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Author Topic: Suplus Gear Deals!  (Read 8102 times)

Nightcrawler

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Suplus Gear Deals!
« on: March 06, 2016, 11:35:28 am »
If you're looking for some load bearing gear, for the carriage of ammunition, there are some good deals out there.  Sure, you can just go get a Condor brand made-in-China vest or chest rig; truth be told, it'll work well enough for most people.  But if you're wanting something genuine military surplus, I've found some good deals.

Real surplus gear is hard to find anymore, comparatively.  You go into most "surplus" stores and they'll have Condor/Voodoo stuff, since paintballers and airsofters are their biggest customer base.  But the real stuff is still out there if you hunt around a little.

http://www.keepshooting.com/review/product/list/id/2171/category/18/

British Army "Osprey" load bearing vest, MOLLE, desert DPM camo.  $75.00, comes with a bunch of pouches. 




This droll fellow obviously didn't bother to learn how to size the vest or put the pouches on.

Next is something a little different, French Army surplus: http://www.keepshooting.com/french-tactical-assault-vest.html

$35.00.





The horizontal webbing straps are for the attachment of ALICE pouches.  It's a cool mix of old school and modern modularity.

Next is USAF surplus: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/662058/military-surplus-h-gear-harness-abu-camo

This H-Harness was the core of the "Defensor Fortis" load bearing system developed for Security Forces.  It's a quality piece of equipment, especially for $40, but wasn't issued very long before being surplussed.  They started fielding it only in like 2009 or so.  It's the silly ABU pattern, but a little Krylon can fix that if it bugs you.  There's an ACU pattern one too, as if that's any better. 


Perfect if you want to stand outside and check IDs for twelve hours.

Next is the MOLLE Fighting Load Carrier vest.  It was part of the original MOLLE system, so versions can be found in Woodland, Desert, ACU, and Coyote.  It was intended to work with the front-opening Interceptor body armor, attaching to the vest so you can take off your gear and still have armor protection.  It can also be worn without the armor.  Unlike most vests, it has an open back, making it more comfortable when wearing a heavy ruck.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1918167969/military-surplus-molle-fighting-load-carrier-flc

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1918428140/military-surplus-molle-fighting-load-carrier-flc-nylon-woodland-camo





These are lightweight, good quality, and genuine US military issue.  You can find them all over, from Midway in my link to Amazon.  Midway has them from $12-$24, hard to beat.  The first generation woodland ones didn't have the zipper in front, just buckles.  All later versions have the zipper.


Next is a piece of US combat gear that's mostly forgotten, since it didn't see front line service very long.  I think it's technically called the "LBV-88".  It was supposedly fielded in the 80s, but most pictures from the Gulf War and later show troops still using ALICE gear.  I got one of these in the Army National Guard around 2000 or so, when the Army was transitioning to MOLLE.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1918299524/military-surplus-load-bearing-vest-lbv-holds-4-ar-15-30-round-magazine-and-2-grenade-nylon-woodland-camouflage

Midway has them for up to $24.00.  They're actually a pretty comfortable design.  I humped a lot of miles in one of these in the Army Guard.  The wide shoulder pads are comfortable.  It holds six magazines, contrary to what the MidwayUSA description says.  The top mag pockets hold one each, the bottom, two each.  (It seems silly to make the pockets different sizes, but the six mags was the standard US battle load.)  You can attach it to a pistol belt and run even more pouches, canteens, and other stuff with it if you want.



Speaking of ALICE gear, not only is it still around, it's actually still in production, right down to the s___ty GI angle-head flashlight (which hasn't changed since Vietnam and is dim as hell).  Mostly for US foreign military assistance, I think.  You can get a wide variety of ALICE pouches beyond the standard triple M16 magazine pouch.



ALICE has a lot going for it.  It was modular before modularity was hip (even if most units mandated a "standard" configuration for their troops).



Now, there are a lot of foreign made knockoffs of ALICE gear out there, but you can find the real deal for cheap prices.  These guys have a lot: http://www.charleyssurplus.com/

For ammo pouches, they have the original cotton canvas ones from Vietnam.  They have the triple 30-round mag pouches, 20-round mag pouches, AK-47 mag pouches and M14 mag pouches.  H-suspenders or Y-suspenders, buttpacks, you name it.  There's a ton of stuff out there.  And, if you really want to weigh yourself down, you can combine ALICE gear with a lower profile chest rig to carry even more mags.


BAMF style.




Now, something a little different.  It's not surplus, it's reproduction military gear, but it's US-made and pretty affordable: http://www.pacificcanvasandleather.com/

They have tanker holsters, GI holsters, and reproduction foreign military holsters of all sorts.







http://www.armysurplusworld.com/product.asp?ProductID=51212

These guys have the venerable ALICE pack for anywhere from $44 to $100 or so, depending on how new you want it.

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    coelacanth

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #1 on: March 06, 2016, 12:14:15 pm »
    Great links.  Thanks for posting them.  Mods ought to sticky this one IMO.   :hmm
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    Grant

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 12:21:45 pm »
      Awesome link, I hadn't ehard of pacificcanvasandleather before.  Looks like an awesome website.

       I LOVE surplus gear...I've got boxes of the stuff that I buy whenever I can find some for a decent price.   

         I been planning to but hadn't got around to buying the LBV88 and FLC.  Both look like good pieces of equipment.

        My main stuff I use is 4 mag chest rigs and a Yugo surplus LBV that carries 4 mags.      I do need something better for AR magazines though since I'm starting to use one a bit more now. 
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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 04:39:50 pm »
    Thanks for the links.

    I still use ALICE gear for my woodland rig during manhunts, SAR and surveillance. I've tried all the other vests and rigs and nothing else works as well for me especially in this ultra humid temperate rain forest environment here. My LBE and a Pygmy Falcon II pack are all I need for 3+ days. My LBE setup looks almost exactly like the one above.

    « Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 04:51:54 pm by sarge712 »
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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 05:55:42 pm »
    Hmm... now these are gear options I had not considered. Thanks for pointing me in this direction. I'll probably end up putting together an inexpensive ALICE rig once I get myself a rifle. Speaking of which, random question: any idea if those dual M14 mag pouches will fit FAL mags?
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    ksuguy

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 06:09:09 pm »
    Hmm... now these are gear options I had not considered. Thanks for pointing me in this direction. I'll probably end up putting together an inexpensive ALICE rig once I get myself a rifle. Speaking of which, random question: any idea if those dual M14 mag pouches will fit FAL mags?

    They should.   FAL magazines and M14 magazines are very close to the same size. 
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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 06:47:52 pm »
    The only .308 magazines that might give you trouble in a purpose-designed M14 pouch are PMAGs, because they're a lot bigger. M14/FAL/G3/metal AR-10 are close in size.

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 07:36:46 pm »
    They should.   FAL magazines and M14 magazines are very close to the same size. 

    The only .308 magazines that might give you trouble in a purpose-designed M14 pouch are PMAGs, because they're a lot bigger. M14/FAL/G3/metal AR-10 are close in size.

    On the one hand, SWEET! Cheap FAL mag pouches! On the other hand, DARN IT! I do not need a legit excuse to be looking at getting a FAL!
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    Nightcrawler

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 07:54:08 pm »
    On the one hand, SWEET! Cheap FAL mag pouches! On the other hand, DARN IT! I do not need a legit excuse to be looking at getting a FAL!
    http://www.charleyssurplus.com/m14_navy_issue_od_double_mag_pouch_wdivider?keyword=M14

    $15.00 each.



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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 08:17:12 pm »
    I'm leaning more towards this one: http://www.charleyssurplus.com/army_military_field_gear/pouches_and_trenching_gear/m16_4_mag_pouch

    Holds 3x 20-round M14 mags or similar. $12.95 each.
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    Nightcrawler

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 09:50:19 pm »
    With those, you're going to want to put something in the bottom of them to make the M14 mags sit up a little higher, since they're shorter than M16 magazines and ALICE pouches don't have adjustable flaps.  I've heard that in Vietnam, soldiers equipped with M14 rifles would put a wrapped bandage down in their mag pouches to make them work a little better with the shorter .308 magazines.

    Using Magpuls would probably help, too.
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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 10:32:04 pm »
    Sportsman's Guide has a ton of real surplus stuff, too.  Here is a set of Italian suspenders: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/new-italian-military-surplus-padded-suspenders?a=1884180 and magazine pouches (set of 2): http://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/2-new-italian-military-surplus-m16-mag-pouches?a=1869168.

    Throw in a GI pistol belt and you've got a basic dismount rig.

    http://store.oldgrouch.biz/usmilbesepib.html

    Complete basic ALICE setup, including a new canteen, for $20.



    https://colemans.com/shop/pouches-bags/u-s-g-i-m16-bandoleer-holds-six-5-56-magazines-woodland/

    Here's a surplus USGI bandolier.  It holds six magazines and has a shoulder strap.  Good for your go-bag.



    https://colemans.com/shop/pouches-bags/chinese-military-sks-bandolier-1970-s-1980-s/

    Here's a Chinese SKS rig for thirteen bucks.



    https://colemans.com/shop/pouches-bags/czech-military-9-piece-tactical-set/

    A Czech LBE set, $30.00.



    https://colemans.com/shop/security-tactical/belgian-tactical-harness-vest/

    Belgian LBV.  Looks like it's compatible with ALICE-style pouches.



    http://www.omahas.com/outdoor-gear/pouches/ammunition/ak-47-mag-chest-pouch#.Vtz0JOJU5uk

    Chinese canvas AK-47 chest rig.  I'm not sure how a Chinese vintage chest rig is any better than a current production Condor chest rig, which is also made in China, but here you go. :D

    http://www.omahas.com/outdoor-gear/pouches/ammunition/bar-belt-new#.Vtz0h-JU5uk

    More of a collector's item than a good deal, because it's a hundred bucks: a genuine, never-issued BAR belt.

    People have used them, and repros, as part of LBE for .308 battle rifles, though.





    http://www.omahas.com/outdoor-gear/pouches/ammunition/east-german-mag-pouch-camo#.Vtz1n-JU5uk

    East German AK74 magazine pouches.

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    Grant

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #12 on: March 07, 2016, 08:33:33 am »
       As much as I agree that the best is always better:  Stuff doesn't HAVE to be "High speed low drag" like they push so much, especially if you're on a budget.

    FWIW: That SKS rig in your above link?
    https://colemans.com/shop/pouches-bags/chinese-military-sks-bandolier-1970-s-1980-s/

    Actually was meant for the Chinese Type 68 rifle with 20 round magazines.

     Those 6 pockets can hold (sorta tight but very usable)12, 20 round AR magazines like a charm.  I have one and am considering turning the grenade pouch area into MOLLE to hold one big bag.     Good setup if one would want to primarily run 20 round AR magazines.

    As for that BAR belt.....dang....I almost may have to get one...lol.  I have a Belgian BAR belt without the eyelets for suspenders and they work damn well with .308 magazines.  I like it as it allows me to prone down very very well. 
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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #13 on: March 07, 2016, 06:52:24 pm »
    I am fairly sure that Pacific Canvas and Leather stuff is made in China. At least that used to be the case when I bought some stuff from them years back. That being said it was good quality and is still holding up.
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    Nightcrawler

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #15 on: March 14, 2016, 08:58:42 pm »
    Just a quick update: I received the British "Osprey" load bearing vest and the French LBV in the mail today.

    The British vest is used, but is in excellent condition.  It's ballistic nylon on the outside with a mesh inner layer.  Adjustment is fairly straightforward, a combination of snaps, velcro, and bungee cord.  It's kind of cool in that is has the name of the British soldier (Payne) that it was issued to written on the tag in marker.  It came with a bunch of pouches.  The zippers on the front lead to interior pockets, including one that has what looks like pistol magazine pouches sewn into it.  One thing I think they could've done better: the three straps that secure the front of the vest, they're sewn to the mesh instead of the tougher nylon.  Could be a potential weakpoint, but not anything that couldn't be fixed.  The vest doesn't zip closed.

    Bear in mind that it was designed to be worn over armor.  If you're smaller of stature than me (44" chest or so) you may find the front panels too wide.

    The French vest is older, date coded 2000 I think.  Unlike the British vest, it's not made of nylon.  It's made of a heavy cotton canvas, like old school military gear from the 50s and 60s.  The horizontal straps secure with snaps and velcro, and allow you to attach belt pouches to the vest, including ALICE gear.

    The French vest is in a little rougher shape, but is still very serviceable.  I will say that it's too small for me.  It has plenty of adjustment for my substantial girth, but none for height.  The bottom belt on the French vest is, I believe, intended to go around your waist like a regular pistol belt.  In fact it threads out and you could probably put just about any belt, 2" or 2.25" wide, though there.  The problem is, on me, the belt is more like a belly band, and I don't think there's a way to lower it.

    So if you're shorter than me by a couple inches, the French vest may be better suited for you.  I would suggest replacing the cotton/canvas belt with a heavier nylon GI pistol belt, and attaching your heavy magazine pouches to that.  Use the straps on front of the vest for attaching smaller/lighter pouches, like pistol mags, tools, first aid, compass, etc.
    ArizonaMOLON LABE

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    Re: Suplus Gear Deals!
    « Reply #16 on: September 02, 2017, 04:48:32 pm »
    Zombie thread alert. (Quick, shoot it in the head!  ;) )

    I'm starting to plan out an ALICE setup for myself, but I've hit a snag: I cannot for the life of me figure out how to properly size an ALICE pistol belt. Every site I've checked says something different. I'm a ~34" waist, but depending on the sizing chart, I'm either a Medium or Large. Can somebody please give me a straight answer?

    As always, thanks in advance.
    PennsylvaniaNon Timebo Mala -- I Will Fear No Evil

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