Diz Sends: MVT VERSA Chest Rig Development
In comments on the announcement post about the MVT VERSA Chest Rig, Diz has answered some questions. Diz is the MVT gear designer and a man of many years gear design experience. I’m highlighting his answers here:
On ‘Why no AK Insert’ for the VERSA:
We are not slighting our AK brethren here. In fact we made the decision to break off the AK from our Versa rig and make it’s own specific rig, because of the unique shape of the mags.
The new AK rigs will be much taller. We want the same ratio of coverage to exposure on the AK mags as you get on the AR. I have spent some time earlier doing research and development on rigs specifically built for AK’s and will dive back into that aspect of the market.
On the R&D Process (Diz has been doing this for about 25 years):
Allow me to back up and explain the journey behind the development process for MVT gear. And then explain where the AK rigs fit in.
Back in ’07 my buddy made his first deployment and discovered going out patrolling looking like robo-cop wasn’t such a good idea. So he contacted me with a request for a light-weight, low profile rig. This allowed him to choose whether or not he wanted to run body armor, which is a separate issue, but suffice it say there’s a time and place for different load outs. Over the next 10 years and 6 deployments we continued to develop chest rigs for various U-Dub missions. The rigs that came out of this became the basis for MVT gear.
Along the way, we had discussions about AK’s and support gear for them. In fact, I spent a year researching and shooting them. I discovered a new-found appreciation for the weapons system and developed some chest rig designs that were built around the unique shape of the mags.
To back up even further, a little about my background, and the technical aspects of the designs. After cross-training with the Brits and seeing how much better their kit was, I starting making my own stuff. This led me to apprenticing with a parachute rigger and learning about how to really make this stuff. The mil-spec materials, and the construction techniques used in parachute work are directly transferable to tac gear. Everything we make has 34+ years of experience in the making and using of this stuff.
When Max and I first started talking about a line of MVT gear, I felt I had come full circle, back the Brits who started me on this journey in the first place. I took his input, based on his service in the Paras, and as a Contractor, and combined that with my own, to design MVT gear.
So here we are. The Versa chest rig is designed to accommodate both 5.56 and 7.62 NATO mags, by using separate inserts. This gives you the versatility to use both calibers with one chest rig. It also allows teams to standardize their load outs with one chest rig for the entire team. It is designed for the lightfighter in mind. One layer of single mag pouches, with additional pouches for carrying mission-essential kit. It can be used with, or without body armor, depending on the mission profile. It is made to integrate with an assault pack or full sized Bergen.
And we are currently developing single caliber rigs, including for AK’s. Stay tuned.
On the VERSA vs. Single caliber:
OK, lets answer your questions.
First of all, what will be the difference between a Versa rig, and a single caliber rig. Quite a bit, actually. In order to make a rig that can take either caliber, we used removable inserts, to fit either 6 x 5.56 mags, or 5 x 7.62 mags. The design and construction of the Versa centers around a common base, with removable mag inserts. It is essentially one big pouch, with dividers for each mag.
The single caliber rigs, on the other hand, will feature an entirely different construction technique. They will have individually sewn down pouches for each mag. Since there is no need for a removable insert, the pouches are sewn in, to a specific size. So yeah, in answer to your question, the design is simplified, and yeah will probably be a different price point.
Real answer: This depends on you. If you feel the need to get your load out set up RIGHT NOW, then get something that fits your needs from what is available. If you can wait, then I’d suggest getting the single caliber rig when it’s available. Which hopefully should be within a few weeks.
The VERSA is an excellent rig and works as a single caliber rig.
If you have no intention of having both 5.56 and .308, then you may want to wait for the single caliber rigs to come out. I know that many are! They are on the way, staring with the 5.56 version, then AK and .308 single caliber versions.
I have also had questions about a green color; we may look at a green option as we get further along the road. There is no pleasing all of the people all of the time!