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View Full Version : Choosing a tactical vest?


a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 8:19 PM
Hey all. Please don't beat me too badly for posting this here as I figured more guys would chime in here than any of the other sections. I am interested in a tactical style vest for the purpose of holding a 1911 size pistol, 6+ fullsize AR mags (10/30's of course), & a 6" fixed blade knife (blade length). I see there are dozens to choose from starting at $30 & up. I don't know if what I'm looking for is even offered or practical. I want something that is good quality & will last the long haul. Any suggestions? Thanks.

aermotor
07-12-2009, 8:24 PM
I really like the crossdraw vests, although they only carry 3 AR mags. Really nice though, 4 pistol mag pouches and another aux pouch. Many people make them.

KellyTTE
07-12-2009, 8:27 PM
I really like the crossdraw vests, although they only carry 3 AR mags. Really nice though, 4 pistol mag pouches and another aux pouch. Many people make them.

Feh.

Crossdraw vests usually use a generic nylon holster which is a great way to get bumble-farked up when doing weapon transitions. Plus it puts your mags on your strong side, instead of weak side where most modern manual of arms works from.

I'd say get something thats configurable, like a Tactical Tailor MAV and then play with it from there.

If I was going the 'vest' route, I'd use a SpecOps Brand 'Over Armor Vest'

http://specopsbrand.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=40

THT
07-12-2009, 8:28 PM
Eagle makes fantastic plate carriers with MOLLE webbing for all those pouches and whatnot that you want to use. It's pricey but will last.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 8:33 PM
What about this: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/59027-1.html. Is it cheesy as far as quality? They state that it holds a pistol, 6 AR mags, 4 pistol mags, & I could be creative with the knife.

fourXfour
07-12-2009, 8:35 PM
Have you considered a chest rig? They are cheaper and are very modular. I have an eagle AK rig with six mags in the middle. Also it has quite a few rows of molle on the right and left side You can easily attach a holster on your strong side and mags on your support side. The blackhawk serpa holsters work pretty well with the molle attachment.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 8:37 PM
Also, how does the Molle webbing work? Do the Molle accessories hook onto the loops? Does your gear flop around on the loops?

THT
07-12-2009, 8:39 PM
Also, how does the Molle webbing work? Do the Molle accessories hook onto the loops? Does your gear flop around on the loops?

The pouches usually have snaps and loops that run through the MOLLE loops then snap to the back of the pouch. They don't flop around as long as you run the loops as far as possible and leave 0 slack to allow flopping.

paco ramirez
07-12-2009, 8:44 PM
Tactical Tailor.

http://www.tacticaltailor.com/tacticalvests.aspx

They have one for everything.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 8:45 PM
So, let's say you want to attach Molle mag pouches to a Molle webbed vest/chest rig which has multiple rows of horizontal webbing, would the mag pouch strap run through 2 or 3 of the rows of horizontal loops on the vest or just one?

THT
07-12-2009, 8:47 PM
So, let's say you want to attach Molle mag pouches to a Molle webbed vest/chest rig which has multiple rows of horizontal webbing, would the mag pouch strap run through 2 or 3 of the rows of horizontal loops on the vest or just one?

Depending on the length of the pouch, two or three. My AR pouches run through three.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 8:51 PM
Great. The Molle thing makes sense to me now. If I choose the Molle vest/rig route & add my pistol & mag holders, what are some durable brands to consider?

THT
07-12-2009, 8:55 PM
Great. The Molle thing makes sense to me now. If I choose the Molle vest/rig route & add my pistol & mag holders, what are some durable brands to consider?

Depends on how much you want to spend. Eagle Industries and Tactical Tailor would be on the upper end. I bought a Condor plate carrier which is a budget plate carrier but I've put it through some use (classes, outdoor training with real firearms and plates, etc.) and it's held up well.

RolinThundr
07-12-2009, 9:02 PM
What about this: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/59027-1.html. Is it cheesy as far as quality? They state that it holds a pistol, 6 AR mags, 4 pistol mags, & I could be creative with the knife.

Be careful about stuff you order from CheaperThanDirt.com. I do order from them and they have great prices, but some of the stuff offered is just down right cheap.

Blackhawk makes some great gear, but they are pricey:

http://www.blackhawk.com/catalog/Chest-Rigs,2.htm

http://www.blackhawk.com/catalog/Vests,14.htm

Have fun shopping.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 9:24 PM
Be careful about stuff you order from CheaperThanDirt.com. I do order from them and they have great prices, but some of the stuff offered is just down right cheap.

Blackhawk makes some great gear, but they are pricey:

http://www.blackhawk.com/catalog/Chest-Rigs,2.htm

http://www.blackhawk.com/catalog/Vests,14.htm

Have fun shopping.

The vest I linked looks to have just about all the features I'm looking for. Just unsure about the quality.

X-NewYawker
07-12-2009, 9:30 PM
US cavalry store website to look at your options. chest rig that holds pistol and eight mags is easy to get on and off. If I was gonna get a full vest I would go BLACKHAWK.

X-NewYawker
07-12-2009, 9:31 PM
BTW
F cheaper than dirt because they won't ship some parts and ammo to Claifornia. patronize our friends. And AIRSOFT stores stock real tac vests. You can go in and try them on. But F Cheaper than Dirt.

a1fabweld
07-12-2009, 9:36 PM
BTW
F cheaper than dirt because they won't ship some parts and ammo to Claifornia. patronize our friends. And AIRSOFT stores stock real tac vests. You can go in and try them on. But F Cheaper than Dirt.

I hear ya' man. I don't want to patronize them for that exact issue. I've boycotted other companies for the same reason. Just using it as a comparison.

paco ramirez
07-12-2009, 9:37 PM
For plate carriers also check out MSA Paraclete, BattleLab, and Eclipse Performance. I'm getting the Paraclete Spec Ops Hard Plate Carrier.

K1LLROI
07-12-2009, 9:38 PM
If you want a custom one be ready to spend $$$..
I got mine at a G show. Just wait for the next one to come around..
I got mine for $25...:tt2:
Fits a whole bunch of stuff..they always have a large selection..
My 2c..:cool2:

aermotor
07-12-2009, 10:39 PM
Feh.

Crossdraw vests usually use a generic nylon holster which is a great way to get bumble-farked up when doing weapon transitions. Plus it puts your mags on your strong side, instead of weak side where most modern manual of arms works from.

I'd say get something thats configurable, like a Tactical Tailor MAV and then play with it from there.

If I was going the 'vest' route, I'd use a SpecOps Brand 'Over Armor Vest'

http://specopsbrand.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=40

Works fine for me, weapon in the right hand (strong), super easy to pull mags with my left (weak) – I find it really easy to pull out of holster even though it requires both hands, however, if you prefer you can remove the nylon holster and put one fitted for your gun in the same place with molle.

It's all about practice to me, you can be great with any system you train with.

QuarterBoreGunner
07-12-2009, 10:41 PM
you can be great with any system you train with.

This.

J_Rock
07-12-2009, 11:57 PM
Watch this instructional video, you'll learn everything you need to know.
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OL4soX9ml2E&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OL4soX9ml2E&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Hayashi Killian
07-13-2009, 12:44 AM
a1fabweld: I've got some Blackhawk stuff here, no vests or pouch stuff, but everything of theirs I've had is good quality, only normal wear and tear is evident, otherwise they stay solid and comfortable. Again, pricey is the big thing with them.

aplinker
07-13-2009, 1:15 AM
Hey all. Please don't beat me too badly for posting this here as I figured more guys would chime in here than any of the other sections. I am interested in a tactical style vest for the purpose of holding a 1911 size pistol, 6+ fullsize AR mags (10/30's of course), & a 6" fixed blade knife (blade length). I see there are dozens to choose from starting at $30 & up. I don't know if what I'm looking for is even offered or practical. I want something that is good quality & will last the long haul. Any suggestions? Thanks.

What's your use? When will you use it? For what purpose?

Chest rigs, vests, plate carriers, bags... all have their place.

You might want to consider conspicuousness if it's for shtf. You should also think about how difficult it is to put on, for any use.

One thing you might want to consider are sneaky bags.

Okami
07-13-2009, 1:54 AM
+1 http://www.onesourcetactical.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=241 :chris:

What's your use? When will you use it? For what purpose?

Chest rigs, vests, plate carriers, bags... all have their place.

You might want to consider conspicuousness if it's for shtf. You should also think about how difficult it is to put on, for any use.

One thing you might want to consider are sneaky bags.

till44
07-13-2009, 4:34 AM
I say forget the vest.. get a chest rig, eagle makes a great 3 mags chest rig as well as Tactical Tailor. Put you pistol mags on your hip, and I'd recommend an AR pouch on your hip as well. If you haven't tried doing mag changes from a chest/vest rig, give it a try. The waist is much easier and fluid. Just use the chest rig to feed your mag pouches on your hip. Its cheaper than most vest as well plus you have more options to customize your equipment position.

a1fabweld
07-13-2009, 7:47 AM
What's your use? When will you use it? For what purpose?

Chest rigs, vests, plate carriers, bags... all have their place.

You might want to consider conspicuousness if it's for shtf. You should also think about how difficult it is to put on, for any use.

One thing you might want to consider are sneaky bags.

For SHTF only. My thinking is if I have to grab & go, I don't want to be fumbling with a bag. To me, a vest/chest rig seems easier to work with & less to think about. Everything is right there & I don't have to take 10 minutes to strap on a bunch of stuff. Of course, the info that I have is from looking at pictures online so I could be way out of the ballpark.

akjunkie
07-13-2009, 7:54 AM
http://tac-force.com/crossdrawvest.aspx

might find it cheaper on ebay.

THT
07-13-2009, 7:58 AM
For SHTF only. My thinking is if I have to grab & go, I don't want to be fumbling with a bag. To me, a vest/chest rig seems easier to work with & less to think about. Everything is right there & I don't have to take 10 minutes to strap on a bunch of stuff. Of course, the info that I have is from looking at pictures online so I could be way out of the ballpark.

Sounds like you need a bug-out bag. A chest rig or plate carrier won't provide you with everything you need if SHTF. My plate carrier with gear is about 50lbs and that's just plates, ammo, FAK, etc. For SHTF, you need food, water, shelter, tools, etc. in addition to arms. If SHTF and I'm on foot, my armor is staying behind because I can't hump 50lbs of armor plus a 40lb BOB the length that I need to. I will instead rely on the contents of my BOB to get me where I need to go and avoid confrontation as much as possible (would still be armed but not as well nor not as well protected).

BlackDrop50
07-13-2009, 9:33 AM
Ummm one of ones I was looking at its both a plate carrier and chest rig/ MOLLE vest
About the same price or a little more than the cheaper chest rigs.

You don't have to run plates but you could if you wanted to.

HSGI Weesatch or Wasatch

http://www.skdtac.com/HSGI_Weesatch_Plate_Carrier_p/hsg.508.htm

aplinker
07-13-2009, 11:47 AM
For SHTF only. My thinking is if I have to grab & go, I don't want to be fumbling with a bag. To me, a vest/chest rig seems easier to work with & less to think about. Everything is right there & I don't have to take 10 minutes to strap on a bunch of stuff. Of course, the info that I have is from looking at pictures online so I could be way out of the ballpark.

This isn't Iraq, so unless it's WWIII, I'd much rather be carrying a bag/pack than wearing a chest rig and looking like a contractor/mil.

I'd wear plates under a big shirt, if needed.

Low-profile is important.

I would suggest you look into bug-out-bags, the sneaky bag, etc.

Just my .02$.

RobT2K
07-13-2009, 12:45 PM
This isn't Iraq, so unless it's WWIII, I'd much rather be carrying a bag/pack than wearing a chest rig and looking like a contractor/mil.

I'd wear plates under a big shirt, if needed.

Low-profile is important.

I would suggest you look into bug-out-bags, the sneaky bag, etc.

Just my .02$.

+1
I like the "active shooter" style bags and magazine holders like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/bravocompanyusa/rapiddeploymentpack.jpg

There are several other types that hold up to six mags, but low profile is better for sure. Plus it is easier to use with little or no training with it, unlike a vest or plate carrier that would need you to learn to shoot while wearing it.

QuarterBoreGunner
07-13-2009, 12:48 PM
^that's sharp; who makes that?

RolinThundr
07-13-2009, 2:18 PM
For SHTF only. My thinking is if I have to grab & go, I don't want to be fumbling with a bag. To me, a vest/chest rig seems easier to work with & less to think about. Everything is right there & I don't have to take 10 minutes to strap on a bunch of stuff. Of course, the info that I have is from looking at pictures online so I could be way out of the ballpark.

Blackhawk's vests allow for attaching additional gear bags (buttpack, 2 qt canteen, etc) on the backside and are usually Camelback/reservoir capable. If you can find a Galls store near you (http://www.galls.com//stores.html), you should be able to take a look at some of them and try them on for size before purchasing. If you're near San Francisco, the staff there are really nice. Keep in mind you may want a vest for quick access to stuff, but if the SHTF you may need a bag as well for additional necessities (TP, food, cleaning kits, first aid, etc).

RobT2K
07-13-2009, 4:52 PM
^that's sharp; who makes that?

Bravo Company sells them (http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/US-Peacekeeper-Rapid-Deployment-Pack-Active-shoot-p/usp%20p20305.htm)

Flying Bones
07-13-2009, 6:06 PM
+1
I like the "active shooter" style bags and magazine holders like this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v445/bravocompanyusa/rapiddeploymentpack.jpg

There are several other types that hold up to six mags, but low profile is better for sure. Plus it is easier to use with little or no training with it, unlike a vest or plate carrier that would need you to learn to shoot while wearing it.

I think this is a killer idea...plinker you raise a good point...any more ideas on where to find a good deal on these?

aplinker
07-13-2009, 9:31 PM
I think this is a killer idea...plinker you raise a good point...any more ideas on where to find a good deal on these?

You can find molle shoulder bags by a few companies.

Also look around at the various active shooter bags.

Again, the sneaky bag should really be the basis for any decision you make, as it's the most well thought out of them. It has shoulder/waist/thigh attachments, holds mags for pistol + rifle, has dump pouch (twinkie, twinkie, cupcake) and some extra storage (water & such)