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Tactical Assault Gear (TAG) Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib

There are so many choices when it comes to chest rigs.  I wanted to get a chest rig that was not going to blow up my wallet and give me the function and features I wanted. I was looking for more than a basic magazine (mag) pouch chest rig, that was uncomfortable, with flimsy straps across your back. I wanted a slim rig that held more than four (4) mags (without being double stacked), had stable rear strap system, and would evenly distribute the chest load.  After looking at the choices out there, I chose the TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib.

TAG Marine Gladiator w/Bib front
TAG Marine Gladiator back
TAG Marine Gladiator back

The TAG Marine Gladiator may have a higher price point than other standard chest rigs but it also has a lot of additional features you don’t get with a standard chest rig. Plus, this rig has the ability to carry a hydration system. Once I opened it up, I immediately noticed the craftsmanship of TAG gear, and I was very excited to start using this rig. I could see the rig was constructed with high quality material and stitching. There is no doubt that TAG products are built very strong and will stand up to whatever punishment you put them through.

Typically, the only thing I worry about with gear is can it be adjusted to fit my size. In reading some comments posted about the TAG Marine Gladiator, some stated they could not get the rig tight enough on their body. However, the rig appeared to be fully adjustable in my opinion. At 5’10” and 165 pounds, I found it easy to adjust this rig to fit my body type without wearing body armor to fill the gap.

Features:

The TAG Marine Gladiator has four (4) pouches in the front of the chest rig, an admin pouch in the chest bib, a pocket behind the mags, and two (2) pouches on each side of the mags.  All of the pouches have pull tabs to separate the Velcro holding them closed.  The back of the TAG Marine Gladiator is a hydration pack carrier. You can place a hydration bladder in the carrier or use it as a mini backpack to hold extra gear. The hydration carrier also has a Velcro loop strip for adding patches. The hydration carrier has seven (7) rows of MOLLE/PALS webbing and a drainage eyelet at the bottom of the carrier.

TAG Marine Gladiator Bib pocket
Magazine Pocket
Side Magazine Pocket
Hydration Bladder Pouch

With the TAG Maine Gladiator Chest Rig, you have the option to run the rig with or without the bib. With the bib strapped to the shoulder straps, you are able to use the admin pouch, and it also provides more stability to the shoulder straps. There are three (3) rows of MOLLE/PALS webbing if you wish to add anything to the bib and Velcro loop strip for patches.  To run the rig without the bib, you simply undo the Velcro straps on the back of the bib, and fold it down behind the mags. With the bib down you can also use the quick release buckle on the shoulder strap if needed.  Personally, I like the extra stability of the bib as it relates to the shoulder straps (prevents them from sliding off your shoulder). Nonetheless, the removable bib is a nice feature to have. The front of the rig also has loops on the right and left sides at the bottom for attaching carabiners or other gear you might want.

With Bib
Bib folded down / Quick release buckles

The shoulder straps are nicely padded, making the TAG Marine Gladiator very comfortable to wear.  They are fully adjustable and the excess adjustment straps feed back onto the padded portion.  The shoulder straps also have MOLLE/PALS webbing and bungee straps for holding gear. The bungee straps come in handy for holding the water tube coming from the bladder pouch. The quick release buckles on the rig are robust and easy to use one-handed.  The waist adjustment straps have Velcro hook and loop tabs stitched into the end to roll and strap down the excess length.

TAG Marine Gladiator Harness Padding
Molle Webbing / Elastic Straps
Quick Release Waist Buckles / Adjustment Straps
Quick Release Waist Buckles / Adjustment Straps

The TAG Marine Gladiator holds six (6) thirty round 5.56mm mags across the abdomen area. The rig design provides a smooth, thin, and non-bulky feel while still giving you 180 rounds at the ready. You do not notice the 7 1/2 lbs of six (6) loaded mags. One thing that made me look at this vest was the straight mag pouch configuration, which allows you to lay flat on your stomach in the prone position. This allows for a stable shooting platform while on your stomach.

The mag pouches cover about 75% of the mag body, have thick shock cords and pull tabs for easy mag removal, and eyelets at the bottom of each mag pouch for water drainage.

I found the mag pouches are generous in length to accommodate PMAGS. However, when using USGI mags without Ranger Plates or L-Plates, the shock cords seemed loose and ineffective. There was no real purpose/use for the shock cords when using this mag configuration. Since I typically run L-Plates on most of my mags, I found this to be the perfect combination. They added enough length to the mag to allow tension from the shock cord straps without it being too hard to clear the pull tabs.

Six (6) Magazine / 180 Round Capacity
Three rows of MOLLE Webbing for accessories
TAG Marine Gladiator

For Women:

My wife was interested in the TAG Marine Gladiator and wanted to try it on.  After a quick/minor adjustment, she tested it for a while.  Here are her comments:

“I found the TAG Marine Gladiator to be surprisingly comfortable. I was pleased to find it was not heavy to wear. Carrying my kids or my purse is heavier and more cumbersome than wearing this chest rig. The shoulder straps are really well padded and didn’t dig into my shoulders. I thought that it might fit a little strange for me, since I am a woman, have narrow shoulders and a chest, but it didn’t.  I’m 5’4″ about 135 lbs, and I’m kind of busty. I was concerned that the chest rig would be too tight on my chest, making me feel like I was wearing a corset, but with the bib up or down it wasn’t too tight. If you are really busty, then having the option to have the bib down is definitely a plus with this type of chest rig. I was able to adjust the side straps to fit securely around my waist. If I were to add a tactical belt, or kydex reinforced belt with tactical pants, it would still fit fine.

I like the extra pouches to be able to carry additional gear and water. The pouches are nicely lined and could work like the pouches in your purse. In the top pouch, I would put some gloves and a small medical kit for emergency use. I have no complaints about the TAG Marine Gladiator. I’ll be on the lookout for my own patch for it!

Knowing that there are military units in Afghanistan testing female specific gear, I feel a woman could use this rig, until a female specific product is available. I would have no problem strapping the TAG Marine Gladiator on!”

Cassie.

Gladiator for ladies with Bib
Gladiator for ladies without Bib
Cassie's Colt LE6720 w/ Tag Marine Gladiator Rig.
Cassie’s Colt LE6720 w/ Tag Marine Gladiator Rig.
TAG Marine Gladiator for Women

Overall Impressions:

The TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib has exceeded all my expectations.  It is extremely well made and very comfortable. I have taken it out on several occasions, wearing it all day, working hard in the heat, and sometimes forgetting I was even wearing it. The fixed shoulder straps, rear hydration pack carrier, and the rig’s ability to evenly distribute load carrying weight contribute to the overall comfort of the rig.

I highly recommend this rig for the Law Enforcement Officer who wants an all day training rig, long assignment search/perimeter rig, or an active shooter rig. A law enforcement officer can simply throw it over their patrol body armor and go. With its ability to adjust to multiple body types, female officers should consider the TAG Marine Gladiator Chest Rig w/Bib.

For range day and average plinker use, the TAG Marine Gladiator will exceed all expectations. The options and versatility of this rig beat most of the dedicated chest rigs out there.

Duncan.

For USGI magazines with Magpul L-Plates, click the following link: http://looserounds.com/2012/10/14/magpul-l-plates/

Reliability is not always reliable

Over the past weekend ,I and some other looserounds staff  went out to do some more T&E of gear and  guns to write about. After trying out all the new stuff to play with, we decided to do some training together  in two man pairs.  at one point in some drills my carbine ran dry while my partner was relaoding. To keep him covered I immediately  drew my sidearm to keep fire going. One my friend was loaded , he continued to fire.  I was next to him on his right side.  WHat happened  next is one of those moments that is 1 in a million and proves that you have to be ready for anything , anytime with the ability to fix it or adapt to it.

While my 1911 was firing and the slide was moving backwards, at the same time a fired 556 case from his MK18 ejected and went right into my open ejection port inducing a failure.  I fixed it , but not without a pause. It was not that I did not know what to do, it was the sheer strangeness of what happened.   The 1911 I used is my colt rail gun with over 1,4000 rounds through it. The pistol has never given me any trouble other then a bad mag spring from a wilson combat mag. But the incident proves that it does not matter how invincible your glock is or how tough your 1911 or even your own skill. You practice because things like this happen and it does not matter how much you paid for the gun or how good the parts or ammo  in it is.  You do not and can not know or predict.  Always be training for the unexpected.  Problems will never come in the training class , square range way  instructors always set up. Sometimes it will be a one in a million.

 

A Look at Hornady Steel Match Ammo

A few years ago ammo prices became so high you had to take out a bank loan just to buy plinking ammo. A lot of people went to shooting cheaper steel cases ammo so they could still be able to afford gas to get to work. Problem was, none of it was in any of the heavier weights for precision rifles. Hornady came out with the nifty idea of putting their 75 grain hollow point boat tailed bullet , powder and primer into the cheaper steel case to offer up ammo that was cheaper then TAP  but still have ( supposedly ) the same accuracy and trajectory.

It sounded like a great idea in theory, but as usual when it comes to anything 556 related at the time. It was as hard to find as a honest democrat.  From the time it was announced to just yesterday, I had actually never seen any of it   in a gun store. It was not as cheap as it was hoped it  would be either. But, it is cheaper then TAP.  I paid a bit over 20 dollars for 50 rounds. Compare that to something close to the same price for 20 rounds of TAP and you can see that shooting the steel match would be a cheaper solution.

Of course the benefit of paying that much for  steel case ammo is only real if it holds up its end of the accuracy claims. Why not just buy Tula for 4 bucks a box to plink with if the Hornady steel match was not that much better?

I bought some to try it out and see if it is worth it and how it could work for shorter range practice with a precision AR15 or bolt gun.

The first 5 shot group is  from a 6920 with a KAC RAS and a  Nightforce 10x scope. I shot off a bench using sandbags. The group is not that impressive and I was not impressed at all. I could not see paying that much for the ammo for no better groups then that.  It is not too bad actually considering what it is and it is still capable of keeping all shots in a mans head at this range.

In this group, everything is the same except I used the Colt 6940 with the free floated barrel to see how much difference it made and it did make a big difference.  The ammo really started to show some potential when used with a FF barrel. This would not have been a surprise with normal match ammo, but since I did not have very high hopes with the steel case stuff, I was surprised. That is a 5 shot group a 100 yards. And it would easily fit under a quarter.

The last group I took the ammo out to 200 yards with the 6940 and fired a 10 shot group.

That is not too bad considering what it is.   It started to rain fairly heavy so I did not get to take all the time in the world. But I did have time enough. It is a tough call to say if the group would have been much better if I had all the time in the world so all I can say is I would rather shoot the group again at 200 yards before I call this group as normal performance for it. Still well within a persons head.

Now, one of the claims was the steel match would keep about the same trajectory. Well it does sort of. But it does change zero just like any other change up in ammo brand and type would. Is it worth buying to gain better performance over  cheaper  steel case from Tula or Wolf?  I can not say. For training at 25-100 yards I would not buy it. You can do the same with cheaper.  I am not even sure in what way to use it. If I need to shoot in a precision role, I am going to use true match ammo.  If I need better terminal effect, I am sure to use ammo of higher quality meant for good terminal effect.   I think for better results from 100-200 yards on sometihng like a ground hog it would do just fine. Otherwise I am just not sure. You will have to decide that for yourself.

Other then that, it is not too bad at all. If you have a MK12 that you want to shoot out to 200 yards or about, but do not want to use up your TAP or MK262, then this would be a decent choice. It would be more accurate then surplus and it will match  your 77 gr. BDC  turret or reticule pretty close and not break the wallet in two.

Q&A 4

This is a LooseRounds.com Q&A session.  If you have a firearms related question please email it to [email protected]. We will post the your questions anonymously and give you our answers.

 

1.  colt le901-16s release date?

Howard:  The Colt 901 has already been released and can be purchased.  However currently supplies are limited.

2.  what finish does the colt rail gun have 

Shawn:  Stainless steel or Stainless with a black ceracoat coating.

3.  winchester model 70 pre 64 iron sights?

Shawn:  The target or National Match version came with Lyman or Redfield Olympic iron sights.  Sporters came with a simple leaf sight.

4.  Just out of curiosity, what’s the average accuracy you’re getting out of ‘regular’ .308 ball ammo out of the Colt?  I saw the one line in your write up about German DAG (approx 2.5 inch groups).  Is that about what you average with M80/Portuguese/S. African?

Shawn:  NMH ball also gave about 2.5 MOA.  150 grain soft point hunting ammo from Federal gave about a 1.5 inch group at 100 yards.

Howard:  Surplus can vary greatly, don’t expect match results with surplus, often 2-5 MOA is to be expected with good surplus.  Stuff like Wolf will perform worse.

5.  What is the coolest MOLLE vest?

Shawn:  What do you mean, to wear to the gun prom, or what is the least hot.  The coolest (temperature) is probably the SDS MOLLE 2 Fighting Load Carrier (FLC) as issued by the military.  Coolest for showing off would maybe be the Eagle Maritime CIRAS or the Marine Corps Scaleable Plate Carrier.

Howard:  The FLC is good, but maybe not the coolest in temperature.  Something like a basic chest carrier with H harnes like backing might be coolest.  As for cool factor, perhaps the CRYE Jumpable Plate Carrier (JPC).  *For coolest just look Titleist1, an active poster on AR15.com.

6.  How do you make homemade body armor

Shawn:  Under no circumstances depend on homemade body armor to save your life.  There is no way you can replicate the quality of a properly manufacturer plates of soft armor.

7.  is the fn pbr 24inch fluted barrel a heavy barrel

Shawn:  I could call it a medium heavy, it tapers down.

8.  Do Glocks shoot loose with age?

Howard:  Yes, all things wear.  Glock triggers will generally get smoother.  Some people claim that replacing the Slide Lock in a old Glock that is shooting poorly will tighten up barrel lockup and improve grouping.  Some parts like the plastic tubular insert in the striker channel can erode and come loose from wear.

9.  do you have to break in a gun with national match barrel

Shawn:  Well its a little complicated, but to start off it is important to note that a quality national match barrel will come polished and hand lapped from the maker.  So you should not have to break one in.

LooseRounds over years have found that breaking in barrels is a waste of time, regardless if its custom match or factory.  Usually you will do more cleaning rod damage to the barrel then any amount of improvement you could have helped.

The Colt 901 PART 5 Support Gear

Having the 901 for a while  and testing it,  it was time to start putting together the  gear that would support its use and was a little easier then the old mag in the back pocket nonsense. From previous articles,  you can see Looserounds  really likes the TAG Banshee Plate Carrier.  Since I see no need to have more then one PC, I decided to work up a way to use the same Banshee for  the 901 and my beloved 556 rifles.

I came to the conclusion that I would have enough ammo on the PC for most any need while being able to change it out fast if I did not want to use the 901.  After looking around and mulling it over I decided to go with the Blue Force Gear Tenspeed pouch for SR-25 pattern magazines. Two members of  Looserounds has been using the Tenspeed for a while adn find it to be a very nice low profile and slick pouch. The TenSpeed is elastic like and holds the mags snug but when you take them out, it will snap closed and lay against the PC flat.  The are not the best for a situation if you are going to be sticking mags back in the pouch in a hurry or you need to retain them on then PC under stress, but if you run most your reloads of a belt and the PC acts just as you spares or emergency rig, its great.

I purchased the double mag pouch because I feel that  40 rounds on the carrier and 20 more in the gun is enough for all but travel to Detroit.  More can be added as  you want. I am way to lazy to carry much more then  60 rounds of 762 for long without a team of mules a nap and my favorite blanket, so 60 is enough for me.

The good thing is the pouches for the 762 mags is tight enough that you can use 556 mags in it as well. They are snug still but a little less then if they are made for 556 mags. This is not a bad thing because it allows you to get them out easier, this is something not as easy when using the pouches dedicated for 556 mags. So , if I want, I can take the 901 mags out and stick two USGI 556 mags in the pC and have 90 rounds of 556.

My other choice is to take the 901 mags out, let them tenspeed lay flat and don a chest rig. I will not go into the unlimited amount of choices for 556 chest rigs out there but I will show  my choice.  I decided to use the new USMC and ARMY issue tactical Assault Panel ( TAP).

 

The good thing with the TAP is that it can be worn as a seperate chest rig or can be attached to the PC by hardware that comes with it. So , you can  just pull it over the PC or you can attach it with the fastex  buckle kit that is issued with it.

I think this combo give me the versatility  to go back and forth between two calibers  very easy. This works out well since the 901  is very modular.