02 Sep Reconbrothers® Direct Action® Belt Setups 2021
Reconbrothers® Direct Action® Belt Setups 2021
A while back we did a review of the belts made by Direct Action® to provide a better idea on what belt suits which purpose best. Today we will build further upon these belts and share the setups we have created based on our own knowledge of these products and our personal experience. So, today we will give you all the details about the how’s and why’s on these setups.
But before we dig into this subject, make sure to subscribe to our blog page by filling in the form. Also Make sure to visit our Youtube Channel by clicking the button. Have a look at our store shop.reconbrothers.com for your quality tactical products.
Our Relationship with Direct Action®
For starters, what is our relationship with Direct Action®. We’re a reseller of their products and we try to provide a solution for their limited stock problem. Meaning if there’s a particular product you’re looking for that’s not in stock, we can have it produced by them. And if it is in stock, we can deliver as well of course.
The products used
As for the products which we will look into today, most are bought by ourselves for personal use and testing purposes. Only a few Multicam® products are provided by them when we started our collaboration for presentation purposes towards professional units.
Another thing to mention is that whether we sell certain products or not, we will always aim to be as objective as possible in our work, aside from our personal opinions of course.
No financial involvement
At last, as for the production of this video, there’s no financial involvement whatsoever. The videos we make are all at our own expenses and thus we mainly do everything with what you guys buy from our store. And we rather have you guys spend your money on a good product than doing donations and all that type of stuff. So again, if you want to support us, then that’s the way to do it.
So that being said, let’s jump into our subject of today, namely the setups we’ve created from Direct Action’s assortment.
1 of the 3 belts we’ll be talking about here is the one my brother has built for the use at live-fire tactical courses which we’ll start doing very soon. But for testing purposes he has already used it during training courses and events whereas we used airsoft. The other 2 setups we’ll cover are based on the very same principles but have other belt bases.
A thing we do want to mention before getting into the details is that these setups work for the purposes of what we do, but that might not be the case for your specific field of use. The purpose of this blog is to share our thinking process so you can create something of your own or get some ideas to improve what you already have.
And by the way, we’ll explain everything for right-hand dominant users, since we’re both right-dominant. If you’re a lefty, you simply have to mirror the idea.
Before we get into constructing our setup, we first want to talk a little bit about what we call our “fundamental factors” to setup any tactical belt. If the setup doesn’t comply to any of these, we go back to refitting until it complies to all of them. These so called factors we’re talking about are;
- Easy accessibility
- Mobility efficiency
- Minimal stuff.
The first, easy accessibility is about not being clumsy and doing stupid things. You want your stuff to be easy to grab and especially that equipment you need access to in stressful situations, because those are the moments you want to be prepared for.
Mobility efficiency comes down to being able to move without too much hinder. Think about for example crouching, laying on your side, sprinting, getting over obstacles and more. With this one we’re also talking about the conjunction of your belt with a plate carrier or rig.
The last one, minimal stuff comes down to only carrying the equipment you really need. Too much stuff will only make you heavier and bulkier and thus less effective.
Important Belt Principles
However, there’s an important principle that applies with first line gear and that is that it serves as a back-up for when things go wrong. And that means that you generally want to carry your most important equipment mainly on your belt.
Another principle that applies with belts is that you want to position the most amount of weight of your kit possible onto it. This because your leg muscles are much stronger than your shoulders and thus it’s easier to carry a certain amount of your weight on your hips. It’s very similar like how loaded backpacks works, those are also designed to distribute 60 to 80% of the weight on your hips and not on your shoulders. So that’s definitely something to keep in mind.
How about “Versatility”?
Unlike with our plate carrier setups, we don’t consider versatility to be a factor here and the reason for that is that your belt setup should be a static as possible. Meaning you have to exactly know where everything is located. If you change this too often, you won’t be able to act on muscle memory when needed.
That all said, let’s now go over to what we’ve done to create these setups and let’s start off with the base.
Base belt setups
As already mentioned before, for these we have several belt options to choose from and on top some pouches we think are a mandatory minimum for any shooting purpose.
The first thing that we have provided in all these setups is the Direct Action® Mustang® Inner Belt. We’ve made this one a standard, because in our eyes it’s an incredibly important piece of any belt that will be used in an active way. This because it maintains that important grip of all the weight you put onto it during dynamic actions.
That covers one belt. Next are the outer belts and as said for those we’ve made 3 options available.
Direct Action® Warhawk® Rescue/Gun Belt
One is the Warhawk® Rescue/Gun Belt which is a great base belt that doesn’t use the MOLLE system. This one is perfect for those that are looking for a low cost high-quality tactical belt and as for our setups, we’ve called this one the “gun belt”.
Direct Action® Warhawk® Modular Rescue/Gun Belt
The second is the Warhawk® Modular Rescue/Gun Belt which is the advanced brother of the previous one. This one does have PALS slots and allows for a lot of modularity options. We’ve named this one the “combat belt”.
Direct Action® Mosquito® Modular Belt Sleeve
And for our third and final belt we have the Mosquito® Modular Belt Sleeve combined with the Warhawk® Rescue/Gun Belt because it requires an inner belt to function. This one allows for an extreme amount of modularity. You can go for a very low-profile setup all the way up to a heavy load-bearing belt, it the most expensive out of the three though. We’ve called this one the “warbelt”.
That’s everything regarding the belt choice itself. Let’s now have a look into the magazine pouches we’ve added to the setup.
In order to talk about these, we’ll first have to look at ammo count. Obviously the more mags, the better, but in reality you also have to consider weight & bulkiness. Our experience in both tactical courses with professionals and force-on-force events with the use of airsoft tells us that a mag count of 5 to 8 rifle mags and 2 to 4 pistol mags works as a good general base.
This being counted from everything on your carrier or rig, your belt and in your guns. This way you’ll have on average a total of 150 up to 240 rifle rounds and 30 up to 60 pistol rounds.
If we translate that amount to the belt setup, it leaves us with 2 pistol pouches and 1 rifle pouch. We personally know some instructors that carry more mags, because again of that maximum weight on the hips principal, but as said before, this is what we consider to be the bare minimum.
So, what pouches from Direct Action® have we chosen for this. Well, as for the 2 pistol ones we have selected the Direct Action® Speed Reload Pistol Pouch®. This is a pretty special magazine pouch and that’s because of several reasons.
1. Open top design
Firstly, it’s an open top design which is something we consider to be a standard when it comes to belt setups. As said before, your belt serves as a back-up and accessing those mags quickly is key.
2. Access vs Retention
Now, the balance that these tactical tailoring companies are all looking for these days is that sweet spot between fast access and a good retainment. Direct Action® have come up with their own solution for this by using elastic cords that you can adjust the tension with. This is pretty common, but above this, they have also used a special material on the inside that’s called Hypalon®, which is a very durable & grippy material.
These two together provide a great retainment system, even so that it prevents your magazine from falling out when it gets snagged onto something. Yet the design still allows for a fluent grab of your mag. Another thing this design allows is that the pouch also stays open for a smooth reinsertion of the magazine.
3. Attachment options
Above these features, the pouch also allows for two ways to be attached. One is with the standard MOLLE system and the other is with something unique to Direct Action®, which are called belt loops. These are shock cord loops sewn onto the back of the pouch that go over the belt. This system provides some advantages compared to more traditional systems.
One being, it provides a far better retention and less wobble than the MOLLE system. Secondly, it maintains space for the belt its Velcro® to grip on one another and thus keeps valuable retention. And a third advantage is that you’re not limited to PALS slots, meaning you can place the pouch wherever you want on the belt.
4. Wide compatibility
Another interesting thing about this pistol pouch is that it can be used with a very wide range of double stack magazines. Think about a 9 mm up to a .45 and even the more uncommon 4.6 and 5.7 mm mags are all possible. So that’s pretty much all the important ones.
5. No fragile parts
At last, another important aspect about this design is that there are no materials used that may break during aggressive actions. So, you can definitely rely on this one to secure your ammo properly.
And with that said, we covered our selection of the pistol pouches.
The next one we’ll look at is the rifle mag and here we’ve chosen the Direct Action® Speed Reload Rifle Pouch®. As for this one, there’s not a lot that needs to be said, because it’s basically a rifle version of the pistol one we just covered.
This one can take AR, AK and SR mags and unlike the pistol version, it can take a shock-cord for if you want that extra retention security. It also allows for the stacking of other pouches thanks to its PALS slots.
That’s it for the mag pouches themselves. Let’s now talk a little bit about where we position them and how we put them to use.
Magazine pouch placement
First thing is that we personally use the belt loops to attach these pouches. The reasons why, we just covered, but if you rather use the MOLLE system then you can do that as well.
Next, since we’re right-hand dominant we’ve placed these pouches on our left side or around our 9 o’clock. Why “around” our 9, well that depends on the next thing to consider.
Since a belt mainly serves as that important back-up, reloads from it usually need to happen quickly. For that reason you want your magazines to be as close as possible to your immediate access. Or in other words, you want your mags to be as much towards the front of your body as possible, but there’s also another thing to consider and that has to do with the mobility efficiency factor we mentioned earlier.
Important aspects to consider!
Here we’re talking about crouched positions and the issue that may occur here is that your mags can dig into your belly when doing so. And that is something you want to avoid. So for that reason we simply test and go back up to the point where that’s no longer the case and position them over there.
Another thing you can see is that the pistol pouches are in front of the rifle pouch and that’s simply logical thinking. Because the other way around, you will be obstructing that pistol mag accessibility.
Magazine pouch use
Last thing we want to share on this is that for the pistol mags we face them with the bullets or projectiles forwards and for the rifle mag we face it backwards. This all has to do with the biomechanics of the human body and how you perform your reloads.
1. Pistol magazines
In our case for the pistol mags we grab them by positioning our index finger at the tip of the magazine and turn our hand inwards during the reload which helps you with aiming that mag into the magwell.
2. Rifle magazine
The good thing about both of these techniques is that your initial approach to either grabs is exactly the same. So, that helps in building consistency.
As for the rifle mag, we move our hand a bit further and cant it slightly backwards to get a full grip. Once it’s taken out of the pouch, we reverse the movement back to the gun and the magazine is directly facing the correct way.
And with that being said, we have fully covered the very base of the belt setups we have created. The next additions we’ll be talking about are all optional and it’s up to you whether you require them or not.
Moving further down the belt we come to a dump pouch. This specific one is the Direct Action® Dump Pouch® and although this pouch is not the slickest or the biggest dump version they have, it does have some interesting features.
Firstly, it’s design allows it to be folded which gives it a pretty small profile when tucked away. Secondly, it’s very easy to open by simply pulling a tab that is also made out of the Hypalon® material. Opening the pouch also doesn’t create a highly noticeable sound.
The bottom is made of a mesh for water and debris to fall through and the opening on top can be narrowed down with a shock cord. The pouch also stays neatly open even if there’s already stuff inside.
To give you an idea, volume wise this pouch can take up to 5 standard 30 round AR15 magazines.
Furthermore, the pouch doesn’t feature MOLLE or belt loops and thus it comes with 2 MALICE clips to attach it onto your belt. The reason for this has to do with it being designed with a pretty unique feature.
This dump pouch allows the placement of pouches directly inside the bag. An example of this is using another rifle pouch and what this provides is a way to maximize the limited space you have available. Which is a pretty clever idea from Direct Action® to provide you that extra bit of modularity options. The downside of doing this however, is that you’re not able to fold the pouch anymore.
Dump pouch placement & use
At last for the positioning of this one, we’ve put it on the back left of our belt. This so it’s easy in reach for our support hand and not too much in the way until we really need it.
Next to it, we come to the IFAK and for this we’ve chosen the Direct Action® Med Pouch Horizontal MKIII®. Important to notice is that this one is specifically designed to carry all the basic trauma equipment, except for a tourniquet. So, this pouch will not serve very well as a booboo kit.
Now, just as all the other Direct Action® products, this one also has a few interesting features.
Just like any other IFAK design it consists of two main parts, but this one doesn’t use Velcro® for retention. Instead it uses a strong elastic fabric to provide grip over the pouch. For this the inside part containing the actual pouch shoves inside the outside part that can be mounted using MOLLE or the belt loops.
The good thing about this design is that there’s no need for an extra strap or something since the grip is great. It’s also designed to not interfere that much when sitting in a car seat and to have a low snag probability. So, losing this one, will be very unlikely.
Above that the outer part features the word “MED” in a non outstanding way for identification. This word is also covered in Velcro to allow for patch placement if you’d like to make it more recognizable.
The design also features two pull handles, one on each side to be able to take it with either hands. These handles are also made of the Hypalon® material for a good grip.
Once the inside pouch is out you can open the pouch rapidly with two other pull tabs present on top of its design. After you’ve opened it, you can lay it open to have full access to everything inside.
The inside is a very simple design that only uses a couple of elastic straps. It may not look like much, but it’s actually perfectly configured for that necessary trauma equipment.
IFAK placement & use
Furthermore as for this pouch, we personally do use it with its MOLLE system and position it on the back slightly to the right, so that access with both hands is possible.
That being said, we did mention the absence of a tourniquet in this pouch and for that particular reason we also added the option to provide the Direct Action® Tourniquet Pouch® as well.
This one is a pouch with elastic material to fit and grip on the tourniquet. It also features a Velcro® flap to protect the Velcro® strips on the tourniquet from dirt that can reduce its effectiveness.
The interesting part about this design is that it can be mounted in three different ways. One is with the classic MOLLE system, the second is with the belt loops and the third option is to have it mounted horizontally thanks to its extra Velcro® straps.
Tourniquet pouch placement & use
This is of course a very interesting option for belts, so its doesn’t interfere with your body movements. This especially on the front with your legs, which is what we’ve done on the right front side.
And with that said, we covered all the pouches on these setups. What is not included in those packs is obviously the holster. But we do want to talk a bit about the options you have with it.
With a holster you have two options to mount it onto these belts. Depending on what system you use, you can either attach it onto the PALS with a MOLLE system on those belts that feature this or you attach it over the belt.
Our personal holster placement & use
We personally both use a mid-ride dropleg platform with a leg strap for a better draw and retention on the leg. This system is placed over the belt which work great for us. We also position our holsters slightly more towards the front of our 3 o’clock since we’ve noticed it gives a slightly smoother draw.
Having all that covered, the next thing we want to share with you guys is our experience with our personal preference out of these 3 belts. For us that is our combat belt setup, but we’re curious about what you guys think. Do you like the “gun belt setup”, the “combat belt setup” or the “warbelt setup” most? Let us know in the comments which you prefer.
Moving on, as mentioned earlier, this combat belt setup is my brother’s belt which he has already used on several occasions and this already brought up some feedback.
The first and most noticeable thing for him was the ease of attaching the outer belt on the inner belt and the retention it brings compared to similar belts systems. We already said in our previous videos, the Velcro® hooks on these are something we’ve only seen on some of Direct Action® their products, and they work very well although they are less aggressive on other fabric materials, like your pants.
2. Magazine Pouches
A thing where he’s really a fan of, are the magazine pouches and to be fair, we’re both really impressed with these. Even so, that we can say these are most likely amongst the best open top magazine designs on the market these days. They’re not cheap, but they are worth every buck in our eyes.
2. Dump Pouch
As for the dump pouch, we cannot share that much, simply because my brother hasn’t used it that much yet.
Going to the med pouch, something he immediately noticed is that this one doesn’t bump onto your butt when running around, due to its horizontal design. You also don’t have the problem of hitting the pouch with your feet when taking a knee. And above that, although you can’t carry a lot in this one, it is a pretty good low profile setup for carrying a trauma kit.
4. Tourniquet Pouch
And at last for the tourniquet pouch, he mentioned there’s nothing bad to say about this one either. It holds the tourniquet really well, keeps it clean and protected and thanks to its horizontal positioning never interferes with your legs when mounted up front. Only a way to attach a marker would have been a nice addition.
And with that all said, we have come to an end with this blog. For you guys that are looking for one of these setups, you can only get them through shop.reconbrothers.com with an all-year around discount. The colors we currently offer for these are Crye™’s Multicam®, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green and Black.
Something new we want to mention at last is that from now on, above the fact that the camo versions are NIR treated, all the plain colors from Direct Action® products are IRR treated to help reduce your infrared profile if you want to consider that type of stuff.
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“Reconbrothers® Direct Action® Belt Setups 2021“
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