Updated: Dec 26, 2018
*Disclaimer: this article is for people brand new to Run and Gun competitions. There are many different gear configurations for Run and Gun. If you are a veteran competitor and are happy with your gear, this article is not for you. We love to hear your tips and tricks. Feel free to leave as many of them as you like in the comments section below. Please keep all comments constructive and polite. Thank you!
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Congratulations! You have purchased a ticket to compete in your very first Run and Gun. That is the first step in becoming a Run and Gun competitor.
Now what? How will you manage five or more miles, on foot, carrying all your gear? You’re not sure you have all the gear you will need.
Good news, you have come to the right place. Read on to find out what gear you will need to get from start to finish without too many hitches along the way.
The foundation of any good gear setup is clothing, including socks and shoes. If you do not have on comfortable, functional clothing, you will be miserable during your run. It is impossible to make up for uncomfortable clothing with the rest of your gear. It is also important to remember a few pointers my grandmother used to tell me.
1. It is always less expensive to buy quality once, rather than cheap items more than once.
2. A good pair of shoes is one of the best investments a person can make.
3. Stay away from trendy items. Classic is classic because it works.
Choosing the right clothing for the weather is also important. Layers may seem like a good idea. Bu, everything you take with you adds weight and bulk. It is best to wear what is comfortable in the middle of the run and leave the layers in the car for afterwards.
Slings, Belts, Chest Rigs, and Anything Else Used to Hold Your Tools
Grabbing as much gear as possible and running with it is not going to work the same way it works with groceries. Your going to have to have some help supporting the weight of your gear and your arms need to be free to do other things.
Below are examples of what many people use to help carry their guns, ammunition, and other tools. The challenge is figuring out what types of equipment work well for you. Each person is different and gear setups depend on personal preference. I recommend spending as little money as possible on your first set-up, except for the battle belt. You need a quality battle belt from day one.
Here is a list of some of the popular items many Run and Gunners use:
Slings Proctor 2-Point Rifle Sling
Holster (Needs to have solid retention)
The holster you use for concealed carry may not be the right holster for Run and Gun. Crawling through tunnels, over walls, or in another awkward positions are part of the sport. Losing your pistol on the course is dangerous and might result in a disqualification. Ensure your pistol is very secure to your person in a holster that is made for the pistol you are carrying. This is not negotiable.
Battle Belts (Do not go cheap on this)
Safety Related Gear
Safety is always an important factor. All Run and Gun events require ear and eye protection in order to compete. Comfort and ease of use is important when choosing what eye and ear protection you will use on your run.
Water is also important to carry, especially in the warmer months. You should also drink plenty of water before and after the event to prevent dehydration.
A CamelBak gives cushion between the rifle and your back while you are running. I have seen people have problems with the cheap versions of the CamelBak bladders. It is not worth being without water halfway through your run. You can buy a cheap bag, but you'll need to buy a CamelBak bladder to go in it.
Rapid Rod Having a cleaning rod with you is essential. Malfunctions happen. Not being able to deal with a malfunction will ruin your Run and Gun. Carry a cleaning rod.
Everyone's gear setup will look a little different. You are likely to change yours more than once.
Invest in ear and eye protection, water carrier, holster, and battle belt up-front. Try different chest carriers, mag carriers, and slings to figure out what works best for you.
Check out the blog post on choosing the right pistol, rifle, scope, and ammo for Run and Gun coming soon. See you at the range.