Load Out: 2019 RBGC Run and Gun 5K

My loadout for the 2019 River Bend Gun Club Run and Gun 5K run was very similar to my 2018 setup.

Guns and Ammo

Rifle: After wearing out my 20” rifle for the past few years, I setup a new do-it-all carbine. At the heart is a 16” carbon fiber wrapped, Proof Research barrel. This barrel has an intermediate length gas system, which is extremely soft shooting but runs well with both weak practice ammo and hot 5.56 stuff. The carbon-fiber wrap helps save on weight when dragging things around, but it shoots exceptionally well. A Silencerco ASR muzzle brake is in front to tames the little recoil left and provide a spot to hang a Saker 556K or Omega on the end for suppressed use. The handguard is a BCM 15” Keymod handguard.

On the handguard is an ESC Dynamic Gittings Equalizer Skid Pad. It is Velcro attached, but has two ribs filled with material to widen the footprint of the handguard. This wider amount and the fill material assist in balancing the gun off of barricades or roof tops. The rifle is equipped with a Geissele Super 3-Gun trigger. For furniture my preferences have wandered to the Magpul MOE-SLS buttstock and MOS-SL pistol grip.

Optic: This year I stayed with the Nightforce ATACR 1-8x24 F1. It’s an incredible piece of glass that works well both up close and at distance. The 600 yard target was very easy to find and engage with holdovers, and the close stuff was simple by just turning on the illumination and using the red dot. For most of the match I shot around 2-2.5x to ensure I had good hits on paper to minimize penalties.

Pistol: Instead of a Glock 17, I ran a Glock 34 this year because it’s what I’ve been shooting the most for 2019. The G34 is functionally identical to my G17, with the exception of the longer slide. My slight tweaks are the Warren Tactical fiber optic sights and a Zev connector.

Rifle Ammunition: For rifle ammunition I went with Hornady’s Frontier branded 75gr 5.56 pressure load. This ammunition sends the 75gr pills downrange at around 2740 fps from my 16” barrel, with good accuracy to match. I spent the time to chronograph and verify drop data before the match, so that I knew my bullet drop data would match up at distance. For all of the stages, I stayed with the 75gr ammunition so that I wouldn’t have to worry about shuffling magazines for the correct ammo and had one set of holdover/hold-off information to remember. Having a rough idea of stages, I pre-loaded three, 30-rd rifle magazines and two, 20-rd magazines with 15 each (short magazines for limited engagement stages). At the end of the course I had 63 rounds left, but I wanted the extra ammo so that I could have a fresh magazine for each stage.

Pistol Ammunition: My pistol ammo consisted of handloads with Hornady 125gr HAP projectiles over 3.9gr of Titegroup. These cycled and shot well out of my Glock 34, making short work of the pistol targets. I began with three, 27-rd Magpul PMAGs and one, 21-rd PMAG. By not having many extra shots and not using my pistol on Stage 4, I was able to end the course with a full 27-rd PMAG and 12 extra other rounds.

Other Gear:

Bag: My old Kavu rope bag worked well again. I had a Camelbak bladder in the main compartment, which is also where my empties went. The other large compartment had fresh magazines to pull from to resupply my belt. I still like the ability to sling the bag around front or back with ease when negotiating obstacles. Additionally, it only has one strap which helps reduce entanglements.

Sling: I haven’t found a reason to switch from the Blue Force Gear padded Vickers sling and used it again. This year I ran a long and short length QD sling point on the rail, pushing the sling out when running and pulling it back for shooting stages. The rear mounting point gave more room within the sling for manipulating the rifle on stages, while connecting towards the front of the rail balanced the rifle better while running.

Holster: Safariland’s ALS system is still the best basic retention system that I’ve found. The active retention helps prevent the pistol from falling out while running, moving through obstacles or keeping from a bag or sling accidentally pulling on the grip of the pistol.

Belt Kit: The HSGI Sling Grip belt and Taco’s was unchanged from before. It is a solid base platform to be able to work nearly any stage from, easy enough to run in and not too heavy. The only issue I had was when performing Burpees, the belt worked its way up my stomach to my lower chest.

Arm Board: With some stage and course intel given to all competitors, I like to review and see if there is anything helpful. Using an armboard can help remember important information that might be useful for strategy or accomplishing a stage. In the event of stages listing which firearms will be used, I like to try to remember this as it helps arrive prepped for the stage and save on my run time by not having to prep as much. Additionally, for long shots I can remember drop data or wind holds. I've been using a Mayflower armboard for a long time in a variety of disciplines, and it accompanied me on this run as well.

Clothes/Shoes: An often-overlooked consideration is clothing. Due to the heat I went with the super lightweight Outdoor Research Echo shirt and Kuhl Kontra Air pants. I like the Kontra Air pants because of the extra ventilation cuts hidden on the pants for better air circulation. My Solomon Speedcross 4s were up to the task again, although most of the course was run on pavement. If it’s going to be dry again regular running shoes might be a better option for the pavement.

Watch: Run and Gun events usually require a stopwatch of some kind to record possible wait time. For most that train regularly or like to track data, there are smart watches that offer a lot of extra abilities other than being a time piece. This year I had been wanting to upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, which had arrived the day before the event. I played with it at home and was able to get some familiarity to be able to run with it. I’m still learning about the watch, but it was nice to track pacing and heart rate on the course.