Today I am proud to bring Entry #18 of our Fighting Load Contest by Crankjob.
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
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 before the contest is over.
The contest is closed and this is the last entry I am tracking. If you sent one in and have not seen it please get with me ASAP. Voting will start soon and run for about a week. It will decide the winner's who get the prizes. Onto the Entry.....
Here's my entry, also included some pics of the kit being worn, in case that helps.
So what we have here is a kit that is designed to be versatile, kinda cheap, kinda lightweight, legal in most states, and in 3 common calibers: 30-06, 12 gauge, and .357 magnum.
Here's the rundown:
Rifle- a used Savage 110 in 30-06 caliber with a Nikon 3-9x scope w/ flip up lens covers, leather Ching sling, and cheap-o bipod. I made the cheek rest with closed cell foam, duct tape, and camo-wrap. I've managed to put a couple sub-MOA groups onto paper with this setup, and it cost less than $400 for the whole shebang. The 30-06 has alot of bullet drop, but carries enough energy to be dangerous out as far as 900 meters. A BDC reticle is important to get the most out of this cartridge, and carry a ballistic table/BDC chart for your scope/cartridge combo!
Shotgun- a Mossberg 590 Mariner w/ choate Mark IV stock. The safety location is kind of annoying now, but I treat it sorta like an AK safety (i keep my thumb wrapped around the pistol grip, and use my index finger or whole hand to flick the safety button forward and back). There is a Streamlight Microstream AAA flashlight duct-taped to the magazine tube. It's not especially bright, but it's better than nothing. I used some closed cell foam as a shock absorber/ spacer and it's been working well for more than 100 rounds.
Sidearm- a Ruger LCR in .357 magnum, with Crimson trace laser grip. (I also keep an empty pocket holster in my pocket in case I gotta ditch the battle belt).
Water- behind the rifle is a mil-surplus Camelbak with 96 ounces of water
Backpack- a Kelty, some discontinued model. Inside I keep extra ammo, a cook pot, home-made MRE of 4,000 calories, along with basic supplies such as lighter, cordage, AAA batteries, wool socks, gloves, fleece hat, headlamp, tarp, extra clothing, sunblock, a whistle, binoculars, laser rangefinder, etc., while leaving room so I can stow the clothes I'm wearing. it's just a little bit of the basics to keep me going.
Ear pro- Howard Leight Impact Sport
Battle Belt- A Blackhawk molle belt. From left to right: shotshell pouch w/ buckshot, shotshell pouch w/ slugs, 5.11 6x6 pouch containing IFAK with zip-ties and a good quality glow stick attached externally, Camelbak pouch containing a metal nalgene style bottle, Glock field knife, nylon flap holster and a nylon shell pouch containing speed strips.
What I like: The guns are all California/ Massachusetts/ whatever-dumb-state legal, and use common ammunition. 30-06 and 12 gauge slugs can potentially penetrate many types of cover, body armor, and engine blocks. If needed the rifle and shell-belt can be ditched or handed off to a buddy and I'm still pretty well armed.
I could conceivably breach into a building with the 12 gauge, set up a fire position for the bolt gun, and still have a CQB weapon. It doesn't interfere with climbing, hiking, or going prone at all, and I can access all the equipment pretty easily.
What I don't like: Good at distance, good up close, not so good from 100-300 meters.
Limited capacity; If I shot all 3 guns dry It would be only 18 rounds, then I need to reload (and they all reload slowly) . The shotgun is slow to deploy from the scabbard, I'd have to draw my little 5-shot sidearm for a surprise close-encounterLimited suppressive-fire capability.
A little bit sloppy with all the straps and buckles, and the shotgun muzzle bumps around when I'm in tight spaces.
So that's my rig as of today, I should say that it takes about 15 minutes to go from my skivvies to full gear. This gear setup is of course not as kick-ass as having an AR, but I'm sure many readers are in a similar situation, with a couple hunting weapons and looking for ways to integrate them.
Also, I keep all of the elastic shell-holders empty so they don't stretch out, with the shells kept in ziploc bags nearby and all the web gear is in one duffel together. For the middle-of-night quick access, I have the shotgun locked in a wall-mount and a belt of shells hanging next to it.
Thanks Ryan, and good luck to the other contestants!
1) You mentioned legality in anti gun states. That can be a concern for folks who live in or near such areas. It lost me when you mention California AND Massachussets, given that they are well pretty far apart. Do you find yourself traveling in/ through anti gun states frequently?
2) Not entirely sure how I feel about the LCR (actually I am entirely ambivalent about it but I digress) or a comparable J framed type revolver in this role. On one hand the system could certainly support and arguably benefit from a larger hnadgun. On the other hand if an '06 and a shotgun won't solve it the negligible difference between a mid sized and small handgun probably won't. Also the smaller handgun would be handy for being discrete like going into a gas station or something, especially if CCW is not exactly legal in the area.
Edited to include 3) Generally speaking when I see a 2nd long gun as part of a load out it is for a specific purpose on an as needed type basis. Example a sniper would carry his sniper rifle and an M4 for personal protection, though the trend towards semi auto bolt guns on the AR platform is making that unnecessary. A breacher carrying a pistol grip 12 gauge is another example. However as a general rule a 2nd long gun is probably ovverkill for a man portable kit.