Minuteman 4 Chest Rig Review

A few months ago I wrote a series on my Jäger Kit, describing how I set up my belt kit, chest rig, and pack for light infantry-style operations requiring an extended field stay of a week or so.  About a month later I bought a customized Minuteman 4 chest rig from UW Gear, and I have spent the meantime testing it during my personal training regimen.  At this point I am satisfied that this chest rig is an outstanding piece of kit, and I felt compelled to write this brief review on its performance during my testing of it.


The Minuteman 4 sits comfortably nice and high on my chest, out of the way of my belt rig.  The straps have elastic retainers for the excess material, but I used duct tape to secure it anyway just to make sure it didn’t come undone while rubbing against my pack.  The shoulder straps are nice and wide, comfortably spreading the weight without putting too much pressure on a small area like my old chicom did.

I used this chest rig while running stalking lanes and immediate action drills with my crew, so I had plenty of experience wearing it in the prone while crawling.  It didn’t feel cumbersome at all, and I barely noticed the extra bulk of the magazine pouches on my chest.  Single stack magazine pouches are all I run on my chest ever, so this fit the bill quite nicely.  This leads into the next section of the review.

Magazine Pouches

The Minuteman 4 comes with 4x magazine pouches, mine are for 30-round AKM magazines.  These pouches are perhaps the most signature part of any UW Gear product, with their “tuck tab closure” system.  Simply tuck the stiff tab on the flap under the loop on the bottom of the pouch to close it, and pull up and out to open it.  Unlike velcro, the tuck tabs do not make noise when opened.  The tabs feel very secure, and if anything are a little bit difficult to re-insert and close the pouch.  This is fine for me, however, as I can take time after a firefight to reorganize my ammo and properly secure the pouch.  Perhaps the tabs will become less stiff over time.

These are not tacticool “speed reload” pouches by any means.  These are practical “grab rifle and go inna woods” pouches that keep your mags in and dirt/mud out when you’re crawling around behind cover.


While the magazine pouches themselves are built into the rig, it comes with MOLLE webbing on either side to allow the addition of whatever pouches you see fit.  Mine is a custom rig that has 3 rows of MOLLE on each side instead of the 2 that it normally has.

The Minuteman 4 (top) is quite an improvement over my Chicom Type 56.  Now I just need to paint it!

If you read my earlier article on my chest rig setup, you will see that I have kept everything more or less in the same place as before.  The only changes I made have been to add a multitool pouch to my right side (picture left) and I have consolidated my radio, compass, and other tools into a modified Condor map pouch that I am calling my “team leader pouch.”  I will post a separate article on that pouch later.

The last thing I like about this chest rig is that the straps have loops on them for running cables, hoses, or other accessories onto them.  I have a PTT and my radio antenna looped onto my left (picture right) side.

Closing thoughts

Over the last two months I have put this thing through a lot of hard use, including a week-long field stay where I wore it daily.  It has yet to show any signs of wear or tear, and I am very pleased with the durability and comfort of the Minuteman 4 thus far.  Hawkeye’s dedication to craftmanship shows through in his work, and I am happy to recommend his gear to any serious partisan in training.

Speaking of training, I’m teaching the Support Weapons Class in September and another Team Leader Class in early October.  Having good equipment is fine, but it does you no good if it sits on a shelf all year.  Get out here and train!

Published by vonsteubentraining

Mike is the owner and chief instructor of Von Steuben Training & Consulting (VSTAC). A self-described “Tactical Scholar,” he spent 6 years in the Marine Corps as a radio operator and small-unit tactics instructor. He has dedicated his life to honing the tactical prowess of himself and his fellow patriots, guided by the wisdom of his commanding officer, Jesus Christ. He can be contacted via email at vonsteubentraining@protonmail.com

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