Talking About Gear

At some point, there may come a time when we (being my Readers, myself and kindred souls) may have to suit up and sally forth to resist the forces of Evil — protecting a neighbor’s house, a local store, a statue or similar artwork, and so on.

I’ve always resisted going full “Camo Barbie” because I think that I (and anyone else) look like a complete tit, clad in wannabe-soldier gear and all that — the term “G.I. Schmo” comes to mind.  It’s all very well for actual soldiers and even for the SWAT-ies to look like that:  spare mags, water bottles, knife/bayonet etc., but while it obviously behooves you to be prepared — we’re all about that — I’m not so sure that looking like some weekend warrior is all that productive.

For one thing, you start looking like all the negative stereotypes that the Left has been demonizing for… well, forever, really.  Just as importantly, though, is that you identify yourself as a target — either to the Pantifa brigades or, more alarmingly, to a police force which doesn’t seem to care about keeping the anarchists in check, but seems perfectly willing to go after us — which isn’t so good.

Nevertheless, if this Pantifa/BLM foolishness is going to continue… let’s just say that I’m starting to change my attitude on this.  But I absolutely refuse to go the full Monty.

If all I’m going to carry is a handgun (Browning HP or 1911) then I’m okay:  I use old-style cell-phone webbing pouches to carry my spare mags, and those coupled with a trouser pocket will give me all the backup I’ll ever need.

The pouches hold either two 15-round HP mags, three 8-round 1911 mags, or two 10-round 1911 Chip McCormick 1911 mags each:  30, 24 and 20 rounds, respectively, along with whatever’s already loaded in the gun.  I don’t think I’d ever need more than one of those options, under almost any circumstances.  (And there’s the S&W 637 backup revolver, in extremis.)

The best part about all this is that it’s easily concealed under a light coat / sport coat, a “shoot-me” vest, a gilet or even just an untucked shirt.

Now add a rifle and spare mags, and you can pretty much rule out going around unnoticed.

…especially with all those spare mags.  Good grief, they look as though they’re about to repel a Taliban attack rather than a bunch of Pantifa pansies or BLM goons.

Now maybe that’s a Good Thing, because nothing says “You’re not going any further in this direction” like a wall of armed American big ol’ boy civilians like the above.  But even ignoring the optics of the situation, all that shit gets really heavy after a while — ask me how I know this — and while it’s okay for our soldiers (with the benefit of daily P.T. exercises) to hump that gear, for us Ole Pharttes and Fat Boys alike that’s not a pleasant prospect, especially as more likely than not, there won’t be much in the way of action.  Anyone who’s pushed guard duty at a base camp will know exactly what I mean.

All that said:  I probably need to look at some kind of webbing gear that, in a pinch, I could sorta-conceal under a dustcoat or similar.  There’s this lot, which seem to have much to recommend them, being that their gear is all made in the U.S.A. and not in fucking China:

And if I were to go with any of their products, it would most likely be this one, tailored for AK mags:

While quite spartan, it’s still too much, although that seems to be about as small as this item runs — I’d prefer to hump only two spare 20-round mags because once again, I don’t see me ever needing more than sixty rounds of 7.62x39mm in any kind of situation where I’m not at home.  (Also:  $80?  For webbing?)  And you can forget about any camo clothing, FFS.  Jeans and so on — “civilian” gear — will be all I ever wear unless I’m drafted into the modern equivalent of the Volkssturm.

So what think you, O My Readers:  am I way off-base here?  Or else, if the  situation calls for the scenario described above, should I just throw on the faithful old photographer’s jacket and toss an AK mag or two into the inside pockets (yes, they can hold them, I checked)?

All thoughts are welcome.


  1. Well I’m a cheap fuk so I ordered this 2 days ago

    …in coyote brown.
    I haven’t received it yet so I don’t know how it will work out. My plan is to connect it to my everyday leather belt on the left side/front. But that depends, cause I would like to be able to sit down while wearing it. I plan to install (6) 30 round AR15 Magpul mags in it. I have lots of equipment, even my old ALICE stuff from my army days 40+ years ago, but I’m more concerned with comfort and concealability.

    1. OK, this isn’t going to work. Don’t know what I was thinking. The mag holder just arrived and I put (6) loaded 30 round AR Magpul mags in it. Whoa. Weighs more than 5 lbs. Maybe closer to 10lbs. If I hooked that on my belt and went out in public I’d be arrested for indecent exposure. So a change of plans is in order. I will most likely use one of the various ballistic straps I have around here and use it like a sling diagonally across my body.

      However, I don’t see myself carrying an AR or any other rifle around much. From my home office to my Blazer, from the Blazer to the shooting site, and back. Typically if I am going to shoot a firearm I have a range bag with me that has hearing protection, tools, etc., and mags.

      The range I shoot at the most is nice and has shooting tables and set up tables to the rear, so I set my range bag on the rear table and only take the gun alone to the shooting tables, as per their rules. When I go to a friends place to shoot he has no tables at all so this 6 mag pouch would sort of come in handy then. We’ll see. The pouch seems built well and sturdy and it was tight getting the mags in it, maybe they will loosen up with time and use. I’m going to keep it. Not a bad price at all.

  2. Well, the purpose of camo is to keep you un-noticed until things get loud, and walking around in camo in most urban settings makes you stick out like a pecker on a honeymoon. (Exceptions would be PA during deer season, but I digress). As noted there are times when you WANT to be seen as well-armed as a show of force, but in such a case you’d also want to be part of a group that’s similarly equipped.

    So let’s assume you want to be discreetly, but well, armed.

    The pistol part of the package is simple enough, lots of folks carry concealed every day, but pistols are for surprises, if you reasonably expect you may get into a fight you want a rifle. A single person walking around with a slung rifle (a) scares the horses (b) screams “shoot me first” and (c) is likely to get the attention of law enforcement, especially if things turn sporty. Again, you’re not going un-noticed until you decide to be noticed.

    So my thought is a layered approach. First, your fairly normal daily carry, maybe an extra mag or two if practical. Then a backpack/shoulder bag containing a folding rifle of some sort, mag loaded (but maybe chamber empty), and a web rig like the one pictured containing spare mags which you can slip into should the need arise. Stay un-noticed until it’s time to be noticed, and the first indication the anarchists have that you’re capable of shooting back is when you actually do so.

  3. Once you specify USA production, the price does jump. As an example, here’s the MSRP page for the same backpack from the same company, one made in the USA for .mil contracts that require it, the other from wherever:

    For two rifle mags I’d be looking at a simple shoulder strapped bandolier with 2 or three single mag pouches. Something similar to the US claymore mine bag. I wouldn’t want double mag pouches unless I was going to fill them, and the waist strap on the one you linked I don’t see as necessary for a couple of mags, unless I planned on putting in on and going for a run. I also don’t like those large Fastex buckles when they can end up next to me, instead of on the outside of armor or a plate carrier. Carrying mags is bad enough, it doesn’t need more hard bits digging in.

    If the company you linked is willing, maybe they’d be willing to do one customized for you? It wouldn’t be any cheaper, but it might be worth it. Or maybe someone like Tactical Tailor is still doing custom work.

  4. Agreed. Camo is for hunting, unless you’re actually part of the armed forces.

    Outside of hunting, I can see carrying a rifle if I was going to be part of an organized protest/counterprotest with a bunch of other guys carrying rifles (see, e.g. Michigan and Virginia), but otherwise I don’t want to stand out as the first target. If I expected trouble, I might have one in my truck, but I’m more likely to just stay home and avoid trouble if I can. I live far enough outside of any urban area that if protesters show up at my place, they’re seriously lost (and if they start trouble, they’re likely to stay lost.)

    1. It was a lot easier back in the cowboy days as you had a horse to carry all that gear and yourself, and nobody got crazy about seeing a rifle in a scabbard, or a handgun on your hip. Now, if you threw all that gear in your pickemup, there’s always some Officer Friendly that wants to know why you’ve got so much “trouble” in the back seat.

  5. That UWGear stuff looks good, but then they say this “We try to get orders made and shipped as quickly as possible, but please allow between 3 and 5 months’ lead time for your order to be made. Thanks.”
    and there is no gray color. I can see the need for this equipment in a shorter time frame than that.
    This is a tough problem, if you want simple, non-camo, relatively concealable, and available. I’ve been shopping for these lately and also find that only about 1 in 10 products handle the 7.62 magazines I use … either SR25 or FAL. I can recommend, but it’s also expensive and either black, coyote, or camo.
    For the price of a fitting out you and your close friends with low-profile bandoliers or chest rigs, you could buy a nice, used industrial sewing machine.
    Later – there is also Tactical Tailor, who make quality products, but no seem more-or-less out of business, at least retail business. Another suggestion is to use one of these: I’ve been using those for years as my “throw it in the back of the car” bag. I have one each for FAL, SR25, and medical.

    1. Interestingly, Louisiana is a special case. It seems like half the people there, at least outside of the two big cities, wear camo year ’round.

    1. Don’t have to. A Henry Survival rifle will suffice, in that scenario. (How I wish they’d make one in .22 Mag…)

      1. Take a look at the Savage 43 22Magnum/410 Shotgun combo.
        Or the Chiappa M6 in 22Mag/20 gauge. Saw the latter in a pawn show in NOVA last month for $295 and was tempted. Make a ranch gun.

  6. Some real good points here, being well over 70 I won’t be running and gunning playing GI Joe, I will be hunkering down and staying low and with a few good friends and neighbors the Warriors of Justice and their fellow travelers would be better off going somewhere else. We live in a county, in the Texas Hill Country, of about 30,000 with more FFL’s than the entire Denver Metro area and we are real friendly to people who act nice but we really don’t want outsiders coming in and messing around with our town. Having lived in Dallas for a number of years with discontented people a few blocks away to the West and Ross Perot and his friends a few blocks away to the East of our home I was happy to move down here seven years ago to a more conservative environment.

    Having a few firearms and some practice, a bit of an organized plan for using them with trusted friends and family if the worst things come about is not a bad idea and I do hope I never see that happen but if it does some ‘old testament justice’ might happen to the intruders.

  7. Best idea I’ve seen yet. Guy took a tool box. (Dewalt/mikata/etc) like for carrying power/cordless tools. got it at the pawn shop. glued foam in it and then cut it out to fit his AR. had to break it down at the pin, but that’s no tools 30 seconds kind of thing to put back together/take apart. Walk around in coveralls carrying your toolbox and a hard hat? totally invisible.

    1. I remember that. Neat concept. Never got around to making one up. If I dig around on the old hardrive I think I have that article around here somewhere.

      1. Matt Bracken posted that at a few years ago. The tool case was for a reciprocating saw. I have every tool in the world and use them regularly and 2 of the said recip saws with cases, and if I saw someone walking around with one I’d be suspicious. Especially if that was all the carrier was carrying. Now if he had on a hard hat, a tool belt, jeans, and work boots, and was in close proximity to a construction site it might fly. But I doubt it.

  8. Having growed up in NYFC I learned some perspective on violence. When carrying a folding knife it would be opened and inserted into a glove. When carrying a gun it was easy to place it inside a paper lunch bag…hand inserted into bag holding the J frame. When carrying a length of pipe slip it up your jacket sleeve.

    The goal was invisibility. Nothing out of the ordinary. Be the “gray man”. Then strike without warning or mercy.

    I have said it before. In a 2nd Civil War I fear not the large gangs on the street. I fear the night when lone gunmen go about culling the herd. I am a strong believer in total war concept. If it comes to this, Lord help us. It will be leaders, their families, and all others who will fall. Violence of action as some say helps end bad things sooner than moderation.

  9. Kim,

    I’m like you, and around the same age. Normally, I figure if a compact .45 with an extra mag won’t solve my problems, I made a serious error in judgement somewhere leading up my dire circumstances. In current weather, I prefer my .45 in a leather, on-the-belt leather holster on an honest-to-goodness quality gun belt, spare mag(s) on left side under a large Hawaiian shirt.

    Also, like you, I’m not a big fan of walking around looking like an SF Operator, because, well, I’d just look silly that way, frankly. Not that it’s not effective, but I’m vain enough to not want to look like an Operator wannabe. However, current times are a bit more, um, interesting, shall we say, than normal? I can see the need for more serious kit. But If I do need it, I’m not going to worry about concealing it under a coat–again, vanity. I don’t want to be mistaken for one of those mentally deranged, Goth mass shooters in a duster (AKA drovers coat). I’m not heading to any protest, armed or otherwise, nor am I going to risk my life protecting some statuary. Yet. For the moment the authorities are mostly showing up, but doing nothing. If we have a complete breakdown in civil order and the authorities simply stop showing up, and I’m not worried about being shot by them, that’s a different story.

    So, like you, even if I need extra firepower, if three 30-round mags of rifle ammo, AND 3 mags of .45 won’t solve my problem, then I’ll assume it was just my time to go. And while chest rigs are effective, I just don’t like them. I am lucky enough to have a standard, military issue web belt with a universal large pistol holster for it. I’d use that, not a fan of drop leg nonsense, for the .45. On the offside, I’d use this product, a “kangaroo” holster for two AR/AK magazines with two .45/9mm mags in front. Slung AR, not because I think it’s better than an AK-47, but simply because I have trained with it, am comfortable with it, and am confident it will get the job done in civil unrest situations. I like the belt carry, it’s sufficient for pistol, and those four mags. If I want to get in shape and formally join a militia, I suspect they’ll have a recommended (if not required) kit, and I’d use that. But the belt has the added advantage I can just chuck it in the back of the car, I do have padded tool case as described above for the AR, but these days, I’d just chuck that in the car as well, and if I run into trouble, just belt up, sling the AR and I’m G2G. YMMV>

    My belt (available at most milsurp outlets, and Amazon):

    The kangaroo holster (Molle compatible but also for belt):

    Military belt holster for full-sized semi-auto (any):

  10. Timely discussion.

    As mentioned, we “Ole Pharttes and Fat Boys” aren’t going to be runnin’ and gunnin’. My patrol area will be our little cul-de-sac. I wanted to put together a grab-n-go rig that was light weight, simple, and cheap. And I detest Velcro for the noise it makes. So far, so good. I have been tinkering with one of these–

    “The Specilitly Group 8465-01-525-0577 Molle U.S. Army Issue ACU Digital Camo Fighting Load Carrier (FLC)”

    Just copy the description and paste it in your search bar. Lots of info will come up, including YouTube.
    A few notes–
    –There is plenty of adjustment for girth.
    –Some of the adjustment in the back for height is un-usable because as some point the drag handle
    hits your neck.
    –You can use the zipper or buckles (or both) but IMO the bottom buckle is too large and bulky, so I
    dismounted mine.

    I have installed a pair of taco mag pouches–

    –using R1 Molle clips (sold separately). There are less expensive mag pouches out there, but I really like the way these work, and that they will accommodate just about any common mag.

  11. Another too old for this shit type here. The last time I spent a day wearing my old ALICE gear for a training class, over 15 years ago, my back was messed up for a week.

    My current plan is to use .mil ammo bandolier for extra ammo for the AR. The 5.56mm ones hold 7 20 round magazines. I have a bunch I recovered from various military ranges over the years

    With one of those and a 30 round mag in the weapon I have 170 rounds ready to go.

    These are easy to grab and go out of an ammo can and can be worn under clothing (shirt, vest, coat) for discretion. And they are cheap even if you didn’t spend years scavenging the trash cans of military ranges.

    1. Forgot to add I also have bandoliers of ammo for my Garand and FR8. The concept works pretty well for most long guns.

  12. 77 years old,bad wheels, bad lungs. Gonna have to stand and fight from here.
    No knock, riot, or a single tweeker, what have I got to lose?
    The truck has a Mossy 930 w/ 10 rounds of slugs loaded and the 1911 is a constant companion.
    What are they going to do, give me life?

  13. If things go full Beirut, even us old pharts can hump 60 lbs of ammo, just not as far as we used to.

    Have a nice beat up SKS that was dumped cheap as it was “non operable” according to the local sporting goods store. All it needed was a good cleaning, a new piston and spring. It was literally carbon fouled solid with plugged gas ports and worn piston from running it over crystallized powder deposits and cheap commie spring. Has American guts now and is silk smooth.

    The problem really becomes hard cover which is non existent in most American homes and my neighbors might not be understanding if I emplace Hesco Terrablock in maze pattern around the house. Then determining which neighbor is constitutional and which is communist leaning (IE educators, social workers and community activists of which we have a surplus of in the area).

    Kim – what rig do you use to carry the HighPower concealed? Like yourself a .380 is usually in my pocket with one spare magazine in the under size phone pocket on the kickaround cargo pants or shorts but your post has me thinking of how to add to that.

    1. Terra, I have Don Hulme inside-waistband (IWB) holsters for both the 1911 and High Power, although lately I’ve been using a pancake El Paso Saddlery OWB holster for the 1911 because it was ON SALE at an Evil Loophole Gun Show (ELGS) a while back.
      In a genuine SHTF scenario (I mean absolute Civil War III / Balkans-type SHTF), I would be tempted to use the HP as a backup to the 1911 just because 15-60 rounds of 9mm might be better than 5-15 rounds of .38+P in the 2″ S&W 637; in which case the HP would be carried in the IWB holster in the small of the back.
      However, all that makes my back ache just thinking about it. Being all that ready and looking mean kinda gets nullified by having to carry a bar stool around for the frequent rest stops I’d need.

  14. A quality rendering of a Press Pass, with your photo, agency and info, laminated and hung on a break-away lanyard. Worn and displayed prominently.

    Buy a ten-year old DSLR (unless you’re into photography, then buy whatcha like!), and couple of lenses.

    That big ol’ photographer’s bag can carry a lot more than just a couple of lenses, y’know. *innocent look*

    Attire then ought to be slacks or jeans, a sturdy belt, something similar to a khaki shirt, (chambray works well here, too). Maybe a real, genuine Photographer’s Vest. (just multi-purpose the thing!)

    Now, you can be fairly well geared up, without looking all Tacti-tard. And in fact, your presenting as “Press” can often move you across Police Lines and other barriers, when others are blocked.

    Pro-tip: Do NOT fake up a Press Pass for an existing, high recognition Agency. Far as I know, “The Journal of American Justice” doesn’t exist, but it sounds like something the progtards would think is one of their own, so feel free to run with it!

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  15. If there’s that much shit flying off the fan, I don’t need to go any further than the 100 ft between the shop (sitting atop the subterranean vault) and the galley attached to the other out-building. A couple spare mags for the Para-Ordinance 1911, and in extremist, what’s in the FNC should be enough to cover that space.

  16. I know nothing about combat that I didn’t learn from Hollywood, so less than nothing, but I know a reasonable amount about guns and ammo and lots about hunting in western Canada and Montana.

    My hunting is walking hunting, 10-20 miles a day. When I was young I carried a ton of stuff but soon learned I needed way less gear, way, way less ammo, lots of food and even more water. I suspect some of that applies to combat, especially the food and water.

    An army marches on its stomach, so gentlemen, look to your provisions as well as your armaments. Probably extra cell phone batteries too.

  17. I would suggest having some of that black crap that the commies wear, should you need to vanish in a crowd of them.
    If you are a middle aged or old guy, you can also put a bunch of stuff in a fly fishing vest.

    But wearing a plate carrier covered with pouches is something I cannot imagine doing, although I wore it plenty in the sand box. Even in the unlikely event of needing a show of force to defend my neighborhood, wearing all that stuff really looks like playing dress-up.

  18. Would not camo clothes work well after dark?

    And I wonder, does anyone make a water bottle in the shape of a magazine? I wouldn’t put one of those supplemental lithium batteries there, for obvious reasons.

  19. I went through basic with FredZ, and with less hunting experience. I guess that makes me an ekspurt.

    40+ years of sitting on my ass, driving, I’m not humping anything anywhere. They didn’t install zerks in my wife’s metal knees, so it’s an exertion for her to just walk to the mailbox. We’ll both just sit here and wait for the knock on the door.

    Not in the city, and the neighbors aren’t real close, so we only have a couple of no shoot lanes.

  20. HSGI Battle Belt or something similar.. Kit it out however you want with mag pouches, holster, etc. Relatively low profile, without the bib-like appearance of a chest rig. Easier to work from a prone position as well if you need to.

    I also have a Hazard 4 rifle case that looks like a guitar bag. Very incognito.

  21. Around here, you stand out if you aren’t wearing something like 5.11 stuff. Being the grey man is situation specific.

  22. Clothing. Agree no camo unless your in a wilderness environment. Wife prefers I wear John Wick style suits, (😉) but I prefer common loose work shirts in gray, tans, browns, etc. Jeans or canvas trousers. Watch knit beanie or ball cap. When I used to do personal protection, I had several heavy t shirts modified to carry soft armor inserts for use under a sport, suit coat or (the above) clothes. Nowadays I have a couple of these: Highly recommend, but be advised they won’t handle rifle plates. Store the plates & carrier in your trunk if you think they are needed.

    Weapons, whatever your carry pistol is and at least 2 extra mags. So many options to carry not going to mention. Carbine, well I use a very light weight AR 5.56 build. Barely 6lb.s. I had a retired rigger sew me up a harness that held 4 30rd mags (2 on each side) for wearing under a coat. However, most times I carried a MP5K and the original HK holster with 2 mags on the other side. I now have this harness / holster from DeSantis which is vastly better, 2 30rd mags on the other side and more comfortable. They also make one for a short barrel / pistol AR that looks good.
    Kim, with the AK you are a lot more limited, but I have seen AK single mag carriers for shoulder use, kydex single like these for a wide belt–ak-47-kydex-magazine-pouch or even polish surplus canvas belt pouch that only holds 2 30 rd mags. One thing you might want to consider is using 20rd tanker mags instead of 30’s. A lot easer to port around.

    1. I only use 20-round AK mags, because it’s almost impossible to shoot from prone with the 30-rounders. I even have a few 10-round mags, because they were ON SALE.

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