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Posted: 9/15/2004 10:44:49 AM EDT
Good-to-go gear: Colt carbines, Tango Down pistol grip,Knight’s RAS II, Surefire 962, Blackhawk STRIKE gear, Magpul Rangerplates, Aimpoint M2, USGI and Meggar magazines, Camelbaks, Alta knee/elbow pads (absulfuckinglutely needed).

Gear with issues: ARMS 22M68 mount, a solid mount but beware of POI changes with a remount (which as a dumbass I removed to check tightness of screws). Knight’s vertical grip, it worked fine but was too small for my hands. You notice these things when gripping it 6+ hours a day. British steel magazines, they work great until the carbine is not supported by the shoulder as during asymmetric prone shooting. Safariland 6004, a good thigh holster, you should tape the thigh straps as the little Velcro thing will not hold them alone. The 6004 should be used with a pistol belt with an inner Velcro strip rather than a pants belt as I did. After assuming prone the 10th time and the holster shifts to the front or back you will see this is true.

Vertical grips are the way to go. Don’t worry about looks or other peoples perceptions about what is right. After holding onto the mag well of the backup M4 and firing about 60+ rounds in a few minutes, the rifle was very hot, even though the Hi-impact gloves I was wearing. You WILL appreciate a vertical grip. The vertical grip helps with making a steady firing platform. Pat made those of us with fun switches test the steadiness of our stance by firing a full magazine FA at 10 yards. (all mine were in the circle).

A school is a better way to evaluate gear and what works for you than any other method. There is constant time pressure, sustained shooting, and stress on you and your gear. What works and what doesn’t will become apparent. You will get ‘suggestions’ about equipment that you should carefully consider.

Wearing a chest harness and knee/elbow pads with long-sleeved shirt and long pants means you will sweat. I recommend the long clothes and a Boonie hat to avoid scrapes and sunburn, sunblock lotions and sprays can only do so much. You need a Camelbak (or similar device) to keep hydrating. Take a sip whenever you are not doing something else. Suck up liquids when on a break. If you are not pissing at least every other hour, you are not drinking enough. We had one heat exhaustion casualty and the high temperature was in the upper 80’s. Small hard candies help keep the mouth moist.

Use one of the neck coolers soak it in ice water overnight so the crystals suck up water – it cools your neck and keeps hot brass from burning you from neck to ass crack.

Test your gear beforehand. I had one defective Magpul Rangerplate that separated from the magazine (no reinforcing metal- shit happens), the Safariland 6004 holster was causing the magazine release button to be depressed, dremelled some material away to stop that problem. Have backup stuff so you can change gear if needed.

Be ready to change your setup, don’t be attached to something because it was sexy-looking or cost mucho dinero. If it does not work for you change it! I am going with Larue Aimpoint mounts and Tango Down stuff.

Pat recommends that you mark sight adjustments and mounting screws with paint dots to quickly tell if things are tight and have not changed, a must do.

Unbox ammunition and put in ammo can or other container ahead of time. This will speed up magazine jamming time, and use a LULA loader. Have at least 6 magazines plus one in the rifle, you don’t want a Moosecock award for running dry.

You won’t know what your own major mental malfunction(s) will be so don’t worry about getting chastised. You spent the big bucks and time to learn, so learn.

You don’t need another rifle once you have a primary and secondary rifle (O.K maybe a tertiary rifle), you need training. Don’t you think 8-10 AR types is a tiny bit of overkill? Get the best training you can afford. Learn what works.

Finally, get in shape! If you’re vertically challenged you will have problems ranging from sustained mounting the rifle to getting stuck in the doghouse on the Scrambler. If you think your gear weighs too much (wah-wah) suck it up and get stronger. Imagine doing this with 20+ pounds of armor or 110 deg. F.

Final note: YMMV
Link Posted: 9/15/2004 11:01:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/15/2004 12:08:05 PM EDT by Drav]
Excellent post, thanks alot!

I was planning on skipping the vertical foregrip but I hadn't thought about the heat issue. Hrm.
Link Posted: 9/15/2004 11:08:57 AM EDT
I'm not surrounded anymore!
Link Posted: 9/15/2004 11:23:52 AM EDT

Rock on. Great post.

Link Posted: 9/15/2004 11:59:59 AM EDT
These are really good posts. Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/15/2004 4:57:10 PM EDT
Thanks again for your observations.
Link Posted: 9/15/2004 5:12:33 PM EDT
When you listed Blackhawk STRIKE gear as GTG, I have to assume that is your opinion, right?

Because I have never heard Pat say something even remotely close to that.

Not picking at you, just wanted to clarify.

Link Posted: 9/15/2004 5:18:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mcgrubbs:
When you listed Blackhawk STRIKE gear as GTG, I have to assume that is your opinion, right?

Because I have never heard Pat say something even remotely close to that.

Not picking at you, just wanted to clarify.

That would be why he said "YMMV" at the end of his post.....
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 7:05:24 AM EDT
The STRIKE gear worked pure and simple so it is GTG. Pat made no comments on it other than to show how to set up a magazine for a speed reload. No tears or other malfunctions. I did not carry a hard armor plate so maybe it is deficient in that area. I know it is made in Vietnam, Peoples Republic of, but I wanted to get a modular setup. This gear was very tough to get, took 3.5 months to get all the pouches and 6 weeks for the chest rig.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 2:36:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/16/2004 6:25:33 PM EDT by Vinh]
Could you please provide more details on problems that vertically challenged people have with these types of courses?
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 5:06:51 PM EDT
I'm certainly no fan of Blackhawk, but everything I've seen and heard of their newer STRIKE gear is that it is well made and giving very good service in certain sandy locations around the world.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 6:55:09 PM EDT

Only issue I can forsee is getting a stock that fits. The stuff you do in classes such as this aren't really affected by how tall you are. Equipment is a different story.

Pat isn't exactly tall, either, if it makes you feel any better.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 10:22:46 PM EDT
Vertically challanged usually refers to those individuals who are a foot or so too short for their weight.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 11:04:31 PM EDT
I thought that was horizontally challenged :-)
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