By Randi Rogers –
As I start to prepare for the match I have a Big List of all the items I think I might need so I can be prepared.
Before you attend any match you want to make sure that you wear your clothing in practice or a local match to make sure it wears the way you want.
- Shoes- I always suggest bringing two pair of shoes if possible. Tulsa has been known to have rain and nothing is worse than wearing soggy footwear.
- Socks- Make sure you have plenty- also a good idea to throw a pair or two in the car.
- Short vs. Pants- An age old question. I would suggest brining a pair of both that you like. You can make that decision the morning of shooting or even bring them both in the car and put it on when you get there.
- Shirt- Does your shirt fit right and comfortably? Make sure you have shot in it so you know what it feels like to stow magazines.
- Hat- Bring two! This is something you want to make sure you have and another thing that is no fun to get wet.
On the big match day you want to make sure you have all your gear squared away and ready to go. Make sure you have had time to practice with everything so you know how it feels.
- Belt- You want to make sure to have a nice sturdy belt that will hold all of your gear without twisting and turning. I have used a lot of belts but found that a good Kydex lined leather belt is great.
- Holster- In IDPA women can wear a drop offset holster. This gives you a little more versatility and options. Make sure you have practiced with your hoslter and that the retention is set so it stays in while running, but also comes out smoothly.
- Magazine Pouches- I really love a paddle magazine pouch. Women’s pants have the belt loops in what seems like all the wrong places, so the paddle is great because I can wear it anywhere.
- Vest- When choosing a vest you want to make sure to choose something that has a little stiffness to it. If your vest is too flimsy it may bunch up especially during the draw which is not good. Also, make sure that it is long enough to cover your holster and magazine pouches.
- Glasses- Whenever I travel to a major match I always bring at least two sets of glasses with me. If at all possible you want to have two sets so that if you break them you have some back up. If you wear prescription, consider bringing your old retired pair. Better to have an old prescription than no glasses at all.
- Ear Protection- Again two sets are better than one. I sometimes use the molded plugs and sometimes ear muffs. I usually bring both because if it is cold I like the muffs but hot I like the plugs.
Guns/ Gun Parts
This might be the most important part of what you bring. Clothes and most gear can be replaced but your gun is probably one of a kind.
- Main Match Gun- Make sure this ends up in your luggage! Also, before you go clean your gun and take it to one more practice before you leave. This way you can make sure that you have put it together right.
- Parts- If you haven’t replaced parts in a while here are some things you might want to look at: recoil spring, trigger spring and sights. These are the springs that I like to change before a nationals. In addition, before any major match I like to sight my gun in to make sure it hasn’t moved, and to make sure my sight screws are still tight.
- Back Up Gun- If you have it, bring it! If you don’t try to get as many parts together as possible so if you have to replace something you have it. Suggested parts- firing pin, trigger bar, extractor, ejector and magazine release button.
- Magazines- You will need at least three magazines to shoot the match, but I would suggest bringing six. This will give you a couple of backups just in case, and it will give you extra magazines for things like standards where you may need more rounds.
What kind of ammo are you going to shoot in the match? You want to make sure whatever it is you test in through a chronograph before you go. I like to load my ammo so that I have a power factor of about 135. This is 10 points more than I need but it gives me a buffer for things like cold weather and humidity.
- How Much? I would suggest bringing a minimum of 450 rounds. It will probably be more than you need but better to have to much than not enough.
- How do you get it there? Well, I can usually fly with about 450 rounds, if I pack light. If you think you might need some extra weight you can also ship it. Ship it UPS Ground with ORMD on the package to your hotel. Make sure your name is on the box. I recommend shipping about two weeks before the match. This will give it plenty of time to get there, give you time to check and see if it got there and let you make other arrangements if it doesn’t get there.
At this point you are probably thinking, “What more could I need?” Well, for me I like to bring a few extras to make my day and shooting a little better.
- A Chair! Especially if you are shooting all in one day it is a good idea to have some place to rest between pasting.
- A Cooler- I bring a very small lunchbox cooler with me. It is enough for about 3-4 bottles of water and a snack or two. Very helpful to keeping your energy up for a day long match.
- Rain Jacket/Trash Bag- It has been known to rain in Tulsa so a Rain Jacket and a trash bag for your range bag are a must.
The IDPA Nationals is always a fun match. Being prepared and having your gear ready makes it all the more fun.
About Randi Rogers
Randi Rogers is coaching the first all-ladies squad in IDPA championship history. She has over 35 World and National Championship Titles in six different shooting sports including, SASS, IDPA, UPSPA, IPSC, Steel Challenge, NRA Action Pistol- Bianchi Cup. From her early beginning in Cowboy Action Shooting Randi has grown to dominate the shooting sports. In addition to a rigorous competition schedule Randi maintains an active social media presence, maintains her website and blog, participates in many shooting and outdoor organizations and well as works full time as a Marketing and Sales Manager at Comp-Tac Victory Gear. Learn more about Randi at RandiRogersShooting.com.