I'm looking to minimize the weight and bulk of basic gear in the event of a Level 4 Zombie outbreak. I have a chest rig that holds 8 mags for the M1A, and you know what? That's damn heavy.
I need to comb over more photos from the early 60s when the M14 was issued. The most gear I've seen on an rifleman about to use his rifle, and not hump a lot of gear somewhere, is like the setup on this toy doll.
On another costume representation, that looks pretty representative of historical setups, this has a similar surplus suspender-rig/belt-webbing that I have currently, sans the mag pouches and some of the other extraneous pouches:
And it's French.
Six mag pouches may be extra. From what I understand, and I may have this wrong, the combat load in the early 60's was only 100 rounds of 7.62. So take away 2 of those mag pouches and put a magazine in the rifle.
I know what the canteens and mag pouches are. There is a first aid kit bottom center. I wonder what the other 3 pouches are?... Cleaning kit?
But I'm also thinking about maybe getting a Molle vest rig with the pistol belt might be better. And only 2 or 3 rifle mag pouches attached to the vest, and one pistol mag pouch. When will I need all 4 mags of rifle ammo, anyway, even with a horde of zombies? If I get that separated from a source of supply I should be moving not shooting. And I can't move with a crap load of weight. I can grab a 5 mag bandolier if I have to and loop it over a shoulder. Give me the option of shedding weight a little at a time without dropping unique gear.
I think I'll stick to canteens over camelback water carrying. I just never warmed up to the whole camelbak concept.
I asked a Marine that was in in the 90s, before all this MOLLE gear and red dot optics got popular what he carried and how.
Back then, for him, it was Alice pack and web gear (the suspender thing as pictured above). Canteens on hip. No camelback then. He had a vest that carried 4 M-16 mags and 2 grenades, and his primary job was not trigger pulling. The vest clipped onto the web gear stuff somehow. If they chose to, they could carry 2 more mags in a pouch on a belt.
There was an additional 100 rounds or so in the backpack, too. A battlepack, I imagine, maybe.
Ugh. Glad I don't have to hump all that gear. Perhaps I should, anyway. Just to get in better shape. I'll stick to flat trails though. IF I ever find good shoes. I hope that big zombie uprising doesn't come too soon... There is a lot to be said for sheltering in place.
[Can you picture me going camping/backpacking with a M14, 1911, and all the mags decked out on my gear in a National Park of some type? Like, say, the C&O canal towpath along the Potomac in Maryland? The local constabularies would flip their collective wigs. Yeah. Don't want to REALLY do that around here... Even if I could handle the weight of weapon and ammo IRL.]