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Saturday, September 14, 2013

GearingUp!: Battle Ready on a Budget

A little over a week ago I had an idea, inspired by Basic Nerf's review of the Condor chest rig he had been using. The idea of course was to do more reviews of airsoft gear re-purposed to Nerf, with an eye toward budget. With that in mind I laid out a couple standards for myself: the complete kit must of course with little to no modifications hold Nerf Magazines, and must be reasonably priced to get a new player out into the field with one blaster and a reasonable number of mags, with gear for 100 US Dollars (not counting shipping), the gear should also be able to accommodate an expanded load out of at least four magazines, with little to no modification.

For instance a Stryfe (20), 3 18rnd mags (30), 30 darts to account for dart loss (10). That leaves 40 bucks for ways to carry that gear. I wasn't expecting a lot for those prices, but I was surprised what a quick perusal of Airsoft GI found me.

So what was the first thing I ordered? Read more after the fold.


For my first Airsoft GI purchase I selected the Gryffon Golem chest rig in black. Black was my choice because I figured that if i had to do any tailoring I could with certainty get black textiles to expand or repair the pouches, and while khaki goes with everything everyone looks good in black. Unbeknownst to me at the time of my decision Gryffon is a new brand of gear made specifically for Airsoft players, and focused on minimalist gear, things that will get an beginning player in the field for a minimum of dough. Sound familiar?


To begin lets go over the basic features of the rig. The rig comes with three triple mag pouches, meant for everything from 5.56mm NATO to 7.62mm NATO sized magazines. This is useful to use because, as Mark from Xplorer was able to confirm for me, just about any pouch that holds a SCAR-H (7.62mm NATO) mag will hold a Nerf mag. I was thinking I'd be able to fit two in each pouch, since I was unsure of the width comparison between the mags tha the rig was designed for and N-strike. As I expected, getting a second magazine past the elastic retaining band was a little snug, but to my surprise there was still plenty of stretch left in the elastic band. After a couple tries, and sliding the 3rd mag in between the first two, I was able to fit three mags in one pouch! This rig will hold NINE N-strike magazines. Let that sink in for a minute.  Other options include:  Two Vortex magazines (side by side), or One Magstrike magazine (a second magazine can be clipped to the outside of the pouch or optionally to the PALS webbing).

The rig also includes on the left and right sides, a 4X3 PALS grid for adding on PALS compatible pouches, In my case my Condor Folding Dump Pouch. Other options would include first aid kit, general purpose pouch for holding loose darts, perhaps even a holster or more mag pouches. The mag pouches themselves are large enough to accommodate a bottle of water, or a HammerShot.

With all this going on it's easy to overlook the internal map pouch, which as the name would suggest would be excellent for holding a map of the game area, maybe some other information, like player ID number for HVZ players. On top of the shoulder straps there is additional webbing for the routing of communications and hydration gear, or even the attachment of single point slings.

Aside the shoulder and waist straps the back of this rig is completely open, allowing excellent ventilation. While so far I've only messed with getting the straps adjusted for one night without the benefit of an extra pair of hands or experience adjusting chest rigs, I haven't yet gotten a fully comfortable fit out of this rig just yet. For the time being I will assume that there is something that I am not doing correctly since it did not come with a manual.

All of this in a rig that costs.......... 15 greenbacks

Rigs will be rated on a 3 category system, 5 points in each category

Comfort
Loaded, the rig is a bit front heavy, as one would expect of a minimalist rig. Not the easiest thing to put on, but not the hardest.

Capacity
Holds an awesome number of mags but not much else. Not a whole lot of PALS real estate to expand with.

Compatibility

Accepts N-strike mags right out of the package, but the flaps don't close over them, the flaps are however removeable which means they can be replaced with longer ones at a later date. PALS webbing is MOLLE compliant meaning any standards compliant pouch from any number of manufacturers can be put there to fill your needs.

Combined Score 10

Kit Price Breakdown
Stryfe .........20USD
3 mags..........30USD
30 Darts........10USD
Golem...........15USD
Total...........75USD

2 comments :

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  2. We Don't really have an office that we work out of, being a tiny anarcho-syndicalist commune of bloggers. We do however recognize that hydration is very much a do it or die thing when participating in any sport.

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