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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:03 PM #1
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Lets Talk Battle Belts

Mods,
If you can think of a better place to put this, feel free.

Okay, tss1004 PM’ed me with a question about battle belts. It is easy enough to make a recommendation on brand, but tough to explain issues with holsters. I decided to write it up, show you my rig, and let you make your own decisions. Everyone is different in terms of physical build and that will certainly influence choices and intended use needs to be a consideration. The questions he asked are: What brand? If I want to run a kydex holster, how does that attach? Do I get a separate molle attachment instead of a paddle/belt loop? Finally, what about mag holsters? I will cover all of these in this write-up.

First lets talk about philosophy of the battle belt. There are basically two philosophies that I am aware of: the battle belt as a back-up platform and as a primary fighting platform. Many civilian enthusiasts are using battle belts when attending training and using them as their primary fighting platform. That is fine and it makes sense, from that perspective, to have accessories like primary weapon magazine pouches on the battle belt. You can go with ballistic nylon or Kydex; Velcro, shock cord, or friction retention. Etc., etc.. Regardless of the equipment you choose, prepare yourself for the reality that the first time you attend a real training course (one that gets you out of your comfort zone), you will probably find out that a few or many of those choices will not work for you and you will be spending more money replacing them. Why do I mention that? Because others have gone before you and felt the sting to their pride as well as their wallet. My first experience in a fighting rifle course was my magazines taking a dump the first time I hit the prone because the pouches I was using did not have enough tension in the elastic to retain them under serious movement. Luckily that was on the military’s dime so I all I had to do was trade them out. Take the time to do some research and ask questions just like tss1004 did and it may save you $ in the long run.

My philosophy on the battle belt is as a back-up platform. What does that mean? As I learned it in the military, the purpose is that your battle belt contains bare minimum necessities to allow you to defend yourself and survive in the case of a catastrophic event where you would need to cut-away your armor and/or lose your primary weapon. This could be a downed aircraft or vehicle rollover….you get the idea. I’m not in the military any longer, but I still keep the same philosophy and adjust my equipment based on the training. Remember that there can be a mix of equipment. If the philosophy is back-up, that doesn’t mean everything is purely back-up in nature. It just makes good sense to mount some things on a belt…like a dump pouch.

My belt and the recommendation I will make to tss1004 is the Blue Force Gear SOC-C Modular Padded Belt Kit (http://www.blueforcegear.com/product...=6&prod_id=182). The kit includes suspenders, so if you don’t want them, then call BFG and see if you can just order the belt itself. I recommend the suspenders because they help spread the load which gets up there with ammo. The kit is $156.61 direct from BFG and is available in Ranger green, Multi-cam, ACU, black, and coyote brown.

My belt has the following accessories:

a) I replaced the SOC-C belt with a C-TOMS (http://www.ctoms.ca/) X-Belt QR. This is a bad ass belt. Pricey, but worth it. Price on the website is in Canadian $…about $75.00.

b) Paraclete Molle double Glock 9mm magazine pouch and small general purpose pouch. The 9mm pouch is self-explanatory. The GP pouch holds a survival kit and a Surefire Aviator LED flashlight, extra CR123 batteries, a Petzyl LED headlamp, and extra AAA batteries.

c) EAG Tactical dump pouch. The best on the market in my opinion. Call EAG for price and availability.

d) BFG Trauma Now kit. This is a great kit and has everything you need to deal with a gunshot or other serious wound. The kit with supplies is $104.95 from BFG. Mine has additional components shown in the picture.

e) Blade Tech Glock 9mm w/ SF X200/300 light holster with drop and cant belt attachment. Check Blade Tech pricing.

To answer tss1004’s question regarding holsters- I don’t recommend a Molle attachment for a battle belt rig as I don’t feel the Velcro closures on most of the belts are strong enough to give you a solid platform to draw from. You can use a drop leg rig like a Safariland that is the cleanest combination or you can do as I did and use a Kydex holster with a drop attachment. D what is going to work best for you. I recommend replacing the standard belt if going the Kydex route. If you don’t want a C-TOMs, go for a Wilderness Tactical double stitched and lined Instructor’s belt. Be careful on those because you have to give them measurements and must account for the battlebelt, etc.. Drop leg holsters are okay, but they can rub you raw and try taking a shit with one in a combat zone….not conducive to rapid egress. I guess I am bias there. Finally, remember that designs will differ. I've included pics of how the SOC-C accomodates holsters, but others may be different.

I also included pictures of my Mayflower UC chest rig with the belt. This is a great low profile chest rig. You will be amazed at the reduction in bulk going from a 1000 Denier Cordura to a 500 weight. (Sorry, but pics got out of order)

One last comment on battle belts, secondary weapons (pistols), and the back-up philosophy. You can use 33 round G18 magazines in any 9mm Glock. They fit in a medium GP pouch. That is a lot of extra back-up ammunition in a relatively compact, lightweight format and a great addition to any battle belt. Food for thought.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:24 PM #2
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Awesome write up. Thanks for taking the time to do that Kevp.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:43 PM #3
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Silly question, but why does one need a "battle belt"? In the military we had LBE/LCE EIEIO, whatever you want to call it, however, why the home? I mean, in the military, it was all about projection of power, but from home, you are within your base camp. Point being, as you know, most firefights are less than 10' away, and no longer than 20 seconds. Personally, I would advocate putting as much lead on target, for a short period of time, contained within a single firearm, with perhaps a magazine, or two as backup. Speed and mobility are of the essence, and so again, I would advocate going "soft cap". In essence, a short barreled pump shotgun filled with double 00 buck to keep the perps head down, while I advance, and the pulling my pistol when I'm running up on them with their head down. I might have a mag or two in my cargo pocket, but I'm only going to need them to cover my exit.

I guess, at least in my feeble mind, if I need a "battle belt" you better include rain gear and an MRE, because you are planning on being "engaged" for a while.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:49 PM #4
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If I had a dummy like that, it would have bullet holes in it's head and chest..........great target.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:54 PM #5
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SHTF and you need to forage this might come in handy.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 03:57 PM #6
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I'm so glad I took the time to write this up.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 04:03 PM #7
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SHTF and you need to forage this might come in handy.
If it's SHTF gear, then again, I'd throw in some rain gear and an MRE. Fatboy's gotta eat.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 04:05 PM #8
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I'm so glad I took the time to write this up.
Kev, you did a great write up. Those who don't understand or appreciate your work would not probabably care to discuss BOBs or setting up a ruck.

We've got some members that aren't sheepdogs, just armed sheeple.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 04:17 PM #9
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Sorry for my ignorance.

Belt as back up. Keep gear in there for survival and to supplement your secondary weapon if you lose the first.

Aside from mags for your main weapon. What should you have on a chest rig?

I was also thinking about a fixed blade knife. Any suggestions or is it more of a personal preference thing?

For some reason, I only envisioned being prepared for bad stuff in a tropical environment like Puerto Rico. Basically, have enough to fish, since there is no wild game and enough hardware to keep the vermin off. I always lived within a mile or less from the beach so I never thought of having a load out like this.
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1911's dont suck especially if they are Nighthawk, Ed, Les, or Wilson.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 04:18 PM #10
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Very nice write up Kevp. What kind of retention is that holster?
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