Outdoor Research manufactures, without a doubt, some of the finest textile products in the outdoor industry. The Seattle-based company has mainly built its brand around the climbing, mountaineering and exploring community; and is now gradually increasing traction also in the tactical-military apparel market.
In the past OR, has manufactured gloves, beanies, hats, bivies and other products specifically oriented for the tactical industry. At SHOT Show 2017 we have covered the launch of a new line of tactical apparel(LINK), designed to be extremely versatile thanks to a modular layering system.
The first garment that has been released is the outer hard shell, the Infiltrator jacket.
Compared to a PCU (or Protective Combat Uniform) the Infiltrator jacket would be a level 6, which consists in a non-insulated hard-shell garment. In a PCU system the level 6 jacket and/or pant should be worn both with and without insulation underneath as it is designed to provide water protection both in warm and cold environments, as well as during both dynamic and static activities.
As we all know, insulation and warmth come at the expense of size and bulkiness, and therefore there is an issue with the mobility of the user, since traditional hard-shell fabric don’t provide any elasticity.
The revolutionary feature of Outdoor Research Infiltrator jacket is the GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology, which is designed to solve the previously mentioned issues.
There are two specific advantaged related to the elasticity that we have experienced in the testing process: unaffected agility and ability to comfortably add layers underneath.
Unrestricted freedom of movement during high performance activities or gestures related to weapon manipulation. The GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology panels are strategically placed in high mobile areas of the body, such as the inner-arm/ armpit as well as back / lats. These key points need to anatomically be free to expand in order provide enough liberty of movement.
Usually it is possible to feel a slight impeded movement when doing ready-up drills when wearing standard waterproof jacket; if you don’t, chances are that the garment fits loosely (which may be good for mobility but not as good for bulkiness).
With the Infiltrator, those key areas are well stretched and shooting with the jacked feels the same as shooting without, which in our opinion is the ultimate goal for a “tactical” garment manufacturer.
Ability to layer even with a very athletic fit.
The strategically placed stretch fabric panels provide a close fit in warm climates in which the jacket is worn without insulated layers underneath. At the same time, the fabric can stretch and expand to accommodate voluminous insulation layers in colder environments.
We appreciate the athletic cut of the Outdoor Research products; it is one of the features that differentiate their products from standard “military” manufacturers.
The background in the alpine, climbing, mountaineering and high-performance outdoor markets has brought a great level of know-how on their drawing board when designing a new tactical apparel line that would render the user’s movements as efficient as possible; we have, in fact, experienced negligible restriction of movement.
Freedom of movement, lightweight, pack-ability and durability of textiles are features that have been improving the “tactical” apparel segment and have originated within the performance-based outdoor community.
The streamlined design of the Infiltrator jacket provides higher comfort when wearing plate carriers, chest rigs or even backpacks, especially in dynamic environments.
The two areas in which we applied thoroughly testing were the sections considered to be under the most pressure when wearing a plate carrier, a backpack or a chest rig: the yoke and the shoulders.
The presence of a stretch panel in the cervical area of the neck provides a high degree of comfort and, in conjunction with the other stretch panels, keeps the yoke and shoulder areas wrinkle free under the weight of equipment. Under heavy rain, the fabric has kept waterproofing also in the areas in which pressure was directly applied.
As with all GORE-TEX® hard shell textiles, in warm and humid climates, the fabric has difficulty expelling moisture and heat from the inside of the garment. Therefore, we believe that quick drying is a mission essential feature that both the GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology and the “standard” all-weather GORE-TEX® Military fabric are equipped with.
The hood was designed with a high degree of versatility in mind. It allows the user to comfortably cover the head when wearing a helmet as well as without headgear.
The “Halo-Hood” consists of a draw cord that runs the whole circumference of the head for precise adjustments and can be controlled via a cord-lock located in the occipital area of the head. The cord is enclosed in a mesh compartment sewn inside the hood, in our opinion this is a key feature if one uses tactical helmets that, equipped with lights and rails, may be caught by the hood itself.
The “Halo-Hood” provides extremely important adjustability especially if a helmet is not worn, due to the larger size of the hood in order to accommodate most helmets.
With or without headgear, the adjustments allow the user to closely secure the hood to the head; and because of the stretch panel located in the cervical area of the neck there is a large freedom movement (extension/flexion, lateral bend and especially rotation).
Vertical adjustment is provided by symmetrical draw cords accessible from the front that cinch down the hood from the temple area and are secured by cord-locks.
The helmet worn in the photos is an OpsCore helmet equipped with two S&S Precision V-Lites, a CORE Survival Helstar 6, a Princeton Tec Charge MPLS, a Princeton Tec Remix MPLS and a Oakley SI Alpha Ballistic Halo™ Goggle.
The hood provides protection to the elements even with this equipment mounted. We believe that all “tactical” oriented hard-shell should have such a feature-rich helmet.
SIDES and ARMPIT
The side of the jacket features a panel of GORE-TEX® Fabric with Stretch Technology that runs from the armpit all the way to the waistline; this section mostly allows the jacket to expand when worn on top of other insulated layers. The armpit has a no-seam construction and is not equipped with vent zippers, which could become uncomfortable after wearing with backpack straps and rifle slings for a prolonged period of time.
In order to cool down the user can open two symmetrical side vents located at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. The two YKK® AquaGuard® Vislon zippers can be opened from the bottom, exposing the belt area or from the top, retaining a higher degree of protection from the elements with the internal storm-flap while cooling down.
The side vents can also be used to access holsters or belt mounted equipment. Shown in the photo below is a Safariland ALS holster with low-ride belt attachment.
The jacket features two capacious symmetrical front pocket (160 x 300 mm) that can be accessed via AquaGuard® zippers. The opening of the pockets is placed high enough in order to not interfere with harnesses or belt straps of backpacks.
The inner part of the pocket is built with a mesh fabric in order to allow the pocket to be used of venting, giving the user two different techniques for cooling down.
The materials used are undoubtedly innovative and, in our opinion, are truly going to raise the industry standard. Overall the Infiltrator jacket has been utilized for rucks, runs, hikes and for shooting and it does not show any sign of wear.
The equilibrium among freedom of movement, lightweight, durability, breathability, climatic adaptability and overall waterproofness truly render the Outdoor Research Infiltrator jacket a unique piece on the market and a must have in any environment.
The Infiltrator jacket is available both in Berry-Compliant and non Berry-Compliant version in Multicam, Coyote and Mas Grey.
For more information on the Outdoor Research Infiltrator Jacket please visit: Outdoor Research Tactical
The LWPC is designed with maximum versatility and speed in mind. The ability to conceal this plate carrier allows the operator to maximize the effectiveness of this platform even in uncertain environments where low-profile is the number one priority. The possibility to unzip a Jacket and attach a placard with all the mission specific equipment really makes the transition from low-profile to high-profile just a matter of seconds. The ability to change configuration in a brief period of time allows the end user to quickly adapt to the specific situation as the environment changes. The biggest feature of this plate carrier, aside from its incredible light weight, is the versatility and modularity provided by the SwiftClips. Velocity Systems and MayflowerRC have, for a long time, believed in the concept of a modular armor and load bearing system that shared the same support structure. For many years we have seen great redundancy in the operators’ equipment; a popular set-up used to be a standard chest rig worn on top of a low profile armor carrier. At the time the only alternative to this system was the bulky PALs webbing/MOLLE plate carrier (which required a lot of time to reconfigure pouch by pouch) but it would not provide the ability to quickly change set-up (from 5.56 to 7.62 or to mission specific role) like the chest rig and plate carrier combination.
To this need Velocity Systems and Mayflower RC have responded with modular placards and chest rigs that would provide the operator with the comfort of a single piece of equipment while having the versatility of multiple pre-configured modular set-ups.
In our opinion, there is a substantial difference in the set-up of this product in the various applications of agencies and civilian use.
For a military or agency type of application this product would be suited for some sort of low-profile operation in which the operator would be required to constantly wear armor, comms and, perhaps, a medical kit. The low-profile nature of the carrier would quite possibly be unnoticed but would offer protection and the ability to attach a fully equipped chest rig placard within seconds.
As for the civilian use, we think that this system could offer much more versatility that a standard MOLLE vest. The use in a civilian application would, hopefully, be for a shorter period of time and it would not require the user to wear comms and med kit on a closer level. In an event in which the civilian should respond with armor the medical kit and radio would probably store within the placard itself. The MOLLE version allows to carry 6×6” armor side plates and offers 6 columns of PALS webbing attachment.
This is why we find the MOLLE version of the cummerbunds more suitable for low-profile operations and the elastic (lighter and slicker) cummerbunds for civilian use. Off course, the interchangeability of them will allow the user to configure it to the mission requirements. The low profile nature of the elastic cummerbunds would also allow a concealed carry citizen to use his/her inside the waistband holster at the three o’clock position without any interference with the plate carrier itself.
The lower half of the front of the plate carrier is covered with loop Velcro, stitched right into the front flap. On the sides of the upper portion are the two SwiftClips, which can be removed. There is a low-profile admin pouch, also stitched with a loop Velcro panel. If you happen to have the Multicam version of this plate carrier, as we do, the “admin” and back loop Velcro panels visible from the outside are matched with the camo pattern.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that this Light Weight plate carrier has all of the features of “Standard” plate carriers. Often times, due to the weight reduction, companies tend to “lighten” the adjustability and user-configurability, not Velocity Systems and Mayflower R&C. The cummerbunds can be adjusted both from the front and from back panel. For primary fitting, it is possible to regulate on the back panel the position of the cummerbund, the end of which is provided with both hook and loop Velcro on each side; this ensures the stability and the overall ruggedness of the product. For field adjustment (or secondary adjustment), it is possible to fit the size by lifting the dedicated front panel. On the market it is usually is rare to see two fully spec’d adjustment points on such a lightweight platform.
The top straps are also adjustable, allowing fitting the perfect height of the plate carrier (on a side note, please stop wearing your plate carriers low, you know who we are talking about…). The top strap is provided with a cushioned sleeve, for load bearing comfort and cable routing. We only wrote cable and not hydration tube routing on purpose, this plate carrier is meant to be lightweight and therefore used in atypical (or asymmetrical warfare) type of scenarios such as urban and low-profile application in which there should not be the need of “field” requirements like continuous hydration on the move. If the possibly of attaching a panel or an hydration bladder is an important characteristic we suggest checking out the other plate carriers from Velocity Systems and Mayflower R&C like the SCARAB.
Both the stitching and the material used are impressive. The attention to details and the well thought design differentiate this product from a market full of plate carriers that have become almost a commodity without any peculiar feature. Velocity Systems uses 500-denier Cordura fabric for the outer layers; this provides high mechanical properties while still maintaining a low-weight discipline.
Velocity Systems and Mayflower R&C proudly use materials and workmanship that are 100% made in the USA.
For more information, please visit: VelSyst.com
Blue Force Gear is well known for quite possibly the most low profile PALS-Webbing / MOLLE pouches on the market. They have put together two incredibly thin and durable materials: the military grade elastic and the ULTRAcomp laminate. The combination of these two fabrics created the well-known Ten-Speed pouches. After the great success with the MOLLE platform, Blue Force Gear has decided to apply this technology to the belt pouch. For many years, leather and Kydex were the two only material utilized in belt pouches, the only problem with these was the bulkiness and impossibility to have them “collapsed” against the body when not in use. Although Kydex remains a good option for more overt applications, the Blue Force Gear belt pouches are suited for more covert applications for both military and civilian use.
The belt-mounted line of pouches are designed specifically for:
- rifle mags (low rise and high rise pouches available)
- pistol mags
- dump pouches
- pepper spray
These products serve three different category of users simultaneously: Military personnel, LE officers and concealed carry civilians.
For this article, we had the chance to test the pistol mag pouch in the two configurations: single mag
and double mag. These two mag pouches are designed to be quickly and easily accessible, even under
stress. They work with both single and double stack magazine. The high quality elastic material allows
to switch between double stack and single stack mags without losing any retention capability.
Although fast speed reloads are ideal for this type of pouch, tactical reloads are also possible with just a
little practice. The main feature of this system is that once you extract the content, the pouch collapses
on it-self reducing any extra bulk. In our opinion, this feature is ideal for EDC and CCW.
For everyday carry purposes we have found that this pouch is incredibly useful not only for pistol mags
but also for multi-tools, battery racks and flashlights.
For CCW we usually like to carry appendix or 3 o’clock (both IWB and OWB). For appendix carry the use
of a mag caddy is quite comfortable, but when carrying at the 3 o’clock position having an IWB Kydex
mag caddy at the 9 o’clock is pretty uncomfortable.
This is why we now have decided to go with the Blue Force Gear mag pouch Outside the Waist Band.
These mag pouches also work perfectly in conjunction with a plate carrier or a chest rig. They are easily
accessible also with the Blue Force Gear Trauma Kit NOW! placed right on top; both in the loading and
In order to attach to the belt these pouches utilize a very versatile hook and loop system. This allows the pouch to be mounted to classic leather or tactical nylon belts of up to 2″ in width. The pouch can also be easily detached from the belt without having to take the whole system off. Attaching the pouch to the belt doesn’t require much time or effort, making it a valid option for extra emergency mags stored elsewhere. For example we always carry the single pouch on the belt with an extra Glock 19 mag, but if needed, within seconds, we can mount, to the belt, the double pouch with two Glock 17 mags that we keep in an EDC backpack.
As for all Blue Force Gear products the quality of construction, stitching and material is outstanding. The are constantly providing clever products that bring more efficiency and are lightweight, the belt pouches are the proof.
For more information on the belt-mounted line of pouches please visit: BlueForceGear.com
Steiner Optics is one of the most reputable optics companies on the market; they have been manufacturing some of the finest glasses for decades. With great attention to quality and detail, Steiner stands behind their product with extensive field-testing and quality control.
In many situations, being able to see beyond the human eye capability is key for planning and decision-making. Even if we have great-magnified optics mounted on rifles and carbines it’s not always possible to point them in any direction; especially in urban environments, where a long weapon may not be available and the binocular may be the only vision enhancement available.
Other than in surveillance and navigation, a compact 8 x binocular could be used for many other defensive tasks. From a civilian point of view, items like the Steiner T824 could be easily
carried in a EDC backpack or sling and it could be very helpful in dangerous contingencies. In an active shooter situation occurring in a public location, after having deployed the concealed carry weapon and having assessed the situation (and the distance from the shooter), a compact binocular could be utilized to provide precious intel on suspect to the first responders and the authorities.
The Steiner T824 is one of the most rugged binoculars on the market. The body is entirely covered with a rubber mold for shock absorption, while the N2 filled lenses proved waterproofness and antifogging. Quality of sight and toughness are just mandatory when dealing with companies like Steiner.
The most impressive feature of the T824 was the size of the whole product. Keeping in mind all the features that we have listed above this product is incredibly small; and furthermore easily deployable to many different situations and environments.
In the world of optics you often have to finder a compromise between size (lightweight and compact) and optical performance; the Steiner T824 provides a crystal clear 8x image in one of the smallest and lightest binocular system on the market.
The ruggedness and quality of the T824 is exceptional; after more than six months of hard everyday use it does not show any sign of weakness or failure. The rubberized coating makes this optic is almost indestructible, it has fallen several times from various heights and it did not break or scratch. The N2 filled optics are very effective against fogging, even during high intensity activities (in both freezing winter and humid summer) they keep a crystal clear transparency.
On the range this compact pair of tactical binoculars have showed to be more useful than we thought. When you are working on carbines and handguns on a flat range, you usually tend to leave the spotting scope at home; unless you are focusing on specific long-range shooting sessions. The Steiner T824 are compact and lightweight enough to be always included in your range bag and they can be very useful for some quick check on the target without having the whole range going cold.
The Steiner T824 is the smallest model (in both price and dimensions) of the line of tactical binocular. The Tactical series of Steiner binoculars include optics from 8 x 24 up to 10 x 42, available either with or without reticle.
For more information, please visit the Steiner Optics website
Last year we published a brief article about the release of the Dapper Organizer kit from Blue Force Gear: urbansurvivorblog.com/2015/10/23/blue-force-gear-dapper-kit/
Here are some picture of it from Shot Show 2016.
The Dapper Organization mainly revolves around the Jedburgh pack. This medium-small sized pack is very discreet and well thought. It comes in different color variants: black, coyote brown, od green, multicam and wolf with an MSRP of $ 140.
The inside of the pack is almost completely covered with loop-Velcro which allows it to be extremely versatile and customizable by the user. Blue Force Gear offers a very wide line of accessory for this platform (or any other pack with loop velcro) both for tactical and everyday applications.
After the wide success of the Ten-Speed MOLLE pouches Blue Force Gear has decided to expand this technology to the belt system, and we are very glad to see it. This relatively new line is dedicate both to covert and overt shooters that like to run a minimalist belt system.
The latest innovation in sling-attachment technology is the U-loop. It allows the sling to be attached to virtually any weapon system out there (even the more exotic ones) with a silent and reliable system. Forget tools and screws because the U-loop doesn’t require much effort to be attached/detached, it’s a quick one hand operation.
BFG has now expanded the color lineup to the new Multicam patterns Arid and Tropic.
This year at ShotShow SureFire has released an interesting new multi functional product: the FirePack 1500. This product attaches to the users smartphone and is connected to it via wireless comms. This allows to utilize the Firepack both as a 1500 lumen flashlight and as a flash for you smartphone camera, all through the app installed on the phone. It could also be use as an external battery to charge your phone.
The other EDC new product from SureFire is the Sidekick. This keychain-attached compact flashlight is able to deliver up to 300 lumen and will cycle through three brightness settings with the use a single button. The Sidekick will also come with a retractable string for secure use.
The product that has revolutionized the market of CCW weapon-mounted lights is the XC-1. This light is mainly designed for weapon with a size similar to the Glock 19. At the show it was mounted on a 1911 from Wilson Combat, not too sure about that.
Tactical Night Vision Company is the most reputable night/thermal vision company on the market. They are truly experts on the matter, here is part of our experience at their booth. Enjoy
For more info please visit tnvc.com
This week, at SHOT Show 2016 in Las Vegas, Outdoor Research has released a new jacket for their military/tactical line. The Topo jacket is based on Gore’s Light and Fast military fabric. The main feature of the Topo is flexibility of movement, this is possible with the application of a stretch fabric in key points of the jacket. The cut and the fit is inspired by the Axiom jacket, one of the greatest successes of Outdoor Research.
What is really interesting about the Topo is that even if the jacket stretches it still maintains waterproofness and breathability. It is articulated in order to provide flexibility and free of movements in key spots of the body. The Topo fabric, in coyote, is also designed to be worn under chest-rigs, plate carriers and backpack. In certain spots, during high-intensity activities, both breath-ability and stretch are required for comfort and maximum performance.
The Topo Jacket is available in Multicam and Coyote for a MSRP of approximately $500.
For more info please visit: military.outdoorresearch.com/
KRISS USA – SPHINX
KRISS Vector GEN II CRB Enhanced 9×19 in Combat Grey (w/ Trijicon MRO)
KRISS Vector GEN II SBR 9×19 in Combat Grey
KRISS Vector GEN II SMG 9×19 in FDE (w/ Trijicon MRO)
SPHINX SDP Compact Sand Duty 17rds 9×19
SPHINX SDP Standard Black 17rds 9×19
SilencerCo Maxim 9 (featuring Glock magazine)
Omega Titanium Rifle Suppressor
Osprey Micro Rimfire Suppressors
Hybrid Suppressor: compatible with calibers ranging from 5.56mm to 9mm, .45–70 GOV to .458 SOCOM
Omega 9K Suppressor: 9mm and 300 BLK
Integrally Suppressed AR-15 featuring light-weight KeyMod rail.
AR-15 featuring Magpul M-Lok platform
D-EVO and LCO Setup
IWI Galil ACE
IWI x95 in Olive Green
IWI Tavor in FDE
Aimpoint Micro T-2 with Magnifier
Barrett 98 B
Barrett REC7 Gen 2
CMMG Mutant 47
FN Herstal USA
FNH M249 semi-auto civilian ready belt-fed
Heckler & Koch
Heckler & Koch MR762
Eye protection is probably one of the best precautions to take both on the field and on the range. After lots of eye injuries suffered by many during deployment, the DoD has decided to take measures against this big issue. Companies like Oakley have revolutionized the materials and the manufacturing process in order to meet these ballistic requirements. It has been many years since the US Gov. has issued the first Oakley Ballistic protective goggles and since then Oakley has produced different variants for different missions.
The SI Ballistic Det Cord sunglasses are the latest addition in Oakley SI’s line of eye protection. The low-profile design meets the requirements of many covert operations, while still having that “Oakley DNA” for aggressive environments and when things go south.
With the constant presence of threats in high risk environments, asymmetrical warfare seems to be the keyword of this century. In the last few years brands like Oakley SI, who have always equipped armed forces, have found themselves designing and manufacturing more discreet products for the tactical market.
The lens placement on the Det Cord is slightly different from the usual sunglasses (aside from the ballistic protection). The frame design allows the lenses to sit very close to the user’s face, providing a very wide field of view. It also shields sunlight from any direct contact with the eye, above or beneath the lenses.
This design seem interesting also when speed is involved; with the lenses positioned so close to the user’s face the Det Cord appear to give some very good protection also from dust and wind.
Oakley has designed these glasses with the tactical operations in mind. The thin construction of the ear stems allows the glasses to be comms compatible (or ear pro). Not having this feature would lead to the loss of the seal of the muffs, causing them to lose any hearing protection capability. A thinner design of the frame is also very important if an helmet is worn. If you are carrying a ballistic helmet with night vision, lights and accessories attached you will end up with quite some weight; so it is important to have a secured and comfortable fit.
The DetCord are manufactured to conform to the ANSI Z87.1 – 2010 requirements. To meet the ANSI Z87.1-2010 rating the eye protection must exceed specific high mass – high velocity tests and provide continuous lateral coverage. Most competitors on the market don’t provide lateral coverage; the presence of a “+” after Z87 will assure the lateral coverage compliancy.
The DetCords high purity optical-grade polycarbonate also meet the ballistic fragmentation MIL-PRF-32432 required by NATO forces and DoD.
To enhance the performance of the product under stress Oakley has applied a very interesting material for the nose-piece. It’s always annoying when, under stress, sunglasses (or even worse eye pro) slip down on the nose because of the presence of liquids on the skin. To solve this issue Oakley has applied a rubberized material on the nose piece, and even after some pretty hard use it does not seem to come off.
Another issues that, with other optics, appears on similar activities is fogging. This phenomenon is due to the body heat and moisture condensing in small drops on the lens itself. When shooting it’s usually frequent to have fogging in the winter when utilizing a rifle or a carbine; usually after some sort of dynamic action. We have had the opportunity to test this product from late summer until now and, due to the coating applied to the lenses, we haven’t had a sigle issue.
The this version comes with Cerakote applied to the entire frame. This superficial finish enhances the anti-reflection capability of the Det Cord and it also provides longevity to the surface of the frame. When used in conjunction with helmet systems and comms usually eye-pro and sunglasses get scratched a lot, the application of Cerakote prevents this from happening.
What you carry on your person everyday (or at least accessible close to you) may dictate the success or the failure of a difficult situation.
Whether it is a medical, practical or defensive scenario carrying basic or advance equipment is really important.
If you live in an urban environment and you are not always close to your vehicle it’s suggested to build an EDC kit in a backpack or a sling-bag.
In our opinion your self defense tools and equipment should be at all times on your person. We only use our backpack to store extra mags, but not our primary firearm. If the situation does not allow us to reach for our EDC backpack we sill have a concealed-carry handgun with mounted light and extra mag, a folding blade, a smartphone, a wallet, a tactical flashlight and a tourniquet. Keeping our EDC defensive tool in the same location will also provide efficiency and accuracy to the situation.
We like to divide by priority and importance our daily-carry equipment into different levels.
Level 1: the EDC items carried on your belt and pant’s pockets.
Level 2: items in your bag directly accessible from the outside.
Level 3: items organized in pouches and dividers inside the bag.
About the backpack:
One of the key features that we really like of the Blade’s design is its side-access. This allows us to open and extract the content without dropping the bag or revealing what’s inside. Arc’teryx has padded this bag like a tank, it is comfortable, light and extremely protective towards electronics or fragile items.
The Blade has many pockets, some visible and some hidden. On the top, next to the handle, there are two pockets: one specifically designed for eye wear and one for GP items. On the side there are three pockets: the admin pocket (with stitched organizers for admin tools), the main compartment and the laptop (or even ballistic plates) compartment. All the internal parts of the bag are made of hi-viz nylon for better efficiency. The hidden pocket is located on the lower back close to the body, and it is intended for documents, extra cash, copy of conceal carry permit or passport.
Even on the road this backpack is really handy, in case of an accident (especially at night) you can grab it, exit the vehicle and move towards a safe location without keeping any valuables in the car. In the admin pocket we have placed two S&S Precision V-Lites and a Manta strobe to mark our presence to other drivers or the authorities until we have access to roadside flares.
This backpack is efficient and feature-rich without screaming “tactical”. We like the adaptability of PALs webbing and we like Camo but in most urban environments it just stands out too much. The clean design of the Blade 24 allows to be “undetected” or just not to stand out too much.
Bag, Pouches and Cases:
Arc’teryx Blade 24
Maxpedition Fatty Organizer
Maxpedition Mini Organizer
Salewa Med Pouch (With personal kit)
6×6 Pals Multicam Pouch
Thule 13″ Laptop Case
Items directly accessible:
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket
Outdoor Research Halberd Sensor Tactical Gloves
Princeton Tec Remix MPLS Headlamp in Multicam
Boker VAT tool
Princeton Tec Switch light
S&S Precision V-lite Green
S&S Precision V-lite Blue
S&S Precision Manta Strobe
Gerber Impromptu Tactical Pen
Oakley SI Ballistic DetCord in Cerakote
Surefire E2D Defender Ultra
Pick Lock Kit with Tecnora and Kevlar Strings
Vapur 0.7 Water bottle
Items stored in pouches:
Pelican 1010 Case
Samsung 250gb T1 SDD
Storacell 123 Battery holder
Gerber MP1 Multiplier
Gerber Shard Multitool
Surefire EP-1 C Ear Pro
Steiner T824 Compact Binoculars
Altoids Tin with basic Survival kit
Inforce 6vx backup Flashlight
Rite in the Rain notepad
Cyalume 6″ green
Samsung 13000mAh Battery Bank
Chargers for electronics
1 x QuikClot Combat Gauze
2 x Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x Elastic Bandage
1 x Tourniquet
3 x Pharmaderm Antibiotic wipes
3 x BurnFree Gel
10 x Normal Band Aids
8 x Special Shape Band Aids
3 x 3M Steri-Strips
1 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (8″x 8″)
2 x Aluderm Gauze Pad (4″x 4″)
1 x 3M Micropore Tape
1 x Surgical Tape
2 x Sterilized Gloves Nitrile
2 x Ketoprofen
10 x Ioperamide
2 x Paracetamole
2 x Amoxilline (antibiotics)
4 x Aspirin
4 x Iburofen
1 x Fine-Point Metal Tweezers
1 x Space Blaket
Inside Altoids Tin:
3 x 3M Steristrips
2 x Bandaids
2 x Iboprufen
4 x Antihistamine
4 x Water tabs
1 x 3M Ear Pro Backup
1 x Pencil w/ 1ft of tape and 20 ft of floss
4 x Stormproof matches
1 x Exotac firestarter
1 x Clip Compass
2 x BurnFree gel
1 x Alchool wipes
Shooting with a One-Point sling is certainly very comfortable, but when it’s time to sling the weapon system having a Two-Points really makes everything easier. This accessory allows to quickly change your configuration without having to handle any QD or clip interface. S&S Precision has had for a long time another similar product but this really seems slick and low-profile.
Specs and Features:
-New low-profile design
-Skeletonized design with fewer components
-Integrated hand stop/finger groove design
-Works in cojunction with single point sling systems (1” width) to secure weapon
-KeyMod & M-LOK versions available
The Outdoor Research Helium II is a light-weight waterproof jacket ideal for many outdoor applications. This product was originally designed for climbers and runners to be worn for a short period of time during a storm. The main concept behind this product is to always carry it with you.
Due to the extremely light-weight we have kept the jacket stored in our EDC backpack every single day for the whole season. With an astonishing weight of 180 grams you literally forget about it. The jacket is so compact that can fit even in a small cargo pocket. If you actually compress it with a vacuum machine it reaches the size of an energy bar.
We have already seen some very small and lightweight jackets on the market. What makes the Helium II unique is not just the weight but the waterproofness of the fabric. We have use this jacket in many unpleasant weather conditions and it has always kept us dry. To reach this kind of excellence Outdoor Research has utilized a 30D ripstop fabric with a Pertex Shield+ 2.5L coating. At first we were quite skeptical about the longevity of the waterproof shell due to the way the fabric compresses when the jacket is stored, but even after some pretty rough use it hasn’t showed any sign of weakness.
For example if you compress some other waterproof shells on the market like Gore-Tex the layers of the PU film could break, making the fabric permeable. Gore-Tex works with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane with a hydrophobic PU film; in some cases if the fabric is folded too much there could be a loss of waterproofness.
One of the greatest features of this garment is its breathability. Keep in mind that this product was not actually designed for prolonged use, this is why OR focused more on the weight than on the features. This is a jacket to always have in a backpack or just keep stored in a bag. Even if it does not have armpit zippers (like the bigger brother Helium HD) it still offers enough breathability to get the job done.
If you plan to wear this jacket for a longer period of time please take a look at the Outdoor Research Helium HD, it features a more complete type of hoodie and pockets, for a slightly larger size and weight.
Outdoor Research has done a great job designing the hood. It features a bungee cord that runs from the forehead to the back of the head, and if pulled tight it really secures the hood and the visor, offering a very smooth and “noise-free” motion. The visor is made of a much stiffer material allowing a very comfortable wear during storms. This feature really comes handy when shooting (both handguns and rifles) under bad weather.
We have chosen the black/hydro version of this jacket because it does not scream “tactical” while still offering some decent concealability. The blue OR logo and zipper don’t really stand out too much but are keen to make the user appear as a civilian. On the range this jacket is fantastic, due to the lightweight it can always be packed in a range-bag, and as soon as it starts raining you have backup. The elastic on the wrist allows to keep a clean motion during weapon manipulation, without risking of getting the garment in the way.
The choice between Helium II and Helium HD is only driven by the application of the user. Both offer lightweight, waterproofness and breathability. So because we like to carry this shell 24/7 in our backpacks we decided to go with the more lightweight/small version rather than the feature-richer one.
For more details about the Helium II please visit the Outdoor Research website: OutdoorResearch.com
Bravo Company Manufacturing has released a full line of 300 Blackout carbines and upper receivers. With this latest addition, BCM has officially entered the 300 blk segment of the firearm industry. The many similarities in the components of the weapon platform between .223 (or 5.56) and 300 Blackout allow an easy and cost effective caliber conversion.
In the past few years we have seen many other companies entering the 300 Blk market; we are very glad to see one of the best firearms manufacturer following the same steps. BCM will be offering the 300 Blackout upper receiver in 16″ RECCE, 12.5″ CQB and 10″ Pistol lengths.
Approved by SAAMI on 17 January, 2011, Supersonic 300 AAC Blackout 110-125 grain 300 Blackout ammunition was designed to produce a similar ballistic effect on target of a 7.62 x 39 mm round but out of a 9″ barreled AR platform carbine. At 300 meters, 300 Blackout has 16.7% more energy than a 7.62 x 39mm round. A supersonic round fired from a 9″ barreled AR pattern 300 Blackout carbine will match or exceed the energy at the muzzle of a 14.5″ 5.56 M4 carbine.
BCM 300 Blackout carbines use the exact same components, down to the magazines, as the rest of our carbine fleet with the exception of the barrels. This also means an end user can utilize both their existing magazines and AR accessories to fine tune the feel of their carbine, same as any other M4 or Recce rifle.
The 300 Blackout line of BCM carbines are built on our 1:7 Twist 11595E Certified Steel barrels. The bore on each BCM Enhanced Barrel is honed to perfect the rifled finish prior to chrome lining both bore and chamber. With a continuous taper profile designed to optimize balance, performance and weight; each BCM barrel is fluted toward the rear near chamber, increasing strength and speeding heat dissipation. Barrel harmonics and accuracy have been further improved by removing the sharp handguard cap shoulder commonly associated with AR platform barrels. Reliable, mil-spec quality, BCM Enhanced Barrels will deliver a repeated positive effect on target, every time you press the trigger.
For more information about the 300 Blackout caliber, its conversion and its performance (also at distance) please take a look at what Travis Haley from Haley Strategic Partners has to say after one year of test and evaluation with this platform.
Kinetic Development Group has been releasing a lot of great new products in the last few months. They have been focusing mainly on the FNH Herstal SCAR platform, diversifying from most of the other firearm accessories manufacturers on the market. We have already introduced you to the SCAR Adaptable Stock (SAS) a few months ago. Since then KDG has released some other interesting products both for the SCAR and AR platform (technically any platform thanks to the Magpul M-LOK system [Read our article]). They started by providing the FN SCAR operator an alternative extended aluminum rail system that would provide the same customization and attachment options as most ARs do, this is the MREX (Modular Receiver EXtention).
KDG has also released in the past few moths a new mounting system based on the M-Lok platform: the Kinect QD. This line of Quick-Detach mounts allows the operator to change and swap accessories on the weapon within seconds. There are two spring-loaded wedges in the base of the Kinect™ mounting point. When you press the accessory or rail section down in the MLOK™ slot, two tiny deployment triggers get pressed against the rail firing the wedges into place. There is nothing more frustrating that fiddling with an allen wrench (if you can find it) to get your accessories on an off your weapon with traditional modular rail sections. This changes the whole dynamic of the MLOK™ system and really makes every accessory truly removable with the ability to mount it in a second when needed. Due to the high quality materials and engineering skills this system does not fear recoil or hard use.
The last product line KDG has released is the Sidelock Optic Mounts. The first one to arrive on the market was designed for the Aimpoint Comp M4. The patented cam system locks the mount down onto picatinny without the need of tools, side levers, or huge knobs. The release system allows users to change out their optics on the fly with less hassle. The 3 levels of locks insure the optic will not move unintentionally, maintaining zero for the shooter, and returning to zero when remounting in the same position after removal. They have now released two other optics mounts: the Sidelock Universal Scope Riser (that features a plain 1913 rail system) and the Sidelock Aimpoint Micro Mount.
Blue Force Gear has now released the full line of Dapper Organization products. These pouches and panels were first introduced to the market at Shot Show, last January. Blue Force Gear is well known for smart and extremely-lightweight products. We have use extensively their Ten Speed line of pouches and we are excited to see the same technology applied to the EDC segment.
As for now the Dapper line consists of 3 series of hook and loop attachments: Mag pouches, Elastic loops and Clear zip pockets.
The Ten-Speed Magazine Dapper combines the legendary Ten-Speed performance with the flexibility of the Dapper system to provide the lightest, low profile way to carry spare magazines or other similar-sized items. Military-grade elastic pockets hold most double or single stack pistol magazines, lights, multitools, or other similar-sized items secure and in place. The Ten-Speed® pockets lie flat when not in use for reduced bulk and greater storage flexibility.
The Utility Dapper Pouch is a larger utility pouch to hold most everyday items and mission gear such as chargers, personal items, computer equipment, medical supplies, tools, magazines or almost any other item one would carry in a bag. The Large Utility Dapper can be quickly installed and removed on any loop field to quickly change the load out, making it the ultimate in discreet, modular load carrying.
The Pouch has two blue zipper pulls that are easily located and a top rubberized carry handle for easy opening and transporting. The carry handle can be hung around most US door knobs for use when traveling. The top is transparent, allowing you to see the contents without opening the pouch. The inside is a loop field, allowing the installation of Dapper Loops for even more organization options. The pouch comes in two sizes.
The Accessory Loop Dapper uses military-grade elastic to keep smaller items in place and organized. The smaller loops hold cables, batteries, chem lights, medical supplies, pens and other smaller items in place.
The Large Accessory Loop Dapper holds larger items such as tourniquet straps, bandages, large bundles of cables, 550 cord or smaller electronics such as GPS units, point and shoot cameras and most phones. The Accessory Loop Dapper is available in three different sizes: small, medium and large.
What we really like about the Dapper Organizers is the flexibility of it. Where you are an Operator overseas, a First Responder or even just a student who wants his backpack neat and organized this is the right product for you. The fact that the same product could be used for a Direct-Action backpack, a EDC Bag or even a car (or TacticalWalls) makes your kit very versatile and efficient.
For more information please visit BlueForceGear.com
Haley Strategic Partners has just released the new version of the INCOG Shadow Holster for the latest model of weapon-mounted pistol light from SureFire. The smaller 200 Lumen SureFire XC1 will allow the operator to better conceal the weapon even in low light conditions. The holster is sold both with or without the +1 mag caddy. The latest addition to the incognito line from HSP will start shipping in September.
The M-LOK Tripod Adapter for metal M-LOK compatible hand guards or forends mounts directly onto any tripod head equipped with the common Manfrotto RC2/Q2 interface. This adapter allows the user to mount their rifle directly to a tripod head without the use of any additional saddles giving them a secure shooting platform.
The M-LOK Tripod Adapter is machined from aluminum and finished in Mil-Spec anodizing which offers excellent corrosion resistance. The beveled ends and corners produce a minimal footprint allowing the user to keep the M-LOK Tripod Adapter attached to the weapon system at all times with minimal snagging hazards.
Made in U.S.A.
- Compatible exclusively with Manfrotto products using RC2/Q2 rapid connect adapter
- Directly mounts to metal M-LOK hand guards and forends (not intended for use with polymer hand guards or forends)
- Cammed T-Nuts
- Mil-Spec anodized aluminum
- Compact and low profile, covers only two M-LOK slots
- Beveled ends and corners
- Recoil/impact mitigation lugs
Sometimes dangerous, and potentially deadly, environments surround us. Whether you are overseas behind enemy lines, lost in the wilderness or a survivor in natural disaster a fixed blade knife is the tool that will always get you home safe and sound. A survival knife can provide the right help for water, shelter, fire, food and protection. It is the most versatile piece of equipment that we can carry. Gerber produces one of the milestones in the mil-spec survival blades: the Gerber LMF II Infantry. The Infantry is the definition of the survival knife, with an overall length of 269 mm, a blade length of 123 mm and a well-balanced weight of 330g this beefy knife can be utilized for tasks of different nature. The Gerber team is well known for providing the user with well-engineered products, and they seem to have reached a very good standard with the LMF II Infantry. They have chosen a 420 high carbon steel for this blade, which makes it very good against corrosion and hard use; in fact the Infantry can be even used as a prying bar in an emergency situation. To meet the compliancy of the aircrews’ standard issue, Gerber had to design the LMF II with two main features:
- It had to be tough (so that it could be used, by the crew, as an escape tool from the aircraft after a crash).
- It had to electrically insulate the user from any live wire he could find while escaping through the fuselage or the cockpit.
To accomplish these two requirements Gerber developed a very interesting design that meets both strength and protection using a combination of 420hc steel and hard composite materials in the body of the handle. The Blade: The use of the 420 High Carbon steel makes this knife incredibly resistant against rust, especially with application of the black non-reflective coating. Even though the Tanto design looks much cooler on a tactical knife, thankfully, the LMF II has a drop point design, which makes it a much stronger knife for any bushcraft or survival use. Due to its design and the 5 mm blade thickness, this knife is a great tool for chopping, prying and digging. The spine of the blade has a 90 degrees angle with no chamfer applied, which allows to light a fire with a Magnesium bar or flint fire starter. The blade has a drop point plain edge with 47 mm of serration closer to the handle. Even though some people believe that a knife has to have a plain edge, we know that a survival/bushcraft knife MUST have a serrated edge. The serration of the blade makes it much easier to cut through harder material, cords, fresh vegetation and it retains much better a sharp edge. Serrations are mandatory on a 420 HC steel survival blade to help maintain sharpness in the field, since this material could lose edge after some use. Sharpening this knife in the field is very easy. The sheath of the knife houses a V-shaped sharpener for the drop-point part of the blade that allows the user to carry an always-sharp blade, no matter what. If you really need to sharpen the serrated edge on the field, Gerber makes a great tool that makes it very easy: the Bear Grylls Field Sharpener. The blade also features two lashing holes to use the knife as a spear; this feature becomes very interesting when you have to find some food in the wilderness. We have used this method in the past to catch fish in a small river and it really can change the situation from a disaster to a memorable moment. One of the basic rules of providing food in the wild is that you do not have to use more energy than the one you’re going to gain from what your catch will give. To accomplish this goal the spear is the perfect tool since it doesn’t always require much running. The spear is very easy to make with very little cordage and it can also be used as a self-defense tool from wild animals. The Handle: Because of the large production scale of these knives, Gerber was able to use an injection molded handle with a diamond texture on its surface. This handle has a rubbery feel and really sticks to the user hand even when the surface of the handle is wet. The large pommel at the end of the grip allows a much more secure and firm grip. It also functions as a striking tool and a hammering surface. When working on bushcraft tasks, quite frequently, we have to grip the knife from the very end of the handle and strike on the back of the blade with a large piece of wood in order to chop down through a log; with this design, it is much easier and faster to do so. The Sheath: We believe that one of the most important parts of a knife is its sheath. For us, good retention, slickness, protection (both of the user and the blade) and different attachment options are key features in a good quality sheath. The sheath is made of ballistic nylon with a fire retardant coating. The retention of the knife is due to a friction lock mechanism that secures the knife in place even if attached tip-up on a plate carrier or a chest rig. The Infantry can be carried both right-handed and left-handed since the knife can be stored in the sheath either ways. The LMF II comes with many different mounting options. The knife can be carried on the belt, on a MOLLE system and, because of the leg straps, also thigh and calf carry. We gave this knife a very hard time, we have used it for a while now and we are very happy with the results. The overall package seems very durable and stiff and even the sheath after many drops seems to retain the knife without any wobbling. At first, we were quite worried for the black coating of the blade but even after hitting some rocks it did not seem to peel off at all. This, for sure, is not an EDC knife: it’s beefy and not light. But when you will need it, you will be glad of its weight especially when chopping wood or cutting down a tree. One of the features that we like the most about this product is its 25 YEARS WARRANTY and the fact that it is MADE in the USA (Portland, Oregon). If you are looking for an excellent-quality versatile survival knife for an affordable price, the Gerber LMF II Infantry is the perfect choice. For more intel please visit Gerber’s website.
Clothing featured in this article:
Vertx Tactical Belt
Swiss Eye is an European producer of optics for the sporting industry. In addition to that they have released a very wide line of product for the tactical user (Full masks, goggles, full-frame glasses and half frame glasses). They sent us two pair of their bungee goggles: the Infantry, both in clear lens and smoke lens. The Swiss Eye Infantry lenses are made of a single piece of poly-carbonate with an anti-fog coating named “ultimo”. Their frame-less design and the insert of a foam liner all around the optic allow the Infantry to be very flexible and to adapt to the user’s face with comfort. The Infantry uses a clever design that allows the operator to use this system both as a stand-alone and attached to an helmet; the bungee cords end with a double-sided Velcro attachment that can either attach to itself or to the hook-and-loop panel of an helmet. To adjust the length of the bungee you just make a new knot at the desired distance. This simple but effective design makes the Infantry the right optic for many uses (parachuting, tactical operations and mountain biking). We have been using these goggles mainly for biking, we have used them a lot in any sort of weather condition. We believe that this is a very interesting product for all those that, like us, like to go with their bikes into deep vegetation and need to have a very good eye-pro. We really like the fact that when not in use the Infantry goggles remain attached to the helmet, not like any normal glasses (that otherwise have to be stored in a secured position). The Infantry follows the NATO STANAG 2920 standard for fragmentation protection, so it is very indicated also for all those activities where eye protection is key. We have been using this optic in conjunction with an OpsCore helmet, S&S Precision Manta Strobe, two S&S Precision V-Lite, Princeton Tec Charge and Princeton Tec Remix Tactical. Between the clear and the smoke lens we used more the clear one, usually with another pair of sunglasses. Using the normal sunglasses that you would wear in any sort of sporting activity will leave you exposed on the eye-protection front, and if any sort of heavy movement of the head is involved there is a chance of loosing the glasses. This is why me liked having our goggle always strapped to the helmet. As you can see there is no need to un-hook the Velcro when you want to take off the helmet, this feature makes all this package very practical in virtually any situation. Whether you are a professional or just an outdoor/tactical enthusiast this is a very affordable and interesting product that can make your life much easier and safer when enjoying the great outdoors.
For more information please visit: SwissEye.com/
It’s always hard to get the job done when the sun goes down. Powerful lights have been helping us in many of these situations, but unfortunately we can’t always use such devices: in some situations we need to be able to see while not being seen. This is why, in the outdoors, we want use our eyes to adapt to the darkens and navigate through the environment using the surrounding natural light. However we don’t always have the possibility to utilize the light from moon or the glare of a nearby city reflecting off the humidity in the clouds to get the job done. Sometimes ambient light is just not enough. This is why, sometimes, is nice to have a device that is able to help us boost-up our night vision. To do this we had a chance to field test for about 6 months a night vision device: the Bushnell Equinox Z. Bushnell is well known for its quality product at an affordable price. Its well placed mid range product line was just the perfect fit for our needs. Yes, Gen2+Night Vision Devices are cool but they are so damn expensive! It is close to impossible for a non professional user to buy a decent quality gen2+ device. Since only a few years ago, if you didn’t want to buy one of those really expensive ones, you had to move on to an old Soviet built analog device. Luckily there are companies like Bushnell that in the last few yeas have been producing good quality DIGITAL night vision system that are affordable and well-made. Unlike first generation NVG units, the Equinox is totally digital, mounting a CMOS digital sensor this device is capable of delivering a good crisp image to the user. While doing so the device is also able to record both still and moving pictures. The behavior of this sensor is similar to the one of a digital camera, but in this case it is optimized for infrared light. While it’s night vision, these units can’t see in total darkness without help up to 200-300 yards. In this video the device’s IR illuminator is switched off so the only light source is the moon (1/4).
The Equinox Z monocle comes in three different variants: 3 x 30 mm, 4.5 x 40mm and 6 x 50 mm. Of these we had the chance to try out the mid version, the 4.5 x 40mm. The main difference between the three variants, apart from the dimensions, is the quality of the image: a bigger diameter of the lens will provide a more detailed image, especially at distance. Only measuring 164mm x 98mm x 62mm this device seems very compact and discreet and when not in use it can be easily stored in a cargo pocket. The weight is around 600 grams and considering it carries 4 AA batteries and it is IPX4 it isn’t bad at all!
The 4.5 x 40 mm version has quite some features and buttons, in fact it took us a while to get familiar with the device, especially at night time. The top side of the Equinox has 6 buttons well protected by a rubber armor: ON-OFF, Zoom In – Zoom Out, IR settings, illuminator settings and Record. On the lower side of the device is the tripod attachment point, with the traditional screw system. Next to it, under a protective cover, are three ports (TV Out, Mini USB, Micro-SD slot) and a switch (for still or moving pictures). t also features a Picatinny rail is on the side for mounting a more powerful infrared illuminator.
The unit we have reviewed has a lot of magnification for night vision. The more magnification you get, the narrower the field of view and this cuts into situational awareness. If you are scanning a large area, it is harder to spot something. On the other hand, if you do spot it, the higher magnification makes it easier to figure out what it is. To show you what the magnification on this system can do we have recorded with a tripod an S&S Precision Manta Strobe (IR beacon) moving out to 1300 yards from one hill to another. The light conditions were not even the best, there was about 1/4 moon and it was cloudy. To raise the bar for the Equinox we also recorded the same video in the same light conditions at the same distance with two green S&S Precision V-light blinking. What we really liked about this night vision device is the crispness of the details in very low light conditions at a not so-close distance with the IR illuminator ON, to show you here is a video of a car moving from 50 yards to about 130 yards. (This video was recorded on a tripod) This is a still image shot at about 40 yards to show you how, even with the 3 x magnification, you can shoot a crisp image while standing and with no light other than the IR illuminator. As you can see this device is capable of great results for a very affordable price, by the end of Q2 2015 it should be around $ 300. The many features of this device make it really adaptable and versatile for many conditions, whether you are a tactical shooter, hunter or just outdoors enthusiast the Bushnell Equinox Z is perfect for you. Because we didn’t treat it well at all we can actually saw that this device is pretty of tough, so maybe it wouldn’t be bad also for some semi-professional uses (nothing too risky, we wouldn’t rely on this in a life or death situation but it still gets the job done).
We have used the Equinox Z mainly in rural environments and we feel that this is its playground, it could be used also in a urban area provided that the IR illuminator is switched OFF (even with naked eye you can see a little red glare coming from it) or you can mount a third party IR flashlight on the Picatinny rail on the side. Other than that, we loved playing with it and we feel that from now on we aren’t going anywhere without it.
Urban Survivor Blog
The Haley Strategic Partners D3 FlatPack is an expandable compact assault pack. Designed with a unique expandable gusset system, the D3 FlatPack is an assault pack that can go from an almost flat profile when compressed to 600 cubic inches when completely expanded. It is Available in four different colors: Black, Coyote, Multicam and Ranger Green. In its compressed state, the D3 FlatPack can run a 1 liter hydration bladder in the main compartment with additional small items like batteries, energy gels and chem lights stored in the dedicated admin chamber. Expanded, the main compartment can fit a fully loaded D3CR, a helmet or a jacket while the admin can fit electronics and/or small binoculars. The FlatPack integrates with a D3CR or D3CR-H, replacing the H harness with the pack straps, to create a light reconnaissance, patrol or an EDC worst case scenario rig. The FlatPack will also molle into any PALS based nylon system including plate carriers, assault vests or other packs with external PALs webbing. Although designed with the Special Operations end user in mind, the D3 FlatPack also makes an excellent everyday pack for civilians looking for a very compact carry bag that doesn’t scream military. Able to safely transport electronics such as the iPad, MacBook (12″) or any laptop or tablet up to 8″ x 12″, the padded inner chamber can also hold a number of items ranging from books and periodicals to digital cameras.
The D3 FlatPack can hold the HSP D3CR making it a very compact and reliable pack to carry a chest rig in a covert situation. During the transition from covert to overt, one the D3CR is deployed, the operator is able to slim back down the pack and integrate it with the chest rig, making this system a great site exploitation bag. Materials and Weight:
500D Cordura Mil-Spec nylon
200 cubic inches expandable to 600 cubic inches
Computers (max size 8″x 12″) will fit when fully compressed
50 cubic inches that can also be expanded to 100 cubic inches
With the HSP D3CR to create a patrol system
Any PALs based systems (such as plate carriers)
Every shooter should enjoy the hearing safety, reduced felt recoil and optimized overall experience of a silenced firearm, whether at the range or on a hunt. SIG SAUER is committed to making silencers accessible to more shooters by advancing silencer legislation and by increasing the affordability of silencers through smarter engineering and design.
Introducing Taper-Lok™—a next-generation technology, exclusive to SIG SAUER Silencers. This innovative, three-piece system is built for speed, accuracy and repeatability over time. Modular design allows for simple and economical changes to your muzzle configuration. Integrated wrench flats mean no ratchet teeth to wear out or damage. Provides the least zero-shift even through multiple install/removal cycles. For each caliber Sig Sauer allows the operator to chose between the different attachment systems, materials and dimensions; making each and every suppressor suited for the job. Sig Sauer, as for now, provides the user six different caliber: 5.56, 7.62 and .338 LM, .22, 9 mm and .45 ACP.
Rugged, 17-4 stainless steel baffles are enclosed by a titanium tube for leading durability and the lightest pistol silencers available. The interchangeable baffles allow for easy silencer assembly and maintenance. The most common standard and metric pistons are included in every box, allowing you to use the same silencer on a full arsenal of host pistols.
Sig Sauer Silencers will be soon available for a very reasonable price. Maybe this time your wife won’t be so upset we she finds out how much you spent on your AR.
The new Kinetic SAS kit takes the amazing Magpul designed Masada (ACR-E) stock system and allow for direct use with your SCAR platform rifle. Stock ships fully assembled with SCAR adapter for drop in use.
Just a few months ago, Kinetic Development Group launched its company with the promise to bring solutions to the small arms market existing with high quality firearms. They started with the FN SCAR as many SCARs are deployed with our Special Operations Forces. They also recognize the 16S and 17S are increasingly popular with American shooters and law enforcement.
Their first products, the MREX (modular rail extensions) for the front end of the SCAR has been very popular. The KDG front and rear sling points have also brought the SCAR into the year 2015 as far as QD sling solutions go. Well, they have just addressed another common complaint about SCAR. Some refer to it as the SCAR’s “UGG Boot” like stock system.
SAS kits come standard with 7 positions of length adjustment, cheek weld height adjustment, an AMBI QD sling attachment point, a weatherproof battery compartment, and a side-folding feature. Like the factory stock, the weapon can be fired with the stock folded. KDG also added an optional set-screw to allow users the option to eliminate any play between the stock and receiver.
The stock and adapter comes fully assembled from KDG. There are no tools required to install on your SCAR! The whole system retails for $299.00 and can be purchased at www.kineticdg.com or a dealer listed near you found on their website.www.kinetidg.com/dealers
The Adaptive Cummerbund is the next step in the FirstSpear system approach. Up to now, you’ve been able to exchange front panels for several carriers. Now, you can take full advantage of their Tubes technology. Tubes are located at both front and rear of the cummerbund meaning you can easily swap them out, as well as front and rear panels. It is currently available in the “land” style with loop Velcro on the body side for Ragnar pockets, as well as a TFSS maritime flotation cummerbund specifically designed for combat swimmers, and/or maritime airborne operations personnel. The TFSS cummerbund has been designed and tested for use during egress from a submerged structure of any type, providing 45lbs of positive flotation in seawater at a depth of 33 ft, 57lbs of positive flotation at a depth of 15 ft and 80lbs of flotation on the surface, allowing the wearer a maximum load-out of equipment. Soft Armor Ballistic Inserts complying with NIJ Category IIIA.06 or specific Military Specification requirements are available from FirstSpear for an additional fee. This video will bring it all together. These Adaptive Cummerbunds are just the beginning. Look for FIrstSpear to add purpose built sections for the Adaptive Cummerbund as well as integration of other mission essential elements. Available in Black, Ranger Green, Multicam, and Coyote
[Photo credit: First Spear] [Article credit: Soldier Systems]
This year at SHOT Show Magpul has released some very interesting products. The first segment is dedicated to the “marriage” between Uncle Sam and Mother Russia with the release of some new rifle furniture for AKs.
Magpul ZHUKOV-S Stock
The Magpul Zhukov-S Stock is a no-compromise folding stock for the modern AK. The Zhukov-S Stock casts aside traditional AK stock shortcomings and offers a folding, collapsible stock with QD sling mounts, modular Cheek Risers, and a shock-absorbing rubber butt-pad for superior traction. The Zhukov has right-side folding for compatibility with side-mounted optics. Designed to fit most common stamped AK receivers without modification via a unique wedge block, the durable injection molded polymer Zhukov-S Stock redefines the human interface with the AK platform.
Magpul MOE AK Stock
Providing Magpul construction and ingenuity to the venerable AK platform, the Magpul MOE AK Stock is an optimized fixed stock for most stamped-receiver rifles. Featuring the unique wedge block fitment of the Zhukov-S Stock, the MOE AK Stock provides internal storage, optimized QD sling swivel placement, a shock absorbing rubber butt-pad for positive placement, and user-selectable snap on Cheek Risers.
Magpul PMAG D-60 AR/M4
The PMAG D-60 is a durable, lightweight, highly reliable 60-round 5.56×45 NATO/.223 Remington polymer magazine for AR15/M4 compatible weapons. With a larger capacity than previous PMAGs, the PMAG D-60 gives the shooter 60 rounds of ammunition, effectively allowing the same round count as two standard capacity 30-round magazines without requiring a critical reload. The unique drum configuration keeps the height of the magazine manageable as well, allowing prone firing and easier storage. Features a paint pen dot matrix for easy marking and a rear window for instant capacity indication. Compatible with a wide range of NATO firearms such as the M4, M16, SCAR MK16/16S, HK416, MR556, M27 IAR, and others.
Magpul PMAG GL9 – Glock 17
The PMAG 17 GL9 is a 17-round magazine featuring durable polymer construction, paint pen dot-matrix for labeling, tool-less floor plate removal for ease of maintenance, and a visible capacity indicator hole on the body. The PMAG 17 GL9 is compatible with all full-size 9mm Glock handguns, as well as compact and sub-compact variants with some protrusion below the grip.
Magpul HUNTER 700 Stock
Made from reinforced polymer and a machine finished, anodized A380 cast aluminum bedding block, the Magpul Remington 700 Hunter Stock offers users a fully adjustable length of pull, comb height, and enhanced ergonomics. Compatible with all Remington 700 Short Actions, this stock requires no bedding and is a true “drop-in” solution for the end user. This stock is also M-LOK compatible to accept a broad range of accessories. Also available is our Bolt Action Magazine Well, which allows the rifle to be used with detachable box magazines without the need for custom inletting.
The D-EVO is a 6×20 fixed power prism optic which uses mirrors and lenses to get the job done. It could be used stand alone but it’s meant to be used in conjunction with a Red Dot Sight.
Developed over the last year, the Dual-Enhanced View Optic has many features being considered for the Army’s future Squad Common Optic. Leupold chose to integrate the Close Mid-Range Reticle with Wind holds (CMR-W) from the popular MK6 line (7.62 version below for illustration). It offers bullet drop to 600m as well as windage but this version uses averages for 5.56 and 7.62 cartridges. It offers up to 50 mils of windage and elevation adjustment with 0.1 mil increments per click of the dials.The D-EVO is 2″ tall, 4.6″ long, taking up only 3.2″ of rail space due to its mount. It weighs 13.8 oz and is waterproof to 66 feet.
The photo above is looking out at about 200m while the image below is at 100m.
Credit: Leupold Optics, Soldier Systems
Gerber is a recognized leader in military-grade tactical products. We had the chance to test for a few months one of their new Cortex flashlights.
These lights are proudly built in the US and are designed to meet the needs of the military professionals. The Gerber Cortex series is comprised of three flashlights: the Cortex, the Cortex Compact and the Cortex Rechargeable. This line of lights features the Gerber’s patented Omnivore technology, which allows them to operate on multiple powers sources. The Cortex and Cortex Compact can operate on either AA or Lithium CR123A batteries, while the Cortex Rechargeable runs on Lithium Ion 18650 battery but will also accept disposable CR123A batteries.
The Cortex Flashlight is built with adaptability in mind. It can run on either three Lithium CR123A batteries or two AA batteries. The Cortex accepts both alkaline and lithium, providing the operator with flexibility when battery choices are limited. With a maximum output of 675 Lumens (when running on three CR123 batteries), the Cree XML LED provides a level of light than can be effectively utilized to overwhelm an aggressor or identify a threat. In an outdoor environment this light can be effective for hundreds of yards.
As you can see from the images above the light has a very wide outer beam, while still having a focused hot spot in the middle. We believe that Gerber has found a good balance between wide-external and focused-central. This fine combination allows the operator to enhance its situational awareness while still being able to utilize the tool actively and selectively. The tail switch cap allows to select between three modes: high, low and strobe. The low mode provides an output of 40 Lumens and is well suited for administrative tasks.
The light is built with heavy duty in mind. The Cortex is made of aircraft grade anodized aluminium which feels solid and tough as soon as you grab it. Because of its aggressive design, the bezel can be used as a striking tool or even to brake glass, in case things go very south.
The light is also provided with a built in clip, for easier carry when a sheath is not available.
We believe that this flashlight could be very interesting especially for those who live in Europe, while other US made flashlights are very expensive this seems to have an excellent Quality/Price ratio. For the pure tactical application (CQB, even weapon mounted) we prefer to have a momentary only switch. But this product still does a very good job for a personal defense task. In all these months that we have been using this product (and we didn’t treat is very good) we have never experienced a failure of any kind. We have accidentally dropped this light for quite some distance and every thing was fine, and even underwater it worked magnificently.
We recommend this light for its adaptability, and we would definitely keep it in my car or in a Go bag. The Cortex’s adaptability and versatility make it a tool you must have. The fact that you can utilize this light for personal defense, search and rescue and general outdoor/tactical applications definitely make this flashlight one of the best we have ever owned.
So if you need to purchase a flashlight that can do the work of 3 or 4 we strongly recommend this. If you are looking for a light to keep on your person when hiking in the mountains, operating overseas, rescuing, hunting or even as and EDC tool, this is the one.
The Gerber Cortex flashlight is available at GerberGear.com for € 192.00