It’s amazing how much gear individuals in the military adopt and use without official issue. Sometimes this gear serves its purpose in the way it was designed, for example, Merell boots were adopted by numerous soldiers on their own dime. Other times the gear is modified to fulfill a certain purpose. The Pak Rat is a little bit of both. They are used for their intended purpose and were occasionally called into more creative roles.
What’s the Pak Rat?
The Pak Rat is a small device made of both plastic, rubber, and velcro straps. It is designed to attach to the shoulder of a pack and then secure the sling of your weapon to the pack. This simple idea is brilliant in both its simplicity and design. How many times have you had your gun slung over your shoulder and had it slip off?
Maybe you pull out a compass or try to climb a tree stand and it slips. You catch it without a doubt, but it gets annoying fast. The Pak Rat is here to stop that. It allows you to toss it over your shoulder and have your hands free for so many other important things. From tossing a buck over your shoulder to taking a sip of water.
All you do is attach the Pak Rat over your backpack strap with the velcro, open up the rubberized snap and then insert the sling. That’s all there is to it. Your sling stay put and you can adventure as ready. This was a favorite piece of gear for me because in the Marine Corps infinite wisdom as a machine gunner I not only carried my blessed M240 but also my M16A4 on hikes and humps, and in the field. I could sling the M16 securely with the Pak Rat either up and down or across my back and know that it would stay in place.
Beyond the Pack
On humps it staid on my pack where it kept my M16A4 out of the way while hump klick after klick. In more tactical training the Pak Rat fit easily on the shoulder pad of my flak. Here it secured the M16A4 and its two point sling. Luckily I never went into combat with both an M16 and M240.
It was invaluable in training. The design is also ergonomic and easy to use. The rubber portion that holds the sling down has a fat and wide lip that is easy to grip and remove for quick access to your gun. Best of all it’s silent so you won’t spook a deer or Timmy Taliban.
A lot of the guns in my platoon used to run their one point sling through their shoulder pad and through their webbing, securing it in the back with zip ties or paracord. The Pak Rat is a much more elegant solution that zip ties or paracord and it does the same job more efficiently.
Originally published on the Crate Club Knowledgebase