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Plate Carrier Placards Overview: Part 2

Editor’s note: Yesterday’s OFFGRIDweb exclusive article shared Part 1 in our deep dive on the topic of plate carrier placards. You can read the entire article here. It covers four types of placards, both general-purpose and for specific weapon applications. Continue reading for Part 2, where we will discuss a MOLLE compatible placard that allows users to bring their own pouches and how modular placards can also be used to create chest rigs when armor is not necessary.

Direct Attachment: Dynamic Principles Laser Cut MOLLE Placard

The load carriage was what piqued our interest in this placard. We appreciate laser-cutting, but we were more curious about the fact that the Dynamic Principles placard has TacTik straps attached directly to its ends. Arbor Arms’ CAS 2.0 plate carrier already has a QD cummerbund equipped with TacTik buckles. This new option was interesting because it doesn’t affect how we load the plate carrier but how our carrier wears that load.

The Dynamic Principles placard can be used to skip the need for these buckles. Because the cummerbund arms “click” into the placard, it is possible to eliminate the need for them. The CAS 2.0 has the ability to remove TacTik straps from the front plate bag. If you wanted to use the Dynamic Prinicples placard for your carrier‘s “dedicated” frontplate, you could just rely on the placard and its buckles.

The cummerbund from our Arbor Arms plate carrier can connect directly to this Dynamic Principles placard. This ensures a tight fit and eliminates the need for Velcro adapters.

What are the benefits? This would make your cummerbund elastic or partially elastic and push the mounting point forward. This is a way to fix bouncing, shifting or a tighter fit. You now have the cummerbund holding tension on the placard, which holds all your ammo. Placards with heavy-loaded MOLLE pouches that are woven into webbing loops will sag over time, especially if they have been pulled on for extended periods. The bond between the placard and plate bag will be weakened by repeated tearing and repressing the Velcro. Even though your plate carrier is snugly placed against your body, the pouches at the front can still move a bit once placard fatigue sets-in. Using the cummerbunds to literally pull-in against the placard helps secure the placard, and the load its carrying, against your carrier for a more secure placard-plate-carrier-torso sandwich.

We can’t forget about the placard. All-MOLLE allows maximum flexibility to use any pouches in whatever configuration you like. You can purchase multiple of these pouches and make your own pouch suites on each one. This one was set up for general carbine usage – think range day or weekend classes.

Wilde Custom Gear designed the double magazine pouch. It is paired with a Bleeder/Blowout Pouch by HSGI. The Dynamic Principles placard comes with three elastic loops in addition to the six standard-width rows of MOLLE loops. The placard has a wider loop at the bottom for quick-access tourniquets, and a narrower loop at the ends for Sharpie markers, chemical lights, or other small, cylindrical tools. These loops add a personal touch to the placard and provide low-profile storage that can hold a few small items. There are many all-MOLLE placards. But the direct-connect feature, and “nice touch” onboard elastic storage set this one apart in a sea of otherwise-all-the-same.

What about Placards on Chest Rigs

Plate carriers such as the CAS 2.0 can be used to host a variety placards. But is there a modular solution that doesn’t require armor? Javlin Concepts’ JCR (Javlin Chest Rig) is the answer.

The JCR is a lightweight design that can host placards from a variety of manufacturers. The JCR Base consists two lightweight, rigid Tegris panels that are covered with soft-side Velcro. It is connected by an X-style shoulder strap. The JCR Base doesn’t come with any type of closure or cummerbund, so you will need to make your own. Defense Mechanisms provided a Hybrid Skeletal Cummerbund of 3 inches.

The cummerbund can be attached to the Mission Essential Plate Carrier using large Velcro panels. However, the JCR Base panels configuration allows them to adopt the Def Mech components with minimal hassle. The semi-elastic, flexible cummerbund arms have TacTik quick-release buckles that are identical to the Dynamic Principles placard and CAS 2.0. This creates a seamless ecosystem between panel and plate carrier.

The JCR’s rigidity allows for full-laden placards or cummerbunds to be supported, without adding weight or bulk. You can wear it over low-profile or slick armor carriers to create a two-part modular system. This can be expanded to include armor as required.

Placard compatibility and Fitment Tips

Above: The Wilde Custom Gear PCC placard, discussed in Part 1, on our JCR chest-rig.

The three main factors that affect the fit of your placards on a plate carrier are the size of the buckle, width between the buckles and the lead length from the “male” end buckles to where the placard is located. These dimensions do not apply to all plate carriers or chest rigs. They also vary within manufacturers. This is evident in the sample here. Here are some of the problems we found:

  • Even between HRT Tactical’s two samples, the lead length (from buckle up to top edge placard edge) was not the same. Maximus had a shorter lead length, while the Shotgun placard had one.
  • There was a slight variation in the width of the buckles between HRT placards. The Maximus buckles were slightly narrower than the female CAS buckles, but the buckles of the shotgun placard were perfectly aligned.
  • The Wilde Custom Gear subgun placard buckles were sewn into the placard’s top edge almost without any lead. The Wilde placard’s male buckles were also closer than the CAS carrier’s female buckles.
  • The buckles of the LBX Tactical Placard had a different size: 3/4-inch rather than the 1-inch standard buckles found on all other placards.

The HRT Tactical shotgun-specific placard is attached to the Javlin Chest Rig.

These issues do not indict the placards or their manufacturers. It is important to note that there is no industry standard for these types of placards or their mounting footprints. Arbor Arms CAS 2.0 solved the lead-length/placard height problems. The CAS 2.0 features multiple cutouts to mount female QASM-type buckles. Since the buckles can be easily moved to any row of mounting loops, the carrier does not need to sew them. Placards with slightly narrower buckle spacing did not suffer. This width difference was not sufficient to stop any placard clicking into the JCR or CAS and sitting flat.

Above: Attached to the Javlin Chest Rig was the LBX Tactical Variable Assaulter Panel placard. To match the JCR’s 1-inch buckles, the 3/4-inch buckles had to be replaced.

The only problem was with the LBX Tactical placard. There was no way to fix the buckles that were too small for the plates carrier‘s buckles. We are not defending LBX. Their website clearly states that the Variable Assaulter panel comes with 3/4-inch buckles. Arbor Arms was able to fix this problem by allowing us to visit their factory. We were able to slit and sew 1-inch buckles to the LBX placard.

Closing Thoughts

Our experience has shown that it is unlikely that any plate carrier or chestrig will work with every modular placard. However, we were able find enough positive matches from a variety of manufacturers to make this prospect feasible. It is possible to go beyond the list of sample combinations, but it may require some trial-and error. Be prepared to either utilize a few companies’ return policies or have some conversations with their customer service reps to determine width-between-buckles before you put money down.

The JCR, the only chest rig that uses a blindly modular system, expands the possibilities of multi-placard “armory”, which doesn’t require armor plates to be carried around. It is much more appealing to have one host with interchangeable faceplates than having multiple rigs that are dedicated for different purposes. This depends on your specific needs.

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The post Plate Carrier Placards Overview Part 2 appeared first at RECOIL OFFGRID


By: Tom Marshall
Title: Plate Carrier Placards Overview: Part 2
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Published Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2022 11:00:00 +0000

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