Skip to main content

Gear for Shooting Competition Newcomers

Gear for Shooting Competition Newcomers

Participation in shooting competitions can be a fun and rewarding way to use your favorite firearms. Competitions give shooters the opportunity to shoot courses and disciplines which are often not allowed at their local ranges, outside of special events. Sports such as 3 Gun, Cowboy Action and IDPA have become much more popular in the past few years, with matches popping up at local ranges all over the country.

At a shooting competition, you will run into a wide variety of shooters. Some are very casual, with minimal gear and will attempt to run stages with magazines and other accessories overflowing from their pants pockets, while others will show up in fully camouflaged plate carriers with 50 lb ruck sacks on their back. As with most things in life, the best option is likely somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

For a beginning shooter, outfitting for a competition can seem like a daunting task. We've compiled a list of gear that will help you make the most of your foray into competition shooting, along with a brief explanation of why you should include these items in your kit. With our help, you'll show up outfitted like a pro — the shooting we'll leave up to you:

shooting-competition-8Blackhawk Sportster Deluxe Range Bag


By the time you reach the end of this list, you will see that there is more gear involved in competition shooting than you expected. You're going to need a nice range bag in order to keep everything readily available in case it's needed. The Blackhawk Sportster Deluxe Range Bag is a great option and features three large dual zippered compartments for storing all the gear you cannot carry on your person.


Blackhawk SERPA Holster

One thing every competition shooter is going to need is a dependable holster. The Blackhawk SERPA Holster is just that.  This holster has been on the market for a while and has been used by thousands of shooters. It is a great holster with an affordable price point for a new shooter. The SERPA holster is available for nearly every common pistol on the market today.

shooting-competition-2Blackhawk Split Front Chest Rig

A chest rig is a very useful piece of equipment. The Blackhawk Split Front Chest Rig is a great option at an affordable price point. This chest rig features three rows of S.T.R.I.K.E. webbing for attaching any accessories a stage may require. Additionally, this chest rig features internal hydration sleeves and two internal mesh pockets. The split front chest rig is built for ease of use and superior comfort, featuring front split zipper, padded shoulders and a removable waist belt. Available in 6 colors.


shooting-competition-4Blackhawk Turbine Pack

This item fulfills the need most commonly forgotten by new shooters. Shooting competitions can often entail spending several hours out in the sun in a semi-remote location, far from any concession stands or convenient stores. With all the gear you'll have to carry, it is very helpful to be able to bring your water with you on your person. The Turbine Pack from Blackhawk allows you to do just that, and holds 100 ounces of water in a system protected by Microban antimicrobial technology. This streamlined design can be easily integrated into any Blackhawk vest, pack or bag.

shooting-competition-5M-Pro 7 Tactical Universal Cleaning Kit


Most people do not think to bring a cleaning kit with them to a range or shooting competition, but many serious shooters won't leave home without one.   A cleaning kit is nice to have if you run into a problem, and can literally become the difference between withdrawing because of a minor issue and staying in the competition. The M-Pro 7 Tactical Universal Cleaning kit is an all-in-one solution and even sports a rod which can be used in an emergency to clear a stuck casing.

shooting-competition-6Uncle Mike's Competition Belt

This belt from Uncle Mike's will serve all your competition needs. This belt is comprised from an inner and outer belt which secure together using a hook and loop closure.   This belt contains polymer reinforcement handles to allow it to withstand the extra weight and wear which will come from carrying all the gear required for competition. Additionally, this belt is padded to make carrying all that extra weight in gear more comfortable.

shooting-competition-9Hoppe's Lubricating Oil

Hoppe's Lubricating Oil is another staple in the shooting bag of any shooting competition veteran but is another thing beginners often don't think to pack. More lubrication is often a simple fix to many small issues which can arise within competition shooting, especially when it comes to semi-automatic pistols or modern sporting rifles. Hoppe's Lubricating Oil is something which should have a place in every shooter's range bag, whether for competition shooting or general plinking.

Champion Redfield Target 

Bringing targets with you to a shooting competition is something that is often overlooked by shooters. However, you should bring targets with you, and you should use them to verify your zeroes and holdovers. The Redfield Target from Champion is a good choice because its target grid allows for quick and accurate adjustments for whatever the day's conditions are.

FP_Vital_P10T1_10mm_Studio_Image_RFederal Premium Ammunition

When shooting in a competition, you should make sure that you use the exact same ammo for all your stages with the same firearm. While this may seem obvious, it is not unusual to see a new shooter show up to the range with various brands and grains of ammunition, having bought whatever was the cheapest at the time. The only way to get reliable performance from your firearm is to use decent ammo. Before you reach the point where you're handloading your own in advance, Federal Premium Ammunition is a great option, giving you the accuracy and consistency you require.

shooting-competition-7Weaver Compact Gunsmithing Kit 

Most shooters wouldn't think to include a compact gunsmithing kit in their competition range bag. However, the decision to include this item can make a huge difference to you in any shooting competition. There is no feeling more helpless than having something loosen or need adjustment when you're in the middle of a field for a competition. Having a Weaver Compact Gunsmithing Kit with all the tools you need could be the difference between being able finish a competition or having to borrow someone else's rifle because your scope rings came loose.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

Guns & Ammo TV: Springfield Armory XD-M 10mm

In this “At The Range” segment, Guns & Ammo Editor Eric Poole and Senior Field Editor Craig Boddington look over the features of the XD-M.

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo TV: Shooting 1,270 Yards with the 5.56 NATO

Guns & Ammo Rifles & Optics Editor Tom Beckstrand was on location in Idaho where he pushed the limits of the 5.56 NATO cartridge in this segment of “Long Range Tech” for Guns & Ammo TV. Pairing a SIG Sauer MCX Virtus rifle loaded with Hornady's 73-grain ELD-M ammunition, Beckstrand attempted to ring steel set at 1,270 yards, an incredible distance for any 5.56-chambered rifle and beyond the typical range for an AR-15.

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

Air Gun Reviews: Why Shoot Airsoft?

In this Guns & Ammo TV segment, Gun Tech Editor Richard Nance and Pro-Shooter Jim Tarr discuss the benefits of airsoft training for uniformed professionals and armed citizens alike.

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don

Guns & Ammo TV: Cameras Don't Lie: 9mm vs .45 ACP

The age-old question, 9mm vs .45 ACP. For some, this has been asked and answered already. For others, the debate goes on. In this segment of “Cameras Don't Lie,” competitive shooters Patrick Sweeney and Jim Tarr head to the range to put the vaunted loads on record, and then consider the footage.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms How-To

9 Commonly Misused Gun Terms

Kyle Wintersteen

"Assault weapon." Sixteen-round "clip." A box of "bullets." When it comes to guns and gun...

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by examining the requirement around which Hornady designed the .300 PRC; the requirement came from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). .300 PRC Review Rifle

.300 PRC Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by...

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and deer; here's everything you need to know to make it work for you..350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know Rifle

.350 Legend Cartridge: Everything You Need to Know

Tom Beckstrand - April 02, 2019

The Winchester .350 Legend straight-wall cartridge is ideally suited for hunting hogs and...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in quality and performance over the typical dot-and-notch setup.Testing XS Sights Accessories

Testing XS Sights

Jeremy Stafford - September 08, 2020

XS Sights high-visibility color front dot and Express-style V-shaped rear are an upgrade in...

The Revolution Targets Portable Dueling Tree makes this segment of “Pros vs. Joes” one of our favorites. Guns & Ammo TV Producer Darin Narlock is challenged by competitive shooter and USPSA Grand Master Jim Tarr to see who can finish the fastest.Guns & Ammo TV: Revolution Targets Portable Dueling Tree Accessories

Guns & Ammo TV: Revolution Targets Portable Dueling Tree

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 22, 2020

The Revolution Targets Portable Dueling Tree makes this segment of “Pros vs. Joes” one of our...

This segment of “Pros vs. Joes” might be our most interesting challenge yet. Revolution Targets by Pendleton (insert hyperlink) has set up a multi-target course of fire with their Portable and Heavy steel. Guns & Ammo TV Cameraman Nathan Wilt is the “Joe” who will battle with Police Officer and Firearm Instructor Chris Cerino. Revolution Targets: Carbine vs. Pistol Accessories

Revolution Targets: Carbine vs. Pistol

Guns & Ammo Staff - July 29, 2020

This segment of “Pros vs. Joes” might be our most interesting challenge yet. Revolution...

SilencerCo announced its new SCO15 AR-15 lower receiver, made from billet 7075-T6 aluminum and precision machined for compatibility with all your preferred parts.SilencerCo SCO15 Lower Receiver – First Look Accessories

SilencerCo SCO15 Lower Receiver – First Look

Guns & Ammo Staff - August 10, 2020

SilencerCo announced its new SCO15 AR-15 lower receiver, made from billet 7075-T6 aluminum and...

See More Accessories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now