SHOT Focus – FirstSpear

Last but by no means least, let’s talk some FirstSpear booth action at SHOT.

They’ve never been a company to save many things specifically for the show. They just release new product as and when it’s ready to be released basically, which is generally what I’d expect from a company neck-deep in manufacturing the best equipment for the people who need it the most. However there were a couple of items on display I’d not seen previously and of course it’s always a brilliant opportunity to actually get hands on with kit.

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First up there’s new fast roping gloves and mitts. Personally I’ve only ever flown in helicopters and stepped out on to the ground, but whether it’s a flight in a Blackhawk, Chinook, Puma or anything else, the journey to where you’re going is absolutely a crucial phase of any operation. So first off the gloves themselves (standard version and long gauntlets), which I tried on and are certainly thin enough, with good structuring and fit in order to allow a sound shooting grip; while of course still being sturdy enough for fast roping.

The mittens are probably the even better option since one can wear their preferred shooting glove underneath. Simply attach the mit at the wrist, very quickly don it for roping but then instantly remove with a flick of the hand to go right back to the base glove. Even then, the trigger finger can come through the 2-part finger section of the mit for emergency trigger usage, should the necessity arise. Alternatively the person can again just flick the hand to remove the mit and switch from rope to rifle in no time at all. There’s a vulnerable time or window with a rotary aircraft that’s low and hovering still – the crewman’s MG mounts can never have a totally unrestricted arc of movement nor can the crew see everything going on, so the more eyes up and the more guns available at that crucial point, the better.

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The patterned pads on the palms of both gloves and mits are a goat leather, which is already an excellent option for abrasion resistance, but the fibre bundles of the leather are then coated in microscopic plates of ceramic. Don’t ask me how, but sufficed to say it is what’s needed for the extreme friction of fast rope descent. To keep these pads thin and increase dexterity there is a layer of a material referred to as Carbon X between the ceramic coated leather pads and the goat skin used through the entire construction of the rest of the gloves. Carbon is of course an incredibly efficient heat insulator, which is exactly what’s called for in this specific area.

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Next up for new gear is the Centurion pant, a first from FS. To be clear, this is not a combat cut trouser for maximum effectiveness in a fight with tons of pockets and stretch panels. It’s a much simpler offering for outdoor usage, range practice, shooting courses and perhaps applicable to police usage.

I didn’t get the full details on my visit to the booth since these are a brand new product, literally just sewn together to come to the show for the FirstSpear staff and the mannequins. Soldier Systems Daily of course does have quite a few details which are worth checking out:…/…/26/firstspear-friday-focus-10/

The headline features for me are the integrated belt, with the same biothane materials as the FS Line 1 I reviewed a while back, also the internal padding across the hip bones to buffer against holsters and spare mags on the sides of a belt. I’m also a big fan of the stretch pockets that bridge the standard front and rear ‘standard’ pockets, they’re ideally placed for quick access to items like pistol mags and lights.

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There’s a few other shots thrown in just for the sake of taking a look at some top end kit, especially in the AOR2. There’s a close up on the pull tabs since I’ve got a couple here now that I’ll be trying out at some point. They’re not unique on the market necessarily in terms of general shape, but compared to the bad old days of fabric tabs on shingle pouches that would always end up laid flat on your mag bases, pull tabs like these made of modern materials are certainly the way to go.

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SHOT Focus – Samson Manufacturing

One company I wanted to put some specific focus on from SHOT was Samson Manufacturing. They’re not quite the sort of company I’d usually shine a spotlight on, but I think what they do is provide a very solid mid-price product line. The trends I see online are for most people to really go in hard for either the very cheapest stuff or the absolute most gucci and expensive, because there’s a large interest base at the two opposite ends of the spectrum. Lots of people want the very cheapest and lots more people want to live in that luxury realm as it were, because there’s mass appeal in both of those. Reality of course is that the true value for money lies somewhere around the middle.

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If we’re talking freefloat AR handguards for example (which these folks have been making for a long time now), Samson offer their new M-LOK SXS series which are visible in the first picture. For $185 for the 12″ rail which will nicely suit 14.5 and 16″ barrels is made from 6061-T6 aluminium, which is a great choice for rails, definitely up to the task and actually has some small advantages over 7075. You’re also getting US military standard/spec Type 3 hard coat anodising, a weight of 9.5oz minus barrel nut (Titanium nut available) and of course full length 12 o/clock pic rail with M-LOK at 3, 6 and 9. The inner diameter is 1.3″ which is a standard across dozens of companies and makes for just the right type of slim, ergonomic grip everybody is looking for. There’s no timing of the barrel nut and there are anti-rotation tabs to hug the upper receiver. You don’t have QD sockets, but then I’m not a fan of QD myself so I wouldn’t personally mind that at all.

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Now, can you spend a lot more and get super tough 7075 rails for military usage, or Alu-mag/Alu-lith alloys that weigh far less? Yes. You can also spend much less money and get inferior metals and much weaker surface finishes along with pic rails and M-LOK that are suspect dimensionally. But Samson also offer their SXS Lightweight (2nd picture) with similar qualities to the SXS MLOK and at barely over 6oz minus barrel nut. They’ve also got KeyMod, forearms for Sig and H&K platforms and tons of other products that I’d say hit a great place on the cost/performance curve.

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Additionally they’ve had a soft spot with me for a long time as they deal with the ITAR legalities somehow or other and will actually ship their rails out of the US. So folks in places like the UK here and around the world can customise personal rifles, airsoft replicas, mag-fed paintball etc with some rather nice accessories that give the popular, modern AR look and ergonomic feature set.

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Bye Knees

Having talked about integral knee pad options a bit recently, I happened to spot this by pure chance when watching some video over at Funker530 – Combat Footage​. The issue with Crye Precision​ combat pants is that the pads, when fitted in the regular fashion, can come out when moving through thick foliage and/or when crawling. I’ve had it happen to me and here’s a perfect example of it happening down range while doing the real thing (tap this link not the thumbnail):

This is why some service personnel either fully tuck in the plastic knee cap on Gen 2s, or will use the combat knee pad but cover it with the NYCO flap on the Gen 3s. Gen 4 is meant to address this and I look forward to trying it out and seeing what happens.

CoD – Future Bullshit Guns

Pro Airsoft Supplies messaged me and said “hey, we’re bringing in all these S.R.U GBB kits for WE Airsoft, would you like to try the G5, SCAR-L or AK?” and I’d already seen the amazing absurdity of the AK kit, so naturally I picked that one because all work and no play makes jack a dull boy.

This thing is as terrible ergonomically as it is brilliant aesthetically.

If the weather ever holds out long enough to get some video I’ll be posting one just briefly going over the kit some time in the next week or two; and if not video then another blog post.

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Crye Online

Crye have, for some reason, never done social media before now.  A couple of days ago they started an Instagram account and now finally they’re on Facebook.  Twitter and YouTube should be coming if not already.

On the one hand their commercial sales no doubt make up a small fraction of their overall business so they never ‘needed’ social media, but then that’s always been the case with various other companies in the world of firearms and tactical gear and they’re all very active in the usual places.  I’ve seen people on forums and pages say “oh they’re not the power house they once were with SOF wearing patagonia and drifire” but anyone who’s not parts of the supply chain and thinks they know about everything the military buys (especially SF contracts) definitely has a vastly over-inflated opinion of their own knowledge base.

Of the few interviews I’ve seen coming out of CP, they’ve been doing nothing but expand and buy up more square footage from the very start.  I can only presume they’ve either hired in somebody new to doing public relations type stuff or they had a meeting and somebody said “hey why aren’t we going this?” and now they are doing this.

Shoot Las Vegas (Not Literally, Obviously)

Just straight up gratuitous phone footage of me blasting stuff at Shoot Las Vegas. I’ll write a review of the business later, but right now I’ll score them an easy 9/10 if not higher. If your personal belief is that using good looking women to promote your enterprise is a bad thing you won’t like them that’s for sure, but that’s not my personal outlook on things. Especially when the lady they post the most online also runs their social media and more importantly is one of their RSOs and works as such 6 days a week. But anyway, here’s the break down.

Single Action Army:
I realised I’d never fired any sort of revolver before this trip, but I’ve used SAAs many times in games and I bloody love that old school feeling of spinning the cylinder to load each round through the gate and cocking the hammer manually each time with the single action trigger. This model is obviously a slightly longer barrel than the US military variant that was adopted. Surprisingly not too much recoil for a big old cartridge and no slide to reciprocate.

Henry Repeating Arms Lever-Action:
Chambered in .45 Long Colt, same as the SAA. Again I’d never fired lever action before this, but the rifle is an early variant of the Henry without the King’s loading gate, so loading was done by dropping cartridges down the magazine tube from the front. You notice the rear site is a gigantic, cavernous notch with multiple angles inside it? Well I had no idea where to put the front bead inside that cavern so I started with it lined up at the top, then later realised it had to be at the bottom and got a hit. The subsequent miss is presumably just the fact I suck.

20″ AR/M16 style setup with Spike’s Tactical 37mm launcher:
The selection at SLV is very good considering it’s waaay out in the sticks, but I’ve obviously been in the service a while and fired a few things along with visits to other rental ranges and range days during SHOT Show trips. I basically just wanted to shoot an M16 clone with the heatshield around the barrel that you only see on M16s with UGLs. It’s as iconic as they come. I had an Action Man with that gun as a kid (the 203 fired green plastic ‘missiles’ via spring that cocked on loading, amazing).

Kahr Firearms Group/Auto Ord M1928 Thomspon:
I’ve fired this exact setup before, but it was the time I took my PivotHead glasses to the range and they let me down worse than any other piece of gear in history. If you’ve ever held a Thompson (real or replica) you’ll know the stock and controls make it a competitor for least ergonomic gun ever made. I presume it was setup to be hip fired after jumping in to a WW1 trench. So I don’t think I hit anything but I do not care a single jot – It’s a Chicago Typewriter *with* the drum.

FN America/Herstal P90:
I did not know this PDW had an AUG style 2-stage trigger as well as the fire selector, very, very odd. Also no idea where the EoTech was zero’d so I probably entirely failed to take in to account that huge bore offset, but it doesn’t matter because it fires rapid as hell and barely moves so I had a great time blasting sand. Which is all I do care about in this context.

Heckler & Koch G36:
I didn’t really expect a lot from this since it’s just a plastic assault rifle in 556, but it’s the easiest to control in automatic of just about any rifle I’ve fired, which makes little sense given how light it is. Felt like firing an SMG. Obviously you’ll note ALL of the shots hitting low but at least they’re fairly consistently low in the ground, so I can only imagine the sights were set for a lot further out than I was aiming.

FN F2000:
Same super freaky selector + dual stage setup as the P90. Do not ask me why that automatic ROF is so insanely high, it makes no sense to me, especially since I’ve handled the rifle previously at the Leeds collection and it weighs about 4lbs at a guess; all plastic body. Genuinely fits the bill when you say ‘feels like a toy’ in relation to a firearm because it feels like budget airsoft or a NERF gun.

FN SCAR Light/Mk16:
Fitting squarely in to the ‘boring, 556, short stroke, metal upper + polymer lower, AR layout’ modern assault rifle category, I was going to pick something else initially. But then SLV had the short version in sandy colours exactly like my TM replica and I changed my mind very quickly. Great controls, very light recoil. I can see why these guns are so pricey and so popular.

Just a regular 91/30 from what I can see in he video but I didn’t look the rifle over in person. Honestly the worst shooting experience I’ve had, the only gun that’s ever bruised me. Nothing to do with SLV of course, it’s just an old bolt action with no muzzle device and a beast of a round from the late 1800s, back when range and power was king. Combined with a metal butt plate of course and zero padding so ALL of that x54R force is going in to smacking a piece of metal right in to you. I guess I’m just a masochist.

The .50 I’ll throw in to a separate video because I want to have a nice big thumbnail on YouTube with the Barrett front and centre, because why not right? I probably could have got a ton of views over there if I’d uploaded each gun separately with big thumbnails and capitalised video titles, but then they hate guns and I’d make nothing from it. I’ve also had mostly just bad experiences with trolls on any video that has gotten large numbers of views.

PataWrongia More Like…

Gear I was trying out for the first time yesterday at Ambush Adventures The Billet site:

-Custom Blue Force Gear, Inc./Magpul Industries Corp. 1-to-2 point sling:
I’ve been using setups like this that I’ve made myself for years, but yesterday was the first time using it with QDs instead of Paraclips. The rotation-limited QD sockets that the MS4 adaptor and ALG rail have built in are good once you get things set the way you like, but you can’t realistically see where the segments and dividers are within the socket (without taking undue time clipping in) and sometimes you end up having to go back and mess with the attachment. Regular QD sling swivels are also a pain to manipulate compared to clips or hooks, which is why Magpul and BFG make their own versions with better control mechanisms.

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-Crye G3 All-Weather Combat Shirt:
Thicker in the torso than the regular G3 shirt, giving just that little bit more insulation and still a decent drying time. Unfortunately the wind will still go right through the torso and it definitely was doing that yesterday in a biting fashion, but the unlined softshell on the sleeves and yoke cuts out any wind and still breathes very well indeed.

SKD Tactical/Patrol Incident Gear [PIG GEAR] FDT Deltas:
I’ll be replacing at least a couple of pairs of my Alphas with these, if not most of them. All the same brilliant fitment and dexterity without the bloody annoying velcro tab to get them on and off every time where the hook part of the 2nd glove you put on always ends up eating some small part of the 1st glove. The Pig silicone letters peel off very easily but that’s always been the way with small grip additions like that on glove palms and fingers; be better if they knocked a few $ off the price and just never put those adornments on in the first place.

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– ALG Defense EMR V2 M-LOK Handguard:
A true pleasure to get to grips with. There’s not a massive different between this tube and the V1 I changed over from, but the small piece of pic rail at 12 o/clock up front is exactly what I want personally with no other wastage. It’s slim, extremely light and with just enough texturing in the geometry and anodising to not make things too smooth and slippery. You can’t beat 95%+ Geissele Automatics, LLC quality at a fraction of the price. I may add some covers/panels of some type just to decrease heat transfer slightly in winter, or possibly a cordura wrap as metallic rails act like a perfect heat sink, but that sort of thing entirely depends on your glove choice and circulation in the hands.

Grey Ghost Accomodator rifle mag pouch:
With an AEG mag, the function is perfect. Just enough grip to hold the ammo source, but no resistance to drawing it. I’ll need to try it again with a GBB rifle mag (they weight the same as a real one loaded) to see how it really retains something that has the necessary mass to carry momentum under movement however.

Patagonia PCU Level 9 Combat pants:
Big fat meh on these. They look cool and different to the G3s yes, but they’re not better in any way from what I’m seeing so far; certainly not when compared to NCs with the buttons. The normal front pockets are too shallow, the front thigh pockets seem too small in general as well. The main thigh cargo pockets are too far around the back of the leg and by far the worst feature is the fly. The button arrangement overall makes taking a piss a nightmare mission that would genuinely need SEAL training to complete. It’s hardly impossible to do a button fly that works either, other trousers have them, but the Pata arrangement is a fail. The L9s are just a step down from the NC or G3 in most ways. Not the worst trouser ever by any means and they’re not a million miles behind the Cryes, they’re just straight up not as good, so there’s no reason to recommend them for the vast majority of folks. Doubly so when Crye combats are far easier to find.

What folks want to know most I’m sure is what failed. Frankly these days I’m a bit disappointed if nothing goes wrong at all because then there’s nothing I can change and improve. I’ll say this beforehand however – I neither baby my kit nor do I deliberately trash it. I own enough now that if something falls apart I’m not going to be stuck and without kit to use, but on the other hand I’m not about stepping in to any recreational activity purely to ruin stuff I’ve purchased.

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The Patagonia knee pads were frankly unsurprising in their fragility and lacklustre performance. As with anything this is just a sample size of 1, however given the thin and brittle type of plastic that’s been used for the external caps I was pretty much expecting something to go wrong from the start. Bearing in mind I didn’t crash my knees in to any sharp edges to cause the split, this was the first outing for these pads and I only took a knee maybe 7 or 8 times during the day. A day of casual airsoft – not war fighting. As mentioned the plastic is just brittle, it doesn’t flex and cracks were simply bound to propagate. I liked the padding of the internal components of the pads, they’re a bit small compared to Crye but do a decent job. The other issue of course is the press/pop studs, which I knew weren’t nearly tough enough as soon as I took them out of the packaging. Move to a kneeling position too fast and guess what happens? At least 1 will disengage. Easy enough to take the time to remedy that in an airsoft game, not when you’re taking actual fire and have bigger concerns than protecting the stretch panels on your trousers from abrasion. The newer iterations I have on the way (which I’d presume are current issue) do have a positive locking system instead of the press studs.

What really disappointed me was the G-Code Holsters RTI rotating belt mount, which as you can see decided to shed 2 screws and would’ve shed 3 if the body of the holster hadn’t actually retained the 3rd. Those 3 sets of chicago screws worked themselves incredibly loose somehow, the other 2 were also loose but not to the point of the outer screws falling out (yet). I only drew and re-holstered maybe a dozen times and I’d rather expect draws and holstering actions to be the movements this gear should be designed to hold up to the best. Is this a parts or materials issue? Nope, it’s assembly. I’ve got lots of G-Code products here and this is the only one to have an issue anything like this. Clearly that bloke on the assembly shop floor was having a bad day; either that or the torque specs he was working to were far too low. Or the torque tool got a hard knock and was producing vastly different numbers to its’ setting. Either way those 2 screws of the 5 are gone forever now, I was lucky to catch the third right as I was packing up to leave.

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Highly fortunately I’ve got a bunch of spare G-Code nuts and bolts in a small organiser unit here that’s designed for DIY use and is full of similar ‘just in case’ bits and pieces. Wouldn’t want to be the guy on deployment or between shifts who was relying on this thing to mount his holster, especially if he’s only armed with a pistol in the first place. If they don’t respond to this post G-Code will be informed directly of this issue so they can double check their assembly processes. They’ve responded quickly in the past when I brought up a very minor issue with a slightly corroded piece of non-essential hardware. I’ll update here with my findings, but having talked about this item recently and sung its’ praises based on the other one I have (that has performed very well), I’m hardly thrilled by this turn of events. The toolbox and loctite will be used shortly to return the mount to full working order with the addition of spare screws, I’m just glad my holster and pistol didn’t even up clattering on to concrete.

The Billet, Skirmish Thoughts

Quick few thoughts on mine and Passive Shooter‘s trip out to Ambush Adventures Billet site; I’ll be talking more about what I used that was new and what I found out about tomorrow.

For those who haven’t been or seen me talk about this site previously, it is a small area no doubt, but it’s good overall and the guy who does any fixing up of my electric RIFs lives only about 10 minutes away so I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone and there’s few things in life I find more satisfying than that.

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A bog standard old style AR AEG can reach at least half of the way across either the width or length of the actual area that’s used in play. However the buildings within are made up of many, many split up rooms and corridors so this is no great issue, there’s lots of usable gaming area to battle over. There were a tad under 20 players per side today at a guess, which honestly worked about spot on. No walking around for ages wondering where everybody is, but also, unlike many other close-up type sites I’ve attended, I didn’t spend most of the day stuck in the same half dozen cramped, impassible bottle neck corridors and doorways.

I’m not personally a huge fan of every game type they run, but then basically everyone else was so I’d say that’s entirely on me. I’ve also been a good few times before and at this point the physical site isn’t massively interesting to me, it’s also entirely on one level, but again they have regulars who play all the time and you can never under-estimate a skirmish site that avoids the issue of constant choke points. They also run ‘No Bang’ days, which may be a sneaky joke at my lack of tinder matches, but on the regular days it’s a very .209/9mm grenade heavy site. That has its’ ups and downs without doubt, but personally on balance I’d rather have everyone actually have to shoot each other vs certain people who come loaded up with multi-shot grenades just chucking them around every single corner. Or play against lots people who just throw a pyro any time there’s any sort of a stalemate. I get the flip side of the coin too, but with a fairly small player count the stalemates are kept very minimal.

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There’s no driving down a bumpy dirt road to get to the parking, there’s generally ample space for cars too. A walk on is £30 and crucially a lunch comes with that and it was a bloody good one, joint best I’ve had at an airsoft game myself. Actual fruit and veg mixed in there, enough food in total for a full lunch meal then a snack in the afternoon and a bottle of water for all the idiots who think coffee and Monster are the go-to beverages for a day running about with kit on. At this point after playing for about 11-12 years, the food, safe zone and the attitudes of people in attendance are very much the key aspects of playing this game for me. As with any site I’ve seen the odd mildly-iffy player attitude, but it’s very minimal frankly. The marshals are experienced and do a solid job and considering how short the distances are where people are getting shot the number of ‘disagreements’ were essentially zero.

If you’re curious what I’ll say about the gear tomorrow; quick preview, I managed to make 2 items fail pretty impressively, both from kit companies most folks would consider top of the food-chain. Just in playing about 4-5 hours of airsoft.

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SHOT Focus – Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research had a much bigger booth this year at SHOT, with a wide range of the layering system that was mentioned during 2017’s show now on display. In order to even attempt to post fine details on every item I’d be here for about 3 weeks just writing this post, so I’m going to give a really simple break down of what all the new names mean because I’ve had to research the entire line-up myself before writing this. PCU level naming conventions would have come in very handy here, but as you can see, are not included on any of the signage.

Apologies for the picture being below my usual par, this was day 1 and I’d spent that day running around the high-end tac gear part of the show with my head on fire. That and the lighting in the sands is dim, yellow in tone and generally very poor for photography, I’ll be trying to use flash more next year that’s for certain. Perhaps a professional wouldn’t have the same issues as me, but I’m a complete amateur with the most basic, budget line DSLR Canon have ever made.

If you’re not familiar with PCU and you didn’t read the article all about the system that I linked over from ITS Tactical a few months back, you SERIOUSLY need to go and do that now, then come back to this post. Because if you don’t, you’ll be lost. But without further ado lets begin the stroll through this little forest of clothing wonders.

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Muzzle Brake – The Muzzle Brake shirt and trousers are OR’s Level 9 jungle/humid temperate uniform made from the GORE-TEX® ProductsKatana fabric that Arc also use in their hot weather clothing items. It’s supposed to dry twice as fast as NYCO with the same overall resilience at 20% less weight. The cut is very complex and technical and you’ll not have seen much information about these uniforms floating around out there. I’ve only seen stock of them at Tactical Distributors and one other online store, they cost almost $400 per pair of trousers and most folks don’t look outside their ArC’rye bubble to consider brands like OR, Beyond and.. Patagonia *spit*. Not in the commercial market at least.

I’m not sure what the blouse/pant protectors are exactly apart from the upper item being in a vest format. A thin nylon shell along the lines of a wind stopper perhaps, but I won’t speculate further. If I get hold of anyone at OR I’ll post an update with further details.

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Combat shirt – Not part of the Muzzle brake line in terms of nomenclature, but certainly part of the line with regards physical construction. Using the same Katana fabric as is visible in the close-up shot. The torso is a Polartecbrand fabric which is good news because Polartec are very popular for combat shirt torsos and for good reason. I couldn’t find this combat shirt online anywhere except for, as per usual, over at Soldier Systems Daily who do have a little bit more information for those interested.

Obsidian jacket and trousers – Softshells, PCU Level 5. Using what I gather is the same Tweave Crye and Arc use for their All-Weather and Combat lines of L5 garments respectively. Nothing revolutionary in terms of the fabric there but thus far nobody has released a better all-around softshell material to my knowledge.

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Colossus parka – Finally a name that’s clear and fairly obvious as to what it represents. This is your outer insulation layer for staying static/bloody cold weather. PCU Level 7, uses the infamous PrimaLoft Gold which is widely renowned as one of the absolute kings of insulation material and a cut above the other Primaloft fills.

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Infiltrator – PCU Level 6, the mac daddy, the waterproof Gore-Tex apparel. I can only presume ‘Infiltrator’ as the fabric hopefully doesn’t swish against itself the way my old issued DPM GTX set did. This set is made of a Gore military fabric with (again) Gore stretch panels that are also fully waterproof. Yes, you read that bit right, it’s been around a while now but almost nobody is using the stuff. It’s not just very slightly stretchy either, I had a feel for myself and there’s a huge amount of elasticity in the stretchable parts of the jacket. So much so I don’t think a garment entirely made out of this material would actually be a good idea.

The most exciting part for me is the potential in the lower half, even though GTX trousers are probably one of the least used issued layering items as most folks would prefer wet legs over trying to fight to get those things on; then you just know you’ll never get a chance to stop and take them off when you really need to. I’ve not seen where the stretch panels are actually integrated on the Infiltrator trouser either, hopefully at least in the groin and lower back area as per most of the cut of popular combat pants on the market.

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Tradecraft – I’d say the equivalent of the main-stay that has historically been the Arc’teryx Atom line. Uses the same Primaloft Gold as the Colossus parka, but with roughly half the weight/thickness to fit in to PCU Level 3. I’m strongly drawn to the jacket in MAS Grey as an everyday item since it doesn’t have the wind-permeable side panels of my Arc Atom LT hoody. Arc do offer their Atom AR of course which lacks the side panels and the Tradecraft is only a couple of dozen grams lighter at a very similar price point, but the Arc logo and branding (in my eye) gets more and more pretentious the more I look at it. I don’t mind subdued and colour matching versions but the whited-in skeletons I am not a fan of these days.

The OR Foundation and Barrow layers are also being made to provide options at Levels 1 and 2, then there’s the Prevail jacket for level 4. Rounding out pretty much the entire PCU system now available from OR from levels 1 to 9.

I’ve pictured the glove line as well just because OR produce so many and are particularly well known for the FR hand protection. I’ve personally only owned the Ironsight models however which were pretty good overall and fairly close to the FDT Alphas, which is no mean feat in itself.

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Yours, Says, Replica

Getting there on the footage from Shoot Las Vegas (inbetween writing maaaaany e-mails and messages).

First round of fiddy cal I ever fired. I dearly wish the camera could’ve picked up the pressure wave both myself and my buddy holding the camera there felt, even worse for him than for me being directly behind the gun. It may have only been semi-enclosed at the firing position but that was enough to feel like you were getting slapped in the head from both sides at the same time upon firing each shot. Beast of a muzzle brake, less felt recoil than a full power WW2 era 30 cal round with a bare muzzle.


Getting there on the footage from Shoot Las Vegas (inbetween writing maaaaany e-mails and messages).First round of fiddy cal I ever fired. I dearly wish the camera could've picked up the pressure wave both myself and my buddy holding the camera there felt, even worse for him than for me being directly behind the gun. It may have only been semi-enclosed at the firing position but that was enough to feel like you were getting slapped in the head from both sides at the same time upon firing each shot. Beast of a muzzle brake, less felt recoil than a full power WW2 era 30 cal round with a bare muzzle.

Posted by The Full 9 on Thursday, February 8, 2018