Showing posts with label Max Velocity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Max Velocity. Show all posts

Friday, April 18, 2014

New Classes from Max Velocity

A note from Max Velocity

The new ‘Square Range’ at the MVT site is under construction. I’m going to make sure it is not quite square, maybe rectangular. Photos to follow next week ;-)
The Rifle Manipulation Primer (RMP) class is already scheduled to run prior to CRCD classes, as part of a TC3/RMP day.
The following classes:
Combat Rifle Manipulation (CRM)
Combat Handgun Manipulation (CHM)
Have been developed and will be scheduled shortly.

I have taken on a new AI, Aaron, who is an excellent instructor with a depth of knowledge, three combat tours, and a great teaching manner. He will be primarily responsible for these new manipulation classes, which will be mostly held on the new ‘rectangular range.’
The intent of the weapons manipulation classes is to provide a more in-depth training service, while remaining focused on the MVT philosophy of progressing students towards realistic combat tactical training. ‘Square range’ weapons manipulation classes are part of the transition from basic marksmanship to field firing tactical training. The MVT manipulation classes are focused on transitioning the student towards  tactical training, such as found on the CRCD classes. The danger of ‘square range’ training is that it becomes an end in itself, a diversion from the real purpose of the transition, which will give students a false sense of their training level, and in many cases teaches habits that are harmful to your health in a combat environment.
MVT ‘square range’ weapons manipulation training remains focused on the progression to tactical training. These classes can be taken as precursors to the tactical classes, as additional skill builders, or as stand alone classes in their own right.
The new classes will often run concurrently to the tactical classes. Schedule coming soon. Questions about a new combined CHM/CRM/TC3/RMP/CRCD/Combat Patrol 10 day class will be politely ignored ;-)

Ryan here: I should also note Max's new 5 day Combat Rifle/ Contact Drill and Patrolling class seems to have been a big hit ( AAR 1, AAR 2, AAR 3) on it's first go around

Got Training?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Open Line

I've got nothing and my brain is completely fried. Offer up a suggestion of what you'd like to see more of here and I'll consider it. Ask a question and presuming it doesn't compromise my personal opsec or slip into anything blatantly illegal I will answer it.

So fire away....

Edited to include Max Velocity linked to this funny video titled How to be an Operator

For whatever it's worth I think that whole dress like a cool SOF dude fashion thing is totally silly. If SOF types wear those clothes, which is a big IF, it is because they got the stuff for free at work. You are far more likely to see a SOF guy walking around in a random t shirt, jean/ cargo pants/ work out shorts and a beat up baseball hat from his favorite college team than looking like a catalog for "Urban Ninja Elite clothing'. Throw an ambiguous fleece plus a set or two of sterile uniforms into the mix and that guy's good to go for an actual deployment.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Field Gear, Fighting Loads, Assault Packs and Bringing It All Together

Max Velocity talks rucks, kiddie book bags assault packs and battle belts. Good stuff.

We could quibble between different types of gear and methodologies associated with them. At the end of the day you need a fighting load (level 2) and a sustainment load (level 3) that work together. Basically this means if you use a battle belt you are stuck, by process of elimination, with a short fat ruck that clears the belt. This is best personified in the ALICE system. On the other hand if you want to carry a longer type mountain climbing/ civilian backpacking bag with a big thick waist belt it ain't gonna work with a Battle Belt. With a civilian type backpacking bag you are really limited to some sort of chest rig or assault vest type setup. I'm not saying you must use this setup or that. The point I'm trying to make is that your gear has to be able to work together.

The ALICE is not a comfortable pack to carry. They will never be as comfortable as a quality commercial type hiking bag but still the ALICE isn't like dragging around a Crucifix or something. Get it out on the road or trails, become used to it and big momma ALICE will treat you just fine. Also since they are routinely available for under $40, slightly modular and absolutely hell for stout the ALICE brings something to the game.

As to shack assault packs. You can in theory fully load these and attach them to a ruck but I haven't seen that out in the woods. Honestly folks do that if they are carrying their gear a couple hundred feet from the truck to camp. The weight, even more if you are wearing a plate carrier, would just be too heavy to do much of anything.

Personally the way I go with this one in conventional light infantry operations is to leave the assault pack mostly empty. If it doesn't weight anything you could just crush it up and secure it wherever makes the most sense. I might keep a couple spare mags, a few granola bars and a poncho/ gore tex or whatever in there but that's about it. First of all this keeps my total load weight under control. Second it gives me a lot of options. I could fill it with machine gun ammo for a raid or optics n stuff for a recon or whatever.

In a vehicle based or localized patrolling situation I use my assault pack differently. In this contest I typically use it as a mini rucksack. Sort of in the level 2.5 range many people use these days. It will usually carry  some clothes/ shelter stuff, some snacks, a bit of food, maybe a toothbrush and some baby wipes, a paperback book or my kindle, etc. This is good for a little bit more support/ food/ gear than you can really carry in a fighting load or unexpected overnights.

In a survivalist context I go with the light infantry option though right now it's serving as a 'get home bag' so it is slightly heavier.

So anyway those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Friday, January 24, 2014

RE: Debate: The Handgun as the Primary Weapon

Max Velocity wrote  Debate: The Handgun as the Primary Weapon.

Personally I think the conversation got too bogged down in the term "primary". The comments section was disjointed with people talking apples and oranges because they were all using generic terms like SHTF to describe different scenarios. I do not plan to weigh in on whether a handgun can be "the primary weapon". Instead I plan to discuss the times and circumstances where one might choose, if only by process of elimination, a handgun vs when they might choose a rifle.

Before we go any further it is worth noting that any firearms battery that is smaller than a basic 4 of handgun, shotgun, .22 rifle and a centerfire rifle is a compromise that is inevitably missing some important capability. One could take that a level further and include the next logical 3guns (dedicated CCW pistol like a 642 (presuming the first pistol is larger) or a baby Glock, a bolt gun if your first rifle is a semi auto or opposite if rifle #1 is a bolt gun and a .22 pistol) in that argument. Anyway this isn't a what to buy first discussion though I am on the record about that. Also a lot of that sort of discussion is touched on in my basic guns series.

For a home defense gun Chris Costa makes an interesting case for the utility of handguns.  Personally in our Sentry Safe Home Defender I keep a Glock 9mm with a light and a Project AR which has a light as well as Wifey's .38. Next to the safe sits my plate carrier and battle belt. In any case for home defense use whatever you prefer.

So when does a handgun make sense? A handgun makes sense all the time. I carry one as much as I am functionally and more or less legally able to do so.

To further define that question. So in what SHTF/ disaster type situations does being armed solely with a handgun make sense? Basically being out and about in any sort of situation on the continuum between normal everyday and Mad Max thunder dome time. This could include riots, natural disasters including large regional ones, economic collapses, etc all.  While my default answer to most problems is to avoid them by staying home that is not quite realistic. Say the figurative drunk driver that is our current economy takes a turn a bit slow then over corrects and ends up in the ditch. I am almost surely still going to work and will be seeking to continue purchasing food, etc all. In this case I might upgrade from the S&W 642 to a Glock with a light. Might add a couple extra mags to my belt or even stash a couple of those big 33rder's in a cargo pocket. I might even choose to wear soft body armor or a stripped plate carrier. However I'm not going to get away with walking into the store to buy $20 milk and $5 banana's with an AR-15. I'll keep the AR handy at home and might even start keeping a long gun in our vehicle but when I part and go to do errand's it is going to be the pistol that I'm relying on to defend myself.

Conversely when is a rifle useful during a SHTF type scenario? Well they are always handy things to have around the house. For fun shooting as well as a handy capability to throw accurate hate down on somebody multiple football fields away nothing beats a rifle.

Having one at home is handy. Having one in a vehicle can be quite comforting. I like my odds against the EBT deprived hordes much better if my AR and battle belt are sitting under an old blanket in the floor of the back seat. 

When would a person carry a rifle around? I have heard of people doing it during various Hurricanes. Folks doing neighborhood watch type patrols armed with long guns during Katrina and the like. We all know the Korean grocers found rifles and shotguns pretty handy during the LA Riots.


Obviously in your Red Dawn/ Mad Max/ Civil War type scenarios rifles are pretty darn important. If you are in a fight with a person who has a rifle and have anything less capable you are at a real disadvantage. Also a rifles range is pretty darn handy. At this point the odds are you won't be going many places anyhow. The issue of taking my AR to the grocery store is moot if the store is empty and closed down if not burned. Also if things genuinely got that bad folks would probably carrying guns a lot more anyhow.

In conclusion.

1)You genuinely need a pistol. Right now the hard truth is that it is the weapon you are most likely to defend yourself with given that it can be readily carried outside of your home/ property.

2)There are many realistic situations where even though you might WANT to carry a rifle you will not be able to do so. One could argue these numerous realistic situations are more likely and more of a concern than the largely apocalypse porn fiction based  'Mad Max without rule of law shit hit the fan time'.

3) All of that being said you do need a rifle. Look at it like this. Most of us probably carry a folding type knife to do normal everyday tasks. However sometimes that knife will not cut it and we need a big butcher knife. The butcher knife is the rifle. You don't need it very often but when you need it you really need it. However while you do need to own the butcher knife you don't need to carry it around all the time to open envelopes and cut string, that is what your folder is for.

You need a rifle to TRAIN now while you still have the chance. If the day comes when you need to grab a rifle and a chest rig/ battle belt to go protect home and hearth then no other gun will substitute and the pistol takes a much less important role.

Thoughts?


Friday, January 17, 2014

Max Velocity on Realistic Rucking

Max Velocity on Realistic Rucking: My point is this: don’t set unrealistic goals and don’t head for overuse injury. It is not so important to listen to what people said they did “back in the day,” but better to worry about what is right for you now. Don’t try and carry too much weight in your ruck, and don’t try too much running downhill to make up pace time. You mostly won’t be doing that when carrying a ruck SHTF anyway, because you will be in a tactical environment. So, get the cardio and muscular system ready to tolerate the load, without breaking yourself doing it.

I talked about it in Rucking 101 1, 2, and 3 and so has John Mosby

We have all talked about rucking looking at it from slightly different foxholes. However the fundamentals remain the same.

1) Establish a baseline for your CURRENT CAPABILITY. Maybe to keep it simple that baseline is putting on a ruck and walking 2 miles at a brisk pace.

2) Now you start to slowly over time push harder than that initial baseline performance. If your neighborhood 2 mile ruck walk was 35 minutes try to get 34: 50, next time try to beat that record, etc.

3) Over time increase the distance of your rucks along with the load.  I am inclined to say you want at least some of your rucks to be relatively brisk, otherwise rucking degenerates into a lethargic walk that has to be done for hours to get any actual physical fitness value. Working towards the goal of doing a given distance/ weight at say a 15 minute mile pace before progressing to longer/ heavier is probably a good idea. Then as your rucks get longer you can push harder in terms of time on the shorter ones. I'd say for a reasonably fit person doing a sub 13 minute split is very realistic.

Once you hit the distances you plan to peak at (there is only so much time in the day) then you can get a better workout without wasting the whole day by upping the weight and trying to go faster. Combining this with occasional (probably bi weekly) longer rucks would be a good solid program. Mix that in with your weight lifting and running and it might look like this:

Monday- 3 mile ruck with equivalent weight of your full fighting load and sustainment load
T- Speed work and other exercise (lift, crossfit, whatever)
W- Active recovery like a rower or bike or whatever.
Th- Terrain run and other exercise (lift, crossfit, whatever)
F- 10k ruck 1 week 15k the next
S- Other exercise (lift, crossfit, whatever)
Sun- Rest

4) As long as you stick to some basic principles (work under your maximum capacity, progress over time, exercise consistently but allow recovery time, etc) whatever rucking program you do should work fine.

5) As a final thought I am very strongly against jogging let alone running with a ruck on a regular reoccurring basis. If you can ruck and can run you can run with a ruck. This isn't something I think you need to train on. The physical toll it takes on your body is not worth the negligible gains in performance. If anything it is more likely to hurt you because after a few weeks you'll be broke and thus no longer training. (Yes I know cool guys do that stuff occasionally as part of their training and qualification stuff. They are in really good shape and still a whole lot of people get broke. Also the cool guys are only doing that stuff for a short period of time, not years and years..)

 Unless a tactical situation calls for running somewhere with a ruck or realistically with a fighting load and maybe an assault pack I wouldn't do it regularly. Sure once in a blue moon to change things up is probably OK but even that is sketchy. Your foot lands wrong in a hole or on a rock running with 45+ pounds in addition to your body weight it ain't good. Anyway I would submit that if you are on a good rucking and running program you will have the fitness necessary to run with a ruck or gear when it is needed.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Personally I am not currently rucking. The holidays were a much needed break for me. After that some medical stuff happened so I'm not really going to be doing much good PT until O/A 1 FEB. When I start to get back into it I will let you all know what I do and how it works. Might be helpful for somebody.

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?
 

Fighting Load Contest Discussion

It has come to my attention that the first entry in the Fighting Load Contest was a bit intimidating. Prairie Patriot has a really nice setup; a Bravo company rifle, multiple sets of armor, DBAL, NOD and FLIR. Probably over 10k in stuff right there. 

It is true this is a contest. However my goal behind having prizes is to jump start a conversation about different types of fighting gear, load out's, etc all. I am more concerned with what you are using, why you are using it and how it's set up to meet your needs than how Gucci the kit is.

We have a broad range of income levels here all the way from very modest to pretty flush. Looking back at our last big EDC contest entries ran the spectrum from $1,500+ stainless Colt 1911's to Kel Tech's and no name .22 revolvers. The discussion was about what folks use, accessories that work and why they chose this or that not just how cool stuff is. We are not going to play the whole class warfare thing here. The ideas that everyone who has a dollar more than you do to put into gear is a yuppie survivalist or that anyone with a dollar less is trashy and doesn't really care about their gear will not be entertained. I will delete comments and or openly mock people if need be.

The point I am trying to make is that if your fighting load is a Mosin Nagang and an H&R .22 mag revolver with a belt of stripper clips and a day pack or a Remington 870 with a S&W revolver and a cheaper than dirt tactical vest I want to talk about it just as much as if you have a SCAR H and a Night Hawk 1911 with the coolest new stuff. You might have a setup or widget that will benefit somebody else in the same situation.

So take a picture of your stuff and do a quick write up. I received a question about whether video entries are acceptable. I hadn't thought of that but as long as I can post it on here (youtube would work) that is just fine. So all you youtube folks talk about your stuff and show it in a video and send me the link.

Fitting in with my overall tiered gear philosophy this is going to expand beyond the obvious war belts, chest rigs, plate carriers, duty belts, etc all to include  the level 2.5 sustainment of assault packs, get home bags and other smaller than a full ruck type setups to include the tactical man purse. I am not specifying that you must (or cannot) have guns in the picture. Everybody likes guns and talking about guns but if you do not want to include them that is fine too

Get your entry together.

Prizes are as follows:
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 or Max's  Battle Belt discussion. 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 at least 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.

Disclaimer: As far as this contest is concerned I am a totalitarian dictator albeit a benevolent one. I reserve the right to remove, add or change prizes, edit entries, reject entries, scrap the results of voting or otherwise do whatever I want at any time with no advance notice. I will also retain rights to use all entries on the blog or in other way's. While I'm a reasonable guy and will listen to your concerns there is no appeals or arbitration process. Whatever I say goes so if you don't like it then don't play.

So pull out your fighting load, grab the guns from the safe and take some pics.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #1 Prairie Patriot Part 2 of 2

Today I am pleased to bring you the first entry in our Fighting Load Contest. 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 or Max's  Battle Belt discussion. 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  around1 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 or maybe I'll adjust next years goal downward. Anyway for you that means the odds of winning one of our awesome prizes are really high if you throw together a quick entry. Seriously at this point it would be foolish not to enter.

Prairie Patriot’s Integrated Systems to Get Home and into the Fight

 Read Part 1 of Prairie Patriot's Entry here

Everybody has a routine to their life.  Some folks commute into the office, work their daily grind and then commute back home at the end of the day.  Others are fortunate enough to be able to “tele-commute” and work from the comfort of their own home.  And some have the privilege of flying into entirely different cities to do their work.  I fall into this last category.

I have always tried to look at my level of readiness through the lens of what I do in my day to day routine.  Almost half of my week is spent in the Detroit Metro Area.  The other half is spent in my hometown of Kansas City, MO.  Therefore, I have two “get home” bags.

Escape from Detroit Get Home Bag

If the SHTF when I am in this area, then chances are likely that I will want to get out right away.  Detroit is about what most people imagine it.  A person does not want to be caught up in that mess if the shoe drops.  I want to try and get to my family back in Kansas City “right f’ing now”.

If the airport is still open, then the plan is to get on my flight home.  Otherwise, I will drive my rental car the almost 12 hour drive back to the KC metro area.  This is assuming I have been lucky and recognized the signs of urban unrest, sudden infrastructure collapse, etc before the interstates become parking lots.

Thus, my Detroit Get Home System relies on items I can comfortably carry with me on a weekly basis and also in conjunction with my cache that is on site



Swiss Gear Laptop Computer Backpack (not pictured) which contains:

·         40 oz Klean Kanteen – Stainless steel so that I can boil water in it in a pinch
·         Katadyn Micropur water purification tablets – When boiling is not an option
·         Butane lighter
·         Cliff Bars - As many as I can stuff into the remaining space in the pack
·         Altoid Tin Minor Boo Boo Kit - includes ibuprofen, band aids, alcohol wipes, and insect sting wipes
·         Blow Out Kit - Adventure Medical Kit with CAT Tourniquet.  The AMK contains a 25 g Quikclot sponge, (1) 5” x 9” Trauma Pad, Pair of Nitrile Gloves, (1) hand wipe, (1) duct tape 2” x 26”, (1) Bandage, Triangular, (2) Sterile Gauze Dressing 4” x 4”, (2) Sterile Gauze Dressing 2” x 2”, (1) Bandage, Conforming Gauze 3”, (4) After Cuts and Scrapes Antiseptic Wipes and the bag is re-sealable for bio-waste and sucking chest wounds.  The kit costs about $25 last I checked.
·         Craftsman Keychain Screwdriver widget – Has four different flat heads.  Has come in handy in several situations!
·         SOL Emergency Bivvy – About the only emergency shelter that is practical when traveling for business on a weekly basis.  It packs tightly down and weighs just a few ounces.
·         Suunto Vector – This has a built in compass, altimeter and barometer.  I have used the compass and altimeter in conjunction with a topo map when hiking.  I have confidence that I can navigate if I were to lose or damage my lensatic compass.
·         Paracord Bracelet – The bracelet unravels to approximately 10-12 feet of cordage
·         Paper Maps of the Detroit Metro Area – Picked these up as a AAA member for free
·         Cammenga Model 27 Phosphorescent Compass – If you do not know how to use a lensatic compass, then do yourself a favor and either read up, or, better yet, take a wilderness navigation course.
·         Garmin Nuvi GPS unit – Loaded with maps of the entire United States.  Always charged and ready to go.
·         Loratidine Tablets (Anti-histamine/Allergy) – Generally, I do not have bad allergies, but sometimes they do flare up.
·         Loperamide Tablets (Anti-Diarrheal) – I really hope I would not have to use these in a SHTF situation.
·         Nylon Cutlery – Used for eating pouched foods
·         Paper Napkins - multiple uses, hygiene, fire starter, etc
·         Fenix PD32 Flashlight – This has actually saved my bacon while in an electrical grid power outage at the hotel I was staying at.  The power was out for 12 hours.  While I do like this flashlight for the price point, I have a few concerns about it when used in a life threatening situation.  The tail cap is a clicky cap, meaning, that while the adrenaline is surging, it may be activated and stay on when I do not intend to.  Also, the bevel around the edge does not allow me to press the button against a flat surface.  This limits how I use it with my weapon.  I am looking at switching to a Surefire Fury that has the ridges built into the body of the flashlight for manipulation in conjunction with a pistol.
·         Hot Hands Chemical Warmers (when appropriate for season)
·         Handkerchief – Multiple uses including filtering out particulates in water, cold compress, etc.
·         Sunglasses – El Cheapo pair until I can afford something nicer.
·         iPhone (not pictured) – Assuming it still works, then this becomes a huge asset when trying to figure out how to make it home.  There are apps that crowd source real time traffic information that will allow for alternate routes to be plotted.  Obviously, this can work against you as well.
·         Wallet with Cash (not pictured) – I mention this only because if there is a infrastructure outage, then cash may be the only accepted form of payment in times of crisis.

The aforementioned cache is made up of the following supplies:

·         Gerber Ripstop II – Small, but wickedly sharp blade.  Also, extremely light weight.
·         Bottled Water
·         Non-Perishable Items including nuts, Cliff Bars, Protein Bars, Uncle Ben’s Pouched Rice, Pouched Tuna, Pouched Chicken
·         Michigan Road Atlas – This will get me to the southwest Michigan border once I am clear of the Detroit Metro Area.

As an aside, I have a good pair of hiking boots and weather appropriate hiking clothes with spare changes of socks packed along with my business clothes in my carry on duffel bag.  I never check my bag and have never had to plane side check it to date.

You may be wondering where my personal protection items are.  I have wrestled with this one.  I considered leaving a pistol on site, but the cache is in an office building and I do not have complete control on who accesses the office/building.  That leaves me with the option of checking the pistol every week.  I have heard some stories of firearms “disappearing” in the Detroit airport.  I simply do not feel it is worth the risk of losing one of my pistols and the hassle it takes to do this on a weekly basis.  That is just me.  If I had a way to secure the weapon on site and leave it, then I would.  I have considered purchasing a large knife and pepper spray to leave on site.  It would be better than nothing.

Thank God I’m Not in Detroit Get Home Bag



Let us say that I am fortunate enough to be in KC, but still away from my house when some bad stuff comes down the pike.  I then will rely on my kit that sits in the vehicle and goes with me all over the KC metro area.  This is much better equipped than the Detroit Get Home Bag since I am not as constrained by carry on size and, frankly, convenience/practicality.  Keep in mind that I have my EDC with me in addition to the below.

Eagle Industries A-III Molle Assault Pack contains:

·         Hiking Shoes (not pictured) – Merrell Moab Mid Ventilators.  They fit perfectly.  I am looking into a full on boot and am interested in the Merrell Sawtooth.
·         Smartwool socks – I wear these socks all year round.  They feel great on my feet and wick moisture away very well.
·         Pants – For the summer I have North Face hiking pants (pictured) that can be converted to shorts.  The material is lightweight and wicks moisture very well.  The pants have cargo pockets for additional storage.  In the winter, I pack Wrangler Riggs Workwear cargo style pants.  These are made from a heavy material and are resistant to ripping and abrasion.
·         Base Layer – In the summer I wear Underarmor boxer briefs and Russell athletic shirts.  These both wick away moisture very well.
·         Rain jacket (not pictured) – I have found that Columbia rain jackets have been breathable enough for me while keeping me virtually dry.
·         Winter Gloves (not pictured) – Heritage Ranch Winter Work Gloves are my all time favorite gloves for cold weather.  They are warm due to the Thinsulate 40 and waterproof.
·         Stocking Cap (not pictured)
·         Heavy Jacket (not pictured) – I wear a M65 style type heavy coat.  Plenty of pocket room and comes with a removable liner.  Perfect for up or down layering depending on the temperature and activity level.
·         Mid Layer (not pictured) – I prefer a zip up Patagonia fleece.  It has only one vertical zip pocket that I tend to keep my iPhone in.
·         Work Gloves – Leather work gloves are a must if you are on the go and you need to do any kind of hands on work that includes cutting, chopping, etc.
·         Shemagh – These have multiple uses.  Head wraps, cold compresses, etc.
·         Spork – I went all out and went titanium.  Hah!
·         1 MRE
·         Cliff Bars
·         Jerky
·         Nuts
·         5 hour energy drink – Got to stay alert on the go.
·         Klean Canteen (not pictured)
·         Bottled Water (not pictured)
·         Water Purification Tablets 
·         Emergency Bivvy (not pictured)
·         Spare mags for EDC pistol and rifle
·         Crossbreed IWB magazine pouch – To be honest, I am not a big fan when using this in conjunction with my IWB holster.  It tends to be too much around my waist.  But, if I needed to keep a low profile, then this would be better than going without.
·         Tom Tom GPS – I got this for free from a co-worker who didn’t want it.  Now it sits in the bag charged and ready to go.
·         Map of KC Metro (not pictured)
·         Cammenga Model 27 Phosphorescent Compass
·         Iphone 4S (not pictured)
·         Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radio – Be sure to agree ahead of time to channels that you will use with others you are trying to hook up with.
·         Signal Mirror – The one I currently have is plastic. I would like to get one that is made of actual glass which tend to be more reflective.
·         Flare – Can be used to signal for help or to mark a spot for others.
·         Whistle – This can be used to call for help or to communicate to others if need be.
·         Chap Stick
·         Benadryl
·         Ibuprofen
·         Altoid Tin Boo Boo Kit
·         Adventure Medical Kit Trauma Pak
·         Tourniquet
·         Chem Lights – Backup light source
·         Coleman Headlamp – This is lightweight and comfortable with three different intensity settings
·         Butane lighter
·         Matches – Regular and waterproof.
·         Toilet Paper – For obvious reasons as well as tinder
·         Cash
·         Chemical Hand Warmers (not pictured)
·         Sunglasses (not pictured)
·         Ball Cap
·         Skyline Kershaw Fixed Blade Knife with custom Kydex sheath – This blade is lightweight, thin and it came wicked sharp from Kershaw.  If you can find this still, then I highly recommend getting one.

End Entry

Ryan here. I like a lot about these bags and it makes sense they are both adapted to the specific environment/ situation they are for.  I am however a bit concerned that the Detroit bag needs to be part of a larger plan given the distances involved though admittedly that slips out of the scope of this contest. Additionally it might be worth considering storing or caching a cheap handgun up there. An old revolver or a S&W Sigma can be had for around $300. Sure there is risk to everything but if you get creative and tape/ texture/ paint it into a wall or something the risk of theft drops a lot. Also worst case you'd have a heater lying around in Murder Central. Just things to think about.

What do you think of these bags?
 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Max Velocity Coming To A Treeline Near You!

Yes the picture is Mad Max. I included it because it's a great iconic survivalist character. Max Velocity will probably not show up wearing leather, with a 12 gauge pistol and a dog. Then again he also probably won't drive around drunk or  go on racist anti Semitic sexist tirades or threaten his pregnant ex girlfriend so that's something.    
Max has opened up his schedule to doing courses outside of his WV home training site. This would be beneficial for a group in say Minnesota or Colorado as the cost of Max traveling to you would be lower than the cost of 8-12 of you traveling to Max. Add the benefits of Max doing a tactical assessment of our site and training on home ground and this has potential to really help some folks.

Do however beware that to replicate the type of training Max does, specifically the live fire portions there are some site demands. IIRC the surface danger zone for 5.56 is something like 2,000 yards. Figure on a live fire scenario with a fair range fan (say 180 deg) and that quickly becomes a lot of land. My informal assessment is that you're either going to need a fair bit of land with multiple back stops (gravel pit not wood pile) and not a lot around it, or a huge piece of empty space. A 5 acre ranchette surrounded by other 5 acre ranchettes ain't gonna cut it. With that disclaimer aside if you want to train with Max but getting your group to WV then by all means contact Max to set up a course.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #1 Prairie Patriot Part 1 of 2

Today I am pleased to bring you the first entry in our Fighting Load Contest. 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 or Max's  Battle Belt discussion. 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 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.

Onto Entry #1 by Prairie Patriot. Note due to length this entry will be broken into 2 parts. The first will talk fighting gear and the second will be his get home bags.


Low Profile/Transition Loadout

So, I made it home or I was already at home when the SHTF.  It is time to run off and kick ass, right?  Not so fast.  This may just be a temporary crisis and not a full blown descent into anarchy.  If that is the case, then it would be best to keep a low profile for those times when you had no choice, but to leave your home.  A lot of folks will not have a place to bug out to.  Therefore, being as inconspicuous as possible is in order. 

I also envision this load out being used in a high threat environment that may be leading towards a darker path, but where it is still inappropriate for overt items such as cammies, battle belts and PCs.  In other words, this load out is for the transitional phase that could lead up to the “big show”:  Full blown armed resistance to tyranny.

This incorporates elements of the Get Home and EDC system as well as a few unique items to form what I call the Low Pro/Transitional Loadout.  For simplicity’s sake, I am only listing what is on my immediate person.  You can imagine that a small pack with additional items will depend on the particular situation.

The upside down photo is my fault (TOR)


On my person:

·         M&P9c in Crossbreed IWB holster – This has turned out to be my favorite carry pistol.  I upgraded the stock sights with Meprolight Night Sights (all 3 dots are green).  My only complaint is the trigger.  I want to eventually replace it with an Apex Level 2 trigger job plus the AEK Trigger.
·         Crossbreed Gunbelt – A good belt is a must when carrying.  Regular belts are just not stiff enough to support the weight of a holster, pistol and any additional magazines you might have on your person.
·         Spare Magazine in Safariland Mag Pouch – Nothing to write home about.  The mag holder does what it needs to do and has adjustable retention.
·         Emerson CQC-7 – This knife is my EDC knife.  I went with the tanto style plain edge.  Frankly, I like the look of the tanto.  I also have read that the tanto design allows a person to puncture an object easier than other designs.  I prefer a straight edge for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I think a straight edge can accomplish 95% of the tasks that a serrated edge can.  The second is simple.  I do not know how to sharpen a serrated edge and I have been told it can be a pain in the rear.
·         Victorinox Cadet – I carry this in order to open beer bottles.  Seriously.  I’ve used the bottle opener and, occasionally the screw driver, more often than I have the blade.  Still, it is nice to have a backup.
·         Paracord Bracelet
·         Suunto Vector
·         Fenix PD32 flashlight
·         Handkerchief
·         Blow Out Kit - Adventure Medical Kit with CAT Tourniquet
·         Mayflower Low Profile Armor Carrier with Velocity Systems Level IIIa Backers – This armor carrier is intended to be used with concealment cut soft armor from Velocity Systems.  However, it is fairly pricey and the carrier also has the ability to up armor to plates.  For now, I just use the level IIIa plate backers for both front and back in the plate pockets.  The carrier itself is designed to accept Mayflower chest rigs that clip into the Fastex female pieces and is held in place with hook and loop material on the outside of the armor/back of the chest rig.  The carrier is not very noticeable when wearing a button down shirt.  I would be fairly confident that I would go unnoticed unless someone was really paying attention and within a few feet of me.
·         Katadyn Micropur tablets
·         Butane lighter
·         Water bottles (not pictured)
·         Cliff Bars

Full Fighting/ Foot Patrol Loadout

This is reserved for a worst case scenario.  All of the items are geared towards true light infantry.  In other words, all of the gear an individual fighter would need to operate on their own without relying on vehicles and constant re-supply.  Of course, you would want to be part of a team, but that is a topic for another day.  I think of my fighting/patrol loadout as being divided up into a different levels (as many others do).  The first level is what is on my battle belt and my BDU pockets:



ATS Modular Padded Belt w/ ATS War Belt Insert Belt – This belt is well constructed with 3 rows of PALS webbing.  The bottom of the belt is open at the bottom for attachments that would normally go on a duty type belt.  For example, my drop leg holster hangs off of this portion of the belt.

·         TYR Suspenders – The suspenders do what they are meant to.  I will note that they lie nice and flat underneath my plate carrier.
·         PIG Alpha Gloves – These gloves are very form fitting so that you get a lot of tactile feedback while still having some minor protection for your hands.  I’m not sure how well they will hold up in field conditions, but I consider gloves to be a consumable item anyways.
·         Double Stack HSGI Taco Rifle Pouch x 3 – I chose the Taco pouches in the event I change my main weapon.  The Tacos are adjustable for different sized magazines.
·         Esstac Double Pistol Pouches – These are basically a type of Kydex magazine holder.  I am considering moving these over to my right hand side placing them where the IFAK is currently.  I would then move the IFAK to the face of the HSGI Nalgene Pouch.
·         HSGI 2QT/Utility Pouch – 3 MRE main entrees plus the heaters, water purification tablets and the PVS-14 with j-arm and TM-14 mount attached.  The PVS-14 in conjunction with an IR laser at night is a huge advantage.  99% of the time the PVS-14 is helmet mounted, but the TM-14 twist mount does let me have the option of weapon mounting it behind my NV compatible T-1.
·         HSGI P-Taco for Surefire G2 Flashlight – Originally I was using this for its intended purpose as a pistol mag holder.  However, I like the idea of having a spare flashlight.  The G2 is an 80 lumen light with a rubber body.
·         HSGI Nalgene Pouch – A stainless steel 40 oz wide mouth Klean Kanteen fits perfectly into this.  However, it is necessary to remove the metal zipper pull tabs.  They are loud!  I will be threading some paracord through to make them silent pull tabs.
·         ESEE-4 Knife – I have attached this to the side of the HSGI Nalgene Pouch via the PALS webbing.  It is easy to access with my right hand.  The Kydex sheath plus the Velcro handle retention strap keeps it securely in place.  The knife itself is tool steel.  It holds a good edge, but is prone to rusting if not properly cared for.  I use canola oil to keep the blade in good condition so that I can still use it to prepare food and not contaminate what I am eating.
·         FLIR Scout PS24 in dedicated pouch – The FLIR Scout PS24 is the lower end version of the Scout line.  What that means is that the resolution is not quite as good and it does not have a zoom capability.  Still, it really provides a huge advantage in the field.  I probably should rattle can the pouch a different shade of green to at least blend in a bit more with the multicam. 
·         Safariland Drop Leg Holster with Glock 22 – I waffle back and forth on the drop leg setup.  The negatives of a drop leg rig are that it gets hung up on other things.  It also rotates on a person’s thigh when moving.  You can imagine the problems this presents.  The advantage is that it is out of the way if you are wearing bulky armor or have items that would foul up a belt line draw stroke.  I keep my PC fairly slick, so if I can find a good holster for the belt, then I probably will move in that direction.

The Glock is minimally modified.  I did add Meprolight night sights to it.  I also installed an extended magazine release button.  A Surefire X300 weaponlight rides on the rail.  Otherwise, it’s a Glock.  Not much else to say about it.
·         Original SOE Mini Tear Away IFAK with SOFTT-W tourniquet – This kit is just big enough to hold the essentials for a blow out kit.  It is mounted on a panel of loop material and is secured with straps fastened by a Fastex clip.  I had some concerns with the kit ripping away unintentionally.  To date, I’ve been in and out of vehicles with the belt on (not very comfortable), but it hasn’t managed to work itself loose.  I’ve considered dummy cording it.  As I mentioned, I may make room for the pistol mags and move the kit further to the middle.
·         Assorted Energy Bars, BIC lighter and other small items in BDU pockets

Personally, I also consider my rifle as part of my first line.  My rifle of choice is the AR-15 platform:



Bravo Company Manufacturing Mid Length Carbine

·         TI-7 Buttstock – This buttstock locks up nice and tight.  It also has storage for smaller spare parts and batteries.
·         MOE Magpul Pistol Grip – I hate the stock pistol grip.  The bump on the middle of the stock grip drove me nuts.  This grip eliminates that and also has additional storage for more batteries, spare parts or even single use tubes of lube.
·         BCM Gunfighter Charging Handle Mod 4 (medium sized latch) – It’s kind of a spendy item.  The large latch is nice for weapons manipulation.
·         Troy Industries Back up Iron Sights – These are all metal construction and lie very flat.  Again, another pricey item, but you get what you pay for.
·         Aimpoint T-1 (4 MOA) in Larue Quick Release Mount – This is great for CQB distances.  However, I have been wanting to go down the path of a variable optic for quite a while now.  I want to be able to range and obviously more magnification helps with target identification.  For my price range, I’m thinking of the Vortex 1-6 x Razor Gen II.   If anyone has suggestions, then please comment.
·         Aimpoint 3x Magnifier in Larue Flip to Side Quick Release Mount – This does give me some flexibility in capability combined with the red dot.  However, see above for my reasons for wanting to move away from this setup.
·         Troy Alpha Rail 13 in. – Thin profile and lightweight without having excess rails.
·         Inforce WML (Haley Strategic 200 Lumen version) – Mounted at the 12 o’clock position on the rifle, the angle of the activation switch is perfect.  I have considered getting the Inforce with IR capability.
·         Laser Devices DBAL-I2 – This is practically a must if you are going to use night vision and aim your weapon at the same time.  The IR laser is not slaved to the visible laser.  This makes it a bit more challenging to sight in properly if you don’t have access to a range at night.
·         Magpul MS3 Sling – I like the capability to convert from a one point to two point sling.  My only very minor complaint is that the quick adjust on the length is a little harder to manipulate than on slings of similar design (i.e. Blue Force Gear’s VCAS).

What I consider as my second line includes my plate carrier, “assault” pack and helmet.  I carry mostly ammo, food and water in the pack.  I keep the plate carrier fairly “low profile” to more effectively go prone:



PIG Plate Carrier with Single Stack HSGI Taco Rifle Pouch x 4 – This carrier is well put together.  The front panel is divided for easier donning and doffing.  It is actually fairly comfortable as far as carriers go.  Velocity Systems Level III/ in conjunction with (ICW) Level IV plates ride in the front and back pockets.  This means that level IIIa soft backers are used to qualify the protection as level IV when placed behind plates.  The plates alone are considered level III.

Tactical Tailor Fight Light Removable Operator Pack – This was meant to be used with TT’s Operator Pack.  There are two compartments.  The main compartment holds another 6 magazines, food, water, spare batteries, and spare socks.  I also have been trying out putting my Motorola Talk About into the pack and then running the ear piece out the top of the pack.  I stuff another 3-4 magazines into the smaller outer compartment for easier access to spare ammunition.

MICH/ACH Helmet with Rhino Mount for NV – Honestly, this probably should be considered part of the first line.  However, I have not researched/figured out a way to attach this to my belt.  I like the idea of just being able to swipe the belt and run if I had to.  It’s a fairly minor qualifier.  If anyone has a suggestion for how to attach this to my belt, then I welcome the input.

This is just a snapshot of my current approach.  There are still refinements that will need to be made.  Some I am aware of and some will only become noticeable through practice runs.  I can only hope and pray that these systems will not be necessary in the future, but if the SHTF, then I would rather be prepared than not.  I would also note that the gear is secondary to your development of skills, prior training and mindset.  If anyone has suggestions for improvement, then please feel free to comment and thanks for taking the time to read my submission.

 End Entry-
Ryan here. First I would like to thank PP for taking the time to put this all together and share it with us. As to discussion. In no particular order here we go:
-Part of the reason I like a lot of this setup is probably that it is very similar to my own.
-I like the idea of an interim setup between normal life and full on military swag. A black out or hurricane may well merit a higher level of preparedness but not a full on rifle and belt kit setup. For the budget conscious this could be done with a stripped plate carrier (holding plates) that is also used in the full on setup. I favor this method as it gives a lot of modularity. Ditto it could use the same handgun.
-While the M&P 9 and Glock .40 are both fine weapons there are benefits to streamlined logistics. This would mean having compatible models of ONE PLATFORM such as a subcompact/ compact carry gun and a compact/ full sized duty gun that take the same leather/ ammo/ mags/ parts. The scenario where you have an M&P 9 and a belt full of Glock .40 mags is an ugly one.
-PP has FLIR, I can haz jealous.
-Since Prairie Patriot broke the ice it is time to take a picture of your stuff, do a quick write up and send it to me @theotherryan@yahoo.com.

Tomorrow you will see part 2 of this entry- Get Home Bags.

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