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I’ve been observing that the mixture of guys who shoot with vests and those that shoot with pouch. I started off shooting with a vest so it feels natural but the wide usage of bags not to mention the custom/cool factor has me intrigued.

Is there a reason for going one way or the other? If it matters, I primarily shoot skeet but occasionally dabble in sporting clays and trap as well.

If the pouch is the way to go, should I be looking at companies besides Al Ange, Tex Hollis and Lonesome Charlie?

Appreciate you guys sharing all your knowledge!
 

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I wore a vest when I first started but then I found out how comfortable it is to shoot in a t-shirt. Haven't wore a vest since.
I prefer the single box holder on my belt and a mesh hull bag on my pocket. Not big on a having a big bulky bag on my side. I use two single box holders for doubles and let anything I don't catch hit the ground. No time to fiddle around during doubles.
Not to mention, in my limited experience with registered shooting, twice I've been delayed by broken belts carrying huge shell bags. Nothing like melting in the blazing sun waiting for Mr. Millionaire to pick up a 100 shells.
 

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I’m with Wadhopper and the comments about vests verses a shirt and shell bag. It also depends on what you’re wearing.

A vest can provide a very secure gun mount and give you a solid locked-in feeling because the shoulder pad surrounds the butt of the stock. A vest is also uncomfortable on a hot and humid day, and a vest doesn’t work as well for winter leagues due to the added bulk.

Shooting with a shirt and shell box is more comfortable and you can wear some nice looking shell boxes for single and double target events. However, I like to wear “performance” moisture wicking material, like Dri-Fit, but those materials can feel a bit slippery when you mount the gun, and the material can slide a bit when you’re doing it. There are shirts of different materials, and some have thin pads, so that’s an option, also.

Think about how to make your choice work for you. I prefer a shirt and shell box/bag, but it’s always a good idea to keep a vest hanging in your car just in case the situation favors it; I do.

.
 

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I like a vest but usually don't wear it because it seems like the weather calls for a coat or just a T-shirt. Like the others have said, I use a shell box holder and mesh bags for the empties made by Shamrock Leathers. I do like to shoot promo shells in doubles so I can just let them hit the ground.
 

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I started with an over/under pouch from Boyt, which featured a box holder up top. One day, an old timer, took his "old timer" and cut off the box holder and told me to stop counting my shells... and threw a handful of extra shells in to keep me from counting... I never lead a squad to this day.

Today 25+ years later, I'm using the same amputated pouch, faded and naturally distressed... it's an old friend that hangs on my hip.
 

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Nowadays I shoot trap in a skeet vest or occasionally a shooting coat. Years ago in hotter climates I shot in a T-shirt and used a magnificent low slung Bianchi leather pouch and belt. I gave that up just before the ISSF brought out the requirement for a tape marker when shooting Olympic skeet.
 

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I too, started off shooting in a vest and until last few years still did.
I switched to the pouch and like you say it is much cooler in the hot summer months.
Like many other things in life it basically is shooter preference, both work well.
 

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When I started off shooting skeet and trap, I wore a t-shirt and used a pouch, then went to a half vest (basically a belt with two pouches and a shell bag on the back). Recently, I've been shooting more sporting clays and skeet than trap and I've gone to a vest. A few things drove my decision. First, with sporting clays and skeet doubles, carrying 50+ shells in the half vest put more downward pressure on my pants such that they'd start to sag unless I really tightened the belt. Putting the same load in a vest distributed the weight better and was more comfortable. Second, taking a pouch/half vest with shells in on and off to go to the bathroom was more of a chore than doing the same with a vest. Third, I found the the breast pocket of the vest a convenient place to store stuff like tickets/tokens, my card for the sporting clays machines, etc...more easily accessible compared to rooting under my half vest to get to a pants pocket.
I was worried about comfort compared to shooting in a t-shirt; we'll see how it goes in July-August, but so far, that hasn't been a problem.
 

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I always used a pouch. I had a Bob Allen for years then went to Lonesome Charlie because he is such a great guy.
I really wish that the people who shoot with vests would wash them. The stink that comes off of them could knock a Buzzard off a shit wagon. The upside is that they keep the bugs away from me.
 

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When I started off shooting skeet and trap, I wore a t-shirt and used a pouch, then went to a half vest (basically a belt with two pouches and a shell bag on the back). Recently, I've been shooting more sporting clays and skeet than trap and I've gone to a vest. A few things drove my decision. First, with sporting clays and skeet doubles, carrying 50+ shells in the half vest put more downward pressure on my pants such that they'd start to sag unless I really tightened the belt. Putting the same load in a vest distributed the weight better and was more comfortable. Second, taking a pouch/half vest with shells in on and off to go to the bathroom was more of a chore than doing the same with a vest. Third, I found the the breast pocket of the vest a convenient place to store stuff like tickets/tokens, my card for the sporting clays machines, etc...more easily accessible compared to rooting under my half vest to get to a pants pocket.
I was worried about comfort compared to shooting in a t-shirt; we'll see how it goes in July-August, but so far, that hasn't been a problem.
You can start a trend by using the half vest with suspenders !
 

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I never tried wearing a vest but thought about it. The mechanics of bang, open gun, remove hull, put hull in pouch, get shell from pouch, load gun and go bang again screw me up thinking about the process.

I have a Shamrock belt and two single box holders plus a Beretta pouch and hull bag. I find myself using the Shamrock belt and the Beretta pouch and hull bag and only having to use my right hand when unloading and loading.

Seems with a vest you have to use both hands to do this??? Like I said having used a vest the mechanics of it screw with me.
 

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I always used a pouch. I had a Bob Allen for years then went to Lonesome Charlie because he is such a great guy.
I really wish that the people who shoot with vests would wash them. The stink that comes off of them could knock a Buzzard off a shit wagon. The upside is that they keep the bugs away from me.
By all that is Holy! Yes, wash the dang vest. I usually just assume smelly vest wearing people crap their pants and don't wash their underwear either.
 

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Around 30 years ago I was given a new baby blue Fiocchi shooting vest. I liked it because I was the only guy wearing one in my part of the world. Every so often the little woman would wash it and I was ready to go shoot. Then one day I told the wife she was shrinking my vest with her periodic washings. She informed me that the vest wasn’t shrinking. After that I got a pouch that could shrink or expand as I did. I still wear a pouch.
 
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