Redball Magazine plate carrier and pouches

I Modified my black horizontal Redball 20rd magazine chest rig into a basic plate carrier complete with back plate bag; and then I decided to build a couple pouches, first pouch was an attempt at doing a vertical, side by side pouch with bungee cord retention, hated it.. so made a 2nd pouch that is much more conventional; holds 4 20rd magazines in a boxy pouch that is kinked on the sides, and has a center divider, and two 3/4 coverage flaps over each pair of magazine.

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Front of 4-mag plate carrier

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Back of the front carrier

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inside of both carriers

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Side view of front carrier

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View of outside of both carriers; the rear carrier has MOLLE strips for attachment of hydration pouch or small gear; or even butt pack on bottom row.

The plate carrier will fit up to 9×12 plates on both front and back. It is basically a simple armor carrier with magazine pockets sewn to the front , and utility/first aid pockets sewn on the sides.

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My first attempt at a MOLLE 995 20rd pouch for the 20 rd Redball magazines; the idea was to have elastic retention and not a lot of fabric, but it is a failure here, due to the extreme splay and sticking far out away from the platform it attaches to.

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Side view of pouch showing the kink and how far away it sticks out

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good view of how far it sticks out from a MOLLE belt; due to being bottom heavy and not having a lot of retention up top other than the elastic cordage

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Mounted to the MOLLE belt I have, it is not really good here.

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Back view of the pouch showing Tactical Tailor styled MOLLE webbing for use with TT  Short MALICE clips.

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pattern blank cut up, then hemmed with edge tape for 2nd MOLLE pouch in Coyote Brown

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All done except some details; 1″ ITW buckles in Tan-499 color, khaki webbing straps

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Mounted to the MOLLE belt

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Finished 3/4 coverage flaps on the top using 1.5″ webbing.

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Another view of the top half; mounted by the same MALICE clips and same style webbing on the back of the pouch, as the pouch retains the magazines better; the whole thing is far stabler and easier to use.

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Side view showing the kink in the side panels to accommodate the Redball magazine shape

 

 

 

MOLLE II Ruck on Large Coleman frame!

Picked up a vintage Large Coleman PEAK 1 backpack with the large frame; and then got a MOLLE II pack with Main Ruck and Modular Sleep System carrier on Gen 2 MOLLE frame; decided to see how the MOLLE bags interface with the large Coleman PEAK 1 frame…. it works beautifully! I have extra space on the frame for the lashing of other things, or if I remove the MSS carrier, another Main Ruck bag!

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Coleman Peak 1 pack, it is roomy, and very nicely made, just very old. (1989 date on the hardware)

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Side view of the thing.

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Suspension view, the straps and belt are not comfortable at all for me.

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So I put the MOLLE II suspension from the stock MOLLE gen 2 frame on the far right side, onto the large Coleman frame on the far left, in the middle is the small “Junior” Peak 1 frame that is useful with the ALICE series of bags but cannot interface with the MOLLE bags due to the MOLLE bags attachment points being much wider.

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Frames without bags, one could lash a lot of items to the frames if so desired.

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MOLLE Main ruck, with MSS carrier attached to the bottom, and MOLLE Sustainment Pouches attached to the sides, I’ve had the Sustainment Pouches for a long time, going back to my old bike packing system..a few years, and they are still holding up very well!

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bare side to attach to the frame

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Upper pack bag’s attachment points, a short strap on the top, and a metal tab thing midway

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Another view of upper bag’s attachment, mid tab, then bottom tab by the shoulder strap attachments

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MSS carrier bag’s attachments, all 4 of them are in use, and again, they are the metal tab system, and they fit the frame as if the frame was designed for it

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Complete MOLLE II backpack on the Large Coleman Frame; there’s about 9-10 inches of space between frame bottom and bottom of MSS bag for the lashing of items.

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Suspension side showing how the pack looks with the frame attached, theres another gap between top of frame and top of pack, again for lashing items, or as a very convenient carry handle.

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Sideways view of pack on frame, you can see how it is rather large and bulky, but should be excellent for winter trips or group camping! Or long travels as well!

The MOLLE Suspension system is very comfortable, and effective…although it is very heavy, it gives one a feel of being bombproof and able to take on just about anything short of shrapnel damage or flames.

I paid $10 for the Coleman Peak 1 backpack system, plus $50 for the MOLLE main ruck, and I think $15 for the pair of Sustainment Pouches, so the total invested would be around $75, for what amounts to two complete backpacks, and the results is that I now have a very comfortable, very sturdy backpack system, and due to the metal tab attachments, I can quickly remove the pack bags if I need to just lash things to the frame.

Tarp Shelter layouts and set ups!

Decided to go and do several different tarp shelter designs and layouts with the 5×7 tarp, Bat wing tarp, 9×7 tarp, and the latest 10×14 tarp I recently got!

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Flying Diamond pitch, Harbor Freight 5×7 tarp;

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Windward side view, first, tie upper corner to tree or post, then stake diagonal opposing corner down, then stake remaining two corners to make a wind break

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Another view of the Flying Diamond pitch with the 5×7 tarp, it does not provide much protection from rain, but is good for sun shade and possibly as a fire reflector using a pole to support the high corner.

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Batwing tarp in a symmetric diamond pitch with doors staked out on one side.

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Quarter view on windward side, the doors on the ground corner have been folded under, thus turning this tarp into a rhombus of 9 ft ridge line and 7 ft width.

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Head on windward view, the rhombus shape is all too readily apparent here, I think this is a good one man shelter, maybe two if the two people like cuddling together.

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Detail of doors on the pole side. Since the doors are not exactly vertical from the peak, they will go out past the pole or tree, and I might add tarp tie outs on the junction between the doors and the sides, so as to provide a place to stake out further, or suspend between two poles or trees.

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Another 5×7 tarp set up, Low Tetra pyramid…or “Dead Man’s bivy bag” set up due to its tiny size.

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The height of this is around 30 inches, while the width is 60 inches at the far end, and a floor length of 7 feet. This is NOT an ideal shelter for tall people, but for the average user or shorter, it would be a survivable shelter with protection from most elements.

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Windward view, one could make it feel bigger by adding a tie out/panel pull out where the sticker is on this tarp.

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Half-Pyramid open faced shelter utilizing the tan 9×7 tarp and suspended from a Douglas Fir branch.

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Windward view of the tarp shelter

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Tree side view, that is a 5×7 tarp as the ground cover, and there is plenty of room in there for up to 3 people. Best with two and gear, and with a metal pole or similar, one could have a fire in front of the pyramid shelter and be comfortable.

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Interior view with ground cloth and my MOLLE pack in there.

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10×14 tarp set up in a 6×8 narrow pyramid with approx 7 ft height.

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View of door side with door flaps closed up.

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Interior view showing the basic fold of corners and the space given.

Basically one puts tarp clips 3 feet from the corner of the door flaps, for the front, and then put tarp clips an approximate distance (in this case, 4 feet) from the corners on the back to make a 6 ft width between the back two clips, and thus providing just around 8 ft of length between the front and the back after squaring up the stake points.

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With 9×12 tarp erected using 5 more pole sections as an awning.

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Not quite lined up I know, but this gives good space under which to dine or cook or hang around in weather.

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A different pyramid set up, this oddly enough gives me a bigger floor space than the narrow one above, the doors are now 4 feet wide, and the back edge is now 8 feet wide..there is a 6×8 tarp in there, and according to my calculations and confirmed with this set up, I have a floor of 8 ft wide and 6 feet 6 inches length, thus providing me with more useful room in the shelter. Same 7 ft approximate height.

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Closed up, basically weather proof. I could cut a hole in there for a stovepipe but I do not have a stove with pipe yet.

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Side view of Leaning/half Pyramid set up.

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Windward-quarter view, showing the better pyramid shaping compared to the narrow one.

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All packed up save for the pole. I might splurge for a backpacking tarp pole if it means a smaller package than that shown above. Both the 10×14 tarp and the 6×8 ground tarp are rolled up in the bag, along with the stakes and the single long line.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

Revised Improved Hellcat hunting rig and two standard ALICEs

 

 

 

OK I revised my Improved Hellcat pack, making it for a hunting rig, and moved the ALICE pack up to the top, and inserted a MSS bag that has a GI Intermediate Cold Weather sleeping bag (from the 80s, synthetic version of the M1949 mummy sleeping bag), and attached a gun scabbard to the right of the pack, and two canteens on the opposite to balance it out somewhat. I think this pack should be decent for hunting or target shooting, with a standard hunting carbine in the scabbard (SKS is inserted, but for hunting, it would have a flush 5 round magazine for Oregon State laws)

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pack with MSS bag on bottom, SKS scabbard, and two canteens, along with filleting knife. I also added a webbing carry handle to the top, which also loops through the Tri-Glides of the load lifter straps so as to prevent accidentally undoing them.

DSCN1707view of the pack from the back; you can see how I moved the load lifter straps to the outboard top slots, and the webbing handle inserted through the same slots

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view of the canteen side; the top canteen has a camelbak straw inserted into a canteen cap I modified by drilling a hole teeny bit smaller than the straw’s outside diameter, this allows a friction fit and prevents accidental leaks

DSCN1710the gun scabbard side, while there is room on the scabbard itself for pouches, I have decided not to put anything on the scabbard, so as to keep the balance of the load as reasonable as possible.

DSCN1713here, you can see the Improved Hellcat hunting rig between two standard  ALICE packs, the one on the left hand side has a green buttpack installed on the bottom, it is a mid 80s, early 90s ALICE MEDIUM pack. The other one on the far right, is a very early model, 1974 contract I believe, the buckles are cam/spring loaded friction buckles, and the fabric has faded quite significantly, it has two 2 qt canteens, one on each side, and a M1967 sleep carrier holding a camo compression sack.

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you can see how the frames and the straps are different between the 3, the one on the Left, has the old style ALICE LC ruck straps, 2nd generation I believe with two quick releases rather than one like the 1st generation, the shoulder padding is short on this set, while the set on the one to the Right of the Hellcat are generally considered 3rd generation LC-2 straps, the padding on these are much longer, going from pack attachment all the way past the quick release hardware, it is similar to Tactical Tailor’s Super Straps, but without sternum straps. the kidney pads on the two Standard ALICE Mediums are missing belt portions, the one on the Right used to have a roll pin type of attachment for the belt webbing.

I might modify one of the standard ALICE packs to have Desert Camo MOLLE straps and belt, not sure which one yet.

Coleman Peak 1 framed Hellcat pack; Improved Hellcat

Acquired a vintage Coleman Peak 1 pack with frame; some of the hardware is damaged, and the pack fabric has some wear and tear and seems to be not as waterproof as it used to be; being 20 years old (ITW buckles have dates of 94 on them) ; So I decided to transfer my MOLLE and ALICE parts to the frame as a test..it works without needing to be cut down like other PEAK 1 framed ALICE packs!

 

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side by side of the front/frame side portions of both.

 

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ALICE pack attached to unmodified PEAK 1 frame

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front view, showing how the MOLLE components attach to the pack, I reused the PEAK 1 load lifter buckle straps, and used the MOLLE green straps to attach the ALICE pack to the frame in the slotted panelDSCN1700

ALICE lower pack attachment between Waist belt, which is also slotted into the side slotsDSCN1701

view from above, ALICE upper mounts, using the MOLLE short green load lifter strapsDSCN1702

PEAK load lifter straps in OEM positions, with the adjusting straps from the MOLLE shoulder straps threaded into the buckles.DSCN1706

SPEC OPS BRAND HUMP hydration pouch attached to the space between straps/belt and frame, using same slotted panelDSCN1705

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frame without pack, showing the geometry and the slotted panel in the center, the slots on the perimeter are ideal for lashing long items or cinch straps to reduce pack volumeDSCN1703

 

upper MOLLE shoulder strap centering straps slotted into two of the perimeter slots

Getting back into Tactical gear mostly for myself…..

Hello world! After a good while of not being involved with the Tactical gear making side; and after looking for a vest/harness set up that would be ideal with my large girth and size…and having had no success…I decided to jump back into making tactical gear for myself….not for commercial sales or private sales; except in very specific circumstances; but otherwise…. mostly for my personal use 🙂 Made my own Harness/LBE, modeled after the following models; Eagle DFLCS, Safariland SPEAR/ELCS Harness portion, and the Israeli (IDF) Ephod Vest used from the 1980s-onward…..in black material, with pouches very much the same as what I have made; but directly sewn to the harness panels, and with Rothco’s H harness shoulder straps… took me 14 hours from start to finish on this thing…mostly due to measuring and cutting the fabrics and webbing.

the Specs are as follows; each Harness panel is 18″ long by 9″ tall on one side, 5″ tall on other side, with a 9″x5″ panel of Universal Webbing; IE, 3 rows of 1″ webbing and two rows of 2″ webbing, which enables the user to use both ALICE and MOLLE equipment, and two main pouches of 4.5″ width, with 5″ height and 2.5″ depth, and a smaller 6″x3″ Universal Webbing panel above the main pouches, and 2 4.5″x5″ flat profile open top pockets behind the pouches for misc flat items (empty SKS clips or Shears or cards or folded map, or emergency space blanket each would fit the pocket, maybe even a wallet!)

Current load is 300 rounds of 7.62x39mm on 10 rd SKS clips, one box of 25 12 gauge shells in the four main pouches, 10 shells of 12 gauge buckshot in a Rothco shotgun pouch above the two main pouches on one side,,  30 rounds of 9mm in two magazine pouches, one on each inboard side of the main center pouches, a 9mm Ruger P85 in a Rothco universal LC holster, a Lensatic USGI compass in a black compass/field dressing pouch, and a 2-AA Mini-Maglite inserted into one of the webbing slots

I am looking for either single pistol mag pouches in black MOLLE, or a double and a leatherman Kick MOLLE sheath to replace the two green pouches I have on there, and will add a general purpose utility pouch on the weak side (left side opposing the holstered side);

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Updating….redid bike bag set ups and did a grocery store run with bike!

So…I redid my bicycle bag set up; and got it to the point where I feel confident in its capacity as well as my own capacity….. anyways; on to the pics!

bike bags as is;

bike bags loaded with food! Left Side

rear view of bike bags loaded

all that food that were in the bags; not shown, the 1 qt canteen and stove and cup, and blanket, gloves, first aid kit, bandanna, hand towel, lock, two 2 qt canteens, and small tools.

and on a short trip today with my overnight stuff in bags;

such a nice day….

off the side of the road in the nice day outside…note how well the spokes blended in the background; the wheels are painted now; with the exception of the brake tracks and chain cogs;