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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got this rucksack dropped off by the brown truck. ALICE Large in Woodland. Supposedly US made... $80+ shipping from a certain online surplus shop with an address in Illiniois.... quality... its just not quite finished. By that... loose thread, raw edges all over the insides. The raw edges I can forgive, as I see that frequently even with govt contract gear, especially MOLLE gear. But the lack of finish work to the stitching? 30 minutes with a hot knife or shears wouldn't have raised costs that much :rolleyes: 500D Cordura. Added 2 tri glides to the main straps at the top to mount to the MOLLE II frame with woodland suspension that I picked up. Also gave it the Fastex buckle mod. Heat sealed the raw edges and loose threads on the inside. Planning to sew binding tape on the two main seams thats been left raw. Also put on two Foliage Green cord locks since it didnt come with cordlocks. Last two pictures showing the quality as it came.
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30 minutes on a pack costs a LOT, when they only took 15 minutes to do all the sewing.
Loose threads are how you know it’s real military issue. Completely normal for gear, clothing, etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
30 minutes on a pack costs a LOT, when they only took 15 minutes to do all the sewing.
Loose threads are how you know it’s real military issue. Completely normal for gear, clothing, etc.
They took the time to heat seal the ends of straps, and to sew binding tape on the lids :rolleyes: this is not military issue though, the site I got it from also says so. Just that the company who made this, also made USGI gear. A hot knife of the sort that Sailrite sells, would have sealed the fabric edges before the sewing operations. Hell, even a CNC laser cut table could've done it too, and in much less time... as we can see on all the lasercut MOLLE gear nowadays.
I've bought USGI gear new in plastic bags (factory sealed with NSN tags and the like); anf have never seen this lack of finish work...granted, the stuff I bought were MOLLE equipment... like the woodland double M4 pouches, and the coyote brown FLC vest... hell, even Fire Force USA's commercial ALICE stuff has higher quality finish work, and they're US based and usually on the affordable side.

Edit. There are three websites that lists this specific Woodland Large ALICE pack, and each for the same price. All of them have the same physical listed address in Illiniois. None of them say the company that makes this, only that its made in the US. That is why I call it a Surplus Shop Special, because its much like the old catalogs of U.S. Cavalry, there's stuff made seemingly exclusively for the shops that aren't found anywhere else, and usually more affordable than certain companies. If Fire Force USA made Large ALICEs in Woodland, I would have bought from them, even at $150 price point.. compared to Tactical Tailor's MALICE series, Spec Ops Brand Recon Ruck, and Blackhawk SOF Ruck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting. Hm. Still gonna feel a little dissapointed :rolleyes: anyways... this pack is pretty much done for now until my binding tape order gets in, then I'll encase the two main seams' raw edges just so I can be confident that it wont blow out at those two seams.
 

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You'd be surprised at some of the shit we got issued new.
Shit with the corners blown out because they never stitched them shut...

Snaps not aligned...

Double male or double female buckles on opposing closures...

Zippers that either didn't or fell off in transit...

Stitching the drawstring in to the flap sleeve so they couldn't actually be drawn closed...

Anchored straps that are twisted...

The list is longer than the big green weenie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Damn. I feel bad for you guys getting shitty equipment with taxpayer funds :confused: I guess the relative quality of this is decent but honestly, I was expecting better finish than this for $80 plus shipping... especially when I strive to do better on my own stuff.
 

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Damn. I feel bad for you guys getting shitty equipment with taxpayer funds :confused: I guess the relative quality of this is decent but honestly, I was expecting better finish than this for $80 plus shipping... especially when I strive to do better on my own stuff.
It's lowest bidder wins contracts and farmouts to satellite companies. As long as the test samples pass, the batch passes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not quite that simple from what I've read from those who were actually involved with the government contracting system.. its more of..
Lowest acceptable bid while meeting minimum specifications while being made in the United States or US territories (and with US sourced materials due to the Berry Amendment). Of course it can be simplified as far as what you say, but it leaves out quite a bit of what makes it complicated. I do have a 1977ish contract ALICE Medium ruck made in Puerto Rico from what I could find of the company, a 2003 contracted ALICE Large ruck made in PA by Specialty Plastics Products/Specialty Defense Systems... both have overlocked/overcast stitching (also known as serged finish) on the main seams; and all the thread tails have been trimmed (whether the thread trimming was done by company or by soldier or by the supply guys, I don't know).
 

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That's what I said. As long as the test samples pass, everything passes. There's no point in spouting off a half a page of individual contract terms when the contract terms are public knowledge and ALWAYS implied and included when discussing .gov contracts? The contracts aren't that complicated. It's the work to secure them that's a bitch.

Maybe you think people suddenly forgot what "mil-spec" actually means now that it's been bastardized as an industry wide marketing term to sucker in the tactidiots?

I used to participate in grant writing and budget meetings with the FD. Try arguing with the government AND the tax payers so you can afford to buy stuff in 6 months or a year. Even set up funding for a purchase that's 5 to 10 years out because your air bottles are going to expire in x amount of years and Scott doesn't make bottles for your current air packs so now you need to buy 50 packs and 150 air bottles at $5,000 a whack. Oh, by the way, your masks no longer work with the new generation of air pack so you can pay $1,000 a pack to get the old style regulators fitted so you can keep your old masks in service for an extra year or turn around and pay $500 per mask to get the new masks too but now the NFPA says every firefighter needs two masks, and every rig needs to carry a spare mask for every pack that it carries. Now you need 150 new masks, but since you're switching to next generation masks they need to adhere to the new rules which means they have HUD's and voice emitters which costs an extra $200 per.

So I went from needing $80,000 for new bottles to needing close to half a million dollars so I can keep up with what the lobbyists that represent the equipment manufacturers have convinced the government should be the latest standard.

In grant writing you need to get the most bang for the government buck with the most intriguing back story behind why you need it all while convincing the tax payers that you need to bump their taxes up by 1% to keep your general fund topped off because inflation is driving your annual operating costs up 10% so it's been eaten away to almost nothing, but they refuse to hear the fact that you haven't raised their taxes in 5 years while every other agency in the area has been raising taxes exponentially in their coverage areas by the state mandated 3% cap every year. These are the same voters that hold these other agencies up as better than you because they have better and more expensive equipment than you but have no clue how purchasing, budgeting, and obtaining funding for a government agency actually works.

Yeah, you have no idea how complicated that shit gets.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe you think people suddenly forgot what "mil-spec" actually means now that it's been bastardized as an industry wide marketing term to sucker in the tactidiots?
Well, there are certainly no shortage of gun owners who think Colt makes the best AR15s :rolleyes: and certianly no shortage of "gunsmiths" who thinks mil-spec means better than commercial :rolleyes: so yeah...

As for everything else.. damn. Thats messed up.
 

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Shit with the corners blown out because they never stitched them shut...

Snaps not aligned...

Double male or double female buckles on opposing closures...

Zippers that either didn't or fell off in transit...

Stitching the drawstring in to the flap sleeve so they couldn't actually be drawn closed...

Anchored straps that are twisted...

The list is longer than the big green weenie.
Brand new NBC suit. I opened the bag and it was the all pieces just not sewn together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So. Anyways.. back on topic. Just wondering why I haven't seen this kind of "mod" done more often with Large ALICE bags onto the MOLLE II ruck frames.. as opposed to cutting the frames to fit the ALICE frame sleeves...certainly the MOLLE II ruck frame is stiffer than the 1606AC/FILBE 1st gen frames that keeps snapping at the diagonal beams between belt and shoulder yokes.
I mean, it looks and is a very simple mod if the main bag lid straps aren't sewn at their ends... one just adds triglides or 3-bar sliders and rig it up that way. I won't be surprised to hear that its been seen, but I haven't seen photos showing the Large green ALICEs on MOLLE II frames. Lots on the modded Coleman Peak1 frames, plenty on another site with the DEI 1606AC/FILBE frames, some of the Mediums on the newer 1609 U shaped MOLLE Medium frames..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Binding tape arrived, in a package that was mistakenly left in neighbor's locked mailbox :rolleyes: they were kind enough to bring the package to my door yesterday. Now that the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty is set up and oiled and ready to go, I heat sealed the raw edges of the main seams and the ends of the cut binding tape, then went to sew it on. Turns out, not having an inset in the table and not having a teflon work surface made it wonkier to manuever a rather heavy, sticky backed bag through into the even feed foot on the machine. Whoops. Guess an inset table would have made it better..
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I guess that beats using a Bic to burn all the threads and melt the edges together.(y)
 
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