Over the weekend, I shot my second IDPA Match, which also happened to be my first IDPA Classifier. With a Sanctioned Match right around the corner, the Classifier Match was rather busy. Shooters of all skill levels were in attendance to race the clock and meet the minimum Marksman requirement to shoot the Liberty Match at Valley Forge.
I learned a lot about myself and my abilities that day, but there was also one complete and total WTF moment. At some point during the day I was standing, with my back to the current shooter, having a conversation with a friend. In the middle of a sentence, things got quiet and this friend of mine had an odd look on his face as he watched over my shoulder. I turned to see the Safety Officer stuffing a holster back into the pants of the shooter.
It was an odd sight, but I could understand. The holster coming free, loaded gun in the shooters hand, I can certainly see why the Safety officer would lend a hand. I turned back around and picked up where our conversation left off. A buzzer was heard in the background and shots began ringing out. It was business as usual.
Before the Classifier String was finished, I turned to watch the shooter once again, while talking over my shoulder. The buzzer sounded and the shooter grabbed hold of his gun, pulled the gun out of his pants, and the holster came with it. It was a soft holster worn IWB and was connected to the belt by a single clip, very much like what you might find on a tape measure.
The string was stopped, the holster was taken from the gun, and the Safety Officer placed it back in the shooters’ pants. This happened two or three more times before the Safety Officer had the shooter start from the low ready position. When the shooter was finished, the Safety Officer helped the shooter get his gun safely into the holster.
The whole situation seemed very strange to me, but then I remembered that sage advice I’ve heard time and time again. If you are going to shoot IDPA, you should use your carry gear and get in some practice. Personally, I think the advice is sound. Fortunately, the shooter learned the shortcomings of his equipment while shooting IDPA and not while his life was in jeopardy.