Load Out: 2020 Gun Run Clinton House

At the recent 2020 Gun Run at the Clinton House, I changed up a few things versus my previous runs at other venues. For a full AAR of the event, read here.

Previous RnG Load Outs:

2018 River Bend 5k Load Out

2019 River Bend 5k Load Out

Guns and Ammo

Rifle: I used the same rifle as the 2019 RBGC event, as I built it to be light and fast. It didn’t disappoint at all, running perfectly and delivering the performance I needed, when I needed it.

Rifle specs:

Optic: I had a Nightforce NX8 mounted on top as my normal ATACR was on a different gun for a different match. I’m pretty sure I shot at 2.5x for almost the entire match, aside from 4-5x on stage 4. I could have used more magnification on one stage, but otherwise was really happy with the optic. Illumination was left on for the entire run without issue.

Rifle Ammunition: For rifle ammunition Hornady’s Frontier 75gr ammo is nice for one factory load that works well. It get’s good speed with a good bullet and good accuracy. However, newer projectiles such as their 73gr ELD-M are sleeker, with a higher ballistic coefficient, meaning they can offer flatter shooting and with less wind deflection than lower BC bullets.

Hornady offers a factory 73gr ELD-M factory load, however it is on the slow side. Instead, I’ve been working on finding a hand-load running the same bullet but with greater speed, which is what I ran at this event. My hand-load is sending the 73gr ELD-M at 2750 fps at sub-MOA accuracy. While the match only went to 300 yards, I wanted to run it in a match as a final evaluation.

73gr Hornady ELD-M Handloads

Not knowing the stage count or mix, I set off on the course with three 30-rd magazines and a 20-rd magazine in reserve, for an advertised 40 rounds minimum. This worked well, I only ended up using the 30-rd magazines for the course, managing to start Stage 2, 3 and 5 with full magazines and used partial mags for 4 and 6.

Staccato P

Pistol: I’ve been a Glock guy for a long time, but this spring I picked up a Staccato (formerly STI) P model, 9mm 2011. It’s been a fun journey with a new pistol (check out my series A 2011 Life on this site.) The pistol was flawless, and I can definitely attribute the nicer trigger and finer sights to having a fast and clean Stage 1.

9mm Hornady HAP hand loads

Pistol Ammunition: My pistol ammo consisted of the same handloads as before, using Hornady 125gr HAP projectiles over 3.9gr of Titegroup. This load shoots well out of all of my 9mm pistols, being exceptionally accurate. I brought four 20rd magazines, and ended up firing 45 shots against an advertised 35 minimum.

Other Gear:

Load Carriage: I’ve been a fan of my old Kavu rope bag for carrying stuff, but wanted to try something else that didn’t bounce around as much. I recently picked up a Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag for my runs, and gave that a try for some essentials such as a collapsible cleaning rod, lens fob, sharpie, spare ammo and my phone for tunes and a backup clock.

Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag

I had originally planned to go light on water, but with the heat I didn’t want to be caught short and used a 1.5L Camelbak.

Belt Kit: Since my last RnG I updated my HSGI belt to the Operator belt, which provided a stiff belt to carry kit, but had an inner belt to stay in place. I had a pair of pistol and rifle taco pouches for carrying magazines. The drawstring with shock cord is great for putting additional tension when running, or being able to loosen for normal range work.

Holster: I’ve been a fan of Safariland’s ALS holsters since they came out, and it is still the best retention system I’ve found. Having a retention device helps keep the pistol in place during running, negotiating obstacles or your sling from accidentally pulling on the pistol.

Clothes: This time around I went with an Outdoor Research Echo shirt, which are super-lightweight, moisture-wicking and dry out quickly. For pants I chose Kuhl’s Silencr convertible pants, thinking I might run with the full legs. However as the temperature kept rising I went with the shorts option. I liked these pants because the thigh pockets fit an AR magazine or my pistol magazines without falling out.

Shoes: Solomon has introduced wide sizes with the Speedcross 5. I had picked up a pair when they came out…and my feet love them that much more now. These shoes are almost tailor-made for RnGs, and mine are the non-GoreTex, with the thinking that if you’re going to get wet, at least the shoes can dry out a bit faster by letting the water back out instead of holding it in.

Not long after crossing the finish line.