This guide is meant to serve as a starting point for any players wishing to undertake playing as the US faction at Gunman Airsoft/EYE LARP’s Red Mist series of games. The items in this guide have been chosen to allow best fit for uniformity, quality, authenticity, game balance, safety and comfort. For the purposes of the kit guide, this will be centered around a generic US Army infantryman impression, that can be easily adapted and suited to any environment or individual unit with minor tweaks.

Items are categorised from basic combat load to marching/existence load, along with optional but highly recommended equipment for field camping, cold/wet weather, and to improve the user’s combat performance. Items are categorised in order of preference, from the top (“best”: highest quality, most authentic, most uniform), to the lowest (“acceptable”: given budget and availability of certain items).

Items with an asterisk (*) are considered the most preferred among any available options within each tier list. Photos are provided in order to let prospective players more easily identify the pieces of equipment to look for.

Headwear

Headwear in this category is meant to accompany the uniform, both for practicality, as well as to offer lightweight fighting gear.

Best

*US Woodland cold weather or hot weather Patrol cap

Better

*Repro patrol cap, US woodland boonie

Note: The correct patrol cap should be an Army style (round) patrol cap, NOT the 8-pointed USMC-style Utility Cover.

army-combat-patrol-cap-hat-woodland-bdu-winter-type-dog-ears-sekri-size-7-1-8-59a76f52d7a490a1728bac43dbfd9a49
Woodland cold weather patrol cap. Properly shape your patrol cap by dipping it in hot, then cold water until soaked through, then place on head and shape so the crown is neat. Roll the peak of the brim and wedge inside an upright pint glass and leave to dry; this will give the patrol cap the appropriate shape.

Combat Uniform

The standard combat uniform is the venerable Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). This is available in both a 50/50 Nylon/Cotton twill or a lighter, quick-drying, hot weather ripstop variant; either is acceptable. Uniform will ideally be badged in US Army style, but is not required.

Best

*Authentic US Government-issue (USGI) Woodland BDUs

Better

Reproduction BDUs (*Helikon, Propper, *Tru Spec, MFH, Teesar, MilTec, etc)

Acceptable

*ERDL fatigues, Foreign issue Woodland BDUs (Modern Russian, *Dutch, etc), ACU-cut Woodland uniform Notes: No desert, ACU/UCP, Multicam/MTP, or Marpat uniforms are acceptable. The uniform will be ideally worn with a light brown undershirt. Never, ever,do up the top button on your BDU, unless you are an extra from a low-budget action show or an Eastern European conscript. If your neck is cold, wear a scarf.

BDUs
BDU jacket and trousers

Load-Bearing equipment

Load bearing equipment encompasses any means of carrying a fighting and existence load.

Webbing

Your webbing is your lifeline, and will carry your fighting load along with any other supplementary equipment. Ensure your belt fits properly resting on your hips, allowing some slack for additional clothing layers. Your belt and harness should be as low as possible so you can comfortably wear a rucksack. Don’t be too tempted to load up on pouches; make sure your front is clear so you can lie prone and still access your ammunition pouches from the side.

Best

*Full set of ALICE webbing, consisting of the following:
– ALICE Y-Harness, M67 H-harness, M56 H-Harness (Any preferred)
– 2x Universal ammunition pouches (Four recommended)
– 2x canteen pouches, each with 1-quart waterbottle
– M56, M61, M67, or ALICE Three-day Training buttpacks (Any preferred)
– Duckbill (LC2), ball-and-clasp (LC1) pistol belt (Any preferred)

Better

*USGI US Woodland Load Bearing Vest (LBV) with LC2 or IIFS pistol belt and IIFS Buttpack
*Foreign-issue ALICE-compatible webbing (Austrian or
*Belgian H-Harnesses, Italian or Yugoslavian Y-harnesses)
*Fastex buckle (IIFS) Pistol belt Reproduction ALICE webbing/pouches

Acceptable

Olive drab belt kit, non-MOLLE belt kit Note: Avoid camouflaged pouches (with the exception of the IIFS buttpack), especially if you are piecing webbing together from foreign or reproduction copies. All original GI webbing is in OD nylon or canvas only.

It is recommended you pass over the Enhanced Load Bearing Vest (ELBV) over the (older) Load Bearing Vest: the ELBV is easily distinguished by its mesh main panels and slanted ammunition pouches. The mesh is prone to tearing and the slanted pouches make reloads difficult.

ALICE webbing
Alice webbing in ideal configuration – From top, left to right: M67 H-Harness, Compass/field dressing pouch, USGI Karabiner, LC2 belt (Grey duckbill clasp), 2x ammunition pouches, M8 bayonet scabbard with M7 bayonet (rubber), AN/PRC-127 radio pouch, M56 canteen pouch, M56 buttpack, ALICE canteen pouch, 2x ammunition pouches. Note the mixture of ALICE and earlier generation pouches.

 

ac-475
The three GI webbing harnesses compared side-by side. All were in use during this time period.

 

new_large
ALICE Ammunition pouch

 

post-2260-1274444992
Canteen pouches – from left to right, two different M67 canteen pouches, ALICE LC2 canteen pouch. Any can be used, including the older canvas M56 pouch.
Buttpacks
Top to bottom: M56 buttpack, M67 buttpack, IIFS buttpack. The nylon M67 pack is a rare and often expensive find, but well worth it. The ALICE three-day training pack is nearly identical in form, and bears the same NSN.

 

putittogether1
From top to bottom: IIFS Fastex buckle belt, LC1 ball and clasp buckle ALICE belt, LC2 grey duckbill ALICE belt

 

058
The Enhanced Load Bearing Vest (pictured right) is distinguished by the slanted ammunition pouches and a green mesh backing. The LBV (pictured left) is preferred.
yokes
A selection of foreign-made harnesses – From top: Belgian, Yugoslavian/Serbian, Italian. The Belgian M56 harness copy is distinguished from its US-made counterpart by a pair of eyelets at the base of the shoulder straps. The Belgian model can be found for very cheap if you are after an H-harness, and is superior to the US model as it suitable for tall users.

 

Footwear

Recommended boots for extended wear in the field.

Best

*USGI DMS boots
*USGI Intermediate Cold Wet boots Matterhorn boots German para boots British Assault boots. Any quality, military issue full leather black boots will fill this role.

Acceptable

“Modern” Black leather and nylon boots (Magnum, etc)

USGI Jungle boots

Note: Desert, suede, or MoD brown boots are not acceptable. Jungle boots are authentic and period accurate, but will be of little use in cold/wet weather, as England tends to be. Consider your options carefully, or invest in waterproof socks (see further down in guide).

51oz+CdzyhL._SL500_AA300_
Infantry boots, mildew resistant, direct molded sole. A decent, nondescript infantry boot. Getting rarer these days, although copies are available.

 

Boots LARGE
Boots, Intermediate Cold, Wet. These boots are Goretex lined with a Vibram outsole. The Goretex liner may or may not be in a removable bootie. Getting rarer, so buy a pair in your size immediately if you find it.

 

129184_ts
Matterhorn combat boots. The Creme-de-la-creme of all infantry boots in this period. Bomb-proof, waterproof, and likely to outlast the life of the user.

 

Body Armour

Body armour systems are optional for wear at Red Mist, but do work within the game mechanics, allowing the wearer to take an extra hit per piece of armour worn.

Best

*GI PASGT Helmet, M1 helmet

*GI PASGT vest, M69 flak vest

USMC LWH

Acceptable

Repro PASGT helmet, foreign made flak vests (British or *Israeli M69), *foreign PASGT copies (Italian, German, etc)
Note: All helmets will always be worn with a US woodland helmet cover correctly fitted. M1 helmets may have an ERDL or Mitchell cover. No MICHs, ACHs, Protech, FAST, Airframe or similar type helmets. Likewise, no foreign made helmets are acceptable unless direct copies of PASGT or M1 helmets. PASGT helmets may have internally upgraded suspension and chinstraps, such as a three or four-point chinstrap and cushion pads like on the MICH/ACH and LWH.

large
PASGT helmet with matching GI woodland cover

 

425652_150919115754_IMG_2070
PASGT body armour vest. This fragmentation vest should be chosen as close to your uniform size as possible as they are entirely non-adjustable. Also ensure your webbing is correctly fitted for body armour if you intend to wear a PASGT vest. A belt extender can remove the need to resize your belt. If you have an LC1 belt, a simple loop of paracord will suffice.

 

640px-FIM-92_Stinger_USMC
A Stinger team wearing M1 helmets with woodland covers and PASGT vests. It was common for all units in this time period to mix and match armor as dictated by unit supplies.

 

profim14
The trooper on the left is wearing an M69 flak vest with a PASGT helmet. Again, it was very common for armor systems to be mixed up, feel free to do so if you wish.

Weaponry

A trusty rifle can make all the difference in the world when Ivan turns his ugly head. The M16 saw the US through Vietnam and is still in service today.

Best

*M16A1

Better

*M16A2 M16A3/A4 with carry handle attached

Rail-less carbines with fixed carry handles (M4A1, *XM177, *M653, M723, M727, etc)

Acceptable

M14, *M3 Grease gun, MAC10/11, M635 9mm SMG, other NATO issue weaponry (MP5, etc)

Note: Weapons should be unpainted, and with normal furniture. Avoid Pmags, and other non-GI-type accessories, especially anything tan coloured if at all possible. Ensure your weapon has a suitable sling installed. Good examples are the USGI nylon black silent sling and the OD nylon or canvas Garand sling. Avoid modern slings (Vtac, etc) or three-point slings if at all possible.

6-ar
Top: XM16, commonly referred to as “M16VN”, this rifle does not have a forward assist and is fitted with a three-prong “duckbill” flash hider. Bottom: M16A1 rifle, with forward assist and birdcage flash hider. The M16A1 saw use from Vietnam throughout the 80s and early 90s, and could even be seen in the 2000’s in certain training units. Either model is acceptable, with preference leaning on the A1 model.

 

M16A2_-_AM.016070
M16A2 rifle: first adopted by the USMC in the mid 80s and later by the US Army, this weapon was designed from the offset to fire the new and improved NATO SS109 (US designation M855) ammunition. Easily distinguished from the A1 by a thicker barrel, handguard, upper receiver, pistol grip, and longer buttstock.

 

M16A4Standard
The M16A3/A4 with carry handle attached and standard handguard fitted can act as a valid stand-in for an M16A2.

 

ColtM653
Colt M653 carbine. More prevalent in special operations units, but found its way into the hands of US Rangers as well

Specialist weapons systems

As a US infantryman, you may very well undertake specialist roles requiring specific weapons systems. This guide will serve as a primer for specialist role weapons

Best

M203 Grenade launcher
Will be carried underslung to an M16A1 or M16A2, with the matching heatshield. Rail-mounted or standalone variants are not acceptable. The M203 should ideally be mounted to a full-length rifle, rather than a carbine.

M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
Mk1 fixed skeleton stock variant only; no para, Mk2, Mk48, or railed variants

M60 Machinegun
VN (original variant)

M9 Pistol (Beretta M92FS)
Non-railed military model, black finish

M1911A1 Pistol
Non-railed GI model, grey finish

M21 Sniper Weapon System
Wood finish M14, with telescopic sight

M24 Sniper weapon system
With appropriately configured polymer adjustable stock and telescopic sight

Acceptable

M60E3/E4 (Foregrip) variants

M9A1 (Railed)

1911 MEU, 1911 Series 70

Note: Any plain, black or grey medium-frame sidearm will fit the bill if you must bring one. Ensure you have a properly fitting holster, ideally a USGI M12 or black leather M1916 holster. The M79 grenade launcher is generally not acceptable. Grenadiers will wish to carry their grenade munitions in the M79 grenadier vest or the later issue grenadier LBV.

M16A2_M203_00
M16A2 rifle with M203 grenade launcher and heatshield, along with leaf and quadrant sights.

 

DM-ST-86-05370
US infantryman with an M249 SAW in original configuration.

 

M24_Rifle
M24 Sniper Weapons System, with correctly fitted adjustable stock and sights.