Monday, May 14, 2012

Gear Review: Hill People Gear Recon Kit Bag - Drawing From

I was able to spend the evening testing out the draw from my beloved new acquisition...with my other new acquisition, the TRP.

I'd been using the bag daily for the dog walks since I received it and really enjoyed having the ability to carry the keys, cell phone, spare mag and the Springfield Champion with ease. The weight is distributed so well that you hardly feel it. The mesh backing ensures it is nearly sweatproof from standard athletic activities.

I may see if can tuck a small Camelbak in the front just to refresh the pups mid-walk. I have seen them dock it to a Camelbak MULE so that will become my summer go-to soon - they get mighty thirsty on longer walks in the heat.

I am very fortunate to have HIGHLY trained individuals to aid me in the practice. I haven't done any chest draw work before but was reminded it was a similar pivot as the waist draw. As they'd taught me before, from the waist you draw to the pit - an pivot of the strong hand's wrist straight up and out so that one can shoot instantly. Then press outward and the weak hand merges as the eyes remain on the threat, bringing the front sight into view. "Front sight, PRESSSS"

So once I was reminded of it, they watched my drafted method and noted the "rowing" motion on extraction to get it free and up in view. I knew it was wrong, instinctively, but wasn't certain where to go from there. Back to the basics!! Weak hand pulls the pouch open as the strong hand reaches in and gets good grip, high up on the beaver tail for secure extraction, index perfection demanded for safety, and grip to enable shooting one-handed...strongly.

Then the pit maneuver - pull it out and pit the strong wrist so that one just pivots it out, and has it strongly gripped and already able to shoot. At the same time, that weak hand is now ignoring the pouch entirely. We are done with it - if anything gets in the way, it won't be in a moment so ignore that bag. Punching out, again, the basics - out and merging with weak hand as eyes remain on threat until the front sight is in view.
"Front sight...pressss..."

Over and over, I had to keep reminding myself to ignore the bag - my weak hand wanted to press it back to my chest/get it out of my way or support the flopping from the weight of the addt'l items, or reach to the pit to assist in the punching outward. No, no - we are done with the bag - ignore it, now and shoot! That took time. And I admit I had to practice that draw and pivot quite a few times to stop the "rowing" motion. But then it was a full length 1911 and not the one I carry daily. It took a few extra inches to clear the bag. I feel confident I can more easily clear the bag with the Champion length...

I have a lot of practice still to do to make it a smooth action and fill the muscle memory. But it was terrific to be able to have it hashed out by pros. Himself was, of course, one of them but one takes direction much better from others than spouses, no? Less personal that way. Regardless, it was the same method.They both move and shoot like bloody twins. Brothers of different mothers...to see them in action is a delight and a terrible thing at once.

At any rate, I give the bag two big thumbs up. Huge. The gentlemen loved it, too. Perfect product, very well made. I am SOLD. (And I suspect a few will be hitting stockings at Christmas, too...) If you need a concealed carry option or simply a way to carry while backpacking, this is the gear for you. Worth the price.

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