Offering their own rigid competition belt and magazine holsters, Black Scorpion Outdoor Gear has several combination packages that can outfit any shooter for IDPA or USPSA matches. These packages vary between the Combo Rig N3 and more advanced setups.
The Combo Rig N3 is the base combination package offered by Black Scorpion that includes the new Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt and four Storm Grand Master magazine holsters. The belt is similar to other dedicated competition belt styles in that it is a two-belt system consisting of a rigid outer belt and a soft nylon inner belt.
The outer belt is made with a 5mm High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) core that gives shooters a rigid platform by which to hang pouches or accessories. The inside is lined with (male) hook-and-loop to join to the corresponding field on the inner belt to provide a solid platform on which to hang holsters and accessories. Accompanying the outer belt is a logoized belt keeper.
The inner belt is made from 2mm HDPE to give a balance between a flexible belt with some rigidity by which shooters can use for regular wear during a day on the range, or in-between stages. The outside is lined with (female) hook-and-loop that joins with the corresponding field on the outer belt.
Intended for right-hand shooters, and accompanying the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt in the N3 package, are four Storm Grand Master magazine holsters. They are available in single or double-stack versions and made from a durable polymer molding. Hardware in the holsters are stainless steel for added strength, and the angle of the holster can be 360-degree customizable. Tension on each magazine can be adjusted with the newly designed spring system for improved release during the draw.
- M (32″ to 34″)
- L (34″ to 36″)
- XL (38″ to 40″)
- XXL (42″ to 44″)
The Black Scorpion Combo Rig N3 only comes in Black, and has a lifetime warranty. Also featured is a Apparition kydex holster by Spectre Holsters, but not considered in part of this review.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Excellent (5/5): Currently priced at $139.99, the Combo N3 package is still significantly priced below what each individual item would cost (belt-$47.99, mag holster $34.99/ea.) from Black Scorpion so there is immediate cost savings. However, in comparison to other vendors offering a similar setup, such as by Double Alpha ($170, holster dependent), Black Scorpion is still a better value for a full setup. Even when considered just as its base components, the belt alone is still under the price of its competitors, such as Double Alpha’s Premium Belt ($54), the CR “Speed” Belt ($49) from Shooter’s Connection, or Tuff Product’s Surefit Competition Belt ($49).
- Comfort – Good (4/5): As a whole, the two-part system made wearing a pistol and magazines very comfortable. The rigid HDPE core of the outer belt supported a large percentage of the overall weight with/without fully-loaded magazines, while the hook-and-loop sections between the inner and outer belts helped ensure no excessive movement of attached items. Worn as just a general use belt, the inner belt was flexible enough to be both comfortable and functionable. The adjustable springs and hardware to the Storm magazine holsters made each draw very smooth and consistent, and allowed for customized tension to each magazine at any location around the belt.
- Durability – Good (4/5): In comparison to its competitors, the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt has important elements in durability that others did not. Right out of the box there were no loose/excessive threads, and the amount of material along the outer belt edge was even and noticeably larger in surface area than other competition belts. This translates to longer use in the repetitive action of peeling the outer belt off of the inner belt, and less chance of separation between the belts and hook-and-loop sections. While the Storm magazine holsters themselves were made from a high-density polymer, it is likely the hardware or threads could be the weakest point in the design over the long-term, and given continual use. It would be nice if the vendor offered a replacement parts kit for the hardware or the front/back plate to further support its overall product line in the event of cross-threading.
- Functionality – Average (3/5): Overall the functionality of the Pro Heavy-Duty Competition Belt was pretty straightforward. The two-part system held enough rigidity to maintain its shape, with minimal warping (despite the weight of loaded magazines and holstered weapon). The Storm holsters themselves provided a great deal of functionality enabling the approach angle for the draw to be 360-degree customizable. The one-piece belt loop of the Storm holsters were very tight in relation to threading the outer belt through them, resulting in some separation of the hook-and-loop/thread at the outer belt’s tip. It remained uncertain if prolonged usage would result in further separation, or if the overall stitching will hold. It was noted that other Black Scorpion magazine holsters allowed for full disassembly/reassembly directly onto the belt, which would have avoided the issue on the Storm holsters.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At approximately 2.15 pounds total, the overall Combo Rig N3 was amazingly light considering the amount of materials. The use of the polymer core in the outer belt added some weight, but not significantly more than other market alternatives. The bulk of the weight stems from the Storm magazine holsters, which weighed approximately 5 ounces (without magazine) each. In comparison, the weight of the Combo Rig N3 was similar to that of other setups, such as a Double Alpha belt with Racer magazine pouches (approx. 2 pounds).
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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