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Sunday, April 13, 2014

So, why gear?

Gear is a funny thing. So are creativity and writer's block. Ever since someone first decided to start making stuff up and writing it down there's been writer's block. Since there have been dart blasters there has been a need for a way to carry it.

Since a time that I don't bother to remember, Nerf and other brands of dart blaster have only ever come with one load of darts. This is fine for plinking around your bedroom or apartment, perhaps even your cubicle. But, once one decides to engage a fellow dart-slinger in


faux combat, one needs more darts than the handful you get. This has been true as far back as I care to try to remember, even back in the days of the Eagle Eye.

Once one has more than a handful of darts, one needs a way to carry them. For muzzle or rear loaders, a simple belt pouch is sufficient, and continues to be more than enough. Such a thing is analogous to a Revolutionary War cartridge belt in its simplicity. Reach in, grab a dart, load, ramrod if necessary.

Then along came removable CS-style box magazines, and the Magstrike's clips. While this made reloading in game quite a bit speedier, it did call for a way to carry them. Magstrike clips came with a handy belt clip, and CS-6 magazines were small enough to fit in cargo pant pockets. This worked great, until the Stampede. For those who got into the hobby Post-Elite, the Stampede was the first full automatic clip system blaster. It was also the first blaster to come with multiple high capacity magazines. Those magazines would not fit into cargo pants pockets, and the experimentation began.

I turned to paintball gear with hit and miss results, due to vaguely similar sizes between CS-18 magazines and 140 round paintball pods. Later I tried cardboard and duct tape, with results that weren't stellar and were instructive of the sorts of features that I would look for later in my own gear. Those with sewing machines or access to grannies that could sew would make their own pouches and vests from contemporary vest patterns. I sadly couldn't sew a stitch, and was tired of trying to make my own gear.

So I turned to the internet and real steel gear. After all real militaries had had decades of experience solving the problem of how to carry their crap. And as it would turn out, other people had had the same idea. From there it was as simple as gathering that information into one place that could be easily browsed, to simplify the quest for the people that followed.

So why gear? Because as long as a blaster uses a type of consumable, a way to carry it will be needed. Why lights? Because it was only a matter of time before someone turned off the lights on an indoor game, or the sun went down on an HvZ game. Slings, holsters, and general purpose pouches? A place to put your broken weapon, a sidearm to replace it, and tools to fix it once you hit a safe zone.

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