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Dan_W

Load carrying gear

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I need help, I have no idea about all the different types of load carrying gear, I see PCLE and Molle, I kind of understand what these are but I don't know about the different types of webbing and Plate carriers etc.

 

I am also looking for a system that can carry AK mags, but I like to keep mobile and I seem to slither about on the belly alot, being the sneaky little bugger I am, so I don't think having pouches on the front would be the best idea for me. Still a student so if it is nice and cheap it would help a lot :rolleyes:

 

I read the bit in 'The beginners guide to airsoft page' but it hasn't really cleared it up at all. I hope this will spur someone on to make a good guide with plenty of pics and places to get them.

 

Thanks in advance for any help at all. :D

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If you're an outdoor player, and sneaky as you've said, webbing would probably be a better option.

 

There's various webbing systems out there for all different gun types; the type you mentioned (PLCE) stands for personal load carrying equipment and is the standard webbing used by the British forces. As you'd expect this is designed for use with the SA80 families 30 Rd Stanag mags. Since you've got an AK I'd start by looking at countries who use that system, I.e. Russian surplus, Chinese surplus etc. and see what takes your fancy, both price wise and aesthetically.

 

Don't scrimp on the price if it means you won't be getting comfortable gear though, you'll regret it in the long run!

 

Personally I use ALICE webbing which is an old American variety, still very effective though and once adjusted correctly it is very comfortable; I believe I read somewhere the ammo pouches can be modified to hold AK magazines.

 

I would reccomend Plate carriers and chest rigs to CQB players or outdoor players who don't crawl about as much, purely because the pouches on the front of your body are harder to access when prone and can prove very uncomfortable.

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I have a Web-tex British assault vest like this:

mF30rdigPQrjToKGyCgDgHg.jpg - if you keep an eye on fleabay, you can get these Used for between £15-£30 delivered

and I have used it with 2 different AK's. Both the proper banana AK47 mag and the less curved AK74 mag fit in them fine. They come in black & DDPM also and are designed to hold 3 NATO mags per ammo pouch (the 4 across the belly) and you can just stuff 3 AK mags in also, but they handle easier with 2 per pouch.

Notice that they have a webbing strap? Well, they also have velcro, so you can keep one unclipped, for fast access during mag change, and rely on the velcro alone to keep it closed, while you crawl around on your belly, without losing anything. As Ted says though, it's also about access to the pouches. When I'm lying down, I turn on my side to get at the ammo pouches.

Just a quick word on 2 common types of vest which you can pick up very cheaply:
mLD2hwICaKV4PZd23WSPMgw.jpg - the South African
mHQsSp8GcjrgW5sa-B6O8Yg.jpg ' the US LBV

Neither of those 2 types will hold AK47 mags and you would probably struggle with AK74 mags.

This is PLCE Webbing:
mYXzR-kv5cMlfm5dUQ_Y71w.jpg - can be had on fleabay for less than £20 delivered (also available in OD but more expensive)

You will have no trouble getting 3 AK mags of either sort into each of the 4 ammo pouches. Bear in mind however that this system is extremely robust and therefore quite heavy, as kit goes. It does have the advantage of being able to access the pouches while you're lying flat on your face though and it will last you an entire lifetime of airsoft; in fact you could will it through several generations of airsofters and it would still not give up (well the plastic side release buckles get broken if you stand on them, but other than that, you would kill the wearer before you could kill the webbing).

The cheapest Eastern Bloc solution is probably what the Russians call a "lifchik":
200px-Lifchik.JPG- can be had for around £25-40 from ex-Soviet countries but it's the P&P that stings.

They are worn across the chest, so access is limited if you are face down, but not if you up on one elbow in a prone firing position. Apart from Olive Drab, I've seen them in khaki, black and I have one in yellow leaf "berezka" camo; they also come in white leaf berezka like this:
200907081110380.poab1.jpg- this one has the belly band also (Chest = A band, Belly = B band) which is used for grenades.

Bear in mind that each of the chest pouches only hold one AK mag (which fact in itself ought to go a long way to dispel many of the myths surrounding Soviet tactics, shooting ability, accuracy, etc.) which is fine for a lot of airsoft, but for prolonged battles, like me, you may want more. I've also got two 3 mag canvas belt pouches:
281087854306_1.jpg - the 3rd one is missing its main leather strap and surplus to my requirements anyway.

They are usually about £10-£15 each + P&P. You can also get pouches similar to this which hold 4 mags. They are designed to be worn on this type of belt harness:
soviet_harness.gif- which can cost anything from £10 to £50 + P&P

There is also the more modern lifchik option:
af19a5e1ea04.jpg- not sure of average prices.

^^These hold 2 mags per pouch.


In a similar style there's also British Army Horthern Ireland Chest Rig:
$(KGrHqJHJEsFBedv,q9dBQj,9FSLu!~~60_12.J - I got mine for less than £10 delivered.

They hold 6 AK mags easily. You could probably cope with 9 AK74 mags on this rig.

You can also get molle pouches for AK mags, such as:
bh-37cl05ct.jpg- Blackhawk STRIKE 9 mags (also comes in Black & poss OD) £25-£35 2nd hand + P&P

VPS-AK-Double-Mag-Pouch-B.jpg- Viper 6 AK mags (Black, OD & Sand) £10-15 + P&P

HSGUMMPS.jpg- Universal Mag Pouch (there's a huge variety of colours/camo's/prices)


If you don't want your ammo attached to molle on your chest or belly, there are battle belt systems like this:
battle_belt.gif- again there's a variety.

They can also be worn with a shoulder harness to stop the weight dragging the belt down if you've got slim hips/no real arse to speak of. You can wear molle pouches like these slung on a 50mm duty belt, so long as they are good quality so they tapes at the back are stiff and the press studs tight. However you may well need some kind of harness/yoke to stop the weight dragging your kecks down...


Lastly there are modern Russian assault vests which obviously carry AK mags, but they are generally very expensive: £60-100 + P&P. There is however a cheaper option which is the Viper Special Forces Assault Vest (not to be confused with the Viper LA):
$T2eC16hHJGYE9nookQ!MBQiqg9Wi6g~~60_35.J- £36.49 New Delivered from Ronnie Sunshine's (also available in OD).


Some Useful Soviet Gear Links
http://www.soviet-power.com/index.php
http://soviet-military.com/catalog
http://www.sovietarmystuff.com/
http://www.rusmilitary.com/index.htm
http://russian-uniform.com/

Current Bargains / Reasonable Deals
worth investigating DPM molle rig (I can't tell what pouches it will take from the pic)
£27.48 New Delivered from Swansea looks to hold 15 AK mags / choice of 6 colours/patterns - no straps or press studs on pouches, but it is all molle so you could swap them in future
British Army Classic Assault Vest in DDPM - cheap as chips.
Another one in DPM
Better one in DPM
British Army NI Chest Rig - pence / loads of listings the same


Russian OMON Spetsnaz Vest AK-RG Blue Urban Gorod Color Lifchik - £32.96 Delivered!!!
AK47 4 x mag & 2 external pockets canvas pouch - £10.98 Delivered (seller has 5 / offer him/her a price for 2 IIWY)
Modern 3 mag versions of above - £12.49 Delivered 2 available (I don't expect you can get a discount on both but worth a try)


Hope that helps :)

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Tactical Tailor make a few webbing-style MOLLE load carrying systems as well:

Full-size MAV(1 piece)

MAV(2 piece)

TT sell a crapload of MOLLE pouches as well, although these can be quite expensive compared to other manufacturers. The cheaper alternative (that come in a lot of patterns/colours) are Begadi MOLLE pouches . Begadi also make loads of load carrying systems including their cheaper take on the Battle Belt, their own assault vests, full size chest rigs, ammo-only chest rigs and 'micro' chest rigs.

I only buy begadi pouches, they're tough enough to outlast a cheap-ish AEG and cheap enough to buy in bulk.

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I like the British DPM PLCE Webbing, I like the way the pouches are on the side and the back. My friend has the N.I. one, lucky prick got the whole kit from his dad, but it seems a bit bulky and uncomfortable. I might just get one for the mean time as the webbing seems a bit expensive for now.

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And that was a bloody brilliant guide by the way Ian, much appreciated B)

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The issue with PLCE mag pouches is they're quite bulky, if you want a belt I would go with a MOLLE belt, (I'd recommend a Warrior PLB belt) as you can have single stack mag pouches and keep it quite low profile.

 

As you said you like to be sneaky, keeping a low profile would be key, a plate carrier, British Chest rig/vest and most other vest type rigs wouldn't help, particualy the ones designed for carrying large amount of gear. A MOLLE RRV (Rhodesian Recon Vest a common type of chest rig) can be quite low profile depending on what pouches you put on them, however you still have the issue of going prone.

 

For prone you're fairly limited to just belts if you don't want any difficulties, although I go prone in my RRV and RAV with no issue

 

 

@Ian when you say the SA vest is cheap I assume you're reffering to the copies not the M83 :P

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Great, know you have blown my options wide open again :mellow: Would the bulkyness of the PLCE not break up the human shape a bit more though?

 

And again, the cost is a bit of an issue :(

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Great, know you have blown my options wide open again :mellow: Would the bulkyness of the PLCE not break up the human shape a bit more though?

 

It's nothing that couldnt be sorted by sewing some bungee cord on and threading foilage into it ;)

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Great, know you have blown my options wide open again :mellow: Would the bulkyness of the PLCE not break up the human shape a bit more though?

 

And again, the cost is a bit of an issue :(

 

It'l break up the shape of a human by making a bigger shape, they'll also bounce around a lot unless you get bungees etc which will attract movement.

ALICE webbing may be a good cheap option although I don't know if the pouches will take AK mags

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If you like PLCE you do not have to have all the pouches attached to it. I use PLCE with my AK mags and they work fine. I use the two double magazine pouches and one utility pouch. The double mag pouches take 2x AK magazines each, and the utility pouch has a bottle of lucazade, choccy bar and a a small pack of about 1500 bb's. It is not bulky, is not heavy and is perfectly suited to those with a larger physique or those who like crawling around a lot. Added to the fact it can be had dirt cheap on ebay, its a good go to set of webbing.

 

Another option would be a molle belt system, with molle ak pouches, and you can get shoulder straps for that as well, but it will work out more expencive than a set of plce.

 

The viper vest that ian posted will hold 6 ak mags in its 6 mag pouches, but they are tight, and ak47's are really tight fits.

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I might just go for the PLCE, I have seen a shop on ebay that will guve me some universal cords and bungee cords for free if i buy the webbing. I like the idea of wacking in some foliage to hide it a bit better and from what I've seen it isn't too bulky with the bungee cord.

 

Anyone know where u can get some pretty cheap or is ebay the best bet, i only really need a mag pouch and a utility pouch. Can you get a holster on it aswell?

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To be honest for what you are after you may as well pick up a belt and a couple of mag pouches.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MILITARY-COMBAT-TACTICAL-WAIST-BELT-MOLLE-MODULAR-SYSTEM-WEBBING-AIRSOFT-OLIVE-/270932254462?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&var=&hash=item3f14d21efe

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VIPER-AK-DOUBLE-MAG-POUCH-AK-G36-DOUBLE-MOLLE-MAG-POUCH-GREEN-/320960669735?pt=UK_SportingGoods_OtherSports&hash=item4ababf2827

 

But your best bet is to find your local army surplus shop and pop in and see what they have to offer. With the recent RM postal hikes, and I mean "Yikes" hikes it may well be cheaper to pick up stuff locally to you.

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I would just add that since the latest british pattern the DPM is decreasing in value (now very good value for money)or another option is the desert pattern but on a belt system (molle) and with a bit of spray paint this may help make it look gucci? :)

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I like the British DPM PLCE Webbing, I like the way the pouches are on the side and the back. My friend has the N.I. one, lucky prick got the whole kit from his dad, but it seems a bit bulky and uncomfortable. I might just get one for the mean time as the webbing seems a bit expensive for now.

Fleabay is your friend :) The price of PLCE from surplus suppliers is pitched mainly at parents buying for their teenagers for cadets. What you need is a little patience to find the listings for that gear once it turns out that the apple of mummy and daddy's wallet doesn't like it... (if you haven't already got some, that may well be your best bet for boots too)

 

Bear in mind that such parents rarely know PLCE from PAYE from PMSL, so they usually list it as "British Army Webbing" or something like that. An eBay search like that is going to throw up a lot of items, everything from single 20mm straps to full on Osprey MK4 with all the pouches and plates, and if you choose to get emails of new listings they'll be big, but if price is the major factor next to wanting it now, that is your best plan. You just need the patience to trawl through it all for what you want.

 

Shep makes a good point about P&P, but as I said above, you can get an entire basic set of PLCE posted for less than £20. Buying any system in bits is likely to cost more than buying some private individual's whole unwanted kit, so patience is the key. However, if you want it quick as well as cheap, buying bits may be the way forward. For eg:

 

1 x double ammo, 1 x water bottle & 2 x utility pouches - currently £0.99 + £3.75 P&P / 4 days to go

2 x double ammo pouches - £0.99 + £3.97 P&P / 2 days to go

 

But I've noticed that there are usually loads of listings for pouches, a fair few for yokes and/or straps, but not many for belts. In fact there are usually more listings for hippo pads than PLCE belts on their own, so IIWY I wouldn't buy bits separately unless i got the belt first, because you could easily wait as long for just a belt as for a whole set at the right price. I imagine this is because the belts are so useful for holding work pants up etc.; there just aren't so many going unwanted...

 

@Nick - yeah, copies. Let's have it right though, the 600D copies are robust enough for airsoft, even if you're into commando rolls and crawling through brambles (which I am :P even if I am better at the latter and comical at the former these days :lol: )

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You may also want to look at roll pin belts for your belt they work just the same and less of a pain to adjust if your wearing more layers. Also check to make sure it has slots on the inside for the tabs on he pouches

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-BRITISH-ARMY-SURPLUS-PLCE-ROLL-PIN-WEBBING-BELT-GRADE-1-SAND-OR-OLIVE-GREEN-/190817371122?pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&var=&hash=item2c6d9a03f2

 

Something lie that will do, also see websites like http://www.arrse.co.uk/ for a guide on how to set your webbing up

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Osprey sharp shooter pouches will fit AK mags. Roll pin belts are awesome they don't come loose, I have one in my disciple battle belt.

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