Rock Castle 2012 What Worked and What Didn’t


In General terms most of my equipment worked well.  There are only a few things that I would change outright just to make improvements.  If I didn’t make the change, it would not have impacted me on this match.

Shooting Gear

  1. Belt: Double Alpha
  2. Pistol Holster:  Blade Tech
  3. Magazine “pouches” Pistol and Rifle: Blade Tech
  4. Tech-loc connectors for all my Mag Holders and holsters.
  5. Shot shell Caddies:  AP Custom 4×4, with Tech Loc backs
  6. Shotgun:  Mossberg 930 JM Pro Series
  7. Pistol:  Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 9mm
  8. Rifle:  Sig Sauer 556 with Battle Comp compensator and Magpul stock
  9. Magpul PMags for the rifle.


  1. Atlanta Arms and Ammo 9mm 115gr
  2. Estate Brand #8 Target Load
  3. Federal 5.56 NATO Ball


  1. Condor Double Rifle 42” Bag
  2. Midway USA Range Bag
  3. Toyota Tundra 4×4 (thank goodness it is a 4×4, I need it)

Clothing and Misc.

  1. Merrell Moab low cut hikers.
  2. 5.11 Taclite Tactical shorts
  3. Under Armor Heat Gear (Socks and Shirts)
  4. ESS Crossbows, Eye Protection
  5. Surfire EP3 Hearing Protection

Like I said, everything worked.  No equipment failures, no improvisations, it was all good.  Could it have been better?  Yep.  Here is what I am going to change:

  1. Safariland.  Yep need to get some Safariland ELS gear.  The ease of change, and interchangibility of the pouches and so on of the ELS system is a must have for 3 gun.
  2. Ear Pro:  I think the custom molded ear pro will provide a much better benefit than the generic Surefire.  The Surefire worked for me, but the custom molded stuff will provide a better seal during the vigorous movement of a stage.  Muffs just don’t work well for me when I am using long guns.  I had the guys at Hear-Pro get a set going for me.
  3. Shorts – Given how hot it was, the shorts seemed like a good option.  Maybe next time I go with long trousers though.
  4. My Rifle.  My rifle and I worked well together for this event.  I was very happy with the results.  I do worry about it’s long range consistency the way that the barrel is mounted and the hand guards fit.  I have heard from other users who have shown that this combination of barrel and hand guards is not consistent at range and it may not be.  I may make a change here over time, there are so many more things that can be done to tune an AR vs. the Sig that it may make sense to do that.
  5. Make the gear fit / suit you.  I spent some time going through the FNH team’s open gear, as well as Katie Harris’.  I had Pat Kelly say repeatedly that his gear suits him, and one of the biggest things to success is tweaking your weapons to fit you.  Others have said the same thing that you need to make the tool fit your needs so that you can master it.  It all worked for me but, I believe there is room for improvement.  So, I will definitely be looking at a lot of different options out there.
  6. Shot shells.  The AP Custom 4×4 caddies, I love them.  They work great for me and my hand size.  However, there are times when you really need to only load a couple of shells, or a couple of slugs and having an alternate source of shells is a good thing.  Side saddle?  Forearm band?  I am not sure which is going to be right for my needs, I have some experimenting to do on this one.

Tomorrow – Rock Castle 2012 Lessons Learned

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