My newest solution is a pistol belt loaded up with the essentials.
BELT #1: Field Gear
This was the first attempt. I had a bunch of ALICE field gear laying around and put it together. From left to right:
- Magazine in M9 pouch ($3)
- Surefire in M9 pouch ($3)
- ALICE Compass Pouch with copies of my identification (including my address) so that LEOs can identify me as the resident and space for a cell phone ($1)
- Canteen. There's no purpose for this on a home defense belt but I had it on there already and was too lazy to take it off. I don't know what they cost as I just reused one laying around.
- Double AR-mag pouch. There are a pair of grenade pockets on there as well integral to the mag pouch, and I plan on putting an Israeli bandage on one side and a CAT on the other. ($4)
- Bianchi M12 holster for Beretta ($10). If you don't have a beretta then you could go MOLLE with a pistol pouch or other solution.
- ALICE belt ($5)
Total cost for this belt was very reasonable. All prices include shipping. I used ebay to accumulate most of the gear. All in all it cost around twenty five bucks to put together, and actually less as I had some of the gear already.
BELT #2: CONDOR MOLLE
I decided I wanted a little more flexibility and recently put together a MOLLE kit.
Most of this rig is CONDOR gear. It isn't top-shelf but it is inexpensive. This belt is not getting dragged through rough field conditions; it is holding all my junk in one place next to my bed. I got all the gear from LAPG, and I also got >10% off from the prices below plus free shipping. From left to right:
- Double mag pouch with 2xpistol mags ($9).
- Admin pouch with surefire and identification documents ($10).
- Dump pouch ($12).
- SERPA holster for Beretta. This was a clearance "on sale" deal with the STRIKE attachment platform and ran for a bargain ~$35 or so. I also have a pistol pouch ($10), which is basically a cruddy holster that my M&P will stuff into. A Tactical Tailor or other molded rig would be nicer but the $10 version holds over until I drop the coin on something better.
- Double AR mag pouch ($10).
The belt itself is the Condor tactical battle belt ($15) with a regular old Rigger's Belt ($5) run through it. The worst thing about this rig is that it won't quickly buckle on; the Rigger's belt is a little more complicated to lace up.
Total cost: $96.
BELT #3: 5.11 MOLLE
This is Heather's current rig. It is a mix of 5.11 and no-name gear. I had most of this stuff laying around so actual cost was lower; I just needed to put it together. Again, from left to right:
- Pistol pouch
- Double AR mag pouch
- Admin Pouch with ID
- Cell phone pouch
- Double pistol mag pouch with mag and light
As previously discussed I'd like to add some basic first aid supplies. I'm also thinking about adding non-lethals (pepper spray). The thing is that in the house, I'm concerned about pepper spray affecting me as well. We have strong castle doctrine and if there is an intruder in the house at night then we are probably well beyond pepper spray on the continuum of force.
Heather has not decided on her long gun of choice yet. So right now I keep things set up for the AR. She might later switch to a shotgun rig or something.
We normally keep ear pro (electronic muffs) attached to the belts as well, as the AR is part of the defensive gameplan.
Moreover both of us are cross dominant shooters. I shoot pistols with my strong (right) hand and rifles with my weak (left) hand. That's why my belt pouch setup is "weird." The pistol is on my right (strong pistol) side. The pistol ammo and light is on my left (weak pistol) side. The rifle ammo is on my right (weak rifle) side.
The belts have been a very satisfactory solution. They let me, as a residential defender, very quickly strap on 30 rounds of pistol ammo, 60 rounds of AR ammo, a light source, a phone, and identification so the cops can sort out who is who when they show up. I have multiple mags which allows for a tactical reload or malfunction clearance. They strap on over our body armor vests no problem. They take mere seconds to get strapped on.
At a minimum I suggest readers at home try out an ALICE rig. You can put one together for around $25 or so. It gets cheaper if you assemble two or three at a time, as a lot of folks sell multiple pouches in one lot.