(Article originally published on SpartanAT by Martin)
Eberlestock has become known with the Gunslinger and Halftrack series. The Gunslinger is also often seen on pictures of the US Marine Corps in snipers. The first model is called Gunslinger GS05 and is still available. The Gunslinger 2 is now only available in Generation 2 on the official homepage , but we wanted to introduce you explicitly the Gunslinger from the first generation.
Three backpacks with almost the same name – where is the difference? First all have the same volume of 44 liters and the same basic construction: A backpack with a firmly integrated weapon sheath.
The UR-Model GS05 is a pure toploader and has only a three-quarter zipper at the side in the front area, which gives access to the not further subdivided main compartment. We do not want to say more about this pack, after all, it’s about Gunslinger 2.
We introduce you to the backpack from the first generation, since it still does not have the new Intex 2 carrier, which makes the backpack nearly 1.2 kilograms lighter – and therefore also more interesting, but more on that later.
Apart from the upholstery and the stretcher, nothing has changed to our knowledge, we only have this model at hand – so if someone still knows a change, we will supplement that.
The Gen I Gunslinger 2 consists of a firmly integrated weapon carrier bag, which forms the back wall of the main pressure bag. It is wide and long enough to accommodate sniper rifles like the SR-25 or repeater with optics. Also an AR-15 has space, this can even be stowed with a 30-shot magazine and Rotpunktvisier. In the case of shorter weapons, you can choose the extent to which it is to protrude from the backpack by folding out the foot of the vagina or stowing it in the space between them.
This is done with a Fastex fastener, which prevents unintentional unfolding. An AR15 with 16.75 “length and fully retracted stick disappears completely at full pocket ….
… .and is located in the compact mode from the magazine.
This gives you a very fast access to the weapon and can pull it without having to remove the rucksack. For discreet carrying, the weapon pocket is opened at the bottom, and the rifle almost disappears completely. If the barrel is longer, a zipper can be opened on the back of the carrying device to allow the barrel to protrude unprotected.
For protection from above, a cover ensures that the upper part is hidden in the case of protruding weapons.
This cover is secured with Fastexverschlüsse and unfortunately ends in the actual bag, which does not prevent rain and dust from penetrating. Without cover you can secure the gun with two Fastex locks, if desired.
Without a long weapon, the unused part can be pressed to the main compartment with the surrounding compression straps.
The carrier system is quite simple in the generation I and consists essentially only of the back cushions, the carrying straps, a detachable hip belt and a chest strap. A stable framesheet or aluminum strings are looked for in vain – this is also the reason why the backpack was reissued in Generation 2.
The straps are anatomically shaped and have a light padding, and can be adjusted to a certain extent in height.
The backpack sits with the lap belt however quite high, even if one chooses the highest belt setting. This is due to the original purpose: backpack over plate carrier and possibly still battle belt under it.
The waist belt is attached with Velcro under a hip pad and can be removed quite quickly. Two rows of MOLLE with 4 loops are available for attachment of equipment. The belt is closed and tightened with a large Fastenx clasp, movement when pulling backwards.
The actual backpack is now open compared to the predecessor from above AND from the front, which facilitates the organization of equipment massively.
In addition, the main compartment has been given a series of elastic compartments, which are placed on the rear wall and in the lower area.
The compartments on the back wall – two at the number – are probably intended for drinking bubbles, but have by the separation in the middle a quite funny size. You get 1 liter and 2 liters of bubbles into it, then the 1 liter bubble is so short that space is not used in the pocket and the 2 liter bubble almost already stands out too far up. We have not tested a three-liter bubble, but this will most likely not fit if the 2-liter bubble already has such problems.
To suspend the bubbles, there are two hooks which are mounted near the tube passage.
The elastic pockets in the lower area are circumferentially attached and complement the main compartment with two pockets on the back wall and two pockets on the right and left on the side walls. Here you can perfectly accommodate small parts and equipment that are not needed immediately. The pockets are approximately as large as a spread hand and can be extended by the elastic closure by about 6cm.
If this type of organization is not yet enough, MOLLE loops have the option of entering or securing additional bags.
There are 4 x 4 loops on each side and 8 rows x 4 loops at the front flap.
If the rucksack is not to be opened from the front, you only have to open the vertical compression straps on the lid, which gives you access to the snow, which closes the main compartment with a lashing strap. To operate the front opening, the horizontal belts must be opened as well as the vertical compression straps. This is done quickly and easily with large Fastex locks.
On the outside, the backpack is equipped with MOLLE – the sides have 6 rows x 4 loops in the middle and 5 rows x 4 loops in the front flap. The lid and bottom come with 4 x 4 loops.
At the bottom of the pack there is a drinking bottle pocket on each side, which can be lined with a cord and stopper.
For flat objects on the front flap is a deep compartment underneath the patch for patches sewn.
The cover is the office of the Gunslinger. The compartment can be opened up to three-quarters, leaving an organizer area consisting of a flat, open drawer, an overhead drawer with zipper, two magazine pockets and three pin compartments.
In addition, there is also a suspension for securing keys or the like. Outside on the front there is a small compartment with soft padding for sensitive items. This compartment is equipped with a waterproof zipper.
What makes the Gunslinger 2 so interesting to its brothers is the size paired with the solid waffle bag. A 44 liter backpack with this equipment and organization is perfect for short trips or missions, where the rifle is needed in the backpack.
Due to the sewn-in pocket and the missing carrying case, the rucksack is quite light for Eberlestock ratios and weighs 2.5 kilograms – not much, considering the elaborate equipment and the use of 1000d Cordura.
The Gunslinger 2 is very special. Especially in the first generation and without a carrier, it is almost impossible to use as a normal backpack, at least if heavy loads are to be worn.
With a rifle in the case the thing looks quite different again. The rifle takes the stability of a carrycot and allows you to carry a little heavier weight – but that has a price: to keep the weight well, the compression straps must be tightly tightened, which makes a quick access to the weapon more difficult.
Especially for hunters or short assignments to the shooting range but also, of course, on the battlefield at short intervals, the Eberlestock is almost ready. Perfect organization of the equipment, the possibility to safely transport the sniper rifle next to the weapon for self-protection, or to simply not have to walk with the rifle in the hand, make the Gunslinger a valuable piece of equipment.
If you are looking for a backpack for these purposes and do not want to carry heavy loads through the area, the Generation I Gunslinger 2 is best served – at times you can get it on the used market, classified ads or Ebay often for a good price.
Those of you with higher demands and heavier loads should, however, switch to the Generation 2 model, which is however more expensive and with 1.2 KG more hits the overall weight.
The Eberlestock Gunslinger 2 in the generation costs almost 360 euros and is available in Coyote Brown, Black, Dry Earth, Unicam and Multicam at many retailers. Generation 1 is mostly used in Coyote Brown.