GORUCK recently held a pre-order for the “Shooter Ruck”, a GR1/GR2 with a velcro-lined interior to allow secure carrying of cameras and firearms. I missed out on the pre-order, as I went to place an order the day after it ended, and I didn’t particularly want to spend $200+ on what would be my sixth GR ruck. Someone asked in their Facebook gear announcement thread whether they had thought about making a drop-in panel to turn a regular ruck into a shooter ruck, and they said that they’d considered it but didn’t find it to be as secure as they’d have liked, as there wasn’t a good attachment point at the bottom of the bag (there’s molle webbing on the interior, but only at the top).
However, I decided to give it a shot, as the lack of an attachment point at the bottom didn’t seen like a problem because a) a well-fitted panel would sit fairly tightly and b) unless you’re running around with the ruck open, there wouldn’t be anywhere for the panel to go.
I made one for my 21L GR1 (that’s a GR0 for you old-school folks), but the same design should work for their other rucks and probably some non-GR rucks if scaled properly. I started by measuring the interior, and then copying that onto a .25″-thick kydex sheet (full parts list at the end of this post if you want to know where to get the supplies). For my ruck that ended up being a 12″ wide by 10″ tall rectangle below a 7″-tall trapezoid that tapered to 9.5″ at the top. It might be a bit different for yours. After cutting out the kydex panel, make sure to round the corners at least a bit to prevent them from poking through the ruck.
I then riveted two molle speedclips onto the back of the panel. (The kydex I used had one rough side and one shiny side; I used the shiny side as the back as I figured the glue would attach a bit better to the rough surface.) I attached the clips to the molle in the ruck and then put the panel into place and eyeballed where to drill the holes; if you’re detailed-oriented you could actually measure it out and probably get a bit more precise fit. Eyeballing it worked for me, though.
Next, I epoxied 9 strips of 2″ wide loop fabric (that is, the soft part of velcro) to the front (rough side) of the kydex. (If you want, you can use a sheet of velcro for a cleaner look, but the only one available on Amazon was significantly more expensive and I didn’t feel like waiting for shipping from another site.) I also epoxied the ends of the velcro strips behind the back of the panel so that they couldn’t get pulled up as easily, and once that dried, it was done.
Here’s a picture of the panel where it clips into the ruck:
Here it is fitted into the ruck:
And here it is loaded out with camera gear:
Supplies I used:
Tools or other parts options:
Pouches shown in the last picture:
-The camera is held in with pieces from the rifle retention system, which isn’t currently available but which was part of the most recent presale and which came with the rifle cases they sold a year or two ago. You could easily replace this with strips of double-sided velcro, with hooks on one side and loops on the other.
-The two pouches along the right side are large horizontal ammo pouches, and the black pouch right in the middle is a small horizontal ammo pouch (looks like they only have the size small in coyote at the moment, though). The small pouch is a bit small for my tastes; if I ordered again I’d probably stick with medium and large. The large pouches are a great size for lenses, but be warned that they don’t have any padding.
-The small pouch at the bottom is a single pistol mag pouch, which is the perfect size for holding a leatherman or similar tool.
-The knife on the left is held in place with a tourniquet attachment.