The change over from DPM to MTP saw many items of perfectly serviceable army equipment surplussed out long before they needed to, often when they were still brand new. The other arms holster tonight is one such example, being completely unissued but still available for a few pounds as it has been superseded by the same item in the new camouflaged:This holster is a hard shell type that offers better protection than some of the earlier PLCE designs that were made of a soft material. The holster has room for a standard service automatic, with a tab going over the backstrap of the pistol and securing with a press stud to prevent the gun from coming out:A spare magazine is carried in a small pouch along one edge of the holster:And another web tab and fastener help hold this secure:The inside of the holster is stiffened to protect the pistol, being clearly visible here, even without a weapon being carried:The rear of the holster has a belt loop that can be size adjusted with a pair of press studs:Beneath this is the label for the item, here dating it to 2007:Two fabric tapes are sewn to the muzzle end of the holster on the rear:These are to allow the holster to be slung on a shoulder rig and straps passed through them to secure around the wearers chest and to a waist belt. A standard PLCE triangular buckle is attached to the top of the holster allowing the PLCE web set to be used as a method of carriage as well:The holster was available in both right and left handed versions and other accessories included top flaps:
8465-99-242-8998 Left Hand
8465-99-306-0049 Right Hand
Flap, DPM, R/H 8465-99-665-9704.
Flap, DPM, L/H. 8465-99-862-0109.
Harness, Holster, DPM 8465-99-978-5366.
Strap, Waist, (Other Arms) 8465-99-730-2314.
Strap, Chest (Other Arms) 8465-99-132-1396
An identical version of the holster is also available in the more modern MTP fabric.
Although webbing sets are designed to be as comfortable as possible, frequently users complain that they cut into their flesh, rub against bones and are generally unpleasant to wear after a day or two of continual use. This becomes especially the case for soldiers of unusual builds, with the very skinny and the more rotund suffering more than the man with an average shaped body. To help alleviate this a little, the army issued a protective hip pad with its PLCE set that offered extra cushioning around the belt where the webbing was most likely to rub. This pad is made of DPM camouflaged fabric and has both a straight and a contoured side to fit the wearer’s body:In this case the fabric is quite badly faded, but it would originally have been the same vibrant greens and browns as the other pieces of PLCE we have covered on the blog over the years. The pad attached to the belt through a series of nylon tapes, secured with plastic Fastex clips:The side of the pad that rests against the body is padded and has a perforated fabric to help keep the wearer cool:Sadly the stores label in this example has been cut out but it is clear where it once sat. The stores catalogue itself indicates the NSN number for this piece and its unit price:Hip pads were very popular with soldiers, one notes:
Pretty much every infanteer I know uses one. I remember one CSM of my acquaintance that thought they were effectively an admission of homosexual communism, then we did a few days in the field with him actually doing stuff (!) and lo, a CSM who has suddenly changed his mind…!!
They were not always easily available through the stores system and many men resorted to commercial versions. Another soldier who did manage to get one of these issue examples commented:
The issue one is actually quite good, the only gripe I have is the padding under the ammo pouches could be wider and a bit longer
To use the pads soldiers were recommended to fit the pad to the belt first, then add their pouches form the centre working outwards and finally to attach the yoke to the set.