Load Bearing Gear for .308?


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Nightcrawler
February 15, 2006, 05:47 AM
I'm looking for a good, military-grade load bearing system designed to hold .308 magazines.

My first instinct was to get a good pair of H-suspenders and four .308 mag pouches on the belt. Old-fashioned, but simple.

But then I got to thinking. What about these tac-vests that Eagle and Blackhawk and everybody else are making? The pouches on them will hold one .308 mag with no problem, and most would then give you six mags. They can be adjusted to fit over body armor and are compatible with the hydration bladders. (I like that feature; I rigged one up to my LBV-88 when I was in the Guards and loved it.)

For lesser-intensity stuff, I'm all set. I've got some German green rubberized dual mag pouches that fit nicely over a standard pants belt, for when I'm just out roaming (or when I will do that, when I get to Utah.) I've got some leather Austrian pouches that look a little classier.

I need (don't suppose I actually "require" it, but what the heck) a full-on tac rig, though. Something suitable for street or field. Any suggestions?

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Nightcrawler
February 15, 2006, 08:06 AM
Specifically, I was looking at THIS MODEL (http://www.blackhawk.com/product_detail.asp?product_id=4220&d=) from Blackhawk. I'd prefer Eagle, I think, but Eagle doesn't make a vest with emptyness on both shoulders. Eagle's vests are right-handed biased.

http://www.blackhawk.com/uploads/product_images/30EV03-ALL_2.jpg
Blackhawk Vest

(The nice thing is, the padding of the vest shoulder will give me some cushioning from the thin steel buttplate I ordered for my FAL. Heh. :D )

Here's an example of a similar vest from Eagle. CLIKKA! (http://www.eagleindustries.com/ProdDisp.asp?PartNoID=337)

http://www.eagleindustries.com/images/prodimages/p_tac-v1-n-a.jpg

Wait a second...maybe they make lefty versions too? They have the "choose hand" pull-down for the vests. I thought this was a mistake, as they also have that pull-down for their mag pouches and other items that couldn't be left- or right-hand specific. Hmm! Does anybody know?

Hmm. The Blackhawk vest looks more substantial, though. I don't know about the Eagle one having so much mesh...

Rem700SD
February 15, 2006, 12:32 PM
Eagle's are made here in good ole USA. Black Hawk's are made wherever. I have one of the Eagle vests. In the late 90's when I was ordering stuff from Eagle they seemed like nice people, and very accomodating. Give them a call and see if they can fill your needs. They may be less accomodating now due to all the military orders, but I could be wrong. I've been very happy with EAGLE.

There are many other makers, try UScavalry, Ranger Joe's, or Brigade quartermaster.

It's not cheap, but If I had to buy another vest, It would be Eagle's hunting vest. Take a look.
http://www.eagleindustries.com/mainprod.asp?scv=0
While it doesn't have magazine specific pouches, it can carry just about anything.

NMshooter
February 15, 2006, 08:29 PM
Here is one solution: http://www.eagleindustries.com/ProdDisp.asp?PartNoID=609

For another, look at www.tacticaltailor.com and check both the modular vest and the 2 piece MAV with x-harness.

I have the 2 piece MAV with x-harness, and it does everything I need.

You need a modular setup, that way you can move the pouches around where you want them. You even get to choose which pouches you put on the carrier in the first place.

Nightcrawler
February 15, 2006, 09:33 PM
Get this. I've emailed Tactical Tailor about making me a web-gear-compatible carrier for moonclips for my 625 revolver. How anachronistically anti-tactical is that?

I ordered the pictured Blackhawk vest. I know, I know, balls of fire, explosions, plumes of flame, guys in night vision, made overseas...

But Eagle doesn't make the vest configuration I want. I don't really want a modular vest at this point, just something that's ready to go out of the box and will work for street or field.

I've owned a Blackhawk vest before. The quality was good enough, it was just wrong handed, so I gave it away.

Anyways, I'll be sure to post a review of the vest when I receive it.

NMshooter
February 15, 2006, 09:37 PM
Well, at least you will be using the most "tactical" of revolvers out there...:neener:

Something in hand is better than looking at pictures and thinking about it, hopefully you can make that vest work for you.

:)

Correia
February 16, 2006, 07:06 PM
I wish I would have seen this sooner since you're going to be out here soon anyway. I sell a lot of gear. The best bet for what you were looking for would have been a base vest with just the MOLLE on it, and then putting on whatever modular pouches you wanted.

Nightcrawler
February 16, 2006, 11:19 PM
You know, I don't dig the modular stuff that's all the rage now. It's from a pracitcal standpoint, mind you, and I've got practical considerations to consider (yeah).

Consideration 1: Before April 15th, I'm going to have to send approximately $6,000 to the IRS and another $2,000 to the State of Michigan. (In other words, I have to be careful how much I spend.)

Here's the deal with most modular rigs, as available from all the big gear houses. You pay about a hundred bucks for a "blank" modular harness, and then pay anywhere from ten (Tactical Tailor) to forty (Paracelet) bucks per pouch.

Or, I can pay $200, and get the Blackhawk vest, ready to go out of the box. Now, mind you, I didn't do this lightly. I don't like Blackhawk especially. They import their stuff from God knows where, when other makers make it in the US for the same price. Their advertisements are corny and hokey, full of guys in WAY too much gear, with explosions and night vision. (Not to mention the glove ad with the supposed "letter from the mother of a wounded soldier.)

And, everything they make has to have a funky name. They're not gloves, they're HELLSTORM GLOVES! HYDRASTORM water blatters. STRIKE modular vest system. On and on.

BUT...Blackhawk made the product that I wanted, nobody else did. So they got my money. Finding good .308 pouches is hard. For a duty belt (as in police type gear), I wouldn't WANT a dual-mag pouch. Too bulky. Same thing if the pouch is mounted on the chest/abdomen area.

(For duty belt use, I'm strongly looking at the mag pouches from 3 Gun Gear.)

For that same reason, these modular rigs largely aren't for me. I don't want big, bulky double .308 mag pouches hanging off of my chest. (Ever land on a mag pouch while diving into the prone? OUCH!) The vest I purchased will hold six .308 mags, laying flat across my chest. If I need more than 120 rounds, I can attach additional magazine pouches to a pistol belt and lash the belt to the vest. (These pouches would be more out to the side.)

Besides. I have to wonder, in regards to the modular systems. How many guys buy the rig and the pouches, spend a while getting it just right, and then never change it? I mean, you wouldn't want to change it. Once you're used to your mag pouches being in one spot, you don't want to move them, less you react the wrong way in a tight spot.

Anyway. I will post a review of the item when I receive it. Thanks, everyone, for the input!

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