The belt this UKSF guy is wearing is by Milspec Tailor and the brand was already well known for its quality and attention to detail.
I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with the man behind the brand, after the recent launch of its new web store.
Q&A With Milspec Tailor
TRH: Thanks for giving me your time and welcome to the blog! Obvious question to kick off – did you start making kit through dissatisfaction with issued stuff?
MST: I think that’s every serving stitcher’s original reason for making or modifying kit. Issued kit is more often than not found to be lacking, when compared to what’s out there at a higher price point on the commercial market. That said, there are often minor adaptations you can make to issued kit to make the best out of it, if not perfect it. That was my motivation.
TRH: What was the first thing that pissed you off so much, you decided to make your own?
MST: Deffo my belt kit. We operate off Jackal 2 vehicles and wearing any kind of standard webbing was so bulky and uncomfortable (especially if you’re in the cupola). Most of the time we just wear plate carrier and helmet in there, as you need all the space you can get – especially when changing boxes of link. This made me want to build my own low profile belt kit, definitely. From this, people in my regiment wanted one and it just followed on from there.
TRH: How do you fit in making the kit with work?
MST: It’s crazy. I’ve only just opened my website, as it manages orders, etc, but basically a couple hours in the evening and I dedicate a day on weekends.
TRH: Do you enjoy doing it or is it just business? I think I know the answer to this because to keep quality up there and consistent, you have to have a passion for it.
MST: Yeah – it’s alright and it takes my mind off stuff. I’ve been on the appropriate ops/exercises to know what works for tier 1 and what doesn’t; and what’s operationally fit for purpose in the field. So I like to build belts that can withstand the task.
TRH: Your flagship product has to be The Gen1 Shooter Belt. Can you estimate how many of them are in use with UKSF?
I’ve delivered over 70 belts to the two well known sites – and had some mega gifts back from them too! The belts I’ve made for UKSF guys are mainly Multicam, but with the odd black one thrown in for CT.
TRH: Are you seeing a move away from stuff like the Crye MRB?
MST: Blokes use anything that suits them, to be fair. A lot of people seem to think it’s all Crye, Crye, Crye – but they only think that because that’s all that’s online for them to see. Nothing wrong with Crye and the blokes get a lot of it issued. However, you won’t get a Milspec Tailor Shooter Belt on a ‘1157’ (personal holdings issued kit list). That’s why our belts are used – it’s a conscious decision to buy something that’s up to the job.
TRH: You also do Virtus upgrades. What are your thoughts on that system?
MST: I got my Virtus in 2016 – I like it. I’ve got along with it from the get go. The carrier and helmet I kept, the rest I binned off. I personally think they have come a long way since the Osprey.
TRH: Is upgrading the Virtus a popular thing to do?
MST: It’s a very popular thing to do, but frowned upon highly; especially around the medical rip out system. If you alter kit permanently, you’re basically destroying Her Majesty’s uniform; hence why our adaptions are plug and play – with no permanent tailoring. And it also depends on how rigid your unit or regiment is, whether you can make changes at all.
TRH: You’ve moved into laminate – what’s the motivation?
MST: There is so much you can do with laminate and I wanted to get involved before the whole industry did. The production times are so much quicker! And, it can be cheaper then buying in the woven webbing. I’ve got so much to be released in future, it’s just fitting it all in.
TRH: Which leads me to my last question: future projects?
MST: A laminate range of IFAKs and pouches! We may get into the patch scene. There are already so many good suppliers, but who knows? The future of manufacturing for military, police and even airsoft equipment is limitless.
Visit the Milspec Tailor Store and Social Media