A Look at Loadouts - AEG Sniper
Hey guys, I decided to finally get around to writing my first piece about loadouts and figured I would start with one of my two primary loadouts. Today I'll cover my loadout for when I'm rocking the m21. Please note I will not be talking about BDUs or boots or eye protection as those are fairly consistent. I typically go olive drab, no camo pattern, upgrading to a ghillie suit if needed, though I am a fan Marpat, DPM and US Woodland too (though I need to keep losing weight before I can fit into those). Here are all the items I will cover in all their glory:
The idea behind my loadout is a scout/reconnaissance theme. I've gone with the chest rig instead of a plate carrier, as I do need to go prone a lot with this as, at the end of the day, this is a sniper loadout and crawling is the best way to move undetected. The rifle is a TM m14 with a whole host of internal and external upgrades to make it as good as it can be, upgraded to be just under 1.6J power, locked to semi-auto, polished tightbore, Umbrella Armory r-hop, ASG bipod, Guarder rails, a 3.5-10x40 scope with a killflash and a Warrior Assault Systems sling. The thinking behind how I use this loadout is very much like a bolt action sniper rifle, opting for stealth but with a higher rate of fire and ammo capacity than its bolt action counterpart. I've found this can be absolutely invaluable in a skirmish setting, as you can both deny and hold vast areas of ground without fear of being rushed. If rushed, I've usually found anyone who makes it into the 30m minimum engagement distance, or MED, can be dispatched with the pistol.
I'll talk about the chest rig first, as it's essential in this loadout due to the size of m14 magazines and my desire to have both m14 and 1911 magazines in easy to reach places:
I've covered why I prefer chest rigs over plate carriers in this article here. I have had this chest rig for 13 or so years and it still performs to this day, which is why I so readily endorse Warrior Assault Systems; both the rig and all except the mag pouches are Warrior Assault Systems.
It's an old chest rig that they don't make any more (their new model is just a straight improvement by the look of it), with a small dump pouch on the right of the photo (left in reality as my left hand is the one that grabs magazines and does the reloading) and a medium utility pouch on the left of the photo for carrying odds and ends.
The magazine pouches I bought years ago, but I think they're old Condor 7.62 NATO mag pouches; they do their job well enough.
I attached a dummy, rubber training knife to the right hand side (left in photo), so I can cross-draw it easily with my left while pulling my pistol with my right. I tested it here and on my belt kit, but I found it difficult to mount; vertically it swung all over the place and horizontally I would crush it if I rolled onto my back or fell on my arse. Yes, I'm a Metal Gear Solid nerd, what are you going to do about it? Mandatory knife kills in airsoft are, well, mandatory! Remember the basics of CQC... (not going to lie, hearing they based CQC in Metal Gear Solid off Japanese jujitsu is one of the reasons I chose to study jujitsu)
Finally, it has an admin pouch with a UK flag and "my favourite time is quiet time" morale patch because I love putting suppressors on everything; those who know me will know that covert is my thing.
Next I will go over the next most essential piece of kit in this loadout: the belt kit. You guessed it, more Warrior Assault Systems. Everything in the below picture is Warrior Assault Systems with the exception of the canteen and canteen pouch; those are Viper.
Starting with the belt itself, it's the Warrior Assault Systems Gunfighter belt. I love the design of this, with the molle sections being removable where needed, which allowed me to mount the pistol lanyard by removing one of the 1 molle loop segments and moving the 2 molle loop segment next to it along to mount the pistol on my side.
For pouches I'll start with the ugly duckling of the family. The canteen holder and plastic canteen do their job. I can't complain too much as it fits snugly to the belt and allows me to carry water without using a camelbak. Hydration is important, and I would probably still run this even if I had a camelbak as well.
The pistol magazine pouches were bought a long time ago, hence they are velcro and use the button attachment for the molle system as opposed to the newer tab systems used by Warrior Assault Systems. I like them as they hold my 1911 magazines easily, however my criticism on them is that they do not hold my mk23 magazines very well; the velcro barely closes around the chunky magazines and will often come undone during a game, though as I am using my mk23 as a primary for another project as opposed to a sidearm it's a flaw I can deal with.
Next is a large utility pouch. Again, like the medium one on the chest rig, I use this for odds and ends, but conveniently this one can fit a small bottle of green gas. 1911 magazines aren't the largest and therefore don't have the largest gas reserves, though I still laugh at all those people rocking WE pistols in the winter and despairing as they can't cycle through a full magazine; TM magic and plastic slides are the way forward!
Speaking of which, I'll talk about the pistol bits next. Naturally, the pistol is my TM 1911 with Nineball threaded outer barrel, tightbore inner barrel and soft hop rubber as I only put .25s in it; it's designed for close range and I don't want to be lobbing .4s at people at close range like with my mk23. The lanyard is Warrior Assault Systems and the holster I use for it is the, you guessed it, Warrior Assault Systems universal pistol holster. I cannot talk highly enough of this holster, it's absolutely amazing. I have a lovely snug fit around my 1911 and can loosen it if I want to run a suppressor; the retention still keeps it firmly in place. Drawing and holstering are a pleasure too, as I've been practicing sidearm transitions during lockdown and this holster outperforms literally all of my other holsters. I love it.
Finally, we'll talk about the one part of the loadout I am considering replacing. It's a Viper... something backpack.
I think it's about 8L capacity and I honestly don't run this all the time, as I can usually keep everything I need in pouches. Generally, I'll use it to carry extra BBs, extra gas and my ghillie suit into the game area. It does it's job, so it's not like I hate it, but the straps loosen themselves during gameplay, causing it to flap about everywhere. Not a massive fan and have been advised they don't last too long. Well, when it breaks I'll just get a better replacement. You can probably guess which backpack I will replace it with...
At the end of the day it allows to carry stuff out into the game area so I don't have to return to the safe zone to refill on ammo or grab my ghillie suit if needed. Plus it gives me more space for patches, so I put another stealth based morale patch on the left and a... I don't actually know what that patch is on the right. I found it in my bag of patches and thought it was unique, so I slapped it on.
This is one of two loadouts I default to, with the other being my bolt action sniper rifle, but that needs my ghillie suit to be complete, so I figured I'd feature this one first as, while it can use a ghillie suit, it's less reliant on it. The m14 (and by extension m21) is one of my favourite rifles and the 1911 is probably my favourite sidearm from a looks and heritage perspective, so this loadout speaks to me. Apart from the m21, it's incredibly lightweight and allows me to stay mobile, with nothing swinging around my legs and very little pressing into my torso when I go prone.
I tested it and lay on the floor. Even the knife works and doesn't jam into the ground. It's great.