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Plate carriers/load bearing systems- do you use them?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Zeshio, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Zeshio

    Zeshio Olympia Active Member

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    Hey everyone.

    I had a simple question for those of you who go out and shoot outdoors or get to do a little bit of run and gun action in your spare time. What type of load bearing equipment or plate carrier do you use when you go out with a pistol and rifle combination (or anything when you're carrying multiple magazines or other gear)? Do you use equipment or do you tend to leave it by your staging area and go as minimal as possible? Would love to hear what people do.
     
  2. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what you're talking about.
     
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  3. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I run with a battle belt with 2 2-30rd ar mag holders, and 3 pistol pouches.

    I kinda wanted a chest rig, but after remembering my experiences in Iraq with my chest rig I decided just to do a belt.
     
  4. Zeshio

    Zeshio Olympia Active Member

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    I currently run a battle belt for my pistol as well but I generally don't have enough room when I want to carry shotgun ammo or .223 mags.

    Ironbar, many people tend to go to a range and shoot in place, and keep much of their ammo by them in backpacks or ammo cans. I personally like to do active drills so I can practice shooting while moving (more combat oriented). It is not uncommon to have both a pistol and a rifle with you while doing these drills, which requires more space on your body to carry rifle magazines. As such, I wanted to know what chest rigs or load bearing equipment people use when they carry more gear. Military style folks use plate carriers, others vests.
     
  5. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    Oh.
     
  6. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I served before the military procurement of vests and plate carriers, and have always been more comfortable with the old school belt/suspenders system. Mine's a modern one, accompanying MOLLE attachment pouches for my AR or AK, as well as a Bianchi UM-84 holster, fanny pack for poncho, first aid kit, cleaning gear, and minimal survival essentials. I don't always wear it while shooting, but sometimes take it while hiking, minus the magazines.
     
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  7. blankman32k

    blankman32k Peoples Republic of PDX Member

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    Google "Nutnfancy, LBE, vest" and a ton of reviews will pop up. He does alot of what you are talking about.

    I went with a simple chest rig. It fits 4 AR mags, 4 pistol and has space for a handgun and a dump bag. I also use one of the AR spots for a pistol. It is light, works well with my other clothes and gear and is cheaper than a load carrier.

    I have been thinking about a plate carrier for eventually getting some fabric ballistic panels. I like the idea of having a little protection in case someone drops a gun or a stray shot or something. If I see a good deal or get more into it, then I'll bite.
     
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  8. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    ive heard of some hunters wearing plate carriers for safety, when they are hunting. talked to one guy i met when i was 16 while i was hunting with my grampa. he said he had been shot by another hunter a few years back and the vest saved his life. so i see a fair amount of reason to use this in a practical way for hunters and if you have the time, when someone breaks into your home. the biggest problem is cost i suppose but when you spend $1k on some guns and who knows on ammo, $500 (less than that for most) on a good plate carrier isnt far fetched.
     
  9. Barefoot African

    Barefoot African Saint Helens Oregon Active Member

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    Would buy a plate carrier and plates in a heartbeat, if I had $1400 spare. It's one of those things if you have it you will use it, when you go play tactical. Also when you need it, it's right there on a hanger waiting for you - you truly hope you never do need it.

    I put some research into it a while back and decided bulletproofme.com had the best stuff for the money. In my area where heat is not a big deal, ProMax tactical carrier & light polyethylene plates level III and a backup pistol premium Kevlar insert seems a good compromise. In my limited experience, I would not choose steel unless I did not intend to walk anywhere. Lighter is a lot more money, but you gan go to 10"x13" plates for a total weight of 4.6-5kg or under 12 pounds.
     
  10. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I have a number of LB rigs; Alice gear, Battle Belts, Molle chest rigs.
    my belts and ALICE is set-up for foot patrol with gear all the way round the belt, canteens instead of Camelback, though I have a CB as well. The ALICE belt has a thin pad under it, the battle Belts are thickly padded and use MOLLE pouches. I include a large pouch (SAW pouch) for empty mags, I have a periscope strapped on, handy when you must stay behind cover, pistol mag pouches are good for flash lights and multi-tools. Battle belts places the weight on your hips makeing it much easier to move naturaly.
    The Chest Rigs are typicaly set-up for vechicle use with everything mounted on front and sides. I use an AR pouch for a holster, thigh holsters are a pain on several levels, I used one 4 times in different enviroments, Fail.
    There is rarely enough real estate if you carry like an operator, a full sized handgun sucks up usable landscape, I'd rather have an extra rifle mag w/less weight but I do carry a pistol for the training value.
    I wear IVA under the chest rig and ALICE. I have very little experience with gear like SWAT vests, I have been told that PPL that have them do not like them as they are not ridgid, do not support the mag pouches and the weight makes them swing and flop while running, body armor under the vest does change this somewhat. It is very easy to go overboard w/LBE a mistake the military makes way too often. My war fighter load-out is close to 40 pounds w/o rifle, extra mags count for less than 10 pounds of that weight, makes you wonder, don't it?
    A battle belt is the lower cost, more comfortable investment, you will want suspenders which are inexpensive and easy to fabricate from webbing.
    NutnFancy reviewed a new ultra-lite Spandex like mag carrying chest rig at the SHOT Show that is very rugged and weighs mere ounces, it is very low profile and would make a great initial investment for urban carry under a Hula shirt by Blue Force Gear the vid is on YouTube here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fQ6fBpVuJ0
     
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  11. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    well a plate carrier doesnt need to cost $1400. a practical way to get one would be to get a surplus flak vest. they usually run around $250 and i would count on it to defeat the 9mm as originally designed. the downside of that is it will already have sweat stains in it. they tend to only be a couple years old also.
     
  12. ArBrnSnpr

    ArBrnSnpr PNW Active Member

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    I run a FirstSpear Strandhogg plate carrier, level 3 ESAPI plates, 2x2 M4 magazine pouch, MBITR pouch, admin pouch, GP pouch, smoke pouch, and frag pouch x2 with a modular assault pack/hydration mounted on the rear and a TYR brokos battle belt with 2 FirstSpear rapid reload M4 pouches, IFAK on left hip, GP/Demo pouch on right hip.

    I train with what I wear in the military - if I wasn't in the service I would likely just wear a battle belt, or a Rhodesian style chest rig (at the most) with a triple shingle, small GP pouch and IFAK with a CAT mounted somewhere easy to get to.

    I know most civilians want to justify purchasing every "cool guy" piece of gear under the sun by saying the "zombies are coming" but the reality is that most guys will use the equipment so infrequently that if they ever did have to wear it and run, or move for any considerable distance or period of time - it would break them off to the degree that they were combat ineffective. The money spent on all that equipment, for most, should be going to rounds or structured training courses so they can hone their skills and become better with their tools, rather than trying to throw variables into a mix that isn't yet perfected.

    Sometimes less is more. If you can't run under a 8 min mile, pull your own body weight up over a ledge, or physically control a resisting able-bodied adult male, correct any type of immediate action malfunction your weapon can experience IN THE DARK, change magazines without coming off fire control, or know how to stop major bleeding - worrying about what plate carrier to get should be somewhere lower on the priorities list.

    Assuming the above issues have been addressed and are frequently tended to and tested, then I suggest looking into TYR tactical, or FirstSpear. Both companies make amazing gear and are ran by people who have experience using tactical equipment in high-threat environments across the globe. They will also stand behind their gear 100% in my experience should something go wrong.

    Also, good gear isn't cheap - don't buy Condor just because you want a piece of gear, but don't want to spend the money. If you can justify the cheap price because a gear related failure won't mean life or death, than you likely didn't need the kit in the first place and should have spent the money on training. If you really do need a reliable plate carrier and child support is sucking you dry - check out the TAG Banshee. It's cheap and durable. There are more comfortable pieces out there, but if money is an issue, you can't find a new piece of gear that is better quality for a better price.

    Lastly, I wouldn't run AR500 plates if you gave me a set for free! The weight trade off for what they will stop is not worth it. I will be faster and less likely to get hit, and able to neutralize a threat before it hits me without the boat-anchors on my chest and back. Most guys who are shooting AR style rifles have some M855 in their collection. Shoot steel with that round and after checking your targets, ask yourself if the weight of the plates is worth lugging around then. If there are 5.56, and 7.62 rounds that wont be stopped by AR500 plates, than just wear soft armor. It's cheaper and weights less and will stop the same amount of M855 as AR500 will (which is none).
     
  13. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Blue Force Gear

    The LMAC™ was designed to be a lightweight, low profile armor carrying system offering full protection for the wearer. The carrier ships with removable MOLLE side panels compatible with 6”x6” armor inserts that can also be used to store maps, documents, or other flat items. The front and rear MOLLE panels are removable, revealing a loop field that serves as the mounting for the included 2" elastic waist straps, further reducing the weight and thickness. With the panels off, all of our D.A.P. Dappers can be used for shotshells, pistol mags, or M4 mags.

    The LMAC combines dependable armor protection with a modularity and weight reduction not seen before in armor platforms – saving lives on the battlefield to the street, and anywhere in between.

    Lightweight Modular Armor Carrier $260.00
     
  14. tacticalgunner

    tacticalgunner Wilsonville The Man, The Myth, The Legend Bronze Supporter

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    This is a fun thread! I am glad i am not the only one who trains with gear on!
    SO i use a tactical vest with 5 AR pouchs, 5 pistol mags, drop pouch, radio pouch, cross draw holster, and a drop leg thigh rig. I too have prior military combat experience and police swat experience. I trained as an SWAT officer with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police department and in the Navy, well we will leave it at that.
    I like to do a lot of transition drills from going to my primary weapon (M4) to completly empty and going to my hand gun. With my rig that i have used in actual combat, i have commited myself to muscle memory on where my gear goes and how to access it in the dark or not looking down. THat is the key to what ever you have, never ever take your eyes off the threat.
     
  15. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    You realize that is just the carrier, right? There are no ballistic plates or armor in that system.
     
  16. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    You realize that is just the carrier, right? There are no ballistic plates or armor in that system.
     
  17. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Why would it be otherwise, new carriers are rarely sold w/plates?
     
  18. ArBrnSnpr

    ArBrnSnpr PNW Active Member

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    I've never seen a carrier that comes with plates as part of its standard configuration. I know the old RBAV from Eagle (no longer), and the TYR Pico can be bought with soft armor, but not being sold with armor is the standard.