Showing posts with label HSGI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HSGI. Show all posts

Sunday, November 10, 2013

War Belt: Additional Mags Onboard. This Time With Pics

I've been thinking about this since the last post. Just wanted a bit more ammo onboard. As previously described I had an IFAK in a mag pouch behind the HSGI Taco's (outstanding piece of gear by the way). Knew I wanted more mags but couldn't figure out how to do it. The problem is you do not want stuff too far forward as it gets in the way when laying prone/ crawling/ taking cover/ falling down/ etc. At the same time you do not want stuff too far back as it is hard to get to and can complicate wearing a rucksack. High old school packs like the ALICE are really the only way to go with a war belt/ pistol belt/ LBE type setup. Honestly that's why I switched to the ALICE from a far more comfortable bag.

Finally decided I was going to keep that same placement but put mags in the pouch and stick the med kit elsewhere. This got complicated because you really want/ need to be able to get the med kit with either hand. Eventually I ended up putting it on the front right. It fits, barely but just right, between my holster and too forward on the hips.

This displaced my knife but it wasn't really working there anyway. Not enough weight on the belt to help draw as it has pretty strong friction retention on the sheath. My knife ended up getting mounted to the water bottle pouch. Sounds and looks sort of odd but it seems to work OK. Access is actually better than before and it doesn't take up prime real estate. Honestly I just want a fixed blade knife for general utility/ survival purposes, wanted it on the right side to help with the weight balance so that's where it fit the best.

Once the med kit was moved to a zippered horizontal pouch I put 2 mags into the mag pouch. Turns out it is a 3 mag pouch so I grabbed another. Think I'll switch from PMAGs to the new USGI ones with the orange follower as the thicker PMAGs do not seem to sit quite right in that pouch.

With more ammo onboard I am pretty happy with this setup. Will talk it through with the pictures as an aid.
From left to right. Frag pouch that will hold compass and a couple small items. 2x HSGI double taco's. Tactical Tailor triple mag pouch. 2x what I believe are 100rd 7.62mg belt pouches purchased for $5 at a garage sale. Originally desert color pained green by me. One will be an admin/ NOD pouch and the other will hold some go food. Water bottle pouch that holds .75 liter steel bottle. Would like to replace it with another bottle at some point. Mounted on that pouch is my Ontario RAT 3. Next is a Glock 9mm with TLR-1 in a Safariland 6285. Last is my IFAK.
View from the top. As you can see the med pouch is solidly clear from the Glock but still not too far in front. If I lay down prone it's just on my hip, barely notice it if I roll to the right.

The addition of more mags is a good thing IMO. Honestly I need the belt low enough (to clear the ALICE pack) that it's past the point on my hips where it will not stay on reliably without suspenders so why not load up on some more ammo. 5 rifle and 2 pistol mags on board is a pretty good number I think. More mags would go in my TAP on the PC or alone if needed.

The addition of more rifle mags is definitely leaning in the direction of Max Velocity's Battle Belt. I still look at mine as part of a system vs a stand alone like Max does. That being said the first part of my system is now pretty robust so in many cases it could function as a stand alone.

Wore it around the house today for awhile and it's pretty comfortable. Low enough and loose enough not to be constricting but the neoprene on the inside of the belt holds it in place well. Getting to everything is just excellent.

Still a few small things to figure out.
-I am not 100% on the suspenders. Honestly wish I went with something thin (like these) but in an H configuration. The X almost invariably pinches in the neck/ upper back.
-The tan pouches will either be replaced with Multicam or painted.
-Various stuff like a compass, food, water purification tablets, etc need to be added.
-As part of the testing I am going to ruck, do some drills, etc with this kit to see how it all works.

So that's my setup as of now. Your thoughts are always welcome.

Came back to fix some small typo's. After hitting publish it occurred to me I could swap out 1 taco and have 7 rifle mags plus 1 pistol mag. That is something to think about. Would need to find a home for the second Glock reload but that's not a huge deal. Honestly if I need spare Glock mag #2 I'm probably screwed anyway.

 Looking around the web today I did see this setup which is basically 2 double rifle mag pouches with 4 pistol mags on the front. It looks to only take up 4 MOLLE rows. Looks like it has some real promise but the price is a bit steep for me to go adventuring into unheard of gear. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

War Belt Continued: Safariland 6285 Purchased, Pouches Adjusted

Have been on the fence about holsters for awhile.  While a lot of smart folks use them I do not really want to use a drop holster for this setup. A large part of the benefit of the war belt in my mind is that I can toss it on, clip one clip and have a ready to go load out. A drop holster doesn't fit too well into that concept for me.

After a lot of thinking and looking at other peoples setups I finally pulled the trigger on a Safariland 6285 which is a 1.5in drop duty holster with their SLS retention system. The gun going in it will be a Glock 9mm with a Streamlight TLR-1 which is my dedicated home defense as well as go to war gun. When it shows up I will get to fiddling, practicing then talk more about it.

I got back to fiddling with my war belt today. What I did was to move the stuff to be more compact towards the front. The frag pouch moved off the MOLLE to the duty belt (was zip tied to the Taco by it) which let me shift the taco's and med pouch all up one row. On the other side my water bottle pouch moved a row closer to the pistol which eliminated some dead space.

Those moves let me put 2 pouches on the back sort of like Max Velocity's war belt setup. After getting past a touch of jealousy that Max has FLIR while I do not his setup is sound so it bears a lot of consideration on my planning.

So the updated setup on my belt is as follows. From left to right:
-Frag pouch to hold compass
-2x double (rifle/pistol) taco's
-IFAK in double mag pouch

Added today were 2x pouches onto the back in what was empty space. One pouch will probably be for sustainment in the form of 2k or so various bars, candy n snacks. The other could be plug and play depending on my needs or small admin stuff and my NOD.

-.75qt water bottle. Swapped out the 1 quart since I prefer it for everyday use. Need to order another one.
-Glock 9mm in holster. Apparently none of my holsters would fit the belt and I can't find any of the 2-3 kydex Glock holsters I own. Zip tied an el cheapo fits anything Uncle Mikes on there for right now just to test it out. The location is pretty good and the load balances well.
-Ontario Rat 3 knife ghetto rigged on with zip ties.

So far I'm pretty happy with this setup. It works well with an ALICE Ruck which was quite important to me. Also the thin suspenders under a plate carrier worked quite well. No issues getting to anything which was nice.

When the new holster comes I am going to shuffle things around again. Wouldn't mind being able to carry 2-3 more mags if I could fit them. Freeing up 2 rows of webbing would let me put another mag pouch on which would be nice. That would give this setup a lot of capability as a stand alone rig. Since the belt needs to be pretty low to clear the pack it basically needs suspenders anyway so I might as well have some more mags.

[I was thinking on this then decided to pull my setup out to take a look at it. I think freeing up 2 more rows to get more mags on there is doable. Won't know for sure till I have the holster on but so far it looks promising.] 

Thinking about how I am going to set up my plate carried I might just mount some mag pouches on there, slap on a camelback and call it good. Will have to play with the MOLLE II chest rig to see how it works with the war belt. I do like the idea of that level of modularity if stuff isn't rubbing all into each other.

So that's where things stand today.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I ordered a case of Tula 122gr HP ammo from Lucky Gunner.

Ordered 250 rounds of 12 gauge #6 shot from Lucky Gunner.

Put together my HSGI War Belt.

Edited to include: Added dog food to the family movers vehicle kit. Also purchased a new flashlight (Streamlight Microstream) to try for EDC. So far I like it a lot. 

This coming week I need to order a holster, put a few finishing touches on the ALICE pack and maybe order some food.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

HSGI War Belt Setup MOD 1 and Holster Discussion

My HSGI gear showed up today. Of course like a boy of any age with a new toy I had to play with it. Really it's been a long time coming.

I like the belt a lot. It's stiff but pretty thin. Also the neoprene makes it stay in place pretty well without being really tight. The suspenders I'm not so sure about. Think they will work out well for my concept of use but if I was packing 6+AR mags they would not be up to the task. However since I have a lighter concept of use in mind and want the ability to wear a plate carrier OVER the suspenders it should work out OK.

Still playing with the setup of the suspenders and belt to get the right length of everything and tightness of the belt for where it sits. Will just have to play with it for a bit. 

Right now my belt is set up as follows. From left to right:
-Frag pouch to hold compass
-2x double (rifle/pistol) taco's
-IFAK in double mag pouch

Empty space in back (till I mess with the pile O pouches enough to find what fits below where a ruck sits)

-1 quart water bottle
-Glock 9mm in holster. Apparently none of my holsters would fit the belt and I can't find any of the 2-3 kydex Glock holsters I own. Zip tied an el cheapo fits anything Uncle Mikes on there for right now just to test it out. The location is pretty good and the load balances well.
-Ontario Rat 3 knife ghetto rigged on with zip ties.

Think I am going to play with the setup a bit. Mostly tightening up the spacing a bit to leave a slightly wider opening in back then figure out the pouches that will go there (probably on the middle row of webbing) to hold some sustainment stuff. Once I get the right holster that will help as it will be mounted on the inner belt which will liberate some space.

Leaning pretty hard towards a Safariland 6285. Open to input on that. Basically I want some physical retention and drop but not a full on drop leg setup. The G Code is great if you switch pistols all the time but my tactical pistols are Glock 9mm's so that is easy.

The first half of my go to war setup also does double duty for home defense, range, etc all which is great. So that is where things are sitting today.


Monday, October 14, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a pretty productive week here. Spent most of my time outside work hanging out with some family who came in and working on our place. Still got some stuff done though.

-Ordered a war belt from HSGI

-Filled the gas cans I ordered from Woot

-Put stabil in all stored gas

-Got stuff to get the oil lantern going

-Working on transitioning to an ALICE pack

-Did some weapons maintenance

What did you do to prepare this week?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HSGI War Belt Here I Come

I have been thinking about this one for awhile. During that time I crossed out or eliminated some other stuff on the list that were of higher priority also helped us get here. As of late I've been trying to plug some holes in my kits and really refining a fighting load I like is part of that. For whatever reason today I decided to throw down the coin at HSGI to give it a shot. Enough experienced folks like them so I think there is something to the concept. 

Basket Contents

  Item Qty. Item Price Total Price
$75.00 $75.00
  Size: 01a      
  Color: MC      
  Belt: DB   $15.00 $15.00
  CobraBelt: 00b      
$42.00 $84.00
  color: MC      
$30.00 $30.00
  Color: CB      
$18.00 $18.00
  Color: MC      
$30.00 $30.00
  Color: MC      
  Total: $252.00    

Friday, November 9, 2012

Gear Updates and Random Thoughts

The LED Lenser has been living in my pocket for awhile now. I did an initial review awhile ago and need to add to it. I have to change one thing. The feature where the beam is adjusted by the front piece is in addition to a normal lefty loosy righty tights (AKA wide to narrow beam) style. It allows you to easily go from a big beam to a small one which is pretty nice. On the downside this thing sucks through batteries like crazy. I have changed them twice and rarely use this light and only then for short periods. Not a huge deal as we have some AAA rechargeable batteries but if it was going to be used for a long term emergency that would be a consideration.

I am really liking the Benchmade Griptillian. It is a great design and still really sharp after cutting up dozens of boxes during the move as well as just about everything else that has crossed my path. The only problem with this knife is it has got me having some knife lust. I was jonesing for an Emerson pretty hard back in July and told myself if I still wanted it in a year then maybe.

Almost pulled the trigger on a war belt awhile back. For reasons I cannot recall it didn't happen. Since then I put together some stuff that was already here and have done a lot of thinking. I am probably going to run a generic rigger belt with a kydex holster, the RAT 3 and some mags. It also occurred to me that I used a battle belt (albeit an older model) years ago and ditched it for various reasons. This stuff could either be held in place with zip ties (I suspect) or as I am doing right now just keep it on a pair of pants. An IFAK could go in a cargo pocket and that's about it. A light would be nice so I need to pick up a spare one to live there. The mag pouch I am using right now is a Condor Double Kangaroo. It isn't entirely ideal but the price was such it could be tagged onto another order.

Fiddling around watching Hoss USMC's youtube channel I saw a pretty cool leg rig that is an HSGI/ Chris Costa collaboration.

This setup looks pretty awesome. The way I see using it is very high more like a belt pouch attached by some clips than low like a leg panel. The advantage I see of that setup is it could go off or on as needed. I see this sort of setup functioning like a war belt but without a whole lot of MOLLE I will not need. Also being able to use a holster I already have and upgrade a piece at a time appeals to me. It is something I could see myself actually using on my normal belt with a kydex holster in a Katrina like scenario or in conjunction with a plate carrier and chest rig as a full on crazy time load out. I went to pick up one of those Costa leg rigs but they are sold out so that will have to wait awhile. That is just as well because it's been an expensive week anyway.

 For a home defense or anything short of a full on mad max type scenario carrying 2 spare pistol and rifle mags seems like plenty to me. That is 3x15 round pistol mags and 3x30 round rifle mags AKA a lot of ammo. One way or another a home defense type fight will be over way before then.

Still waiting on the rifle plates. Apparently they have a 4ish week delay which could have been made more clear at the time of sale but otherwise is not a huge deal. Well it isn't an issue unless I need them now at which point I'm hosed but that is unlikely.

Anyway that is where my gear situation is right now. I am pretty happy with how things are coming together.

What have you tried lately that is working well? What have you tried lately that is not working for you?

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