Nyet, Hide of Ural Mountain Badger is Fine

When I post the upper half, you know the lower is coming. Giena Tactics‘Tactical Pants GC’ in some nice authentic Partizan/SS Summer all the way from the other side of the iron curtain.

Essentially you’ve got pretty much the CP Gen 2 or AC cut going on here but without the stretch panels and a couple of other minor changes here and there, which means you’re left with something akin to a field cut trouser that fits the Combat knee pads. Crye pads are fully compatible and the G3 style covers for the pad pockets are present meaning you can easily run the field pads or none at all. Pad position is also adjustable via elastic cords in the small front pockets as you’d expect.

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The ankle pockets have been omitted (which I’m a fan of) but you’ve still got 8 pockets left in total and 2 adjustment tabs on the backs of the knees when Cryes only have 1. Double layered seat, slightly padded around the waist with again a G3 style gusset in the crotch, though as above that portion is made from py/co rather than any sort of stretch fabric.

General stitch per inch count looks a little on the lower side on my set and there’s one area where something’s gone wrong on a pocket corner, but they have put in a lot of time doing bar tacks and reinforcements in various key places. All that said, for around $80 you’re actually getting a comparatively very well made product. Not perfect, but extremely good value for the money and so much better of a choice than a lot of the cosplay-only china clone gear.

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Between the low price and the very wide range of patterns available that you simply won’t see very often (doubly so in this cut), I’d say if you’re reading this post you’re the kind of person who would at the very least enjoy taking a look at the product line Giena offers.

I picked up my set directly. Grey Shop – Motherland Supply used to stock a lot of Giena Tac, but they’re not bringing it in these days by the looks of things. Shipping out of Russia will take a little bit because obviously the place is bloody massive and I’d imagine their postal service can be somewhat.. chaotic.

Nyet, Canvas is Fine

Been waiting to post this kit for a fair old while, so lend me your attention a moment comrades.

Part 1 of my personal Giena Tactics combat cut set. This is the Type 2 combat shirt in what GT refers to as Partizan or SS Summer. They currently offer 3 different styles of combat shirt, but for me this type represents the best design overall.

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There’s a sport shirt style synthetic torso fabric which makes these ideal for any situation where one desires camouflage but isn’t expecting to be blown up or fired at with HE weaponry. It’s a poly/cotton blend (mixture varies by pattern) which wouldn’t normally be my choice, but in these patterns you don’t have the same fabric selection as you might in something like Multicam.
There’s a double layer of fabric on the elbows, velcro cuffs, plenty of loop on the upper arm pockets which themselves are easy to access and I like the fact the py/co continues around the zip for added strength in that area. Also a fan of the way they torso fabric actually lines the inside of the collar, which is certainly not a common feature.

Sizing is going to be very different to what most western folks are used to, so you need to take your time with getting that right if you order from these guys, but overall the stitching is neat, with reinforcements where appropriate, flatlock on the torso and a more than reasonable per inch count. For 60 USD I think the value is honestly very good indeed. You can easily spend similar amounts on some of the worst junk from China if you don’t have the knowledge to find the right stuff.

Crye Pringles

As of February 2016 this was the extent of everything I owned from Crye. At that point I’d spent a lot of years just buying every combat cut piece of camo that I could find (at that time) which emulated the style but wasn’t actually Crye. I wanted to have some colours and camo patterns that weren’t the same as the gear everyone else was wearing.

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So from left to right:
-AC (or Gen 2 as it was called when it came out) Fields
-AC Combats
-AC Combats in RG (my first ever piece of Crye kit and the only piece for some years)
-G3 Combats in MC Arid (first G3 item)
-AC Combat shirt

Previous this picture I had picked up various generations and types of combat cut trouser from Plat-A-Tac, Patagonia, Arktis, Beyond Clothing and UR-Tac in an attempt to try out every other brand I could that still accepted the Airflex knee pad. I’ve found a couple more since then, but not a great many overall and very few have been worth spending out the money on in terms of quality and design. I tend to think varying too far from the AC or G3 cut will only lead down bad roads.

Shortly after this picture however I clearly had a severe bump on the old noggin because I’ve gone a little overboard on the Crye purchases since then. I think it’s because I deliberately held myself back from buying any at all for around 5-6 years, then once I popped I just couldn’t stop.

I’m afraid of re-doing this picture with the current collection.

Magpul vs SureFire

You bought a good light, that’s the first thing to get right of course and a white light along with a sling and a red dot are probably the most sensible accessories to have on pretty much any type of weapon. However, if you don’t get it mounted and setup decently, you’re wasting a lot of that lights’ potential.

On the one hand, if you’ve picked something up which already has a pic mount and switch integrated you can likely slap it somewhere on your handguard and as long as you do so sensibly with good, ergonomic switch access you’ll be set. But when it comes to a SureFire, LLC Scout spec light you can most certainly squeeze some advantages out of a few aftermarket accessories.

In steps good old Magpul Industries Corp. with their lovely dark ground, aromatic plastic blend. I’ve pictured their polymer M-LOK Cantilever light mount and the M-LOK tape switch mounting plate, because these two make a superb pairing for those of us who don’t run around hostile places wearing 4-eyed NVGs. If you are one of those guys or you want maximum longevity, you’d be best off just stepping the light mount up to the aluminium version, but I’d wager 90-something% won’t break the cheaper and lighter plastic variant.

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From what I’m seeing, the standard Scout light package from SureFire has changed to no longer include the ST07 tape switch and appropriate tail cap that used to be the norm a while back, although those packages do still seem to be an option. If full ambidextrous/both shoulder control of your light is a goal however, the ST07 is now a far more viable option with this mounting plate from Magpul. In the bad old days of quad pic rails, if you wanted to mount your remote switch up on the 12 o/clock you had to do some zip-tie, glue and/or velcro ghetto rigging or spend out a pretty eye watering amount of money for the SR07 switch that had picatinny attachment moulded in to it.

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With the advent of forends and rails that include M-LOK along most of the 12, you can finally position the flat ST07 exactly where your thumb will sit when shooting from either shoulder, meaning you have instant, momentary only activation of your light whichever way you’re shooting. For me, that’s certainly the goal as I like to know I can shine some illumination down a corridor or in to a room while keeping tucked in to cover as much as possible by utilising an appropriate sling to switch shoulders. Now, usual caveat in case anyone isn’t aware, I am talking pure bbwars here of course because this sort of thing is definitely not my job and my CQB training through work is not quite zero, but definitely very minimal and I only have it for serious emergency defence when literally everything else has gone wrong. However I do my best to pay attention to the intelligent professionals who’ve been there and done that and I’ve tried out a lot of configurations over the years to see if I agree with their patterns of thinking in terms of applying them to my personal gear. Which is all most of us can do end of the day.

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So if you own any sort of AR variant and you do the sensible things of putting M-LOK and a Scout up front, these 2 pieces can complete the puzzle in a very satisfactory fashion for less than $35 in the US. That’s seriously economical when just a few years ago the only Scout mount options you’d see for sale (talking just for the light) cost a minimum of around $50-60. I haven’t fully completed my own setup using these parts yet, but other RIF builds I’ve done run along very similar lines in terms of lights and I’ll of course be posting up the finished articles when they are ready.

Armistice 17

There’s a lot of posts about armistice day and remembrance out there, I don’t think I need to remind anybody yet one more time about the importance of it.

I’m on duty at the moment, which means I’ve been in work a couple of times over the weekend and I pretty much have to stay on base for a week. Everyone takes a turn, just means I spend a lot of time here in the barrack block and I do a lot of thinking; so I’ve been thinking all day about what to say on the subject.

From a social media perspective, I think it’s very, very easy to post ‘prayers for’ and ‘respect to’ posts every time there’s a tragedy or a marked public holiday/event. If those posts come from the heart, if you genuinely take the time to think about the sacrifices that heroes have made and great people we’ve lost, that’s great.

Personally; I won’t lie I didn’t even buy my poppy until yesterday, I didn’t spend a long time pausing at 11am today to be silent either. I think about people who’ve been lost and those who’ve lost a bit of themselves near enough every single day. I can’t even ‘take credit’ or claim that’s a conscious effort it just pops in to my brain without trying. Makes my heart weigh pretty heavy truth be told.

Like to use this post here to share a video I watched on Soldier Systems Daily from Sitka. As some context to something well known in popular culture, this is a story somewhat akin to that told in American Sniper. However there’s no actors here, just the man himself, his tale and his reality. He might be American but his story is no doubt very, very similar to that experienced by so many thousands upon thousands more across the globe.

The internet stops at your screen. I think a few too many people can forget that, hit post and think they’ve done something; I’ve been guilty of it and I reckon if we’re honest we likely all have been at some point. So if you want to, if you can, if the opportunity is there or you can make the opportunity, at the very least say a kind word to any veteran or service person who’s been there, done that. Of course not just during WW2, but Korea, The Falklands, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq (at various times), Syria, the Balkans… and the list goes on and on. There are people who need help all of the time.

Watch, absorb, contemplate, try and genuinely be as grateful as you can manage to for each day.

What Happens in Vegas?

After a couple of tentative 5p-50p days of send a lot of e-mails back and forth with the organisers, my badge is in.

That was fortunate, because in a logistic/organisation sense it’s definitely takes some time to get this trip sorted each year. I actually booked my flights and hotel way back in June to ensure I got what I wanted at decent prices. Top tip for anyone going: you can get a far nicer room for less money if you just stay at a place slightly further from the expo centre and travel about 10-15 minutes on the monorail/bus – the premium on 2-3* rooms that are near the sands centre is just bonkers.

I actually booked in my leave for this right after the 2017 show to maximise my chances. 2 weeks taken from my annual allowance, about 10 days of it in Las Vegas and the rest trying to get back on to UK time since there’s an 8 hour difference. I usually volunteer to come in on duty and check on the armoury during part of the christmas grant that everyone takes, otherwise I’m smashing most of my year’s entitlement in the space of 6 weeks. It’s pretty funny when I get there I have to say, because the first few days I get out of bed around 2 or 3 in the morning and feel fully wide awake. That also totally takes away my appetite for some reason, so I eat 1 small meal a day for the first week, then eat like a starved horse in the last 3 days just as I get adjusted. It’s a fun time all around in that regard. Something different to my usual routine anyway.

If all goes to plan I’ll be teaming up with Kit Badger to stroll the convention floor for the full 4 days (and hopefully a couple of different range days), checking out all the best in firearms and tactical gear to post up and bring you good folks all the news and cool/interesting products we possibly can.

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M-LOK Competition

News announcement from Mission First Tactical – drop-in plastic M-LOK handguards for ARs.

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Not many alternatives to the Magpul out there right now, but of course the ability to just rip off those USGI handguards and instantly gain M-LOK is always nice. Likely similar price to the Magpul MOE-SL handguards once these get to stores, very similar overall shape of course. No idea whether there are M-LOK slots at 12 o/clock as I just had this media message drop in to my e-mails and I can’t find any other images. I know some VERY early MOE handguards had flat tops that you could bolt accessories on to then Magpul changed that years and years ago, maybe because of the heat from a gas tube? Not sure.

I’ve had some MFT BUIS that were a real let down quality wise, some really poor design aspects. On the other hand I’ve got a couple of the minimalist stocks that work great for me. Not a brand I’d take to war but of all their products I’ve seen/handled the overall impression is definitely decent. When you want an economical accessory that can quickly and very easily add functionality it’s very hard to beat a forend like this one.

Down Under Chesty

My run down of the PLATATAC VM Chest Rig in RG.

Unfortunately, and annoyingly, as of this moment there’s no stock of these in. I have had this one for a fair few months in order to be able to actually try it out a couple of times, examine it in depth and put out the review, but I’m hoping they’ve not been discontinued entirely.

We’re certainly taking it back to the sort-of old school a bit with this design, but it’s the sort of layout I like and the zip up front is a really crucial element to include I think. You always have to consider carefully what you’re actually going to carry before picking up a fixed pouch rig, but if this one fits what you need and you find one for sale, I’d have no reservations about recommending it.

HSP Revamp

HSP have been showing off their new showroom for what feels like forever now, Spartan117GW was there for the opening with a good look around.

Wanted to share this to highlight 2 products that were shown:
-More compact 3-mag (in 556) chest rig
-What I’m presuming are M-LOK SureFire scout mounts and sling points

I know it’s been bloody popular but I’m going to be honest here and say I really did not like the D3CR rig setup where people were plate carrier mounting it. Sticks out the front of your torso a country mile, massively slows your ability to get in and out of the PC in most designs (ruins the Tubes advantage in FS carriers), takes up far more room than the equivalent pouches to hold 4 rifle mags would have; especially with the 4 (necessary) QASMs going out the cummerbund sides, and that’s assuming you only run PALS pouches that hold single mags.

Rarely do things get popular by accident of course, I’m not ignorant of that fact and I like the compatibility with both NATO 556 and AK mags as well as the MP2 inserts (which make for the best pouch setup going imho), but I think the fixed pouch design and footprint just makes more sense when in a standalone configuration. That’s assuming of course the pouches fitted what you wanted to carry and had enough capacity. Myself, I like my GP pouches to be to the sides of the mags as Velocity/Mayflower do/did, because prone is always the best shooting position. Also for work and airsoft I’ve always stuck my pistol and spare mag/s in belt positions such that the D3CR GP pouches would get in the way (on me).

All that aside; the new rig is the size of a standard 3 rifle mag placard, which means it’ll slap right on to all your placard compatible PCs with no side buckles necessary. I’m a huge fan of a modular front design on a PC so I’d be a lot more likely to pick up this new mini rig vs the current D3CR/-H. Do I think HSP has seen the popularity of the Spiritus Systems and wanted a slice of the pie? Well who knows how long the new design has been in development… but it seems just a tad likely to my mind.

As for the rifle accessories, Travis has some strong ties with BCM and as I posted about recently BCM have only just finally ‘admitted’ that KeyMod isn’t going to win and started producing M-LOK tubes based on the original KMR shape. HSP had only been selling picatinny and KeyMod compatible mounts before, now they’re changing. 2 + 2 is 4, minus 1 that’s 3: quick maths.