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Gear thats No Good for Competition Shooting


There was a post on the r/competitionshooting subreddit this last week from someone talking about how they were an IDPA match last weekend and a new shooter was drawing from his SERPA holster at the match and plugged himself with a round at the hip, which then travelled down to around his knee.

I don’t really want to beat the SERPA horse anymore, but I’ll tell you that in my years of competition, I’ve seen 4 people AD while drawing their pistol, and all 4 were using a SERPA.

Here’s what happens:

Buzzer goes off. Shooter attempts to draw the gun, but doesn’t get the button pushed in all the way and the gun doesn’t come out of the holster as expected.

Shooter then jams the gun down into the holster, mashes the button super hard, and then rips it up out of the holster.

Because the shooter is mashing the button super hard while ripping the gun upwards, the finger slips off the edge of the holster and hits the trigger.

Sometimes the round discharges into the dirt, sometimes it hits the shooter.

Cross draw

Should be self explanatory, but maybe it’s not. You can’t really draw a cross draw holster without breaking the 180. Simple as that.

Pocket holsters

I’ve never heard of a match that would allow them. 

Years ago actually, there was a “pocket carry” shooting league in my part of the country, and even in the pocket carry league, you couldn’t shoot from a pocket holster. I think it comes down to someone being able to put their hand on the gun where the RO can’t see it. 

Every BUG match I’ve ever been to, you start either holstered or at low ready, no pocket stuff.

Gimmicky sights

This is a frequent question from people who are interested in competition but don’t know anything about it. I had a guy ask me what type of ghost ring sights he should get for his pistol before his first match…

You really want to have precision sights. I hear people talk about wanting to have a hig honking front sight that’s as bright as the sun so they can acquire it on the draw nice and fast, but… what about the rest of the shots in the stage?

I get that it’s cool to hammer that fast draw, but it really is meaningless if you’re then hurting your performance on the rest of the shots that you have to take on the stage.

The holster that came with your gun (generally)

They’re usually super tight, and basically unusable.

They get new shooters into trouble because when the holster is so tight, they end up reaching across their body, grabbing the holster with their weak hand to keep from giving themselves a wedgie, and then when they draw the gun they sweep their weak hand that’s holding the holster.

Random Magazine pouches from the gun store.

Don’t just go buy random mag pouches from the local gun store. They probably carry some selections from different brands that are probably more suited towards concealed carry or tacticoolness than actual competition use.

Gear that Doesn’t Suck:

I tore open my Pocket Pro 2 shot timer this weekend because the screen was acting up, and I wanted to see if I could figure out where to get a new screen for it (turns out you can buy them straight from Competition Electronics), and I used my little screwdriver set to do it.

If you don’t have a little set like this for tearing into random things around the house from time to time, it’s really handy.

And it’s like $8.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.


  1. Could you post the link to the contact for competition electronics? My screen on my pocket pro 2 has gone crazy on me. Little things like this are what make your show different and cool. Thanks

  2. Lzhedmitry Malobukov

    During the podcast you asked for pistol safe recommendations. I like http://www.amsecusa.com/product/has410. It’s made of thicker metal than usual and has mechanical simplex lock with no batteries that can be opened by feel. Expensive, but you only buy it once.

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