Chest Rig/ Armor Interface Kit Post Script

This post wraps up the series on chest rigs and the Chest Rig/ Armor Interface Kit by examining how one particular order concluded. To reiterate, the customer wanted to attach his Mayflower Research & Consulting UW Chest rig directly to his IOTV without the use of the original harness. This had to be done in such a way as to preserve the original configuration of the chest rig, allowing it to be used with the harness as an option.

In all, there was an exchange of a total of 41 email messages to and from the customer spanning Feb 15 – Mar 3. A lot of it was squaring away the details and having options approved. The chest rig was in my possession from Feb 25 to Mar 3. While working out the numerous options took up some time, actual work on the rig probably took less than an hour.

Based on the criteria provided, several options were proposed to the customer and the results are reflected below:

The customer went with an option that utilized ITW Surface Mount buckles to provide vertical support and shock cord anchored to the IOTV to replace the harness. As with anything, this was a compromise, but a good one considering that at least part of the concern was in preserving the original configuration of the chest rig.

The only drastic modification was severing the permanently attached waist strap and retrofitting it with a side release buckle to mirror the opposite side. The waist strap was then fitted with a compatible SR buckle allowing it to be used should the customer have the need to run the rig without body armor and with the harness.

  1. Buckaroomedic said:

    This is really an interesting idea. My only question/concern is regarding the .25″ hole drilled into the hardware. Has there been any durability issues with this?

  2. downrangegear said:

    Not yet… but I see your point.

    I use ITW GhillieTex buckles for this application exclusively because they have a lot more material to them. That’s a key consideration. I wouldn’t trust any other buckle. If you’ve handled the GhillieTex hardware and compared it to other kinds out there, you know what I mean.

    And I drill damned carefully. If the hole is off center or too close to the edge of the buckle, I discard it and do a new one. It’s a costly way to do business, but at least I can live with what I send into the field.

    Ultimately, durability is a matter of how the buckle is used and what kind of force is put on it. Again, I feel that in this role, with heavy ITW buckles and very careful work with a Dremel tool it holds up well. I have yet to see one of these fail, but I know better than to say “never.”

    If a customer had serious doubts about durability of the buckle compromised with a 1/4″ hole, another way to accomplish the same would be to just loop a piece of webbing off of the buckle, sew it into a tight loop and run the shock cord through it.

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