Total Survivalist Blog: Lucky Gunner

We’ll be talking chest rigs and battle belts as well as guns and get
home bags/ assault packs. Get yours together to win some great prizes

1st: Blackhawk 3 day Assault Pack ($90) AND a $50 gift certificate from
($50 value) plus 2 copies of The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
2nd: HERC stove from Titan Ready Water ($169 value) plus The Reluctant Partisan by John Mosby.
Note: Prizes 1 and 2 are really closely matched. As such the overall winner can pick the Lucky Gunner stuff OR the HERC. 2nd place gets what is left. 2 books will go to #1 and 1 book to #2.
3rd Place: 3 Sport
Berkey Water Bottles donated by
LPC Survival ($69 value)
4th Place:  A Lifestraw donated by Camping
Survival ($20 value)
5th Place: A pair of Gyver Gear survival tin’s
6th Place: The Western Front (hardcopy) or 3x e books by Archer Garrett.
Wildcard: This one goes to whoever I
want to give it to for whatever reason I feel like. It will be a grab
bag donated by yours truly. The exact makeup is TBD depending on what
I have lying around  and may include books, gear, medical stuff
or even a couple silver dimes. ($30+  value).

For a good example of a post reference my EDC Contest entry.
Those should give you a good idea what type of thing I’m looking for. I
will probably do a full fighting load post some time before the contest is over.

The contest is closed but we still have a few more posts to show due to my technological issues and some field time. Voting
will start after the last entry is shown on the blog. Voting will run
for about a week and will decide the winner’s who get the prizes. Onto the Entry…..


first submission I put in was my “on the road” low quality comblock kit
that lives in the trunk as I was travelling.  Now that I’m home I
figured I’d share my primary rig.  I’m not trying to game the system —
just figured I’d get some feedback and maybe give some ideas.

I have a flexible setup which revolves around a few key components:

– 3A Vest

– DBT “Victory Vest” slick plate carrier

– Tactical Tailor Mini Mav Chest Rack

– Eagle War Belt


– LAPG “Zombie Hunter” bag

The idea is that you layer with whatever is needed so you can adjust your profile as needed.  Some examples:

– “Low Profile:”  Slick plate
carrier or soft armor under sweatshirt or soft armor with LAPG Zombie
Hunter bag close to hand, and normal CCW/duty belt.

“Medium Profile:”  Slick plate carrier or soft armor with Tac Tailor
MiniMav, plus LAPG zombie hunter bag close to hand.  I call this medium
profile because even under a sweatshirt, a chest rack + PC is going to

– “High Profile” Vehicle Ops:  Slick PC with FLC

“High Profile” Dismounted Ops:  Slick PC with War Belt and Chest Rack.
 Option to ditch the PC and/or chest rack depending on METT-TC.

I’ll walk through the contents of each of the key components next.


Sourced from BulletProof Me.  Nothing fancy.  Just a basic NIJ 3A soft
vest.  Pairs well with the mini mav or LAPG bag for a lower profile.


Diamond Back Tactical Victory Vest.  DBT went out of business and sold
off their gear at pennies on the dollar.  It is all made in the US, GI
spec stuff.  I picked up a bunch of PCs (some slick, some with molle)
for about $20 each.

– 3A inserts:  I repurposed
NIJ inserts for the soft frag armor.  The vest is intended to take
special SPEAR or BALCS cut armor but the NIJ stuff fits fine; I just get
a little less coverage.

– Plates:  I run medium SAPIs and
have steel as a spare/training set.  My wife runs 8×10 level IV ceramics
with steel as a spare/training set.


We each have similar mini-mav
chest racks.  These are pretty low profile and can fit under a bulky
sweatshirt as well.  The idea here is that I could run with nothing but
my standard CCW stuff and a mini-mav and be able to fight.  From left to
right as pictured:

–  Tactical Tailor small radio pouch with FRS/GMRS

– TT tourniquet pouch with CAT

– Velcro for ID/morale patch on triple shingle (20 rders)

– Single mag pouch:  Usually used for a Surefire G2X but will also fit a pistol mag or multitool

Future thoughts:  I am considering swapping out the
20-rd shingle for a full-size 30-rd shingle and putting an admin pouch
on the front.  The admin pouch would let me store key documents as well
as give one more flashlight/knife sized pouch at the cost of increased
bulk in the front.  Right now the CAT is “squishy” so it isn’t bad to
get prone.


This is a medium USMC surplus
molle belt supported by a Tactical Tailor “fight light” harness which is
super comfy, even under armor.  I have a total of 5xM4 mags and
1xpistol mag on here.  Combined with the minimav that’s 8xM4 mags on
board.  Otherwise I envision this as a dismounted patrol load suitable
for a day or night out.  From left to right, as pictured:

– Tactical Tailor “kangaroo” magnapouch.  Holds an M4 mag and a
pistol mag on top in “quick draw” fashion.  These are expensive so I
just opted for one on the centerline.  I shoot pistols right handed and
rifles left handed so there’s no ideal place for the fast reload (my
rifle reloads should be on the right, and pistol mags on the left) so I
figured centerline with a bias towards the fast pistol reload was a

– Double M4 pouch (USGI surplus)

– USMC surplus canteen
pouch.  Upgraded with nice Nalgene brand 1qt canteen.  Side pockets hold
water purification tablets and matches.

– 100 round SAW pouch
at small of back.  Currently empty.  I can stuff it with
mission-specific gear.  As a default some snacks and maybe spare socks
go in there.  As it is on the small of my back I don’t like to put hard
metal things there but you can fit 3xM4 mags easily.  My NVD would fit

– Surplus IFAK pouch.  Set up as a combined IFAK/patrol pouch.  The
front subdivider has a compact TK4 tourniquet (not as good as the CAT
but compact), an H&H Israeli-style compression bandage, triangular
bandage, and an NPA.  All the stuff I’d want quick access to.  The large
big compartment has a baggie with first aid “boo boo” stuff:

Sterile Gloves, 3xAspirin Doses, Medi-Lyte (electrolytes for dehydration), Diamode/Loperamide (diarrhea medication), Bug Sting Wipe, Antiseptic Pads, Alcohol Prep Pads, Two 2″ gauze pads, 3″ wide elastic wrap, 2×4″ moleskin strips, EMT Shears

That won’t sustain you long but should be good for a day or two until you can get to a bigger medic supply stash.

The IFAK pouch also has some misc “patrol” stuff:  Mylar
blanket, Single-use poncho (green), 4 oz emergency water pouch, Water
purification tabs, Uncle Ben’s DEET Bugspray Wipe, SPF30 Sunscreen Wipe,
Cyalume Milspec Glowstick, “Foamie” Ear Protection.

Tactical Tailor MOLLE holster.  This is sized for a Beretta 92.  I do
not like this holster in this application.  It rides way too high for an
easy draw.  Additionally, our primary household sidearm is the S&W
M&P, and TT doesn’t make a pouch for that.  My wife just has a
cruddy condor pouch on her belt for now until I find/finance a better
solution.  There’s some good low-ride MOLLE holsters out there but they
seem pricey.

– Single grenade pouch riding on TT holster.
 Currently I have a $10 NCStar 8x monocular in there.  It seems to work
fine.  The location is easy to access.

– Double M4 mag pouch.  For mags, and my NVD will also fit in there.

My wife’s
rig is identical except her belt is smaller, so she is down two M4 mag
pouches.  Her kangaroo pouch rides on top of a single M4 shingle though,
so she has a total of 2xM4 mags and 1xpistol mag.  Given that her
primary role is close escort for kiddo she doesn’t need as much ammo
anyways, so a self-protection load is sufficient.  With her mini-mav
she’s up to 5xM4 mags.

I can easily layer this with the minimav plus an
assault pack (for more gear such as a woobie and poncho, or even
goretex) or a simple camelbak carrier.

thoughts:  I am considering adding two double mag shingles, one on each
side of the buckle.  This would either up the mag count by four, or let
me replace a double M4 mag pouch with a double pistol mag pouch for a
flashlight and multitool without losing AR mags.  Right now between the
war belt and minimav I don’t have a good way to carry a multitool or
other knife.  I’m also a bit worried that if I lost the minimav and was
down to just the belt I’d have no light source other than the glow
stick.  So ditching a double M4 pouch for some utility pouches seems
reasonable, especially if I offset the lost M4 pouch with some shingles.


The concept of the FLC
is vehicle mounted ops which require something more robust than the
minimav.  The war belt is just not super comfortable in the car when
seated.  The pouches are empty as I currently only have enough gear
(other than mags) to keep one set of LBE stocked.  I’d have to transfer
the stuff off the mini-mav/war belt onto the FLC.  Total mag carriage is
10xM4 mags and 1xpistol mag.  

The detail photos show the left and right sides of the FLC.  The side on the wearer’s left is equipped as follows:

– Double pistol mag pouch, for pistol mag and surefire

– Double M4 mag pouch x 2

– Canteen pouch (identical to battle belt)

– Up on the mesh vest:  Small radio pouch for GMRS, grenade pouch for monocular

The other half of the FLC on the wearer’s right has, from centerline out:

– Double M4 mag pouch x 3

– IFAK pouch set up as on war belt

– Up on the mesh vest:  Multitool, CAT, grenade pouch for admin items (will fit a basic flip cell phone)

FLC is paired with a thigh drop holster.  I have a Serpa drop leg left
over from work which also carries a spare pistol mag, so currently use
that until funds allow a nice Safariland.

I am
considering dropping 2xM4 mag pouches and replacing with a 100 round SAW
pouch for more utility storage space for stuff like nomex gloves and a
stripped MRE.  That would drop the total M4 mag count to 6.

Finally, I had a
bunch of ACU pouches laying around so I got two cheap ACU FLCs from
ebay and set them up similarly as backups.  They will be stashed in cars
soon, I think, unless I can think of a better cache setup.

NOT PICTURED:  “LAPG Zombie Hunter Bag”

LAPG has some neat bailout bags.  They are super simple but pretty handy.  Contents of mine:

– 3 x M4 mags

– IFAK pouch contents set up as on war belt

– Compartment for handgun (I don’t like off-body carry but it is an option)

Compartment for radio (CB handheld or GMRS) — normally the CB lives in
the car but it could move to the bag if the threat level increased

– Water bottle

– Cheapo “tactical” light

– Ear Pro

zombie hunter bag can be used to keep a lower profile, or to supplement
the FLC/mini-mav in a vehicle-ops mounted role.  If you have to
dismount you can grab the bag on the way out for a few more reloads.
 They also work great as range bags.


feel like this gear lets me adjust profiles from low, to medium, to
high.  I can be comfortable for dismounted ops or in the car with
similar rigs.  Coyote brown is nice as it blends with lots of
colors/environments, and it isn’t camo pattern (any LBE will draw
attention from onlookers; camo LBE doubly so).

picture I want to continue to get more gear to round out the FLCs so
they are “grab and go” ready all the time, but surefires and leathermans
are expensive.  I also need to continue to work towards fixing the
pistol situation on the war belts, and ditching the SERPA for my FLC
rig.  I also do not have a great way to carry a knife right now other
than maybe a multitool.  I have some KABAR adapters for my mini-KBAR but
no good place to attach them.

To keep costs
low, I used USGI surplus where possible and supplemented with Tactical
Tailor as needed, taking advantage of their annual 30% off sale to get
the key gear that just couldn’t be sourced with cheap surplus.  TT is
not too bad if you stick to the smaller utility pouches and their “fight
light” line.

Please feel free to weigh in with any questions, spears, or comments.



Ryan here: As always thanks to Chris for playing. He liked doing the first post so much he did a second one! Thoughts in no particular order.

Why the Mini Mav vs a rig that can hold more mags? Most folks will go lighter on the warbelt and heavier on the chest rig. If the rig held 2-3 more mags you could arguably eliminate the need for the FLC kit (except as a backup). 

On the subject of the Mini Mav I disagree with the 20 rounders and would replace them with 3x standard 30 round magazines post haste. That gives you 30 more rounds on the kit.  A small admin pouch would be a good idea. 

War Belt: Yeah I have that same holster. They are OK but sit pretty high. Personally I keep my mags on the off hand side so all my rifle mags are on the left side. The exception is my second pistol mag as it went where it could fit (the other option was not having it). 

You mentioned not having a place to put a more robust knife. Why not on the War Belt? You could Jerry Rig it so the knife was just below the belt (thus not taking MOLLE space) and held on my a couple of big zip ties or something. 

The bail out bag should have some food in it, probably some clothing too.

Agree with ditching 2 mags from the FLC to create an admin pouch for some food and various stuff. 

I love how your system is modular so it can work for a variety of situations.