Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pseudo Military Pistol Rig

I served over 27 years in the Army. In that time I kinda got accustomed to military gear including holsters and pistol belts. I must have liked the pistols too because I now have 2 .45 ACP Colts. Those who believe that there will come a The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) scenario might also be interested in this simple, comprehensive system for packing a combat pistol, knife, compass and ammunition.

The first item acquired for the rig was this US Air Force Pilots Survival Knife, aka US Army Hunting Knife, made by Camillus in 1979. I've had this knife a long time and one reason I think that both the knife and sheath have lasted is that when I acquired it I immediately applied leather waterproofing (I don't remember the product used) to both sheath and leather washer handle. This prevented both the drying of the leather and I think, rusting of the blade. I think that a lot of these sheaths still have some chemicals in the leather from the tanning process and this can accelerate rusting of the blade (in conjunction with moisture). I believe that the waterproofing neutralizes those chemicals (salts?) and prevents rusting problems as well. Certainly, it must keep some water from the blade.

The second item was the "belt, pistol, medium" after all, you have to have something on which to hang this stuff. Mine came from clothing sales. I had a couple of sets of web gear set up differently for different functions. Saved a lot of time when a commander got a bee in his bonnet to strip everything down for a parade only to have to reassemble it (and tie everything off).

Next was the compass. Not certain where I got this one, I needed an extra while at an NCO academy so I think it also came from clothing sales. This has the good radioactive stuff so that you can actually see it at night.

The mag pouch is a match for the Bianchi UM-84 holster I got for the Combat Commander. Except for color and that it is for 1911 magazines it is the same as the military issue.

The holster for my 1991A1 (replacing the Combat Commander in this rig) is the Bianchi 66. A gift (a generous gift) from Simply Rugged Holsters owner Rob Leahy, this holster was a big thing when introduced to the Army. I know lots of soldiers tried hard to get one of these and get away from the side slapping, PITA, 1917 holster issued at that time. Mostly, one only saw these in MP units. Not only is it ambidextrous but it can be mounted on either the pistol belt or narrow pants belts AND this can be done quickly. The cover for the pistol rotates on snaps to uncover the pistol and usually stays in place for the draw but does provide protection for the pistol. Rob will now make you one like this for your favorite handgun, called the Flip Top and they look good, too. You can read more about this holster at GunBlast.Com.

The only thing missing in the photo is a lanyard. Lanyards can be very useful things if you think keeping your pistol close by is important. I always liked them best when sleeping. Hammer down on an empty chamber and tied off to my wrist, the big .45 was going nowhere. Unfortunately, I'd yet to acquire a main spring housing with a lanyard loop for my 1991A1.

This setup rides easy, is relatively easy to care for and has everything one could need for security missions around the ranchette.

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