Very Personal Clothing

One for anybody interested in British issue kit/PCS and MTP in general.

I’ve very briefly mentioned the latest aircrew FR clothing in the past, the only place I’ve seen it so far was on the aviators I worked alongside in afghan last year and the total number of items from this uniform system that are actually in existence is a minuscule number compared to the amount of standard issue PCS that’s out there in circulation now.  I’m unsure exactly how many generations of aircrew specific FR apparel the military has been through since the initial roll out of MTP. I know that initially (as with the non-FR uniforms) there was a simple CS95 cut in the MTP camouflage material, at least 1 intermediate step with a unique new cut and now the ‘FACS’ (Future aircrew clothing system) items seem to have been pretty much standardised across the board.

Fast Jet and Multi engine crews retain the classic green overall for the most part, but as you might expect given the role in theatre, rotary wing crew (both drivers and ticket punchers) have the greatest expectancy of potentially having to get out of their birds in a place they’re not supposed to and their clothing, weapons and equipment shares much more in common with ground troops/crew.

The only information I could find in the public domain regards this kit is in the following 2 briefing items. First is a regular publication regards air safety and general aircrew matters (advise skipping to page 44 if you’re not a pilot), second is a Powerpoint brief that’s slightly older detailing flame resistance tests carried out on different FR MTP uniforms and the process behind how the clothing has evolved over time.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/…/DE32825E_5056_A318_A8EED74823B0BF4E…

http://www.safeeurope.co.uk/…/02-m-trudgill-development-of-…

The latest iteration of the FR MTP UBACS isn’t illustrated in the above unfortunately and I don’t have any pictures available, but it’s an interesting item. Having a fully-patterned torso area and full-colour loop fields on each arm, as opposed to the PYCO blanking plates on the standard general issue uniform shirts. The loop may well be normal multicam, but all examples I saw were very heavily faded; presumably a result of the combination of boil washes used by the local contractors, high frequency of washing, small number of items issued per person, the strength of the sun in theatre and lack of dye-fastness.

The trousers from this system are by far the most advanced being issued to anyone in the conventional British forces that I’m aware of. They’re extremely reminiscent of the Platatac Tac Dax Mk3 trousers, which themselves are derived from the current generation of Patagonia L9 combats that certain USSOF guys are issued.

The Patagonias have stretch on the knees like Crye combats, but instead of sewing a NYCO knee pad pocket on top of it, there’s 2 layers of the stretch fabric which accept a proprietary knee pad, foam inside, plastic piece clips on outside through holes in the outer layer of fabric. The Tac Dax and the FACS trousers do a similar thing but use the D3O Trust HP Internal knee pads. All of the above also feature stretch panels at the back just below the belt line as well as either a stretch panel or extra fabric in the groin to help lessen the chances of that splitting. The MTP stretch material has an odd horizontal ribbing to it that I’ve not seen elsewhere.

Unlike the US DoD, the UK MoD has not deemed that barely anyone other than aircrew (and a few other vehicle crewmen) is worthy of getting FR clothing, even for deployment to operational theatres. You get a TON of other kit for deployment and when I went away with my bucket and spade I got the most up to date kitting for a ‘Dismounted Close Combat’ role minus the Virtus body armour and new helmet, i.e. the stuff an infantryman would’ve gotten a couple of years ago. Not because I was actually in such a role (I’d be bloody useless) it was just decided that everyone going should get all that kit, training was also far longer and more in-depth than it was during the Herrick days and everyone deployed with both a rifle with a 4x sight and a 9mm sidearm. My guess for the reasoning behind this is simply the nature of the drastically reduced footprint of international military personnel that are in country now vs the time proper to the 2014 draw down, combined with the fact that top brass and the government have “no appetite for risk” (direct quote there).

Given the high percentage of burn casualties sustained by ISAF forces in Afghanistan over the course of the large scale operations there, I find it pretty strange that wider adoption of a flame resistant uniform for everyone deploying is yet to occur. Even if features like stretch panels and integrated knee pads aren’t included for personnel not generally expecting to engage in close combat, just using a fabric with a no melt/no drip capability would be an enormous step forward. From what I can gather via my own research (military labels do not detail fabric contents of a garment) all standard PCS MTP fabric contains a very high % content of polyester, even more than most commercial PYCO blend offerings. They do include an insect repellent from the factory and there’s some sort of ballistic protective fabric in the UBACS neck which is nice; there’s also no shortage of coverage against various ballistic threats with the Mk4 Osprey and groin protector. However, when your entire lower body and your arms and shoulders have a nice layer of polyester melted to them, the best body armour in the world won’t save you from the burns and subsequent massive shock sustained.

The even more darkly comedic part of the debate for me is the fact that a lot of people in the service either don’t or won’t believe or accept this is an issue, as if somehow it’s only crew who might need the protection. Personally I scrounged up a set of the intermediate cut aircrew issue FR uniforms in a close-enough size while I was deployed by saving it from a whole load of older/outsized kit that was being disposed of. But I’m still left with no option but to cross my fingers and hope the likes of the infantry and other personnel who risk being exposed to blast/flame hazard while transiting around current and future combat zones will actually be issued a uniform along the lines of the ones that our American allies utilise:

Modular Pouch QR

Often times I post cool shit. Sometimes I post shit that’s boring and works and makes me lose followers because people who actually give a fuck about stuff that just works are pretty rare.
 
These things are called Molly Stix from National Molding LLC. You thread them through any pouch that’s designed to use MALICE clips and they allow you to remove that pouch super fast should the need arise. They’ll work on a lot of brands like Tactical Tailor / MilSpecMonkey / ITS Tactical, High Speed Gear, Emdom USA, FirstSpear 6/9 backed pouches and lots more I don’t actually have to hand in order to jog my memory.

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Main application would probably be a pouch you’ve designated at carrying medical supplies. Now, there a tons of those on the market which are either sat on a PALS-mounted base of velcro and secure with a strap, or contain a sort of ‘quick draw’ insert that allow you to lay your med kit on the floor for working on some poor bloke, as opposed to crane your neck having to fumble around inside something that’s still attached to your rig. However if you’ve already got a specific GP or admin pouch that fits your needs and you want it to be quick removable, or you’d rather spend $6 on a pair of these than $30-60 on a brand new dedicated quick-removal pouch, they’re a strong option.

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I first saw these via ITS and they have them for sale in pairs at their store. Which makes a lot of sense because I accidentally ordered only 1 when I forgot to change the quantity in my basket at a different store, and let me tell you only having one is fairly useless (for me anyway).
 
The pictures included illustrate the locked and unlocked position respectively and you can see how easily these can be slid out of your gear and facilitate quick release of a pouch. It is a niche application, but when you do have something specific like that and a product comes along to meet that need it really saves your bacon.

H&K Numbers

HK have made a SCAR-L/ACR combo that’s slightly bettererer; feature wise anyway, obviously can’t comment on build quality and reliability yet.

-Non reciprocating charging handle (unlike the SCAR)
-Quick change barrels like the ACR
-Selector goes to safe all the time (unlike the AR-15)
-Folding collapsing stock, light, full ambi, takes 30rnd STANAGs but they’re showing their own metal mags like it’s 2004… alllll the same shit you see on all these cookie cutter modern assault rifles.

Doesn’t even seem to have a wiki page right now that’s how new this, but the first place I saw it was Larry Vickers‘ page.

No doubt short stroke gas piston. The BUIS look pretty anorexic, bolt catch/release button is a straight ACR rip-off basically, metal part of the charging handle looks the same as well to my eye. The German military is looking to replace the G36 right now, this will probably be it I reckon. HK and the German government are too well intertwined at this point, but as with anything, we’ll see.

Some nice Leo Köhler GmbH & Co. KG multicam shirts on display, presumably issue variants since the commercial one I have here does not feature rank epaulettes on the shoulders (obviously, this is 2017 not 1917).

BCM Make Gear Too

I do enjoy the gear ID game. A lot of you will have seen the AK reload video Haley Strategic Partners uploaded today and Travis was wearing a pretty nice looking RG combat shirt I didn’t recognise. I guessed it might be some rare Crye item, custom run for the CIA or some other US federal LE branch like that because he’s been seen in AOR2 Crye combats and the like before (presumably gifted by friends, colleagues and students). Some of the details were off however for CP, but I couldn’t see him running 5.11 or Propper so I was left guessing and the video Garand Thumb uploaded yesterday had that particular topic on my mind.
NB – You need to go watch that video and subscribe to him.

Anyway, luckily when Mr Haley turned side on to the camera there was a nice big Bravo Company USA logo embroidered on to the right arm pocket, which enabled me to track down this little badger:

http://www.bravocompanyusa.com/BCM-Com…/bcm-ct-shirt-grn.htm

Now this info will be of almost zero use to us here in Europe, but being a 50/50 NYCO on the yoke and sleeves with a nice blend of materials in the torso and a very decent cut (apart from the excess of NYCO on the back) I’d recommend anyone in the US take a look at this shirt and take it in to consideration. $60 is a damn good price for a combat shirt in these materials and though Tru-Spec has a competing offering it’s not as well designed in some areas in my opinion and might cost you more. There are even brands that charge higher prices for shirts in poly/cotton, which makes the BCM an even stronger option.

MOE Money Less Problems

Are you still loving these titles?  Bet you are.

 

Despite being basically obsolete in the firearms world at the time I bought it, this MOE Scout mount from Magpul Industries Corp. has worked well for me. The MOE slots were the obvious precursor to the powerhouse that has become the M-LOK mounting solution. Though they weren’t nearly as slick of a system as M-LOK overall (having to bolt things on old school stylee) they received a good bit of support from Magpul in terms of compatible accessories over the course of their life span. If you’ve still got any old MOE handguards or an ACR, whether it’s PTS or Magpul Industries, you can buy some really affordable little adapter pieces that do allow you bolt new M-LOK accessories to those older platforms.

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Now as far as my RIF collection is concerned my PTS ACR that’s been internally re-worked by LCs Engineering Outpost is probably my most trusted workhorse, or at the least it’s the rifle best suited to extended type games. I’ve kept a plastic handguard up front to minimise weight and fit the ergonomics to my personal taste, but of course the MOE slots aren’t quite as easy to work with compared to picatinny when it comes to building a light/switching setup to cover all conditions.

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I’d perhaps advocate for a metal mount when it comes to a combat or duty weapon, but honestly I don’t think a small piece of aluminium is actually guaranteed to be much stronger than this reinforced structure of Magpul’s proprietary plastic blend. The MOE scout mount incorporates the holes for SureFire, LLC Scout series lights, as well as the after market bodies for those lights sold by Arisaka and Haley Strategic Partners. They also cut in a picatinny slot so simple bolt on lights such as the INFORCE WML can go right on there and if I recall correctly rings were available to snap on a handheld, so you’re really covered from every conceivable angle.

https://flic.kr/p/QrtY4A

Given the extremely low cost, almost non-existent weight and solid mounting, I think it’s truly an outstanding option. If you’re in the market now, the newer M-LOK equivalents that are currently produced have basically all the same qualities.