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Posted: 11/13/2012 5:05:48 PM EST

I am working on setting up a plate carrier for practical rifle shooting. I know that it will evolve over time, but I am looking for a general set up to get me started. I will probably have MANY questions over the course of using the plate carrier.

Let's get started!

1) Is there any reason NOT to put the hydration carier in the center of the rear of the carrier?
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 5:37:20 PM EST
I'm no expert but the main thing that comes to mind regarding the hydration carrier is whether or not you want to have one on there at all. Armor like that is already very heavy so I would think twice before adding much else. If you are just shooting at the range you might be better just keeping a cooler handy . If you were using it for fighting and would be wearing it for a while then yes you certainly would want water readily available.

On this topic since weight is already a big concern "Less is More". Magazine carriers, First Aid pouch, maybe a Camelback. You would add more depending on who you are and what you are doing. But "Just the Essentials" would be the theme for me.
Link Posted: 11/13/2012 6:06:29 PM EST
That is up to you. I practiced with it before. It gets in the way a little. I was pushes you out when sitting like driving with all your gear and a hydration carrier on you back. It adds weight. I like having the water on me when I need it especially in a desert.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 1:48:43 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 8:30:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/14/2012 12:23:35 PM EST by drizzle]
Like most have stated plates are heavy. Put as much as you can on a war belt set up and just run at most a 3 mag shingle on your carrier. If that. As far as hydration. I would think at most a 70 ounce bladder would be best.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 5:22:22 PM EST
What is your idea of "practical rifle shooting"?

For a military operator practical shooting can mean being gone a whole day on patrol. If thats the case I would highly suggest a hydration carrier on your PC.

If you are just using the PC for going to the range, you probably should stick to basics which I think would be your mag shingles and a first aid kit. Hydro pouch is up to you if you want to but a carrier on your pc or just wear a backpack if you need to. Putting one on your PC might help balance the weight out though if that matters a lot to you, i know i would run with a hydro carrier on the pc for that reason.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 6:39:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/14/2012 7:49:39 PM EST by jtb0311]
Originally Posted By TyGuy:

1) Is there any reason NOT to put the hydration carier in the center of the rear of the carrier?


It makes sitting in a vehicle a pain.

I've always like to be able to mix and match kit for my needs at a given time. FWIW, I spent four years on active duty with the USMC in the 90s, and after 9/11 I spent more than four years in Afghanistan as a security contractor for the U.S. Gov't. For a few trips I used a plate hanger with everything on it, or a Paraclete RAV, but I quickly found myself moving towards slick armor (no MOLLE at all) with separate chest rig, belt/suspenders, and Eagle Yote for my water. The various layers meant I didn't have to put on 70 pounds of GI Joe Gear just to go to the range. Or, whenever we got indirect fire (very frequently, I was only about 10KM from Pakistan the last couple of years I was there) I could just grab body armor, helmet, radios, and binoculars before I went to my spot. I'd take my rifle too (I kept two mags mounted as my ready to go load) but my job was really about observation/communication/coordination by this point, not engaging Timmy with my rifle.

All that said, if you are contemplating a rig for serious use (meaning you need to kill someone so they don't kill you or your family) train with it a lot, in uncomfortable positions, with distractions, etc. Pick a difficult course of fire, but before you do it, do fifty push ups with all your gear before you shoot. If you're shooting at night, have someone double flash you in the eyes with white light a moment before the whistle blows for you to go hot. Training is what makes you competent, not gear. Too many people seem to forget that, and seem to think that if they dress like a door kicker and have gear like a door kicker, well, they're a door kicker.

NO. When shit goes sideways, you don't rise to the occasion. You fall to your level of training and practice.

If this is just for range use, I'd skip any sort of rig altogether and just get a nice rifle bag for my AR, ammo, and magazines. If you plan to take some classes that involve moving, tactical shooting, etc. there are any number of economical chest rigs out there that will hold 4-6 rifle mags, a couple of pistol mags, accessories, etc.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 8:08:41 PM EST
I'm not getting updates even though I am subscribe to the thread. Hmmm

Thanks for all of your help so far. Here's some more info.

I was in the Air Force. While we didn't wear LBE we did have hydration carriers, and they were very nice when out on the hot flight line.

This set up is for doing practical rifle shooting and classes as well as if the world ever ends, you know, that accronym that sounds like some sort of Native American princess - TEOTWAWKI (no disrespect mean, it just reminds me of SOHCAHTOA which we memorized by thinking it sounded Native American, anywho...)

I don't plan on running plates in it, although I do have access to some fitted Level IIIa soft inserts and two Level IV ceramic plate if things do get bad.

I do plan on putting it on and hitting my treadmill in the basement to build up my stamina while wearing it with gear. Just a brisk jog, no firearm.

I do want to keep it simple. My plan right now is a hydration carrier, FAK, 3 Mag pouch, small radio pouch, and a utility pouch (can be a dump pouch or used to loosely store more magazine if needed). As a hiker/backpacker I don't like loading up a 50 pound ruck if I only need 30 pounds of gear.

Finally, still on #1, should I center the hydration carrier on my back or offset it? If offest then to the strong or weak side and why?
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 8:35:51 PM EST
I never thought of having an offset hydration carrier. The first time I used one, the original Camelbak was in 1997. I just filled it up, put it in my ALICE, and snaked the cord out to where I could reach it.

Practical rifle shooting and classes ––––––––––––> the end of the world is quite a broad spectrum. For me, practical rifle shooting and classes = ammo and enough gear to carry it. End of the world = whiskey.

If you aren't going to use armor, don't get an armor carrier. Get a plain chest rig. If you want armor later you can get a simple set to wear under your chest rig. Armor carriers and plate hangers are desigend forst to carry armor and plates, so when you only put mag pouches and whatnot on them, they tend to get saggy, something no real ARFcom member wants to see with his gear.
Link Posted: 11/14/2012 8:38:51 PM EST
I meant to add - I use an Eagle Yote hydration carrier. It's stand alone with straps OR you can put it directly on MOLLE. Its a nice little backpack.
Link Posted: 11/17/2012 6:55:06 PM EST
Bump
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 10:26:02 AM EST
Bump
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 11:25:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 11:38:06 AM EST
What else were you looking for from this thread?
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 7:22:14 PM EST
Put your Hydration carrier in your assault pack.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 11:37:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/23/2012 11:38:49 AM EST by TyGuy]
Originally Posted By emb876:
What else were you looking for from this thread?


Just general setup help.

I am now unsure of where to put my IFAK. The problem is that I shoot rifle left handed and pistol right handed, so I don't really have a side that is always clear, thoughts.


I won't excessively bump. The two bumps above were over 72 hours apart. I double checked the dates and times. They were 87.5 hours apart. I'm trying to play by the rules.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 6:34:40 PM EST
LBE is very much a personal, subjective thing.

If you can't garner the hint from that statement, I'll be a bit more direct.

Just fucking put the shit on, and change stuff around until it feels natural and nothing is in your way. Stop asking the internet how you should do it, and just do it.

Kids these days....
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 7:55:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/23/2012 8:36:57 PM EST by daemon734]
Originally Posted By nukldragr:
Put your Hydration carrier in your assault pack.


Yep, camelbacks make it a PITA to sit in a vehicle or to put a backpack on. If your carrier has straps they tend to flop around unless you tighten them down and then they like to cut off circulation to your arms, especially while wearing armor.

Plus, camelbacks are just nasty. I've seen enough lip and gum infections due to them in the field to write them off as my primary water source. I keep them in my backpacks as an alternate source of water only now.

IMO, nalgenes are the way to go. They are a better shape than a canteen for mounting on kit, easier to drink out of, MUCH easier to clean than a camelback or GI canteen, and I can easily mix things like electrolyte packets in them.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 7:56:27 PM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedFerret:
LBE is very much a personal, subjective thing.

If you can't garner the hint from that statement, I'll be a bit more direct.

Just fucking put the shit on, and change stuff around until it feels natural and nothing is in your way. Stop asking the internet how you should do it, and just do it.

Kids these days....


This as well. Make sure you go prone, do a 10 meter dash, etc. to see if the placement works for you.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 8:30:39 PM EST
Sounds good. Sorry if I'm a new LBE kid. I did 8 years in the Air Force, but never in a combat position. I got to repair our aircraft that were shot up, and others hit by RPGs.

I used a camelbak for about 4 years in the Force without trouble, but I was mostly on base, so I could keep to a good cleaning schedule. Thanks for the info though. Smetimes I miss the ole GI canteens.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 9:06:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By TyGuy:
Originally Posted By emb876:
What else were you looking for from this thread?


Just general setup help.

I am now unsure of where to put my IFAK. The problem is that I shoot rifle left handed and pistol right handed, so I don't really have a side that is always clear, thoughts.


I won't excessively bump. The two bumps above were over 72 hours apart. I double checked the dates and times. They were 87.5 hours apart. I'm trying to play by the rules.


I'd be concerned more about your pistol draw than anything else. If you shoot pistol right handed then it would be better to have your right side clear for the draw unless you're running chest mounted. I honestly can't see a situation where an IFAK on the left would impede shooting a rifle lefty.
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