FS Range Day – TRIARC SBR + Aimpoint + Silencio

Couldn’t get an angle on the ‘good side’ of the gun sadly, but here’s a few frangible rounds going through a TRIARC Systems rifle with Aimpoint optics during the FirstSpear range day just as SHOT was kicking off.

Cheers to Femme Fatale Airsoft for running her camera for me, also for an interesting observation. A lot of the guns that were out for this event were equipped with silencers so it was a good opportunity to really compare the difference actually ‘in situ’ vs shooting a standard muzzle one day then a suppressed one later. Kelly commented on the significant disparity between the suppressed and non-suppressed weapons and generally how much more comfortable and pleasant it was to simply be in the vicinity of rifles running suppressors compared to those that weren’t.

Having been around firearms somewhat frequently myself for coming up on 11 years now but rarely having shot suppressed weapons, it really wasn’t something that occurred to me immediately I have to say, but the second it was pointed out I found myself in complete agreement. When you’ve been stood around watching and chatting to folks for a little bit while the firing line has been running entirely suppressed it’s notably strange how quickly you become accustomed to that decibel level, then all of a sudden when an unmoderated shot fires off it feels surprisingly egregious to the senses.

Crye Dump

Just under a year ago I decided in my own head that the G3 series from Crye has been around so long that a new iteration must be on the way and I figured G3 production might stop shortly after G4 was introduced. With that in mind I started setting some money aside to ‘complete the set’, or most of the set anyway. AC/Gen 2 Crye uniforms can not only be very expensive in certain colours or sizes, but can take a lot of time to track down in the right size, if you’re even able to track them down at all. The less common colours or options that weren’t as popular during the production window are especially rare to see, including most of the Field cut items and pretty much anything that’s not in Multicam; comparatively speaking.

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There are some items here which aren’t common commercial production and 2 specifically which are entirely dubious in legitimacy, but I knew all about them going in and I’ll write more down the line. But either way given the recent announcement of price increases in these uniforms I was glad to have picked up the items that I personally had been after, even though it’s looking like G3 production will carry on for at least a decent amount of time overlapping with Generation 4. The bulk came from Crye Precision directly and GSS GEAR, with lots of classifieds purchases as per usual.

Also picked up some Patagonia VIKP Gen2s to use and test to see if they fail as spectacularly as the first gen pads did under minimal pressure. Next up is the new Geissele Automatics, LLC Mk14 rail which is a real beauty of machine work as expected, then the limited at UN12Mag patch because any TNVC, Inc related patch always garners lots of likes on the gram. Which as we know is the most important thing. How else will people think you’re famous, important and knowledgeable?

PTS Delivery and Why I Like What They Do

One last company to thank for sending some swag to perk up the morale here in my armoury – PTS​. They’ve also been kind enough to provide a couple of little bits for me to feature here down the line; the Griffin Armament M4SD-K mock silencer and their hammer comp, as well as the Battle Arms Development​ licensed 45 degree throw ambi selectors which will be going in my next KWA LM4 build (short barrel in grey for CQB games and this selector will complement that setup perfectly).

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I had a dig through my e-mails to check order confirmations and I’ve been buying PTS stuff myself since at least 2010, if not a fair bit earlier. I’ve made numerous purchases throughout that time and had very, very few issues at all, certainly no major ones. That in itself can be a rarity when it comes to airsoft manufacturers and their lax approach to tolerances and material selection. Compared to the vast majority of airsoft-centric brands, their consistency is way up there and the quality is very high indeed, though the prices are still extremely competitive and certainly don’t exclude those who aren’t spending thousands on meticulous PTW/Inokatsu builds and the like. Yet they use proper Dupont nylon for their plastic parts, easily rivalling a fair few producers of firearms accessories and it’s a similar story with anything that’s metal. All things taken to account, I’m more than happy to accept things for review because I can be confident it’s going to be well made and not a waste of my time.

I’ll admit I do miss the days when they had the Magpul license because I prefer my own replicas to use all parts that look like real ones, so despite the practicality of their new EP series I’ve not purchased any myself just because of the styling. The licenses they hold for all sorts of muzzle devices, handguards and other parts however are put to very good use and if I can’t use a real firearm part on a build (either through legality or interfacing) I’ll go PTS an awful lot of the time.

G sWagon

Have to say a very big thanks to my mate Jon at Geissele Automatics, LLCfor sending over 16 actual pounds of swag to dish out to the other lads in work.

I’ve been lucky enough to handle a few Geissele products that I’ve not been able to post up here myself, but I think you can find all their latest work for US SOF by browsing around other media outlets in the military guns/gear sphere. Either way having looked around at a lot of the competition I’d have to say that when it comes to overall engineering quality and true reliability in use, Geissele are the doing the best work of any firearms company I’ve come across. I say that primarily because HK were my previous No 1 rating, but I’ve seen Geissele take HK factory parts and products and identify every little issue those have then proceed iron them out until the steel is as close to perfect as you’ll find.

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FS Quick Reaction Reveal

Thanks to a good buddy of mine over at FirstSpear I not only have a couple of extra t-shirts to dish out to the lads in work, but I’ve got a genuinely epic upgrade insert for my Multi-Mag pocket and (as far as I can tell) a Full 9 world exclusive in checking out their QRC plate carrier.

Now don’t get me wrong it’s not a ground breaking new model with never seen before features, it’s all tech that is on the market right now, but I’ve not found any reviews or coverage of this specific model anywhere online so far which for me is pretty damn sweet. Also once I’ve talked about it it’ll be given away, which is a while off yet but if you want a bloody nice plate carrier this one is supremely light and low profile.

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Review – Shoot Las Vegas Guns

The video from Shoot Las Vegas is up on YouTube already, I said I’d review them and I do what I say. If you happen to go to Vegas (which is possibly the best machine gun tourism destination in the world) I have to say I think you’d be remiss to not set a little of your budget aside to check out SLV. Certainly if you’ve either never shot before or never shot full auto.

To preface this I will say I’ve spent hours pouring over other reviews of every MG rental place in Vegas and there are at least a dozen, however I’ve only been to 2 and there’s a reason for that. Of the many of reviews I’ve looked at and comparison lists I’ve read that are up-to-date, there are consistently 2 businesses topping the charts. Now personally I know I have integrity when I review things and only publish the truth, but I take reviews from any source I’m not intimately familiar with with a large pinch of salt. It’s not physically possible for me of course to physically visit every location, however after sorting the wheat from the chaff I have spent a long time looking at the websites of all the businesses who have at least decent reviews to compare 2 key attributes – pricing and selection. Location and staff are important too of course, but for me it’s about what I’m shooting and how much I’m paying, I simply expect the staff to be professional and polite and the location to be safe as a minimum.

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With all that in mind, many of you will know I’ve been to Battlefield before and the only competition I could find to the quality of Battlefield was SLV, so I put my money on the table, purchased a 9 gun package + the Barrett .50 and headed on over. When I say headed over I mean took a fairly lengthy drive in the yuge limo they pick you up in, because the first thing to know about SLV is it’s situated out in the mountains and valleys a good way outside of town. This is a slight double edged sword as it’s a bit of a drive, but one edge is no doubt sharper than the other. The vehicle is either about to be upgraded to an insane monster truck limo or will have been already and frankly that alone is almost worth the entry fee. Check their site to take a look at the beast, you will be impressed. If I go to SHOT again next year I look forward to checking it out in person.

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The first image is the selection of 9 I picked out which I’ve discussed previously when I posted the shooting footage, so go back if you want to read what’s there/why I chose it. The location itself is, as I say, a decent little drive out of town and that’s about the only disadvantage or criticism of sorts I might have of SLV. Bearing in mind that the land around Vegas is eerily flat for miles and of course the shooting range needs hilly terrain to actually catch bullets, so if you want that outdoor experience you simply have to drive a good distance, there’s no getting around that.


The selection of weapons to choose from will certainly please 99% of folks out there. I may potentially be in that 1% who’s already shot a lot of modern stuff and is primarily interested in much more niche/older weapons, but I still managed to pick out 9 guns I most definitely wanted to shoot to tick off my list and that’s good going for someone who’s as big of a nerd as I am. Also you have to consider the remote nature of the location in all aspects of the business, as having everything that they do in the location that they do is no mean feat.

The physical firing lines are trailers of sorts, which means you don’t quite have the 100% outdoor shooting experience, however it is the desert and it’s windy so if you didn’t have some sort of cover or hide to shoot from you’d spend a lot of the time going ‘pffff’ blowing sand out of your nose and mouth. More importantly the actual range is just straight up fantastic. You can simply blast sand if you like and honestly I think I might do just that next year as I go to these places to pay for an experience of shooting in a way I’ll never be able to in work. Safety is still crucial of course because a lot of these are automatic firearms, but as long as you follow the 4 rules of safe weapons handling I see no reason not to just aim at a large area down range and hold the trigger back. But as I say the range area you have to shoot at is superb with tons of steel targets setup. The trailer with the bolt-action rifles has target stands starting at 100 yards and then at 100 yard increments all the way to 500 proceeding up the hillside, which is a world away from anything you might get at an indoor range. Searching for those steel plates out on the sides of the hills through your scope is a hell of a lot of fun. Personally I also find the scenery just awesome as it’s totally different to almost anywhere in the UK.

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Most crucially, all the guys I met who were running the place were absolutely faultless. Professional, courteous, yet highly enthusiastic when it comes to safely enjoying the shooting experience and making sure you have a bloody good time at their range. The time does go quickly there’s no doubt and as I’ve often said with machine gun tourism it’s a crazy ratio of dollars per second of entertainment, but you have to understand that going in. That’s simply the nature of the beast.

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Pricing wise I can tell SLV have set out from the start to really be the tops dogs. Not only is the basic price per gun/round extremely competitive, but you’ve got your limo ride included, they have have video cameras setup to get the down range angle no human could ever record, you’ll get a 50 cal case cut in to a beer opener at the end (hand made from a round shot on their range) and honestly just the entire feel of the location and the setup they have going is a huge plus point; lots of other little details too. To circle back to something I mentioned at the start, I’ve spent a lot of time comparing prices and weapon selections of different MG rental places in Vegas and SLV beats most of them in a simple price per round match, yet also throws in a boat load of extras the competition simply do not (or cannot) beat.

Overall it’s an easy 9/10 from me, maybe a tentative 9.5, just because nothing in life is perfect (but they get close). Getting hold of the guns I’m personally really in to like genuine Stg 44s etc is of course a seriously big deal and I’m not deducting points from SLV for not having all the WW1/2 era guns I’m most interested in, but sufficed to say if they did have all that stuff I’d never go anywhere else. If anything the only other minor nit I could pick here is that SLV will massively spoil you in terms of shooting experiences and almost anywhere else you might try will be lacking by comparison. I genuinely hope any of you who might read this and subsequently find yourself in Las Vegas will put this company at the top of your list, because end of the day what I care about most is folks getting the best they can from their money and this business right here is the one to go with.

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Desert Night Combat

Thought about saving these until they reached the front of the queue, but to hell with it, I’ll post them again down the line because frankly they deserve a double outing. These aren’t made from any sort of knock-off fabric, there’s at least 2 of the original parkas been sacrificed and cut up to make them which is why you may detect some slight changes in brightness between certain pieces of fabric.

The stretch isn’t actually brown in person, it’s close to RG, but some cheaper green fabrics do come out that way. The fabric is technically 50/50 NYCO construction but it’s weird, very much unlike modern fabrics and to my eye doesn’t appear to have the same durability. I’ll only be using them for indoor airsoft most likely though anyway. And just to have in the collection.

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Life is a Series of Tough Decisions


Folks this is a big issue and I need your input. This is real sh*t right now.

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As it stands, the organisation of the Full 9 camo museum reference collection is very much all over the place. It’s grouped in to jackets, UBACS and shirts, then within those groups it’s grouped by families of patterns. Then there’s even more pointless rules I made up about what order to put everything in and right now I think it just looks a mess even though inside my own mental head there is a system.

I’m currently building out a new wardrobe to add more storage space and I think once that’s done I’ll just group everything by colour/camo type i.e. all the green and woodland stuff together and that will probably look an awful lot better all around. Anybody else group stuff together or just store it in whatever order it arrived like a normal person?

A Bridger Quite Close Actually

I received an e-mail this afternoon to say the KickStarter for the Raine Inc.Bridger cover that I mentioned the other week has now finished, so fingers crossed those will be in production very soon if not already. Between the shipping process I use and a work trip I’ll probably be going on I expect it’s going to be a couple of months before I can post my own review, but I’m excited to get my hands on this piece of kit regardless.

Since I originally posted my SHOT coverage from the Raine booth I’ve been very fortunate to talk a little bit with Mr Alex Gallo, the designer for the Bridger. He’s filled me in with a few queries and uncertainties on details I had post-SHOT (and you end up with a lot of those because it’s an incredibly busy week of looking at new stuff all the time).

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First thing to mention is that Raine have variants of the cover in development to work best with a LOT of other buckles that attempt to provide similar end results to the Tubes. In the past 2 years a lot of companies have come in to the sphere with new shapes of Cobras, plastic side-release buckles, straight Tubes rip-offs and all sorts of other options. Down the line Raine is looking to cater to all of those, which I like because some are pretty good; the ones that don’t blatantly steal FirstSpear’s design anyway. The news I was most glad of however is that there will also be complete cummerbunds, as shown below, along with a variety of other gear along the same lines. Much like the FS Retro-fit cummerbund I reviewed a couple of years ago (and still believe to be one of the very best items of kit anybody wearing a PC might invest in), the Raine cummerbund will come with genuine FS Tubes, the Bridgers already attached and make for an absolutely perfect upgrade to any carrier that’s still using a big velcro flap. As somebody who personally loves split-front chest rigs and laser cut PALS, the new chest rig design also looks great to my eyes.

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The slight increase in force needed to open the Tube with the Bridger cover mounted that I mentioned during my time in Vegas is of course a natural result of the sheer physics involved in the design. The pull cord is longer with the pivot point being further from the release tab in the female Tube. Raine say that they’ve had field users come to them with reports of some rare, occasional accidental releases of Tubes when moving quickly inside buildings and the tiny probability actually occurring of the release tab being caught on a hard edge. Of course we all have also seen somebody with some kind of quick-release in their armour being messed with by their buddies. It ‘never’ gets old.

Apparently durability is also a concern many customers have come to Raine with. It would seem some Tubes have very rarely been broken after repeated impacts against vehicle frames when jumping in and out frequently. Since it completely covers the Tube, the Bridger cover will of course bear the brunt of any everyday-type impact, rather than the plastic of the Tube itself.

Overall I think their gear line-up is shaping up extremely nicely. Any split built in to gear in the past that facilitated quick donning had necessitated zips or buckles of some kind and those push the actual equipment in your pouches further around to your sides and back. As such the equipment may be harder to reach, awkward inside vehicles and aircraft when you’re sat close to people or it might snag you up going through narrow doors and passageways. Alleviating those issues through the combination of the Bridger designs and technology like Tubes is a positive step in the absolute right direction.

Imminent Threat Solutions

So I alluded to this article a little while back and I’m now happy to say the light of day hath been shone upon it (part 1 anyway). This is the first time I’ve had anything I’ve composed published elsewhere but my own media channels and given my love for all things gear related I would struggle to think of a better place than ITS Tactical.

I originally bumped in to Bryan and Kelly from ITS at SHOT 2017 by the LBT booth, which in itself was a huge stroke of luck. Bryan mentioned they were always looking for guest writers and I knew that was the right move for me. Since then I’ve been liaising with Rob Henderson who’s one of the main men over there and Bryan’s counterpart for the Gear Tasting Radio podcast.

What I originally wrote as one article has been split down the middle, which was sensible really at ~7.5k words. This first half is a super simple guide to introduce people to what they can expect from different types of commonly found uniform/tactical shirts. Old school BDUs or CS95, modern ACU or PCS as well as UBACS/Combat shirts. It’s not about specific products, just general features found on certain archetypes of clothing that somebody might be issued or purchase for their own purposes, whatever those purposes may be. Rob has done a lot of the actual formatting and brightened up my pictures as well as adding some shots which aren’t take by me of course, but the images of the individual items and 99.5% of the wording is mine.

Check it out, it may be pertinent learning for you or perhaps not but ITS always have great articles and I hope mine can live up the legacy of quality written work that they have built.

Seeking Uniformity: Differences in Battle Dress, Field Cut and Combat Cut Uniform Tops