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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 9/10/2009 4:59:53 PM EST
I decided to get a chest rig instead of a vest. It will be used for carbine courses and as a go-to SHTF rig. I pretty much narrowed it down between this one and this one. Which do you think is the better choice? I am also open to any other suggestions. I cant spend more then $100 on a rig and all I really need it to do is carry rifle mags, pistol mags, a knife and a flashlight. I will probably add a dump pouch as well. Any suggestions guys?
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:11:41 PM EST
Either will serve you well. I went with the Universal/SKD rig. Padded shoulder straps FTW in my case. The active shooter rig looks really good, though. Individual flaps for the pistol/misc. pouches are a nice touch, and you get an extra column of PALS webbing. But I guess the question boils down to: Do you want flaps on your mags or not?
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:31:17 PM EST
I have heard some people say they didnt like the padded straps and that the straps didnt let them shoulder the weapon comfortably. That was why I was considering the active shooter rig.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:59:15 PM EST
I would go with the Active Shooter. I used to run the SKD/Universal. I found that if you did happen to shoulder the weapon against the padded strap, the stock would shift and force me to quickly re-shoulder the weapon, which wasn't a big deal but it was annoying. Also, my padded Vickers sling would grab on the straps on my back, which also wasn't a huge deal but was annoying. The individual flaps for the pistol are nice too. I often found myself only using one rifle mag per pouch, which left a lot of extra room in the pouch. This translated to a loose fit for the mag. While I never lost a mag out of one of the two middle pouches, it wasn't very comforting to have those things riding so loose. All in all, it's still an awesome chest rig though. I will say that once you start loading up about 8-12 mags (if you add extra pouches) those padded shoulder straps will come in handy...
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 6:06:09 PM EST
Of those 2, I'd get the Eagle LE Active Shooter Chest Rig. Remember to add a blow-out / trauma / IFAK to it. Guns put holes in things.

I've been running an OSOE Micro rig (4 mags, IFAK Pouch, map / misc pouch) and I really dig it. I use it for M4 or AK mags.

Review Posted Here


Link Posted: 9/11/2009 4:18:13 AM EST
I haven't had any experience with the Active Shooter Rig, but I did go through Magpul's Dynamic Carbine 1 with the Universal. I love the Universal. I didn't notice an issue with shouldering the weapon and the padded straps. In all honesty, you'll probably be very happy with either one.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 8:14:26 AM EST
I have the Eagle LE rig and use it for classes and matches, really like it, don't get the padded straps, for what you want it will work great.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 11:07:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/12/2009 4:02:39 PM EST by raf]
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 11:42:15 AM EST
This is a great point that I didnt consider when originally trying to narrow down my choices for gear. I actually was thinkinking about a vest or plate carrier that I could customize as I see fit but my people talked me out of it because of what I was going to use it for. I was first drawn to the blackhawk Omega vest but figured I would never need to carry 12 rifle mags and thought it may be to cumbersom and heavy. Now I am really confusd on what to get.

Originally Posted By raf:
If the padded straps interfere with stock-to-shoulder placement, then affix a sternum strap to the front of the shoulder straps.

You can easliy make one with some flat nylon webbing, a dual quick-release buckle, and a few tri-glide buckles. Such will slip on, be affixed in position, and pull the shoulder straps together in front with a minimum of cost and no sewing.

the only reservation I have about chest rigs are that the real estate is somewhat limited. That said, the common mistake is to overload the vest with mags, which makes it difficult, if not impossible to assume a good prone position. Personal protection issues are important, and assuming a low profile may someday be essential to your continued good health.

Aside from that, if you do manage to go prone and get into firing position, just how accessible are your mags? You are probably lying on most of them.

I think most chest rigs are niche items, and not at all desirable for most real world conditions. My own chest rig is an older Blackhawk PALS unit, no longer offered. On it I have mounted two 3X1 cell AR mag shingles, although it will accept three 2X1 M-14 mag pouches.

There is room on the back of the waist belt for a 2X1 mag pouch of either type, and that should not be ignored, IMHO, considering that some of the mags will be semi-inaccessible when in prone position.double

To sum up: Nothing should interfere with you going as flat to the earth as possible, nothing should interfere with accessing at least most of your mags, and nothing should interfere with a good shooting hold. If anything interferes with any of these requirements, then re-think your gear.

For that reason, I prefer a vest, upon which I can distribute the mags (as well as other items) so that I can assume a good prone position, shoot well from any position, and access most of my mags in any position. YMMV.


Link Posted: 9/12/2009 4:18:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 1:15:56 AM EST
It's worth noting that the convenience factor of putting on a rig like a jacket is appealing, but for me the deciding factor is mag-accessibility. If I can have a symmetrical layout of mags spreading out from my centerline, I'm happy. This can be pretty much accomplished with, say, a 2-piece MAV from Tactical Tailor. But the flipside is that you have to drop coin on the rig, the mag pouches, etc. It will cost more than one of the fixed-configuration chest rigs. Personally, I switched from a fully-customizable TT plate carrier to the Eagle/SKD Universal. I find it faster to put on and much simpler to use than my previous setup over armor and (even moreso) without an OTV.

Define your needs and then be brutally honest about what you can afford, and which of those options best suits your objectives. If you're desperately concerned about not being able to get at mags in the prone, perhaps mounting some on your belt would be a solution. If you're intending to carry armor, go with an armor system. But really evaluate your needs, concerns, and financial reality first.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 1:30:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/13/2009 1:34:10 AM EST by rooster4bravo]
I don't mean to add to the delima, but a lot of people aren't familiar with Diamondback Tactical. Thier chest rigs have a nonslip lining in the mag pouch, which helps keep the mag in if they are not secured with the cords over the top of the mag. Some of their pouches also have magnets in them to hold the nonslip material against the mag if it is a metalic type. Made in the USA and often they are less expensive than other brands.

I haven't used either you suggested. Just trying to muddy the water with more options I guess.

edit: The Diamondback tactical rig i used was barely as thick as a mag, and worn high on the chest gives acces to the mags in the prone, which is specifically why i switched to it over mag pouches on body armor.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 5:31:43 AM EST
I bought 2 Ranger chest rigs off of ebay for 25 bucks each and they have lasted 3 years of abuse, and I gave my acu one to a friend who is hard on gear,
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 5:48:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By raf:

The main reservation I have about chest rigs are that the real estate is somewhat limited. That said, the common mistake is to overload the vest with mags, which makes it difficult, if not impossible to assume a good prone position. Personal protection issues are important, and assuming a low profile may someday be essential to your continued good health.

Aside from that, if you do manage to go prone and get into firing position, just how accessible are your mags? You are probably lying on most of them.

I would have to disagree with this. I think the reason most people are laying on their mags with a chest rig is because they have a tendancy to wear them around their gut. If the rig is worn on the chest, I have never had a problem with prone shooting. Also there are quite a few different prone positions that are more compatible with wearing gear than the standard military range prone. The urban prone position comes to mind immediately.


Currently available are both woodland and desert camo USGI MOLLE vests, and for cheap. It might be wise to buy one, on the cheap, and do a little experimenting before plunking down serious bux on an untried system of carying your gear.

I agree the FLS is a great vest, but aren't the mags going to be mostly in the same place as a chest rig worn above the waist? I have found that I end up laying on my mags more often in my PC and vests then in my chest rig.


To sum up: Nothing should interfere with you going as flat to the earth as possible, nothing should interfere with accessing at least most of your mags, and nothing should interfere with a good shooting hold. If anything interferes with any of these requirements, then re-think your gear.

By that logic, shouldn't we carry all of our gear on subloads?

I'm not trying to be a jerk, just thought I'd toss my hat in the ring. I do agree with some of your points, especially about shooting holds and overloaded vests. A chest rig, worn and outfitted properly, trained with and ready, is a great piece of kit, IMHO.

Skiddy

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 8:43:12 PM EST
I dont' think you will go wrong with either of them. Hell, if you don't like the one you get sell it on the EE and get the other.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:00:45 PM EST
I use a Esstac Chest Rig, Boar A1 (Split Front) and LOVE it. I also added the Esstac Padded Harness w/ Sleeve Kit. Very comfortable and well made. One thing I like about the paded harness is it comes with a rubber sleave that keeps the butt of the rifle from slipping off. Works great with my MSAR E4. It holds 8 mags close to the body which is nice and the mag pouches can be replaced for ones that hold 7.62 mags which work great for my Kel-tec RFB mags. I highly recommend it though it might not be what you're looking for.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 6:55:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/18/2009 6:57:40 AM EST by Krink]
I have the eagle/skd universal and love it,I havent had a problem with the straps being in the way but im fairly broad shouldered so that might make a difference
one of the features I really liked was the padded straps

the active shooter rig looks like a nice setup also and I doubt if you could go wrong with either,the rig that Nighthawk described would be a sweet setup if you can swing the $$
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