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Old January 1, 2014, 09:27 PM   #1
Tangentabacus
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Join Date: April 15, 2010
Location: Alaska
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Suggestions on packs/bags

So I'm pretty new to using my guns as tools... As a result I need better ways to carry them. Here's my needs: I have an AR-15, a Rem 700 AAC-SD, and a Mossberg 590A1. I carry the Mossberg for protection in the woods around Alaska. Sometimes in a truck, sometimes on a snowmobile, sometimes on a boat, sometimes on foot, and even sometimes in a kayak. I want to be able to carry all three (not necessarily at the same time though) with the ability to quickly draw the weapon in need for protection. I also need to be able to carry a decent amount of ammo, some survival gear, a medical kit, and an area for personal effects like an SLR camera maybe. I prefer them to be OD green or some sort of camo is okay. Just hate the look of that "real tree" stuff or whatever. Would be okay with molle gear but honestly I have no clue how that stuff works or what it's capabilities are.

Basically I want a basic overnight pack with the ability to carry a rifle sized gun on the back and some ammo, but I can't afford multiple packs so diversity in its function is a huge plus.

Suggestions welcome! Have no information on packs and bags.
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Old January 1, 2014, 11:43 PM   #2
jben
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Check out Crooked Horn Outfitters. They make very good quality packs, similar it sounds in what you are looking for. I own one of their older designs, and it is a great pack. They have some newer designs made for packing guns etc., I do believe. jben
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:35 AM   #3
tgreening
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Eberlestock or Mystery Ranch. Neither one is especially cheap, but they are built like the proverbial tank, which might come in handy given your stated usage, and both offer packs designed specifically for being weapons haulers.

I use a Gunslinger II from Eberlestock and couldn't be happier. It isn't made to haul a tremendous amount of gear, but if you wanted to only carry firearms and some support equip/ammo it might do the trick. For multiple firearms though, I'm sure they have better options.
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:35 AM   #4
Water-Man
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I prefer Eberlestock packs.
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:35 AM   #5
Tangentabacus
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Thanks for the suggestions so far. I got another question to the mix that will really surprise me if anyone has a good answer to... Anyone have any suggestions for a hard case scabbard for a full length tubed shot gun on a snow machine?
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:41 AM   #6
Water-Man
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Look up Kolpin Gun Boot. I believe that would work.
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Old January 2, 2014, 03:29 PM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Range bags, scabbards, packs....

I read over your post & have a few gear/kit sites you might want to check.
I looked into a VooDoo Tactical Multi-Cam scabbard from www.QMuniforms.com for a left hand 870 Express 12ga. That whole plan is on hold for now.
See these vendors/retailers:
www.CSMgear.com www.CryePrecision.com (makers of Multi-Cam camo), www.5.11Tactical.com www.Blackhawk.com www.uscav.com www.galls.com www.policehq.com www.natchezss.com www.actiongear.com www.deltaforce.com .
Blackhawk was started by a retired US Navy SEAL. They market a Camelback type hydration pack that looks durable.

Look them over & post a response.

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Old January 4, 2014, 12:54 AM   #8
Tangentabacus
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So far: I have concluded that the G3 "Phantom" or Gunslinger 2 Eberlestock pack is probably what I should be looking at. I am concerned about 2 items though. First: their website makes it seem somewhat compact when empty, but the demo pictures I see online make the packs look HUGE. Any thoughts on this?

Also... Does anyone carry these packs with chest rigs or plate carriers in kind of a BOB configuration? Though I'll probably never use it in that configuration I'm curious the solutions people have come up with. Most of the time I forsee my 590A1 in the scabbard on my back and a pouch of 20 Brenneke Black Magic slugs on a molle pouch up front. A sleeping bag stuffed into the bottom of the bag, my overnight tent, a few clothes, some food, and plenty of room left over for a camera, a small trauma kit, and maybe some climbing gear. I am really liking the fact that you can get these bags in unicam. That side pocket would be perfect for my 3 piece fly rod or camera tripod.

Alternately I really like the front opening 5.11 bags but don't like that they seem to be more aimed towards the mall ninja (or light duty) vs a practical application such as hiking, camping, etc. That is the reasoning behind the G3 bag instead of going with the other gun slingers, though I am very tempted by the gun slinger 2 but don't like that you cannot open the front of the pack. I expect full access to the bottom of a pack when I am participating in mountain SAR's instead of having to dig through a pack when I need something quickly.

While both one of its coolest and most concerning features the back scabbard on these bags concerns me about the forces your weapon could take under a slip, trip, fall, or climbing down steep rocky terrain as the barrel protrudes below your waist line. I am curious if you can raise the gun up in the pack anticipating these situations. I am also concerned about the comfort of the "shooters" harness instead of normal padded straps.

Thank you very much to those who recommended Eberlestock bags. I have never seen or heard of this brand and -REALLY- like the idea that I'm supporting a homegrown US business. Now just to decide which of the two is a better choice for me.
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Old January 4, 2014, 10:53 PM   #9
tgreening
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Apparently Eberlestock is fairly popular with our military, so that should answer the question about wear with a plate carrier/vest/etc.

The gunslinger II is most certainly accessible from the front. The entire front panel zips open using two heavy duty zippers, and all gear can be accessed/front loaded if that's your desire.

The bottom portion of the scabbard can be rolled up and tucked up inside the pack. This will stop your rifle from hanging below your hiney, but will make it protrude further above your head. Pick your poison, but if you have a long non-adjustable rifle, it's either going to be high or low. The scabbard IS adjustable so it can accommodate a range of rifle lengths. You could also purchase a long/short side scabbard and carry two at once.

Don't feel bad about dismissing 5:11, Blackhawk, or others of similar construction. They don't hold a candle to Eberlestock.

The only downside to the Gunslinger or even the G3 is neither is overly roomy internally. A sleeping bag, tent, and clothes are some fairly bulky items under the best of conditions, and 2700 ci disappears real quick. Plus side is you can always molle on a few side pouches to pick up some extra space when needed

If that basic storage capacity is of real concern I'd take a look at either the J79 Skycrane or the F4 Terminator. My personal favorite would be the J79. Not especially wallet friendly in the long run but is a highly configurable pack that can be set up from around 4400 ci to over 8000 ci with a duffel add on. Since I'm a bit of a pack junky this will probably be my next.

I find the shoulder straps on the Gunslinger very comfortable. When properly fit all the straps are really supposed to do is keep the pack from flopping over backwards. They shouldn't be carrying much weight anyway. Heavy straps = a quick trip to hurt city on them shoulders.

If there is anything in particular you want to know, or see, just ask. I can show you what's what on the Gunslinger II since that's what I run at the moment.

I don't think you could go wrong with any of the Eberlestock options. Pricey, but I wager they'll still be pulling duty long after your gear fell out the bottom of some of those other makers.

Last edited by tgreening; January 4, 2014 at 11:01 PM.
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Old January 4, 2014, 11:19 PM   #10
Tangentabacus
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I like the gunslinger 2 more overall if it indeed does have front opening capabilities. I got two picture requests: Can you post a picture of your pack's interior with the front flap open? Also a picture of how you usually load it would be cool to see what it looks like with a normal load. Any other pictures you want to throw in I'd be happy to take a look at. Really love the G3 and Gunslinger 2. The G3 has a pretty neat divider in it that looks like it would be great to put a trauma kit in the upper compartment area. The drag bag idea in the G3 is pretty appealing as well I'll have to admit.

Thanks for any pictures. There's not many good youtube videos and user pics are sparse that don't have a caribou rack or something on it.
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Old January 18, 2014, 12:12 AM   #11
tgreening
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Sorry this took so long. This first pic is just to give you an idea of it's size. EBRs are a standard Colt with a 16" barrel on the right, 10.5" SBR on the left, and on the bottom is a 9mm with a 7.5", but it has about a 2-2 1/2" boomer loudener on the front.




Looking down at the front end, obviously.




Not much of a "review" but hopefully it'll give you an idea of what you're looking at with a Gunslinger.


Front panel open. I wasn't exactly sure what you were wanting me to load it with, but I took the easy way out and loaded up stuff I pulled from my "go bag" (small travel case I keep loaded with a couple changes of clothes and other business related stuff because I hate packing), which was a couple pairs of pants, shirts, socks, and a bathroom ditty bag. Probably room for another pair of pants and shirt and socks, without over stuffing it. I think I mentioned, it's not a huge pack.




Top panel open. A fair amount of room up here for "stuff". I think there are 4 30 rnd mags in there, and room for some other odds and ends.



Closeup....




Ok, this is a shot of the the important stuff when it comes to comfort. It's fairly apparent the amount of padding involved here. It's a very comfortable pack. The rifle inserted is the 10.5 SBR with the stock collapsed all the way. The bottom portion of the built in scabbard is rolled up and stuffed up into the pack at the bottom. If you unrolled it the rifle would disappear from view. The fullsized Colt would probably present about the same profile pictured, if the scabbard were unrolled. Or you could leave the pack as is and let the rifle stick up higher. The Gunslinger II comes with a cover to encase the top portion of the rifle to protect it if you desire. It attaches to the pack via buckles and completely conceals whatever rifle you stick in the scabbard.




Not much of a "review", but hopefully it will give you a decent idea of what to expect from a Gunslinger II.
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Old February 1, 2014, 08:56 PM   #12
JimDandy
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First off: Think of Molle as something like belt-keepers if you've ever worn a duty belt- If you haven't, the closest I guess I could come is a REALLY big sewing machine. Those molle loops get "sewn" together by the links.

I just started re-fitting my backpacking/camping supplies as well. One of the things I figured out is that as an old, fat, cheap, fat, and did I say cheap guy military surplus was pretty attractive.

I picked up something called an ILBE (Improved Load Bearing Equipment) USMC surplus pack system on Ebay for about 130. Supposedly the main(backpacking) pack was new, and the assault pack was "gently used". I don't know enough about the 3 Day assault pack (really just a school sized, maybe larger backpack) to know if it was gently used or if these seams are supposed to be split for the hydration pocket, but I suspect they're supposed to be sewn shut.

With that said, I already ordered a new condition 3 day pack to go with the new Main Pack. I've still paid less than a civilian pack from the same makers that's actually smaller, didn't have the 3 day pack, and now I (will) have two day packs. Plus the hip belt fits me on the USMC surplus, but (supposedly according to website specs) won't on the civilian pack.

If you don't want to drop a couple-to-three hundred on a full set of the Main pack, 3-Day, and a hydration pack all designed to strap together for one mother of a bag, there's also the Army's choice called a Molle-II. It gets slightly worse reviews, but still good reviews. I've seen a full backpack for less than 100, although that was rare and gave me "too good to be true" vibes. Most often I see the full set at about 150ish.

A 3-4 Season sleeping bag is ~120ish in Military Surplus -called a Modular Sleep System, two bags and a waterproof-ish exterior liner (OD green, Black, and old-time Woodland Pattern that nest like those creepy dolls- and a stuff sack. Or you can drop 200 for the most god awful mustard yellow thing from REI.

To save $50 or more, look for an Improved Combat Shelter over an REI 2 person tent.

For your scabbard, The VISM by NCStar looks good, and it's Molle, so you can attach it to any of the packs I mentioned. It's not hard sided for your ATV though.
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