Showing posts with label John Mosby. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Mosby. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kyle Lamb talks Concealed Carry

CSM (ret) Lamb has mentioned his preference for a sub compact double stack auto's in appendix carry in the past. The other options he mentions are good too. Pretty much a 4 minute knowledge bomb.

Incidentally Paul Howe carries a G26 appendix. John Mosby packs a Glock 9mm of some flavor appendix also. It is interesting to see commonalities in the equipment set up's of really experienced people.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

RE: Prior Proper Performance Prevents Piss Poor Planning

"A man's got to know his limitations" -Inspector Harry Callaghan AKA Dirty Harry

John Mosby wrote a post worth thinking about.

-John's half sarcastic point that we all need to train to measurable standards or we honestly don't have a clue where we are is 100% valid. We really do have to train to measurable standards, otherwise it is just screwing around. How ever I sort of look at this article from a different angle. 

-As an 'O' in the Army I am not a trigger puller per se. My primary job, at least in a general sense, is planning and supervising operations both in garrison and the field. It would be reasonable, though simplistic, to say as an Officer my job is to assess situations, make plans to achieve a desired end state, help to ensure those things are properly executed then adapt those plans as needed. I guess the point is I plan a lot of stuff.

-During the planning of an operation at work we are encouraged to use METT-TC to understand the situation prior to making a plan. METT-TC means Mission, Enemy, Terrain, Troops, Time, Civil Considerations. Moving past the other pieces since they are not part of this discussion we can focus on the Troops piece.

-What I am getting at is that leaders/ planners need to know their people's equipment, skills, fitness, maintenance status, capabilities, supply situation and current state of health/ rest.

-While it should be obvious why we need to know this stuff let me illustrate. Say the goal is to conduct a raid on an enemy outpost of several men with 1x light armored vehicle with medium machine gun. Am I a Mech Infantry Platoon Leader with 2x M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 2x medium machine guns, a gaggle of light machine guns and 30 some odd decently trained fit soldiers? Am I an SF A Team leader with a dozen very well trained very fit guys, probably a couple of medium machine guns, maybe a DM/ sniper rifle or two? Am I a leader of a local guerrilla group with a dozen guys of very questionable fitness levels armed with a mix of civilian military pattern (AK/ AR/etc) and hunting rifles whose standard of marksmanship is hitting an 8" paper plate 8/10 times at a hundred meters?

-Are my guys healthy and well rested or have they been fighting out in the woods for a week or two strait with maybe 3 hours of broken up sleep between guard shifts per 24 hour period? Have they been well fed or have we been on starvation rations? Do we have enough ammo/ batteries/ etc or are we short?

-What I am getting at is that the honest no crap capabilities of your force matter significantly when you go to make and then ultimately try to execute a plan. If your troops can't hit squat past a hundred meters then a 'long range ambush' from 400 meters is just a waste of ammo. If your troops can't get their fat non muscular selves over an 8 foot wall then you better come up with a plan that doesn't involve climbing over the wall. If your only potential 'covert operative' is a white guy with a crew cut, USMC tat's and a Southern Drawl you are not going to infiltrate the local La Raza branch.

-Make reasonable plans based on the force you have, not the one you wish you had.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Cache Types, Escape and Evasion and Ancillary Thoughts Theiron

In a recent post about m Operational Cache there was a comment which I just wasn't sure what to do with.

Matt LBS said "If you can do so without giving away too much OPSEC, I'd love to hear about how your current cache is set up as far as location, access, etc. I can't remember if you've discussed that previously. Might help out with the one I am planning for myself currently. I am struggling with location and accessibility on mine. Not that I live my life generally outside the law or anything like that, but I also am debating over whether or not to place at a location that someone looking for me when I might need to disappear might expect me to go for such a thing. Think storing at a "peripheral" friends house, rather than your best friends house. Using a cousin, rather than mom and dad. That sort of thing. The "closer" to you a person is generally the easier the access, but it's also the most obvious choice that may hamper your ability to go off the grid in a pinch. Hopefully I'd never need to disappear, but I don't want to just forfeit that ability either. Of course if you are burying a cache somewhere random, then you don't have that problem, but might lose on the accessibility factor. So many things to consider for an operational cache."

So I thought about it for awhile. Also I couldn't really do a good post on it with my phone so I was halfway stalled out (the other half still thinking). Last night and this morning I pretty much figured out my response.

First I got to thinking about the fundamental goal of a cache. In my mind the fundamental goal of pre placing potentially needed items in a location where you will need them (caching) is to go from the logistical situation you anticipate arriving at to the one you want to be at; with budget, item shelf live/ storage, available space and the security/ integrity of the cache as  our biggest constraints.

Taking another step back I got to thinking about specific types of caches, a categorization if you will. From John Mosby's seminal post on the topic we get 3 types of caches:
Types of Caches
For an underground resistance, I envision three basic types of cache functions.
  1. The first is the guerrilla re-supply cache we’ve been discussing. These would be widely dispersed over an organization’s entire projected area of operations, to facilitate re-supply on the move in the future. These may also, in the future, be short-term emplacements made by members of the subversive underground or the auxiliary, to facilitate operations by the subversive underground or the paramilitary guerrilla force, based on specific operational requirements.
  1. The second is the “storage” cache. This is a method of dispersing your normal preparedness supplies stockpiles. Instead of having everything in your basement or “doomsday bunker-retreat” where it is easy and convenient for regime security forces, foreign peacekeepers, or roving bands of criminal looters to locate and steal it, this would allow you to maintain control or possession of various critical elements of your preparedness items, even if you had to “bug out” into evasion mode.
  1. The third, and final cache function, as I see it, is the individual evasion cache. These would be small, one-man re-supplies, along planned evasion corridors (primary, secondary, and tertiary, at a minimum). Caches should be placed within one or two days’ walking distance of each other, to act as en route waypoints for re-supply as the evader moves. This would allow him to minimize the load he carried in his “go-bag” evasion kit, facilitating faster travel during the evasion.

Personally I see two additional types:
 4. Operational Cache. Hoss USMC called this a 'Minuteman Cache'. To me the goal of this cache is to equip an individual to conduct defensive and offensive combative as a rifleman. So we are going to have a rifle, probably a pistol, ammo, ancillary gun stuff (mags, cleaning junk, etc), field clothes, sleeping gear, some food, basic survival stuff, some food, etc. One could argue this is part of Johns #1 and I might even see it that way myself. [I am putting this together on the fly since I have computer access and idle moments while the kids nap. Will thing and update as applicable later.]

5. Survival Cache. Say my plan E was to go to the Big Ridge Wilderness Area and live out in the woods. This cache, or more realistically series of caches would be set up to help support that plan. Since I have worked through the P, A and C plans things are not going well so I do not expect to drive out there with the family hauler and a loaded trailer. Lets say I expect to arrive there via LPC with individual weapons, the gear in a ruck and not much else.

Say I do up a big cache in 2 barrels 200 meters apart. They each have 2 tarps, an axe, a saw, a hatchet, rope, a gun with some ammo, a pair of hunting knives, a poncho, wool blanket and full set of clothes/ boots per person, a cast iron frying pan, a couple pots, some metal bowls and silverware, 60 pounds of dried staples, some spices, some OTC meds, a gun with some ammo, some fishing stuff, an emergency radio, some candles, rope and other doo dads.

Say throughout the larger area I have a dozen smaller caches with matches, a knife, some ammo, some water purification tabs, etc and as much food as I can shove in that are in 5 gallon buckets.

Anyway getting back to the original comment reply. Matt LBS said "If you can do so without giving away too much OPSEC, I'd love to hear about how your current cache is set up as far as location, access, etc. I can't remember if you've discussed that previously. Might help out with the one I am planning for myself currently. I am struggling with location and accessibility on mine. Not that I live my life generally outside the law or anything like that, but I also am debating over whether or not to place at a location that someone looking for me when I might need to disappear might expect me to go for such a thing. Think storing at a "peripheral" friends house, rather than your best friends house. Using a cousin, rather than mom and dad. That sort of thing. The "closer" to you a person is generally the easier the access, but it's also the most obvious choice that may hamper your ability to go off the grid in a pinch. Hopefully I'd never need to disappear, but I don't want to just forfeit that ability either. Of course if you are burying a cache somewhere random, then you don't have that problem, but might lose on the accessibility factor. So many things to consider for an operational cache."

I think what you are describing is more of an Escape and Evasion cache than an operational cache. Though in fairness we could break down E&E caches to urban/ grid up and rural/ grid down/ red dawn. One would be used if you need to get the heck out of there because Tony Soprano, The Trilateral Commission/ Illuminati or the cops are after you and you need to get out of dodge. The other would be handy if you are running from the UN/ Chinese invaders who want to send you to a labor camp or I guess if you want to pull an Eric Rudolph.

The gear needed for these caches is going to be fundamentally different. An urban/ grid up E&E cache is going to be something like 'change of clothes. handgun with spare mags, a few burner cell phones, lots of cash, the best fake ID you can put together'. This is going to be a small kit like day pack to small duffel bag sized. Think more Jason Borne safe deposit box
and less Terminator 2.

A/ grid down/ red dawn E&E set up might contain a lot of the stuff for an operational cache albeit with the goal of staying light and on the move. So maybe a change of clothes including boots and outerwear, a rifle or sub gun, a pistol and a day pack with a bunch of granola bars, some survival stuff and a poncho with woobie.

As to locations to store these types of caches.

I would not want to be running to a family member/ friend if the Tony Soprano/ the FBI or the UN/ Chinese invaders were after me. Many criminals get caught when they are stupid and go to Momma's house, or call her. Sure a second cousin is less likely to be watched but it is still well within the realm of possibility someone could be watching so that is a bad risk.

For a rural cache I would put it between where I anticipated being and where I planned to go. If doing multiples I might put one near my start point and one part way.

For an urban one on a more permanent basis you can get storage lockers anonymously if you are stashing that much stuff. For smaller stashes in a discrete way I am less sure about good options.

I should also note that one may be discrete from the other. Maybe you have a urban E&E cache near home/ work in case something bad happens and a couple AK's or AR's buried on Uncle Jebs Farm or in the nearby National Forest in case it turns out you need them.

Anyway I am out of thoughts on this subject for now. If I have enough new thoughts maybe I will do another post.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Knowledge Bombs with John Mosby and FerFal

John Mosby was on some pod cast called the Spearhead Transmission last Wednesday. I noticed on his blog and listened to it tonight after the kids went to bed. So much great stuff.

FerFAL talks 'An Economic Collapse: What it means and what it is really like.' FerFAL drops some very depressing knowledge bombs on an economic collapse. In the type of scenario he lays out which is quite plausible typical survivalist thought is in many ways flawed....

 You are still going to be working at some sort of job, or trying to find one, you are still going to be paying bills, you will not be able to shoot the neighborhood troubleshooters with an AK and put their heads on fence posts. You will have to pay taxes on that doomstead and hiding in a bunker for a decade or two is a hard plan to work out. Like will be like it is now but crappier in pretty much every way.

Derek Weida AKA the jacked dude with one leg who does videos with Matt Best AKA MBest11X does an excellent video on losing weight. Warning rated R for language. It is not IMO offensive but there are quite a few F bombs and some mildly sexual comedic tangents. Still one of the better basic diet/ nutrition things I have seen.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Max Velocity Talks Normalacy Bias and Load Out's

Posts that directly inspired this:

To Chest Rig or Not? This is a well thought out post that has, itself, little I disagree with. However the comments coming from it have brought some strong opinions and interesting discussion.

John Mosby talks Normalcy Bias

Max Velocity talks Normalcy Bias

Max Velocity talks Two Tactical Worlds

First I want to address the mindset issues here. The reason for this is mindset is more important than stuff. Also that mindset drives stuff, not the other way around!

John Mosby's points that you need to 1) Accept that “normal” is no longer “normal.” This requires more than simply telling yourself. It requires internalizing it as reality and truth. It’s great for patriotic, conservative, Americans to long for yesteryear, and the greatness of the Pax Americana. It’s also completely fucking delusional. America is only a superpower now, among nation-state actors. The transnational terrorist groups do not recognize American sovereignty and superiority. If they did, they would never have started fighting, or would have yielded by now. A wall along the Mexican border is great…except we already know there are more tunnels than an goddamned ant farm, traversing the border. So, sure, let’s drop several billion dollars building a wall that won’t be any more useful than the locks on your car door are (remember, as my grandfather told me when I was a kid, “car locks only keep honest people honest.”). Illegal aliens are going to continue crossing the border, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it, outside of genocide, or the total collapse of our economy. 2) Recognize what the “new normal” implies for you and yours. This may range from reduced police presence in your neighborhood or community, especially for dealing with property crimes and other “minor” issues. Think about what happened in NYC last year after two officers were assassinated, sitting in their cruiser. If you live in a really shitty neighborhood, where people are as likely to assault cops as help them, you should—justifiably–expect the same thing. As my wife pointed out yesterday, when she heard that people were “acting out” in Ferguson, on the anniversary of the Wilson-Brown shooting, “if I was a cop, I wouldn’t even respond to calls in their neighborhood. Fuck them. If they hate me, why help them?”

Ryan here: 
I think it is worth noting the situation at an individual level is very localized. I'm talking tank of gas and maybe the nearby big town you go to quarterly for doctors appointments, to the airport, etc. While national trends and events are symptomatic of a larger issue they are mostly just noise. Case in point I could give a rip about Detroit turning into Tijuana or Ferguson because I am nowhere near them. However there are some trends that are truly nation wide like say certain groups being given special snowflake status which further emboldens bad behavior and individuals of non special snowflake status almost certainly getting the book thrown at them for legitimate self defense. Also that, while crime rates may not be that high on the large average predominantly urban problems slipping out to the burbs, small towns and rural areas.

Max (Actually some guy named DIZ on the MVT forum) describes the 'new normal of today' and 
'what may reasonable come in the near future' as  conventional crime and unconventional crime. 

I think this is an OK way of putting it though a bit binary. Reality is a lot more of a continuum of potential outcomes ranging from rising crime and a bad economy (we are very arguably there now) on one end through some sort of unrest and a full on economic collapse through civil war and eventually passing the historically likely to say an EMP and then ending with a strait up nuclear war.

Also I feel strongly that we should put more energy into preparing for the statistically much more likely events than less likely ones. You are way more likely to get in a fist fight that may go to concealed handguns than do battle drill 1A for real out in the woods with your buddies. It is important to prepare for the less likely contingencies but you need to survive today to get to that potential dark future. I think a big part of preparedness is preparing for various scenarios we might face now in order to minimize their impact on us if/ when those events happen. Tactical Tommy might be preparing for a car jacking or an active shooter situation as his worse case scenario. However Survivalist Sam is training for that and to do battle drills with his buddies.

I think that sufficiently covers my opinion on the mindset piece.

Now onto gear.

It seems logical to me that we would first decide on how many mags to carry and then on the best way to carry them. Of course not all defensive carbine related scenarios are created equal. Here is my take on some realistic scenarios. Lets presume a pretty standard 30rd magazine. Just my opinion.

Home defense: 1-2 reloads. Even in the wildest and least likely scenario of 3-4 Goblins all off whom have guns this is still PLENTY of ammo. At in house ranges no way I am shooting off that much ammo without stopping the bad guys or getting stopped by the bad guys.

Active Shooter: 3-4 reloads. Lets say Mumbai or crom forbid Beslan type with multiple shooters armed with rifles. Honestly this is more from an LEO type perspective because Ryan is going to GTFO of one off these situations and won't need that much ammo. However an LEO might get in a relatively prolonged fight and or potentially use some fire and maneuver techniques.

Some sort of riot or localized civil unrest such as say Hurricane Katrina for the most part falls into this range also. That being said I see long guns as having a narrow role here. If I was moving around it would almost certainly be armed with a concealed pistol and maybe a rifle handy. I find it unlikely that I would be moving around with a rifle because well it would cause attention and potentially get me arrested.

Lets say I was say helping a friend guard their pawn shop LA Riots or Hurricane Katrina style. I would be quite comfortable with having about this much ammo on my body. Sure there is some violence in this type of scenarios and gun fire people are not, to the best of my personal knowledge, getting in tons of crazy gun fights. Since the only place I would really be wielding a rifle would be a fixed location a few mags in a bag or something would be available for resupply.

Full on fighting load. Like for a war or some sort of Mad Max ish scenario: 6+ reloads. We could quibble about exact numbers but they would be situational/ mission dependent. For reference I think my battle belt is set up for 10. My pistol belt with Costa Leg Rig and chest rig holds 9 or 10.

Now to how to carry this ammo.

The fluidity of events combined with the benefits of keeping things the same as much as we can in our setups heavily favors some sort of tiered system.

For the home defense setup if a person decided on one reload they could legitimately have it on the gun, like a ready mag or a buttstock pouch. More than that and you need some sort of gear. It could be a pair of pants with some pouches on a belt, a chest rig, a battle belt or a PC set up with your stuff on it. [As a tangent I generally disfavor this method except at the real bottom end. If you are going to have 2-3 reloads, maybe a med kit and a knife AND plan to use a PC I'd just put the stuff on the PC. This really tops out at the 'active shooter' ammo count.]

After a lot of consideration I went with a pistol belt an Costa Leg Rig.
 From left to right Costa Leg Rig with 2x rifle reloads, 1x pistol reload, flashlight, TK4 Tourniquet and Compressed Gauze. Safariland holster with ghetto rigged leg strap and kabar knife. Not shown Glock 19 with Streamlight TLR-1.
 As worn with the front to the bottom. Costa Leg rig on one side, knife and holster on the other.
Leg rig up close. Yes that is tape holding it in place.

To do:

There are some non padded belts that have inner loops which would be great for this. Might upgrade from this decade old TT belt at some point.

Get a pair of light suspenders. For prolonged use my lack of behind or hips tend to make it move towards the ground.

Get a small admin pouch that could hold a few items like a compass and a lighter. Maybe a NOD pouch too.

Active shooter setup: I don't really have a great plan for this. It would be my pistol belt plus a way to carry a bit more ammo and maybe an admin pouch. Guess either I would add a couple mag pouches on the front of a PC or use one of those minimalist chest rigs that are all the rage. Or slap a mag on the butt stock of my rifle/ put one in a pocket and call it good.

Full on Fighting Load: Pistol belt plus chest rig. The chest rig isn't totally set up but I'll get there. Honestly I need to think this out a bit. I have a chest rig and a variety of pouches so I probably have a 75% solution in the garage.

The modularity of this setup is handy. I could remove the chest rig, say when doing work, around camp, etc but keep the pistol belt and have a pretty decent bit of capability.

I am not ditching the battle belt as it has a place but I think this setup is forming into my go to. 


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Training #1: Barriers to Training

I have wanted to talk about this for awhile and today is as good of a day as any. I want to have a polite and respectful discussion about barriers, both real and perceived, that prevent people from going out and getting the quality training they need. Max Velocity has been talking about this for awhile now. Maybe in some way others can benefit from this. The format for each issue will be:


I will try to do this in some sort of logical flow of psychological, physical and financial/ logistical. So here we go.

Barrier- "I don't need any fancy training, I've been shooting my whole life."
Discussion- Every red blooded American man who owns a gun thinks they are a legitimate gunfighter at a completely bad assed Raylan Givens or Kyle Lamb (CSM, RET) type of level. The problem with this idea is that people A) are so fundamentally ignorant on the topic(s) at hand that they are unable to assess their own ability and B) these people are universally failing to train to any worthwhile, measurable standards that factor in both time and accuracy. Saying it more seriously you should look up Cognative bias or just read John Mosby's post on it.

It is a huge ego thing.What I would submit to people is that being ignorant of a topic that involves violence does not make you a bad person or weak or anything like that. You are no less of a man (I say that because this is 100% a male issue) for not being able to clear a malfunction and reload an M4 in the dark, or execute an ambush which I can, than I am for not being able to wire a house or fix a car or something you know how to do. Fighting is just a skill and like any other one if you want a skill you lack the way to fix that is to go out and learn it.
Recommendation- Test yourself to a measurable standard. If a person gets a timer and shoots any decent combat based such as the CSAT Tactical Pistol Instructor standards they might eat a serious dose of humble pie.

Barrier- "I am/ was a Marine/ Soldier/ Cop so I know everything about everything."
Discussion- Experiences, in particular combat related ones are very powerful. To be honest without taking anything away from whatever you might have done unless you recently retired as an E8/E9 Tier 1 Jedi or as a senior SWAT Officer from a major city or Federal organization I would submit you might still have some things to learn. This will bleed slightly into the next planned post (What to train on) but I would say these folks might have valid experiences in one area (an Infantryman is probably pretty decent with rifles and a Cop should know how to shoot a handgun) but be entirely inexperienced in other areas. Reference the discussion of standards in the last piece.
Recommendation- First measure yourself against a quantifiable standards that factor in both time and accuracy. Second prioritize training in your weaker areas first.

Barrier- "I'm too old/ fat/ out of shape to go get training."
Discussion- Of course you have to be realistic. If you have some serious medical/ physical issues they may well prevent you from some more physical training. In Lost John Locke tried to do an Australian Walk About type survival thing in a wheel chair. Obviously that would not work. An 80 year old woman with a walker is not going to be able to do a 3 day patrolling class where you live out of a ruck that is carried on your back. That being said.....

It is my general impression that potential students regularly abstain from training they would be fine in due to this concern. Most classes are set up to accommodate a reasonable range of fitness levels. Look, while the military and law enforcement are heavy on fairly fit 20 and 30 somethings the civilian training market is a decade older and 20-30 pounds heavier. Aside from some classes that are probably MIL/LEO exclusive you will likely see a broad range of fitness levels. Nobody gives a shit if you are fat so stop being so self conscious about it. If in doubt I would say to contact the instructor before signing up for the class an lay out your specific concerns.

My general observation is within practical limits most instructors will help find a way to accommodate whatever issues you may have. They might adjust some pieces of instruction to say have a person who can't run omit running pieces and walk or just start at the shooting point. Instructors do this because a) they are good people who genuinely want to train others and b) they are capitalists and your money is green.
Recommendation- Obviously don't sign up for a class that involves climbing a building and living out of a ruck if you are in a wheel chair. Beyond that if in doubt just ask the folks running the class. Instructors worth dealing with will work with you as much as they can.

Financial/ Logistical
Barrier- "I can't afford to train."
Discussion- Taking a step back. We live in a very consumerist society. This extends to firearms and training. People would rather go buy a shiny new widget or a really, really expensive gun than work on the fundamentals and get better with the guns they have. We are very hardware centric with minimal interest in software. If someone sold a widget that was supposed to make you shoot better for $500 (and many companies do) folks would line up around the block for it. On the other hand folks are far less likely to financially and emotionally suck it up and pay hard earned money to learn skills they need but do not possess. Look at any blog and compare comments/ views on a post about a new accessory for an AR-15 vs one about training.

To the specific question. Obviously if you make 25k a year and have 6 kids a training class with an all in cost of say $700 might well be entirely unfeasible or a multi year savings type goal. However if you have some disposable income and are using it to buy more stuff instead of training it is an issue of prioritization not economics.

There are certainly ways to minimize costs on training. Many places have some sort of lodging or allow camping. Taking classes within driving distance of your location helps to keep costs reasonable also. Maybe find a friend to split gas and hotel costs with.
Recommendation- Aside from real low income folks if you prioritize training the money situation will work out.

I hope this gives you something to think about. Comments are open as always.

Monday, June 1, 2015

From Around The Web

Lucky Gunner does an interesting post on mounting optics to the AK platform. An Ultimak rail with an Aimpoint micro is probably the way to go for a defensive rifle. Honestly around the range you would need a scope you probably have the wrong rifle in a ( a 7.62x39 chambered) AK. That being said I can see the utility of a low variable or fixed power scope on one for older eyes or hunting where target discrimination (2 point not OK but 3 are, etc). For that option I would either use one of the side mounted rails or replace the whole top cover with a purpose made one. I know Texas Weapons Systems makes one and think Midwest Industries does too.

John Mosby talks Escape and Evasion 1 and 2. While I certainly would not disagree with anything John said I wish to put some emphasis on two points from the articles. First is physical fitness. If you are going to make some sort of gaping burst to get out of the immediate area they could cordon then make a slow determined slog to wherever you are going you have to be able to physically cover many miles under stress over multiple days. Second is consistently having some useful tools on your person and a more robust fighting load or get home bag readily available will give you a fighting chance to have some gear if things go down.

Max Velocity talks about different gear he is producing in partnership with AMH Tactical Gear. I am starting to get a case of gear lust for that chest rig.

Tactical Professor, who runs an excellent blog, talks about a shooting case up in Maine. It is one of those messy family farm/ small business things. This situation should have been settled by people acting like adults over a cup of coffee or worst case gone to civil litigation but instead one guy ended up dead and another is probably going to spend the rest of their life in jail. 

Take away's
1- Don't shoot people over stuff! Aside from ethical considerations we could look at it strictly from a financial angle. Lawyers and trials are really expensive.
2- Know your local laws. This might have been a different case in a place with a less restrictive rule of retreat.
3- Having a less lethal weapons bears consideration. A can of mace might have stopped this incident but that is unlikely. It might ave given the guy enough space to get out of these.  More realistically it could have showed that the man was trying to use the smallest amount of force necessary and the much larger, younger man kept attacking.
4- This case was further muddled because while the family were probably in the wrong there was not a clear criminal act going on like say if one person owned or rented the shop and the other was trespassing.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

From Around The Web

Bayou Rennaissance Man talks about the train wreck that is the world economy.

Next he compares the federal governments budget to that of a normal household. Put in terms any normal person can understand we have a big problem.

John Mosby talks knives and knife fighting. I probably do not have enough to justify a whole post on the topic but in brief. 1) A knife is a tool that can be used as a weapon. Sort of like how it would be foolish to jump me while I'm holding a framing hammer. As such a knife needs to be looked at in the light of a tool first and a potential weapon as a distant second. 2) Knives are infinitely more lethal than hands but in realistic engagements perfect placement is iffy with everyday carry type blades (vs a sword, kukuri, etc). 3) Due to their unique characteristics knives can serve an excellent 'get off me' role. Lots of folks can box, wrestle or just plain brawl so a bit of that is nothing new but if you do the best singer sewing machine impression possible with a blade in the soft lower half of their torso most folks will either become incapacitated or leave rather quickly. 4) Like John I find the odds of a knife fight a la West Side Story or a bad 80's rated R action flick quite low. Odds are someone will be trying to stab/ slash me and I'll be trying to fight them off or visa versa.

Max Velocity is working with UW gear to put out a cool new chest rig. Very cool.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Max Velocity: The PT Thing

The PT Thing: Clarification

The reality that  many people aren't a young, fit early 20 (even 30/40) something anymore. At the same time there are significant physical demands involved in the realities of realistic survival scenarios, let alone combat.

To paraphrase from John Mosby on the FO Podcast 'If your particular flavor of worst case scenario involves oppositional situations with LEO/MIL types you are not going to be facing starving cannibal San Franciscans. You will be facing young fit 20-early 30 somethings who run and or lift heavy weights daily. Guys who get paid to work out and do things like Jui Jitsu and powerlifting tournaments for fun AFTER their physically demanding jobs.'

 I think being brutally realistic about your capabilities (maybe you are 30 pounds overweight) and potential for improvement then pursing that goal in a slow incremental way is the best answer. Challenge yourself but not to the point of significantly risking injury and slowly increase the time/ speed/ weight.

Anyway that's the periodic PT reminder.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Random Thoughts

Today I spent some time reading about Operation Gladio the NATO stay behind plan for a USSR invasion of Europe. The plans and logistics alone deserve significant study. The actions of the stay behind forces in all manner of political shenanigans range from quite interesting to complete conspiracy fodder.

That lead to thinking about caches. Always more work that could be done there. Some I could probably do now and some for that mythical future time when resources are available. It also brought up the point of commo. You really need to set those sort of plans up in advance to have a decent chance of them working. If there are people you want to talk to it would be prudent to get those plans set up sooner instead of later.

Also it seems the younger chickens are starting to lay as our egg production is definitely up. That is good. We are getting a lot closer to producing what we use or at least a good percentage of it which makes me happy.

Gas prices dropping is an interesting development. Turns out the Saudi's and majority of OPEC must want to hurt Iran and Russia enough to take the short to mid term hit. The extra cash going back into the family budget is sure nice though. 

Between baby sitting two kids and a baby this weekend and Walker getting sick we are pretty beat.

John Mosby's second book is written. He is currently selling E Books and a physical book will follow and the E Book (for the very reasonable price of $15) will not be offered again. This book is more about the underground, logistics and living in a collapse type situation. I am psyched for the physical book to come out.

Max Velocity is offering $100 off his January Combat Team Tactics class.

The folks at Lucky Gunner did a pretty interesting review on the Glock 42. Personally if I were to get a .380 it would be of the tiny pocket variety (Ruger LCP, etc) .380 and if I went bigger it would be a Walther PPK but I can see how this gun might fit some needs. I can't wait for Glock to make a single stack 9mm and will likely sell my Kahr when they do.

If I had the jingle left in my pockets I would purchase  308 - 147 gr FMJ-BT - PMC - 500 Rounds for $335.
James Yeager did a video titled 'Ballistic Baller on a Budget'. He looked at two guns for under a grand My choice in that scenario would be a Yugo PAP M-70 and an S&W SDVE-9. Taking those two guns home for under a grand would be quite reasonable and a solid combo. Between the CZ-75/ Cannic and the M-70/ SDVE 9 choices it's 6 of one and a half dozen of the other though my choices offer better spare parts availability. Anyway that is what's floating around in my head today.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Special Midnight Rider Loaded Battle Belts

Awhile back an invisible friend reached out. I was asked to review a battle belt system for them and talk about it. The gear was sent and I have been testing it. Ashamed to say I am woefully behind on getting a full review done on this set of gear.

Basically $110 (shipped so equivalent to other folks charging $95ish) gets you a ready to go battle belt setup with a decent budget IFAK and some other items. A breakdown of the components is:
  • Padded War Belt:  The core of the Midnight Rider battle belt is a new USMC-issue Padded War Belt (NSN 8465-01-615-5140).  This comes with an as-issued "Y" harness but has extra attachment points to be compatible with four-point "H" harnesses.
  • GP Pouches:  We add two surplus USMC-issue general purpose/IFAK pouches (NSN 8105-09-000-2725).  These pouches have a convenient internal subdivider and measure about 6"x6" with about two to four inches of depth, making them great general purpose pouches as well.
  • Canteen Pouch:  Each belt is equipped with a NEW USMC canteen pouch.  These have a convenient buckle closure and fit a canteen with cup.  Each pouch has side pockets useful for water purification tabs, paracord, or other small accessories.  
  • Mag Pouches:  Finally, we round out each belt with USMC double magazine pouches.  These pouches will fit two standard capacity 30-round AR-style magazines, including PMAGs.  Small belts can fit only two pouches, medium belts fit four, and large belts can pack six.  If you don't need to carry magazines they provide handy storage for smaller items like monoculars, NVDs, or radios.  Some of the surplus pouches show some evidence of wear but most are in excellent shape.  You could use magazine shingles under these pouches to increase the capacity of your belt system.
  • "LOADED!"  The "LOADED" battle belt also comes with a USGI canteen and the Midnight Rider Patrol Pouch (consisting of Trauma, First Aid, and Patrol Modules -- see below for details).  I toss in a canteen cup for free, but these cups are not to milspec and thus won't nest with the canteen.
[Edited to include:
For any readers that are on the fence, They are offering a Thanksgiving/Black Friday special this week.

BLACK FRIDAY DEAL! All orders placed between 28 November and 5 December will receive a FREE mystery item! Items could be more MOLLE pouches, rifle targets, an extra tourniquet or med gear... who knows! Additionally, for every two belts you order, I will throw in a free hydration carrier (while supplies last) or free assembly for one belt (please indicate choice when you order). Finally, for each LOADED belt ordered during the holidays, a portion of the proceeds will support the TOYS FOR TOTS drive run by the USMC Reserve. What a deal!

A sampling of the mystery items I've shipped out this week:
- .22 rimfire scopes
- Hydration packs
- Backpacks
- Extra MOLLE pouches
- Random upgrade to handpick stuff (like nice nalgene)
- Extra tourniquets and random med stuff
- Rifle slings
- Pistol Holsters ]
This is a solid system. You can certainly assemble a better one out of new top tier (HSGI, etc) gear but can easily spend twice as much money in doing so. Depending on your budget and priorities they are both valid options.

As to concept of use and where this system fits in the big picture. It is definitely a high value to cost system. For a person on a budget who wants something more modern and ergonomic than ALICE that is not going to fall apart the first time you take it out training with somebody like Max Velocity or John Mosby this would be a fine choice. The person who put this together has been using one exclusively for awhile. It works fine and I would have no issue using it exclusively.

What I really like this setup as is a sweet spot between expensive new gear and budget but aging and not exactly ideal ALICE stuff. I believe every rifle needs it's own mags and fighting load. That means per rifle not per platform. So if you own 3 AR's it would be three separate sets of gear. The cost of doing that at $200+ a pop can get cost prohibitive in a hurry. At the same time I would like something more along the lines of my primary rig than the old ALICE. That's where Midnight Rider's Battle Belt's come in.

A full review will follow in due time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

From Around The Web

Aesop has been putting out some good stuff on ebola over at Raconteur Report. I have not personally talked about the Ebola because honestly, aside from knowing it is bad and a big problem, I am not too smart on the topic. In that regard it is better for me to keep my ignorant mouth shut.

John Mosby, who now writes more regularly at FO Magazine did an excellent piece titled: The Four Pillars of Individual Proficiency. Excellent stuff.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Battle Belt and Level 2 Thinking Revisited

I am reviewing a battle belt package setup for a guy. More info will come about that later and for the sake of the rest of this post it isn't really important, except that it got me onto the topic of battle belts.

The MOLLE fun and comfort of these has taken off in recent years. Some folks run a battle belt like a big foamy pistol belt with just a couple mags on it. Others like Max Velocity use them as a new school LBE. Mine, which I am too lazy to find a good picture of is sort of in the middle.

Carrying your equipment around the waistline held up mostly by the shoulders is probably the most comfortable overall option. However it comes with couple real limiting factors. This option is, in all but the lightest pistol belt like configurations, is unanimously voted to be a an uncomfortable, and in some cases even physically impossible option for vehicle based operations. It is difficult to get in and out of a vehicle, buckle up, move inside, etc with a huge ole tire of gear around your waist.  Not something you would want to do then spend hours in a vehicle day in, day out. Less frequently mentioned is the disadvantage in urban operations. Try climbing through a window with a big ole LBE/ battle belt around your waistline. Additionally the added width makes you more likely to get snagged/ caught up on stuff moving through buildings.

Another issue with the battle belt is that, for most people, it limits your options in terms of backpacks that can be carried.  For level  2.5 day pack/ assault packs pretty much any option works fine.  However for level 3 sustainment loads the only real widely available option is the ALICE. Note that I said for most people here; obviously individual load out's and body types matter here.

So while I really like the battle belt, or as I prefer to call it war belt, for dismounted patrolling and with a level 2.5 load it sucks for being in and around vehicles and is at a disadvantage if you are truly living out of a ruck. The more I think about it the more I am less and less certain this should be my primary fighting load. Honestly it sort of feels like it could be more of a nitche piece of gear.

 We talked about this awhile back. In the meantime I built a battle belt. What has made me rethink previous potions?

Honestly I am really tired of trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. To be more clear I am tired of trying to jerry rig and work around the inherent limitations of the ALICE pack. Not saying they are exactly a bad pack, lack of comfortable aside, just that they are what 1960's technology? Lots of things have come a long way since then in terms of materials, fasteners and ergonomics

So what does that leave me for options. I can't claim credit for this concept as I stole it from John Mosby.

-Something along the way of a pistol belt with a couple reloads and a knife. This is really the wild card. I have a cobbled together setup now. If I were to have a system show up at my door tomorrow it would be an Endom MM belt, a Costa Leg Rig (reviewed by TEOTWAWKI Blog), a  Safariland drop holster or at least for awhile the Safariland 6125 I already own and a pair of very light/ thin suspenders.  Somehow or another I will slap a knife on there. The concept is to have what I would call an enhanced level 1 load in a package that can work with a real decent backpack. I don't think the suspenders would be needed for weight but to let me drop the belt an inch or so and to hypothetically prevent the darn thing from maybe falling around my ankles if I moved a certain way or whatever.

-Chest rig, probably the Blackhawk one I already have.

-Stripped plate carrier

-Some sort of a new, yet to be purchased, backpack to haul my sustainment gear.

The end result would be a scalable, vehicle compatible setup that allows the use of a quality modern pack. Or that is the goal anyway. It is good to have goals.

So that is where I sit with all of this stuff today. Likely in the near future I will put some money where my mouth is. Thankfully I own many of the components listed so this setup could be elevated from pieced together to fairly intentional for $150ish.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Official Results

To recap here is what the excellent prizes are:

1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from ($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.

 The winners are:

Mike P-18
Carry Alert-15
Prairie Patriot-10
Max Velocity-6

If you won please contact me using the email your post was submitted from  and include your mailing address within 7 days. Note that #1 gets to pick between the Lucky Gunner stuff or the HERC so please specify. I realized I still need to figure out the wild card so I'll do that ASAP. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Time is short people, don’t squander it on trivial BS. You have a responsibility to take care of your family by planning ahead. Even if you only buy 2 or 3 extra cans a week at the store, in a month you have 8-12, in a year you have 96-144 (doesn’t seem like much, but it is). Are you prepared to defend them?  “But guns and ammo are so expensive!” So was that new game system or IPhone you just bought, Dumbass! You should be actively prepping and planning to defend your family and friends “when” not “if” this storm comes. If not you are an irresponsible, self centered, Slug, and you deserve what happens (unfortunately, your family doesn’t.). I don’t care if you don’t come train with me, but by God, get it somewhere! Go to Max, or Defensive Training Group , or Sierra 12 or Mosby. YOU are responsible for what you do, AND DON’T DO! Be the person that sees and carries out the responsibilities the Founding Fathers expected of Citizens. If not, no big deal, it’s just an idea past its prime…..right?"

Mason Dixon Tactical

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fighting Load Contest Entry #21- Kang

Today I am proud to bring Entry #21 of our Fighting Load Contest by Kang

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 ($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 that will be posted. Voting will start early next week. Voting will run for about a week and will decide the winner's who get the prizes. Onto the Entry.....

My Fighting Load  -- Kang

This is my complete fighting load, including chest rig, plate carrier, battle belt, rifle, and 'assault pack'. The rifle is a bushmaster/rock river AR mutt with an eotech 512 (because AAs are easier to find), a magpul STR stock for carrying replacement batteries, light, BUIs, single/double point sling and ready mag system that lets me carry 2 mags on board for extremely rapid reloads (excuse the pink tape...). To Be Done: the rifle is lined up to be painted once temperatures permit.

Chest Rig

The chest rig is an HSP D3 chest rig, it carries 4 rifle magazines, 2 pistol magazines, multitool, admin stuff (notepad, pencils, etc) and an Israeli bandage.  To be done: I need to purchase another tourniquet to go in/on my chest rig.

Battle Belt

The battle belt is an HSGI sure grip padded belt with riggers belt.  It carries 2 Esstac single mag pouches for quick reloads and 1 Esstac pistol pouch.  A dump pouch, tear away first aid pouch (with israeli bandages, tourniquet, gloves and other stuff), a 1 liter water bottle pouch that holds my 1st line survival gear (steel water bottle, cordage, firestarter, compass, water purification, folding knife, gun lube, etc) and has a giant Shadowtech bushcraft blade whose name I don't recall (I can't say enough good things about Shadowtech's blades, check them out).  Finally a G-code holster carries a Springfield XDM9 as my backup firearm. To Be Done: I need to replenish my stock of Datrex ration bars after I introduced them to my daughters.

Plate Carrier

       The plate carrier is a Mayflower from Velocity Systems.  I have ceramic front and rear plates, and steel side plates.  The D3 chest rig snaps directly onto the plate carrier, and additionally, I have two 3 magazine pouches in the side plate pockets (for a total of 14 AR magazines, if required and 4 pistol magazines), and a 'flat' style Source 3 liter hydration carrier attached to the rear (I've found it's really hard to carry packs with one of the standard cylinder style hydration pouches on your back).

Assault Pack


      Last is the 'assault pack', which is a Tactical Tailor bag whose name escapes me.  It carries a standard camelback 3 liter hydration bladder (total of 7 liters of water immediately available), enough ammo for 10 magazine reloads in bandoliers / stripper clips, a Striplula for rapid reloading, poncho, cordage, headlamp, spare batteries, food, and firearms cleaning kit. To Be Done: more food, I think. See Datrex bars above... Also, I just realized I carry no additional 9mm ammo.
The best aspect of the D3 chest rig is how modular it is.  I can carry just the rig on its own, strapped to the plate carrier, as in the above pictures, or I can even attach it directly to the assault pack.  I can wear just the chest rig under a jacket or even a sweater if I'm trying to be low profile.

 The assault pack even fits quite nicely on the back of my 3rd line gear pack.

Ryan here: As always thanks for the entry. I should note Kang used this setup at Max Velocity's 5 Day Combat Rifle and Contact Drill /Patrolling class and it worked well for him. As to the setup I like it a lot. Modular and good for a variety of situations. General notes:
1) Do not see a way to purify more water. He could have a little bottle of the purification pills someplace and have overlooked mentioning it. If not I'd add some and or a small filter like a Sawyer Mini.
2) The assault pack has plenty of ammo which is great but I would look at the clothing situation. At a minimum a set of spare socks would be prudent.
3) You mentioned an IFAK type kit but what about more common injuries? Some band aid's, asprin, moleskin, etc is a good idea.
4) You hit on it (think it got eaten) but incorporating some food into your fighting kit and more into the assault pack is a good idea.

With those modest additions (that can probably be found lying around in 20 min at home) this is an excellent setup.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Recent AAR's from Max Velocity

Fighting Load Contest Post #20 Chris's Go To War Rig

Today I am proud to bring Entry #20 of our Fighting Load Contest by Chris formerly of AK.

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 ($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 but we still have a few more posts to show due to my technological issues and some field time. 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. Onto the Entry.....

 Awhile back Chris sent in a post on his budget travel rig. Now we get to look at his primary setup.  


The first submission I put in was my "on the road" low quality comblock kit that lives in the trunk as I was travelling.  Now that I'm home I figured I'd share my primary rig.  I'm not trying to game the system -- just figured I'd get some feedback and maybe give some ideas.

I have a flexible setup which revolves around a few key components:
- 3A Vest
- DBT "Victory Vest" slick plate carrier
- Tactical Tailor Mini Mav Chest Rack
- Eagle War Belt
- LAPG "Zombie Hunter" bag

The idea is that you layer with whatever is needed so you can adjust your profile as needed.  Some examples:
- "Low Profile:"  Slick plate carrier or soft armor under sweatshirt or soft armor with LAPG Zombie Hunter bag close to hand, and normal CCW/duty belt.
- "Medium Profile:"  Slick plate carrier or soft armor with Tac Tailor MiniMav, plus LAPG zombie hunter bag close to hand.  I call this medium profile because even under a sweatshirt, a chest rack + PC is going to show.
- "High Profile" Vehicle Ops:  Slick PC with FLC
- "High Profile" Dismounted Ops:  Slick PC with War Belt and Chest Rack.  Option to ditch the PC and/or chest rack depending on METT-TC.

I'll walk through the contents of each of the key components next.

- Sourced from BulletProof Me.  Nothing fancy.  Just a basic NIJ 3A soft vest.  Pairs well with the mini mav or LAPG bag for a lower profile.

- Diamond Back Tactical Victory Vest.  DBT went out of business and sold off their gear at pennies on the dollar.  It is all made in the US, GI spec stuff.  I picked up a bunch of PCs (some slick, some with molle) for about $20 each.
- 3A inserts:  I repurposed NIJ inserts for the soft frag armor.  The vest is intended to take special SPEAR or BALCS cut armor but the NIJ stuff fits fine; I just get a little less coverage.
- Plates:  I run medium SAPIs and have steel as a spare/training set.  My wife runs 8x10 level IV ceramics with steel as a spare/training set.

We each have similar mini-mav chest racks.  These are pretty low profile and can fit under a bulky sweatshirt as well.  The idea here is that I could run with nothing but my standard CCW stuff and a mini-mav and be able to fight.  From left to right as pictured:
-  Tactical Tailor small radio pouch with FRS/GMRS
- TT tourniquet pouch with CAT
- Velcro for ID/morale patch on triple shingle (20 rders)
- Single mag pouch:  Usually used for a Surefire G2X but will also fit a pistol mag or multitool

Future thoughts:  I am considering swapping out the 20-rd shingle for a full-size 30-rd shingle and putting an admin pouch on the front.  The admin pouch would let me store key documents as well as give one more flashlight/knife sized pouch at the cost of increased bulk in the front.  Right now the CAT is "squishy" so it isn't bad to get prone.

This is a medium USMC surplus molle belt supported by a Tactical Tailor "fight light" harness which is super comfy, even under armor.  I have a total of 5xM4 mags and 1xpistol mag on here.  Combined with the minimav that's 8xM4 mags on board.  Otherwise I envision this as a dismounted patrol load suitable for a day or night out.  From left to right, as pictured:
- Tactical Tailor "kangaroo" magnapouch.  Holds an M4 mag and a pistol mag on top in "quick draw" fashion.  These are expensive so I just opted for one on the centerline.  I shoot pistols right handed and rifles left handed so there's no ideal place for the fast reload (my rifle reloads should be on the right, and pistol mags on the left) so I figured centerline with a bias towards the fast pistol reload was a compromise.
- Double M4 pouch (USGI surplus)
- USMC surplus canteen pouch.  Upgraded with nice Nalgene brand 1qt canteen.  Side pockets hold water purification tablets and matches.
- 100 round SAW pouch at small of back.  Currently empty.  I can stuff it with mission-specific gear.  As a default some snacks and maybe spare socks go in there.  As it is on the small of my back I don't like to put hard metal things there but you can fit 3xM4 mags easily.  My NVD would fit too.
- Surplus IFAK pouch.  Set up as a combined IFAK/patrol pouch.  The front subdivider has a compact TK4 tourniquet (not as good as the CAT but compact), an H&H Israeli-style compression bandage, triangular bandage, and an NPA.  All the stuff I'd want quick access to.  The large big compartment has a baggie with first aid "boo boo" stuff:
Sterile Gloves, 3xAspirin Doses, Medi-Lyte (electrolytes for dehydration), Diamode/Loperamide (diarrhea medication), Bug Sting Wipe, Antiseptic Pads, Alcohol Prep Pads, Two 2" gauze pads, 3" wide elastic wrap, 2x4" moleskin strips, EMT Shears

That won't sustain you long but should be good for a day or two until you can get to a bigger medic supply stash.

The IFAK pouch also has some misc "patrol" stuff:  Mylar blanket, Single-use poncho (green), 4 oz emergency water pouch, Water purification tabs, Uncle Ben's DEET Bugspray Wipe, SPF30 Sunscreen Wipe, Cyalume Milspec Glowstick, "Foamie" Ear Protection.

- Tactical Tailor MOLLE holster.  This is sized for a Beretta 92.  I do not like this holster in this application.  It rides way too high for an easy draw.  Additionally, our primary household sidearm is the S&W M&P, and TT doesn't make a pouch for that.  My wife just has a cruddy condor pouch on her belt for now until I find/finance a better solution.  There's some good low-ride MOLLE holsters out there but they seem pricey.
- Single grenade pouch riding on TT holster.  Currently I have a $10 NCStar 8x monocular in there.  It seems to work fine.  The location is easy to access.
- Double M4 mag pouch.  For mags, and my NVD will also fit in there.

My wife's rig is identical except her belt is smaller, so she is down two M4 mag pouches.  Her kangaroo pouch rides on top of a single M4 shingle though, so she has a total of 2xM4 mags and 1xpistol mag.  Given that her primary role is close escort for kiddo she doesn't need as much ammo anyways, so a self-protection load is sufficient.  With her mini-mav she's up to 5xM4 mags.

I can easily layer this with the minimav plus an assault pack (for more gear such as a woobie and poncho, or even goretex) or a simple camelbak carrier.

Future thoughts:  I am considering adding two double mag shingles, one on each side of the buckle.  This would either up the mag count by four, or let me replace a double M4 mag pouch with a double pistol mag pouch for a flashlight and multitool without losing AR mags.  Right now between the war belt and minimav I don't have a good way to carry a multitool or other knife.  I'm also a bit worried that if I lost the minimav and was down to just the belt I'd have no light source other than the glow stick.  So ditching a double M4 pouch for some utility pouches seems reasonable, especially if I offset the lost M4 pouch with some shingles.


The concept of the FLC is vehicle mounted ops which require something more robust than the minimav.  The war belt is just not super comfortable in the car when seated.  The pouches are empty as I currently only have enough gear (other than mags) to keep one set of LBE stocked.  I'd have to transfer the stuff off the mini-mav/war belt onto the FLC.  Total mag carriage is 10xM4 mags and 1xpistol mag.  

The detail photos show the left and right sides of the FLC.  The side on the wearer's left is equipped as follows:
- Double pistol mag pouch, for pistol mag and surefire
- Double M4 mag pouch x 2
- Canteen pouch (identical to battle belt)
- Up on the mesh vest:  Small radio pouch for GMRS, grenade pouch for monocular

The other half of the FLC on the wearer's right has, from centerline out:
- Double M4 mag pouch x 3
- IFAK pouch set up as on war belt
- Up on the mesh vest:  Multitool, CAT, grenade pouch for admin items (will fit a basic flip cell phone)

The FLC is paired with a thigh drop holster.  I have a Serpa drop leg left over from work which also carries a spare pistol mag, so currently use that until funds allow a nice Safariland.

I am considering dropping 2xM4 mag pouches and replacing with a 100 round SAW pouch for more utility storage space for stuff like nomex gloves and a stripped MRE.  That would drop the total M4 mag count to 6.

Finally, I had a bunch of ACU pouches laying around so I got two cheap ACU FLCs from ebay and set them up similarly as backups.  They will be stashed in cars soon, I think, unless I can think of a better cache setup.

NOT PICTURED:  "LAPG Zombie Hunter Bag"

LAPG has some neat bailout bags.  They are super simple but pretty handy.  Contents of mine:
- 3 x M4 mags
- IFAK pouch contents set up as on war belt
- Compartment for handgun (I don't like off-body carry but it is an option)
- Compartment for radio (CB handheld or GMRS) -- normally the CB lives in the car but it could move to the bag if the threat level increased
- Water bottle
- Cheapo "tactical" light
- Ear Pro

The zombie hunter bag can be used to keep a lower profile, or to supplement the FLC/mini-mav in a vehicle-ops mounted role.  If you have to dismount you can grab the bag on the way out for a few more reloads.  They also work great as range bags.


I feel like this gear lets me adjust profiles from low, to medium, to high.  I can be comfortable for dismounted ops or in the car with similar rigs.  Coyote brown is nice as it blends with lots of colors/environments, and it isn't camo pattern (any LBE will draw attention from onlookers; camo LBE doubly so).

Big picture I want to continue to get more gear to round out the FLCs so they are "grab and go" ready all the time, but surefires and leathermans are expensive.  I also need to continue to work towards fixing the pistol situation on the war belts, and ditching the SERPA for my FLC rig.  I also do not have a great way to carry a knife right now other than maybe a multitool.  I have some KABAR adapters for my mini-KBAR but no good place to attach them.

To keep costs low, I used USGI surplus where possible and supplemented with Tactical Tailor as needed, taking advantage of their annual 30% off sale to get the key gear that just couldn't be sourced with cheap surplus.  TT is not too bad if you stick to the smaller utility pouches and their "fight light" line.

Please feel free to weigh in with any questions, spears, or comments.


Ryan here: As always thanks to Chris for playing. He liked doing the first post so much he did a second one! Thoughts in no particular order.

Why the Mini Mav vs a rig that can hold more mags? Most folks will go lighter on the warbelt and heavier on the chest rig. If the rig held 2-3 more mags you could arguably eliminate the need for the FLC kit (except as a backup). 
On the subject of the Mini Mav I disagree with the 20 rounders and would replace them with 3x standard 30 round magazines post haste. That gives you 30 more rounds on the kit.  A small admin pouch would be a good idea. 

War Belt: Yeah I have that same holster. They are OK but sit pretty high. Personally I keep my mags on the off hand side so all my rifle mags are on the left side. The exception is my second pistol mag as it went where it could fit (the other option was not having it). 

You mentioned not having a place to put a more robust knife. Why not on the War Belt? You could Jerry Rig it so the knife was just below the belt (thus not taking MOLLE space) and held on my a couple of big zip ties or something. 

The bail out bag should have some food in it, probably some clothing too.

Agree with ditching 2 mags from the FLC to create an admin pouch for some food and various stuff. 

I love how your system is modular so it can work for a variety of situations. 


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