I’ve been through a lot of different shooting equipment, since I began shooting IPSC. However, my rig setup has been the same since 2011.
Safariland Model 032 ELS Competition Belt 1.75″ (45 mm). On the belt I have mounted an QLS 22 Receiver Plate using a custom mounting bracket, and several ELS 35 Receiver Plates.
Model 030 Competition Underbelt, Loop Liner.
Why this belt?
I like two features in particular. The first is the ELS system – you can see the main feature right on the belt, the two rows of offset holes going around the belt. You use these holes to attach your equipment securely, using bolts through the holes and captive nuts on the equipment. I find this to be much superior to forcing tight equipment attachment points down the lenght of the belt. The second feature I really like is the way the belt is closed using the two metal posts. This provides superior strength to just holding the belt closed by using 10 cm of hook and loop tape. I use the QLS and ELS receiver plates, to be able to change holsters and reconfigure my magazine pouches easily.
Safariland Model 5198 mounted on a QLS fork
Why this holster?
I’ve used several different types of hylsters, starting out with a Bianchi UM-92 nylon holster, and progressing through several different types of kydex/plastic holsters as well as “speed” holsters like the Safariland 012, and Guga Ribas FSH. While the speed holsters give me a marginally faster draw, I’ve come to prefer having a holster that protects my pistol (sights included) a bit more and where I don’t need to worry about using a lock if the start position is seated, awkward or something similar.
The Safariland 5198 retains my pistol securely, and can be adjusted for tension.
Model 771 Open Front Single Magazine Pouches (“bullets forward”), mounted on ELS 34 Locking Forks.
For Standard division I also use Model 771 Open Front Single Magazine Pouches, but the left hand version turned 90 degrees so it becomes a “bullets out” pouch .
Why these pouches?
I used to be quite avid about using “bullets out” magazine pouches, and have been using them since 2006. However, when I changed to single stack division, I started using “bullets forward” mag pouches, and I found out that it didn’t really matter to me, time wise. I still feel that “bullets out” is the optimal orientation, but it matters less than I though.
When using “bullets forward” pouches, I need to turn my wrist in order to grab the magazines properly. Since economy and consistency of motion is an important part of achieving smooth and fast movement, I prefer the pouches which don’t require me to turn my wrist. I use an open front magazine pouch, to be able to place my index finger along the front of the magazine right from the beginning of the draw.