Of all the officially produced PLCE sets, the items produced in plain black are the scarcest pieces for the collector to track down, the olive green, DPM and MTP sets being far more common. Commercial copies of the sets in black can be found, however genuine black sets were also produced under military contract. Black PLCE is used by a number of different branches of the military and although often associated with the SAS and special forces by collectors, these units routinely use far more modern sets of equipment with far more ability to be customised than PLCE affords. Instead the black PLCE is more likely to be found being used by units such as the Ministry of Defence Police and the MoD Guard service who provide security for military bases. With these sorts of roles, the need for a sidearm is often greater than the need for a traditional rifle and so one of the easier pieces of black PLCE to find is the holster, which was designed for use with the Browning Hi-Power which was in service with the British military until recent years:
The holster is of the same pattern as the right hand, other arms holster which we looked at in DPM here. It is a hard shell design, with stiffening to the front and rear panels of the holster with a tab that passes over the back strap of the pistol and secures with a press stud to keep the gun firmly in the holster. An external pocket is fitted to the side of the holster to allow a spare magazine to be carried:
Again this has a webbing tab and press stud to secure the contents. As this holster is designed for use with the PLCE system, the fittings on the rear are quite extensive:
At the top we have a triangular buckle that allows the straps from a PLCE yoke to be attached through if it is being worn in place of an ammunition pouch:
The holster also has a belt loops, secured by a pair of press stud, and under this are metal T-fittings to allow it to be worn on the PLCE belt:
A label on the rear indicates that this holster was made in 2005:
This is my only piece of black PLCE so far, however it would be nice to build up a set of the pieces I can find to complement my other sets. I suspect that this will be a far more challenging prospect than the other sets, but would be a nice challenge to complete. As always, if and when I do decide to pick up more black PLCE it will appear on the blog in the future.
great stuff as always – over here in NZ they occasionally have black PLCE at a surplus store I visit – I see they currently have some ’58 water bottle pouches currently, around 12 quid each – happy to be a proxy if your interested – im going there next week! cheers, Mike (ex-pat)
Excellent review as usual. Congrats.
I can see a pair of cross-sewed narrow straps on bottom of the large back fitting. Which is the purpose?
[…] year we looked at an example of the PLCE holster in black here, as used by units such as the MOD Guard Service and the MOD Police. Whilst these forces are not […]