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SKS/Survival Harness I made for myself, opinions and advice?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by CamoDeafie, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    after trying to find something as close to the IDF Ephod vest for cheap..and having NO luck whatsoever finding a MOLLE Modular Harness that doesnt require 2 feet of straps between panels....due to my rather sizable girth.. I decided to make my own; tailored to my size, and tailored to my ammo choices...IE: SKS and 12 ga and 9mm. theoretically could fit 20rd AR mags or 20 rd 308 mags; but as I don't have those...
    here is the harness with H harness suspenders; added to the base are the following;
    2x USGI 9mm pistol pouches; 1x Rotcho universal handgun holster; 1x no-name compass pouch, 1x Rotcho 12ga shotgun pouch (the old ALICE one)
    specs are;
    400 rounds of 7.62x39 on 10rd clips capacity; OR 100 rounds of 12 gauge, or anywhere in between, plus whatever pouches are added on the Universal Webbing sections.
    18" by 9" overall panel size; 6 webbing slots on 3 MOLLE rows and 2 ALICE rows on back/ends of panels, in Hindsight; I probably shouldve used 5 rows of 1" instead of layering the 2" under the 1" webbing.... oh well; I ran out of 1" webbing when I came to the belt section..., 2 rows of 1" MOLLE above built in pouches; with 1 row of 2" ALICE ; each pouch is made the same way as my belt pouches; only they do not have back webbing for belts or MOLLE; and I attached them to the harness panels directly; first by stitching the bottom edge of the back panels to the main panel before stitching up the sides to the main panels; thus giving me 4 flat profile pockets behind the main pouches.... I hope pics explain better...I was looking on Google for a Mini Maglite MOLLE sheath and then it came to me; why not just insert it into one of the webbing slots..and bam, it works good! pretty good retention...2" buckle for main front, 1" chest buckle; Rotcho H harness; with original straps cut off and my own straps inserted; being based somewhat on the LC rucksack straps in having a loop on one end to tie to the D-rings.

    the harness can also be used as a trap shooting harness, hunting/fishing rig, survival rig, photographers harness, medic/emt rig, or anything you can think of really...it is not meant to be any sort of "assault" vest.. nor is it meant to be a plate carrier or some such obviously.
    overall width is just around 44 inches; with the modified Rothco holster (modified by removing center stitching on back ALICE webbing for use of Bianchi UM84 holster belt attachment), I find I can draw my handgun pretty quickly; and I find that there is space for small pouches if I want...
    anyways; PICS!

    overall shot
    DSCF0406_zps9c5a9488.jpg

    3 rows of 1" webbing; 1.5 width on each inboard side of the inboard pouches
    DSCF0410_zpsf5addf95.jpg

    flat pockets behind pouches; holding 5 SKS empty clips
    DSCF0409_zpsc30d6ef8.jpg

    view of ammo types; SKS in lefthand, 12Ga in righthand; yes those are 2 clips of copper washed steel case Norinco SKS softpoints next to the grey steel cases.
    DSCF0408_zpsd41b03ec.jpg

    Universal Webbing Panel; both 1" and 2" webbing; for both MOLLE and ALICE.
    DSCF0407_zpsf875fbe6.jpg

    Mini-Maglite and compass pouch on panel above the main pouches; on the other side is a Rothco 12 ga shotshell pouch
    DSCF0411_zpse52edf85.jpg
     
  2. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nice! How about putting on your shemagh or ski mask and giving us a shot wearing the gear?
     
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  3. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    1) don't own a shemagh
    2) also don't own a ski mask,
    3) will have a pic taken by a friend after the wedding this weekend out in the boonies :)
     
  4. Blaylocke

    Blaylocke Lewis County Active Member

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    Nixon mask?
     
  5. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    ahhhha hahahahhahahahahaha I DO have a bandanna that I can wear as a neckerchief....although; the fact that I look a lot like Chum Lee from Pawn Stars......probably will help. ;)
     
  6. erudne

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

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    Looks very nice, great work.Tthere are other folks out there w/SKSs looking for web gear!
    One bit of advise/FWIW
    the WW2 suspenders split so that they had 4 attachment points on each side? this carried the weight of the pistol/rifle belt more evenly. I find that with all the weight of ammo and pistol the extra attachment points keep the load more balanced.
    Also a great extra feature would be a belt extender so that when the wearer must wear a heavy coat or BA they can just attach a belt extender rather than have to adjust the entire harness.
     
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  7. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Looks really similar to the tac tailor 2-piece MAV. However, like you said it has way too much webbing across the back.

    I'm also a big guy (but in both dimensions), and I havn't found much out there that really fits the bill when it comes to good LBE rigs. I'm actually thinking about moving over to a plate carrier as I want all the stuff to stack vertically rather than horizontally.
     
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  8. kukusya

    kukusya King County Wa Active Member

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    I love it. If you decide make SKS/Survival Harness for sale and be very competitive with Tac Tailor I will buy a pair no time.
     
  9. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    I have a tall torso; relatively speaking..IE: for my shirt width; I need "Tall" even though they say they're for 6 ft + guys;' because I have short legs... so I find that most plate carriers; even at 14" height, still leaves WAY TOO MUCH body exposed on me...because they expect my pants/legs to start a bit higher than they are... I've measured my torso....from belt to neck, it's just shy of 25 inches; so BlackHawk! Industries' 26H vests are more comfortable on me than most chest rigs which ride like a bra on me.
    This is why my harness is modular; I can adjust webbing lengths to accommodate different heights and different preferences; and it's also why I have large panels; so I can have more MOLLE space than if I followed TT's method....

    I don't know if I want to put it into marketing; since Tac Tailor IS pretty competitive with Eagle, London Bridge Trading, and HSGI in terms of pricing and features, although I COULD offer extension pieces to TT's MAVs and such..kind of like how you can get extra Cummerbund panels for a Plate Carrier/Vest combo...

    That was one of the ideas I had...however.... that is also the purpose of the extra chest strap;' and the extra material above the main pockets, as seen as on the USGI LBVs which also had 2 points attachments on the front panels; with 2 buckles and the side lacing; I went for 1-point per side since most H-harnesses available from aftermarket ARE 1-point per side with two backs; for a total of 4 points rather than 6-8....
    and unlike the London Bridge Trading's LBE and BHI's STRIKE LBE with their 8 points, I feel that basic 4-points are so far, satisfactory; could modify or make custom pieces that feature the same inverted Y strap design as seen on the back of the ALICE Y harness; which would provide people with 4 points up front and still only need 2 points into the buckles/sliders.
    as for the belt extender; the next piece(s) will use ITW- Nexus buckles, which is basically universal across the USGI spectrum and would enable the user to not worry about compatibility issues, like I had with my green buckled Rothco LC belt extenders which only fitted Rothco LC belts and NOT the USGI belts ( I had one, and it broke on the gray USGI belt buckles)
     
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    I think that for "home-brew" kit you did an outstanding job. Please post photos of any evolution/generation changes/enhancements you may do in the future. :thumbup:
     
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  11. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    I think the next one will be either Woodland camo or Coyote Brown; not sure yet. the Woodland materials are the same as these pouches ; while Coyote Brown will be entirely new for me.and I'm not sure if I should use dark brown webbing, black webbing, or try to find a matching shade of webbing locally..black buckles and hardware though.
    PB260375.jpg
     
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  12. erudne

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

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    My Input is to check-out the IR/FLIR sig of the plastic fixtures (do a Google search) before you order
    as to choosing black/brown/green webbing:
    I always choose brown over black because brown tends to look black in a dark setting, especially chocolate brown which seems to serve for both brown and black quite well.
    Brown over black. You can always have too much black, you can rarely have too little black.
    Tan for desert only.
    2 Browns and 2 greens for mixed veg./woodland.
    Just MHO
     
  13. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    hmm. As for the Infra-Red signatures, these buckles are ITW-nexus, which is what the USGI equipment use; almost without fail....and to the same specifications.. this is for the black ITW-Nexus plastic hardware mind you; not for the clear ones, and the local shop doesnt have coyote brown ITW-Nexus buckles. (or any other brand buckles for that matter.)

    color-wise...the Coyote Brown...it's closer to Flat Dark Earth; which is one of the base colors in USMC MARPAT Woodland; and is also pretty close to the light browns in M81 Woodland, but lighter than the dark brown in this Commercial 1000D Woodland; it's also very close to the shade used in VN Dark Tan for their 3-color camo patterns on the USAF aircraft; most of my normal everyday wear revolves around shades of browns and tans with pants in various shades from Khaki to dark green and everything in between...other than blue jeans and black BDU pants; and other than the various T-shirts I wear.

    EDIT: if the local shop has Olive Green 1" webbing, I would definitely use that for the webbing on Coyote Brown materials as opposed to dark brown or very light tan.
     
  14. erudne

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

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    I think I mis-spoke
    I am talking camo in general terms and not the difficulties you face in creating Molle gear so I apologize for overlooking your specific situation.
    I meant to say that I prefer brown webbing more than black, rather than brown web On black web. My preferances are personal, not geared to mass user demands
    I'm not a fan of FDE as it looks just like desert tan, too light for 90% of the PNW, hence my preference for Dark Browns, Olive Browns, Olive Greens as the base color for a LBE/vest/web harness (few of which are available domestically).
    The reason I, in a perfect world, want those colors is because in many situations the rear portion of the harness is exposed to view not covered with the various pouches as the front is and I would not like that webbing to contrast with my BDU. I know I'm ranting but I have been a camo diva for 50 Plus years, it's part of me!
     
  15. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    the local shop has Olive Green 1000D cordura...of course; it might be the ugly shade of blue-ish green like the newer LC belt equipment as opposed to a dark green like the old ALICE pouches... and there seems to be two distinct "Coyote" colors; Brown and Tan... I do see that the Tan is very much a desert color; if it's anything like the old LBT rig I had...as opposed to the USMC Brown which is more brown..... I'll have to look at the shop's supply and see if its darker than the 3-color Desert they have, or if it's closer to one of the 3 shades in 3-color DCU.
     
  16. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    Erudne;
    a great pic showing the difference between three shades of "Olive" greens on the same rig!
    DSCN1961.jpg

    Coyote Tan LBT rig;
    IMG00467.jpg

    USMC Coyote Brown IFAK on Woodland RACK chest rig;
    PICT0047.jpg

    and against Desert Tan 2 qt;
    DSCN1959.jpg
     
  17. erudne

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

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    Thanks for your input!
    If you look at your top photo; that large dark bag is classic US OD~Olive Drab (cotton?).
    Early VN issue used cotton based web LBE for M-14 and later, 20 rnd m-16 which of course rotted, just like all the clothing, undies, socks, hats, shirts, it all rotted unless constantly exposed to sunlight.
    The nylon pouches look classic sun bleached 1970's ALICE, that outer edging always changes color.
    I am far happier with the darker/duller shades of green, when they get very wet they turn a near black, just like the bark on many trees in the PNW.
    There is no perfect camo-match but you are doing good work/research
     
  18. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    I agree that there is no perfect camo match for the Pacific NW; that was why I went Woodland pouches and bags on Coyote brown/Satin Nutmeg bicycle frame... as it blended much better than black; and is more..distinctive in a parking lot than olive drab, since there are literally hundreds of bicycles in some shade of green. (that bike is currently on the rack being repaired with a new chain; so I'm using the black bike for now)

    for a Woodland harness of the same design, I would do the same dark brown webbing for the harness straps as found on the pouches I made before; since it blends better with that particular Woodland shade; though it is more greener than BDUs and USGI Woodland; but is actually pretty good when used with USGI Woodland, as it looks similar enough but is different enough to make "shadows" pop in the camos ;)

    for myself, the next one like I said, either Woodland or Coyote Brown...I am leaning towards just making two in the end, and comparing them in the PNW, the Coyote is going to be more for when I wear my plain clothes instead of camos.. I MAY BE persuaded to part with one or two of these harnesses as I make them...but we shall see.. it took me 14 hours from a sheet of material to this harness, and that's without the shoulder straps..which are aftermarket.
     
  19. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

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    as promised; me wearing the harness and body armor; with face covered at the last minute lol.

    total load out in pics;
    400 rounds of 7.62x39; first aid kits, 45 rounds of 9mm, Ruger P85 MKIIR, 60 rounds of 12 ga (50 in two pouches at the kidney locations, 10 in the front upper small pouch), mini mag lite, compass and shears.

    DSCN1502_zpsb74b98a0.jpg
    DSCN1501_zpsfeaa13ab.jpg
     
  20. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

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    Looks very good!
    Approximate weight of this load out?

    Brutus Out