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Origin of the IDPA vest?

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Lots of fun in this thread. In case the OP wants a serious answer, back when states were changing laws on concealed carry from "may issue" to "shall issue" (early to mid 1990s), a lot of folks got their permits, but there wasn't as big a selection of IWB holsters as there is now. So photographer vests were a popular option. They allowed full size pistols in OWB holsters to be covered, therefore concealed. Unfortunately, every gun rag in the country crowed about this in just about every issue, so people with those types of vests were basically outed. Same with the fanny packs with built in holsters. Now that there are a lot of options for IWB holsters and smaller handguns, it is easier to carry concealed with just a long shirt or such. Since IDPA has somewhat strayed from its roots, the Vest and OWB holsters rule the roost in the game.

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The flying monkeys in the wizard of oz wore vest, well vest with sleeves. maybe they were packing on there way to a IDPA match

If you stop and think about it, the Wizard of Oz and IDPA both have the same characters playing in them. You have the great Oz, the wicked witch, a bunch of monkeys wearing vest and a group of people going tru fantasy land trying to not get penalized at the end.

Edited by JohnRodriguez

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My vest was purchased specifically for IDPA competition. I never wear the vest unless dry firing, or I'm on the line. I got it for $25 on Amazon.
I guess I just want to fit in at the Khaki vest convention. Honestly, IMO, the rule is useless, it does nothing to simulate "real world" concealment.

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As the OP I feel abused:), but I have learned something very important. Best concealed carry garment in the spirit of hiding in plain sight is an IDPA vest. What idiot would actually carry in one of those?

Exactly, When you wear the shoot me vest anywhere outside the IDPA match, Are you really carrying concealed? Especially when worn with the an NRA hat(my favorite is the red ones). Might as well wear a flashing Neon arrow that's announces: "Dork with a gun". Edited by Rangerdug

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I've been wearing vests far longer than IDPA has been around, mostly for lugging around stuff in pockets when it's too hot for my jacket. I carry concealed with a vest whenever I'm not wearing a suit jacket. I don't wear the suit jacket for IDPA because I can't afford to screw it up. So I wear one of my many vests or I wear a barn jacket that I use for outdoor chores.

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As the OP I feel abused:), but I have learned something very important. Best concealed carry garment in the spirit of hiding in plain sight is an IDPA vest. What idiot would actually carry in one of those?

Exactly, When you wear the shoot me vest anywhere outside the IDPA match, Are you really carrying concealed? Especially when worn with the an NRA hat(my favorite is the red ones). Might as well wear a flashing Neon arrow that's announces: "Dork with a gun".
Saw one guy at the BJ's the other day with that exact get up on. I'm not exactly going to walk up to him and challenge him to a quick draw contest, but he has to be right every time dressed like that. I think he is impressed by the clothes and thinks he's a deterrent. Mutually assured embarrassment.

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I carry with a vest a lot but I am famous for having all manner of stuff in my pockets. The vest just gives me more space to haul stuff 8) That said I do agree that it is not the most subtle way to carry. I also use a totally different vest when I shoot a match that has no pockets and was made for IDPA use. Of course the gun I shoot matches with is also not the one I carry unless you count the mag full of 185 gr SilverTips I keep in my bag just in case.

I did try shooting a match with the gun I carry 95 percent of the time. I wore jeans and a t-shirt with a Hawaiian shirt for cover which is pretty typical of me on a day off. I shot about the same as I do with my match gun and vest though I did have slower reloads since the grip is not full length.

I suppose it comes down to whether or not you think of IDPA as a sport or a training tool. If you think about it an IDPA stage that was actually realistic would have maybe three threat targets (all moving) buried in a sea of non-threat targets (all moving really REALLY fast!) The bay would be 360 degrees with tons of stuff in it like store shelves full of chips and candy bars. The timer would scream something like "Oh my god he has a GUN!" instead of beep. Also you would have to drink about 5 Red Bulls to simulate the way you would feel. Honestly that does not sound at all fun.

I certainly believe that all the time I have spent shooting IDPA has made me way more likely to survive if I am ever unlucky enough to be involved in a self defense situation.

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I certainly believe that all the time I have spent shooting IDPA has made me way more likely to survive if I am ever unlucky enough to be involved in a self defense situation.

This. Don't get me wrong, I love the competition aspect, but from personal experience - you do how you've trained to do. No training? Anyone's guess.

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In the past week, I've seen people wearing vests "in the wild" on three different occasions. On two sightings they were an actual 5.11 vests. None of the three were "killed on the street."

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Back when I was a LEO in the early 90's I went to Banana Republic to buy a vest to carry concealed on hot days. The young lady behind the counter asked me which agency I worked for. I gave her a puzzled look and she said only LEO's bought the vest. Primarily FBI and DEA agents. I bought the vest and told her which agency I worked for. She smiled and gave me the "I knew it" look.

I'm retired now, but the only person I know who wears the vest is a retired deputy. We call it the "shoot me first" vest.

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Interesting that the vest has developed such an unpopular nickname. Has anyone ever seen a news article or broadcast of a person wearing a vest for concealment being shot?

Edited by v1911

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My vest was purchased specifically for IDPA competition. I never wear the vest unless dry firing, or I'm on the line. I got it for $25 on Amazon.

I guess I just want to fit in at the Khaki vest convention. Honestly, IMO, the rule is useless, it does nothing to simulate "real world" concealment.

I think the rule is perfectly valid! What is not is that people "game" it by wearing vests that they do not wear otherwise.

For those that actually wear the vest in public I think it is good for them to practice and compete with it. Personally, I shoot with my normal, everyday clothes that include a shirt long enough to conceal. That results in lots of good practice drawing from exactly how I carry everyday.

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Interesting that the vest has developed such an unpopular nickname. Has anyone ever seen a news article or broadcast of a person wearing a vest for concealment being shot?

I would be surprised if common criminals would even recognize an IDPA vest as such.

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Interesting that the vest has developed such an unpopular nickname. Has anyone ever seen a news article or broadcast of a person wearing a vest for concealment being shot?

I would be surprised if common criminals would even recognize an IDPA vest as such.

My thoughts exactly. The names are just a way to denigrate others.

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I think if your State is open carry you should be able to compete without a vest. And otherwise you either have to use one of the fishing vests and wear a hat with lures in it or one of the Marty Mcfly "what's with the life preserver", down vests.

Edited by jmorris

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My vest was purchased specifically for IDPA competition. I never wear the vest unless dry firing, or I'm on the line. I got it for $25 on Amazon.

I guess I just want to fit in at the Khaki vest convention. Honestly, IMO, the rule is useless, it does nothing to simulate "real world" concealment.

I think the rule is perfectly valid! What is not is that people "game" it by wearing vests that they do not wear otherwise.

For those that actually wear the vest in public I think it is good for them to practice and compete with it. Personally, I shoot with my normal, everyday clothes that include a shirt long enough to conceal. That results in lots of good practice drawing from exactly how I carry everyday.

So, in winter (especially at indoor shoots) people who use their winter parka for concealment should be required to wear them for the match?

What should the guy who uses appendix carry be wearing at a match?

Why don't we wear this retarded crap for classifiers? If it's required for most every other stage, wouldn't you get the most accurate classification by wearing the vest?

Or is it to try to make sure USPSA shooters move up a class or 2 before shooting a match with the vest?

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Because of the subjective way that rules are designed and enforced in IDPA, I don't shoot it to compete (though that is difficult for any competitive person). I shoot IDPA to practice with what I carry and how I carry it.

I have run several IDPA matches (and USPSA and 3-gun) matches over the years and I try to make IDPA matches a learning experience...to present shooters with challenges they don't get to practice usually or maybe haven't thought of. We do things like shooting in the dark while retrieving and carrying a dummy. Yes, we don't follow strict IDPA rules but rather allow people to use what they actually carry, including weapon mounted lights and lasers. Following the excellent example set by GADPA we also allow people who want to shoot their USPSA rigs the ability to do so in a separate division (though still enforcing 10 round mags, use of cover, etc). We also allow Pistol Caliber Carbine because some people may want to try a match with what they keep by the bed or in the closet. Once we get enough steel we'll probably have a defensive shotgun match or two.

Because of the more clearly define rules I consider USPSA to be a much better form of true competition where people's performance can be more accurately compared. I still enjoy the defensive matches but maybe that is because I look at them in a different way and don't get wound up over whether or not someone is being accurately judged by Bubba SO according to the vague rules of gunfighting according to Bill Wilson.

As far as appendix carry, this is part of what I tell people in my now way too long and boring safety briefing...

I won't pretend to tell you how to carry and handle your gun at home and on the street. What I will tell you is what is acceptable gun handling within this match and that includes things like observing the 180, having an acceptable holster in the right position, etc. At home, if I was going from room to room I would likely be leading with the gun pointed in whatever direction I am moving. Here, no matter whether moving uprange, downrange, or sideways, that gun needs to remain pointed downrange as much as possible.

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On 9/26/2015 at 3:02 PM, Ted Murphy said:

There was shooter in the early days named Timmy. After besting a photographer in an arm wrestling match, he wore the vest proudly as a trophy. His tacticoolness and manliness became an inspiration for all shooters. And the legend grows.

Love it Ted.  In the top ten replies on any gun forum I have read.

 

Take Care

 

Bob

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Wow!  As the OP I'm extremely proud of this thread's entertainment value.  As a relatively newly minted CHL in CA I'm not wearing a vest on the street no way, no how.  a) says shoot me first and b)in the CA PC culture a vest in a strong wind increases 267% the chance of exposure.  911 will be dialed, women and children will seek shelter and LE sirens ablaze will head my way.  No, I'm wanting something that closes or is closed in the front and hangs over my HK P2000 in my StealthGear Mini.  I I ever take up IDPA again I'll try to shoot what I wear everyday.

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On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2016 at 8:56 AM, High Lord Gomer said:

I would be surprised if common criminals would even recognize an IDPA vest as such.

Shooters recognize them, or think they do.

My little bit of time on the earth has convinced me people are most concerned with what their peers (people that dress in their style) are wearing, not the rest of the world.

Round here a common criminal that's been picked up is probably more concerned with khaki/FDE cargo pants, #1 choice of non-patrol officers and detectives.

That said, the vest as a concealment garment to add realism, is a pretty big stretch. I do remember them being heavily marketed in the 90s? I think.

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In cold weather, every now and then, you can catch me wearing a non-IDPA like vest (never the 5.11 though).  I got in the habit after shoulder surgery. 

The other night, I saw two good reasons to have them.  We had two younger female shooters show up, one using a flimsy sweater as a cover garment and other using a loose short untucked blouse.  The sweater kept getting caught on the gun during each draw and I had to stop the loose blouse wearer twice because the material was getting into the trigger housing during re-holster (luckily, not striker fired).  We loaned both of them vests for the rest of the stages.

Like someone above said, I really like them too, especially for newer shooters. ...much easier for the SO to see what is happening.

 

 

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