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Old October 7, 2002, 10:17 PM   #1
Nightcrawler
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A good load bearing system

This system I'm going to show you is, to my mind, better thought out than the load bearing vests I'm issued in the Guard.

For instance, the GI LBV uses velcro and snaps to secure the ammo pouches. Velcro is a loud, unmistakable sound (bad when you're trying to be sneaky) and snaps rust and get clogged with dirt.

Secondly, despite there being four chest pouches, the top two only hold one mag each, still limiting your capacity to six. Yeah, I know, the standard issue is 6 extra mags, blah blah blah, standard procedure, blah blah blah, Army knows best. Tell the Rangers in Mogadishu that six reloads is all you'll ever need.

Also, the LBV is incompatible with the SAW. In order to carry saw reloads, you have to have the big saw pouches on the pistol belt. These pouches close by snaps only.

Finally, the LBV and rucksack don't seem to go well together. You have, basically, two sets of straps digging into your shoulders, and with the compass pouch on your left shoulder (as the Army insists I have) you have a nice big lump for the rucksack strap to push down on. That gets old real fast. (Not to mention you can't fire prone with the rucksack on if it's full; the back of your helmet hits the thing.)

Anyway, the FMCO Combat Load Bearing Vest seems to be a very well though out system. Different versions of the vest give you either eight or twelve extra magazines, and it's available for the AK-47/74, M16 family, or .308 weapons such as the FAL and M14.

I was going to post pics, but it's an angelfire site and all you get is the angelfire logo. Grr. I'll attach a picture of the vests.

But let's say you're a bit eclectic and rely on an M1 Carbine, a Garand, or an SKS for defense. Not a problem! FMCO offers ALICE-compatible (read-they'll fit on a GI pistol belt) ammo pouches for all three weapons! The M1 Carbine pouches hold six (6!) thirty round magazines each. The Garand pouches hold six 8-round clips, and the SKS pouches hold twelve 10-round clips. Good pouches for putting together a web harness for your weapon of choice.

Just thought I'd post some info on what I think is a very well though out system. Poke around the FMCO site; they have a wide variety of equipment available.
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Old October 7, 2002, 10:21 PM   #2
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CLBV Pics

Here is the standard vest. Holds 8 M16 mags and two frags. Compatible with CamelBak type devices, pistol belts, and has available accessories like small packs, holsters, etc.
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File Type: jpg clbvm16.jpg (10.3 KB, 129 views)
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Old October 7, 2002, 10:23 PM   #3
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Here is the vest for the AK-47. It's the only vest that I know of that'll allow you to carry eight 30-rd AK mags. Also, the twelve magazine version is available for all weapons, including the AK. That's 360 rounds of ammo in the AK/M16, or 240 rounds for the M14/G3/FAL.
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File Type: jpg clbvak47.jpg (18.6 KB, 87 views)
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Old October 7, 2002, 10:25 PM   #4
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Here is an example of the twelve magazine vest. This model is set up for holding M14 or other twenty round .308 magazines. 240 rounds of 7.62x51mm is hard to beat! It'll be heavy, though. If you're going to rely on a system like this, it'll help to be in shape. (Though, putting on the vest, plus a CamelBak full of water, and loading it with 12 fully loaded FAL magazines, and then going for a long walk three times a week will get you into shape pretty quick...)
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File Type: jpg clbvfal12.jpg (9.5 KB, 99 views)
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Old October 7, 2002, 10:26 PM   #5
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This CLBV holds 72 rounds of twelve or twenty gauge ammunition. All FMCO vests are abvailable in woodland camo, black, olive drab, desert tan, or hunter orange.
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File Type: jpg clbvshotgun72.jpg (11.2 KB, 55 views)
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Old October 7, 2002, 11:20 PM   #6
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its one take.........

I have never been a fan of the arctic squeeze clip - yes thats what those closures are on fmco vests.

and the examples I have come across have not seen very kind use - another drawback to using this closure style is the relative difficulty in field replacements.

I've said it in another post, GOOD systems are a subjective issue and will be highly refelctive on the amount of experience a particular user will have with the range of LCE/LBE systems.

There are NO Be-all end-all systems out in the market, but there are some that come PRETTY damn close. Kinda like an asymptotic curve in algebra.

Personally, if budget was not a concern, I would not hesitate in recommending SOE for LBVs, HighSpeed gear for chest rigs and CustomTactical for duh! self designed rigs.

EGG
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Old October 9, 2002, 11:46 AM   #7
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Of all the attachment systems I've personally seen, I like the ABS buckle the best. Check out the Modular stuff from www.tacticaltailor.com . The "AK47 pouch" holds 2 mags each, and uses the ABS style buckles.

They've got the Modular Tactical Vest for traditional Police entry type vests, then there's the MAV, which is a near identical piece to the "Ranger RACK" that some SpecOps teams have adopted.

I know the MOLLE stuff isn't usually very popular, but I really like the Modular stuff from Tactical Tailor...

And before you ask...

I have only used tactical gear for "vandalism prevention" work with a P.I. firm on several occasions, videotaping vandals in a very rural setting, weekend/lake house type stuff in the woods, and for casual Paintball play. The TT stuff held up well for both applications.
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Old October 9, 2002, 12:32 PM   #8
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True, my ideal "rig" would be something that allowed carry of both FAL magazines and extra pistol magazines, since the FAL is my primary weapon. Now, ideally, everything I needed would be in one setup; ammo pouches, holster, water, etc. Don't forget the water!
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Old October 9, 2002, 01:22 PM   #9
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My Choice...

Blackhawk's Urban Assault Vest.

I wanted a vest that rode close to the body that offered me the option of loading different types of magazines. This vest represents the best compromise I could find to date. The vest retains a bit too much body heat for really hot climates, but otherwise I'm very pleased with it.


Regards
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