Friday, October 21, 2011

The Gear & The Gun

This is the gear I plan to run in future IDPA matches and the classifier when the time comes. I am using a 5.11 Instructor belt, a Blackhawk double mag pouch, Safariland Model 5188 holster, Silencio ear pro and 5.11 eye pro. The only equipment that is really new to me is the magazine pouch, holster and handgun. I have been running the ear pro for about 4 years with no problems, the eye pro for about a year (maybe a little more) and the belt for about 2 years.

So far I have been very pleased with all of it. I do believe the Blackhawk double magazine pouch is the best I have used so far in that price range ($20-$30). I have used an Uncle Mikes and Blade-Tech and prefer this one to either of those. It carries tighter to the body, fits a wider range of magazines, and quality seems on par. My only complaint is that it is a tight fit on the belt, but on the other hand that keeps it from sliding around any. I assume it will be just as durable as the others, but time will tell.

I have been very pleased with the holster as well, but I only have a couple hundred draws from it at this point. It is certainly fast, secures well to the belt and holds the handgun plenty tight to keep it in the holster. Originally when it first came in the mail it had the paddle attached and although I generally like the Safariland paddle design it made the holster ride very high on the belt. I switched it out for the standard belt attachment and all has been well since. The holster location in relation to the belt line is about perfect for me. I do have some concern about the felt lining coming loose after some hard use, and many, many draw strokes, but hopefully my fears are unfounded.

The handgun, my recently acquired Beretta 96D is going to take some getting used to. It has been rock solid in the 200 or so rounds I have put through it, but it is definitely a different beast than I am used to. I put in on the clock yesterday and my splits are hovering around 0.30 seconds with the long DAO trigger on a 8.5"x11" target at 7 yards. My fastest recorded split so far has been 0.27 seconds. I hope to get it down to 0.20 seconds as I get more trigger time in. My reloads are right around 2.00 seconds, with a fasted reload of 1.71 seconds so far. My average reload on my Glock 22 was 1.90 seconds, so I have some time to burn off the reload. I am not sure if maybe the tenth or so I am missing is in a slower first shot after the reload.

I like the sight set up, factory night sights. The front blade is thin enough and the rear notch wide enough to allow for a decent level of precision. That is probably a good thing as I have no way of changing the front sight. I may at some point either black out the rear dots, or change to a different rear sight, but for now this is good enough for me. I am shooting a little low and left with it, but it is marginal and I think over time as I adjust to the trigger will go away. The sights appear to be centered, so I doubt it is a sight issue.

I was able to get some range time in yesterday. Stand by for a training update in the coming days.

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