Why D3CR Heavy?
I reviewed the D3CR Heavy (also known, variously, as the D3CRX Heavy, D3CRH and Disruptive Environments Chest Rig Heavy) back in May 2020 and remarked that I wouldn’t be offering a long term review. That was because the M81 item I had to hand was on loan from Tactical Kit, purely for design evaluation. Well, that M81 Heavy was with me for longer than anticipated because I bought it.
So, my experience with it moved beyond the simple ability to describe its architecture and I wanted to emphasise some features from longer term handling:
- MP2 Inserts
At the end of my original review I concluded that the D3CRH is the zenith of a different but equal chest rig design evolution; meaning that for a non-Micro, fixed pouch rig it is for me best in breed.
In my D3CRH review, I realised I probably didn’t say enough about Haley’s MP2 inserts and how well they work for 556 mags in combination with the Heavy. It’s a big reason to select the Heavy over the alternatives.
The Heavy is ostensibly aimed at 308/762 mag (e.g. SCAR, SR25) users. Combined with MP2s, however, it carries 556 mags as well as Haley’s dedicated 556 rigs – if not better. That’s down to the oversized mag pouches (which are, after all, meant for bigger mags); plus, spacing between mag pouches which is less cramped than the others. What it boils down to is that it’s easier to draw and reindex mags, particularly under pressure.
The MP2 is Haley’s injection moulded kydex equivalent. The secret to its usability lies in the combination of chamfered edges at its mouth, its ‘ears’ and the raised section mid-way down the inside of each internal face. The latter produces a solid click when inserting mags and, crucially, the insert is perfectly tensioned by the internal dimensions of the Heavy’s mag pouches. Not so tight that you smack yourself in the face when retrieving a mag, but not so slack that mags jump out as the user ambulates. As the mag is drawn, an interference fit is created between the insert and the inside of the mag pouch. This stops the insert from being pulled out, along with the mag. However, the insert also features ‘ears’ for additional self-retention. These fit into a PALS webbing retainer at the mouth of the pouch.
In use with the Heavy, MP2s are a pleasure to operate. So this isn’t a generic pouch/insert combination – it’s synergistic.
For fanatical H-harness users, the mere presence of an X-harness can be an emotive issue. For the silent majority of chest rig users, however, it’s not a big issue. In fact, many people prefer an X-harness to an H. They both have pros and cons.
I actually think the X-harness works really well with the Heavy and in this implementation I may just prefer it to an H (I’m normally ambivalent). The only thing to watch is chafing at the neck. This is mitigated by wearing collared apparel, so it means T-shirts are a no-go for me. The Velocity Systems BOSS Rugby Shirt (REVIEW) does, however, provide adequate protection with just a small collar.
Donning and doffing an X-harness is, of course, a ballache; but I’m more interested how things work in use, rather than the getting ready part. Plus, things get faster with practice.
Of course, you can add any harness you like provided its to the universal Velocity Systems SwiftClip standard, and Spiritus makes an excellent one (REVIEW) – and in M81! Needless to say the Crye AirLite Convertible Chest Rig Harness (REVIEW) also fits and its the best I’ve used.
Don’t let the X-harness put you off.
The Haley Strategic Partners D3CR Heavy is available from Tactical Kit
Read more HSP reviews here