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Low-Profile Chest Rig or PC options

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Hey all, Specs here!

 

After seeing some inspiring gear setups at Rebel Yell 2, I'm taking a look at some Low-Pro Chest Rig or PC options to couple with a battle belt. The big issue is that while I know a some of you have that steady stream of cash just jumping at new gear, I don't. So I'm looking for something under that $150 mark. 

 

Thus far I've looked at the Gray Ghost Minimalist PC and the Pantac EV Low Profile Chest Rig.

 

Keep in mind, as a sniper, fast reloads for my rifle aren't as huge an issue compared to you CQB folk. I'd handle the sidearm mags on the battle belt for speedy access.

 

I enjoy the Pantac rig since it can hold everything inside, but it lacks a rear molle panel. So any hyrdo stuff would be a pain to work out. Maybe I could jerry rig the Pantac to the straps of a hydration backpack or something...

 

Anyone have experience with the Gray Ghost PC? And of course any other suggestions are quite welcome. And if any of you guys are fellow Sniper/DMR users, what sort of setup do you find works best for you?

 

Thanks for your time guys.

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Tons and tons of options... Mookie, MINMUS, Basnhee, LBT, JPC, EI, Haley D3, Mayflower... Dave's prob the main man to answer this. Alot of it is personal preference and budget, not to mention if you plan on using plates.

 

Personally if I was a sniper I'd probably just wear some type of battle belt or H-rig.

 

I pretty much run a  JPC and Banshee. I will be testing the new LBX/LBT PC 6094 and 1961 Chest rig out soon.

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Thanks for the feedback JP! Much appreciated.

 

My current rig is actually an H-rig setup, but I needed that rear molle panel for hydration and extra storage via RY2. (The H harness is simply run through the inside molle of the hyrdo carrier.) Gotta have that water. In the fall/winter season I usually drop the hydro carrier and carry a smaller amount of water in a rapid deployment back at the rear of my belt. I've definitely been looking at Mayflowers and the Banshee, but those might be a little high on the budget. But I do enjoy that the Banshee includes the cummerbund, as I'd likely run my ammunition across the right side and keep the front at slick as possible as I do quite a bit of prone firing. (That was the original idea for doing the harness setup, so as to keep the space between me and ground as minimal as possible.) I would probably run soft plates or something simply to keep the structure as I'm a fairly small guy. The weight of real plates would bring me to my knees haha.

 

So perhaps I drop the PC idea and try to get more use out of my sub-loads. I could probably run a little less gear and water. Don't think I ever emptied my bladder at RY2 and I could always just leave a bag with food and such at the FOB rather than keeping it on me.

 

But I have to admit... that Haley D3 rig has me drooling a little...

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You can set the D3 to work w/ a PC or just as a Low Pro chest rig too. Remember everyone ounce to carry is extra pain later on during the OP.

Similar capability products, great quality, check out SKD's PIG line of chest rigs and PCs.

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You can set the D3 to work w/ a PC or just as a Low Pro chest rig too. Remember everyone ounce to carry is extra pain later on during the OP.

I do enjoy that it's built as a panel, but my inner OCD is screaming that there's no Molle panel behind all those pouches. I love what it comes with and the functionality... but those fixed position pouches...

 

I was also taking a look at the NSW Chest rig from Original SOE.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok-ghnqDFOc

 

It's an amazing piece as well. Love that the larger utility pouches can double as dump pouches with that top hatch. But damn... 5-600$... 

 

I also wonder that (if partially stuffed) that the integrated M4/AK pouches on rigs like the NSW and Haley D3 would have enough width to fit an SVD mag. I currently use grenade pouches to hold them since there aren't many options out there, but I'd love to have some of those integrated pouches for them.

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Sorry, just caught this thread.  I can give you some recommendations if you can answer these questions for me:

 

Are you looking for actual ballistic capability (soft armor) or just looks?

Do you want PALS ladders on it or do you want it slick (smooth)?

Is that a hard $150 or approximately?

Color/pattern?

Anything else that it must have?

 

I noticed you mentioned issues with hydration integration, but there are alternatives around that.

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Sorry, just caught this thread.  I can give you some recommendations if you can answer these questions for me:

 

Are you looking for actual ballistic capability (soft armor) or just looks?

Do you want PALS ladders on it or do you want it slick (smooth)?

Is that a hard $150 or approximately?

Color/pattern?

Anything else that it must have?

 

I noticed you mentioned issues with hydration integration, but there are alternatives around that.

Hey Dave! Thanks for looking into my post.

 

I'll first start with an update, in that a PC might be a bit overkill for my sniping needs. So I've been looking into a few chest rigs, particularly the MICRO variety from HSGI and SOE. I believe any hydration needs could be carried at the rear on my belt in something like a rapid deployment bag.

 

But to answer your questions:

1. I don't really need soft or hard armor incorporated as it would be for milsim use only. I don't bring in enough bank to branch out into real steal.  ;) But a sleeve would still be nice, should I want to add in some false foam plates for padding, should I shoot in the prone position. I've had chest rigs in the past that were left unpadded, and the bruising left isn't something I want to deal with. 

2. PALS ladders would be preferred, as I could use many of my existing molle compatible pouches with it. I'm looking in large for a molle platform rather than any kind of padding/ armor. So I figured naturally, a minimal chest rig might be the better option for my needs.

3. The 150$ budget would be soft, as this is consideration for future purchases. But under the $150 mark would be much preferred.

4. I'm moving to coyote gear for now, as I can't marry myself to any particular camo on my budget. Luckily, most everything comes in coyote.

5. It's not a must, but I've been enjoying the rigs and PC's with a built in storage/ admin area on front for maps or even a possibility of storing my SVD mags up front and center, rather than taking up valuable molle space with the pouches needed to care them. I've been looking into some of the rigs that have that built in area for mags, but most are produced as AK and M4. I could always stuff them to take up some of their depth, but the width is the big issue, as I believe SVD mags are a tad wider than most rifle magazines.

 

Again, thanks for your assistance! 

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Hey spex you might check out the pantac integrated chest rig or their recon chest rig. The integrated rig has integrated mag and radio pouches along with armor/hydro sleves. The recon rig doesnt have a back panel but you can get a seperate integrated hydro pack or back panel. Plus both have a lifetime warranty. I do sell pantac products so if youre interested shoot me a pm.

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Hey spex you might check out the pantac integrated chest rig or their recon chest rig. The integrated rig has integrated mag and radio pouches along with armor/hydro sleves. The recon rig doesnt have a back panel but you can get a seperate integrated hydro pack or back panel. Plus both have a lifetime warranty. I do sell pantac products so if youre interested shoot me a pm.

Hey Dirt! I've looked into them before but I've never had assurance that the integrated pouches would fit my SVD mags. They are M4 sized mag slots correct? Currently (taco pouches aside) grenade pouches are the only thing that seem to fit them well. I do love the pantac active shooter rigs for sure, but the static pouches also don't give many options as far as customizing gear location. So if I were going to do a chest rig, I'd soon rather do one of the MICRO molle platforms and just integrate what pouches I have into it.

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Finding a low profile front plate carrier is going to be a PITA.  There are adaptations of the Rhodesian chest rig that have a plate sleeve, but ehhh.  If you are really interested in that NSW Chest Rig then it would be far easier to build one yourself.  My idea right now is having an 6x8ish admin pouch in the middle, then magazine pouches at the 10 and 2.  This way, laying in prone will not bruise your ribs.  There are a few rigs out there that allow that.

 

Here's a few prebuilt setups:

 

Pantac Recon Chest Rig: $110, Bigger, will take plates, ton of MOLLE space, can take a hydro pack.

ATS Tac Chest Rig: $115, smaller, designed for M4, GP pouches on the side, MOLLE front

 

Here's my recommendation if you want to DIY:

Eagle Industries Chest Rig LE

Blackhawk M14 pouch

Strikehard SVD Pouch

Specops Admin Panel (large)

TT Fightlight Admin (medium)

 

Let me know if any of these are doing it for you and we can go from there.

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Finding a low profile front plate carrier is going to be a PITA.  There are adaptations of the Rhodesian chest rig that have a plate sleeve, but ehhh.  If you are really interested in that NSW Chest Rig then it would be far easier to build one yourself.  My idea right now is having an 6x8ish admin pouch in the middle, then magazine pouches at the 10 and 2.  This way, laying in prone will not bruise your ribs.  There are a few rigs out there that allow that.

 

Here's a few prebuilt setups:

 

Pantac Recon Chest Rig: $110, Bigger, will take plates, ton of MOLLE space, can take a hydro pack.

ATS Tac Chest Rig: $115, smaller, designed for M4, GP pouches on the side, MOLLE front

 

Here's my recommendation if you want to DIY:

Eagle Industries Chest Rig LE

Blackhawk M14 pouch

Strikehard SVD Pouch

Specops Admin Panel (large)

TT Fightlight Admin (medium)

 

Let me know if any of these are doing it for you and we can go from there.

I believe I'll run the DIY route. Also, it's funny you mention the T&T pouch, as I picked on up just for RY2. Absolutely love the thing. Super handy.

 

So my current idea would be to go with the following:

1. HSGI AO Small Rig

2. T&T Pouch (Left side mounted, and possibly modified to hold SVD mags in the elastic. The top could just be left open for faster access.)

 

OR

 

1. HSGI AO Small Rig

2. Condor Sidekick (Yes, I'm fine with Condor if it's pouches. Mounted to the right.)

3. 4 grenade pouches (Mounted to the left for quicker reloading.

 

But I'm still flip flopping on the layout in general, and where my coms would exist. Probably on my belt with wires run up the rear harness. Also considering the second layout, but using a molle sidearm holster in place of the sidekick. I could then run utility pouches like the sidekick or T&T on my belt since they wouldn't be in the way of a drop leg holster.

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If you want something that low profile, then why not just run a belt kit?  GP pouch at 10 for all your magazines, drop leg for the pistol at 3, admin pouch at 2, and mount your radio at 5 or 7.  You can buy a dedicated hydration carrier and run that as is.  I'd ditch the chest rig altogether and go that route.

 

Another neat rig: http://www.skdtac.com/Esstac-Chest-Rig-Trim-Bush-p/ess.505.htm

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If you want something that low profile, then why not just run a belt kit?  GP pouch at 10 for all your magazines, drop leg for the pistol at 3, admin pouch at 2, and mount your radio at 5 or 7.  You can buy a dedicated hydration carrier and run that as is.  I'd ditch the chest rig altogether and go that route.

 

Another neat rig: http://www.skdtac.com/Esstac-Chest-Rig-Trim-Bush-p/ess.505.htm

Honestly, I think that that's not only a great idea, but it's almost exactly what I have now. Since RY2 was my first real event, I overpacked/overloaded myself a bit. But normally I use a battle belt as my primary platform, held up by an H harness, and held down with a drop leg on one side, and a sub-load on the other thigh. So currently, I run my sidearm ammunition on the left side of the belt, and use the subload for all of my rifle mags. (I enjoy that if I'm firing from one place for an extended period I can unclip the sub-load from my leg and lay it on the ground nearby for easy access.) The dump pouch is on the left behind the sidearm pouches, the deployment bag at the rear holds hydration, and just to the right of that I usually run the IFAK. The right side of the belt needs to be clear so as to allow for easy sidearm access. 

 

I've considered moving the sidearm up to the right side of the belt, but I kind of enjoy the stability that having a drop platform on both thighs provides to the belt. Simple is light and light is fast?

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Thats exactly right, light keeps you in the fight longer too. For super lightweight gear check out the blue force gear minimus line (chest rig and pc) as well as the new pantac skeleton chest rig. Keeps you light on the chest and you can run a belt or subloads with either

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Everyone overloads.  The trick is to learn from that and downgrade.  I loaded up for the "what if" instead of the "what is" for a long time and slowly came about in the last year or so.  I downgraded from 12 midcaps to 5 lowcaps and haven't hit any snags.  Outdoor play is a PITA because my M4 is specc'd for CQB, but I have a 249 project coming soon and I won't need to use the M4 for outdoor play anymore.

 

At any rate, it would be easier and lighter to just run a couple mags on your person and throw the reload shit in a backpack.  I think the battle belt setup is perfect for you.

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I'll upload a shot of my belt setup once I find the time to take one. Maybe there's some additional feedback you guys can provide or maybe you'd just be interested in seeing another low drag loadout. 

 

At this point in time I run strictly the sniper role. Always been my thing. But I might someday pick up a small automatic for CQB or a reliable sidearm if I get bored of my 1911. Possibly an MP7 or 9 or something. This previous weekend I just removed the hydro pack and loaded on many of my spare pouches and such. So I think that'll make for a fine field bag to leave in the FOB with all the odds n' ends I don't need on my person. 

 

Now I'm trying to find a good place on my rig for a rolled up ghillie cape. Now that the heat index is dropping into the fall season, I'll probably get more use out of it. 

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As I slowly transition my black gear to Coyote, do any of you guys have suggestions for my new belt/ harness combination?

 

Definitely looking at HSGI and ATS, and I hear occasionally that voodoo tactical stuff can be "passable", but can't argue with the price either. I like that they carry a battle belt with internal zipper pockets. Could be nice for maps and such. But hate that they don't allow for access to the inner belt for subloads and other drop platforms. I'd have to do what I am now with my belt and ghetto rig the subload to the belt through the molle. 

 

Also looking at some different harnesses, but I'm shocked at how few options there are out there for H harness styles. There's of course the condor one, but I hear it's quality is mixed. I love this particular harness, as it's padded and has space for name tapes and ID. (http://www.beezcombatsystems.com/Padded-Harness-Chest-Rig-BCS-PH.htm) But it's definitely made to fit their rigs, rather than attach to a belt system.

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HSGI SGPB!!!!!! I've tried many others, but it is by far the best! The padding and grip texture on the inside make it to where suspenders aren't necessary at all even with a bigger load. Buy once, cry once.

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I run a war belt as my primary load carrier. I like the hsgi belt, but I went with u.s. grunt gear's infidel war belt. I liked that I didn't have to add weight by adding another belt over my trouser belt. The inner Velcro holds the belt super stable. The suspenders I have let me easily bear the weight. I had USGG build me a war belt that I could integrate a chest panel if I needed to carry more. Mostly, I just use my belt set up. My USGG was crazy $, because I wanted a custom build in ranger green that I could use in pistol classes as well as airsoft.

 

You can see my belt over in the first line discussion in the thread "just a belt." The only changes I've made is replacing all my pouches with tacos and holster to a RTI safariland.

 

The condor will not bear the weight over time. The frame sheet is nonexistent and the belt will lose the rigidity you need to keep all your stuff where you need it. I have a tactical tailor belt that is floppy and it buckles under of the weight of mags, dump, and pistol. The hsgi belt has a hdpe (kydex) frame stiffener that's is light, pliable and nearly perfect.

 

Save your money and buy the hsgi belt, IMO. The adage of buy once, cry once is 100% applicable to your being to enjoy the hobby without being constantly annoyed and reminded that you should have held out and bought one of the very best pieces out there.

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I run a war belt as my primary load carrier. I like the hsgi belt, but I went with u.s. grunt gear's infidel war belt. I liked that I didn't have to add weight by adding another belt over my trouser belt. The inner Velcro holds the belt super stable. The suspenders I have let me easily bear the weight. I had USGG build me a war belt that I could integrate a chest panel if I needed to carry more. Mostly, I just use my belt set up. My USGG was crazy $, because I wanted a custom build in ranger green that I could use in pistol classes as well as airsoft.

 

You can see my belt over in the first line discussion in the thread "just a belt." The only changes I've made is replacing all my pouches with tacos and holster to a RTI safariland.

 

The condor will not bear the weight over time. The frame sheet is nonexistent and the belt will lose the rigidity you need to keep all your stuff where you need it. I have a tactical tailor belt that is floppy and it buckles under of the weight of mags, dump, and pistol. The hsgi belt has a hdpe (kydex) frame stiffener that's is light, pliable and nearly perfect.

 

Save your money and buy the hsgi belt, IMO. The adage of buy once, cry once is 100% applicable to your being to enjoy the hobby without being constantly annoyed and reminded that you should have held out and bought one of the very best pieces out there.

Thanks for the reply Mojoe! 

 

I'm most likely going with HSGI, but ATS is still a consideration in my book. Quality-wise, I've seen many claim it's close to the sure grip belt in stitching and materials. The only major difference I see is the anti-slip coating on the interior of the HSGI belt, which is awesome, but might not be completely necessary for my loadout as my belt is supported by drop platforms and an H harness. So I'm still in limbo. Either way, I still have plenty of time to decide before I put down some money on anything.

 

On another note, I'm still considering the possibility of a micro chest rig. I know many of you guys are all about the belt, but I do love the option of having tools and ammunition at the front. But if I did go in that direction (unlikely as the belt setup works just fine), I'd be looking for a particular pouch if anyone has any leads on something that might fit the bill.

 

My current laptop bag has a top zipper pouch that works perfectly for my magazines. (Shown below) If I didn't mind destroying my bag, I'd cut it off and make a custom pouch myself. But I can't bring myself to do that. Love that it has the velcro space for ID and such as well. So I'm looking for something nearly identical in a molle variety at 1 foot wide, 4.5 inches tall, and 1-2 inches deep. I've seen plenty of utility pouches out there, but non this long, and most are a good deal taller and deeper. Ideally it would hold 3 mags like so with some small odds n' ends in any other interior storage pockets.

 

 

jxfl.jpg

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I had been thinking about an alternate setup like this as well. I have always struggled with comfortable weight distribution when carrying water with anything other than a pc. 

 

I am thinking of using the Rhodesian pantac rig with http://www.pantacgear.com/index.php/product-do-view-productid-58.html

 

I would keep them separate instead of integrating them that way you can ditch the pack and water if you need to.

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YES!  Integrated packs are goofy.  If you have to take all of your gear off to access it, it's not doing you any good.

 

 

I have and use the ATS war belt.  I don't recommend it.  While comfortable, it's flimsy and a PITA to weave.

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I had been thinking about an alternate setup like this as well. I have always struggled with comfortable weight distribution when carrying water with anything other than a pc. 

 

I am thinking of using the Rhodesian pantac rig with http://www.pantacgear.com/index.php/product-do-view-productid-58.html

 

I would keep them separate instead of integrating them that way you can ditch the pack and water if you need to.

Nice! Pantac has been releasing some great stuff recently. 

 

Dave- Roger on the ATS and thanks for the insight! HSGI belt it is. Been looking into the HSGI Modular harness as well to couple with it.

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