Friday, January 10, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #2 Max Velocity

Today I am proud to bring Entry #2 of our Fighting Load Contest by none other than Max Velocity.

We'll be talking chest rigs and battle belts as well as guns and get home bags/ assault packs. Get yours together to win some great prizes including:
1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from LuckyGunner.com ($50 value) plus 2 copies of The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
2nd: HERC stove from Titan Ready Water ($169 value) plus The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
Note: Prizes 1 and 2 are really closely matched. As such the overall winner can pick the Lucky Gunner stuff OR the HERC. 2nd place gets what is left. 2 books will go to #1 and 1 book to #2.
3rd Place: 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles donated by LPC Survival ($69 value)
4th Place:  A Lifestraw donated by Camping Survival ($20 value)
5th Place: A pair of Gyver Gear survival tin's
6th Place: The Western Front (hardcopy) or 3x e books by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).

For a good example of a post reference my EDC Contest entry. Those should give you a good idea what type of thing I'm looking for. I will probably do a full fighting load post some time after the new year. 

 
The contest is going to run from today 16 December to  around 1 February. Voting will start after the last entry is shown on the blog. Voting will run for about a week and will decide the winner's who get the prizes.

Read all the details here

This is taking off a bit slower than I wanted. Depending on demand maybe it will last longer but you should still get your entry in ASAP.

Onto Max's Entry

While not shown/ explicitly stated Max's choice in weapons are the Colt LE 6920 and a Glock 23 .40S&W. (TOR)






I have 6 mags on my left hip. Four are in flapped double mag pouches, two are in rapidly available open top pouches – I like this system, because it allows the battle belt to compete with a PC/Taco belt in terms of readily available mags.

On the right hip, I have two open top pouches, one double flapped mag pouch, and my handgun. So basically I put my handgun in place of a double magazine pouch on the outside of one of the open top mag pouches.
 
I have a double handgun mag pouch on the right side front, in front of the plane of my hips. Yes, I know, it should really be on the left side, but its a real estate compromise – and being right handed, when I take a knee, my right knee goes down – if the handgun pouches are on the left front, they jam between my thigh and gut, so not ideal for patrolling and taking a knee etc. You need to think about these little things, and try your gear out.
 
I had to lose the dedicated FLIR pouch in order to keep the ammo pouches back behind my hips.
Someone was waffling in comments that with a MOLLE handgun pouch there is no retention – all I was hearing was tacticool-repeated-but-not-understood-tacti-speak – well, it has a thumb break and also an elastic retention strap if I want to use it. I’m not really worried about it, and how I carry my handgun gives you a sort of idea of how high I prioritize the whole transition thing. I’m not worried about someone taking my handgun when I’m out on patrol, I rarely get stoppages on my rifle, particularly ones that I can’t clear in rapid time, and I expect to have team members to back me up if I do. I’m not in law enforcement, don’t want to be, a rig like this is for light infantry work out in the boonies, and those that focus on the tacticool often forget the primacy of TEAM in all this. Team is something that people’s eyes are opened to when they come on one of my CRCD classes, and the force multiplying effect.
 
Here is a look in detail:
 
1 & 2: 4 mags total, this is a Condor double flapped mag pouch. This pouch is attached to the MOLLE on the outside of pouches 3 & 4.
3 & 4: 2 mags in a double open topped Condor pouch.
5: Medical pouch – enhanced IFAK (UFAK).
6: GI Canteen pouch – containing night vision: PVS 14 & FLIR Scout.
7: GI Canteen pouch – admin/emergency rations plus other bits and pieces, including a lifestraw.
8: GI Canteen pouch – BrtiMil black canteen plus metal mug.
9: MOLLE handgun pouch containing Glock 23.
10 & 12: Mirrors 3 & 4.
11: Single version of 1 & 2. This pouch has 2 mags in it. However, it does fit the FLIR Scout. So depending on the mission I can change out the FLIR with the mags and have it more handy. I can also put other stuff in there such as smoke. Remember that you should also have an assault/patrol pack and stuff can be prioritized and traded between.
13: This is a VTAC battle belt. Condor also do a version.
14: Condor harness.
15: Blackhawk riggers belt. The roll-pin style belt is ideal.
Yes: Opinions on Condor vary. Its probably not the best stuff around, but it works and I can get it on Amazon.com in about two seconds of searching, cheap. Many of these pouches are multi-cam that I use krylon on to get my preferred green camo color.
The GI canteen pouches have little pouches on the sides whcih are really useful for stuff such as water purification tablets, lighters, batteries, paracord etc.
Other views:
 
 
 
It’s always a good topic – gear! I recently posted about how I had been making up my battle belt with a mixture of purchased, re-purposed and acquired pouches. HERE for the original post.
There were a number of things I didn’t like about the old set-up, so I have amended it. I bought a couple of pouches online to better suit the purpose of the belt.
Here is the old belt:
Here is a commercially available example of the Brit PLCE webbing belt that this concept is modeled after:
There are a number of issue with my original concept and set-up:
1) The original webbing set-up does not account for a handgun. It is designed on the idea that you will have two double mag pouches on each hip each one containing 3 magazines. That total of 12 magazines is great for feeding ammo to your battle rifle, but leaves you with no back-up handgun (the priority here is actually debatable, especially if you are in a  team with others to back you up if your rifle fails).
2) You cannot have ammo pouches forward of your hip bones, forward of the front plane of your hips. If you do your thigh will bang into them every time you walk/run/go uphill.
3) In order to account for carrying a handgun on my right hip, I put a triple mag assembly on my left hip, to keep the magazine count up. This meant that it came a little forward of my hip bone, and was not ideal.
So really, the problem was to find a solution where I could keep the magazine count up, probably with magazines on both hips, but not forward of the hip bone, while still carrying a handgun as backup. Compromise would be needed, but I felt there was a better solution out there. There was. Here it is:
In this evolution, I have 6 mags on my left hip. Four are in flapped double mag pouches, two are in rapidly available open top pouches – I like this system, because it allows the battle belt to compete with a PC/Taco belt in terms of readily available mags.
On the right hip, I have two open top pouches, one double flapped mag pouch, and my handgun. So basically I put my handgun in place of a double magazine pouch on the outside of one of the open top mag pouches.
I have a double handgun mag pouch on the right side front, in front of the plane of my hips. Yes, I know, it should really be on the left side, but its a real estate compromise – and being right handed, when I take a knee, my right knee goes down – if the handgun pouches are on the left front, they jam between my thigh and gut, so not ideal for patrolling and taking a knee etc. You need to think about these little things, and try your gear out.
I had to lose the dedicated FLIR pouch in order to keep the ammo pouches back behind my hips.
Someone was waffling in comments that with a MOLLE handgun pouch there is no retention – all I was hearing was tacticool-repeated-but-not-understood-tacti-speak – well, it has a thumb break and also an elastic retention strap if I want to use it. I’m not really worried about it, and how I carry my handgun gives you a sort of idea of how high I prioritize the whole transition thing. I’m not worried about someone taking my handgun when I’m out on patrol, I rarely get stoppages on my rifle, particularly ones that I can’t clear in rapid time, and I expect to have team members to back me up if I do. I’m not in law enforcement, don’t want to be, a rig like this is for light infantry work out in the boonies, and those that focus on the tacticool often forget the primacy of TEAM in all this. Team is something that people’s eyes are opened to when they come on one of my CRCD classes, and the force multiplying effect.
Here is a look in detail:
1 & 2: 4 mags total, this is a Condor double flapped mag pouch. This pouch is attached to the MOLLE on the outside of pouches 3 & 4.
3 & 4: 2 mags in a double open topped Condor pouch.
5: Medical pouch – enhanced IFAK (UFAK).
6: GI Canteen pouch – containing night vision: PVS 14 & FLIR Scout.
7: GI Canteen pouch – admin/emergency rations plus other bits and pieces, including a lifestraw.
8: GI Canteen pouch – BrtiMil black canteen plus metal mug.
9: MOLLE handgun pouch containing Glock 23.
10 & 12: Mirrors 3 & 4.
11: Single version of 1 & 2. This pouch has 2 mags in it. However, it does fit the FLIR Scout. So depending on the mission I can change out the FLIR with the mags and have it more handy. I can also put other stuff in there such as smoke. Remember that you should also have an assault/patrol pack and stuff can be prioritized and traded between.
13: This is a VTAC battle belt. Condor also do a version.
14: Condor harness.
15: Blackhawk riggers belt. The roll-pin style belt is ideal.
Yes: Opinions on Condor vary. Its probably not the best stuff around, but it works and I can get it on Amazon.com in about two seconds of searching, cheap. Many of these pouches are multi-cam that I use krylon on to get my preferred green camo color.
The GI canteen pouches have little pouches on the sides whcih are really useful for stuff such as water purification tablets, lighters, batteries, paracord etc.
Other views:
Does this gear have weight to it? Yes, it does, if you pack it up with mags and gear. That’s kinda the point – to carry the gear on your person. I’m used to wearing it all day every day, only taking it off to get into a sleeping bag, sometimes even sleeping on it to get off the ground. I wear it all day on the ranges on my CRCD class and Combat Patrol classes- it’s tradition where I come from that range safety will dress as per the exercising troops, except they will not carry a rifle and will have high vis bands/vests on as appropriate. If you are going up and down the range with gear on, so am I. When I put a good battle belt like this on, unlike any other means of carry gear such as a vest or PC, I feel comfortable, it just feels right, like an MV comfort blanket.
End Entry
 
Discussion:
The more I mess with my Battle Belt the more it looks like Max's.  Right now I'm not packing as many mags as Max but if I feel the need for more they will be on a chest rig/ my PC. My HSGI suspenders are probably fine as backup for a light belt but that didn't really pan out for me. To clear an ALICE pack my belt has to be lower than it will naturally sit on my hips so I've got to rely almost solely on the suspenders. Toying out swapping it for an H harness like Max's. 

I like the way Max's handgun is out of the way but still accessible. Wish I could find a similar holster that would support a Glock with a light. May just shift to a pistol with a light in a HD role but not for a full on load out. That would buy a lot more flexibility. 
 
Max haz FLIR and I haz jealous.

The only thing I see arguably lacking from Max's setup is a sheath knife with the concept of use as a survival/ camp tool. Sure Max is packing some sort of a folder but I like having a tough small knife like a RAT 3 on my belt in addition to the ambiguous folder in my pocket.
 
What do you all thing about this setup?
 

5 comments:

Meister said...

I've tried a battle belt but just never got comfy with it. a full vest seems to work for me and allows me to carry my pack easier. My funky long body/short legs build might have something to do with it. When I bend over, the darn thing rides up and chafes me. Maybe I'm just carrying too big of a pack. My addiction to Ceramic and Kevlar might also play into my choice.

Ryan, yours is similar. Have you had luck with your in training? Any of the issues I had? I will admit, It was a borrowed padded belt and setup, not tailored to me.

I'll be gone most of the weekend, camping with the scouts, so I'll check back on Sunday night.

Theother Ryan said...

Meister, I like my setup but had to play with all the pieces TOGETHER to get them to work. I swapped from a commercial backpacking type to an ALICE in order to have a system that all works together.

What sort of pack are you carrying?

Carrying a full on ruck with a PC sucks big time. I avoid it whenever possible.

Prairie Patriot said...

Great entry Max. Your ideas always have a lot of merit which is why you are one of my influences when it comes to training and mindset. I really want to come out sometime. Might be more of a reality now that traveling for work is coming to an end.

I'll be honest, my full fighting load evolved to the point it is today because of Max's advice on his blog. It just makes sense to be able to carry a good fighting load on your hips and not all on your PC. I would think if you need to get low to the ground, then you would want a minimal amount of stuff on the front of the PC.

I do like that Max has more administrative type pouches than I am used to. My one large pouch is stuffed pretty full with food, small bits, and the NVG's. It would be nice to have the ability to carry additional items i.e. 1 or 2 smokes, some extra snacks, maybe a pair of socks, etc. I also really like that he has his holster on the belt itself. I really would like to eventually do away with my drop leg and mount it on the belt. I just need to decide on a final side arm and then tackle the holster situation.

Pineslayer said...

Beautiful looking rig. Does it fit well over some armor? I have a belt system and am putting together a new plate carrier vest within the week. I guess a few hours of work will answer my questions.

Do you attach much to the suspenders?

Theother Ryan said...

Pineslayer, At the risk of putting words into Max's mouth I think the idea is that armor goes on top of the suspender portion of the battle belt. As such you wouldn't really want to attach anything to the suspenders.

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