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Gear Setup

Posted by firedefense on April 3, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Gear setup

This month's article is going to address something that bothers me every time we go to the range. Okay, let me modify that, this subject drives me nuts almost daily. Gear set up. Specifically I'm talking about any protective equipment worn (IBA, plate carrier, etc.) that holds your extra mags, IFAK, flashlight, Skittles, and any other tacti-cool thing you want or need.

In my travels through the military, and civilian law enforcement worlds, I've seen people set up their gear into three categories.

1. The minimalist. This person has seen body armor, and heck, they might have tried it on once. This person might loosely hang a (yes singular) pouch anywhere it will fit, and probably will still use their pocket as a place to store extra mags. And trust me, that pocket will be on the same side as the hand they are using to shoot with. To watch this person conduct a reload, is both comical, and scary.

2. The gear junkie. This guy/gal has every piece of tactical Velcro ever made, and is making a 40lb IBA even heavier. While I do like gear, and have a lot of tacti-cool stuff, too much stuff will make you less effective if you need to shoot, move, and communicate. This guy/gal has so much stuff, they'll put pouches and equipment anywhere there is open space. If you might be this person, please avoid putting any piece of gear in the small of your back. If you should fall, and you have something hard there (handcuffs), you run the risk of stunning the nerve center located in the small of your back. While this won't permanently take you out of the fight, it could temporarily keep you from moving to cover, or worse.

3. The educated, or experienced guy/gal. This person has either been around a while, and figured out what works, or has benefited from someone showing them how to set their gear up properly. This person knows their gear must be comfortable to wear for extended periods. They also know what the most important items on their gear are: 1. Ammo 2. Communication 3. First Aid

To properly set up your gear, please keep those things in mind. Let's explore it a bit further:

1. Place your ammo pouches in front, and be able to access them with your NON shooting hand. This goes for both pistol and rifle mags. Typically, your mag pouches will be at the lowest point on your IBA without hanging off the vest.

2. Place your radio pouch in an area that you can access it with your NON shooting hand.

3. Your first aid kit should be in a place that you can access it, even if it means a little work to get to it. I like to place mine between the side, and backside of my IBA. It's kind of an awkward place, but it won't be in the way if I need to go prone, or supine.

4. Miscellaneous gear pouch. I will put another small pouch directly opposite of my IFAK. This can be used for handcuffs, gloves, Skittles, etc.

5. Keep your firing shoulder open. If you must put pouches above your mag pouches, keep it to small stuff like your flashlight, handcuffs, etc.

I sincerely hope some of this advice is helpful. If you want, or need some advice on gear setup, please feel free to shoot us an email!

Until next time, train hard, and stay safe!

Team F.I.R.E.

Categories: General firearms and self defense.

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