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Thread: CQB Gear Preparation Blog - Last editted on 31 March 2017

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    Business Member TacticalTeacher's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Georgian Bay, ON

    CQB Gear Preparation Blog - Last editted on 31 March 2017

    We needed to start a blog and then sticky it for newbies to a very fast growing match! So here goes...

    One of the most popular questions I have been asked would be;

    Plate Carrier or Chest Rig or Tac Vest ?

    Wear what works for your game, weather, conditions, clothing (Parka, jacket, rain gear, rain pants), ensure whatever you rock interacts with all you other gear. And finally wear all that stuff you have decided to wear UNDER MATCH Intensity. That is, everything works on your home range under practice conditions, but who is to say you are practicing with the match adrenaline dump?

    Case in point: I love mounting my holster (right side is my strong side) on my 5.11 Vtac vest. Works well during the draw at my home range and (non-firing practice) in my basement. Then during an October CQB match (read: rain jacket) with extra clothes on since my summer home club and / or warm basement practice sessions, my strong arm no longer had the mobility to reach higher on the draw with my extra layers on! Surprise!! I've since mounted my holster lower on the battle belt with a Safariland UBL (universal belt loop hanger thingymajig). So much for my beloved 5.11 VTac vest and my SDS Fighting Load Carrier holster mount.

    Have a look at this picture of the Safariland 6378 mounted with QLS system on my 5.11 VTac Vest:

    Here I have it LOWER with a belt that is attached to my vest:

    Easier to draw during the transitions...

    I learned this the hard way, under match intensity. Another case in point: I was slamming the 5/30 magazine into the AR mag well with more enthusiasm, something I had not expected in practice. So come game day/week, the intensity levels varied. All good learning.

    Set up your gear bag/ rucksack/assault pack on the line so that you can add layers or peel of layers in between shooting and safety relays/responsibilities /tasks. With all those considerations, now you can steer closer to a decision to rock a plate carrier or chest rig.

    Don't be afraid to try different slings also. Have them in your shooting bag/kit/gear so that you can swap the slings during different skills and drills relays. Find what works for YOU and only you.

    More anecdotal stories: I love my SONY Camcorder sling (Camcorder has long stopped working and has been ETrash binned) since it has 360 degree swivels on BOTH ends and it also has another 360 swivel on my stolen-from-my-snowboard-leash buckle that super easy to manipulate especially with wet gloves on (don't be scared to try this). I learned that I love this buckle even with my DaKine mitts-stolen-from-my-son's-national team days....

    Then upon suggestions from a brown unit in Petawawa, I tried the Magpul MS3 and I like it, great colour, nice feel, but the Magpul buckle is harder to employ with wet and cold gloves. So I keep that MS3 for summer/spring warm weather matches. ha ha ha ha ha
    I keep BOTH slings in my CQB kit bag!

    Final case in point:

    I love networking with Ganderite...For you newbies, don't be fooled by that funny smile on his face. He's not a DCRA Hall of Famer because of his joviality. He kicks ass when he needs to especially in Match 4 with the 5 pistol shots to the head, reload, 5 more pistol shots to the head time frame. He CAN shoot and shoot very well.

    He and I try to modify our gear so that we don't spend lots and lots of money. I don't think he realizes that he inspires me a great deal to try the "minimalist" method/modifications FIRST before heading out to Darren / Farmboy at One Shot Tactical for some HSGI or Blue Force Gear kit. Or maybe out west at Dave's Surplus Tactical store. I have bought kit from both CGN sponsors!

    Ganderite employs some of the funniest looking rigs, and still manages to KICK my ass! Good on him!!!

    Here's a picture of one of my 2015 setups, taken at the Petawawa Spring clinic:

    I'm wearing a Grey Ghost Minimalist plate carrier and Team Wendy Training plates both from CGN dealer, Dave's Tactical in BC. My belt is a Tactical Tailor Battle belt with a UBL belt hanger by Safariland with their 7TS Glock 17 holster. My pouches are Milspec Monkey 500mL bottle cages (like AR mag triples), my rifle is my wife's 10" CQB NEA barrelled upper receiver by Motiuk Mfg in AB. I have different setups for different environments. Wait until we talk about winter CQB.

    I still need to discuss some observations from our winter CQB shoots here at Borden's Langemark Range....

    Here's a glimpse of the front of my plate carrier:

    Now I do have to update all of you and confess that my cross fit and chiropractor son in Victoria, BC took my plate carrier and training plates out West. I'm rocking another Grey Ghost minimalist PC with Simon's (S&J Hardware) Level4 plates. That's another workout for this old phart!

    What about an OH-Shzt Kit?

    Well let me show you parts of my range box and the OH-Shzt kit that is inside....

    Big picture:

    See that cheap Xhinese jointed cleaning rod (ebay/Amazon/LGShop) stores in OD green nylon pouch. Allen keys can slip inside there, too. But look at the segmented fishing store (ASS Pro, Ukrainian Tire, Cabelas) box that's great for all the small emergency bits for the AR platform....

    Okay, do you see all the springs and pins for ANY AR?
    See the small bottle of Tri-Flow CLP (I like teasing the cute girl/soccer mom staff at MEC in Barrie and Toronto)
    See the carbon scrapers and buffer tube wrench?
    See the pin punches of all sizes? Yes, even a gas tube roll pin can be fixed with this kit. Ask me how I know I can do this on the range...

    I have every pin and spring and detent and detent plunger and bolt part and firing pin and cotter pins... Have a closer look:

    Is that a better view?

    In the Service Rifle game, I never had support like the Battalion/Regimental/Brigade Teams had at the National Level, so I had to provide my own support. Here is a start:

    Look around for these AR "Field Repair Kits". If you cannot find a kit version find a vendor here on CGNutz who sells individual parts. Begin with every PIN and Spring found in your lower receiver. If you are not sure of how many to have, then buy TWO of every pin and spring. Trust me, you are gonna save someone's tail feathers one day. Then you will think of me....

    Check out this parts kit from True North (CGN dealer):

    I always find/lose these parts in/on/under/around my basement workshop. Dollar store plastic/clear dividers are your friend.

    How about a bottle of Lubricant? I don't care to elaborate and start a bun fight on the merits of different lubricants, just keep a spare little shampoo bottle of lubricant handy in your "OH Shzt Kit". Start with a typical OD Green USGI or Xhinese cleaning kit and zip loc bag your spare parts inside there. Or use a prescription plastic bottle with kid-proof lock/lid. Better yet, just keep that KY Jelly handy for your friends who forgot to lube their AR rifle the night before...

    How about a set of Allen keys or screw driver bits/tips/pieces?

    How about a Multi tool of some sort. I don't care which brand you select, just have one handy...

    Do you need a helmet?

    You could look cool like Buzzballer here, but that's the MRAD that Wolverine Supplies kindly loaned me....

    Unless you are in Dundurn, SK where I discovered that it's very dusty to begin with so now the dust is blown INTO your ballistic glasses, so I like wearing a helmet on the driest of conditions and I can now employ my Smith Outside the Wire ballistic dust goggles.

    That's a picture from the 2013 CFB Dundurn CQB Clinic. And yes we dug 'gopher' holes.

    Now on the lazy man's approach, I like wearing a MICH or PASGT or CF Gallet or OPs Core helmet just so I can rest my heavy head on the ground during the modified prone...

    What pistol should I buy/shoot for this fun game?

    Back in 2005, the Master of SR, Timk would sit down and bounce ideas off me (being sunbaked at Amiens Range) and author these matches. Back then we kinda called it '3 Gun'. Notice our title never really stuck and we didn't mind. We had a carbine stage, a pistol stage, a Service Rifle stage, and Precision Rifle stage; and then things kinda blended into a "Carbine Match" but without the pistol part. What I'm getting at is the background or context from where these matches derived. We agreed that this culture is all about Service Conditions ( and NSCC) and we needed to keep things that way (IPSC and IDPA and Cowboy Action have their frameworks).

    We've been advocating any platform that's deployable (Glocks, Sigs, M&P9, CZ75, CZ85, Tokarevs, 1911's, yes even a S&W Model 10 in .38 Spl) since that is the "spirit" or intention of this game. In many years of being an RSO or FPO, I've seen quite a variety of pistols, some very modern and currently deployed and some from previous conflicts.

    What really matters is that you have the matching magazines for this platform and a suitable holster. Notice I did not say correct or perfect or matching since these words can be misleading. The holster should fit whatever rig you are rocking (plate carrier, tac vest, chest rig, brokos belt, duty rig, slick side) or whatever belt. That holster should also fit a variety of rigs you may experiment with over the years.

    Case in point: The Browning HP 9mm is a great pistol and I carried one overseas in the 'matching' 1964 pattern holster. It only fits by velcro on the 64 cotton (read: sponge in the rainy weather) web belt. You cannot transfer it to any of your rigs, unless you find a Safariland Kydex material holster for it and use their Quick Lock System(QLS) to attach it to other MOLLE or PALS systems. Now you have to spend the $$ and find a vendor to buy said Safariland system (here in Canada?) Sorry, but for the HP, it's gonna have to be a special order from Safariland folks because even if some Iraqi Army units issued the HP, very few nations still deploy with this platform.

    Now consider deployable pistols like the Glock 17/22 or the M&P 9/40 or SIG P226... I can find many many holsters in almost every material and color and hanger system and maker for these pistols. So much so, a maker like GCode and / or Safariland and BladeTech and BHI Serpa has so many variations (high ride duty, low ride duty, concealment, concealment cut out for sights, thigh rig, thigh rig single strap) along with additional permutations to satisfy any gear slzt among us.

    Shop around your local CGN business/dealers. Shop at their bricks and mortar store if you are nearby. Shop at their online websites/stores. Shop online at the manufacturers' sites and sales links. Do lots and lots of research for the holster and/or system that can work for your various shooting games beyond CQB (IDPA, IPSC, 3 Gun, Club shoots, etc). Buy once and then cry once !!

    Anecdotal funny story time: So here I was at CQB clinic in an unnamed range. A CQB'er shows me his very unique stainless Israeli 9mm pistol in limited mfg runs with unique serial number (and all that collector shzt that follows) and his holster was a calfskin leather holster by Zahal or was it the Mossad? I cannot remember. I instructed them to adopt the modified prone position on the gravel range floor surface. As he was indexing his rifle barrel (yes it was a Tavor since he coulda been Ex-IDF) on his appropriate target pairs, he continuously shifted and ground the gravel into the holster and stainless limited edition Netanyahu and Arafat signed pistol grips.

    Needless to say, I was laughing so hard, I think I broke a rib.

    One year at another clinic, a CQB'er showed up with a bring back Luger 9mm taken off Eva Braun, it even had her dried blood on the grips. He used an airsoft holster and the straps with velcro tangled up his draw that I suspected we would have some issues throughout the day. Well didn't he have the hardest time doing the mag changes because many of you can guess where the magazine release mechanism was located. More broken ribs on my part.

    Now here comes the welfare approach.... a university student trying out CQB brought his Norc M4 and was blindingly fast on his mag changes. He was the (big words warning) epitome of mirror kommando with his airsoft rig(s). All matching multi-cam I must say. He rocked a Tokarev pistol and I could not contain my curiousity because he strapped a Blackhawk SERPA thigh plate (with the 2 hanger straps) on his leg. I had to ask, "Since when does BHI Serpa make / mold a Tokarev edition?"

    Turns out that the FDE Serpa holster was modified with simple shop tools and a heat gun in his dorm room from a BHI Serpa for the 1911. Go figure! It was safe on the draw, it was safe and secure with the level one retention, I was thoroughly impressed. God bless that undergrad! Seems that the front curve of the trigger guard is very similar to the 1911 shape.

    Before I leave this blog, I have to post a funny picture:

    I bought a Sig P320, but Safariland is still catching up with making the 6378 (concealment, but paddle edition) in FDE, so all I could find on Ebay was a P250 holster 6378 in Black. Well it was tight on the draw and everyone on my target lane was laughing at me struggling the yank the pistol out of the holster, I did not get all my pistol rounds off but it sure was humbling... FDE gear and a black holster....

    And for you retro dudes or re-enactors... a picture of my fav CQB house clearing weapon...

    Yes, that's me in 1978, 37 years ago... not to mention a few more pounds , too !

    Service Conditions (PR, SR, CQB) Clothes

    Remember that most of us are not being issued the environmental clothing so we just have to buy our own.

    I used to shop and then compete in surplus clothes even into the 2007 season. Then came all the new designs and colors and camo patterns and then the wild world of on-line shopping and then more stores in the large cities stocked these items. Goodbye to the surplus stuff (since it's design is motivated by lowest cost) forever!!

    Yes, even I used to love the OD Green Combat clothing since that's all I've worn since 1975.

    Let's talk about first layers:

    I don't know if many of you shooters are deploying on overseas mission(s) soon, but I do know that many of you are fond of outdoor activities here in Canada, the USA, and other travel friendly destinations.

    I've sought/shopped/bought/sourced T-shirts and underwear (first layers) that are Quick-to-dry. New and modern materials allow rapid drying (like inside an hour or 2) of your clothes while on the range, touring around, or overnight at your accommodations.

    Brands like: Adidas, Puma, Nike, Under Armor, NewBalance, Helly Hansen, Burton, Columbia, The North Face, Reebok, Sierra Designs, FjallRaven , Arcteryx, and a shzt load of names I cannot remember all make and sell first layers made of synthetics or Merino wool. Hey, even Bass Pro and Cabelas are getting into this game.

    Some dry faster than others, some melt (warning label on my Under Armor Tactical shirt). Think of IED strikes, Naval environment flash burns, and Habanero Schwarmas just off base in Petawawa. Like I said before, I'm speaking to range competitors and not necessarily operators anticipating foreign deployments. You know who you are and you don't need me at this stage of the game. I'm dealing with nooobs here!

    All kinds of considerations exist... Now here's the fun part. I shop for my first layers in discount shops like Winners and Outlet Malls sprinkled all over suburban strip malls. Shops like Runners World, Nike Outlet, Adidas Outlet, Reebok Outlet, North Face, MEC, LeBaron, Bass Pro, Cabelas, Sail, Athlete's World, etc, etc.

    You don't have to search high and low for first layer clothing. The best part is that all your t-shirts both long and short sleeve now can be used for all your range shooting events or competitions or hunting afield. Easy Peasy. Your first layers serve double and triple duty. What's not to like?

    So the next time your wife or in-laws or husband wants to shop at the Outlet Mall, jump in the car/SUV/Truck and have some fun shopping. One can never have too many pairs of quick dry underwear or long/short sleeve T's or long johns!

    Insulating Layers; Your Second Layer

    Added 19 March 2016

    I'm an outdoor clothing junkie and I really love what's happened to or driven this particular industry. Technology has pushed the boundaries of form with function with convenience. It's almost like having your cake and eating it, too.

    Back in the 70's we had wool, cotton, and nylon. Nowhere was PrimaLoft, Thinsulate, and various polyester materials. They were barely on the horizon. One of my favourite source for insulating layers / mid layers is www.MEC dot ca where I'm one of the earlier members from the 70's. We had to use more wool based insulating layers since it kept us moderately warm during higher output activities in adverse conditions (rain, sleet , snow). Some layers are warm when wet. Some layers are warm but without any wind protection immediately cool you, polyester fleece comes to mind. Shop wisely and remember sometimes: buy once, cry once. That's my exception when I'm spending money on higher output (activity) clothing like ArcTeryx or Mountain Hardwear or Marmot or Patagonia or Nike or Under Armor. Whoa...too many brands to list but you get my drift. Sometimes you are better off biting the bullet and get what works well.

    I'm not going to tell you how, where, what to buy; but I will tell you to keep the receipt and don't remove those tags until after you get home and then jock up with your outer layers / plate carrier/parka/chest rig/ battle vest etc, etc. Put everything on and then carry out your magazine change drills, the ones I will or have put you through. See what works for your functioning/ operating/ moving / and other activities. It has to work for you otherwise return that second layer and carry on your research.

    I also have noticed that certain brands have particular fitting patterns. IF and WHEN you do find a brand that offers you sizing that's consistent, then YOU stick with it or THAT brand.

    I love The North Face for it's fit. Every single North Face Men's Medium (pants, jackets, vests, under layers , hoodies, T-shirts) fit my torso. Whether I shop online, outlet malls, Value Village, GoodWill; ANY of the North Face Men's Med items are good to go. That's the kind of consistency you would love to achieve or find. Go out there and discover. Try stuff on when your family is shopping, don't just sit on the bench outside the store doors. Do some research on your own!

    I'm not here to advocate certain brands but I will say that price matters. Quality is often equated with price unless your are clever to shop for the name brands and obtain good prices (year end models, Outlet Malls, Winners, Marshalls, TJ Max in USA, online clearance sales to name a few strategies). I will leave you with some suggested sites for clearance sales: http://www.altitude-sports DOT com

    And my wife's favourite online clearance stop for high tech outdoor clothing: http://www.thelasthunt DOT com

    Some Suggestions for Practicing at Home:

    Added 19 March 2016

    One of my favourite activities in my basement is putting on whatever new vest or new plate carrier or new chest rig or new holster or new belt or new mag pouches or new magazine pouch placement/re-jigging/re-adjusting is getting jocked up (new term... ) and then doing my magazine changes. In front of a mirror is most helpful because you can see the fastest or shortest travel for your support hand during these magazine changes.

    Here we are getting set up for our magazine/kit drills at the 2015 June Petawawa CQB Clinic:

    Go slow at first to start the muscle memory process... Find the smoothest path to the fresh magazine while simultaneously pushing on the magazine release paddle/button/latch /lever.

    Now go and do that again, just as slow and deliberate (key word). Don't just wander your support hand to the fresh magazine on your vest/pouch/carrier/chest rig; push that hand right to the 'tail' of the magazine. Imagine a martial arts (I do have my first Tae kwon do belt ) punch or block, very deliberate, very calculated.

    Retrieve / yank/ yard/ pull / grab that tail of the magazine with purpose and not haphazardly. Grab it like you mean it. Now find the shortest path to the empty magazine well on your rifle while your strong hand has total control of this rifle platform.

    Oh yeah, there's a reason I love PMags by Magpul. All of us have our own biases, but I'm a Magpul fanboy. I love that floor plate since it's easy to grab when I'm wearing gloves/mitts/NBC hand protection/PPE/ work gloves and when my hands are wet, cold, tired, injured, and pissed off.

    Deliberately insert that magazine into the mag well (hopefully bullets forward.... ) Surprise! Surprise!!

    I like to give my fresh mag a short tug as I slip my support hand back in front of the AR magazine well. Did I tell you that I'm an AR fanboy? You will find out that all the other non-restricted platforms out there just cannot come close to an AR. ANY AR, and that goes for Norinco and NEA platforms, too! ha ha ha ha ha

    Now here is a picture of my Labor Day 2016 Petawawa CQB clinic.... Have a look at the various rigs/vests/setups being fielded....

    Here we are lined up to do our magazine change drills.....Just what I am suggesting you do before I get out west. You don't need me (yet) to put you through these drills.

    Yup, we are doing out pistol mag change drills and other pistol drills, but you get the idea. I miss those SK CQB shooters! They were fun folks to teach!

    Speaking of pistol drills... Use what you have around to train your draw and presentation and SIGHT Picture:

    Tactical Banana Protectors:

    Transporting Your Boomsticks

    Added on 31 March 2017

    I often get this question: Hard or Soft Case? The answer is YES....

    I like cases with wheels. Not because I've had TWO hip replacements, or not because I'm getting old, it's because you end up helping others from the parking lot and have to load yourself down with MORE kit to haul....

    So there are great brands out there for hard cases like Pelican, Nanuk, Plano, Barska, Boyt, Browning, and many more other re-purposed carriers. Either way, if you are gonna buy NEW, they buy with wheels.

    So your first question is what/how to cut/do/organize the foam inside the case?

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    I just put it up on the shelf and use your SOFT cases you already paid for or found for cheap at gunshows or clearance bins at local gun shops. That way your foam stays pristine until you are deployed overseas for Anti-Piracy duty, then the foam is all ready to go...wet bread knife for cutting the foam (water is best), or buy your wife/bg/gf a new upgraded bread knife.

    I found these Bulldog cases online (ebay? Amazon?) and it's got pouches on the side for my pistols....

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    The soft case fits inside perfectly. If you are unsure, measure the inside length/width/thickness/breadth and use a felt marker or masking tape them dimensions inside your hard case for future reference.

    Better yet, my Bulldog case has TWO zippered side pouches and this is how I transport my restricted stuff across the country for CQB clinics...

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    Here's an overall picture for you to understand....

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    AND the next time you visit your local gun shop, snag a few of these RCMP handout/brochures for your hard case/restricted transport....

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    "Yes, constable, I am in compliance with the laws. This brochure keeps me cognizant... "

    AND the milkbags are repurposed to sleeve and protect your ATT... DND ATT for us military related shooters of Restricted boomsticks since I am always on and off DND bases/ranges/facilities.

    Another tip I learned from the Milcun Marksmanship Complex by Keith C and Linda M.... props to the masters....

    See how the soft case fits inside the hard case?

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    Now another thing / item I carry is a folding saw horse of steel from Ukrainian Tire... it helps the score keeping at Base Borden's CQB matches... Another story...

    Saved space for my blog on third layers like gore-tex or rain gear or inclement weather layers.

    Saved Space for my blog on mental management... or maybe that's gonna be another thread....

    I'm not issued this gear so I can therefore buy what I want/ need/perceived needs. No authority figure here at the matches to remind/tell/convince you to blouse your trousers. (it's an old joke)

    Hope this helps the match preparation. Lots and lots of newbies out there learning!

    Last edited by TacticalTeacher; 03-21-2018 at 09:17 AM.
    Clinics? M14 - Precision Rifle - CQB Clinics?

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  2. #2
    Business Member TacticalTeacher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Georgian Bay, ON
    March 31 2017: Added more information on Transporting your Restricted(s) for CQB ... Hard or Soft Case? YES...
    Clinics? M14 - Precision Rifle - CQB Clinics?

    Most Current Hungry or TacticalTeacher Schedule; Just CLICK on the link below:

    Oshawa GTA M14 Clinic Saturday 26 January 2019 $60 15 Seats! click link above

  3. #3
    Business Member TacticalTeacher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Georgian Bay, ON
    02 April 2017 and I could finally open up my Pelican 1620 Range box and photograph my Emergency OH Shzt kit....
    Clinics? M14 - Precision Rifle - CQB Clinics?

    Most Current Hungry or TacticalTeacher Schedule; Just CLICK on the link below:

    Oshawa GTA M14 Clinic Saturday 26 January 2019 $60 15 Seats! click link above

  4. #4
    Big Mouth Nic3500's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    This is a GREAT thread, you think you could post the pictures on another service than photobucket?

  5. #5
    I have no life
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Quebec city
    That would be such a great post with the pictures. Try imgur, maybe?

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