Gear Organization Basics

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Wesker
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Gear Organization Basics

Post by Wesker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:24

Firstly, I am no certified expert on anything I am about to post. I just happen to have owned more rigs then I can remember in the years I have been playing. As a result I've gotten a fair idea of what works and what doesn't. As it turns out what works will work for a majority of the population. That being said, their will also be a few weirdos who prevail with methods far different then anyone else. So the following is only a basic guide and NOT the end all be all.

Some terminology relevant to proceeding information.

1st Line: Generally described as what you need to survive. Its what is on your belt line or in your pockets. For some, the belt is the go to place to reload from. For others its to augment their normal load and carry extra magazines. And others still, hate to use a first line.

2nd Line: What you need to fight. For airsoft this can be anything from a plate carrier to a chest rig. For many its the main storage place for most of their gear.

3rd Line: What you need to fight on. This is usually an assault pack or anything else that goes on your back.

*This system does not apply to everyone and gets grey with certain rigs*

Primary Hand: The hand that should 99% of the time be holding your rifle or your handgun.

Secondary Hand: The hand that will do just about everything else, from use a PTT, to slapping a new magazine into your rifle.

Strong Side:
The right side of your body if you are right handed and the left side if you are left handed

Weak Side: The left side of your body if you are right handed and the right side of your body if you are right handed.


Setting Up Your Gear

1st Line


The first line can be any number of things from a riggers belt, to a fancy padded MOLLE belt. They all serve a similar purpose and no one is better then the other for everyone. But the riggers belt, or any belt that goes through the loops of one's pants is not an ideal place to mount anything more then a sub-load or two as it will slowly pull your pants down with it.

First lines are the typical place to mount a secondary weapon. Style of draw is largely user preference and depends on if you value speed or security.

In addition the first line is also a good place to carry magazines for your secondary and a few primary rifle mags should you need to ditch your 2nd line in a situation where its more harm then help.

Examples:
Image
Image
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*For these set up the belt magazines are the primary speed reloads and they are replenished from the 2nd line as they get used up*

2nd Line

Image

If the above rig is your base rig and the zipper divides it in half, the right side as you are looking at it here will be your weak side and the left your strong side. Again reverse if you are left handed.

*Applies to just about any second line, chest rigs, plate carriers, etc.

When arranging pouches on a rig, its important to consider having to actually get to them and not just filling PALS space or using what looks cool.

The rule of thumb is, to position things you need to shoot bad guys on your weak side, and everything else on your strong side. Reason being, your secondary hand will be doing reloads and thus magazines should be closest to this hand. Reaching across one's chest for a fresh magazine is slow. Symmetry is for art classes. Speed is more important.

Reaching things like a radio, extra BBs, or a first aid kit is generally not as important. And these things can go on your strong side. The radio may need to be on your left side if you lack an external mic of any kind, but if you do, purchasing one might be ideal. For some the radio is best positioned on the weak side however. This is because it either interferes with shouldering their rifle or they are in a role where it needs more consistent manipulation.

The above can pertain to both belts and rigs. Practice to see where you prefer to reload from and also practice shifting magazines in lapses of fighting. Move them to the pouch you can access the fastest.

If you have a fixed pouch rig, moving magazines can also be important as many pre-made rigs center the magazine pouches. Not really a big deal, just shift them to one side as time allows. When I used a rig with magazine pouches in the center and just shift them to my left and into my shingle as I use the ones already in there up.

There are other things to consider when throwing pouches down. Consider how you will play in this gear. If you go prone a lot you might want to keep the dead center a little more slick. If you will be going through tight areas or doors you might want more gear on your front and less on your sides. Balance can also be an issue with some rigs. If one side has everything mounted and one side is totally slick it can cause so sag and comfort issues.

Examples
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*Many fixed pouch rigs included centered mag pouches as to allow both righties and lefties to have equal access. When using one try to shift loaded magazines to your left. An upside to these is that is usually easier to balance them.

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*Pouches are mounted favoring the left for a right handed user.

3rd Line




Camelbaks are the most common third line. Slim models that carry just water are good enough for most games while slightly larger models like the MULE or Ambush are good for longer games where you need a little bit more in terms of food and ammo.

*Remember that all your gear should be reasonably snug. If all of its sagging and hanging all over the place its going to do more harm then good. Also realize that nothing I just said is meant to be mind blowing, just the basics. And nothing about positioning is going to work without practice and using your gear. Do not simply look for pictures of how someone else set up their gear and copy it because it looks cool.
WW
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Shifty » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:55

Good stuff... Great start to a great guide. Here are a couple ideas:

The thing I think you should really stress in the beginning is that people first need to figure out exactly what they need to carry, and for what purpose. It's impossible to even start to figure out what you're doing with your various layers of gear if you haven't even figured out what equipment and how much you'll need to have on you. Once they decide on WHAT to carry, they can use the guide to figure out HOW to carry it.

Also, I think you should go into a little more detail about choices people have for each line. For instance, talk about duty belts vs MOLLE belts for 1st lines... Chest rigs vs plate carriers vs assault vests vs harnesses for 2nd lines... Hydro only vs 1-day packs vs 3-day packs for 3rd lines... Give a couple examples of each and what their purposes/advantages are.

Going even more in-depth, I think some more detail on pouch choices should be included. There are all sorts of pouches, and their uses can be very specific or more broad. Choosing the right rig might be easy enough for some people, but choosing the right pouches to fill it up is a whole other beast.

Lastly, adding a lot more pictures to go along with things would be really great.

Here's a video about gear placement, brought to you by GMR:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4PK8wZY ... r_embedded

Definitely "Sticky" material.

P.S.- If you want any help with any of that, PM me and let me know.

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Wesker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:10

Good solid ideas. I'll write some more stuff up and probably break it down into multiple posts for sake of organization.
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The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by PC-02 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:16

Good shit son! I think it would def be good if you added a "placement" article. Not enough people understand how much work it takes to get placement right.
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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Wesker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:19

If anyone has good solid photos of their rigs send them over to me via PM. Preferably laid flat on the ground. I only really have chest rigs to use as reference photos.

Also going to break it down into 4 posts. One for each line and the first one, general stuff.

Keep the ideas coming.
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The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by 9C1 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 15:40

Also a small suggestion.

Maybe its not as important to others, but I tend to also "balance" the weight of the gear as much as I can. (As in if I have most of my mags and extra ammo (heavy items) on my weak side, I put something to counter the weight on the other side....such as a pistol, canteen....etc.) Sometimes it just kind of works out that way, but it may be something to consider as well.

Obviously the ergonomics are the priority here, but a balanced vest or belt doesnt sag to one side, or bounce around as much.
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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Jeff » Wed Feb 17, 2010 16:26

As someone who is just starting to get an idea of what they want to carry, this guide has helped a lot. This would probably be in a second topic but it would also be great to see a guide on what types of vests and chest rigs there are out there.

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Jman » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:20

As far as modular platforms go this sounds spot on. One thing though, I feel when using a 2nd gen LBV that the design favors the strong side for magazine placement. Because the magazine pouches are angled inward, reaching across your chest is much easier as the pouches are tilted toward your strong hand. On your weak side, its a much more awkward motion. Not sure if this is just my personal preference or if you want to mention it.

It would also be a nice idea to compare and contrast the different types of gear, MOLLE, fixed rigs, and LBV / alice combinations and their advantages and disadvantages. Cost, speed, weight, size variations, etc.
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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Wesker » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:01

Step 1: What do I need?

Before you start to look at all the different gear options its important to figure out what you need to carry for your use at games. It's important to build your gear around your needs and not your needs around your gear. You will not be needing a chest rig that holds twelve mags if you normally carry and use no more then six.

Aside from the normal fighting gear such as magazines and spare BBs, take a look at the fields you will be going to and see what their mandatory equipment is, if they have any. Some fields will require a radio, whistle, and barrel condom. While others may require a small first aid kit. Make sure you have the minimum equipment for each field so you don't have to worry about items and finding places for things before each game.

For a reference of what different people carry to games in their gear check this thread out:

http://airsoftnj.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=11578

You will notice some fairly consistent things among everyone with personal variation. It is a pretty safe bet that you will not come into airsoft knowing exactly how many mags or frags you will need for each game so some of this will be trial and error.

Step 2: How do I carry it?

When it comes to actually carrying gear to games their are tons of options out their, each with their pros and their cons, but they all fall into a few categories:

Chest Rig
A chest rig is obviously a rig that goes across your chest and puts most of your gear right their. There are a couple of different designs. Some are split front which makes getting it on and off a bit faster, and some have a back panel for things like hydration. A chest rig is one of the cooler options because it leaves plenty of space on your body open to breathe. As a disadvantage to this, it puts most of the weight on your chest and the imbalance can be a hassle to some.

Plate Carrier
A vest designed to hold armor plates and in some cases soft armor. Both will fall into this group. Plate carriers with a cummerbund system often offer the most space for mounting equipment. Since it also covers your back, it can be easier to balance then a chest rig. As a disadvantage to the increased capacity, plate carriers are often one of the warmer options as far as gear goes. It should be noted that many of these vests will not fit properly without the use of fake plates or fake soft armor, they will be floppy and inconvenience you.

Vest
Similar to a plate carrier in the space offered but generally more breathable due to the mesh design of most vests.

Harness/Belt
The oldest method of carrying fighting gear. Harness gear is usually the coolest of all gear and offers pretty decent space. As a disadvantage, smaller people are more limited when it comes to using this gear more so then any of the other options. If you intend to prone out a lot this is also one of the best options as it keeps most of the gear from your chest and belly.

*Take into consideration that the above categories and the descriptions contained in them are fairly generally and not everything will always apply*

Terminology

Below are some general terms that will help parts of this guide make a bit more sense.

3 Line System- The three line system is one of the methods people design a load out using.

1st Line- What you need to survive, generally what is on your belt.

2nd Line- What you need to fight, generally what is on your vest, chest rig, etc.

3rd Line- What you need to survive, generally any number of things on your back.

Strong Side/Hand
- Your strong side/hand is whatever side of your body your dominant hand is on. It's the hand that should be holding a gun 99% of the time.

Weak Side/Hand
- The side/hand opposite your dominant hand. Used to do things like reload.

*Although the terms strong and weak are used, its good to be fairly efficient with both hands, but strong/weak are used for the sake of simplicity.
WW
The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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Re: Rig Set Up Basics

Post by Wesker » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:01

That would be the first post. Also started work on the 1st line post as well.

Feedback appreciated.
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The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. Ulysses S. Grant

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