Wednesday, 18 July 2012

US Non-MOLLE(ish) Load Bearing Gear

So, a while back I bought an olive drab Tokyo Marui M14. As with moving to any new gun platform, it comes with the dilemma of more magazines, more batteries, more load bearing gear to suit the size of magazines etc. etc.

As the M14 is more of an old school battle rifle, I decided to go with belt kit for it and, to cut a long story short, decided on an ALICE-style setup (most of which I had knocking around in the cupboard) and some new Tactical Tailor 308 pouches to go with the US woodland BDUs, boonie and jungle boots for a sort of late 80s/early 90s style SEAL greenside look. Obviously, this was the start of yet another slippery slope of getting the look and functionality of the belt absolutely right, going through several iterations until you get to the (possible) end result of what you see here. I dare say there will be a few changes when I start using it, but it looks good to go.

The reason for two sets is pretty simple. I was looking for a Blackhawk belt pad to finish off the belt kit. Someone was selling a Blackhawk belt, belt pad and H-harness on one of the forums, so I bought it. He very kindly threw in the rest of the kit he was selling so I effectively had two sets of belt kit, neither of which was ideal for what I wanted so last night I sat down with my new Blu-Ray copy of Act of Valour to sort out this big bag of olive green and US woodland camouflage.

As mentioned above, I bought an entire new ALICE rig from a UK airsoft forum. This consisted of two ALICE magazine pouches, two water bottle pouches, Blackhawk belt, pad and harness and a USGI buttpack. In the gear cupboard, there was already a 308 belt kit built on an ALICE belt and LC-2 suspenders, as well as an old LBV, some more water bottle pouches, another butt pack and some other odds and ends. All of this lot was immediately dismantled and scattered around the living room floor.

Without going into too much boring detail, the end result can be seen in the pictures below. I got the 308 ALICE-style belt that I was after in the first place, and had more than enough bits left over for an M4/M16 riflemans LBV as well.

The US load-bearing vest setup consists of 2 ALICE 5.56mm ammo pouches, 2 water bottle pouches, buttpack, first aid kit and a High Speed Gear Inc dropleg holster (for a Colt 1911).

The belt kit is built on a Blackhawk belt, belt pad and harness and features a Tactical Tailor triple pistol pouch, 4 Tactical Tailor .308/7.62 pouches, 2 water bottle pouches, buttpack, Bianchi M12 holster and a compass/dressing pouch.

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