By Will Dabbs, M.D.
I owe everything I have ever accomplished to firearms. A thousand years ago, some skinny guy like me would undoubtedly end up somebody’s slave. However, to paraphrase Sam Colt, nowadays guns render everyone truly equal. Thanks to firearms one can remain secure in their person irrespective of habitus, circumstance or station.
If you are currently clutching this hallowed tome you have at least some interest in self-reliance and personal defense. Ours is indeed a strange old world that grows stranger daily. Depending on where you live, maintaining the gear you need to survive and thrive in the face of Information Age threats can be a daunting task indeed.
The inclusion of a Rigid MOLLE Panel from Grey Man Tactical helps keep your gear organized and accessible within your book bag, day pack or computer case.
The Rigid MOLLE Panel from Grey Man Tactical keeps the critical stuff you need where you need it.
Grey Man Tactical
Grey Man Tactical (GMT) is as much a concept as a piece of equipment. Back in 2012, Paul Capdepon, the CEO and founder of GMT (greymantactical.com), needed some way to manage his EDC (Everyday Carry) gear so as not to alarm the less durable folks in his neighborhood. Like most of us, he wanted to be prepared, but he didn’t want to seem unduly overt about it.
That original idea back in 2012 spawned the first Rigid MOLLE Panel (RMP). MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment and is the standard protocol for configuring individual tactical gear in both the U.S. and British militaries. MOLLE equipment orbits around 1-inch nylon webbing, sewn uniformly with 1.5-inch gaps between seams. This allows a nearly infinite number of possible combinations for ammo pouches, first-aid gear, holsters, knives, support gear and the like. The MOLLE system allows military users to customize their carry gear to meet their unique anatomy and mission.
GMT’s Rigid MOLLE Panel is a robust polymer grid that accepts MOLLE equipment and can be adapted to most any application. Starting in 2014 Capdepon began selling these panels on a small scale online. Today his users include the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, the U.S. Federal Marshals, NYPD, LAPD, the U.S. Border Patrol and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Grey Man Tactical offers RMPs specifically designed to accommodate gun safes, backpacks, automobile seats, tactical vehicles and any handy wall. Applications for this modular technology are limited solely by your imagination.
All RMP units are formed from high-density polyethylene that is weatherproof and resistant to corrosion. Holes with a 0.25-inch perimeter facilitate mounting, while 1-inch slots accept a convenient carrying handle as well. The load-bearing, sag-resistant design makes for maximum flexibility and long life. GMT lets you access the gear you need when and where you need it.
Dracula: The Motivational Construct
When I was a little kid I was terrified of Dracula. Though the Dracula movies available during my childhood were comically inane, we youngsters discussed such stuff in lurid detail on the playground during recess. Rumor had it that this sinister Transylvanian prince would creep into your bedroom late at night while you were sleeping, bite you on the neck and drain you dry before you had a chance to alert your parents.
Forget that Bela Lugosi was a physically unimposing sort who dressed like an opera singer. His 1931-era depiction of Bram Stoker’s creepy undead blood sucker caused me many a sleepless night as a child. However, by the time I reached adulthood, I came to realize that Dracula was just another harmless made-up dude.
These days, however, I have a whole new collection of phobias. I am afraid of Democrats in the White House, great white sharks, plaintiffs’ attorneys and my wife after I’ve done something really stupid. This deep into the Information Age there is also something else that most responsible Americans should find genuinely terrifying.
A Brave New World
In August 2020 Adam Haner was driving through Portland, Oregon, with his girlfriend heading to the local 7-Eleven. Enroute he encountered a woman who had been robbed and beaten by a mob of angry protesters. Stopping to provide assistance, the mob then inexplicably turned on him.
Haner returned to his vehicle and attempted to flee. Surrounded by protesters and trying not to run anybody over, he crashed his pickup truck on a sidewalk. The crowd then dragged Haner out of his truck and forced him to his knees on the asphalt. These deranged social justice warriors began beating the man. A 25-year-old anarchist named Marquise Love then approached Haner from behind and kicked him viciously in the head, rendering the helpless man instantly unconscious. The rioters then glowered over his motionless body while shouting obscenities. Haner’s girlfriend called 911.
The Portland police arrived some 10 minutes later. Love had a lengthy criminal record that included charges of domestic assault, harassment, driving without a license, interfering with public transport and illegal gun possession. Miraculously, Haner eventually recovered. However, I doubt that head injury did his sudoku skills much good.
Friends, I don’t fear Dracula anymore. However, now that we apparently live in a country where you can be dragged from your vehicle and beaten senseless over a bumper sticker, I do justifiably fear mob violence. As God is my witness, if that ever happens to me I’m not going down without a fight. GMT can help you be prepared for this as well as countless other unfortunate eventualities.
The Rigid MOLLE Panel is as much a concept as a consumer product. The entire system orbits around the cus-tom polymer mounting material.
It cost me a pleasant evening in front of a Netflix movie to get things set up and assembled. The end result is efficient, effective and cool.
Let’s cover the testosterone-infused applications first. GMT offers a version of their RMP that secures to the back of the seat in your pickup truck or minivan. A rugged cable lock security system keeps the unit in place even in the face of burglary or similar mischief. Once fully installed, it would require some proper tools and a little time to remove this thing.
A single RMP has plenty of space to carry a handgun, a first-aid kit, a rifle, spare magazines, a fire extinguisher and much more. The RMP accepts any MOLLE-compatible pouch or accessory with flexible mounting straps. The same magazine pouches you might use on a plate carrier or tactical vest fit seamlessly into the RMP. Most holsters with belt clips will snap over the side as well.
Grey Man Tactical makes RMPs for literally any automotive application. These things can be mounted to the back of the front seats, around the door or dash, or inside the trunk. Dimensions and fit guidance are listed on GMT’s website.
There are a couple of different options for securing a long gun. The minimalist version is a cleat that mounts to a standard Picatinny rail and then secures to the RMP frame via a key lock. My favorite includes a rigid aluminum cup to accept the buttstock. This cup is available in a couple of different sizes to accommodate disparate stock or pistol brace designs.
The second component affixes around the handguard or buffer tube and includes a versatile locking mechanism to keep the weapon secure and inert around meddlesome intruders or little fingers. This mechanism is conceptually similar to that of a handcuff and ratchets in place to keep your long gun secure. The device is rugged stainless steel, but everything that touches your firearm is rubber-coated.
You can open the gunlock with one of the two included keys or remotely through an electronic switch that plugs into the vehicle cigarette lighter. The kit even includes a separate pushbutton switch you can mount yourself in a discreet spot should you be handy with tools. This allows you to secure your weapon reliably but still retain immediate access if needed.
When I was a kid growing up in the Deep South everybody had a gun rack in the back window of their pickup truck. If you were dropping by the store, going to work or even attending school, you just left your rifle or shotgun locked inside the vehicle until your responsibilities were complete. It honestly never occurred to us that somebody might break into our vehicles. Nowadays life is sadly not quite so simple.
The GMT solution is an elasticized cover that stretches over the RMP effectively occluding everything affixed therein. Passersby might notice that there is something in the vehicle, but it remains innocuous—even bagged up, everything remains easily accessible in a hurry.
These same panels can be used for lots of things that aren’t terribly tactical. It seems whenever I have need of roadside gear like jumper cables or simple tools it is dark, cold and frustrating. By using a little creativity such a panel can help keep basic maintenance and survival equipment organized and out of the way while remaining easily accessible. The key to maximizing such a device’s utility is to think outside the box.
I have a friend who uses his RMP to keep track of his young daughter’s recreation and support gear. There’s no better place to hang a diaper bag and baby toys. As the thing sits right in front of a car seat, it allows you to hook up stuff to help keep junior occupied on a long car trip as well.
A piece of RMP inside your day pack or book bag lets you keep critical gear organized and handy for easy access. The material is sufficiently thin as to leave plenty of space for laptops and books. It is also lightweight for its prodigious strength.
Packing a gun off-body doesn’t help a whole lot if you struggle to get to it quickly. Both safety and security are enhanced by having your defensive handgun in a reliable spot inside of your go bag. The backpack organizer RMP lets you affix your weapon, spare magazines and IFAK (individual first-aid kit) to the inside face of your day pack, leaving more space for books, a laptop and gear. By using a quality holster and pouches, your gear is always accessible in a moment’s notice.
The thickness of the RMP is such that it accepts flexible MOLLE mounting straps but not the rigid polymer sort. Some holsters have polymer MOLLE hooks that are too thin to accommodate the RMP material. Gear that does not feature standard MOLLE mounts can still be affixed to the RMP using zip ties, bungee cords or tie down straps.
Gun collections among serious gun nerds are like a gas. They tend to expand to fill the space available. In the case of your typical gun safe, mounting up an RMP in the door helps keep track of ready ammo, critical accessories, and smaller bits like handguns. Room in the safe always seems to be at a premium. The RMP optimizes your safe space and expands the amount of stuff you can store securely.
Grey Man Tactical and Netflix: Pure Ballistic Synergy
Configuring your RMP is very much like building a puzzle. I laid out all my gear alongside my RMP and pulled up “Die Hard” on Netflix for background clutter. Two hours later John McClane had yet again rid Nakatomi Plaza of Euro-terrorists, and my RMP was ready for mounting in my pickup truck. The inclusion of a drag handle at the top makes the whole shebang easy to move about—even fully loaded.
I started by arranging my long gun exactly where I wanted it for quick access. I then moved the first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and mag pouches around until everything was logical, intuitive and efficient. The rifle mount sticks out from the RMP sufficiently that a user can also secure stuff in the free space underneath the weapon as well.
The MOLLE gear mounts simply by threading the straps and snapping them in place. The extinguisher and gun mounts attach via threaded bolts and backing plates. If you can tie your own shoes without assistance you are mechanically capable of using this stuff. If you just don’t feel like doing it yourself the GMT folks will set it up to your personal specifications for $50.
Not everything has to be vertical. The RMP doesn’t care if your gear is right-side up, upside down or sideways. Mounting my rifle mag carrier horizontally makes it more easily accessed from the driver’s position.
The RMP hangs from the headrest mount and secures in place with a strap around the base of the seat. Remove the headrest, slip the suspension rings over the top and replace the headrest. Thread the bottom strap around between the seat base and the seat back, and it gets lost in the crease. When done properly, the RMP is invisible from the front of the vehicle. Most modern vehicles have tinted rear windows anyway. With the removable cover in place there’s really nothing to see from outside my truck.
Once everything is in place, thread the security cable through the bottom of the RMP and then around the base of the seat. Snug it tightly and tuck the excess away underneath; you won’t know it’s there. Once secured, it would take a set of industrial bolt cutters to get this stuff out of your vehicle without the key.
Chances are you won’t be dragged out of your vehicle by an angry mob based solely upon your political preferences. However, if you are a normal adult, you will likely drive up on a traffic accident at some point. At the very least you will be called upon to help jump off a friend whose car has stalled. The RMP from Grey Man Tactical helps keep stuff like jumper cables, a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a flashlight handy for easy access, day or night. I’m 54 years old, and I have used all of those things for real on the road before. Designing and assembling your own custom loadout really is fun. RMP gear is not cheap, but it is beautifully executed. This is the same stuff that rides around in police cruisers and military MRAP vehicles both around the country and the world. Rugged, proven, versatile and cool, Rigid MOLLE Panels from Grey Man Tactical are like Garanimals for gun guys.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V25N3 (March 2021)|