PDA

View Full Version : What is the best AK mag Vest?


ZOID ZODIAN
03-16-2004, 12:54 AM
I've posted this on other forums, but, just what is the best AK mag vest? Many thanks to the people who replied to my other threads, but I've never asked the question here.

I've got a Grad-1 on order from www.RussianCombatGear.com (http://www.RussianCombatGear.com) .

They keep putting me off saying they don't expect any new ones until the end of March.

Does anybody have any type they particularly recommend, or one that should definitely be avoided?

I need something with quite a bit of adjustment due to my physique; we're not talking beer belly, just a body that doesn't go to the gym very often.

I purchased an M-23 vest from Red Soldier, but wasn't too impressed with it: it fit me too loosely and the material was somewhat flimsy. The mags flopped around too much. Other people have made recommendations and I have bookmarked those websites on Yahoo.

Does anybody have any particular experiences with AK mag vests that they want to share?

kfranz
03-16-2004, 09:40 AM
Do you require a vest, and are you limited to 30 rd. mags? If not, the Chicom type 63 rifle equipment can be a cheap, servicable alternative. Available in both chest rig and LBE versions, it functions with 20 rd. AK mags, and has the advantage that it is also compatible with most 20 rd. x51 mags, and with a little effort, 30 rd. AR mags.

ZOID ZODIAN
03-16-2004, 09:34 PM
All I have is 30-rounders, and I'm kind of leaning to whatever vest can either be worn with US LBE Y-harness and web belt, or comes with a harness and belt of its own that will accept ALICE clips.

TacticalSquirrel
03-16-2004, 09:43 PM
Few things to ask. How many magazines do you want to carry? What price range do you want to be in? And Are you looking for a vest or chest-type system?
I myself use an MP5 for work, am allowed a CAR15, and am working on getting my AK104 approved by the boss for the car. I have some different setups for the type of environment I need to use the various weapons, and with the exception of the leg rig for the MP5 mags (Issue uniform) I choose the majority of my stuff to be able to be used with the various weapon systems.
I don't carry a ton of magazines for what I do, usually no more than 6-8, sometimes as few as three. I'll start with the lowball ideas and work my way up.
The cheapest one will get will be the surplus USGI Load Bearing Vests (LBV's). The work with the 20-round AK mags and fit one of each in them for a total of 4 magazines. I don't like the angle of the pouches, but they work and I have a setup for surveilance use in the summer in the woods.
The simplest one and similar in cost is a simple 6-magazine bandoleer-type pouch that various makers have (DPMS has one as well as Bushmaster I believe) as well as a little more expensive version from Blackhawk. I load three magazines and ignore the back side or two magazines and a radio. One strap goes over my right shoulder and the other around the waist, tightend up, and a nice lightweight secure way of carrying some magazines without attracting much attention or under a jacket or just to carry extra magazines in addition to other equipment.
Blackhawk, Eagle, CQB Solutions, Tactical Tailor, the cheapest SOE vest, all these vests are decent to carry a 20 or 30 round magazine in each pouch. I reccommend the six pocket pouches for more flexibility in carrying other things other than mags. These can be found on ebay for arond $50 if you shop well or for around $100 if you don't want to mess around with auctions. These will work for most needs, but can be hot and adjustment on the sides vary. All use side laceups except for the Tactical Tailor which uses side adjustment straps. All use zip fronts except for Tactical Tailor which uses buckles. I prefer the zips, but like the side adjusment straps.
Arktis Jungle Battle Vest holds 8 30 rounds magazines in four pouches. It has a lot of adjustment and uses zippers and or buckles. I like the styling and fit of this British vest. If I want simple I don't use it as it's more for additional equipment for a patrol or surveilance wok for me.
I don't have any experience with the chest rigs, but I am told the Eagle version is great. Chest rigs are an entire new can of worms. Modular also is. If I had the money for the best setup, I would go modular and buy pouches that can be set up quickly for what I need. I haven't touched the Russian rigs, but I've heard they aren't put together as nice quality-wise as the American products. Again, I haven't confirmed this myself.
I hope this helps. If there's anything else I can do, let me know.

TacticalSquirrel
03-16-2004, 09:48 PM
Wow didn't realize how long that was... I know I get wordy, but hopefully the length of the post doesn't turn anyone off. I know theres a lot of informaiton out there, and that's a very brief summary.

ZOID ZODIAN
03-16-2004, 10:05 PM
TacticalSquirrel, I'm not limiting myself except in the following areas:

1. Want it to hold at least 4-8 30-rounders.
2. Be a "vest" or "gunner's apron", i.e., not hip pouches
3. Be adjustable for us larger size dudes.
4. Not be poorly made; I prefer genuine military.

That's it. I got so many replies on another board with links, photos, etc., that I bookmarked each one, and if I never get my Grad-1 or it turns out not to be what I'm looking for, then I'll go back to those links.

So in a nutshell, I've got an open mind except for the four "essentials" above.

TacticalSquirrel
03-16-2004, 11:49 PM
If you're ok with a vest, then you can look at virtually any vest that's out there from the quality manufacturers and you will be happy. Lightfighter.com, OpsTactical.com, and stubbygear.com all have decent vests with good quality and good service. There are more, but these are the ones I have experience with. I still have one Tactical Tailor AK mag pouch for my belt, as I won't always have the vest on me, but that way I always have a rifle magazine on me.
The vests with the laceup sides can have the laces replaced with longer boot laces or 550 cord and one pretty much has infinite adjustment. My Blackhawk vest has long laces so it fits over a ballistic tactical vest. Depending on just how big you are, I believe Eagle and Blackhawk have a "husky" size.
My suggestion is to look on ebay for a Blackhawk, Eagle, Tactical Tailor, or CQB rifle vest, and get one of those if you can get it for less than from a vendor. If not, I reccommend going to any of the ones listed above and just spend about $130 for a vest to try. If you end up wanting something different, you can always sell it and try something else. Avoid the cheaper versions as material quality isn't very good.

ZOID ZODIAN
03-16-2004, 11:57 PM
I've tried the lace replacement method with a Blackhawk vest I had; I ended up having to sell it for the money to order the Grad-1 vest. Maybe I should have kept it.

Rudy
03-17-2004, 01:43 AM
I have a couple of Blackhawk vests for the AR and the FN. They are both well made, but alas they are made in Korea. I tried on the Eagle chest rig for the AK and fell in lovewith it. As soon as I can scrap up enough for one, it's mine!!!
Rudy out :skull:

ReconScout
03-17-2004, 03:04 PM
I'm nor sure what your price range is but http://www.antipersonnel.net/fmco/001.html has some nice looking rigs.

die2
03-18-2004, 11:30 PM
zoid let me know what you think of your grad1...interested to see hear what those are like...
i like the m23 pioneer, you were saying the mags slid around on you quite a bit, i havent had a problem with it, or maybe i just havent noticed it....seems to be a lot of 'wasted space' on it with all the specialty pockets....maybe if i had a few grenades to put into em haha, works good for other things, but it seems the space could have been put to a better use...either way im likin it.....

ZOID ZODIAN
03-18-2004, 11:37 PM
die2, have I breathed too much space dust or are you the guy that ordered my M23 from me?

die2
03-18-2004, 11:44 PM
haha yeah it was me. thanks again by the way

ZOID ZODIAN
03-18-2004, 11:51 PM
No problem. Hope you like it. The reason it took me a minute to know who you were is that the VERY DAY I took it to the UPS store and then e-mailed you the tracking number, I was banned by AK-47.net, probably for logging on as a member of www.gunco.net (http://www.gunco.net)

There are other threads on this, so I won't go into detail here, but suffice it to say that the Goons over there at AK-47.net had a field day banning anybody they caught posting threads at Gunco due to a feud between them and former members...I guess.

But anyway, WHEN AND IF I get my Grad 1 I'll post a review of it here.

If I don't like it; I'll probably sell it too. I just hate sending anything back to the vendor and then fighting to get a credit on my credit card. In the past, I have never had any trouble selling a vest I don't want.

ZOID ZODIAN
03-19-2004, 09:48 PM
That looks kinda small; does it adjust out to us "big boy" sizes? Can it be worn over a field jacket, body armor, winter clothing, etc.?

223
03-20-2004, 12:32 AM
I will adjust on the sides like a USGI LBV,except it has straps and slides instead of cord and the shoulder straps adjust. Just the way it is fits over regular clothes and I am 5-11 240. I dont use the AK as my main shooter so I really havent adjusted it out for winter gear.I am sure it would as there is alot of slack.

recon-1
03-20-2004, 12:44 AM
Like Recon Scout said! FMCO!

blackstar
03-22-2004, 04:39 PM
i'm going on the kiss diy principal here, but this is a link that shows some really cool mods to the standard com bloc canvas gunners apron that i think are bad ass.

www.geocities.com/mrostov/gearpages/chest_pouch.htm

it works best with a 3 or 4 mag apron, which i've supplimented with a russian over the sholder 4 mag pouch (that i've added an 2 in. sholder strap to insted of the standard inch or so) so i can carry 8-9 mags with 4 at the ready and 4 in researve. you can also keep your main line tactical stuff, like a radio, knife, cumpas, even a pistol on the chest rig. i think this is just about perfect as it is not only very funtional but very cheap, very streamlined (i can wear a backpack no problem, or wear the shadiest part - the apron - under a jacket if i need to keep a low profile)

if you're willing to spend more than a hundred dollars i would look into getting an israeli a-10 vest at zahal.org for 175 dollars. which also carries 8 mags but also a whole lot of other crap you might want along. im working on taking one and removing some of the pouches and adding pals webbing to it to get more flexablity out of it. and it is very roomy if you need it to be

and finally if i had the money i'd get something along the lines of a soe
ak vest, which you can get at lightfighter.com, or one of the mesa vests from practicaltactical.com . the soe is supposed to be tougher than nails, but they cost a frickin arm and a leg. the mesa is a bit cheaper and right now only comes in khaki, but should be out in olive drab in a month or so. you also have to add a hundred or so dollars worth of mag pouches and other utility stuff, but it's supposed to be a great patrol vest.

recon-1
03-29-2004, 11:59 PM
Interesting site also!

xtremerange
03-30-2004, 09:45 AM
i'm going on the kiss diy principal here, but this is a link that shows some really cool mods to the standard com bloc canvas gunners apron that i think are bad ass.

www.geocities.com/mrostov/gearpages/chest_pouch.htm

it works best with a 3 or 4 mag apron, which i've supplimented with a russian over the sholder 4 mag pouch (that i've added an 2 in. sholder strap to insted of the standard inch or so) so i can carry 8-9 mags with 4 at the ready and 4 in researve. you can also keep your main line tactical stuff, like a radio, knife, cumpas, even a pistol on the chest rig. i think this is just about perfect as it is not only very funtional but very cheap, very streamlined (i can wear a backpack no problem, or wear the shadiest part - the apron - under a jacket if i need to keep a low profile)


Wow. There is a guy with time on his hands. By the time he got done replacing almost everything on the chest pouch I think he could have made one from scratch.

blackstar
03-31-2004, 04:35 AM
actually it took just a cupple of hours in front of the tv (the sewing machine is conviniently located ; ) and actually i was thinking about making my own (until i found one as a base) cause it seems that they've become something of a cult item amongst SF types and are drying up pretty fast. having one to work from saved me some aggrivation though i think.

plus its not like a lot of us here couldnt save ourselves the time and effort and just buy our rifles and leave them the hell alown now could we? : )

(if someone wants to teach me how to use the smilely face things i'll stop using the stupid iconograms)

223
04-03-2004, 02:22 AM
(if someone wants to teach me how to use the smilely face things i'll stop using the stupid iconograms)

Use the advanced reply,icons are there. Or tighten up your : ) no space :)

JakeTheSnakeOO7
04-08-2004, 04:31 PM
The best vest I have to carry AK mags is a vest made by TAC Force. But all of these vests are essentially the same. But just different variants as to how many 30 rd mag slots. I have 4 30 rd slots to make some space for another front pull Pistol slot and pistol mag slot try this web site. http://www.tacticaloptions.com and look at their vest.

recon-1
04-20-2004, 11:16 PM
Good site!

ZOID ZODIAN
04-20-2004, 11:24 PM
Here...I'll answer my own question, for now...

I just got my Grad-1 from http://www.russiancombatgear.com/ this past Saturday.

It's the best I can find (until something better comes along).

Here's the link to my review of the Grad-1:

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1921

NineseveN
04-25-2004, 10:02 PM
I have an M32 that I love. It's a real solid rig. Wish the grenade pockets were a bit more useful for other things though...or I wish I could get some grenades hehe.

mongoose
05-08-2004, 06:16 PM
Having spent a few years on active duty and using both the "old" web gear, LBV, and vests; I would without a doubt stick with a vest.
My personal favorite is the MOD ( Brit or Aussie) SAS vest. I still have mine.

If you can find a current US medic vest (MLBV) get it, but VERY $$$$.

Or

Check this link for the SAS vest
http://www.platypusoutdoors.com.au/
or check with silvermans in the UK.

Good Luck

coltshorty14
05-08-2004, 10:32 PM
Ive been looking at this one.. I don't know much about it...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2242886106&ssPageName=MERC_VIClosedLoser

It's cheap, but I wonder if it's any good...

Anybody ever see one???

kommander
05-10-2004, 12:20 AM
I am also thinking og getting the vest off ebay. I know nothing about it though. I am NOT going to spend 150 bucks on a damn vest! I already spent 400 on this AK I just bought, god help me if my parents find out.(It my money, but thell be pissed. Ya know I got this old SMG mag pouch from WWII, dated 1945 and it works great. Only problem it its worth to much to continue to use :), so I need somthing else. Im not an "operator" or "merc", so it don't need to be able to withstand nuclear blasts, just hold the ammo and some other stuff. Ive been lookin at those south african ones. Sportsmans Guide has one for cheap (19 bucks I think) right now, but I think somthing like that might be a little too cheap.

JakeTheSnakeOO7
07-11-2004, 04:57 PM
Go for it buy the rig off of ebay but you know the saying "you get what you pay for". Your best bet is to buy one from a supplier of military gear or go to local gun shows and shops and look. I'd recomend TAC FORCE vests I think their site changed though I bought one from my local gun shop in OD green, it can be fully upgradeable to hold more packs and a hydration system. Vests are better than webs if you ask me. I have alot of both.

Furious D
10-23-2004, 04:45 PM
Would the Grad 1 fit me? I'm 6' 4" (I might grow another inch or two), average figure.

And would 5.45 mags fit in 7.62 mag pouches?

101AASLT
11-24-2004, 11:46 AM
the best vest is the free kind, especially when you have taken it off an insurgent who didnt need it anymore. 4 pocket, olivedrab chest rig almost new and no bullet holes.

Madtechcool
11-24-2004, 10:45 PM
the best vest is the free kind, especially when you have taken it off an insurgent who didnt need it anymore. 4 pocket, olivedrab chest rig almost new and no bullet holes.
:sidegrin_ Didn't receive mine like you did but I have 2, 4 pocket chi-coms, unissued, that I like a lot. No frills, simple to deal with, won't win a beaty contest but they have served the purpose plus there is a little protection in the chest and upper abdoman area. Like the AK's, these vests have proven themselves all over the world. :) The Madtechcool :cool:

recon-1
11-25-2004, 01:20 PM
Still I think is the FMCO vest's!
www.antipersonnel.net/fmco/index.html

Vegeta92274
12-10-2004, 07:50 PM
you didn,t like the m23 pioneer vest??
I have one in OD and love it. whats nice is it has tons of pockets and space for 8 30 rnd mags plus two bayonet scabbards and a map case that will also hold a trauma plate or a folded kevlar insert.
I have no problem with floppy mags or "flimsy" material. I actually think its made better than the blackhawk gear myself.
http://www.redsoldier.com/ProductImages/full/vests/pioneervestM2341046F.jpg

sdcromer
12-30-2004, 11:24 PM
I've been thinking about buying one of these from Sportsmans Guide. It's made by UTG, I think. Any one have one of these?

http://image.sportsmansguide.com/dimage/83133_ts.JPG?cell=400,400&cvt=jpeg

jollyroger
01-07-2005, 01:58 AM
I just took a look at www.redsoldier.com. They seem to have some cool stuff

Elliot308
01-07-2005, 09:09 AM
grad 2 hold rpk mags, wahoo, I have 10 of them and it holds 8. finally a cool system that doesn't look like it was made in 1949 by a 3rd world country. and hold the biggie size mags :)

Jim West
01-07-2005, 11:36 PM
FMCO 8, 12, 20 mag vests. 20 mag vest is in the survival utilty vest section under the combat vest. A link to FMCO is on the front page.www.savvysurvivor.com 8mag chest rig by SpecOps brand. Real simple chest rig. The cheapest one I would get would be the m23 pioneer above. Id get it from redsoldier.com as they have a warehouse in Texas. Russiancombatgear.com has a far better selection but the stocks are located outside of the CONUS. Overseas mail charges from Russia are painful. Also you are at the mercy of the Russian postal system. Just thought I would share some info. Jim

IronLance
01-18-2005, 06:34 PM
sdcromer,

I noticed David Fortier, a writer for Shotgun News, wearing one of those vests (also marketed by Leapers and Clearview). If you can find a way to contact Mr. Fortier, he might be able to give you a review of the vest. I've been looking at it myself, especially as it comes in plain tan.

Wayde