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Shooting coats/jackets

Shooting coats/jackets 
I have been looking at the ads for shooting jackets. Everything seems to talk about getting strapped into these jackets and "heavy" coats. That strikes me as well and good for winter or fall and spring shooting, but what do you wear when it's summertime? I will be doing most of my shooting in Sacramento, CA, and if you have never been there in the summer, believe me "heavy coat" and "summertime" do NOT mix... (grin)..Naked with a shoulder pad and sunscreen is more the order of the day (grin)... What should I look for in a shooting jacket? Obviously it needs to fit well, but what features to people like, and what "bells and whistles" are not worth the money? Thanks, Fred Brattain (Bratt)

Shooting coats/jackets 
Hi Fred, well, I shoot in South Florida where 90 degrees and 98% humidity is the order of the day at most matches. I use a Creedmoor heavy leather coat though the Cordura models are very popular here. A washcloth to wipe the sweat from your forehead and a few gallons of water nearby take care of comfort issues, the jacket takes care of the score. Besides, on a hot summer day, you can show your non-shooting friends how crazy you really are by showing them the coat and saying "and a sweatshirt too!"

Shooting coats/jackets 
If heat is a big factor, look at Creedmoor's ventilated models. Cordura is supposed to be cooler than leather but I've never tried one so I don't know. The best feature is a good fit. Ask your maker where to measure yourself and do it carefully. For course shooting the inside elbow of the support arm should either open (Creedmoor) or be made of a thin material like Spandex (Champion Shooters Supply), you should get and use a sling hook (standard on most). As for the "Harback" model, I prefer to avoid it; offhand, where it MAY help is at best 25% of the match, prone is 60% to 100% of a match and that's where I optimize things. So I prefer a "standard heavy" which has padding on the front for when your on your belly and isn't too stiff in the back which may contribute to riding up. German Salazar

Shooting coats/jackets 
Bratt.. Get the Creedmoor Cordura coat.. And also you will need a sweatshirt too.. Just remember to bring lots of Gatorade or PowerAde with you in the cooler. I myself use an older 10X leather coat and sweatshirt.. and I live in the humid south.. you will get used to it.. Eat plenty of bananas and drink a lot. Make sure that you have a lunch with you too. Snack in the pits when you are there and make sure that you drink a lot of fluids. Regards. Doc

Shooting coats/jackets 
Gary Singley singlgl@ocslink.com. Your jacket needs to fit you well about the shoulders; not too tight, yet no folds and bulging that will interfere with you in getting into position. Most of the support comes from the lining material; the exterior portion of the jacket protects the lining. For service rifle, if my sling is tight, I just loosely fasten the top strap, and the same for sitting. For offhand, I tighten the bottom two straps around my hips, and fasten the top straps, but loosely. Gives me some hip support and allows the bending and rotation of the upper body necessary in standing. If you fasten your jacket too tightly about the hips, you can put too much pressure on the sciatic nerve. By the way, a good tight pair of jeans or other pants will probably give you more offhand support than your jacket. Many of the international shooters get most of their offhand support from their stiff, tight fitting pants. When shooting my magnum in the prone and using a cuff type sling that is loose on my arm and is held on the jacket with the sling retainer, I have to fasten the two top straps of my jacket tight enough to prevent the rifle pulling my jacket up over my head. The jacket head opening should be large enough to avoid pressure on nerve points in your neck. Too much jacket pressure in this area can give you back aches and headaches. Your jacket and sweatshirt are going to be uncomfortably warm some times. Some of the adjustment is psychological. You will find that it bothers you less as time goes by. Make yourself relax. Organize things so that you don't have to exert yourself more than is necessary to fire your rounds. Some others have already told you about drinking fluids and avoiding having a stomach full of heavy food. Dry fire out in the heat to accomplish as much physical and psychological adjustment as is possible. One of the plusses of shooting prone slow fire is the feeling of relief that you get when the string is over and you get out of the jacket and sweatshirt.

Shooting coats/jackets 
Hello Bratt, Don't order a coat without trying some on. Fellow club members should be able to help you out with this. I wear a size 44 to 46 long (depends on the manufacturer) suit jacket and my size 40 Creedmoor hardback has plenty of room for the middle age spread!! Good Luck James

Shooting coats/jackets 
Hi Bratt, I haven't found any difference between shooting coats as far as heat comfort is concerned. It sounds bass-ackwards but don't shoot without a sweatshirt under the coat. It acts as an "evap cooler" creating a layer of moist air from the sweat. Talk to Bob Gamboa and Lonnie Kuhns about Aleata Luhnmann's (sp?) custom made coats they are great! Not cheap but worth every penny. Tom 
Shooting coats/jackets 
Bratt, Call and talk to Aleta Luhmann, she makes coats to fit rifle competitors. She and her husband, both high power shooters, they are located in Clovis, CA. 559) 299-7112 All your questions can be answered in one call. Scott in CA.

Shooting coats/jackets 
Always shoot with a good coat and sweatshirt; otherwise you might as well stay home because your score won't be anywhere near where it could be. However, when shooting in the heat, keep your jacket, sweatshirt, and mat out of the direct sunlight until you are ready to put it on and start prep period. I sometimes carry a piece of white bed sheet with me to shade my gear with while I'm not shooting. You can also wet your shirt or sweatshirt with cool water before you put it on and this will help keep you cool through most of your string. If the jacket starts off at ambient air temp. It actually helps to insulate you from the sun and heat for a short time, sometimes long enough to fire your string. Also, as the other posters have stated, drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Learning to deal with the heat will make shooting in it more enjoyable and give you an advantage over other competitors who are not as well prepared. Mike B.



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