Glock 19X Reveal

Just seen the new GLOCK​ 19X.

No automatic alt text available.

It’s a 19 length slide/barrel, with 17 size frame/mag. Which frankly I find odd because the US concealed carry market want thin, short mags for best concealment whereas barrel length is a secondary priority (to everyone I know over there at least). So this gun is the opposite in that regard.

Looks like a Gen 5.X gun too. At a cursory initial glance without knowing all the details I can see the cut at the front of the mag housing has done a 180 and turned in to a slight extension and the previously squared off front of the frame now has angles in keeping with the Gen 5 slide. Seems they’ve already looked at some of the primary criticisms of the Gen 5 design.

I’ll be interested to see what some of the American folks who have a lot of pistol experience end up saying once these begin to circulate on the market and YouTube gun channels (looking at you Military Arms Channel​).

NY Mail Call

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Here’s a bunch of kit.

No automatic alt text available.

ft. CamelBak Tactical, Crye Precision (Khaki from Airsoft Evike.com), Arc’teryx LEAF (Wolf from Edgar Brothers/Edgar Brothers Shop),DRIFIREALG DefenseUF PRO from Polenar TacticalGrey Ghost,Obliterator Industries Ltd from ehobbyasia.comFlimmuur Tactical,Magpul Industries Corp.PTSRoman KurmazFRV Tailoring,Patagonia and Griffon Industries with some MultiCam and PenCott Camouflage.

People do seem to enjoy these types of posts, but of course over time everything here will be individually featured on the blog/FB and IG with more detailed images and descriptions, or reviews where appropriate.

Leave is for Gaming

If you’re looking for “Big stuff coming in 2018!” this is not where you’ll any of that. Hell the way the weather is going right now I’d not be surprised if it snows a shit ton the day I’m meant to fly to Vegas and my whole carefully planned SHOT trip is royally buggered.

If you follow me on IG in order to see the ‘stories’ you’ll see I’ve spent genuinely the entirety of 2 days before today building Ikea flat packs (which I now despise with a passion) just so I can have more room to store kit. About as far from glamorous as it gets. But necessary if I want to carry on building the collection. Spent all this afternoon laying out the next mail call post picture; got bloody lucky as just as I brought the camera inside (after all the kit) it hammered down hail as I stepped through the door

Minor break from the gear to discuss what I’m playing at the moment – I am only on PC but then these days the majority of titles get released out on most or all platforms.

Recently finished a campaign in Medieval 2 Totalwar which I’d had going on and off for maybe a year at a guess. For those unfamiliar, TW is like Risk/Civilisation, but when the pieces meet on the board you zoom in to a real time battle with access to just the units in that army. Medieval 2 was the 4th entry in the series, the first 3 using a really old school graphics engine with a lot of 2D (yep) troops in the tactical battles. In Med 2 you’ve got all of Europe, most of Russia, North Africa and modern day Syria plus parts of Iraq and a few other countries in that region to primarily fight over. An awful lot like both World Wars in many ways, even the nations involved are essentially the same ones with a lot of clashes through France. It’s also heavily based on Religion and the crusades on a strategic level, with Catholic Europe squaring off against Orthodox Russia and the Islamic middle east, as if there weren’t enough modern parallels already. Funnily enough I played Empire TW about 8 years ago and that starts off right where Med 2 finishes, with every nation fielding rudimentary firearms while melee warfare and bows fade away.

The screen cap is my faction leader (King of England) with his army of shinily armoured’ knights and their polished helmets swatting down the final bastion of rebel hold out that was left over after I finally had beaten the Mongol hordes.

No automatic alt text available.

In between gradually conquering the world map in TW, I’ve been dipping in to Battlefield 1, primarily when a new DLC comes out of course. It’s the most mainstream series I play these days, but I started my time in BF by pre-ordering the 2 CD-ROM box of 1942 in a GAME store. Missed Vietnam, played BF2 massively, quite a lot of BF3 and BC2, bought the fancy edition of BF4 with the season pass and blimey was I disappointed. Nothing but pink tanks rolling around everywhere with marijuana leaves on the sides to cater to shit bag kids who scream at their weak willed parents until said parents cave and buy them the collector’s edition of this year’s CoD. I know the WW1 setting is somewhat divisive, but as someone who finds a lot of modern weapon really boring at this point (they’re just too easy to use and efficient), playing this Battlefield during the centenary of the war and learning about a lot of the guns in Forgotten Weapons videos as I go – very enjoyable indeed.

Right now I’m hugely surprised by how hooked I am on Child of Light. It’s one of those games Ubisoft does so, so much better than the turd Assassin’s Creed has become. The trailers for it make it seem like some sort of relaxation software, or a game only aimed at young girls. Reality is it’s more like a moving piece of art with truly amazing music, great painted-style visuals and all the dialog is written poetry; good poetry too. There’s Rayman-light type movement around the world with Final Fantasy/Stick of Truth RPG combat all reliant on timing and it is far harder to get right than you’d think based on the aesthetics of the game. In a similar vein and also looping back to WW1, be sure to check out Valiant Hearts: The Great War which is another Ubisoft 2D platfomer with lots of puzzles, no actual combat per se, just a truly amazing story of some real heroes who went through literal hell between 1914 and 18. It may be presented in a fashion that can look like Wacky Races-inspired childish cartoons, but the stories going on with the characters are incredibly deep and involving and draw you in like nothing else. I choked right up at the end of it and if you play it you’ll see why, superb tellings of heart wrenching tales of horrors 99% can’t even imagine.

Last recommendation based on a recent play through is Transistor, which is another RPG though isometic this time, with somewhat timing/turn based combat. It drops you right in at the deep end in to a very unique sci-fi sort of world (which is impressive enough as it is) and you have to learn what the hell’s going on as you play. No handy intro cinematic, the veils are slowly lifted as you progress. Tragic ending of course, as with a large proportion of the best games. However yet again great characters, as is they key to giving a damn about the story in any game, film, book or TV show.

Garand Thumbing It In

Nobody’s going to believe me when I say this, but roughly 6 months ago I’d been watching a lot of Garand Thumb videos and I’d also recently commissioned some custom Crye cut apparel from Roman Kurmaz, so I said jokingly to Passive Shooter “imagine getting a combat shirt made in plaid flannel with combat cut jeans? ha!”. Then a little while later the tactical cut flannels went tacti-viral, but the All Skill No Luck versions lack a collar, zip and any velcro.

No automatic alt text available.Image may contain: people standing

Personally I can’t stand a combat shirt without a collar and I think you all know I enjoy a patch or two. Not to mention colour/pattern options, this grey is more my style than red or blue.
Of course this is also a *super* practical piece of gear so providing camouflage in the urban jungle is imperative.

No automatic alt text available.

FS x DCTN

Hit a little golden seam in my big old backlog of gear pics to post. Finally get to talk about what I personally would need to see in a potential plate carrier purchase and display my most recent custom(ish) amalgamation.

No automatic alt text available.

This is purely what I use for airsofting and trying stuff out since I’m not nearly Tier 69 enough to deviate from my issued Mk4 Osprey, but it’s a list I’ve developed over a good few years based on playing a few different types of games, using various types of replica guns and in every season and weather condition. To avoid going off on too many tangents I’ll break things down to bullet points, each of the following are boxes that have to be ticked before I click checkout.

-Taken as read in the modern world, but construction needs to be light and efficient. 500D cordura and some hypalon. No 1000D, big metal buckles, excessive layering etc.

-Also taken as read but sewing must be more than up to scratch. Potential for failures in stitching simply isn’t acceptable. Your kit is no use to you on the floor because a shoulder strap wasn’t bar tacked, or a buckle didn’t have the triple or X stitching it needed. Obviously far more of a concern when wearing real kevlar/plates that both weigh a lot and need to actually protect you.

-Quick detachment between cummerbund and front plate bag. Ever since I picked up my first FirstSpear​ Strandhogg I have outright refused to go back to tearing up that huge field of velcro under the front flap. Shoulder strap QD is preferable but not an absolute necessity.

-Compatibility with placards of the type Mayflower standardised some years ago. It’s something not seen on widely issued military armour because when you’re only ever rocking the fi’ fiddy sex you don’t need that. However the great thing about airsoft or being a civvie shooter (in some countries) is you can pick your guns; probably useful for sneaky blurry-face dudes too. Sometimes you want sub-gun sized pouches, sometimes something like an ESSTAC for the ideal 556 pouch, maybe sometimes TACOs or SR-25 types pouches. Maybe you go real crazy one day and mix it up with GP pouches or med kit or a holster, who knows? There’s loads of placards to choose from and with straight PALS platforms the options are endless.

-Integrated admin pouch with external loop, but built internally. Not the ideal setup if you actually put armour in your rigs (then you want an external pouch), but I don’t so I don’t. Zip closure so there’s no openings at all, also some elastic retention for small items are preferable. Loop has to be there outside for patches… duh.

-1″ Webbing attachment points for ITW Grimlocks. Once my hydro tube is routed over the shoulder, I want enough slack to actually drink without yanking on the tube every time I’m thirsty, but I don’t want said slack flopping around in my face and the retention for that slack needs to be quick and easy to open/close. Obviously these also come in handy for managing cables and other comms stuff if desired.

-‘Negative space’ PALS, because webbing is so 2012. 6/12 from FS and other laser cut PALS grids are becoming more and more common and I think in a few more years they’ll finally make-up the majority of kit that’s produced. If you’re more of a gun guy, think of it as M-LOK for your gear. It just makes sense.

-Full interior lining of spacer mesh – plate bags and cummerbund. Cordura alone is fairly water resistant as it is and almost all cordura that’s used to make gear has a water resistance coating added, so where’s that sweat going when you’re leaking inside a PC with no lining? Nowhere – it’s just soaking your shirt and gradually building up a nasty collection of bacteria and salt. All the best clothing systems are all about moving sweat from the body to the outside, I want my rig to do the same as much as possible. Granted it obviously can’t evaporate out through the cordura (or armour if present) but it can go somewhere and gradually work it’s way away from your skin, also dries far quicker when you take off your PC. Foam pontoons inside the mesh to create channels and standoff are even better, if available.

-Large enough area of PALS at the back to mount (without overhang) either a TYR Tactical, LLC​ or Flimmuur Tactical​ zip-on hydro pouch that can hold a 2L Source Outdoor​ bladder. Sometimes I want water on board, sometimes not. This is also the whole reason I went from chest rigs in my early days of playing over to plate carriers despite having zero requirement for armour – having a place to mount hydration without adding either another set of shoulder straps or the front of a chest rig being pulled up by the water on the back.

-Shoulder straps with either padding and/or mesh built in, or the ability to mount a really nice and comfortable shoulder pad. Because my delicate airman’s skin must be treated with love and care. Also the same points apply to the shoulder straps as with the insides of the plate bags, because sweat can build up anywhere. Minor things, but I’ve been working on this a while.

No automatic alt text available.

The pictured rig is made up of a FirstSpear AAC rear plate bag, upgrade cummerbund and deluxe shoulder pads, with the crucial front plate bag and the shoulder straps built from scratch to my specs by Dead Coyote Tactical Nylon​ (great job he did too).

This is the 2nd iteration on my idea of trying to combine exactly what I want in to one package. I did put out a video showcasing the 1st iteration back in December 14 and I originally paid for and spec’d out that particular design a fair while even before that; so the concepts integrated here are ones I’ve been in favour of for just a little while now. That video is here if anyone’s interested – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lyd7_KEA7o

I first had DCTN start work on his parts for this RG rig around the middle of 2015. I placed an order for the FirstSpear segments which I had sent to him, he built the front plate bag and shoulder straps using those as a foundation, then sent the whole thing on to a friend of mine who was at the time collating a few gear orders I’d placed within the US. My friend had a few personal issues and it took him a while to ship everything over, then of course the customs wait; so from the point of first discussing the idea the whole assembly took a whle and everything passed through a fair few hands to come together in to what you see pictured. Of the dozen or so different PCs I’ve ever owned however this one is the best for me personally, no doubt about it. Light, comfortable, everything I want and like.

Later on down the line I’ll be sure to upload a few shots of the complete setup with Flimmuur back panel, DCTN placards and a few other RG pouches.

No automatic alt text available.

Crye vs Clones

Going over the Rasputin item G3 styled combat shirt in PenCott Camouflage SandStorm vs the Crye original and other options that are out there and worth considering.

Also few of my thoughts on the high end vs cheap copies vs military surplus and what makes sense in different situations. I have my personal preferences, but when discussing this sort of thing I like to try and mention different perspectives so that anyone can choose appropriate gear regardless of what they do. Lots of folks have different jobs and hobbies so a perspective of ‘only X brand is any good’ is futile without context.

Obviously that subject could easily be a length standalone video or article, but I wanted to just touch on the basics as it’s something that gets debated a lot. That and a lot of people online have an angle as it were, whereas I’m in no position to gain or benefit regardless of what kit you buy; be it top end or the cheapest clones going.

Exceptional Customer Service

Honourable mention to the customer service people over at Tactical Distributors. I’ve placed orders there a few times over the past couple of years, always been more than happy with the service. They also carry a wide selection which happens to include the very latest and highest quality gear available for us normal folks to purchase; should you wish to make a large investment that is.

Just over a year ago, I treated myself to an Arc’teryx LEAF Recce, just to see how far the features and quality can feasibly go when you spend such a large amount on a NYCO field cut shirt. Mistakenly, I didn’t perform my proper due diligence, I didn’t get my measurements at that time and compare them to the supplied sizing chart. So the shirt, fantastic as it is, just hung in the wardrobe for a full 12 months with the labels still attached.

Finally conceding to myself the fact I’m not as thin as I once was I contacted the service people over at TD regards exchanging up a size. I quite honestly expected a reply in the negative and I really would not have been annoyed about that, not at all. Yet to my surprise the nice people over there provided me an RMA number, so I packaged the shirt and sent it back over the pond. Once the shirt arrived with them they immediately dispatched the new one in the larger size via UPS and I had it in my hands only 3 or 4 days later.

Genuinely I’m still bowled over by this. I remember reading “Best customer service in the business!” at the top of the site and thinking it was a bold claim given how often companies these days promise the world and deliver a tiny dirt clod. But now I’ll fully back up that claim, absolutely. I really enjoy being able to bring a positive story about any business to a post here and the good thing about buying quality gear is the companies who sell it tend to exhibit exponentially less greed and deceitfulness than the likes of your broadband supplier or smart phone maker.

No automatic alt text available.

RTi Options

Carrying on a theme here some of you may pick up on, a quick look at the G-Code Holsters RTI Rotating Tactical Belt Mount. I think they could’ve dropped Tactical out of the name, but hey the world goes on, we’ll be ok.

No automatic alt text available.

For those unfamiliar, RTi is like KeyMod for your holsters. You can purchase mounts to fit a huge variety of gear, in fact I’d be surprised if there was a belt, PC or vest of any description you couldn’t mount an RTi wheel on to. You can also purchase various different the hangers, which are the machined aluminium keys that interface your holster with the wheels and the hangers come in varieties to work with any of G-Code’s own holsters, SERPAs and Safarilands. The added bonus is that a lot of the other custom/made-to-order kydex shops will also make their holsters with appropriate geometry and holes drilled to mount a hanger; for example T.REX ARMS and Off The Grid Concepts LLC,

No automatic alt text available.

The pictured mounting piece is, as you can see, simple in design. Folded kydex, formed to fit around any duty belt then secured with grommets at the base, with both hook and loop inside to lock in to position regardless which half of velcro your particular belt is outfitted with. The screws mounting the RTi wheel to the kydex are spaced equidistant around the circumference such that the end user can alter their angle of draw if desired, although the options for that are somewhat limited. I’d generally recommend sticking to the straight up and down configuration as supplied by default for most applications or locations you would carry your holster.

No automatic alt text available.

There is another belt mount G-Code offer that’s similar in concept, but with ‘wings’ protruding either side for a more stable overall platform. If your belt happens to be pretty crowded already, or you use something along the lines of the FS AGB sleeve, Velocity OUB or VTAC Brokos, the pictured variant might well be more useful given its’ narrower profile.

Running a system like this is definitely expensive in terms of both the mounts and the fact each holster will cost more on account of the added expense of the RTi hanger affixed on the back. The holster is also moved slightly further away from the body, increasing your profile marginally. So if you don’t want to change holster types frequently, be it for different handguns or guns with lights and optics etc, then stick to a simple and proven belt/PALS mount that screws directly to said holster. Personally, I’m just very indecisive.

B5 Systems Crane Style Stock

It’s a shoulder thing, that goes up?!?

Image may contain: phone

Just kidding it’s a B5 Systems SOPMOD stock (and what I did with 2 of them).

No automatic alt text available.

Generally speaking – it’s an AR stock, I’ve tried out a lot and I’ve never found one that does anything different in terms of the interface between my shoulder and gun. This style of stock is old as the hills at this point and everyone’s familiar with the shape, it’s been cloned endlessly from the original Crane design. The B5 is well proven and the construction is sound, there’s a fair few flash lines from the moulding, but as you expect the rigidity and general robust design is evident; yet surprisingly not very heavy at all compared to a hulking beast like the Magpul ACS which I think is a pretty ridiculous stock by modern standards.

The SOPMOD features a soft rubber butt pad which can be easily removed to access the back of your buffer tube, should you need that for some reason. Each of the battery storage tubes has a double o-ring and should keep out water pretty well, as long as you’re not diving to deep for too long. Though I can’t claim to have tested this. There’s also a rotation limited QD sling point between the 2 old school sling slots, though personally I don’t like putting the weapons weight on a stock, even one this well made. Especially if you happen to have said stock extended all the way out, lot of leverage going on there.

The position adjustment level works in exactly the way you’d expect, no surprises there. Thick, solid metal pin to interface with the buffer tube. Overall, if you really like the sloped cheek weld or want storage in your stock for slim/cylindrical things and you want that stuff in a quality package, you can’t go wrong.

No automatic alt text available.

UF Pro Combat Shirt – Gen 1 vs 2

Comparing the UF PRO Striker XT Combat shirts in PenCott CamouflageGreenZone. This is a brand I don’t think I’ve featured before on the channel but definitely one you should pay attention to, especially being one of the few brands in Europe putting out really high quality kit at a price that’s a hell of a lot more palatable than some other big names. Still in the upper echelons, but in terms of fabrics and construction quality vs cost the ratios are excellent.

Gen 1 shirt from Huey’s Military Tactical Outdoor compared to the latest Gen 2 shipped from Polenar Tactical.

The thumbnail will make sense when you watch the video I promise.