Outside of stuffing a pistol in your waistband and snatching up a rifle, there really is no good way to “grab and go” with a workable loadout for your blasters. We must all submit to the fact that if you want more than one mag, you are going to need to find a way to haul it (that’s just physics). Even harder yet is to find a setup that’s actually usable for more than just one specific task.
If you look at all the gun belt, competition belt, duty belt and “war” belt setups out there, you will notice that each class seems set up for its own unique application. There is a reason for that. Anyone who pays attention at matches, classes or training will notice a hodge-podge mix of belts, pouches and gear. Frankenbelts if you will. There are common threads shared by some, but not all. For example, the majority of right handed shooters will have their holster somewhere on the belt’s right side and mag pouches somewhere on the left. That’s common sense, as you’ll hopefully agree. Start looking at military “war” belts, you will notice that a lot of guys will have a rifle mag or two behind the pistol mags, an IFAK, possibly a knife and frequently a dump pouch towards the rear. There are only so many ways to reinvent the wheel, and most shooters will copy a system that seems to be working for their peers, even without explanation.
While this is not a prudent default mode for setting up everyone’s gear, it seems to work well enough for most people. The long standing question always is, “Is there a single system that can fill multiple roles?” A single setup that can be rapidly and easily adapted to shoot a three gun match, run for a pistol or carbine course, or perhaps also use for low visibly work in a LE/ DOD application? If you were headed out the door with just one belt setup, not knowing where the day would take you, what would you want or need? After trying numerous setups over the years I would like to offer a possible “one size fits all” setup that just might fit the bill.
Take any gun belt setup, regardless whether it’s CCW, sporting, LE or military, and you notice it all starts with the actual belt.
For dudes who wear cammies for a living, their belt often looks like something Batman would take if he was headed into the jungle. Usually either MultiCam or Coyote in hue, this sort of belt usually features a strong simple buckle, heavy padding and PALS webbing for pouches. Alternatively a police belt will often be based around a thick, wide leather or nylon duty belt with internal hook-velcro to mate up with a loop-velcro trouser belt. For the average Joe packing their preferred CCW pistol walking down the street, it might be a little different. While it often takes a small miracle to get the average armed citizen to wear a sturdy belt properly designed to provide a rigid, stable base, those who do will typically have a holster carried appendix or strong side hip/kidney, sometimes with a spare mag or two (hopefully) and perhaps a white light.
These setups might look a little different from that of the competition shooter, who only needs to run from firing point to point on a flat range. With shotgun shell carriers, minimalist speed holsters and mag pouches galore, their goal is mostly accessibility and speed. As you might expect, their belt probably wouldn’t work out very well patrolling in a forest, jumping from a police cruiser, or walking around town. Alternatively, a cop often will carry additional gear that a recreational shooter or CCW carrier probably does not. Radios, a mini IFAK, handcuffs, OC spray, Taser and a collapsible baton come to mind. This equipment, critical to their job, has to find a home somewhere on their belt (and unfortunately takes up a lot of real estate.
The belt itself sets the stage for the pouches and gear you intend to install, and realistically this is where your search will begin when building a rig.
In our next installment I’ll dive into some interesting options that are open to you for building the “ultimate” gun belt, and how it might effect your own setup.
Stay tuned boys and girls. We’ve got lots more to say on the subject.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang& CLEAR!
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
Mad Duo Nate
About the Author: Nathan “Mad Duo Nate” is a former USMC Sergeant who recently transitioned to being a nasty civilian. He lives largely on nicotine, whiskey and hate and can be frequently found orating Kipling poems to frightened hipsters. A graduate of the Camp Lejeune School for Wayward Boys, he was a Marine NCO, Infantry Platoon Sergeant and Scout Sniper team leader. He is a fully qualified American Jedi, handsome badass and world-renowned field barista. He has numerous deployments to the Middle East and Africa and is something of an idiot savant when it comes finger-fucking stuff to make it work better. Nate only chain smokes when he’s drinking and only drinks every day. We reckon he is probably best described as a sociopathic philosopher with vestigial cutthroat (though poetic) tendencies. Thus far Murr’s writing has appeared in such places as here on Breach-Bang-Clear, on Military.com, in field shitters and portajohns on at least 3 continents, in RECOIL Magazine and of course Penthouse letters. (Grunts: vestigial)