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Old August 20, 2006, 08:53 PM   #1
Boondoggie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 28, 2006
Location: NEO
Posts: 202
Strange occurrence with a 5.11 vest

Ok, so we are out shooting a local IDPA match this weekend.

One of the stages require you to kneel down, holding a supposed downed buddy, in this case a tire on a rope. At the buzzer, you are required to drag your buddy up range and behind a wall for cover. You then draw and engage your targets down range.

Get the picture so far. Now, we've just seen a previous shooter get hammered for failure to provide safe cover for the tire...I mean your hurt buddy.

I am getting to the gear part, don't rush me.

Ok, so next up is another member in our squad. He is gear similar to myself. Kydex holster (full size Glock) and 5.11 tactical vest.

He kneels down and gets ready for his run. At the start of the buzzer, he drags the tire up range. Now, here is the part that gets interesting. The previous shooter got ding because they swung the tire behind them and couldn't see whether it was behind cover.

So our current shooter pulls the tire in front of him and 'swings' it to his left behind the low wall. He makes a very sharp twist of his upper body whilst his lags are firmly planted facing down range. He then drops the rope and sweeps his coving garment to find...an empty holster.

The next thing that happens is a dropped gun, and that was really exciting let me tell you. No matter how 'safe' they tell you they are and as much as logic says, 'there's no way', it still gets you going.

No, no ND, no AD, no discharge. The shooter did everything right, he stopped instantly he realized the gun wasn't where it was suppose to be and put up his hands. The SO picked up and cleared the gun and DQ the shooter from the rest of the match.

Now, I am not here to discuss whether it was right or wrong to DQ the shooter. He was very professional in every way and shot previous stages very safely and very competently. (As a personal note, I understand the decision by the match director as well as the SO's to make that call. It was a very tough call to make and nobody was happy about making it, especially as it was no ones fault per-say, but a freak accident).

Here's what I believed happened, and this is simply a theory and will probable never be repeated in another 10,000 presentation with the same vest and gear.

If you look inside the 5.11 vest, there are two, what I am assuming are, belt loops. They are located at approximately 7 and 5 o'clock. They are about 3/8" wide and about 2" long. The tops of these are sewn and the bottoms are snaps.

As our shooter makes his sharp left twist of his upper torso, we are assuming that the right belt loop is 'pulled' over the handle of the Glock. Then as he twist to his right and 'swept' his vest up and back, he inadvertently 'lifts' his gun up and out of the holster. Now the holster he is using has two tension screws and these were set fairly tight. So it required a little force to 'draw' the gun from the holster. As the gun cleared the holster, the only thing holding on to it was the belt loop and thus it slips and falls to the ground.

Like I said, freaky.

So before I shoot the stage, I un-snap my belt loops. I also pulled the tire behind me and yes you guessed it, got a procedural for not getting my buddy behind cover. He's already down for crying out loud, they wouldn't be shooting at him...gezz. mummble......mummble......

Anyways, my point is, look out for those pesky little belt loop thingone and thingtwo, that I am not sure serves any real porpose...stay safe.
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