Gunfighter Tip of the Week: DIY Chest Rig for Suppressed Pistol

A chest rig is one of the best ways to carry a suppressed pistol.  BTW, that’s a Gemtech GM-9 on a Glock 17.

Suppressed pistols are a ton of fun.  Sure, they may not be the preferred “toy” for an extended range session, but for plinking or hunting in the backcountry they’re great.  You get to leave those pesky earmuffs at home while you enjoy the outdoors.  The only problem with a suppressed pistol is carrying it.  Today we are going to solve that problem.

Obviously, the extended length with the can attached makes conventional belt carry less than ideal. You could still get away with it if you were just on a walkabout, but it really gets in the way if you are cruising on an ATV or snowmobile. Also, finding a traditional holster for that setup is a bit of a pain as well.

Crye Precision has found an innovative way to solve the holster dilemma.  It’s called the Gunclip.  The good news is it’s a solid product.  The bad news is it’s only available for Glock pistols.  But I bet wee see that change in the future.

The Gunclip closes over the trigger guard like a clam shell, which means it doesn’t require a lot of material and space. One holster fits any double stack 9mm, .40, or .357 SIG Glock, with any suppressor. To deploy your pistol, you press a release tab with your trigger finger, and pull the gun out instead of up. Pretty simple motion to master with just a few practice runs. And at $40, this won’t break the bank.

The best place to put the Gunclip is on a chest rig.  It makes the gun easy to reach but also out of the way when your snowmobiling or ATVing through the wilderness.  The rig also keeps it from banging you in the knee if you decide to hoof it.

The problem with chest rigs is that they are pricey. When I was in the Army, we ended up with a gaggle of Eagle Industries products. One of the rigs I used a lot was called the Rhodesian Recon Vest. Fantastic piece of gear, and tough as nails. But they cost like $240. Way more than I was looking to spend for this project.

However, the surplus models in ACU camouflage pattern are widely available for $30.  I am cheap, but I also wouldn’t be caught dead in ACU. It represents probably the single worst decision the U.S. Army has ever made. I refuse to run around in the woods looking like a Confederate ghost. I have a reputation to uphold.  I’m glad I never had to wear that tripe when I was in the Army.

Fortunately, for my penny-pinching heart, there is a solution to ACU garbage. Standard Walmart- issue clothing dye.  Thus begins the “Assaulter Arts & Crafts Hour” portion of this article:

  • Step 1 – Get a bucket
  • Step 2 – Put water and a cup of vinegar in the bucket
  • Step 3 – Place vest in bucket
  • Step 4 – Add dye
  • Step 5 – Stir it around for a bit with broom handle

That’s it.  Problem solved.  If you are too lazy to use cloth dye, rattle can will also work. It is amazing what a couple cans of Krylon can do for tactical gear.

Total money spent, including the holster: $80.  And it’s just in time for Prarie Dog season.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Neil Schmidt August 23, 2019, 5:50 pm

    Clay, seems like a lot of fol-d-rol just to be able to use a pistol for prairie dogs, but to each his own. I have used centerfire rifles, but finally decided use an accurized .22LR and get some excercise while shooting the little beasts. No reloading, and it gets the job done up to 100 yards or so, depending on wind conditions.

    Your videos are great, BTW. I am new to concealed carry, having moved from Kalifornia to another state that is gun-friendly. Haven’t chosen a pistol yet, but am getting close.

  • crabbysam November 23, 2018, 1:07 pm

    My advise to anyone that decides to dye their armor carrier is to wear your least favorite pants and shirt, and in this case, your least favorite flip flops, as when your dying gear, it often migrates to places you don’t want it to go.

    That sidearm mount is pretty clever, I made something similar out of saddle leather and buffalo leather, this could have solved me a lot of aggravation as the fold over locking mechanism is a good design.

    As far as ACU, it’s comical that’s what we were issued during active duty, which was pretty ridiculous for the environments it was used in, now retired I own two IOTV’s with ultralight boron plates, and the ACU pattern in my wooded area is perfect match, but I own a 2nd IOTV that’s black that lives in my SUV behind the passenger seat.

    When I moved to a hurricane prone state, Hurricane Katrina showed me that owning body armor is wise, as even the police post hurricane were being shot at by armed looters. Sometime one must self protect.

    These days the world has violent criminals hiding in the shadows, simply awaiting opportunity. Already stopped one armed home invader, but that happened very fast and donning armor wasn’t possible, but donning my sidearm ruined his day.

  • Nick August 19, 2017, 8:07 am

    Hey, cool video! This will be my next project 😉

  • BMT June 3, 2017, 12:03 pm

    I prefer the ACU pattern especially if it makes me look like a Confederate ghost.

  • Dewey June 3, 2017, 12:04 am

    As a gunfighter, carrying a pistol with a can mounted has always been a problem for me. Mall ninjas are go!

  • Sterling Hawkins June 2, 2017, 4:18 pm

    This is retarded.

  • kane June 2, 2017, 11:31 am

    I live in Illinois where a “suppressed pistol” is more of a political threat than a tactical circumstance I can enjoy. So I have little first hand experience at this point with suppressors. The author states that “the only problem with a suppressed pistol is carrying it.” Maybe that is true but I thought that a suppressor and appropriate ammunition can increase the likelihood of pistol malfunctions, at least to some degree. Is this a wrong conclusion on my part?

    • clay martin June 3, 2017, 1:03 pm

      it is less reliable, no question. a good suppressor and ammo run pretty well, but no matter what, adding a 1 pound weight to the end of your barrel does increase the odds of a screw up with pistols. in most applications you want this combination for, however, that doesn’t really matter. 1 out of 100 would be an acceptable ratio for malfunctions in my opinion.

  • Andy T Knote June 2, 2017, 10:04 am

    iDye products (find it on Amazon) works excellent on old UCP. iDye for synthetic fibers works great on nylon gear. Mix 1 package of iDye for synthetic with 1 of iDye for natural to do ACUs. I’ve experimented with several products and this gives a solid end result.

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