Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Kit

I wrote about chest rigs awhile back. That post got me thinking and then acting on something I had been wanting to do for some time. I use a standard issue MOLLE FLC. Money isn't an object I just like these a lot as a platform. I don't like conventional chest rigs for a couple reasons. The first reason is that unlike a conventional chest rig (they are generally a 6 inch or so panel with 2-3 rows of the modular strapping stuff) with these you can attach stuff basically anywhere on the front of your torso. Secondly in my experience chest rigs have all kinds of straps all over the place and getting them comfortable is pretty hard. Makes adjusting a shoulder holster seem easy. Also I like that the load is evenly distributed widely over your shoulders instead of on a 1 1/4 inch area.

However the FLC as issued has a serious flaw. In the back there is this big stupid strap in the back. You can rotate the biog dumb belt thing all the way around so there are just straps in the back. However doing that has the cost of not being able to open the FLC in the front. That wouldn't be a big issue except for the fact that we wear body armor. It is awful darn convenient to be able to put your FLC on and off with the IBA instead of having an extra step of pulling it over your head every single time. The picture below shows what I am talking about. (Yeah by the looks it is some Marine guys stuff but it's the first good picture which clearly shows what I was looking to show.)

Seriously the FLC is like we had a great idea and then somebody said it had to have a huge stupid thing going around the back. I think it was some old guy who just couldn't deal with the kit not being based around a big belt thing. I have tried the FLC as a rack/ chest rig with the big stupid pad rotated to the front and in its conventional way and found both setups to be wanting. Basically I prefer the FLC over a chest rig but I want it to not have the big stupid belt thing in the back and also be able to open in the front. Yeah I like to have my cake and eat it too.

So I had an idea. My idea was to replace the big stupid belt thing. You need to secure the back so it doesn't go flopping all over the place when you lean over or whatever so just having it open isn't an option. I considered a piece of 550 cord but decided against it because the Army is really anal about this stuff so it needs to look legit. Another consideration on my options was that if God forbid I am seriously injured and somebody grabs that strap to drag me I need the darn thing to hold. In full kit I probably weigh 230lbs and if you factor in momentum and someone pulling on a single point that requires a strong strap. I settled on simple 1 1/4 inch webbing with a buckle in the middle. There are hooks for webbing on the FLC right by the middle of the front (where the zipper is) so you hook it through them and it is attached. The webbing on the FLC's stupid belt thing is the same size so it is too easy. I then sat on the idea for some time.

The day I wrote the blog I decided to just do it and put my kit into the configuration I wanted. Since we are in Germany I ended up having to scavenge the webbing. I had a Tactical Tailor chest rig I never really got comfortable with sitting around and decided to scavenge from it. Unfortunately that meant  cutting straps but I left enough on the side I had to cut from (it went to a clip on the other side) that I can later just get some more webbing and hook it together with a buckle. Anyway I got it done and though I haven't used it much yet am quite happy with the results. 

As worn.

Left side has 4 double mag pouches. They can hold 8 M4 (or I guess others of comparable size) mags or 6 mags and a pistol or NVG monocle or whatever. Figure another in the rifle and possible on the butt stock and I am able to carry 270-300 rounds. Can't see carrying more on my kit though if need be I would bring a bandoleer or something.

Right side from center; medical pouch, radio pouch, 1 quart canteen pouch to hold night vision goggles with the Rino mount and J arm, on the top is a compass. The only addition I intend to make is a small random pouch to hold little stuff. Most likely my compass will move down between the radio pouch and the NVG pouch and said small random pouch will go where the compass pouch is. I carry water in a camelback and sometimes stuff a couple granola bars or whatever in a random pocket. This setup is sufficient for operations of at least several hours. If I was going out dismounted for longer it would require more water, more than a couple chewy bars and probably some sort of sleeping gear. In that case an assault pack with a 2 quart canteen or two would come along.

Well that is what I carry.


Anonymous said...

Awsome gear, thanks for post and pics. I've got a Tactical Tailor Molle LBE belt, which holds a CQC Serpa Holster, Admin pouch, double magazine pouch, and I'm going to add a dump pouch.

I plan to add backpacks for each of the family vehicles for bug in/out, and a chest rig would complete the ensemble.

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

You are very welcome and I am glad you like it. I like TT stuff a lot. Got a pistol belt from them myself in addition to a drop holster and a variety of mag pouches.

Seems like a good plan.

Bro. Brandon B. said...

how about a peek inside the medical kit?
bandages? tampons? quickclot, i presume? ratchet tourniquet? What do you have and why did you pick them?

Aside from that, thanks for sharing.... a chest rig is on my long list.

Prince said...

Do you shoot right handed or left handed?

Ryan said...

Right handed

Anonymous said...

You can reverse the padded belt section for use as a MAV-style chest rig. Just undo the webbing at the front-interior (both sides) and the stiff "T" sections inside the belt tunnel section. This feature is actually by design.

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