Product Review: Tac-Vest 1A

-- Reviewed and abused by Sarge, Sniper Country

I've been using and abusing items from Tactical Tailor and U.S. Tactical Supply on and off for about a year now. This latest item, though not necessarily a true sniper item, is still one I feel can be used by the police tactical marksmen or spotter, using an AR-15/M16 type weapon, in this configuration. Kevin from U.S. Tactical also states this vest will work very well with MP-5 or M-14 type magazines.

This vest, as with everything U.S. Tactical carries, is of the highest quality construction. The vest I have is the Model 1A. Built on a heavy nylon mesh with 1000 denier Cordura nylon (mine is in woodland camo, black is also standard) as the base this system is almost impossible to tear up. There is also a Model 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, a Modular system and a Hunter version for the "civilian" population. Each of these systems serves a different purpose and you'll need to go to their website to determine what they have to fit your requirements. The size adjustments on this vest are almost infinite. Old Sarge is just that - OLD - and he has the weight to prove it, yet this vest adjusted to fit me comfortably with minimal effort using lots of heavy duty velcro and fastex buckles. As part of the adjustments there are six straps on the bottom edge to place through a duty or pistol belt to further secure the system to you. The front of the vest has six - yep count them - six magazine pouches that when used with the AR-15 will hold a total of 12 magazines! Talk about walking around with ammo!! Also each pouch has a tensioning system to give positive holding of the contents. Continuing on the front are two utility pockets and on the left shoulder a handcuff/first aid pouch. On the inside front are two more utility pouches. Now if you're keeping track that is a total of eleven (11) pouches/pockets and we haven't even gotten to the back of this thing yet! Now as to the back, they call it an Accessory Back and it comes standard on all vests, one "pouch" is large enough to hold a full 70 ounce hydration bladder, bolt cutters or other entry tools. Two more utility pockets are big enough to hold a radio, extra magazines or other items that will fit! Gang, if you fill this thing to capacity IT'S HEAVY, yet comfortable and easy to wear and with the ease of adjustment it can be worn in any season over any clothing.

Abuse - well let's see, I've crawled, knelt, sat and gone prone in dirt, sand, gravel, weeds, prairie grass and just about anything else that the desert southwest terrain could throw at you and all I ever did was brush the vest off and it keeps looking good. Tough? You bet this vest is tough, I'm sure it will stand up to years of"normal",whatever that is, wear!

My only complaint - anybody figured it out yet? - ever tried lying prone on 12 AR-15 magazines for any length of time?? Let me tell you...YOU WON'T!!! That's why I consider this more an LE type tool than sniper. Now if they could come up with something similar for the sniper/counter sniper/tactical marksmen whatever name you want to use we could really get something rolling!

This vest is well made, well thought out and perfect for it's designated place on the SWAT Team. Done well enough that Seattle, Washington SWAT and Washington State Police SWAT have adopted it for their use.