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Old September 5, 2002, 12:06 PM   #1
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Anyone use an LBV?

Are LBVs like this one practical for civilians (range use, matches, whatnot) or will everyone just laugh at you? Will be for use w/ my shotgun, M1A and pistol.

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Old September 5, 2002, 02:46 PM   #2
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Try shooting prone.
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Old September 5, 2002, 03:20 PM   #3
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I saw a guy at the range a few weeks ago wearing an LBV and pistol belt with pouches and stuff hanging all over the place shooting an AR with a taclight, foregrip, aimpoint and various other doodads. There wasnt a single person there that didnt laugh at him. Kinda silly if you ask me. Its not like you are out in the woods and have to carry everything on you for a mission.
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Old September 5, 2002, 05:32 PM   #4
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From the tone of your posts in general, it sounds like you need to attend a serious firearms course. You'll find out what gear and skills you need. Then, if others don't like your gear, to hell with'em.

It's pretty funny that the good ole' boy gun toters chuckle at a guy wearing a LBV while they're dressing up like Roy Roger's and playing Lone Ranger or spending big bucks to shoot ceramic frisbees. I mean it's not like they are going to be attacked by Indians or clay pigeons.

Last edited by G3; September 5, 2002 at 06:33 PM.
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Old September 5, 2002, 09:05 PM   #5
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Mine is sitting on my office chair. Of course it's with all of the other gear that I have to drag with me to the field.

I don't think I would pay the money for one for civy use. I think there are better things out there for general shooting. Do you need 6 spare mags on you?

Besides, I think you're going to get odd looks (if you care).

It's really up to you. However, most of the guys with all that stuff should have spent their money on ammo and more shooting. They look cool, but often can't shoot well.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old September 5, 2002, 09:13 PM   #6
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I don't think an LBV is practical for civie use unless, your dressing up for Halloween . Though, you could stuff a lot of pogy bait in the mag pouches (candybars ...).

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Old September 5, 2002, 09:20 PM   #7
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You want a "grab & go" solution? Get a chest mag rig that just has magazines only. They are comfortable and pretty inexpensive. Or, better yet, just get a bandoleer. That's going to cover 99% of what you'll deal with in a home defense situation.

LBV's are pretty useless outside of their designed situations - combat & cqb. You don't need 90% of what's on there, they are heavy, they change your length of pull, etc etc etc. Pretty narrow specifications - something you aren't likely to encounter.

If you want LBE for the SHTF situation, go ahead. Make sure you ruck march with it and in general, get so used to wearing it that you no longer notice it's there. If you want an LBV for a costume, go for it. Otherwise, I don't see any situation you are likely to get into that you'll need it.

Unless, of course, you like hiking around with one in the woods and fill the mag pouches with survival gear.

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Old September 5, 2002, 09:50 PM   #8
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I can put my Boss tuner in one, my capos in the utility pouch, Dobro slide in another pouch...hehehe and a concertina in the drop leg gas mask pouch!

Skunk...master of the tactical banjo....

Thought about it as a grab & shoot thing....for range use too...don't know see myself needing 180 .308 rounds (2 mags in each pouch) but I see myself needing 70 12ga shells (18 in each pouch), I had a stage where I only had 51 9mm rounds and ran out on the last target....

Still I dont want to look like a tactical dork. I don't shoot 3gun much but I do tend to think about 3gun logistics the most.
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Old September 6, 2002, 09:46 AM   #9
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Here's my 0.02 FRN's worth of input...

LBEs/LBVs are great for training for a fight (or using in a fight for that matter...), but I wouldn't wear it to you local rod -n- gun club. Occasionally, with the more serious shooters I train with we'll put all the gear on and shoot for an afternoon on someone's private property. At the very least it gives you a chance to see what works and what doesn't. Even better is to take a class like Uraban Rifle at Thunder Ranch - that'll really show you what is needed versus what's not and what works versus what is garbage.

The reason why I wouldn't wear one to the local club is that, for the most part, all shooting is done from a designated firing line and my truck will be nearby for any supplies/support equipment - no need to carry it with me. Also, I try to keep a 'low' profile at the club. No need to advertise without knowing who you're dealing with.

When shooting on private property its a whole 'nother story. Not only is it very private, but we're usually moving all over the place, from 100 yards out to 1,000. Its nice to have all of my mags and some water and other things with me instead of constantly having to go back to the house.

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Old September 6, 2002, 04:21 PM   #10
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I have found that my old worn-out M-65 Field Jacket does a good job of toting mags-n-stuff. It's not "High-Speed", but it will carry plaenty of mags in the four pockets without looking too conspicuous.
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Old September 7, 2002, 03:41 PM   #11
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Y-harness is comfy but mag pouches stick out on the sides. LBV is hotter but more compact. Both work fine and prone isn't a problem if you do it right (keep the pressure off your chest by angling your legs to the side). I'd rather have an LBV and train with it than carry a range bag around.
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Old September 7, 2002, 07:07 PM   #12
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Skunk, I think it is best to travel light whether camping or going "tactical" you don't need all the excess stuff. I cite the following example. Two years ago I went to my first Machine Gun Shoot at Knob Creek. There were a couple of operators from a PD SWAT team in the assault match.

Their load out was as follows. Boots, BDUs, and "team" tshirt. Nylon web belt (probably Wilderness). Glock strong side in kydex scabbard, with mags in kydex pouches on front of belt. Mags for M4s in kydex pouch on weak side. M4 slung over shoulder. That was it.

In other words less is more.
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Old September 7, 2002, 07:38 PM   #13
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Skunk, you have lots of questions, but no experience or, answers. Just go shoot a 3 gun match, and see for yourself. Then report back on your Wonder Vest.
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Old September 8, 2002, 05:21 AM   #14
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LBVs have their place, but these days I just strap all my gear onto my body armor and don't wear the LBV since I don't take the body armor off.

I use to go to the range at my last duty station and wear my war gear, while shooting my M4. Some of the good old boys that would shoot there also, use to tell me "why shoot a gun like that, they are only good for killing people." All I would do is tell them, well that is my job.
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Old September 8, 2002, 04:38 PM   #15
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I use an LBV, and it works very well for the kind of shooting i do (field rifle and pistol matches)

If you shoot at Desert marksman range very often, you'd be well advised to hook up wit their tactical shooting club, they're pretty squared away guys, and they have lots of good advice on gear and stuff.

as for people making fun of me while using it, I generally don't care.
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Old September 10, 2002, 10:37 AM   #16
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Depends on where/what you are shooting. I'm in agreement with mpthole.

I believe in having an emergency kit ready to go. I will practice with it when I'm out in the desert with like minded individuals, but I do not wear it to the range, or to shoot in matches.

When I shoot in 3 gun matches I usually just hook pouches to my regular belt. (make sure it is a good one, 3 gun gear weighs a ton, depending on how much ammo you are toting). For shotgun I wear a 10 shot belt pouch, a 5 shot buttcuff, a 5 shot armband (don't laugh it works) and my wife is sewing a bandoleer. (shooting in the WC3gun latter this month, it is my understanding that they have been known to have some shotgun stages with VERY high round counts). Usually 1 or 2 GI mag pouches in front, pistol in standard behind hip, and pistol mag pouches on left side. This has worked for me so far, but in my last match there was one stage with a 75 yard dash (40 rounds of .308, pistol, 32 rounds of .45, 10 shot shells all on belt), and I about lost my pants!

My personal emergency gear set up is just a web belt, Y harness (going to upgrade to a camelback H harness), 2 GI mag pouches in front (holds 2 FAL mags each), a South African Hippo pack on back (8 more magazines, 2 larger pouches for supplies), a G-Code holster bolted to the right side, and a pouch on the left side that holds 2 spare 1911 mags, and a bag of trail mix. I also have this set up to work with my big backpack. (Hip straps ride over top of webgear). Camel back rides in big pack, or is removed and attached to smaller day pack that zips to back of big pack.

I can't wear a chest pouch or an LBV because I over heat too fast. My chest has to be open to get circulation. Plus prone can be very uncomfortable for me with mags on my chest. But that is just my opinion.

I will caution you to work with whatever you decide to use for your emergency gear. I get such a kick out of the SHTF "warriors" who babble endlessly about their uber-gear, but haven't actually used any of it.

Recently a group of us (including a few TFLers) had a "camping trip" where we tested all of our gear in realistic conditions. We did 30 miles of high desert and shale country in 1 night, 1 day, and the next morning. I did 60+ pounds in my pack (20 of it was water and gatorade) and 200 rounds of .308 on my webgear, plus toted a 10 lbs. FAL. It was very educational, especially when people's gear started to break.

And if anybody ever laughs at you, you can't beat STLRN's response. Man that is a good one!
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Old September 30, 2002, 10:49 PM   #17
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Observations on LCE in general

the first thing that bears on this discussion is that LBE/LCE/LBV are a matter of personal preferences.

When I went out for OPS tactical rifle course last may, I bought an SOE lightfighter vest, worked great until my AR broke! and then I used my backup SAR-1 - guess what the awesome SOE rig did NOT work as well for AK mags.

not only that, but in a tactical sense, you will encounter any degree of difficulty in accessing magazines from your strong side - that is mag pockets on your firing side.

The USGI ETLBV while better constructed than the first version - does not lend itself ideally for "tactical" employment. In fact if you want an LBV, look into getting one of the CMVS vests which are the same as the ETLBV except there are no permanently attached pockets but panels of MOLLE webbing.

The PRONE argument is again a matter of personal suitability.

as far as folks laughing at you at the range, (chances are these guys may be 'amateurs'<--)
well I align myself to the camp that believes in training the SAME as your perform/or intend to perform. Obviously if you are not, then personally I dont think theres a need to wear any sort of lbe. last thing you need to do is draw any undue attention to yourself or your particular activity.

In short - personal preferences rule, you get what works for your guns system(s), train like you fight, cheap does not always mean bad, and expensive does not always mean good.

Anyhow, that only my opinion.


edited for clarity -
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Old October 2, 2002, 10:47 AM   #18
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I bought my chest mag pouch setup (Blackhawk, through for this very reason. If I'm wearing anything on my belt (Glock, leatherman,etc) I dont' have to take it off or anything, it's above all that. Just the strap over your head, then the one around your body, and boom it's on. Holds 8 mags for my AK and two pistol mags. In the extremely unlikely event I actually need all that, it's there, and quick to throw on (I'd have to load a bunch of mags quick though!) over whatever I'm wearing. Usually, it keeps my SAR-1 company. Only cost me $50, not $200+ like some of these vests do.

When I had an 870, the extra ammo was in a US Army map case ($10). Held 45+ rounds of 12ga, could be thrown on over anything, handily kept all my spare shells in one spot next to the shotgun, and looked innocuous (it was a black one, not OD green). Tried using it for reloads shooting skeet and it did work fairly well, without the Rambo look of a bandoleer (or the Mexican bandito look, depending on your locale). Also held a cleaning kit, etc.
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Old October 3, 2002, 05:47 PM   #19
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Egg, good to see ya over here

Glad to see a knowledgable gear queer over here


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Old October 3, 2002, 08:34 PM   #20
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"Glad to see a knowledgable gear queer over here ..."

I think there are more of us lurking here than you would guess; this particular forum just doesn't have a real tolerant vibe for people who are into tac nylon.
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Old October 7, 2002, 10:46 PM   #21
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I admit, I have a liking for load beaing equipment and such. Even if I'll never need it, it's one of those things I like to have. And, frankly, if you have a serious weapon of some sort, be it a rifle, a pistol, or a shotgun, you really ought to have a way to carry spare ammunition for it, should you ever actually need it.

But wear it to the range? Nah, probably not.

In the Guards, we've gone from the old load carrying equipment to the new load bearing vests. Both work fine if you want to carry six extra M16 mags. Though with the LBV and a pistol belt, you can put two ammo pouches on the belt and give youself twelve M16 mags.

But then again, I'm a SAW gunner, so my spare ammo goes on my belt anway. What goes into the ammo pouches? My glasses rag, my camo paint, my notebook, my little field mirror, etc. Stuff you need. I have a buttpack on my rig for my MRE, too, as well as two canteens.

There are a lot of good designs out there, though. Check out what FMCO has to offer. Really well thought out stuff.

If you want to shoot prone, though, beware of having TOO much stuff directly on your chests. Any more than two magazines in a single chest pouch and you're going to have a hard time crawling on your belly (though to be honest, when you've got an LBV, pistol belt, buttpack w/ MRE, two full canteens, two mag pouches on your belt with assorted stuff in 'em, an extra 200 round SAW box on a big pouch on your belt, a 20-lb SAW with 200 rounds in your hands, a spare barrel on your back, a kevar helmet on your head, and a gas mask on your left hip (either attached to your belt or wrapped on its own) you're not going to have the worlds greatest flexibility anyway.)
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Old October 10, 2002, 11:39 PM   #22
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A pistol belt with mag pouches and a bandolier is all I need. The only situation I could possibly need 160 .308 rounds in would be survival-oriented. A shoulder bag with tools, water, and first aid kit covers everything else.
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