The very outdoors’y looking well bearded chap you see above, is not me; I’m contractually obliged to shave every morning and that is also a real self-loading rifle he’s holding; something I can’t touch outside of work because my parents’ generation allowed the government to take them away. The man in question however is as skilled as anyone who works at a top level gear manufacturer when it comes to putting together cordura and webbing in useful combinations with a heavy duty sewing machine and he’s (very stylishly) modelling my new plate carrier here for me with his own mags and radio.
Now I’m not going to break down all the details on this PC here because it makes more sense to do that once it’s actually in my hands rather than across the Atlantic, but I wanted to take this opportunity just to put up the first pictures that I’ve been furnished with, since they do look rather nice indeed.
For those who’ve been following the Facebook page for a while, you’ll have seen my previous custom PC in Coyote that integrates scratch built components with some FirstSpear items in to one package and what you’re seeing above is the ‘Gen 2’. Every gear purchase is a learning experience and based on the things I discovered by using the Gen 1 carrier I made a few changes to the specs of this iteration, which should make for an all round better rig, but of course maintain the key features.
Previously I tended to ‘hold on’ to pictures like these in order to release all the information and media in one go once I’d gotten everything in place, but I’m feeling that isn’t necessarily the best way to do things. There are big manufacturers out there who will rip-off new ideas and not give any credit (not saying necessarily from me), but end of the day I’m not in a position to manufacture and sell these designs anyway, so I’ve decided not to worry about that going forward and just talk about new ideas as I work on them. Either way I only come up with the basic concepts, in this case my buddy there is the one who takes those loose ideas and actually turns them in to something physical that works.
On top of the new carrier I also ordered 5 new placards in the Mayflower style/spec. These are all the same size with the same buckles and all backed with hook, so they’ll all work on my CB carrier, this carrier in RG as well as the adapter kit for my entirely FirstSpear rig. At the moment I’ve only got the one such placard which is all PALS in CB, but I wanted the option of either completely PALS (to facilitate the mounting of any after-market pouch I may wish to use) or something STANAG specific, obviously each in matching colours with all my carriers.
The 3 panels you see on the left here are saggy and not much use right now, but they’ve been built along the same lines as the mag pouches found in the Haley Strategic D3CR and hence will fully securely mount the HSP MP2 moulded plastic inserts. My previous experience trying out the KYdex Wedge Inserts (KYWIs) from ESSTAC convinced me that pouches utilising an internal plastic piece were absolutely the way to go. The fact the MP2s are shorter at the front than at the back (4 and 5 rows of PALS respectively) combined with their integration with a strip of PALS at the top for security and their commercial availability made them the best choice for this application to my mind. I find the classic 5-row-tall shingle pouches to be awkward in that they leave far too little of the magazine exposed for the operator to actually grab on to, whereas a HSGI TACO is just 4 rows tall and that makes life far easier. TACOs however do have their advantages but to ensure a tight hold on any 30rnd 556 mag they need to be tightly adjusted and will close up slightly when empty, hindering reinsertion. If all goes to plan, this design integrating the MP2s will remain wide open at the top whether full or empty, while still providing reliable retention without the need for a lid or bungees, ensuring maximum speed and ease of reloads.
Stay tuned to the blog if you’d like to read more as I’ll have all this gear in hand to look at in detail in another month or two.