I haven't been on here for a while, but I figured this the place to go. I work for a Sheriff's Office that is going to be purchasing soft armor external carriers. We already have plate carriers. Now we're switching to external carriers for the level IIIA soft armor everyone wears. We're debating between the Safariland Bothell carrier vs. the First Spear Crime Suppression Vest (CSV). We are all well aware of how the Bothell carriers fit and look. However, I can hardly find anything about the First Spear CSV. Does anyone have any photos of the CSV being worn or have a review? It seems like this is a relatively new carrier and there aren't many people out there using it.


 

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

-Ernest Hemingway

Original Post

I'd suggest reaching out to First Spear directly for any agencies with them. The Standhogg is being issued to crime suppression officers at a large Metropolitan police department in southern Cal but zero idea on the CSV.

You could check their FB or IG pages.  

FB and IG has nothing. Google has nothing. YouTube has a small blip which is basically nothing. I figured I'd ask here first before pestering officers at other agencies.


 

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

-Ernest Hemingway

I have not been impressed with our new Safariland Bothell carriers. Quality is fine, but the design, weight, relative bulk, adjustability all leave things to be desired. I think Safariland is listening to Chiefs and Good Idea fairies rather than guys working the streets.

On the other hand, I have no experience with CSV itself, but plenty of time on First Spears other armor carrier products. First Spear has not designed a dog yet.

I would tend to default to FS over Safariland. A quick call to FS should get you set up with a T&E carrier that should answer your questions.

Longeye posted:

I have not been impressed with our new Safariland Bothell carriers. Quality is fine, but the design, weight, relative bulk, adjustability all leave things to be desired. I think Safariland is listening to Chiefs and Good Idea fairies rather than guys working the streets.

On the other hand, I have no experience with CSV itself, but plenty of time on First Spears other armor carrier products. First Spear has not designed a dog yet.

I would tend to default to FS over Safariland. A quick call to FS should get you set up with a T&E carrier that should answer your questions.

I will say that other agencies near us have the Bothell carrier and like it. Then again, they just transitioned to external carriers so it's a blessing for them regardless. But yes, some of us have FirstSpear Strandhogs for plate carriers and love them. We thought about going the Seige-R Optimized for soft armor carriers, but the BALCS cut is too much of a "standard" size for some guys to fit comfortably.


 

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

-Ernest Hemingway

To be sure, the Bothell is a huge step forward from the Point Blank Gresham and Tacoma that we had before.  However, all three designs are more than a decade behind the current state of the art. For whatever reason, the LE divisions of the armor and carrier companies are very slow to adopt progressive changes that are well proven and common in SF carriers. They are also slow to incorporate changes that make the carriers easy to don, adjust and position armor correctly. Worse, the designs are often easy to disassemble during a ground fight. Taken together, it really makes me wonder how much the LE armor divisions care or listen to urban gunfighters ONS.

First Spear doesn't have that problem, not does Velocity Systems or other nylon companies that made their bones designing and producing innovative kit for SF, and really don't have a separate line for LE.

I can't speak to the CSV directly as I do not own one. There are guys around here who do have them and they love them. The only issue there may be with them is the sizing. We reached out to them for a unit purchase and if there are people on the larger scale they may not have a vest in their size. You can shoot them the largest person's armor sizing and see where they max out. 

I do however have the Siege-R and love it. Lightweight and comfy. Laser cut holds up nicely. The plus side to the Siege is that the velcro ID panel areas are larger and there is one on the back where the CSV is lacking that. They do sell the add on panel at least. Everyone here who sees my vest wants it until I explain that I spent about $1,300 for armor, vest and all the first spear pouches. 

Only real negative with the tubes vest, that has been discussed else where here, is that the tubes take up space. I wore an LPAAC before this and was able to have pouches on the c-bun all the way up to the front panel. Doesn't affect much but its a bit of a pain to change channels on my radio as its more at my 9'oclock compared to the 11 it used to be at.

gb88 posted:

I can't speak to the CSV directly as I do not own one. There are guys around here who do have them and they love them. The only issue there may be with them is the sizing. We reached out to them for a unit purchase and if there are people on the larger scale they may not have a vest in their size. You can shoot them the largest person's armor sizing and see where they max out. 

I do however have the Siege-R and love it. Lightweight and comfy. Laser cut holds up nicely. The plus side to the Siege is that the velcro ID panel areas are larger and there is one on the back where the CSV is lacking that. They do sell the add on panel at least. Everyone here who sees my vest wants it until I explain that I spent about $1,300 for armor, vest and all the first spear pouches. 

Only real negative with the tubes vest, that has been discussed else where here, is that the tubes take up space. I wore an LPAAC before this and was able to have pouches on the c-bun all the way up to the front panel. Doesn't affect much but its a bit of a pain to change channels on my radio as its more at my 9'oclock compared to the 11 it used to be at.

With all of that being said, I kind of ruled out the Seige-R Optimized because I thought it looked too big. I don't know what your duties are as compared to everyone else, but in your opinion, would the Seige-R Optimized be comfortable enough for the average patrol officer to wear everyday? Basically, I'm looking for something for the patrol guys to wear everyday.


 

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

-Ernest Hemingway

I am outside of patrol for the time being but we still wear a normal uniform for most days. On the other days it’s for throwing over plain clothes or our approved soft uniform of 5.11 stryke pants and a marked polo. In that capacity it works excellent. 

I believe it would still work in the everyday patrol capacity and it looks very clean compared to some of the other carriers out there. It’s low profile and the internal c-bun helps with keeping it from shifting around. 

One thing I like with the CSV though is the shoulder straps attachment. I don’t really have a need for tubes there and have had a shoulder tube manage to get unattached on my STT from my rifle. 

Yo I haven't been on this forum in a while, but I've been wearing a CSV for about the last year and a half, but I can't figure out how to post pictures in the new format, if someone can give a retard-level instruction or post a link, I'll throw up my CSV setup pics and a more detailed review. 

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

AirMobile21 posted:

Yo I haven't been on this forum in a while, but I've been wearing a CSV for about the last year and a half, but I can't figure out how to post pictures in the new format, if someone can give a retard-level instruction or post a link, I'll throw up my CSV setup pics and a more detailed review. 

You have to have the photos hosted somewhere (website, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) and then link to them in your post. Either way, I'll PM you my email address if you don't mind just emailing them to me, that would be awesome.


 

"There is no hunting like the hunting of man. And those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter."

-Ernest Hemingway

So here's my setup on my CSV for the last 18 months, bought it at the TTPOA conference last year, got it 50% off from the rep there at the conference. 

 

It is the mother-flippin cadillac of exterior carriers. I went to the confrence hoping to get one because at that time we were using the FS Strandhogg for our SWAT vests and I loved them as well.

The CSV has been great fitting and durable for daily use the last 18 months. The only problem solving that I've had with it is the fitting of my patrol armor into it; depending on your personal measurements you may have to do a bit of folding on the rib portions of your back armor to make it fit snugly, but that's been the only issue, and it isn't even the vests fault. 

I did have to add some small pieces of velcro to the shoulder straps on the front of the vest, you can see my left strapped has popped up, I just re-press it down and it's back to being slick again like on the right side. 

With the First Spear laser cuts for the MOLLE holes on the fest, very occasionally my body cam will slip out of the holdings at the bottom, but I blame the camera company for it's shitty mount designs. 

For a long time I had a Haley Strategic FlatPack mounted on the back with more TQs, Quick Clot, and some webbing for fat boy drags, and I didn't have any issues riding around in a crown vic with it on my back. Just added a couple inches of me leaning forward. 

The FirstSpear tube system makes for super easy donning/doffing, and no velcro to snag and wear on your shirts or get worn out after a while.

Overall, a phenomenal vest, super happy I got it. A couple other guys in my gang unit bought them as well after seeing mine and ditching the crappy safariland issued ones. 

Let me know if I can answer any specific questions about it. 

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4

I work closely with FS. Depending on the number of carriers you order (i.e. hit their minimum), you might be able to get custom options such as tubes on one or both shoulders or larger velcro loop patches, feel free to PM me if you'd like to get in contact with someone.

AirMobile21 posted:

So here's my setup on my CSV for the last 18 months, bought it at the TTPOA conference last year, got it 50% off from the rep there at the conference. 

 

 

With the First Spear laser cuts for the MOLLE holes on the fest, very occasionally my body cam will slip out of the holdings at the bottom, but I blame the camera company for it's shitty mount designs. 

 

Adding a dot of sticky back male 3M velcro to the back of the body cam  helps hold those BC housings in place.

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