Fedex dropped of a package for me yesterday from DSTactical. I placed an order with DSTactical during their boxing day sale and while they were our of stock on some of my items they were good enough to ship my new load bearing nylon gear.
I took up Close Quarters Battle or CQB which is organised as a Service Conditions event through the Ontario Rifle Association late last season. I had been using a Condor Vest as my load bearing equipment for CQB, 3 gun, and Tactical matches. This season I’ve decided to become more involved in CQB and plan to make most if not all of the matches at CFB Borden and I may be able to make a few of the clinics.
Tactical Tailor’s Modular Assault Vest or MAV, really is not a vest in my opinion. Its a chest rig. Its held in place by three straps on the rear. One strap on each shoulder and one across the back. There are two models a 1 piece and a 2 piece. The 2 Piece MAV opens in the front, which is supposed to make it easier to put on and take off. This is the reason I picked the 2 piece the ability to take it on and off easily. The MAV has two front pockets and 1.5″ adjustable straps secured by Fastex buckles and is built from 1000 Denier Cordura Nylon and Mil Spec webbing.
Each side of the 2 piece MAV has 9 columns of MOLLE webbing in 3 rows with a space separating each row. This should provide me more lateral real estate then my Condor Vest. I am losing 1 row of height and I won’t have access to the other vertical space for MOLLE as on the Condor Vest. I think this is a reasonable trade off.
MAV Center Adapter
The MAV Center Adapter is is used to cover the two front buckles on the 2 Piece Modular Assault Vest while still allowing the vest to open in the front. The MAV Center Adapter adds two more columns of MOLLE webbing and There are 4 clips on the Center Adapter which attache to the MAV’s front buckle webbing. The Center Adapter sandwiches hook and loop material under the MOLLE webbing. This brings the total number of MOLLE columns on the MAV up to 20. I also feel that the Center Adapter makes the MAV more stable as it does not give as much as the front buckles alone.
Reading about the MAV online the consensus seemed to be that unless the MAV was being worn over amour the padded X Harness was a required accessory. I don’t wear amour at the range and wanted to reduce the straps on the MAV. Messy straps that are hard to adjust, dangle, and get hung up or twisted were factors in why I had originally purchased a vest not a chest rig. I think the X Harness might be the answer to those limitations. The X harness was built with 1/4 inch foam padding. There is two rows and two columns of webbing on the front of each shoulder and two rows and four columns of webbing on the back as well as a drag handle. The X Harness attaches to the existing MAV straps. I suspect I’ll be making some modifications to the length of the straps.
Sure-Grip Padded Belt
The inside of the HSGI Sure-Grip Padded Belt is covered in Neoprene. It seems to work well as a padding and during my test fits it stayed in place on my hips. I ordered the lage size belt which has 23 columns of MOLLE webbing in three rows with no vertical gaps between the rows.
A feature that drew me to the Sure-Grip Belt was the access to the inner belt. It has an access system that reminds me of the 5.11 Tactical Brokos Belt. There are 3 access ports for the attachment of the inner belt. The ports are at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. The belt also has 4 Suspender Attachment points that I am not planing on using.
On the inside of the belt there is a strip of hook material sewn the entire length of the inner belt channel. I opted to add the 2 inch wide duty belt from HSGI. The duty belt has loop material sewn to the inside and came already run through the inner belt channel. I like the idea of having the duty belt adhered to the padded belt, much like and IPSC Inner/Outer belt combination. I think it should make for a very stable platform. The belt also has a removable plastic stiffener sheet through the entire main belt sandwiched between the neoprene padding and the hook material for fixing the inner belt.
Putting It All Together
Assembling the component parts of the MAV into a “real vest” is not complicated but does require a little thought and some test fitting. I want to wear the MAV high on my chest and the Sure-Grip belt on my hips. The result is that I have a lot of excess strap material on the MAV.
The first step of assembly was to remove the buckles, tri glides ,and triangle strap retainer.
The second step is to put the buckles on the front straps of the X Harness
The third step is to put the MAV’s original shoulder straps in to the slip locks on the back of the X Harness
The fourth step is to test fit everything. Repeat as necessary until it fits. This took me as long as the first three steps put together.
The last (and only optional) step is to clean up all the messy, loose, dangling straps. As a temporary solution I’ve feed the straps back though the slip locks and rolled the straps up on themselves while I was putting the pieces together. This is a field expedient solution and not permanent. Once I’m satisfied that I have the sizing right I’ll probably reduce the length of the straps and then tape down the tails. This should keep everything nice and tidy.
Adding the Center Adapter
To add the MAV Center Adapter the four clips need to be undone and threaded into the webbing that secures the front fastex buckles. For simplicity I separated the two halves of the Center Adapter.
My intention is to run a two part system. The first line will be the Sure-Grip Belt on its own. I’m waiting on an Original Special Operations Equipment IFAK(Improved First Aid Kit) which will run on the belt, with a dump pouch, holster, pistol magazine holders, and possibly a carbine magazine holder.
The next couple packages I have coming will include a new holster and a new adapter for my existing holster to try mounting to both the MOLLE webbing and to the inner belt. MOLLE adapters for Kydex pistol mag holders are on order. I’m also considering ordering some ITW Fastmag holders so I can have a spare AR15 mag on the belt.
The second line of this 2 part system will be the MAV. I’ll move some AR15 mag shingles from my old vest to the MAV and will probably look at adding a small utility pouch or two. The other consideration is a hydration bladder. I’ve been using a separate Camelbak backpack that I am pretty happy with.
Once I’ve had some trigger time with these new products I’ll be able to review how they work for me and their quality.