Commercially Made British Army Web Set

Commercial companies have been producing webbing for sale to British troops for many years. These sets are often purchased because they are seen as better designed than the issue sets, or because they add to the wearer’s ‘allyness’. I have never really bothered picking up examples of this webbing because it is often hard to tell what has actually been used by a soldier and what has been sold on the commercial market for use by airsofters. Tonight though we have a set of commercially produced webbing that I am pretty confident was used by a member of the British Army and as it cost me just £10 for the full set I was quite happy to take the risk that I could be wrong.imageIt has been suggested that this set was made by Pathfinder or Dragon Supplies, but it has no label and I have yet to find an identical pattern I can attribute to a maker. This design of webbing is clearly heavily inspired by the PLCE webbing produced for the British Army but there are a large number of differences. To start with the pouches are all sewn onto a wide padded belt which goes around the wearer’s waist as a single piece:imageA metal roller buckle is fitted to the front to secure this in place:imageA mesh yoke, very similar to that used on PLCE is fitted, the mesh providing a large surface area for weight distribution without increasing the number of layers of fabric the wearer has to deal with:imageThis attaches to the belt with black metal tabs, each with a triangle cut out of them, just like the design used with the PLCE sets:imageNote the carabineer used to attach the soldiers helmet and the green tape binding up the ends of the straps, both clear indicators that this set was probably used by a serviceman. A number of different pouches are fitted around the belt, some are simple ammunition pouches for SA80 magazines:imageNote the small grenade pouch to the left of these. The back has large utility pouches that could be used for water bottles, personal kit or belts of GPMG ammunition:imageWhilst the right hand end of the set has a much larger pouch that I suspect was intended for the soldier’s respirator to fit into:imageAll of the pouches have drainage holes in the bottom and plastic D-rings are fitted to allow items to be clipped on:imageThe elastic cord has been added to help reduce the problem of ‘pouch bounce’ when running and is another indicator that this set was used by someone who needed them set up for regular use in the field. I really like this set, but I am not intending to add much more commercial webbing to my collection beyond this representative piece as there are so many variations and manufacturers out there and as a collector you can rarely be entirely sure that what you have bought was even used militarily.

One comment

  1. Sewn pouches look like what cadetdirect calls “airborne webbing”. Several sets available, now in MPC. DPM now out of fashion.

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