Extra wide, Extra Large MOLLE belt

Sorry for neglecting this blog! I have been busy, what with being married and saving up for wedding reception and other things! Here is one of my projects; an extra wide, extra large MOLLE waist belt system; It is made of 1000D Cordura in Tactical Tailor Olive Green, with 3 rows of MOLLE, and 1 row of 2″ ALICE type webbing. The main belt is sized for 1XL-2XL dudes; about 40 inches and 6 inches wide on the padded, MOLLE/ALICE webbing section, with 2″ webbing belt for big bellies. I tried to make a set of MOLLE I style sleeves that extends the main padded section, but they are not very effective. Likely will redo them eventually.

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Shown with Tactical Tailor Medium Modular MOLLE belt

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Back showing 3mm air mesh padding

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With Tactical Tailor pouches and Bianchi holster; and Tactical Tailor X harness with custom front straps

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MOLLE I style extension sleeves; I think they need closed cell foam or plastic stiffeners to work better. Shown with MOLLE I vest panels attached

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MOLLE I with extensions; modeled by yours truly, wearing 1980s OD Extreme Cold Weather Parka with liner removed;

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LBE mode with extensions removed, just main belt, Tactical Tailor X harness and 1.5″ vertical straps. Same 1980s parka; the LBE equipment colors really blends with the parka color.

A-Tacs FG pyramid tarp tent

Sewed up this pyramid shelter out of 5 yards of  Polyurethane/silicon coated waterproof 1.9oz Ripstop Nylon in A-Tacs FG camouflage colors. Final measurements are 7 ft 10 inches long, 4 ft, 7 inches wide, height at peak, 50 inches. I will have to redo the door closure system to get the overlap needed for further weatherproofing.

There are a total of 11 tie out loops, I may add a few more if it would enable one to do more variety in setups like a blind or an observation post, or something similar to that.

Right now the support it uses are 2 standard aluminum adjustable tarp/awning poles lashed together… it will be changed out for something more low visibility later on.

On to the photos!

 

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Progress photo; door triangles cut and laid next to edge of front of main body, it is folded here, it should show how it looks when laid flat and folded in half.

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front view of the shelter; You can see how the doors have no overlap, and a serious gap that would allow weather to go in….so it is being redone right now.

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Side view, please pardon the USGI poncho peeking out, the poncho is  quite a bit wider than the shelter; The slight inclination of the door panels is evident here. One could add a rectangular tarp or poncho awning here for more space and for cooking/dining/general activities.

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The back view of the shelter, You can see the additional tie outs in the center of each of the 3 edges, and the center of the primary seam line on the back panel. The roof tie out is in case the user wants to have additional space inside the shelter, and the other tie outs are for more secure staking of the shelter in high wind areas, or for alternate shelter layouts to make up for space restrictions.

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Inside shot of the shelter with the doors folded back. The extra length is apparent here compared to the USGI poncho, and the relative narrowness is also evident here. I chose this width and length for a single person with room enough for gear/equipment/furred partner (dogs!), although two persons can snuggle up in there if needed.

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Close up of the door closure system, 1st try. It is simply 6 US Army BDU buttons, and elastic loops that fits on them. The loops will be replaced by something else that would provide me with the overlap needed to keep weather out. This is one of the lightest, most silent methods of closures that I can think of for the purposes of this shelter.

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Shown rolled and wrapped with the single peak line. The Coyote Brown  roll is the Bushcraft USA 10×10 Coyote tarp made of the same type of fabric (1.9oz PU coated Ripstop nylon). The pyramid shelter rolls into a smaller package, and is a bit lighter, even with the door closures being included.

Hi Point .45ACP Chest holster

Sewn up a prototype padded chest holster in Mossy Oak 500D Pack Cloth with 3/8″ closed cell foam padding. It is the first pistol rig I have ever made, and is designed for the Hi Point .45ACP Model JHP handgun. Carries 1 extra mag on it, and has extra long chest strap for big chests. Side Release buckles for retention of both handgun and magazineDSCF1735

view of holster loaded up.

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Back of holster, showing the stitch lines where the trigger guard stops

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Emptied,  showing magazine pocket and handgun retention straps undone

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Mirror selfie showing how holster lays. Doesn’t seem to need another strap to stabilize it.

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Close up, centered on chest

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Another view offset, showing the diagonal orientation.

I find that if I bend over, it doesn’t loosen up or go awkward, but that’s with the cross strap being adjusted to as small as possible. With the main weight being on the top of the gun, and the cross strap holding the holster from that same area, it is pretty stable.

Olive Green plate carrier

Made a modular plate carrier in 1000D Olive Green; the green is a very close match to Tactical Tailor’s OD green.

Specs;

1000D Cordura Nylon, Olive Drab

Mil spec webbing, 1″, a shade of green

mil spec webbing, 2 1/4″, USGI green with red line

fits 10″x13″ Medium SAPI Plates

Approx 28″ front width, 10″ rear width, 18 slots, and 6 rows maximum height on front, 6 columns and 6 rows on rear

compatible with ALICE and MOLLE gear

Sized to fit up to 3xl men, smallest it can go down is around 38 inches circumference

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Front of plate carrier with wings

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Back plate bag

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Inside of back plate bag

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Inside of front plate rig

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Tactical Tailor OD X harness against plate carrier.

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Plate pocket flap detail; reinforced with 1.75″ webbing and using Line 24 snaps, this is the front plate bag flap

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Back plate bag flap, I changed positioning of the reinforcement to behind the fabric on the male ends.

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Shoulder strap padding; not totally happy with how they came out

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Showing plate thickness and plate bag side stitching, front plate bag

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rear plate bag with plate in, again showing side seam/stitching details

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Set up for AR15 with Tactical Tailor pouches, USGI holster,  magazine pouches and compass pocket, and London BRidge Trading triple pistol ALICE pouch

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Modeled by my lovely wife-to-be, front

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Side showing Tactical Tailor medic pouch

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Back, showing at the smallest, being oversize for her.

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Last, all ALICE pouches, and strobe pocket on left shoulder pad.

 

Coyote tan 8-cell 995 rig and black Plate carrier rig

Built a Coyote tan 8-cell vertical mag rig for 4 Redball 20rd mags, and 4 10rd Factory 995 mags, and then built a 5 20rd, 5-10 10rd vertical Plate Carrier clip-on rig for two customers!dscf0881

On olive green fabric, showing the tan X harness, tan webbing and mags loaded.

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Compared to fishing belt kit with Coyote pouches

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Against 330D Multicam fabric

I also modified a customer’s black slick plate carrier to accept the black 8 cell vertical rig, and built a new 10 cell direct-attach rig. I added 4x Fastex buckles to the Plate Carrier, this was the least invasive method for the user, did not need to rip seams to attach buckles

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Front of Plate Carrier showing the two upper buckles

 

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Back of plate carrier, showing the top 2 45 degrees buckles for the diagonal webbing

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Loaded up and attached to rig on mannequin. Front view.

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Back 3/4 view, the user utilizes the standard back strap of the chest rig, and the diagonal webbing from the black 8 cell rig goes up to the two 45 degree buckles. THe 8 cell rig is capable of being used on its own with its H harness, and the carrier can keep the buckles fastened/unused.

I made a 5 cell plate carrier rig next, with no snaps, but velcro attachment, back strap attachment, and a simplified upper strap attachment, for direct attachment to the black plate carrier. I overestimated the size of the dividers needed, and now the 5 front cells can have up to 2 9mm Hi Point mags, OR 1 double stack pistol mag in each cell, and the back 5 cells are generously sized for the Redball magazines. With this cleaner panel layout and the size, it does not extend past the edges of the plate carrier.

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Clipped directly and attached to the plate carrier

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Back view of rig, showing the velcro strip for attaching to plate carrier and reversed buckles up top, adjusts from the inside, so as to hide the straps for a clean appearance

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Front 4 cell panel showing velcro flaps and velcro attachment. It looks like I was off on the bottom stitching, but that is a result of not loading the cells with weight, it is even when loaded.

The material used is 500D Cordura in both black and coyote tan.

Chest rigs for Redball 995 mags

Made a couple chest rigs in black 1000D vinyl backed Cordura for the new Redball Magazines for the Hi Point 995/995TS 9mm carbines; First one is a horizontal carrier, with utility pouches that fit 100rd organizer boxes, or other small stuff. The other one is a vertical 8-cell carrier that accommodates 4x 20rd Redball magazines and 4x 10rd factory magazines.

They are based on traditional chest rig designs from China and South Africa, but tailored for the particular magazines.

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Horizontal 4-magazine chest rig with utility pockets on ends, single layer construction and layout is based on a SADF chest rig but with horizontal magazine pockets as opposed to vertical;

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Unloaded, You can see how the magazine shape is unique and does not lend itself to other magazine pouch designs or normal retention methods

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Close up of magazine retention system; hidden snaps and doubled over 1.5″ webbing. I got the idea after looking at one of my knife sheaths and figured that since the ends and mid plates are larger than the magazine body, it would be useful to have a similar retention method, and so far it has worked beautifully.

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Straps snapped in place. I did this set up to make it easy to open and draw with the left hand.

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Detailshot of the utility pocket. They are shallower than the usual SKS/Shotgun ammo pockets I have made, but fits a 100rd 9mm organizer box with some room to spare for tools or keys or other things. Can be used to carry first aid kit as well.

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With my MOLLE MIcro chest rig for pistol magazines and the prototype bandolier made of 420D pack cloth scraps. Yes that is my 995 Classic carbine with Primary Arms 1-4x scope on it.

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My other chest rig, vertical 8 cell magazine carrier, next to the Horizontal one. It is based on a combination of Chi-Com and R.A.C.K. chest rig designs (R.A.C.K. rectangle panel, Chi-Com one piece magazine/clip pocket panel) with two different fastening systems; a simple wrap around retention strap for the 4 Redball magazines, and a narrow flap strap for the 4 factory 10rd magazines. I only own 1 factory 10 round magazine at the moment.

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Close up of the short pouch showing the factory 10 rd magazine. I can also put in a Leatherman multi-tool in the same size pocket. bonus!)

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Detailclose up of the chest rig panel with the Redball magazines fastened in. The flag patches on both of them are from Universal Shooting Sports Forum , wherein I am a member.

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Unloaded except for the one 10 rd magazine. It is a simple rig. I will be making about 6 of these rigs in Coyote Brown with either tan binding tape and webbing or dark brown binding tape and webbing.

Bushcraft USA 10×10 tarp set ups and one tree hammock hanging system!

Recently acquired a Bushcraft Outfitters, USA (BCUSA) 10 ft by 10 ft coyote tarp in a forum deal! It was damaged with a tab broken off, I got the tab repaired… anyhow… DSCN2338

Coyote Brown BCUSA tarp in brown stuff sack next to el-cheapo pencil organizer that houses my lighter smaller Long Ogee tarp.

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Damaged tab repaired, I used 1″ Cross- Grain ribbon as the reinforcement material and stitched lines to make sure it aint ever coming off!

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Initial set up, Diamond fly configuration with ski poles, 2 stakes only! a little slack in the material but that’s expected of nylon fabric..

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With two hammocks, more than enough space in there…. I know, I hung the hammocks too low like low hanging fruit but it’s just to give one an impression of the space available..

And with this tarp, I’ve decided I wanted to see how it would look in a vastly different configuration than most of the normal square tarp set ups…the basic layout is the same for the next 3 set ups, just the differences are all in the ridge line tie out location and the configuration of the front opening.

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Front view of the tarp tent set up;

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Back view of the set up, What I did is to stake the back wall down first, and then square up the side corners so that the tabs, which are evenly spaced at 2.5 ft between tie out tabs, are able to be staked down at the same locations, and then from that point between the center and the outermost stake, line up the front corners of the shelter to make a rectangle floor print of 5 ft wide and 7.5 feet long.

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Side view. After I stake the sides/corners down, I then raised the front peak up as far as I could do, and then attached the two tarp clips at the points where I wanted to raise the roof/wall points on the back, to make for a nearly vertical rear wall, and then ran the lines to the ski poles and staked them down. Finally, I run the clothesline ridge line through the ridge seam tabs on the tarp and raised the rear peak up, and tied the end of the line to an overhanging branch. This in effect gives the shelter a house like roof from which rainwater will shed very well, and with the vertical walls, gives one a feeling of increased space compared to a typical A- frame.

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Having seen something similar on a same size tarp, I decided to see if it would work with the ridge line peak tie out moved back 2.5 feet to the next tie out tab on the ridge seam..and bungee’d the resulting corners to bring the front down as far as I could… I disliked this set up because it robs the interior of space, and essentially makes it more a shelter you can only lay diagonally, as opposed to straight up and down.

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Another view of the terrible layout. It might be OK if I had done this with the back being a normal A-frame back though.

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So, keeping the same ridge line tab tied out, I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the corners the other way..and supported them with leaning poles and guy lines… this was the result. A much much better set up, and one that gives me the most spacious feel of the interior, PLUS the protection from almost all angles, the front opening is only 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide, a poncho or a small 5×7 tarp folded in half would have provided a great awning/door..One could also put a small piece of bug netting on that area and be fine for bug season…

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The side view of it. It is essentially now a doghouse shaped shelter, and with the amount of room up front now that the gable is pulled further out, one could have a good space for cooking/gear and still be protected from the elements inside.

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Rear view of the Doghouse shelter, again it is showing the rear wall layout, but also, you can see how much more open the front part looks to be compared to the first triangular opening shelter.. And the only two changes from that is the relocation of the ridge line peak tie out point and the addition of two tie out/pole points on the front sides.

With the tarp clips relocated to exactly 2.5 ft from the corners and in line with the side tabs and the ridge tab, I would say the shelter is basically a small wall tent with a front opening.
And now for something quite different! Here’s the one tree hammock stand!

One Tree Hammock stand stuff

First, these are the materials you need, from top to bottom;

a hammock obviously, with suspension.

an USGI General Purpose, Medium Tent center pole, telescoping, and it goes out to 10something feet, so if you ever need to have a visual cue on “not touching this with a 10ft pole”, this is it!

then the camo straps which are for both the hammock attachment and a ridge line in between the one tree and the pole,

then finally, a set of 4 cargo straps with 10″ nail style stakes larksheaded to their ends and tied to each other at their centers.

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Hook up the ridge line with the camo straps, then position army pole, only extended halfway, then run the 4 green straps down to the ground, and nail them securely at a 45 degree angle.. the pole is not vertical, because that is not what you want, you want as much of the hammock load to be on the pole, and less on the lines, so angling the pole out that its around 50-60 degrees from vertical, and then make sure its not going anywhere.. then stake the lines as far as possible.. this in effect gives you a tension based system..

finally, hook up the hammock to the pole and tree strap.

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Another view of the system, with my massive lumbar pack hanging off a steel hook I mounted on the tree strap. Sharp eyed readers will note that I have a whoopie sling in between the two straps on the ridge line, this is to make it easy to maintain tension…

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With the 10×10 tarp set up in an almost ordinary set up… first I put the side up with the poles, then I staked the center of the other side to make a half-diamond shape..then I staked out the “door” sides on the covered side. This gives me a good balance of wind proofing from one side, and yet a nice porch mode on the other side… with the amount of space in there, I can have a 2nd hammock underneath if I dare do so, or an army cot, or a camp chair or two..

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Side view of the set up. I did not stake the lefthand door as close to the ground as the other side is, but it still works here. With the short hammock ridge line, the 10 ft tarp covers me very well…only problem is the gear hanging out in the rain, but a poncho over it will give it the protection it needs.

Hope you enjoyed this post!