So, I’m going to try something new, and do a post about some comments and discussions I’ve had on my YouTube channel. The main reason is to share some things that I think are good learning points, and also hopefully share some upcoming projects.
Battle Belt Setup and Training
First, I received a comment on my Battle Belts discussion that I think has several very good points:
Out of his points, I think the last one is probably the most important. While I greatly enjoy talking about gear, when we talk about preparedness, gear is actually the least important of the factors (mindset, training, gear). If you’re here, I hope you’ve already attained the preparedness mindset, or are at least open to it. I’ve spoken briefly about training with gear before, but in light of this comment, I feel I need to emphasize it more in videos going forward. Training gives you two-fold benefits: 1) Training makes you better. It gives you knowledge to better prepare and defend yourself. All the gear in the world won’t make you better if you don’t know what to do with it. If you’re wondering where to spend your money, prioritize training over gear. 2) It gives you the ability to test out the gear and make sure it is correctly configured and works for you.
My second point also covers another of his comment points. Once you have the gear, you really need to train with it. If you have multiple rigs, you’re going to want to find a common setup as much as possible – policy and mission permitting. For example, something as simple as keeping your magazine pouches in the same position can be a huge deal when it comes to efficiency. As you train, you will build up what are essentially shortcuts within your brain. People often refer to this as muscle memory, even though there really isn’t such a thing. These shortcuts mean that with enough practice you will do some manipulations, such as retrieving a magazine, almost subconsciously. If you have multiple rigs with different setups, or if you frequently move your magazine pouches around, under stress your brain will use the shortcut for the rig or positions you’ve practiced with the most. If that rig isn’t the one you’re wearing at the moment, you’ll be wasting valuable time.
Another frequent discussion/comment is on using AK-style magazines in micro chest rigs. I know there are quite a few AK users that subscribe, so despite the fact that I don’t use an AK, I feel the need to at least try to find answers.
There are two main issues with AK mags in micro rigs – capacity and ease of use. Because AK mags are larger than AR mags, in several of the micro rigs, you cannot fit more than two AK mags. This is true of the Spiritus, and according to RDR, it is true of their rig as well, although I have fit 3 KYWI inserts into their primary pouch in my testing. On the ease of use aspect, the tab of the AK magazine creates issues. Because both the KYWI and Haley inserts are open sided, it is easy for the tab to contact other magazines or hang up on the top material. The magazines can also wobble from side to side when fully loaded.
Thankfully, there are several manufacturers who are working on more AK-friendly micro rigs, so within the next few months to a year, you should see some new products hitting the market. In fact, I saw an advertisement for Beez Combat Systems’ new AK rig yesterday, so there is light on the horizon.
When it comes to the issues with AK mags in AR inserts, with the KYWI, you have two options:
- You can wrap a second strip of 1.5 inch One-Wrap lower on the insert, which should stabilize it when inserted. It may not completely remedy the issue of the tab catching on insertion or extraction.
- Once some of the larger rigs come on the market, I would recommend looking into a custom insert – essentially a full KYWI pouch made to fit inside the rig. I have personally used an AR-type insert in a rig, and it does work. This type of insert would solve both the issue of wobble and the issue of the tab catching.
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Thanks for reading!