ricochet, one of those not so bad but a big lump on his skull, one guy died from a dropped, not drop safe competition gun. One guy caught a nice old casing fragment above his eye, bleeder. I caught a fragment off steel that split my chin. The SWAT guy teaching the class noticed my beard was turning red - not that bad, direct pressure stopped it after awhile.

    Having bleed stuff is a good thing. About looking cool - if USPSA is not really DA STREEZ oriented, if folks want to dress up but can do the game - so what? Some of the guns are carry ridiculous - because it's a game. Look at the cowboy guys. I guess it comes down to performance, if you are a dressed up doofus, then HA HA - if you are good, hey - go for it.

    Wait - if you cap is backwards, unless shooting a rifle - you are a putz.
    Cloud Yeller of the Boomer Age

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Trooper224's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Why care? Be water.
    We may lose and we may win, but we will never be here again.......

  6. #6
    Most of my reflection is based on local two and three gun matches. In that case you do need a lotta stuff hanging off of yourself. Best to have it be modular.

    IMO any med kit stuff is cool, but one thing that puzzles me is the speed-oriented gear that hangs way off your belt, especially holsters, in a game where you will only draw a pistol one time in a given stage. Most of these stages are going to take at least 30sec, saving 0.003 once probably is not going to move a fella up the list.

    And the first match I went to I watched a guy DQ by his pistol falling out of his holster as he ran to the initial firing position of his very first stage of the day, off on his way to go get a milkshake without firing a single shot. So I think the retention holsters do make some sense, USPA speed rigs a couple inches away from the belt, maybe not so much.

    And the detachable stuff like ALS makes sense, because your needs might change from stage to stage, including taking your pistol off, and that is allowed, as long as you do not take the pistol out of your holster then you are not required to fart around doing it at the safety table.

    And chest rigs make sense, because you can pop them on when they are needed.

    But yeah, seems like some of the stuff is a bit elaborate. One thing I consider (and have considered for myself) is that some of these rigs might be necessary for a different competition, but are being used when they really are not, because it is what the competitor has in his kit. Maybe like shooting an antelope with an elk rifle, if you only have one rifle.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    out of here
    Quote Originally Posted by mmc45414 View Post
    because your needs might change from stage to stage, including taking your pistol off, and that is allowed, as long as you do not take the pistol out of your holster then you are not required to fart around doing it at the safety table.
    Can you confirm this? I thought gun in holster not on body and not at safety table was a DQ…

    Something something about a guy at Nationals going to the potty and leaving his rig in the bathroom.

    EDIT: found the rule. It’s a DQ at USPSA.

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  8. #8
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    Nov 2012
    Erie County, NY
    If you drop your gun into the cess pool tank in the Porta-potty that should be a DQ? I remember reading someone did that. One thing I complain about is the lousy bathroom facilities at most ranges. It is quite a deterrent for women.

    We gear up at the safe table OR under the SO's watchful eye facing a berm before the match, gun taken from a pouch. Ungear if you want, same way. Some folks want to make the gun hot for carry on the way home, again under the watchful SO eye facing the berm. More an IDPA thing though as USPSA guys don't wear carry gear or guns usually.

    Nuance of USPSA vs carry guns. We run standard USPSA matches and a carry gun match. At the latter, I've seen folks used to the big funnel, try to go fast on the reload and throw their mag into space. Or try to get another mag from a carry twin pouch, instead of the widely space USPSA set of mags, get a mag but dislodge their extra mags. Now in IDPA that's a penalty. In USPSA you can throw your ammo all over the place and plan to do that in the walk throughs.

    Don't have the Logo tight fitting company shirts around here or logo covered vests. I guess we don't have that many sponsored folks as we are yokels compared to the TX crowd.
    Cloud Yeller of the Boomer Age

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Lon's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Removable QLS type holsters make sense for 3 gun at big matches. If you’re running a shotgun or rifle only stage with weird shooting positions it makes sense to go to safety area to take pistol out and bag it, then remove holster for stage and put it on after stage. Plenty of time between stages at big matches.

    I just run my training belt setup, which has all the stuff you mentioned minus cuff cases and taser holster.
    Formerly known as xpd54.
    The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions or policies of my employer.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter rob_s's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    SE FL
    I no longer attend enough matches to be relevant, but this also doesn't sound like anything new to me.

    One reason this used to be common was guys that were coming from the “tactical side” that decided they wanted to play, and they showed up with the gear they already had.
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