2nd line (combat load) theory and discussion

Started by RonnyRonin, June 27, 2021, 10:03:20 AM

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RonnyRonin

I realized it's been a very long time since I'd posted a 2nd line, and my setup has changed a lot since then. I then realized it's been a very long time since I'd seen much discussion about 2nd line gear in general. It's easy to lump 2nd line gear into the "unrealistic doomsday stuff" category and avoid talking about it, and to an extent it may be, but I think it's worth some idle speculation at least. In some prepper groups nowadays it seems common to dismiss too much talk of guns or gear beyond a 10/22 with cries of "you won't be in afghanistan!" or "you should be avoiding fights, not looking to get in them!" but to my ear these seem nearly as silly as "I don't need to prep, I have a gun!"

I don't want to get to lost in the weeds on the "why," but to touch on it briefly I tend to conceptualize the role of 2nd line gear for a prepper as one of two things:

1) Bug out gear in a world gone VERY sideways; relocating is when you and your family/crew will be most vulnerable and a group on any size will make stealth and retreat more difficult so a fight might be more likely.

2) Support gear for neighborhood watch/deputized pose/rural defensive patrols in a world gone somewhat or mostly sideways. I don't find it hard to imagine a world where able bodied community members become the backbone of legitimate law enforcement in certain areas, and may be repelling equally well armed brigands from their communities.

In my mind what 2nd line gear is NOT for is the overwhelming scenario most people seem to cite for long guns; the "bump in the night" case. At present this is certainly the highest statistical likelihood for most people to need a rifle; and with that in mind I don't really begrudge anyone that thinks putting a lot of time and energy into a well thought out 2nd line setup is a bit silly.

My younger self was primarily focused on the first case; and as such I was focused on getting everything on my chest as I assumed most times I would be carrying a 2nd line I would also be carrying a full sized pack. While my focus has shifted a lot to the second case my bias toward chest rigs has mostly remained, with a few exceptions.

To cut to the chase; here is my current setup:



The big picture has stayed the same for a long time; IFAK, utility pouch, 4ish magazines. The layout has changed a decent amount though, and what I've settled on lately has been 2 magazines in a *very* fast open pouch (HSGI tacos pictured; trying ESSTAC Kywis now) and two magazines in a *very* secure, slower pouch as my compromise for balancing security with access.

I'm a narrow fellow so spreading the magazines out side by side is a bit of a non starter for me despite the often cited advantages for proning out; I tell myself that in most terrain near me a rock, tree or log is always near and fully proning out in open country is a rare case. Doubling up on mag depth lets me still wear a backpack, and reasonably keep my arms at my sides.

I've settled on the insert-as-flap of the Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit Now! as my first aid pouch of choice, and I've gone ahead and sewn up several duplicate inserts to use as refills or to supply duplicate rigs. I've debated some alternate locations for an IFAK (dangler below rig; offers good access from either side, cargo pocket of trousers for the always-on factor, or small of back under a plate carrier to double as a lumbar pillow in the car) but this is simple and seems to be most in line with the people in my area and circles, I'd want to convert them to one or the other before I switched and that's a heavy lift.

The utility pouch is fairly straight forward, usually just a SAW pouch or any ol' bucket with a buckle flap that can hold a snack, a cleaning kit, some tape, batteries, and other odds and ends that accumulate. I used to keep my radio in this pouch as well, but I've moved it to its own flashbang pouch next door to keep it from being jostled.
I run a hand mic off my radio with an aux cord from the mic to my ear pro. I keep a Mora knife in a kydex sheath tucked behind the pouch as a field knife and a get-off-me-knife.

The dump pouch hanging off the bottom is a new addition still in the trial phase; I've recognized the wisdom of a dump pouch for a long time but never found a model or location I was happy with. The wide and short orientation cuts down on flop a good bit.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

RonnyRonin

In the interest of focusing on patrolling I have given more thought to the tradition belt kit in the last few years:



With the idea of only being out and about around your community and in most cases home for dinner (or breakfast) the butt pack is more than enough room for day gear, and gives a lot of upper body mobility and avoids some of the issues of body armor compatibility with chest rigs and backpacks. In the above picture I actually have a 30 degree down quilt and an air mattress; with enough snacks for an overnight trip I went on (different trip, same setup below:)



I was trying out a british belt rig above; I prefer the US style large butt pack in general.

In the belt kit it's fairly easy to carry 5 mags and an IFAK, even with my small waist and keeping the front clear for prone use. All the usual comparisons between belts and chest rigs hold; better ventilation and load carriage on the one hand, easier to get in and out of cars and use a backpack on the other.

A simpler and cheaper approximation is fairly easy to make; a few inexpensive SAW and canteen pouches and whatever mag pouches are cheap at the time (I'm fond of the USMC buckle flap quad mag pouch which was in the $10 range not so long ago):



Makes for a serviceable backup or loaner rig; I'd peg the price of the above at around $50 if you had to buy it all off the shelf.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

RonnyRonin

To continue with a few more options, I tend to keep my armor carrier pretty slick and wear it under a chest rig when needed, but I have setup the cummerbund to function as a very stripped down 2nd line when needed. 3 mags go on my off side, and a radio goes on my strong side; as pictured a windshirt is all that's needed to go unnoticed (a hood is fairly important to hide the hump at the top of the back) I've tested in numerous times around my wife, gun friends, and in town. Since I haven't found a good way to conceal an IFAK on this and keep it concealable I generally use an ankle kit with it.



Another option I've been playing with is a more stripped down lumbar pack; Its small and light enough it doesn't need suspenders which makes it much easier to pop on and off in conjunction with armor, chest rigs, or both. I can also loosen it and spin it around for access without taking it off, since its mostly meant as a supplement rather than a stand alone piece I only keep a few mags, and IFAK, and a dump pouch on it. The pack itself holds snacks, water, a poncho, some basic SERE items and sometimes a light jacket. Its short enough to fit under the rear plate of my armor and makes a great lower back pillow in a car to make armor more comfortable for short trips. This is about as close as I get to a "bump in the night" rig as it would be easy to throw on quickly and go check the property without having to fully gear up.



Since the butt pack is sewn directly to the belt and the contact point between the two is very wide this bounces far less than most any other butt pack I've used, and even less so when pinned under a rear plate.



This is the larger belt kit in use; as you can see it rides pretty low so a shorter pack can be worn above it if needed; but most of the time I find it to be plenty on its own.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

RonnyRonin

Several other members posted pics and descriptions of their setups on the old forum, I hope some of them will transfer their responses as well!
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

flybynight

Quote from: RonnyRonin on June 27, 2021, 10:04:13 AM
To continue with a few more options, I tend to keep my armor carrier pretty slick and wear it under a chest rig when needed, but I have setup the cummerbund to function as a very stripped down 2nd line when needed. 3 mags go on my off side, and a radio goes on my strong side; as pictured a windshirt is all that's needed to go unnoticed (a hood is fairly important to hide the hump at the top of the back) I've tested in numerous times around my wife, gun friends, and in town. Since I haven't found a good way to conceal an IFAK on this and keep it concealable I generally use an ankle kit with it.



Another option I've been playing with is a more stripped down lumbar pack; Its small and light enough it doesn't need suspenders which makes it much easier to pop on and off in conjunction with armor, chest rigs, or both. I can also loosen it and spin it around for access without taking it off, since its mostly meant as a supplement rather than a stand alone piece I only keep a few mags, and IFAK, and a dump pouch on it. The pack itself holds snacks, water, a poncho, some basic SERE items and sometimes a light jacket. Its short enough to fit under the rear plate of my armor and makes a great lower back pillow in a car to make armor more comfortable for short trips. This is about as close as I get to a "bump in the night" rig as it would be easy to throw on quickly and go check the property without having to fully gear up.



Since the butt pack is sewn directly to the belt and the contact point between the two is very wide this bounces far less than most any other butt pack I've used, and even less so when pinned under a rear plate.



This is the larger belt kit in use; as you can see it rides pretty low so a shorter pack can be worn above it if needed; but most of the time I find it to be plenty on its own.

In the picture of you wearing your set up and firing your weapon. I see snow on the  walls of the range , but you are wearing a light shirt (jacket ? ). Which made me wonder how you addressee very cold weather with this set? Would you wear it over a bulkier coat or under it? And how does this affect it's functionality and comfort ?
"Hey idiot, you should feel your pulse, not see it."  Echo 83

RonnyRonin

Quote from: flybynight on June 27, 2021, 01:31:16 PM
In the picture of you wearing your set up and firing your weapon. I see snow on the  walls of the range , but you are wearing a light shirt (jacket ? ). Which made me wonder how you addressee very cold weather with this set? Would you wear it over a bulkier coat or under it? And how does this affect it's functionality and comfort ?

Great question! Because it's colorado its probably in the 70's F in that picture, snow lingers for a long time in consistent shade.

A bit of a complex topic for a single post, but I'll take a stab at it. My basic layering principle is that you should dress so that fully zipped up you are warm while moving slowly, or stopped for short periods, and fully unzipped/sleeves pushed up/hoods down you aren't too hot while moving at your fastest. For me that means even down into the teens I rarely wear more than a baselayer and a windshirt ever. In a patrolling context you are moving slowly and pausing often so I'd wear a heavier baselayer than I would backpacking, but the same principle applies. Under almost no circumstance should you have a puffy jacket or a thick fleece between you and your kit in the lower 48 in my opinion.



Here is an example of me moving fast in cold weather; my baselayer is a Level 2 grid fleece and my windshirt is a tyvek overwhite jacket. with two sets of sleeves, two hoods, a hat and gloves, I have a roughly 18 different "settings" I can adjust through without ever having to add or remove layers which would require removing my gear.

For longer security halts you want a "pause puffy" in your kit that can go over all your gear without taking anything off. This either means a jacket a size or two to big, an insulated poncho (like a wiggy's or an HPG serape), or something like a Crye Halfjacket. I have a home made halfjacket made from an ECWCS liner jacket (looks like a poncho liner) that I simply chopped the bottom half off of, works well with plate carriers and chest rigs as well. I actually rarely use it; even backpacking in the teens I often stay warm enough over a lunch break with just my baselayer and windshirt if I picked it right and did my job regulating while moving so I didn't get too sweaty. In a tactical context I might have to lay down on the cold ground for extended periods so I pack a bit more insulation than I would recreationally.

share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

Moab

Excellent post. Alot of great information here. And i know its fully thought out and tested. As ronny never does anything halfassed. Which i admire.

My set up needs some tactical work. Presently i use an hpg recon chest bag. Pic attached. Then a usgi fannypack. And a thick traditional belt on my pants for holster and sheath.

Then i can add any backpack i want. As the chest bag does not impede a backpack. And the fanny pack rides under and below the belt holding my sidearm and knife. I can add an edc type pack, to a 24hr ghb pack or a bob, to 65l or 80l. Depending on the situation.

I dont have the smaller packs filled yet. But im working on a bob and a ghb. (Which in the case of the bob its really just picking and choosing items from my inch bag. Which im thinking about doing in modules.) As well as my new lapg book bag for edc. They are pretty great for twenty bucks.

My sidearm rotates between holster and chest bag. Depending on what i am doing. The holster is open carry owb or concealed if i wear a jacket. The chest bag allows full concealment. The chest bag also holds items i dont want to root around in my fannypack or backpack for. Gloves. Glasses. Gps. Flashlight. Etc.

The fannypack acts like a last ditch bag. Its basically a survival kit the size of a loaf of bread. If i lose or drop my main backpack. I have everything on me to survive. Alot of items are doubled from what i have in my main pack. Just smaller. Ifak. Poncho. Fire kit. Fishing kit. Water filter. Etc.

Again, my largest concern was finding something fairly minimalist that would ride friendly with a full pack. Thus the chest bag. And the fannypack.

I have considered a chest rig. For home urban settings. And getting out of LA. Most likely a cheap minimalist one. As its something i would ditch once out of town.

Having said all this. Im still considering a padded battle(?) belt. That could carry my sidearm, knife, and most importantly mags. In my backpack, chest pack, fannypack set up i dont have a place for mags. My pistol sheath does hold one other mag. But i have no viable set up for rifle mags.

I guess i could employ a chest rig under my back pack. And stow the chest bag inside it. While running the chest rig. But i would want something very minimalist that would ride friendly under my mainpack. I researched this all awhile ago. I wanted something cheap. And found this:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Condor-MCR5-Tactical-Kangaroo-Magazine-Pouch-Military-Recon-Harness-Chest-Rig-/123744134918?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

But i think i found a better option with lighter straps etc. But cant find the link.

Any suggestions?

PS - I guess i have to go back to imgur to get pics within my post huh?

"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

12_Gauge_Chimp

#7
What are y'alls recommendations for a good plate carrier that fits 11x14 size plates ?

I've currently got a Condor plate carrier, but I want something a bit more well received and of better quality. The Condor plate carrier is decent, but I'm concerned about the longevity of it in actual use.

I've also got an AR500 Freeman plate carrier that I picked up for 50 bucks with some 9"x9" curved plates, but the thing makes me look like I'm wearing a tactical lobster bib when I put it on.

So what are some brands y'all trust and will fit 11x14 size plates ?

ETA: Originally I thought my Freeman carrier had 10"x12" plates, but upon closer inspection, they're actually 9"x9" plates. So way smaller than I'd initially thought.

MacWa77ace

Quote from: 12_Gauge_Chimp on August 03, 2021, 02:31:17 PM
What are y'alls recommendations for a good plate carrier that fits 11x14 size plates ?

I've currently got a Condor plate carrier, but I want something a bit more well received and of better quality. The Condor plate carrier is decent, but I'm concerned about the longevity of it in actual use.

I've also got an AR500 Freeman plate carrier that I picked up for 50 bucks with some 10x12 curved plates, but the thing makes me look like I'm wearing a tactical lobster bib when I put it on.

So what are some brands y'all trust and will fit 11x14 size plates ?

I have a Tactical Tailor Rogue with 11x14s. I like the made in the USA.
I also look for adaptive stuff so I can mission adjust a loadout. So the MFR would need to have a plain carrier and add-on stuff. Carriers with sewn on pouches etc don't work for me.

The thing about plate carriers is they may have a 'size' to choose from, but the size is for the plates not the person, so look for a L or Large to fit your 11x14. M is for 10x12 and S is for 9xX. Or they may say adjustable to fit if it can do more than one size plate. Some are made to fit the largest size and you have to get an insert for the smaller sizes so the don't move around in the pocket. That's not a plus in my book.

Nylon is in short supply due to the supply chain crisis these days and so prices are going up on it and b/o's and they may have extended lead times effecting US made carriers. I haven't looked lately though, not in the market right now.

Hailey Strategic
T-Rex
Crye Precision

These are all expensive relative to Condor. $200+ and may require proprietary add-ons so that's more $$. But I like their quality reviews, selections and adaptability. There's lots of review on TY.

You can find these brands used on trader websites but they usually come with plates. Prices used aren't great because they know you could wait 3-6 months for a new one.



Lifetime gamer watch at MacWa77ace YouTube Channel

Ask me about my Fully Semi-Automatic 30-Mag clip death gun that's as heavy as 10 boxes.


Lodewijk

Setting up a Tactical Tailor MAV & x-harness from scratch... currently have two TT double mag pouches (came with the setup) and a multitool pouch on it just as placeholders... where would you guys prioritize dollars in building it out?

Want to switch to at least a couple of HSGI tacos, although I might see if UW Gear is willing to make single-mag pouches.

Don't currently have an IFAK or dump pouch. Fun money's tight so I need to piecemeal it.

woodsghost

Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 01:15:17 PM
Setting up a Tactical Tailor MAV & x-harness from scratch... currently have two TT double mag pouches (came with the setup) and a multitool pouch on it just as placeholders... where would you guys prioritize dollars in building it out?

Want to switch to at least a couple of HSGI tacos, although I might see if UW Gear is willing to make single-mag pouches.

Don't currently have an IFAK or dump pouch. Fun money's tight so I need to piecemeal it.

My money would go to a quality IFAK and then to training with the medical and with the rifle. If I'm reading you right, you have 4x mags and a multi-tool. That should be enough for any realistic fights unless you are assault infantry kicking down doors and taking names over a whole city. After you get training, I would evaluate based on your training experiences and your expected threats. But I think you have a really good starter package.

Lodewijk

Quote from: woodsghost on August 04, 2021, 09:35:55 PM
Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 01:15:17 PM
Setting up a Tactical Tailor MAV & x-harness from scratch... currently have two TT double mag pouches (came with the setup) and a multitool pouch on it just as placeholders... where would you guys prioritize dollars in building it out?

Want to switch to at least a couple of HSGI tacos, although I might see if UW Gear is willing to make single-mag pouches.

Don't currently have an IFAK or dump pouch. Fun money's tight so I need to piecemeal it.

My money would go to a quality IFAK and then to training with the medical and with the rifle. If I'm reading you right, you have 4x mags and a multi-tool. That should be enough for any realistic fights unless you are assault infantry kicking down doors and taking names over a whole city. After you get training, I would evaluate based on your training experiences and your expected threats. But I think you have a really good starter package.

I had blown past the idea of taking a class with the existing mag pouches but you're totally right, I should.

RonnyRonin

Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 01:15:17 PM
Setting up a Tactical Tailor MAV & x-harness from scratch... currently have two TT double mag pouches (came with the setup) and a multitool pouch on it just as placeholders... where would you guys prioritize dollars in building it out?

Want to switch to at least a couple of HSGI tacos, although I might see if UW Gear is willing to make single-mag pouches.

Don't currently have an IFAK or dump pouch. Fun money's tight so I need to piecemeal it.

piecemeal is wise. I'd also say IFAK; and a general purpose catch-all pouch. For both the USMC IFAK pouches are very cheap and do the job; don't pay more than $10 shipped for one. An IFAK insert will be a big step up but for now a gallon ziplock back will be better than nothing.

I'm comfortable piecing together IFAKs on the cheap from expired ebay supplies and rummage bins at local army surplus stores; others aren't. For gauze expired kerlix rolls are cheap but bulky, H&H compressed gauze is more money but much smaller. Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

If you have any friends at all I'd recommend comms next, but if you don't have anyone to talk to it may be a bit moot for the moment.

I used taco pouches for quite awhile, and they still are one of the better multi-mag options but for AR only I've started switching to ESSTAC Kywis, PM me and I can dig through my pouch pile and probably part with a double or single for cheap if you really want to try one. The TT pouches you have are quite good, and I'd keep at least one of them, but a quick access mag pouch is very nice as well. Another cheap option that isn't quite as nice is the "USMC speed reload pouch" ($10> shipped from ebay) but cut off the flap and it will do the job.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

Moab

Quote from: RonnyRonin on August 04, 2021, 10:18:46 PM
Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 01:15:17 PM
Setting up a Tactical Tailor MAV & x-harness from scratch... currently have two TT double mag pouches (came with the setup) and a multitool pouch on it just as placeholders... where would you guys prioritize dollars in building it out?

Want to switch to at least a couple of HSGI tacos, although I might see if UW Gear is willing to make single-mag pouches.

Don't currently have an IFAK or dump pouch. Fun money's tight so I need to piecemeal it.

piecemeal is wise. I'd also say IFAK; and a general purpose catch-all pouch. For both the USMC IFAK pouches are very cheap and do the job; don't pay more than $10 shipped for one. An IFAK insert will be a big step up but for now a gallon ziplock back will be better than nothing.

I'm comfortable piecing together IFAKs on the cheap from expired ebay supplies and rummage bins at local army surplus stores; others aren't. For gauze expired kerlix rolls are cheap but bulky, H&H compressed gauze is more money but much smaller. Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

If you have any friends at all I'd recommend comms next, but if you don't have anyone to talk to it may be a bit moot for the moment.

I used taco pouches for quite awhile, and they still are one of the better multi-mag options but for AR only I've started switching to ESSTAC Kywis, PM me and I can dig through my pouch pile and probably part with a double or single for cheap if you really want to try one. The TT pouches you have are quite good, and I'd keep at least one of them, but a quick access mag pouch is very nice as well. Another cheap option that isn't quite as nice is the "USMC speed reload pouch" ($10> shipped from ebay) but cut off the flap and it will do the job.

Sorry for the hijack. But you seem pretty up on current surplus web gear. Are there any good items in multicam around these days?

And what are the dimensions of that usmc ifake pouch?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

Lodewijk

#14
Quote from: woodsghost on August 04, 2021, 09:35:55 PM
If I'm reading you right, you have 4x mags and a multi-tool.
I should clarify a little - I have two double mag pouches as close to the centerline as possible (split-front rig) and a four-layer 111mm SAK in the multitool pouch until I can get around to picking up another SOG.

My main beef with doubles is that they constantly seem to get in the way during dryfire. You guys are right though, I should try them live before I change out.

I'm also sort of paranoid about stuff getting in the way seated or prone, but that comes from shooting bolt guns at Appleseeds for points and might not be legit.

Quote from: RonnyRonin on August 04, 2021, 10:18:46 PM
Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

IFAK it is, thanks for all the advice!

In terms of comms - I've got my Technician's license and an FT-60, but I've got to screw around with it before it's usable in my area (I-25 corridor). Still set up for North Alabama repeaters.

Edit: as far as people to talk to on something other than the 2M... nope.

woodsghost

Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 11:16:43 PM
Quote from: woodsghost on August 04, 2021, 09:35:55 PM
If I'm reading you right, you have 4x mags and a multi-tool.
I should clarify a little - I have two double mag pouches as close to the centerline as possible (split-front rig) and a four-layer 111mm SAK in the multitool pouch until I can get around to picking up another SOG.

My main beef with doubles is that they constantly seem to get in the way during dryfire. You guys are right though, I should try them live before I change out.

I'm also sort of paranoid about stuff getting in the way seated or prone, but that comes from shooting bolt guns at Appleseeds for points and might not be legit.

Quote from: RonnyRonin on August 04, 2021, 10:18:46 PM
Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

IFAK it is, thanks for all the advice!

In terms of comms - I've got my Technician's license and an FT-60, but I've got to screw around with it before it's usable in my area (I-25 corridor). Still set up for North Alabama repeaters.

Edit: as far as people to talk to on something other than the 2M... nope.

2M is a good starting point and the FT-60 should be pretty durable. If you want to expand your comms for cheap I'd look at an FRS that is waterproof. I don't have any recommendation at the moment. But that should let you integrate into most any pick-up team for minimal investment.

MacWa77ace

Quote from: Lodewijk on August 04, 2021, 11:16:43 PM
Quote from: woodsghost on August 04, 2021, 09:35:55 PM
If I'm reading you right, you have 4x mags and a multi-tool.
I should clarify a little - I have two double mag pouches as close to the centerline as possible (split-front rig) and a four-layer 111mm SAK in the multitool pouch until I can get around to picking up another SOG.

My main beef with doubles is that they constantly seem to get in the way during dryfire. You guys are right though, I should try them live before I change out.

I'm also sort of paranoid about stuff getting in the way seated or prone, but that comes from shooting bolt guns at Appleseeds for points and might not be legit.

Quote from: RonnyRonin on August 04, 2021, 10:18:46 PM
Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

IFAK it is, thanks for all the advice!

In terms of comms - I've got my Technician's license and an FT-60, but I've got to screw around with it before it's usable in my area (I-25 corridor). Still set up for North Alabama repeaters.

Edit: as far as people to talk to on something other than the 2M... nope.

I'm in the same boat money wise. So what I did was
1. get something cheap that does the job.
2. train with that and figure out what you like about it and what you don't.
3. research to find out how to fix what's not working or could work better
4. upgrade.
5. train with the upgrade and figure out what you like about it and what you don't.
6. repeat 3-6
7. stay abreast of the latest and greatest in new equipment releases.

You can stay in budget and eventually have exactly what you want. You still keep the old stuff as backup or for another person/people to use.

IIRC the TT MAV breaks at the front and so goes on like a vest. I have a USGI surplus version and that was the first LBR I ever bought, $20 and included pouches to hold 9 mags. I eventually added a knife, drop pouch, blackhawk molle pistol holster attachment w/ holster and a stripper loader key. Then just recently added a QD to the blackhawk attachment so I can move the holster from that rig to a belt rig and back when needed. That whole rig was based on NOT using a battle belt with it. Then I started on the next one. Also built belt systems and IFAKs and MedKits, and Hydration, COMs, Backpack, etc using the same upgrade theory system.

Right now I have a IIRC $30 belt with about $240 worth of mags and holster. That is one of the first belts I bought, and I had a 'cheap' holster setup on it originally. 511 IIRC. Now it's been upgraded to the best 7TS ALS QLS holster Safariland made at the time, and the best mags IMO. And I just started looking at better belt solutions for this. Looks like its going to be over $100 to upgrade that belt. When I do that, I'll revert the old belt to the old holster system and have another backup. I have another similar belt that I think was $20 that I have that old holster on but upgrade and hand-me-downs and that will get revised.



Treat IFAKs as a separate thing on their own and not as part of the LBR, or chest rig. They should be able to attach to any load out and be moved from kit to kit, your MAV, your belt, you backpack your car. That way you don't have to have a separate one for each location to start. You can build them up using the steps for your LBR, figure out pouch sizes and contents, and eventually have multiples and different styles/sizes for different trips/scenarios.





TL:DR start cheap and add upgrades as budget allows. learn what is good quality and what works for you. Train.

Lifetime gamer watch at MacWa77ace YouTube Channel

Ask me about my Fully Semi-Automatic 30-Mag clip death gun that's as heavy as 10 boxes.


woodsghost

Just looking at the MAV. You have something like this, but which opens in the front?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/speartacticalreviews.wordpress.com/2015/08/06/tactical-tailor-mav-and-x-harness-review/amp/

It's up to you, but I would consider putting the double mag pouches either over my hips (3 o'clock and 9 o'clock) or slightly forward of my hips (2 o'clock and 10 o'clock). I would put the multi-tool right near the buckles. I would want to be able to get low to the ground. Some guys with those or similar rigs with a massive amount of gear attached will leave them unbuckled so they can get lower to the ground. There is no rule book saying you have to have the rig buckled when you use it.

Another idea is to put both mag pouches on one side and an IFAK and something else useful (canteen?) On the other side to balance weight a little. No rule book says you need to have both mag pouches symmetrically attached to your rig. You get to make your own decisions, and as long as they work, no reason to change anything. The key question is always "is this working?" If it is, then keep it. If it stops working then change it.

It may or may not help to know more about your context (What state are you in? What rifle are you running? What experience do you have? Government or non-government? Etc). But only share what you are comfortable with, and I think those details won't really change our responses so far. IFAK and training. You have a good starter setup. Some pouches can be added for cheap off eBay.

Remember, *mission* drives gear choices. Define your mission, practice it, and fill gear needs *IF* there are any holes or failures. If there are no holes or failures, then put your money towards ammo or other needed items.

Lodewijk

#18
Quote from: woodsghost on August 05, 2021, 12:24:47 PM
It may or may not help to know more about your context (What state are you in? What rifle are you running? What experience do you have? Government or non-government? Etc). But only share what you are comfortable with, and I think those details won't really change our responses so far. IFAK and training. You have a good starter setup. Some pouches can be added for cheap off eBay.
, then put your money towards ammo or other needed items.

Yes, I have the split-front version of the MAV.

I'm between Denver and Colorado Springs using an AR (still needs an Aimpoint). In terms of experience I'm pretty much a beginner in the carbine world, but I was an Appleseed IIT3 (had kids / had to stop), and I worked for Remington for about seven years until it got split up and I had to bail out (for whatever that's worth). I actually used to help R&D test firearms whenever they needed help, which was cool, but that typically involved magdumping into a backstop because we were looking for stoppages and part failures. I did enough self-teaching to make 100-yard hits on IPSC silhouettes with my old J-frame, but honestly that's not very hard. In Appleseed terms I typically shoot in the mid-230s on the AQT from a cold start and closer to 240 warmed up with my CZ. But again, that's not particularly difficult and is NOT the same kind of shooting.

Mostly a handgun (DA/SA) and bolt-action rifle shooter. I'm not a government employee.

The intent is to set up a reasonably low-profile rig to take classes with and layer on top of my existing handgun stuff, which revolves around a full-sized Beretta on a pistol belt. And then to flex into more serious defensive use if absolutely necessary.

Hope that's helpful.

Edit: If I can keep weight down that's probably ideal. I'm getting old and moving from 600 feet of elevation to 6,500 a couple months ago is still killing me.

RoneKiln

Quote from: RonnyRonin on August 04, 2021, 10:18:46 PM
I'm comfortable piecing together IFAKs on the cheap from expired ebay supplies and rummage bins at local army surplus stores; others aren't. For gauze expired kerlix rolls are cheap but bulky, H&H compressed gauze is more money but much smaller. Older CAT TQs can be cheap ($20>), but don't go to old. Chest seals you should probably buy new ($12/pair).

Wait... Surplus stores carry "expired" bandages?! Sounds like I need to rediscover the surplus stores near Lewis McChord next time I'm down there! I just spent several hundred bucks building 2 IFAK kits and restocking lost trauma supplies (United Airlines lost my whole med kit a few years ago).

If I can find "expired" stuff cheap, I'll stock my supplies far deeper.
"Seriously the most dangerous thing you are likely to do is to put salt on a Big Mac right before you eat it and to climb into your car."
--Raptor

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