A Revolutionary Chest Webbing

Reborn In The USA

New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig
New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig

New Production SADF Pattern 83 Chest Rig

Regular price$159.99 USD
/
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 49 reviews

  • Available
  • Inventory on the way
  • 30 Day Returns
  • Made in the USA
  • Berry Compliant & NIR Compliant
Color

The Birth of Pattern 83

The Cold War was not cold for South Africa. While most of Europe was playing an elaborate game of ‘who-has-the-most-nukes’, the South African Defense Force (SADF) was hard at work fighting the counter insurgency battles of the future. In the process, they developed and refined much of the tactics, weapons, and equipment used today.

In the 1960s and 1970s South Africans were involved in three major counterinsurgency wars in Sub Saharan Africa: The Congo Crisis (‘60-65), the Rhodesian Bush War (‘64-79), and the Border War (‘66-90).


Throughout the early years of these conflicts, the SADF (and various South African mercenary groups) relied on domestically produced Pattern 61/64 and Pattern 70 load bearing systems. Descended from the British Pattern 58, this family of web gear is broadly similar to the US ALICE system—and they all worked well with the FN FAL (R1).

Despite incremental improvement, heavy use of the Pattern 61/64/70 family revealed inadequacies. They were bulky, uncomfortable, and—despite some limited modularity—only designed for one kind of fight. As the operational tempo and intensity picked up in mid to late 70s there was a clear need for something better.


After the SADF began adoption of the 5.56x45 chambered Galil (R4), the writing was on the wall. South Africa needed a comfortable, lightweight, and simple to use LBE system that could keep up with communists using Kalashnikovs and ‘Chicom’ chest rigs.


To address this need, the Pattern 83 system (Pat 83) was designed in partnership with the South African outdoors industry. The system consists of three components: a “chest webbing” (chest rig), “battle jacket” (load bearing harness with assault pack), and “grootsak” (large backpack with detachable external frame.) Together they can be used and combined to suit any mission from parachute drops, to motorized operations, to sustained weeks-long patrols.

Why is Pattern 83 highly regarded?

The entire Pattern 83 system is an exercise in simplicity and versatility, the type of innovation borne out of practical field experience and pitched firefights. Every pocket, flap and strip of webbing has a clear, simple purpose. And both the chest rig and the battle jacket popularized ergonomic innovations and concepts we all take for granted today. In that respect P83 was way ahead of its time.

But clarity of purpose was only half of P83s strength. The system’s creators also leveraged several brand new materials and technologies.

1. 1000D polyurethane coated Cordura Nylon is a staple in modern tactical equipment. However in the 1980s dyed Cordura fabric was a brand new technology - pioneered in 1977. At the time P83 was introduced most of the world was still using legacy polyester fabrics.

2. The rust proof and shock proof plastic 'fastex' style buckles used on the chest rig were also brand new tech, invented by ITW Nexus in 1977 and produced from 1979 onwards.

3. Finally, there is evidence of SADF experimenting with Velcro closures for magazine pockets as early as 1978-79 in transitional prototypes. While Velcro technology was by no means new at the time, this type of military application was new. So while the rest of the world struggled with snaps, the SADF enjoyed fast, easy-to-access pouches on their gear years before anyone else did. (This was likely aided by the expiration of Velcro's patent in 1978 which ushered in a wave of affordable, generic hook-and-loop products.)

Materials aside, the chest rig was excellent at its job. During motorized patrols it was worn by itself, allowing soldiers to carry enough ammunition and equipment to vigorously react to close contact without excess bulk or weight. On long foot patrols, the chest rig was worn with the larger ‘grootsak’ backpack. Mounted on a quick release, the large rucksack could be dumped at a moments notice, allowing soldiers to quickly enter the fight with 6 + 1 magazines and virtually no excess baggage.

Early P83 chest rigs had the added benefit of backwards compatibility with FN FAL (R1) magazines—accomplished through magazine ejector straps located in each cell of the rig. (We’ve retained this feature in our new production rigs as it enables cross compatibility with all shorter magazines from 5.56 STANGs to 7.62 SCAR17 mags.)

Once introduced, the Pattern 83 system racked up decades of combat experience in later years of the Border War. To this day, it's still used in nearly every corner of Africa.

Our Experience with Pattern 83

For many years, Pattern 83 items have been a staple in our store. We have deep connections in South Africa and well over 6 years of successful imports behind us. But the Cold War is now 30 years ended and those limitless stockpiles of equipment are drying up.

In the late 90s production of Pattern 83 slowed and then gradually stopped post apartheid. Over the next 15 odd years it was gradually phased out of service, with large state auctions occurring in the early 2010s. Finally in 2015, the system as a whole was formally discontinued.

For years we explored the idea of new production in Africa, but it was a losing battle. Everyone is long gone, and the few remaining companies are in shambles due to infrastructure and supply chain collapse in South Africa. For many, COVID related disruptions were the final straw.

We still plan on importing small pockets of original pieces, but with dwindling supply and skyrocketing costs it’s clear the glory days are over.

Making it New

Our goal from the start was to make a genuine, high quality reproduction that was truly fit for purpose. To do this we realized we needed to bring Pattern 83 production home to the US.

 

 

Using our library of original samples, SADF source materials, and South African contacts we reverse engineered the Pattern 83 chest rig from the bottom up. We matched everything from the sewing patterns to the materials and worked diligently to ensure the quality was there.

Today we’re proud to be working with an experienced military manufacturer, and using high quality Berry compliant materials. It’s the way something like this should be done.

Colors

When we started setting up this run, we decided to produce Ranger Green and Coyote Brown chest rigs. This was a small departure from the original design, but we wanted to keep this project relatively simple by using as many stock materials as possible.

After all, we wanted to make something that people would use and enjoy in the 2020s. And from that perspective Ranger Green and Coyote definitely fit the bill.

But as we pressed on we kept hearing the same question from Pattern 83 fanatics: "What about Nutria?" After dozens of similar inquiries, we started asking around and quickly realized almost everyone preferred Nutria Brown to Coyote. And It's no wonder, Nutria is an integral part of what makes Pattern 83 so Iconic.

 

On the face of it, a custom dyed 1000D Cordura seemed relatively impossible with our previous goals in mind. After all we had a tight quality standard to meet. Any fabric used in the rig had to be NIR compliant and manufactured entirely in the USA to make it berry compliant. Usually that means massive orders in the hundreds of thousands of yards of fabric.

After a lot of back and forth we managed to find a supplier and met their minimums. And to us, that seems like the best possible outcome. A Ranger Green rig for the modernists, and a classic Nutria Repro that's as authentic as we can make it.

Ejector Straps

Ejector straps are designed to offer backwards compatibility with FN FAL (R1) magazines and improve the performance of Galil (R4) magazines. In our testing they work well with many magazines which are shorter than the standard 35 round Galil mag, including 30 round STANAG magazines popular on the Armalite Rifle 15 and its derivatives.

After rigorous internal testing and overwhelming customer feedback we decided to make our ejector straps removeable. This is a small departure from original early-pattern chest rigs however the added utility of removable straps cannot be ignored. So we've switched out permanent stitching in favor of sturdy velcro.

Pouches

The central magazine pouches hold up to 6 magazines in 3 rows of 2. The cells are made for Galil magazines, but are compatible or partially compatible with STANAG, FAL, G3, AK 47, AK 74, and AK 5.56 magazines.

The large right pocket is designed to fit a smoke or frag grenade. In practice this pouch works great for small water bottles, miscellaneous loose tools, and extra medical supplies. What you put here really depends on if you are wearing a belt or a fanny pack in addition to the chest rig.

The two smaller pockets on the left are designed to fit a single fragmentation grenade and a compass respectively. We’ve found they work well for storing weapon lube, cleaning supplies, other smaller items.

On the inside of the rig, a large admin pouch comfortably accommodates and protects maps, notebooks, and writing utensils.

A small pen flare pocket is attached to the left side of the central magazine pouches. It’s a great spot for a grease or paint pen.

Proper fit is achieved by adjusting the straps as shown below using the included sliders.

Pay attention to the position of the padded straps, ensuring they sit high on the back of the wearer as shown. This places the padding in the correct position to protect the wearer.

To don the rig, hold the shoulder straps in the crossed position and insert your head and arms as if you were putting on a shirt. Then tighten the straps to fit.

To quickly doff the rig first unbuckle the waist belt. Then “swim out” by grabbing your left shoulder strap with your right hand and pulling it over your head. Repeat this procedure using your left hand to grab the right shoulder strap and pull it over your head. The rig is now completely free from your body.

A common rookie mistake is attempting to remove the rig by reversing the donning procedure. When this rig is loaded the weight of magazines and equipment makes this awkward. With a moment’s practice you’ll find the “swim out” method is much faster.

Important sizing note:

The abdomen strap on the original Pattern 83 Rig was a common complaint we received from selling the surplus ones, and is something we directly addressed in the redesign. The rig will fit midriffs up to approximately 43-44", equivalent to a 2XL Walmart/Target tee or a 3XL standard tee.

We will be offering an extender strap soon, which will add an additional 6" to the midriff.

SADF Field Manual
We are hosting a digital copy of the original SADF field manual containing adjustment, handling and maintenance information on the entire P83 system. To view the manual click here. Chest Rig usage information can be found on pages A3, A9-A11, and A27-A33.

1000D PU Coated Cordura fabric
Milspec ITW Fastex & Slider hardware
Milspec hook and loop fasteners
Milspec webbing and binding tape
High quality bonded nylon thread
All materials are Berry compliant
All materials are NIR compliant

For a full breakdown of the new rig, keep scrolling...

Quick Into Action
Made for high tempo counterinsurgency, the P83 design sits tight, low, and comfortable. Easy to don, easy to doff, and easy to use.
Rapid Reloads
Like early originals, our reproduction 'chest webbing' features ammunition ejector straps. This ensures quick access to many different lengths & Styles of magazines.
Simple And Versatile

Velcro-enclosed pockets & pouches can fit a large variety of equipment and sustainment suitable for any mission

Our Guarantee

Once you get your rig, you're covered by our comprehensive 30-day return policy.

if you have any questions about the rig's fit, magazine compatibility, or anything else, you can contact customer support with our live chat or by emailing help@kommandostore.com

See The Rig In Action

Broad Compatibility

Large main pouches & ejector straps shown below allow for many types of magazines to fit. No need to dig or use mag assists.

"What Magazines Are Compatible With My Rig?"

The short version of the answer is that the vast majority of modern box -magazine fed rifle platforms will fit.

Below is a detailed list of everything we've tested and confirmed for fit.


"short" 7.62 magazines and STANAG magazines need the assistance of the ejector strap, ranger plate, or mag assist to compensate for the rig's deep pockets (originally designed for the 35 round R4 (Galil)).

Specifically, Magazines for the 7.62 SCAR, HK G3/HK 91, 7.62 AR 10 PMAGs, 7.62 FAL, and Metallic STANAG Magazines all fit without issue.

longer magazines such as those found on AK platforms work without need of the ejector strap.


Double stack pistol & pistol caliber carbine "Stick" magazines can also be made to fit if you use two placed side-by-side per mag cell.

Specifically, magazines like the 31 round 9mm Glock magazine & its copies, and other 30-round plus magazines for the MP5, B&T GHM9/APC9/MP9, CZ Scorpion, UZI, and many others will all fit.

Using The Ejector Strap

Preparation

Prepare the strap by making a closed loop and fastening the strap's Velcro to the inside of the pouch. The loop should be entirely contained by the pouch with room for a magazine to sit inside of it.

Insertion

Insert a magazine into the loop so that it's cradled by the bottom of the strap and insert it into the pouch. Leave the top of the loop accessible to pull on during extraction. 7.62 mags will likely have a more snug fit.

Extraction

Extract the magazine by pulling upwards on the strap (you can choose to undo the Velcro and pull the whole strap or simply pull up on the loop). The smoothness of the action will depend on the magazine type.

Quality in Every Stitch

We chose an experienced manufacturer in the USA, and built the rig from the ground up using custom run US materials.
Made In The USA

Our rig is cut and sewn in the USA by an experienced tactical gear manufacturer.

We commissioned custom-run mesh, 1000D Cordura, and ITW Nexus hardware for consistent, top-notch quality.

Berry Compliant

With materials from the US and the rig manufactured stateside, you're getting a higher quality product overall, while matching the original's charm (minus the surplus smell).

NIR Fabrics & Dyes

Our rig is held to the same standards as modern high-end mil-spec gear is. Special non-reflective fabrics & color absorbing dyes reduces the rig's signature when viewed from night vision devices.

Reports From The Field

See what customers are saying about the rig 👇
average rating 4.9 out of 5
Based on 49 reviews
  • 5 Stars
    45 Reviews
  • 4 Stars
    4 Reviews
  • 3 Stars
    0 Reviews
  • 2 Stars
    0 Reviews
  • 1 Star
    0 Reviews
100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Performance
Rated 4 out of 5
Customer photos and videos
49 Reviews
Reviewed by Kyle M., from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Height
5' 10"
Weight
160-175
How It FIts
Perfect Fit
What Platform Do You Use With This Rig?
  • AK47/74
  • Other
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Hiking companion during peacetime

Ive had my p83 lying around not being used since im not fighting in any conflicts at the moment. Ive decided to go hiking again and thought itd be a good idea to bring it with to keep all my gear on me, like my monocular, HAM, etc.

After the initial LARP-shame, the p83 works fantastic for outdoorsy stuff. You can carry everything on you and keep your pants pockets free. My keys in the grenade pocket, my headphones perfectly in the tiny pocket, wallet on far right, and my phone/monocular/HAM in the magazine pockets.

The p83 is lowkey-enough to not spook the normals, and convenient enough to justify the initial embarrassment of walking out like youve gotten deployed to the local Mcdonalds. A very cool rig, and one i'll be find myself jerry rigging to my other hobbies (like motorcycling)

Loading...
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Coan W., from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Height
5' 10"
Weight
150-160
How It FIts
Perfect Fit
What Platform Do You Use With This Rig?
  • AK47/74
  • Handguns/Pistol Caliber Carbine
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

It’s the best. You don’t need any other chest rig.

This is it. Stop looking and buy it. Fits AK mags great, or stuff it full of 33 round pistol mags.

Loading...
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Jimbo B., from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Height
5' 8"
Weight
175-190
How It FIts
Perfect Fit
What Platform Do You Use With This Rig?
  • AK47/74
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Great Larping Rig

Perfect for hunting mutants.

Loading...
Performance
Rated 4 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Donnie, from United States
Verified Reviewer
I recommend this product
Height
5' 11"
Weight
175-190
How It FIts
Perfect Fit
What Platform Do You Use With This Rig?
  • AR-15/STANAG-Compatible
  • Other
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Perfect

A high quality and durable chest rig that even the best PX Warrior can appreciate. Much more comfortable and sturdy compared to even some bigger tactical brands, the adjustable straps on the front help it not hit my lower abdomen when larping. Best Gumball purchase ever

Loading...
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Cody M., from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
Height
6'
Weight
190-210
How It FIts
Perfect Fit
What Platform Do You Use With This Rig?
  • G3
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Excellent Piece of Kit

There are very few options comes to carrying 308 mags that don't break the bank. They say you get what you pay for, and this rig is money well spent in my opinion.

Loading...
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?

Recently viewed