found these on ebay this morning
just like the a-3 bags i was remembering, but only 15" tall, so i wouldn't have to cut them down and worry about how well i could resew them or how much it would be to have it done. truthfully i'm thinking they're like a copy of the real military bags.
but i went down towards ft knox anyway just to be sure. all i found were bags like i remembered, 24" tall and also twice the price. the shipping will be more than made up compared to trying to alter the taller more expensive ones, so i brought them when i got back home.
i'm going to want some more of the webbing along a section where i plan to attatch them to the bike, just to be sure. hopefully the cost won't be too much (a seamstress i go to who's been able to sew up the weird things i show up with). some of these bags are waterproof. since they didn't say so i'm guessing they're not. maybe i could scotchguard them or either cover them with a plastic bag or line them with one.
anyway, they're part of the project now. hopefully they have the potential to be decent bags for the purpose.