So to add to the rest of my equipment, I thought I might show you guys how to set up a very basic chest rig. These are incredibly easy and a quick way to look and feel high speed without making your wallet cringe. So after digging through some old toughboxes, I pulled out enough gear to throw something quick together.
To begin, find a simple chest rig from a tactical gear retailer. You can find them for dirt cheap. For instance, I picked up this Eagle Industries rig for about 40 bucks on sale. Its very basic and has four rows of PALS webbing which is plenty. Now, you can find them already pre-sewn, but PALS allows you to play around with pouch placement.
Pouch selection should be based on what type of weapon system you are using as well as mission. I’m using this one for an AK so I went with Blackhawk STRIKE AK pouches. Generally, I don’t like Blackhawk because I feel that their gear is poorly manufactured. However, they work so I’ll use them. I went with two double pouches for a total of four pouches capable of holding three magazines each. Yes, that is a LOT of ammo if I need it. Next, I went with a small utility pouch because it is necessary to carry more than just ammo onto the battlefield. I kept that on my right side. This is great for small maps, a notepad, compass, nightvision, etc. The last pouch is an MBITR radio pouch. This one is made by Tactical Tailor. I highly recommend them because their products are very practical. This one is adjustable for height and you have the ability to cover up the face and view it without having to remove it. If you are right handed, like myself, I highly recommend keeping it on your left hand side unless you want the antenna hitting you in the face.
Wearing the chest rig is pretty straight forward. The straps crisscross on your back and the lower strap goes across your back. I prefer wearing it rather high and centered because it actually takes a lot of weight off of my back. It gives it a nice balance.
As you can see, it compares to some of the original Chinese type AK chest rigs and Russian chest rigs developed in the 60’s. It was not uncommon to find these worn by the Special Operations Community during our involvement Vietnam. A lot of them were already using captured AK47s, so what better way to carry ammo than to use captured enemy equipment? These were also common to find used amongst some the insurgents that I faced in Iraq in 2004 and 2008. The last few are of me with one of my rigs that I was using in 2008.
In the end, they are incredibly simple and practical.