After doing my packing list for Op Atar I had a few people asking what I pack just for a normal skirmish. While this is a much simpler list everything on it is more subject to change so I’ve decided to write it in three parts:
- CQB / “Good Guy”
- Woodland / “Bad Guy”
- Night Games
I’m pretty well known as someone that swaps gear at a rapid rate of knots, but the core of what I use actually stays pretty much the same throughout. Something that also doesn’t ever really change is the mindset behind each “kit”, so if in future the CPC has been replaced by something equally unnecessary then hopefully the point of these articles will still be relevant.
This is the first in the series, and is probably the one that you have seen the least:
CQB / The “Good Guy” Kit
In the last few years the amount this kit has changed has been far more than I’ve actually used it, and I think this is largely because I’ve not been able to pin down a setup that I really like. The current loadout is something that I have landed on and have deliberately told myself not to mess with too much. As a result, it’s as bare bones as I dare to make it with some exceptions made because airsoft is in fact a fashion show.
Rig / 2nd line
- Combat Systems 330d M4 x3
- Eagle Industries smoke
- C2R Fast flashbang
- Morion Threadworks 330d 9mm
- Crye Precision roll up dump
- C2R Fast TacPad
- Blue Force Gear triple M4 tenspeed
- Rifle magazines x3
- Impact grenade
- Dynatec BFG
- Baofeng UV-5R
- Glock magazine
The CPC is probably the most unnecessary bit of gear that I own. As it is quite unlikely that I’ll ever need to wear live plates again, a plate carrier becomes somewhat useless. For this reason I use it only as a platform to carry magazines and equipment. From game to game the type of magazines carried changes so to make life as easy as possible I’ve got with closed top and roomy pouches. The 330d M4 pouches take AR, AK and MP5 mags no problem and can be used to hold bangs and other items in a pinch.
I used to carry twice the amount of grenades that I do now, but decided to slim down purely in the interest of weight savings. The group of people I normally play with are all grenade users themselves, and between us we usually have enough to carry out our own personal fireworks display in a doorway. The grenades we use are a mix of “Police” impacts (OEM’s by Dynatec I believe), and Dynatec timed BFGs. As a rule I always use 9mm/.38 blanks; not for any tactical purpose, just because they’re fucking cool and always get a reaction out of the person in the room.
Generally speaking my BFG reloading kit isn’t stored on my plate carrier, but I do carry a Glock magazine to hold my 9mm PAK type blanks. These are the type I use in my impact, and storing them in a magazine makes them very accessible for quickly reloading. Something that has always been a pain in my arse is having to take gloves off to reload grenades, but using a magazine means all you have to do is unscrew the base of the grenade and discard the empty casing, line the top round in the magazine up with the “chamber”, and push from the rear. This can be done gloved and while on the fly, meaning you can immediately throw you grenade around the next corner and repeat.
Finally the comms I run in this kit consists of a Baofeng UV-5R located in the harness radio pouch, with a fist mic coming up onto my left collarbone and a Thales antenna relocated and tucked under the rear platebag. I recently decided to drop the TCA PRC152 as I found it was causing more problems with my setup than it solved as a fancy radio. Since making the switch I haven’t noticed any drop in performance but have definitely noticed the drop in overall weight of the rig.
Belt / 1st line
My belt is another area that sees some change, but recently I’ve decided to keep this really really simple as I found that a lot of the stuff I was carrying simply wasn’t being used.
- Blackhawk Rigger’s belt
- Blackhawk retention lanyard
- Safariland 6354DO on a UBL
- Wilder Tactical universal pistol mag
- C2R Fanny pack OR handwarmer
- Spare pistol magazine
- BFG reloading kit (Hub creations roto-loaders and a plunger)
- Extra bangs / equipment not usually carried
Like I said my belt is an area that for about 6 months now hasn’t really changed. I’ve decided to run a personal retention lanyard ever since the Trees event (Op Tajid) in July 2019. At this event a couple of us took it in turns to ride around on the back of a certain Defender with very little by the way of foot or hand holds. At the time I remember thinking “this would be a really good time to hook on”, and decided there and then to invest in a PRL. Now I know I don’t need this for every game I attend, least of all those that are indoors, but it is such a monumental palaver to get the damn thing on the belt that taking it off each time just isn’t worth it.
The reason I choose to use the Blackhawk rigger’s belt is quite simply; its simplicity. I’ve owned this belt for over a decade now and it is still what I consider to be the best bit of kit I’ve ever bought, made even more remarkable that it still fits despite me getting it as a skinny teenager. Over the years I’ve owned Arcteryx H150s, Platatac SICCs, FRV Shooter’s belts and many more, but crucially when I needed a gun belt on tour, I went back to the Blackhawk rigger’s. I think if I do choose to replace it in the future, it will likely just be to get a size up.
The most recent additions to my belt line have been things to dangle around it. I first dug up my unicorn Hereford issue Multicam Tropic C2R fanny pack (*cough* flex *cough*) last year, and have since become something of a convert. Whereas before I would have said that the best way forward would be a PC integrated dangler, having something independent has done me well so far. I currently use my fanny pack to carry the items that would normally be in a rig or belt mounted utility pouch like my BFG reloading kit and if needed any extra bangs or equipment I find myself carrying. In cold weather I can swap out my dangler for a C2R handwarmer, which one of my buddies had the excellent foresight to ask for a zipped pouch on, meaning it can still be used for carrying these smaller items. What both of these items achieve is the ability to carry items front and center on the belt line, independent of which kit I am wearing and removable at speed it not needed. They also fill the very important role of the noble dickflap, and on multiple occasions my future children have thanked me for wearing one.
This is the part of my “good guy” kit that has the most variations, as the combats I wear vary from almost every event to the next. As a result of this, I’m going to break it down into just the NATO styled gear and leave the more quirky bits to the green kit. The clothing element will also consist of a list of options I have and choose from for each event as again, airsoft is just a fashion show.
- Paraclete x DriFire combat shirt
- Platatac Tac Dax Mk3 AOR1 Pants
- Roman Kurmaz Multicam Black G3 Pants
- Opscore FAST Bump helmet
- SKD Pig Delta utilities (Multicam)
- Salomon forces Speed Assault Boots / Salomon Speedcross 4s / Altama OTBs
- Smith Aegis glasses
- Custom gumshield
Around a year ago I made the decision to thin out my gear (which went really well as you can tell), and one very important aspect of this was to use one shirt for each “tone” of camouflage. The result of this is my using a plain tan Paraclete shirt as my singular “good guy” top. It’s comfortable, goes with anything and means that I don’t have to worry about finding matching uniform sets for every pattern.
As far as the protective gear goes, this remains largely the same across all my kits. I urge everyone looking to get into airsoft to invest in two things. 1. Good eyepro, 2. Good footwear. For me this means Smith Optics Aegis goggles and a choice of Salomon and Altama footwear. As I normally wear this kit in indoor environments the need for a full boot isn’t really there, and so I much prefer wearing trainers as they offer a lot more mobility and often aren’t as loud for sneaking about. I’m a die hard fan of Salomon footwear, and honestly you can’t go wrong with anything from their forces line, none more so than with the Speedcross series. The Speed assault boots have been in my kit for a good few years now, and they find the perfect blend of ankle support against weight and speed.
The other half of my protection is my lower face. I have 2 levels of this, the major option is my Onetigris facemask mounted to my Opscore bump. I’ve decided to go with this specific model based on the wild rantings of Chris over at the Full 9, and it doesn’t disappoint. This mix of wire mesh and airmesh fabric makes the mask very comfortable and still breathable when worn. If I decide not to wear a helmet for any reason then the fallback option is for a custom gumshield. This is far from my favourite solution, as even though my gumshield is very good and custom shaped to my mouth, it is still something extra in my mouth and throws my speech off a little. That being said I’ve had it for around 6 years now and it has taken quite a few direct hits, so while I may not like wearing it it does a very good job of protecting my teeth.
I’ve got a few new ideas for my “good guy” kit, the first of which is making the switch over to the Crye Precision airlite convertible chest rig. If you’ve not seen these yet, The Reptile House has fawned over them for the past 8 months and has some pretty in depth reviews here. I’ve been umming and ahhing about them for months, with the threat of US import duty keeping me from pulling the trigger. Recently Tactical Kit has started stocking them so I’ve finally caved and have one on the way. The reason I’ve decided to try going back to a chest rig for CQB games is that like I mentioned above, I don’t need a plate carrier, and barring some extra pain when shot I’m hoping that the weight savings will justify the cost.
Something else that will soon be changing is my pistol. My old KJ G23 has finally given up the ghost meaning its time for a replacement, but as I’m using my pistol less and less, I’ve decided not to go down the fully tricked out pistol route. This means that I will finally be getting a TM G19, and will be leaving it the fuck alone so that I don’t break it.
Thanks for sitting through the rundown of my CQB kit, if it’s something you enjoyed then be sure to let me know, and if you want to read more then stick around as the other parts will be coming out in the next few days. If you have any questions or simply want to leave me some abuse, then head to my Instagram @thegeardocrow and leave them there.