Magpul Every Day

Previously I’ve taken a look over the Magpul Industries Corp. DAKA Essential Wallet after carrying it daily for a few weeks and that was nice, but it lacked a little something. I had a word with a buddy of mine over at Magpul and they mentioned that a version was already in the works that featured exactly that little something I was after – a transparency for ID cards. So now I’ve been fortunate enough to have been provided a DAKA Everyday Wallet to review and unlike most types of military gear, this is an item of non-issued kit I can easily get days and weeks worth of carrying and use on before providing my thoughts.

Original manufacturer page here for reference:
https://www.magpul.com/products/magpul-daka-everyday-wallet

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Fortunately, making the change from the Magpul Essential to the new Everyday design was a lot easier than when I originally went from my old conventional wallet (which did also have a transparency) to the Magpul Essential. My initial thought was along the lines of “how the hell will I manage day to day with so little storage capacity” and all things considered I think Magpul do go a little too spartan with the original Essential; as we can probably surmise with the changes put in to the Everyday. Putting that concern aside however I did want to try out the concept of maybe slimming down my pocket book and not carrying around things I knew I hadn’t used for years and years, so I started using the Essential on a daily basis and ended up not going back to my old wallet. The biggest change is, as you might imagine, only having something that feels comparatively tiny in your pocket and when you sit in a car, hop on your bike or sit down to eat that is a genuine revelation that prompted me to forget about any capacity shortcomings of these types of designs. There are disadvantages but the size advantage alone has been entirely worth the swap in my mind.

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There are 3 key changes that have been made with the Everyday which are all highly beneficial in my opinion.

1 – It’s 10% larger overall compared to the Essential, meaning you’ve got room for any card, ID or currency note that is slightly larger than the norm. It’s also more difficult to lose this one out of your jacket pocket, which is exactly what I did with my Essential.

2 – The addition of a transparency is exactly what I personally needed for showing my ID to the gate guards 4-6+ times per day vs having to fiddle around actually removing my ID card each and every time for inspection. Anyone in the service will welcome this and I’m sure there’s other jobs out there which necessitate similar regular checks – especially in the public/security sector where we’re often still using humans instead of automated doors and check points. Just don’t ask me who that bloke is pictured on my MOD 90, not met him in over a decade.

3 – An extra storage slot has been created right in the middle with the goal of providing a better stash point for notes, rather than having to wedge your cash in to a credit card slot. Crucially this one addition provides a proportionally very large % increase in carrying capacity vs the older model while not falling back in the trap of making you carry tons of shit you don’t need and never use. For me this made the Everyday a truly perfect fit for exactly the cards and cash I wanted to carry every single day wherever I go.

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At this point I’ll mention the one failing point I have with any sort of slimline/essentials-only wallet and that’s carrying coins, it’s pretty much not an option. If you’re the sort to jam cash in a pocket you’ll be fine, but I’m not a fan of that myself and the one thing I miss is the coin pouch every other normal wallet that I’ve ever owned before featured. This design being made of a smooth plastic will lose metal coins, especially when they’re sandwiched against even smoother plastic cards. If you live in normal modern society I’d imagine your need for coins has pretty much been eliminated in 2017, parking meters and the like tend to advertise ways to pay on your phone even in some fairly rural places that I’ve come across. Maybe you work somewhere with an ancient vending machine but those are dying out or their contents being replaced with ‘Protein+’ versions of whatever snacks were in there before and I like to think nobody reading this page is blind enough to fall for that over-priced bullshit. In my job I do sometimes need coins to buy the odd snickers from the t-bar or bacon roll on a friday morning, because we still do some old school shiz like that, but if you live in a country with 1-unit notes or work for a company that’s not still kinda stuck in the 80s I reckon you’ll mostly be fine. I’d say even the need for any sort of cash including notes has been very much diminished at this point and potentially if you live in the centre of a large city you’d only carry notes in an ’emergency’ case of that one very unlikely occasion where folding money might be needed, but your contactless cards will be the go-to 99.9%.

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In terms of general capacity in the Everyday, I myself have 2 different debit cards that I regularly use, my military ID, driving licence in the middle and a couple of notes and that’s all I’ve ever needed in the past couple of months of carrying the thing. I’ve never felt the desire for any more capacity with the exception of pieces of pirate silver as mentioned above. There is room for plenty more credit/debit cards or any sort of membership or loyalty card if you want to put them in there and on the occasion you need to chuck in a business card or any other thin item that comes in to your possession the fabric will grow to accommodate. There is also just about room for 1 item of contraception, and I’m sure we all want to be grown up and responsible in that area. I never need such things because I write a tactical blog, but I know a few of you folks are more tanned and lift more weight than I do.

Construction wise I don’t have a name of the exact fabric used, but if you’ve got any gear that uses Hypalon you’ll have a rough idea. Essentially this is a fabric in the sense that it looks to be ‘weaved’ from strands at some point in its’ creation, rather than just being liquid plastic that’s cooled in to a solid sheet and cut. Fortunately it is proving to be infinitely more abrasion resistant than Hypalon, it also turns away sweat and oils from your skin like a champ. There are 5 layers of this fabric (which is incredibly thin I should add) and they’re all welded together at the edges which Magpul claim are both permanent and impenetrable. I’ve seen nothing so far to suggest those claims aren’t true. Also much like a really well made magazine pouch, the fabric does grip the smooth plastic of any ID/money card well during carry, yet relinquishes that grip when you begin to pull out a card and break the friction bond.

The rounded corners make it fast and snag-free going in out and out of bags and pockets which is something I’ve certainly found I appreciate on a daily basis. It also keeps everything inside cinched tightly together and that means it’s nearly impossible for anyone else to see which pocket your wallet is in, a very big change from your old type wallet that’s got 2 years of receipts and a Blockbuster member card collecting lint inside.

The Everyday comes in the same colour options as most of Magpul’s plastic firearms parts and accessories and it’s actually made in the US, whereas most of the EDC-culture gear you’ll find out there which isn’t firearm related will most likely come from the same country as most of everything else. At $25 the Everyday is a bit of a price hike vs the $17 Essential when you look at the percentage, but based on carrying this fabric around for a few months now I’m confident in saying you’ll get many years use out of one of these. In fact I’d say it’ll last a lot longer than it takes any leather wallet to reach that point where the external smooth hide surface of said leather has gotten ratty and chipped and exposed the grey suede underneath.

What I’d do myself is keep a leather wallet in a drawer ready for any type of ‘going out’ that might involve a touch of class or just generally wanting to come across as not being any type of prepper or EDC/CCW type (for any reason you may personally happen to have). What I do myself for example is have a horrendously bight Magpul phone case that provides protection and easy spotting to use every day, then a slim, plain black phone case to take to nice bars and restaurants and the like where I might be wearing chinos or a suit and want to trick normal people in to thinking I’m a standard adult human. Same kind of story with my wallet and watch.

I’m really glad I took the figurative leap of faith over to this style of wallet and I’m going to continue to keep the Magpul Everyday as my primary day-to-day until it either breaks or I find something better. However at this current moment it quite literally carries exactly what I need it to carry and nothing more so unless the cards/cash I need to carry change then my wallet isn’t going to.

P-Tec Switch Rail

If you’ve ever forgotten your head torch and had to grip a normal one in your pie hole while trying to clean twigs and grass and carbon and other sthit out of an assault rifle, go ahead and hit that like button.

This little widget is a Princeton Tec Switch Rail I picked up from Tactical Distributors a nearly 3 years back, after a specific learning experience that highlighted the fact I really needed such a thing.

I’m a big fan of the fact it weighs almost literally nothing and with 1 simple button you’ve got 2 levels of handy red light and emergency white light at your disposal. One normal press immediately goes to low-power red, 2 quick presses for brighter red and a long press+hold for white. If the lower power red has been on for more than a couple of seconds then a press turns the light off again rather than going to higher power, meaning it’s very easy to ensure you never go in to the brighter modes if you don’t wish to do so and staying sneaky is achievable.

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I’ve mounted the light to an SLR Rifleworks forend for illustration purposes here and you’ll note how slim and small it is. Now of course the tacticool thing that all the gucci operators do is have a white/IR light and an IR laser/illuminator up front with a dual switch paired with night vision. Problem with that of course is it’ll cost you a few grand minimum for a really basic setup if you’re not so BA to have it issued to you and that’s a lot of dosh for pretty much anybody. Even if you’re not minted however you still may need to be able to navigate around places and not fall up a flight of stairs and die while carrying a weapon/replica, so that’s where an economical piece of gear like this comes in.

For just a bit less money than a night vision setup, you can have a powerful white light on one side of the weapon to identify, highlight and disorient targets (when necessitating compromising your natural vision and position), then on the other side have a discreet red light easily and instantly accessible to aid simply moving around and any other administrative tasks. Personally I find having such a red light weapon mounted allowing you to easily point it exactly where you want it while still maintaining a full and proper firing grip is invaluable vs forcing yourself in to some weird uncomfortable grip or slinging your weapon to go with a hand held (or even mounting a red light to a chest rig and then having the fuck about of trying to make it point where you actually want it to point).

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The Princeton still isn’t a ‘cheap’ option exactly, but relatively speaking in the realm of lights it’s not bad and you’ll only ever need to buy one since it’s very easily transferred between weapons if required. I think of all the bullshit one can potentially mount to a handguard, this is something that gives a huge amount of function at essentially no cost in weight or ergonomics to your gun. You won’t look like people on Instagram think you should look like with one of these (they want to see fake chinese PEQ boxes instead), but it’s by far the better option to not fall over and break your face on a metal railing instead of a fucking pointless hollywood red laser.

Skip ze 6 – A7

First time I’m seeing the 416A7 as selected by German SF, deets over at Soldier Systems Dailyhttp://soldiersystems.net/2017/10/13/spartanat-2/#comments

G95

45 degree selectors and HKey over the quad pic. Not sure on other changes right now since the HK site still only displays the A5.

VERY similar rail to the one being proposed for the L85A3. I find it interesting the way some of these military arms are insisting on fitting parts that would be relevant on commercial ARs about 2-3 years ago. I had an original Fortis REV with the 12 and 6 o/clock pic rails and side KeyMod, was not a fan of the ergonomics, however I’ll take any weight saving over quad pic. M-LOK all around is simply the way to go.

iFly

I’ve done a couple of dozen parachute jumps so far (struggling to organise the next course) but never the indoor sky diving, so pretty hyped to get to try it on a little trip out with work I have to say.

It’s definitely a whole lot easier to try than actual parachuting, none of the fear, far less money. So if you’d like to get an idea of what freefall actually feels like, then I wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending iFLYiFLY Basingstoke. Really good facility, equipment and instructors all around.

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As it happened by some strange coincidence my group was being looked after by an American bloke, 10 year vet US Army, hadn’t been long out. Had a pretty strong accent still, not sure how he ended up doing indoor skydiving over here but a lot of the spams do love it over here. “Infantry then special operations” apparently which I could believe to look at him, I guessed Ranger then saw he had the relevant tattoo so I gave myself an internet cookie. Probably done a load of airborne ops in his time then taken those freefall skills to the indoor circuit, there’s a big business and sport/competition around wind tunnel stuff.

Latest from Plat-A-Tac – Mk3 Lowers

I feel like I need a specific day to publish videos. Tuesday seems good since it alliterates with the ‘Tube and you know I like some alliteration early in the week.

Part of the PLATATAC gear I was kindly provided a little while back was this pair of their Mk3 Tac Dax combat cut trousers. I’ve given them a few runs out and the following is my entirely honest and open opinion of the product.

Cash is King

I can’t mention the L85 without somebody telling me that “It’s shit and needs to be replaced”.

Let me address this with one very key point right now, because if you knew enough to be qualified to really put forward a worthwhile viewpoint on this subject you’d have understood this already. If you want to understand the over-arching key to this issue please read this piece over at Soldier Systems Daily:

http://soldiersystems.net/…/armys-peo-soldier-bg-cummings…/…

I’m quite happy to bet every penny I have to my name right now that whichever new calibre/cartridge the US military selects (and various testing is going on currently as part of that) the rest of NATO/ISAF/’the nice guys’ will follow suit, as will many, many other people. It happened with 556 before and the firearm industry in the USA leaves it as basically the only nation in the world (certainly in the west) with the infrastructure of everything that’s needed to develop and select the new standard round to a sufficient level of overall quality as far as the end result goes. H&K may be popular and in Europe, but all they’re really doing is iterating on current weapons for the most part. The MP7 was one of their most innovative weapons but everything I’m reading suggests even that has been phased out and potentially replaced by a rifle from Q, LLC – a company I’d wager is substantially buoyed by (and far more viable as a result of) the existence of the US civilian firearms market. Similar story with FN.

Replacing a general issue service carbine or rifle is a long, tricky, very very expensive process that 99.9% do not understand at all. I don’t pretend to understand it fully by any means myself. But the key word here is expensive and cash-money is very high indeed on the priority list right now, to put it extremely lightly.

Will the timelines mentioned in the article be kept to? Probably not if we look at procurement programs in general, but unlike fast jets it is comparatively quick to develop new small arms. Emphasis on the word comparatively of course, but none-the-less the fact remains. I won’t pretend to know exactly what will happen and when, but a new calibre is almost certainly coming quite soon and spending out a fortune on rifles, optics, slings, rail accessories, training materials, training ammo, range time etc etc etc for another 556 rifle at this current point in time is the equivalent to tipping piles and piles of money in to a giant furnace – money you borrowed from one of those borderline-legal not-a-loan-shark companies at 2500% APR. The next big thing just is not available right now, it doesn’t exist yet, therefore we can’t buy it and I’m confident in saying that sticking with the current option is the only sensible and viable solution taking key relevant factors in to account.

There’s been a lot of talk from top US generals about a feeling of lack of ability to respond to soviet x54R weapons and there’s more than a few past examples out there of the US prioritising money in to new equipment vs training on the current equipment. So again, strong impetus there for something that carries energy farther than 556 does without going all the way back to 762×51 on a permanent basis for every service member.

If you’ve paid much attention to the rise of 6.5 Creedmoor amongst US civilian shooters and you understand some basics about trajectories, transonic transition, carried energy, wind effects etc you’ll know what the appeal is behind a 6.X calibre round on paper. The carbine isn’t the only area this is going on either, there’s plenty of noise around an FN MAG replacement/upgrade in .338NM (Norma Magnum), which itself is basically a slightly tamed .338LM (Lapua Magnum). The former being a round which would extend effective range of light machine guns and without dragging this post on even longer is, I would say, just ‘better’ for use in anything but a precision rifle vs Lapua Magnum.

None of this is even getting in to polymer cased ammo, but sufficed to say that new standardised round is a big old train and it’s steaming in to the station at high speed. It’s not Virgin Trains either, so if you lay the tiny leaf that is an iterative 556 gun on the track, that ol’ girl most definitely ain’t stopping.

Tactical Hangers

Some new arrivals from the FirstSpear web store last week that’ll be added to the proper-review queue.

Hope you all have your monitor brightness turned down, because I’ve already taken the tough hooks to the gym to try out and there’s a reason I never wear shorts on camera I’ll say that.

The very new multi-mag pouch is something I’ve been after since it was first announced and it’s been very interesting indeed to get hands on with it.  It’s a piece of gear I’m going to be trying out in airsoft a good few times at least and *maybe* take over to the US just to see how it does when I really run it with real mags/rounds/rifles, but a lot of pieces will have to fall in to place for that to happen.  For me it’s just been good to get my hands on a pouch that’s so innovative and different for a change and doubly so when it’s coming from a brand I’ve long been a fan of who build things to such high quality.

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ATACS Central

Fortuitous news since just the other day I was saying I don’t like A-Tacs Camo ‘LE’ and other mostly-black patterns. ATACS will be offering a grey-dominant variation on the new iX line known as Ghost. Personally, I’m really liking the aesthetic.

https://www.a-tacs.com/single-post/2017/10/02/New-Gear-Coming-in-A-TACS-Ghost-Pattern-from-Tactical-Performance-Corp

Just need Multicam to drop a dark grey urban option now instead of MC Black. Then once PenCott Metropolis drops and (if) Kryptek release Raid fabric I can get the gear together to post Commercial Camo Showdown part 4.

Soldier Systems Daily broke the news on a new ATACS specific website bringing alllllll sorts of ATACS patterened products under one roof. Featuring the likes of ur-tactical.comTRU-SPEC and Velocity Systems/Mayflower R&C – all brands that I own, use and would recommend. So if you are a fan of the family I’d say have a look at www.a-tacsgearstore.com