As many who have attended MDTS courses know, I am not a big fan of tactical gear for the average citizen who is primarily interested in protecting themselves or their family. Often I get questions from students about why I do not advocate or utilize some type of “Chest Rig” or LBV during carbine training courses and classes. Frankly, I never saw a realistic utility in them for me since, as a citizen, I will rarely, if ever, utilize the carbine or shotgun outside of my home. This is of course my opinion and don’t misunderstand me, I love gear as much as the next guy. I simply believe resources and time are better spent on skills training and practice, not gear. However, proper gear selection and set up is an essential part of being prepared and ready for whatever situation may face you. Recently, I have been investigating, testing and utilizing a more generalized gear set up for home defense/protection.
- Fast to access, put on or grab and carry (previously I utilized a simple go bag)
- Multi-purpose: something that provides access to ammunition for ANY of my personal firearms since I may not get to choose which one I grab or I may need multiple ammunition types on body in order to use one firearm to fight to another OR more than one family member may be armed with various firearms
- Protection from possible gunfire from threats in my home or immediately outside
- Carry and immediate access to support gear – medical, edged tool, illumination
- It must be cost efficient as possible.
My primary concern is some type of home invasion or burglary while myself or family is home. Rapid response time is critical in a situation like this and many people select guns and gear, have a gun near their bed but never consider how fast something like this occurs. See this article for some info on Home Invasion Burglaries: How a Burglar Robs Your Home in 8 min
I also spent some time this year investigating crime in my immediate area in order to justify this project. It is no real news that crime is going up in many communities in response to the declining economy and job losses. Here are just two recent incidents that influenced my decisions: Burglary/Home Invasion, Syracuse NY, 2012, Burglary/Home Invasion, New Hartford NY, 2012.
Having witnessed the PFC testing on the new Victory Tactical Gear Special Pistol Threat hard plates I was sold on their lightweight yet extremely effective ballistic protection. VTG SPT Test Vid
SPT Testing all rounds shot at same point on plate:
.45 ACP 230 GR. FMJ
.45 Speer Gold Dot JHP
9mm 125 GR. FMJ
12 GA 00 Buck Shot
12 GA Tactical Slug
Brian Hartman of PFCTraining recommended plate carrier, pouches and accessories from Specter Gear.
Specter PriMAC Mag Pouch : $36
Specter/PFC TQ Tri-Fold :$20
Specter Universal Pistol Mag Pouch : $20
Specter Modular Plate Carrier :$160
Raven Concealment ModuLoader Shotgun Shell Carrier and Panel : $35
I integrated this new set up into my home readiness plan: Safe At Home
The Specter carrier and VTG plate are extremely lightweight and due to the side buckles I can literally grab this carrier and throw it over my head not even bothering to buckle the final buckle, grab a firearm and GO. With this single piece of kit I have essential gear to include:
- Ballistic protection up to rifle rounds
- Rapid access to ammunition for pistol, carbine or shotgun
- Illumination tool
- An edged tool/weapon set up in congruently with my EDC carry
- All items can be accessed with either hand
Overall I am quite happy with this piece of kit. Under timed drills I can be out of my bed, corrective lenses on, gun in hand and have this carrier over my head in less than a minute on average. $450 may seem steep to some and granted, its not cheap however I believe when considering the current state of things that this isn’t a bad investment in ones home protection planning and preparedness.
About the Author
Chris Fry is the owner and director of training and curriculum development for Modern Defensive Training Systems in Utica, NY where he conducts courses in reality driven practical combatives skills, extreme close quarters physical defense, tactical folding knife and edged weapon combatives and combative pistol, carbine and shotgun skills. Chris has been an active instructor with Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts in Nevada since 2003, servicing law enforcement, military and select government agencies. Chris is a certified AR15/M4/M16 and Glock armorer, contributor to various online firearms resource websites and a frequent presenter at national and international personal protection and small arms training conferences for both citizens and law enforcement.