View Full Version : Shooting vests....

Dave McC
February 7, 2001, 09:05 AM
My New Years resolutions included getting in more clays and trap time, and maybe it's time to get a dedicated shooting vest for same. The old field vest I use is about lunched anyway, and maybe a specialized model would aid comfort and even add a bird or two to the score.

May I get some input on various models, features, and stuff to watch out for?

Be advised I'm a Behemoth, 52 Long suit coat, 36" shirt sleeve,etc.

Of course, I know it's a slippery slope. After this, I'll be wasting the kids' college funds on Perazzis, going to Vandalia with a small truckload of ammo, and consorting with gun writers( Like Dean Spier) and blondes of dubious virtue(G)...


February 7, 2001, 10:53 AM

Try before you buy. Try the vest while wearing what you normally wear while shooting. I once bought a vest that fit very well in the store but I had tried it on while wearing a collared shirt. The vest wasn't as comfortable while wearing the usual t-shirt. Once you've got the vest on ask one of the staff to let you try a couple of mounts with a gun that is like yours.

A mesh backed vest is good for the summer time. A solid backed vest can get a little warm when the mercury and humidity get high. It's also a good idea to have the mesh in a lighter color. A black mesh can surprisingly warm if the sun is beating on your back.

I prefer my vests close-fitting. Too loose and I don't seem to get a consistent gun mount. This means I have two vests. One for summer and one a size larger for cooler weather when I need a sweater or a sweatshirt underneath.

The amount of shoulder padding is a personal choice. If you want more padding PAST probably makes the most comfortable vest although Browning has a REACTAR insert to reduce felt recoil. I've found more padding is good for mounted games but less is better for shooting low gun.

You can't have enough pockets on a shooting vest IMHO. I prefer those vests with a mesh pocket in the back for empty hulls.

Most of the makers carry the big sizes. I'm a suit size smaller than you and have found that Bob Allen and PAST all have large enough sizes. For the really big fellows, Chimere makes vests up to 4XL. Browning vests are cut a little smaller and I can just manage to fit into their XXL mesh vests but their leather and solid back vests are too snug in the mid-section.

Give this site a try to see what's on the market.


And if are planning on going to Vandalia every possible vest is available there often at good prices. Of course, if you are trying to save money Vandalia is not the place to go. I believe the call it the "Grand" because that about how much you can expect to spend on shotgun goodies.


February 7, 2001, 01:55 PM
Dave, I don't think your a Behemoth, you sound like a average size guy to me. ;)

February 7, 2001, 06:08 PM

By far the best that I have found are those made by Filson (whose well-deserved motto is "Might as well have the best.")

Check them out (- they specialize in "Behemoth" sizes as well as quality features not available elsewhere):


Dave McC
February 8, 2001, 09:00 AM
Thanks, guys, I appreciate the input. Going down to Guns R Us shortly to see what they have.

Did try on a Browning yesterday, it was a mesh and snug.

And I'm about average size for a retired CO. Many who leave before retirement are much smaller, but most that last for their 20 are Behemoths. Kinda like Dinosaurs(G)...

And talking about Vandalia was mere levity on my part. I'm not that good a shooter, not that rich a shooter, and watching someone else shoot is a pastime that quickly pales for me.

Will advise, and thanks again....

Dave McC
February 8, 2001, 11:36 AM
Bought a mid priced 10-X at Guns R Us, folks. Will let you know how it works out. Thanks...