Thursday, November 6, 2008

Riverwalker’s Gear - BlackHawk Omega Shotgun and Utility Vest

The BlackHawk Tactical Omega™ series of tactical vests consists of combat-proven configurations that have been regularly updated with various design improvements. This particularly vest was one of those unique yard sale bargains. The vest was purchased for only one dollar ($1.00). This particular style of vest is an older model and as a result does not have the Sniper Shoulder padding. Newer styles have Sniper Shoulder padding on both shoulders. The heavy duty mesh fabric makes for an excellent “breathability” factor and contributes to its light weight. Loaded with gear it gets heavier!

This vest has two (2) individual shotshell pouches on the right side that hold 25 shotgun rounds total. A small pouch (#15) holds five shotshells in which I keep 00 buck and the larger pouch (#16) holds twenty 2 ¾ inch shotshells. The lids are secured with hook & loop fasteners.

The opposite side (left) has two utility pouches. The larger pouch (#17) can hold extra mags, radio, or first aid equipment and the smaller pouch (#18) is suitable for maps, etc. The right side has one additional storage pouch (#19) that is suitable for a lighter, firesteel, or small prybar. The shoulders have a speedloader pouch (.357 S&W Magnum compatible) on each and an additional speedloader pouch on the right side (#13).

The interior storage pockets are quite large and would accommodate a wide range of gear. Each pocket would easily hold two MREs each or rain poncho, small tarp, etc.

This vest also has an accessory pouch for a multi-tool on the right side (#14). It is also HydraStorm (100 oz.) compatible. The pouch storage area allows routing or storage of the HydraStorm® drink tube and bite valve between layers of the vest to either shoulder. This gives the user more options for tube routing and also gives better protection for the tube from snagging or damage when routed through the D rings (#9) on the front shoulders.

This particular model was used as a police SWAT vest back when police departments still routinely carried .357 S&W Magnum Revolvers and it was configured with the speedloader pouches. Fortunately, I have a Smith & Wesson Model 65 Revolver.

Main Vest Features

1.) BTS webbing on the back that fits any BlackHawk pouch with A.L.I.C.E. clips.

2.) Adjustable shoulders with adjustments up to 6 inches in height.

3.) An adjustable girth allowing for up to an additional 32 inches in width.

4.) An emergency drag handle located on the backside.

5.) Heavy-duty #10 YKK Vislon zipper.

6.) Made of heavy-duty 1000 nylon mesh for maximum breathability.

7.) Two large interior pockets for additional storage of needed items.
8.) Interior BlackHawk Hydration reservoir pocket (100 oz.) on inside back of vest.

9.) Shoulder D-rings for accessory attachment (flashlights, etc.).

10.) Belt loops secure vest to any standard size web belt.

11.) Hydration pouch features access port for ambidextrous routing of drinking tube.

12.) Shoulder adjustment tabs allows for quick removal of the vest with one pull of adjustment tabs on each shoulder.

Empty vest weight – 2 lbs.2 oz.

This particular tactical vest did not include the Sniper Shoulder (padded shoulder unit), hydration system pouch, or web belt. I will update this post later with the accessories that I have added.
Staying above the water line!


Anonymous said...

Gosh, for a whole deflated American dollar you got yourself the near perfect three day BOB, River- way to go! Thanks for reminding us to keep our eyes open for those bargains.

gott_cha said...

Hey bro, practical is the vest for everyday wear,...say like out working "around the farm" kinda thing

scoutinlife said...

That was a heck of a deal nice review river...

riverwalker said...

To: Shy

I'm a pack rat when it comes to garage and yard sales. I've bought lots of stuff for little or nothing and resold it for ten times as much to someone looking for that item. This was one of those great deals. It's like new and the main difference between it and the newer models is the shoulder pads and new ones have zippers on the inside pockets.


riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

I actually loaded it up with web belt, flashlight,med pouch on web belt, a poncho,25 rounds, speedloaders, and .357Mag and pigsticker(5 1/2 inch fixed blade) and it was quite comfortable to move around in. I have a lightweight jacket with good insulation and water-proofing that I can wear over it easily (in case I need to make a quick trip to the mall! Ha!Ha!)and it's hard to notice I have it on. The height and girth adjustments offer a really comfortable fit and the mesh fabric keeps it cool!


riverwalker said...

To: scoutinlife

Thanks my friend. I'm going to camp out at the river and give it a real test pretty soon.


The Scavenger said...

I think ya got your moneys worth there RW. I love this thing man, I just may have to check yardsales this weekend. lol Great addition to your preps.


riverwalker said...

To: the scavenger

I've checked some of the other types of shotgun vests. And while they're OK, I don't think they could hold up to the amount of wear this vest could.


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