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Old August 24, 2005, 11:48 AM   #1
Ceol Mhor
Senior Member
Join Date: October 24, 2001
Posts: 1,043
Tactical vest for a Garand (help!)

My go-to rifle is a .308 M1 Garand. I tinkered with pretty much every .308 autoloader on the market, and concluded that the M1 fits me the best, and so I got one. I've run it in action rifle matches and a Front Sight course, and have no desire to swap it for anything.

I want to get a good vest for it. There aren't many options out there for carrying ammo for it, and I've tried most of them. I'm not satisfied with any.

I want a system that will hold at least 80 rounds of ammo accessible, and is compatible with a pack (suitable for a couple days use; must include sleeping bag space) and Camelbak, and doesn't interfere with my belt (which carries my pistol, Leatherman, and flashlight).

The closest thing I've found to this is a complete WWII web gear set (M1944 field pack, M1945 cargo pack, 10-pocket ammo belt, and related webbing straps). The problems are that the pack space is fairly small, it's quite heavy when empty, it's downright uncomfortable to wear, and the ammo belt precludes having anything on my pants belt.

The only better thing I've seen is the M1 vest made by FMCO, but I can find very little info on it. It appears to meet all my desires really well, with the modular pack and sleeping bag carrier attachments. I'm willing to spend some money on it (the price before shipping for whaty I'm looking at would be just over $300), but only if it's good stuff. So...

Question 1: Has anyone used FMCO gear? Are there any reputable reviews of the guy's stuff around? All I've found are a few very brief comments (except for Nightcrawler here, but he doesn't appear to have played with any of the vests, just pouches).

Question 2: For the same money, are there any other companies who will custom-make a similar product?

Any advice I could get from experienced folks will be greatly appreciated - thanks!
"There goes as if deranged a German soldier, with burning helmet on his head, making horrible noises. A second, as though possessed, yells "Jews...weapons. Jews...weapons."
- From an anonymous eyewitness' description of the first battle of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
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