The IDPA State Championship was a huge success, and a lot of fun. One of the high points for me personally was that all my gear worked 100%, and definitely contributed to the success I had. I ran a conglomeration of gear from different companies, all of which came together on match day in just the way I needed it to.
My gun for the match was my excellent Para 16-40 Limited, which ran flawlessly except for one time that I limp-wristed the gun, so that was my own fault. The three mags I used were two Mec-Gar magazines, and one 10 round Pro-Mag which inexplicably feeds everything I stuff into it – weird. I’ve talked a lot about the gun, so I won’t spend too much time on that.
My magazine holders were the Blackhawk! double-stack mag holders, which so far are the only double stackers I can find which do a good job of holding on to the gigantic Para mags. The gun belt was also from Blackhawk!, the same belt I had used at the ParaUSA Summer Camp event.
Before you guys think that Blackhawk! has me on their payroll (I wish, right?) I actually used a holster from Galco to compete with. After finding out that my Serpa wasn’t considered IDPA legal, I had to find a new holster in a great big hurry, preferably something that would be similar to the Blackhawk! holsters I already used. The holster I went with was the M5X Matrix from Galco, a Kydex/polymer holster that someone manages to look like a leather holster. It’s very similar to the Fobus holsters, but seems to be made of better materials, and is adjustable to provide higher or lower levels of retention on the gun. The paddle on the Matrix did an excellent job of distributing the weight of my Para – even after wearing the gun for eight hours I didn’t notice the weight of the pistol.
For ammo, I ran Wolf Gold – this is the brass cased high-quality ammo offered by Wolf. It ran flawlessly in my gun, and was more than accurate enough to get the job done.
Sometimes, equipment gets overlooked in competition; people focus entirely on the gun at the expense of getting good gear. The problem is that a holster failure could result in you getting DQ’d from a match, or an ammo failure could result in your results not being valid. While the gun is probably the most important component of a match, you shouldn’t neglect your other gear – without it you’d just be a guy with a gun and nowhere to carry it.