The pattern 83 system was discontinued by the SADF in 2015. Today it is typically available used and in single quantities---even in Africa.
Recently we were approached by an individual in South Africa. He had access to small but significant quantity of Pattern 83 and Pattern 70 webbing which had never seen the wider market. Many businesses in South Africa have little to no web presence, so this is not unheard of. Regardless, he wanted to move them, and we quickly arranged for their export.
As a result of this import we are very pleased to have a small handful of absolutely unissued Pat 83 chest rigs. In fact they are so factory-new that the production chalk marks used to guide the cutting and sewing process are visible.
About the Rig:
The Pattern 83 webbing system was produced in response to a need for comfortable, lightweight, and simple to use webbing for South African soldiers during the latter part of the Border War. The civilian camping and outdoors industry was contracted to produce the Pat 83 concept, and the resulting system was far ahead of it's time.
Officially discontinued The webbing system is still in use today by the South African Defense Force and has been featured as the go-to load bearing gear of various movie baddies and mercenaries like in Blood Diamond and District 9. It is featured in Metal Gear Soild: V) This chest rig was heavily based on the famous Chinese chest rig that was supplied in huge quantities to the rebel "terrorist" forces the South African military faced.
It is made from waterproof, durable cordura nylon in the iconic Nutria Brown color. The nylon material is coated on the inside to increase durability while keeping weight to a minimum. The shoulder straps are padded and fully adjustable in length by slide buckles. This chest rig features three connected magazine pouches (2 magazines each) meant for the R4 (Galil) rifle, but it can easily fit AK, AR, and some battle rifle magazines as well.
The unconnected large right pocket is meant for a smoke grenade, but you can easily store a few bandages or a soda there. On the left, there is a narrow pouch intended for a pen, flare, or small knife. There are two smaller pouches on the right stacked on top of each other for grenades or small items such as cleaning kits. The other side of the chest rig's single panel features a spacious document pocket for storing important papers. The previous owners often wrote their names or doodled on this side of the chest rig, sometimes in the flap for the document pouch.
The chest rig is fastened at your back by a fastex type buckle located on the adjustable lower straps. Like the chicom rig from which it was derived, there is nothing on your back besides straps, so you can comfortably use it with a rucksack. As South Africa is in a more arid biome, there are no drainage holes in any of the pouches, but these and other modifications can be easily made.
- Waterproof, durable cordura nylon.
- Nutria brown, designed to get dirty and build a natural camouflage.
- Two padded adjustable shoulder straps.
- Adjustable back strap buckles rig to your torso.
- Three connected magazine pouches hold up to six mags.
- Large right pocket fits water bottles, smoke grenades, and loose tools or bandages.
- Two small left pockets fit grenades, cleaning kits, or more tools.
- Admin pouch on backside holds maps, notebooks, pens, and pencils.
There are two types of mag pouches found in the Pat 83 chest rig. The rigs we currently have in stock fall into the (more common) AK/AR 30rd type as seen below.
These have straps on the inside of the mag pouches. The strap is long and connected close to the top of the pouch opening. These straps surround the outside of the mag inside of the pouch. The way the letter "U" would fit around the letter "I." If you are storing mags that are less than 30rds, or a mag is stuck/difficult, you can just yank the end of the strap and it quickly removes the mag from the pouch. See photos for examples.
We call this universal because you can store any kind of basic magazine.
AK/AR 30rd only
These rigs are the exact same except they do not have the mag pull straps. They are only recommended for 30rd mags or similarly sized magazines. The style of 30rd mag can differ, however the warehouse has only tested AR and AK mags. They are designed to hold 35rd Galil magazines.
Any other mags less than 30rds require pulltabs or child fingers.