Competition Gear

And Yes — It Should Be Cool.

There’s so much fun to be had running-and-gunning or taking the steel challenge, it’s hard to decide what gear I should buy to put in my bag — and what bag to buy to put it all in! But here’s a few ideas of some, yes … let’s just say it … cool stuff I’ve tried — and it works.


Building a belt seemed like an obvious place to start. So I went with a long-time favorite, Safariland. When it comes to their competition line they’ve thought of everything. They have a belt with holes all the way around — genius. As my “enthusiasm” grows with my waist, I can keep the same belt and move my gear around accordingly; placement and accessibility of equipment can mean everything.


I can talk about safety all day, but when it comes to eye protection, if you don’t like the way it looks you won’t pick it up, and you sure won’t wear it! Wiley X has a whole bunch of cool new looks. I really like the “Knife” with its light lining and wrap-around style. It’s ANSI-rated, so you can look good and be safe. We all know how important that is.


Having a safety violation is probably the easiest and most embarrassing way to get kicked out of a match. Chamber-View introduced me to empty chamber indicators (ECI’s). This great invention shows other match goers and officials your gun is unloaded and safe. At less than $8 MSRP for pistols, they’re well worth the cost of a fancy latte!


When headlamps came out I thought they were for “tier one” operators, hunters and miners. Then I got invited to a nighttime 3-Gun event. One major concern was light. I decided to play with the S&W Solstar Smart Light. You can safely check on things going on with your gun without completely ruining your night vision. The light follows your head, so look smart, eh?


The “Border Shift” Ammo Bag by Dillon Precision Products was designed to keep ammo sorted, but all those compartments do other things just fine. It’s “shifted” into range bag mode for me, holding my immediate ammo, water, gum, glasses, towels, chamber indicators — all the “now” stuff. I keep a larger bag in my car with mobile armorer’s stuff, cleaning supplies, lots more ammo and a second set of everything else I could possibly need.


In competition, ammo is not the place to cut corners. Black Hills Ammunition is my “go-to” ammo. Each and every round is inspected by a real live person — who still does that? Black Hills Ammunition does and I’m glad they do. If your ammo doesn’t work, nothing else does. This ammo has been failproof, and I wish I could say the same for me!

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