‘Cryfire’ Temperate MARPAT

I’ve been lagging a bit with the gear posting recently on account of a fair few changes in things, but I hope you’ll all enjoy this feature and seeing some close-ups of an item that isn’t too commonly discussed or displayed.
 
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To my knowledge, these Flame Resistant G3 uniforms offered by DRIFIRE are sewn by Crye Precision, primarily using Drifire’s fabric. They’re available in Multicam, US Woodland, both AORs and both standard flavours of MARPAT. Also, as you might expect for a cut this complex in a top of the range FR material, the price is not low (AG-Tactical can get you some of the non-restricted patterns). For those interested in such things, this particular pair of combats cost me the most of any item of tactical soft goods that I currently own, by a reasonable margin in fact.
 
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Personally, temperate MARPAT is a pattern I’m quite attached to since it was the first camo I ever purchased for myself around 13-14 years ago now, a couple of years before I joined up. Although they’re not well known about, a few sets of G3 uniforms have been manufactured in regular USMC twill NYCO, both combat cut and field, though only in the temperate pattern that I have personally seen. Based on what little evidence is available however those were only a micro sized batch for prototyping or a one-off, very small team purchase. These Drifires on the other hand are still in manufacture at the time of writing to my knowledge, though in incredibly small numbers by comparison to most other uniforms from Crye.
 
They’ve been pictured in use with various elements of USMC Special Operations and possibly a few folks attached to them. They certainly represent what I’d say is the pinnacle of a premium combat uniform for extremely well funded SOF in warm climates, given the feature set and protective properties, at least until the G4 FR stuff starts to proliferate that is.
 
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The detractors (nothing’s perfect after all) are somewhat encapsulated in the phrase well funded. It’s pretty much a universally recognised fact that any FR uniform will fade more quickly and tear more easily by comparison to a regular synthetic/cotton blend, the very nature of the fabric not being a rip-stop weave gives that away right out of the gate. The G3 uniform, particularly the combat pant, already has many more potential ‘bursting’ points by comparison to standard issue uniforms since it comprises significantly more separate pieces of fabric sewn together in to the end product. That said, if you can afford to clothe your troops in high performance FR gear with loads of pockets, adjustability and joint protection and then replace said clothing when it rips or fade; why wouldn’t you? You can read one of my earlier blog posts for a little bit of discussion on FR uniforms in military use:
 
As far as these particular offerings from Drifire go, it is very much evident from a glance at the internal label that there is quite a laundry list of ingredients comprising the primary fabric. The stretch panels being the same tweave as those found on all commercial Crye product. The colouration of the stretch panels and other ancillary parts is in line with the Ranger Green commercial G3s. Sizing is also standard and after a brief inspection the one single anomaly in construction I could find here is that the bottom edge of the knee pad pocket is lined internally with loop. I’ve no idea why this is done as the standard Airflex combat knee pad does not have hook in this area to interface. Though at least if the end user adds more hook they can do what G4 has done and increase the staying power of the pads.
 
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A nice piece for the collection overall. Know some friends who might also be interested to see this post? Share it with them. If you happen to be feeling really flush and want some unusually patterned FR G3s for yourself you can get in touch with AG-Tactical. I’ve no association with them at all, but they do bring some extremely high end gear in to Europe for regular folks like me to buy if they so desire.

Kratos SOG Back At It?

A notification for those who’re always hunting for modern style/combat cut apparel in uncommon camo patterns (which I’d imagine is a fair few of you on here). It would appear that Kratos SOG are back in to actually manufacturing things after doing a little vanishing act a year or 2 ago.

Random bits of their stuff had been appearing on US eBay in the interim period, but it was clearly old stock being cleared out since the patterns/materials that were showing up are all long gone from availability and the sizes were exactly what you’d expect from a stock clearance i.e. never Mediums.

The past couple of weeks however I’ve seen items showing up in patterns they had not previously manufactured and in the full gamut of size options. You can have a browse here:

https://www.ebay.com/str/ksoggear

Garand Thumb actually reviewed this stuff about 2 years ago, which is when I originally subscribed to him on YouTube. The video has either been hidden or deleted now, probably on account of Kratos skipping town on people who’d paid money or something along those lines:

https://www.facebook.com/garandthumb1/posts/what-happened-to-kratos-sog/1283738124982113/

Am I saying you should lay down your hard earned with this company given their track record? Not necessarily by ANY stretch. If you buy something that is purported to be already manufactured and in stock and you do so through eBay using a credit card or paypal then you’re about as safe as you can ever be when buying a thing online. That said, none of their social media is active at the time of writing. Their facebook page is missing as is their website an their IG account is up but has not been posted to for a couple of years.

I’m not about telling anyone what to do, just giving folks as much information as possible in order to make the best decisions for themselves.

14.5″ Airsoft BCM-KMR Build

One of my VFC/Avalon AR-15 type AEGs, from factory condition to present day.

I originally picked up a pair of these VFC guns (which were some of the first under the Avalon brand name) back in summer 2013.  At the time I’d noticed a distinct trend amongst manufacturers of AR-15 style AEGs to move from realistic markings, such as Colt, over to fictional ‘trades’.  As it it turned out my gut was right and shortly after I purchased these 2 it came to a point where you almost couldn’t buy airsoft ARs with any realistic or licensed trademarks, certainly not from any decent quality brands that I was actually interested in.  As of 2018 things have swung somewhat the other way of course and the total lack of realistic AR replicas has caused something of a resurgence of interest in non-fiction replicas, though the market is most definitely not back where it was 6 or so years ago.

In their stock format these RIFs featured steel Surefire type muzzle brakes, mid-length faux gas systems with USGI type A-frame gas blocks, a full set of PTS MOE furniture to include handguard, pistol grip, trigger guard and stock, full BCM markings on the uppers and lowers, anti-rotation pins, Battle Arms style selectors, Gunfighter charging handles, PTS ASAP plates and BCM style rear BUIS.  They also have a very odd feature in the gearbox for adjusting FPS whereby you adjust a grub screw that deliberately bleeds air from the cylinder as the piston compresses, though personally I find the internals of electric airsoft guns entirely uninteresting and I’ve not changed them much at all from stock.  Otherwise they are functionally very much run of the mill mid-teens electric guns.

The biggest change to the gun that I kept at 14.5″ barrel length (the other being changed to 11.5″) was the original Bravo Company Manufacturing KeyMod Rail.  These were the days when the skinny freefloat tube was really climbing to a position of market dominance and cleaning up quad pic rails.  However the older style tubes with threaded holes for accessory mounting, such as those made popular by Troy and Midwest, were now being killed off by the rise of KeyMod.

My KMR however is not the currently-offered Alpha which is of an all aluminium construction, it is the original type (i.e. no Alpha suffix) which is constructed of an aluminium-magnesium blend with a surface coating applied using a plasma deposition process.  Quad pic rails were still fairly commonly seen floating around in both the civilian and military spheres at the time when these were released and 13″+ quads obviously are not lightweight; overkill in all regards essentially.  By comparison, weighing in at a mere 7.7oz with mounting hardware, the night-and-day handling changes experienced by purchasers of original alloy KMRs did an awful lot to help boost Bravo Company up in to the top tiers of manufacturers who specialise in ARs and AR accessories.

Since I had what was at the time the per-inch lightest AR forend on the market now attached to the RIF, I also opted for what was the lightest stock on the market, that being the Mission First Tac Battlelink Minimalist.  The WarSport (now ZRO Delta) rail bungees were all the rage at that point as well and in fairness they can still have application if you’ve got an awful lot of cables hanging around your handguard.

The Magpul Industries RSA added to the 12 o/clock pic rail compliments the ASAP plate to facilitate swapping slings from single point over to 2 point configuration.  The heavy and utterly pointless steel muzzle brake was removed in favour of a PTS/Griffin Armament flash hider that weighed probably 1/3 that of the SureFire replica.  The last integral changes merely involved exchanging the PTS MOE pistol grip and trigger guard over to corresponding items in FDE.  Also seen mounted in this image are an earlier model of Inforce WML and Primary Arms Micro red dot.

Further down the line, having decided that since the core parts of the build were all BCM, I came to the conclusion I might as well go all-BCM.  This wasn’t too tricky to accomplish since the main parts were already in place.  By swapping the MFT Stock for the Gunfighter Mod 0 and the PTS MOE pistol grip for a Dytac replica Gunfighter Mod 3, the build was pretty much done.  Credit to DLCustoms for fitting of the pistol grip, because the more vertical angle is something that’s hard to achieve given the way Version 2 Airsoft Gearboxes are setup to mount their motors at USGI A2 pistol grip angles.

Fortunately King Arms had (years earlier) made a batch of airsoft copies of the BCM Gunfighter Mod 0 and Mod 1 compensators, though they were entirely unmarked and did not mention BCM in their product names so most people would have been very much unaware of where the designs had originated.  By a stroke of luck I happened to find examples of both still in stock long after production had finished while randomly perusing eHobby.com one evening, so they were swiftly acquired.  The (as it turned out unnecessary) rail bungee was replaced with BCM KeyMod panels and a KAG that the Haley Strategic store had on fire sale for about $9 some time ago.

As uncool as it probably is by today’s standard, I’ve kept the Mil-Spec Monkey/US Night Vision magwell slap on the gun purely since the Death Mechanic logo holds such a firm place in my heart.

The 14.5″ barrel is without doubt not necessary in airsoft since a 10.5″ will give basically the same accuracy and muzzle velocity and KeyMod has very much lost the war against M-LOK, however I enjoy the US-civilian build aesthetic a great deal and if the compensator were hypothetically pinned and welded this gun would not fall under the SBR rules.  There’s a temptation to switch over to something M-LOK such as the new MCMR line from Bravo Company, but these non-Alpha KMRs almost never come up for sale these days since production was switched over to the Alpha model some years ago.  Also, since the 12 o/clock pic rail can satisfy any accessory attachment desires I may have and the forend is so feather-light, it just makes more sense to hold on to the magnesium alloy handguard at this point.  Overall, an extremely light and ergonomic rifle that fairly closely replicates a very popular semi-auto AR-15 from the US civilian market.