Testing and Evaluating Your Kit

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Video Transcript

When is Training Actually Testing Your Kit? (00:02):
So training with kit is cool and looking cool is half the battle, right? But there is a question: when is training with kit really educating you on what your kit is doing? Because if you're just standing on a line, you know, just like this and you're doing up drills, it really doesn't matter whether you have a plate carrier on or you're running slick because you're not introducing any other, you know, conditions other than just pointing the gun up, shooting, pointing the gun down, pointing the gun up, shooting, pointing down. So what kinds of drills are there that really run your gear through the paces, right? Or really show you what your gear is capable of doing and what it can do. Because a lot of flat range stuff on the 7-yard line, on the 10-yard line, just throwing some stuff on, isn't gonna change the shooting side of it. It's not really gonna change or show you what your kit is actually doing.

Kinds of Drills That Test Your Kit (00:48):
So the drills that I like to do when we're testing out new kit (chest rigs, plate carriers, and things like that) is I like to do barricade boards to get into different positions and see what the kit, you know, what's happening with the kit. When I'm shooting from the ground, when I'm shooting at a weird angle I like to do a lot of sprints, a lot of movement, try to get my kit moving around, to see if anything is sloshing around, moving where it shouldn't or anything's, you know, or the pistol's gonna fly out of my holster or something. I wanna add in some, you know, much larger conditions into it than just standing still like this and shooting. Because let's face it, if that's my only condition is standing here and shooting, I can have all sorts of jacked up kit that's not even working for what I'm trying to do. And then, you know, there's hiking, there's running, you know, I do every once in a while 500 meters to the end 500 meters back, shooting targets along the way. And that shows me, "Hey, I've got pain points on, you know, my shoulder pads, I've got this thing over here, I've got this thing, this gun thing." So when you're setting up drills to actually work your kit, they need to be more than just the flat range drills, if you can.

Demo (01:51):
So what we're gonna demo is… I got a couple things going on with my gear that I think they're gonna work great… Maybe. We're gonna shoot two rounds from each port on this barricade board. I have a standard EOTECH, you know, lower third optic. So I already know that's not gonna be too jacked up. I'm not gonna have too many issues. But I have some stuff going on in my gear and we're gonna see how well it works and see if anything's odd, anything's different, anything's changed, you know, changes cuz that's obviously not what you want.

The other thing I like to do, if I'm practicing from a chest rig or a placard or something new is I will just work a reload basically at every port. And I'll just work through all my mags. We'll actually do that. We'll work… So we have four magazines. I'll do like three rounds, mag change, three rounds, mag change and see because I had to make some modifications to this chest rig based on some drills I was doing with this and realizing that some stuff wasn't working out the way I wanted it. So let's go. Shooting paper. We're at like 25. Shoot the middle guy. Don't have a shot timer, but that's fine. We'll do a reload. It's not retaining my magazines. Little malfunction, but that's okay. Pull tab. Don't want to flex off the barrel. Oh geez, I can already feel it.

Kit Problems (04:16):
That's not cool. So I wore my Orion belt purposefully a little loose to show as soon as I'm down in this position, you know, down low shooting through these ports. I get up. Now I gotta run over there. This isn't on my waist anymore. This is all over the place, super loose. This magazine's not gonna be exactly where I want it when I go to reload. The whole thing actually spun backwards slightly. So that's not consistent or cool. And my chest rig, if you didn't notice, right there, my sling's pulling on it. I didn't have the sides clipped in to our Y strap, to our back strap. So this is flopping all over the place.

I already knew from a earlier experience with these mag pouches, they are sewn to a very tight tolerance. They work best with steel magazines. They do not work great with PMAGs. So I actually pulled to remove the pull tags from the… The pull tabs from the sides. And I usually try to run steel mags in those, PMAGs in the middle. But I only knew that from doing some drills like this, to know, "Hey this thing's a little more optimal if I sort of tune what mags I use with it, or just run steel mags completely." But like after running this, I could see my Orion wasn't tight enough. It wasn't solely on my hips. It wasn't touching my belt, but that's partly, you know, based on what I'm wearing. This needs to be tied in because this is unacceptable right here. If I had some stuff going on with my rifle, that's where I would change that if I was running a certain kind of optic setup.

Work Through Your Kit (05:40):
And so if you are running kit on the range, just understand that if this is all you're doing, the kit's not really changing anything. If you actually wanna get out and do some stuff like this and actually work through, you know, all the different mag pouches on your kit, your sprints, seeing if everything's tied down, moving, as far as like noise or just, you know, the performance aspect of it, cuz this is bad performance right here. That's something to do.

Take Note of Issues (06:04):
But the other thing is after you do it once it's not like you have to keep doing it to be reminded about this stuff. And that's why back in the day, like five years ago, I was doing a lot of kit stuff at the range, like night vision on my helmet, shooting baricade boards and stuff like that. And there were a couple things I learned. Like if you have PVS 31s flared out like this, most optics with a good stock placement, you will not see a sight picture because your 31s are in the way. But I don't have to keep training with 31s on at the range to be reminded of that. I already know. So now I don't really wear a night vision at the range very much, but that first time that I did it was very helpful.

Focused Training (06:39):
So when it comes to training with kit on the range, it's usually to get those first observations, just training with it more isn't necessarily gonna make you better at understanding those observations. But definitely running through your stuff once or twice to see what's going on. And then focusing on shooting when you are on the flat range, if that is what you're doing, is going to be much more effective than always wearing kit, always wearing all your stuff versus being able to just focus on the shooting part and being able to separate the two a little bit. And that's how most of my training is. It's not with all my kit on. It's with my belt, you know, the minimum that I need so that I can focus on my shooting.

And when I have to test some equipment thing or test myself with some of my gear, I'll run a drill that's not just, you know, on the 7-yard line. It's a little more running and gunning—distance or distance with movement or a barricade or inside of a vehicle to see how my, you know, carrier's interacting with you know, the seats and the seatbelt. So think about conditions when you are training with your kit. Otherwise if it's just flat range, just keep it to flat range. Just keep it to just the gun and the shooting stuff.