USPSA belts, holsters and mag pouches: what works for me

After shooting USPSA Production division since early last year I have settled on a belt/holster/mag pouch combination that I am very happy with. This Spring I duplicated the setup for my 1911 for Limited/10 class and find it to be perfectly workable there also.

The CR Speed company’s “Hi Torque” belt is the hands-down top choice within USPSA circles. It is a two-part system that uses an inner belt (normally threaded through the belt loops of pants) and an outer belt that can be attached simply by pressing it onto the already-attached inner belt. Double-Alpha has a similar product but some prefer it due to differences in stiffness or lack thereof in the inner or outer component. I have found the Hi-Torque to be just right for me. The inner belt is actually quite comfortable as a normal belt. It contains the “loop” portion of the fastening system. It is soft to the touch and doesn’t grab fabric. I have often worn the inner belt on match days as my regular belt which saves me having to switch before and after the match. The outer belt is very stiff and contains the “hook” fasteners.

Once attached securely this makes an excellent foundation for holster and mag pouches. One note: always order the belt 2 inches larger than your actual waist/pant size.

The holster I use is also widely considered the best choice among USPSA Production class competitors: the Bladetech Dropped and Offset Holster (DOH) with Tek-Lok attachment. This system combines BladeTech’s excellent OWB holster, molded to specific pistol models, with a Tek-Lok belt attachment and the DOH extension. The extension moves the holster out and down from the normal position. This puts the pistol two inches lower and about an inch out from the belt. It also cants the pistol so that the grip is even a bit further out. This allows a much easier draw with the pistol closer to the draw hand and away from belt and clothing. The Tek-Lok attachment is adjustable for belt width and allows for a very tight grip on the outer belt. The holster itself is adjustable for retention but I’ve never touched mine and it works perfectly: just enough bite to keep the pistol safely holstered but loose enough to draw quickly and cleanly.

For mag pouches the most popular choice is also from CR Speed: their Versa Pouch system.  While this system is undoubtedly superb I personally have chosen a different solution: the Blackhawk carbon fiber mag pouch. I was able to purchase six of these units for the price of two Versa pouches. As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m not afraid to spend money on shooting-related items but this was one of those rare instances where I just knew there had to be a comparable solution for less money. The Blackhawk pouches are very sturdy and come with a belt clip that slides into the back of the pouch with a Picatinny rail. I first used these with the Serpa holster on a Drop Leg platform, also from Black Hawk (more on the Serpa later). The pouches work well for my Ruger SR9 mags as well as a number of other 9mm and .40 S&W pistol mags I’ve tried.  The spring that retains the mags was stiff when I got them but after leaving mags in them for a week they were perfect. I’ve never had a mag fall out even running at full speed, but they draw without a hitch. I wanted a tight fit on the belt so I opted to use 1/4 inch wood screws to attach the belt clips to the belt. I then slid the pouches onto the belt clips (remember the rails?) and this gives me six mags as close together as possible.

One last thing on the mag pouches: I found that I wanted the mags just a little higher than the default so I created small wood inserts about 1″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″ to sit in the bottom of the pouches. This raised them to the perfect height and helped ease the spring tension a bit more. For my 1911 setup I found that a standard Lego 2×8 piece (let the jokes begin) was perfect for creating the necessary mag lift. Yes, I realize that the time spent attaching and modifying these pouches probably negated any savings over the Versa units but…sometimes you just have to do things. It’s sort of like Male-Answer-Syndrome.

So, the CR-Speed belt/Bladetech DOH holster/Blackhawk pouch system works very well for me in both Production and Limited/10. I suspect it will for you also.

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