Saturday, November 11, 2023

800-Miles with a Tacticon Battle Belt V1

800-Miles with a Tacticon Battle Belt V1

To say I have been around the industry a while is an understatement. One thing I have learned is that cheap does not necessarily mean junk and expensive doesn't necessarily mean quality either. This goes for everything from firearms, to optics, to soft goods, gear and even ammo. I have an insanely cheap bag that has been around the world with me internationally more than a few times, been beaten to living hell and still looks lightly used. 

On the other side I have had the bottom of a $300 backpack fall out. I have had a $400 Anderson AR 15 shoot ½-MOA, a Primary Arms 1x prism optic blow away optically a $1000 mil-spec contract optic. I had a $200 battle belt fail not once, but twice after the manufacturer replaced the first one. You never really know until you try it and hope like hell that whatever you paid for it was worth the money. In this case I have logged over 800-miles with my $49.95 Tacticon Battle belt and not only recommend it, but now own five.

Yeah freaking Tacticon, the brand that a lot of people scoff at but apparently holds up. For the price, I can buy four for the same price as a “Premium” battle belt, so even if it does wear out who freaking cares. This stuff works.

What the hell kind of battle belt is that?

The pictured battle belt is not your usual battle belt however I would guarantee that it has had more abuse thrown at it than anything usual as a battle belt. You see, the use involves my dogs. With a couple Dobermans, you either get the evil energy out, or they tear your house down, so every day they get a 2-3-mile walk so I do not have to replaster and repaint once a week. Over the years of owning these fantastic majestic animals, you need stuff when on walks, I want a gun, a spare mag, treats, small bottle of water, usually a light, an israeli bandage (yep used it once), and generally something to accommodate picking up the mail plus, keys, cell, and phone.

It starts to become a lot of crap to juggle especially during the summer when you do not have a jacket to stuff all the crap into. If you happen to have “a puller” pup who drags you relentlessly around the 2-3 mile loop regardless of any amount of training, holding a leash can be exhausting, infuriating, and taxing.  As 2-3 miles a day becomes 56-84 miles a week and then becomes well over 800 logged miles a year, getting something to work that is comfortable is critical.

The Concept

The idea morphed from using a rigger’s belt to attach one of our hard pulling dobermans with a carabiner. The idea worked, free'd up my hands, greatly reducing back, arm and shoulder strain. Working around my CCW kit was challenging and I started to wonder why not a battle belt with everything already mounted, but mount the pistol and spare magazine holsters in a way that the entire belt was still extremely concealable with just a t-shirt. After a lot of trial and error, I found I would be able to IWB 12-0’clock by mounting the pistol and magazine holster inside the belt by moving the buckle to the 11-o'clock position. This buckle position allowed unhindered mounting of the “noon” mounted CCW gear, allowing quick belt attachment and removal for walks. Fold-up dump pouches were placed at 8 and 4 o-clock. This configuration provided a shockingly concealable rig even with dual fold-up dump pouches that no one took a second look at even when stopping to talk with neighbors. The padded Tacticon Battlebelt delivers amazing comfort during the walks. A simple webbing loop was added on the front of the belt to mount the carabiner that attaches to the dog leash. 

The Abuse is Real

In this case, the abuse is real. I have a doberman pulling like they are dragging a 200-lb apple cart and I happen to be the apple cart and we are attached to the Tacticon Battle belt. So for something like 4-million leash yanks by the math as the dobe takes one step after another and the Tacticon belt is holding up just fine.

Though the padding makes walks a joy compared to holding a leash on a hard pulling dog for 3-miles, I engineered a 500-lb shock cord leash that provides a cushioned shock reducing connection between me and my dobe. So if they lunge or jerk, there is a buffer and I do not end up on the ground because I was admiring the beautiful sunset. 

What I Learned

Tacticon products are high quality at a very reasonable price. I present the latest version and the lessons I learned  on how to set up a battle belt which drastically changed how I set up my actual battle and run and gun battle belts. 

  1. I will never use a Noon buckle position on a battle belt again.

    1. Moving the position to either 11 or 1 o’clock position frees up the front of the belt for CCW mounting

    2. The buckle does not dig into your gut… if you have one.

    3. Prevents having to move equipment off the belt to put the belt on and take it off

  2. Fold up dump pouches are the #1 accessory on any battle belt

    1. Tiny when folded

    2. Can hold anything from water to dog treats, to mail, to magazines, …to whatever.

    3. Noon IWB pistol and magazine position mount rules

    4. Disappears under just a t-shirt.

    5. Very fast access

    6. Superior position during vigorous activities

  3. Always carry an Israeli bandage

    1. Shit happens - Not if but when

    2. Preferably carry an IFAK

  4. The format rules

    1. Having different rigs for different tasks makes sense

      1. Dog walking

      2. Run and gun

      3. Shotgunning

      4. PCC Firearms

      5. CCW grab and go

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