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M-LOK Domination

Soldier Systems Daily has really been smashing out the news this week, including:

-USMC’ further adoption of the M27 IAR (HK416) and moving said rifle in to a DMR role with 1-6x adjustable mag optics.

-US Army purchasing more semi-auto 762 NATO rifles to add to combat teams as an interim measure to counter long range 7.62x54R threats (eg SVD and PKM).

-US SOCOM beginning to officially investigate 6.Xmm intermediate cartridges via in-depth testing and analysis. Strong potential for wider adoption if successful I’d wager.

I’d specifically like to draw attention to this post right now:

http://soldiersystems.net/…/details-on-the-ussocom-sponsor…/

As the article mentions, the sample of KeyMod and M-LOK rails tested was fairly small, but the testing went in to great depth and the trends were clearly observable.

We all knew M-LOK was going to win, I know that was my feeling pretty much as soon as Magpul Industries Corp. unveiled their system and I looked through the open source spec sheet. Apart from anything the ability to machine it far more cheaply was a massive boon. I haven’t bought a KeyMod handguard for a couple of years now and while I’m not going to rush to replace the ones I have because they’re more than good enough for sporting usage, I’m also not planning to spend a single penny more on KeyMod unless I really need some specific mount for a rail I already own.

The new H&K rifle the US Army is scheduled to be adopting next year to replace the SR-25 will have a Geissele Automatics, LLC M-LOK rail, that will mark the first large(ish) scale military issuing of M-LOK that I know of. From then on I think it’s going to snowball.

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Silencers in Games

Don’t know about the rest of you but this is a perfect intersection of my interests. SilencerCo also needs to give their editing guy a pay rise.

The ironic thing is silencers in games have generally decreased damage, velocity or accuracy as a way to provide balance because you can’t really account for the added length or the quicker rate of accumulation of carbon. What they perhaps should actually do is make aiming down sight a tad slower to represent the weight/balance change and, more importantly, increase recoil (especially in FA) which would actually be realistic in most cases. In self-loading firearms, most silencers cause more gas to cycle back in to the system and hence cause the bolt carrier to slam backwards faster and harder on every shot.

I don’t think emulating the effect of hot, noxious gasses being blasted in to the firer’s face would be a good idea in games because it would just annoy players and increasing rate of fire would often be more of an advantage, but possibly just making some guns unable to accept sound suppressors (as is generally realistic) would make sense. Many common military self-loading weapons that are depicted in games simply aren’t built in such a way that they’ll still cycle rounds reliably when massively over-gassed. Not in their issued configurations anyway, you’re often talking armourer level work to change gas parts in some way to allow reliable silencer use.

NB – If ‘Silencer’ triggers you because you believe you’re a god of firearms knowledge and you’re sure you just read something wrong on the internet, please do more research on the origins of devices that muffle the report of firearms.

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Proper Shiny

Spent some time sweating in my No1s this morning to get handed my proper medal. As I said over on IG, my feeling is there should be 2 types of medal, one for support guys like me who had a real chill time (by comparison) and one for the blokes who actually did proper dangerous shit. But it is what it is, not something I can change.

The NATO one on the left is well known for being made of chocolate, pretty trinket but that’s it. The one I earnt is on the right and made of cardboard and some really terrible MS Paint artwork. But every time a group left, the ‘characters’ got a special citation from the lads for meritorious service in the face of boredom and the enemy (the drinking ban). There was a certain chain of events involving an American general and some pictures and some things happened and I won’t say any more than that. True story.

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Shades of Grey and PenCott

Bit of a random ensemble of a mail call, actually arrived a while back but I’ve kept it in the back pocket since the next one will be another few weeks at the minimum (and I’ve already been waiting months for certain things to worm their way around the globe).

Ft. Arc’teryx, Magpul Industries Corp., B5 Systems, Aimpoint AB, Salomon,Husar, PenCott CamouflageLA Police Gear, SKD Tactical and Legit Kit.

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Arktis Update

Time for some more signature straight-up no BS gear truth:

For those that remember the new version Arktis Ranger Trousers I posted up about a few times a couple of months back, after many e-mails and a lot of prodding I’ve finally got some response worth reporting on.

I did a bit of testing (in a non scientific way) with the 2 pairs they lent to me for review and overall they were pretty damn good. Top end materials throughout, bar-tacks and double/triple stitching where it needed to be, all the pockets you might need etc. However there were some minor niggles that I took substantial time to document and report back on, as was the agreement when Arktis sent over the items in the first place. A couple of small areas where parallel stitch lines weren’t quite right, some small suggested changes to the factory kneepad inserts and, primarily, the knee pad pockets being just a hair’s width too short to 100% fully fit G3 kneepads perfectly.

Initially I was told the 2 pairs of trousers I have were first off the production line early models (borderline prototype) and the kneepad fitment issue apparently wasn’t evident on other pairs in the warehouse upon checking. I said ok then, in that instance let me return these sets and I’ll borrow a fresh pair from you guys for actual recording of a video review so that I’m not putting out false negative information about the product.

Now, all this communication was with a gentleman working in the design department at Arktis. There was a bit of a gap in comms, I then received an e-mail that had been shotgunned out by this person to explain he was leaving the company. I didn’t exactly say why but it came across as perfectly normal and amicable, no big dramas or anything.

The next person I moved on to speak to then again (it turned out) left the company shortly after. Maybe I have just a terrible effect on people? Regardless I’ve now been informed that “the trousers are still under review”, from a design perspective presumably, and I should get in touch again later this year when Arktis are planning to have made further changes. What those changes will be and whether they’re actually going to finally listen to the feedback I’ve given them on many, many occasions now, advice that would fix the problems I keep finding with these trousers, who knows?

It’s frustrating that they have such a well established manufacturing location, access to plenty of mil-spec materials and just keep falling that tiny bit short of the mark. The one pair I have here in temperate DPM that were custom 1-off modifications of the earlier model are absolutely top notch and fit Crye pads perfectly, yet, the 2 examples of the current iteration I’ve got here do have small issues that really do bring them down (disproportionately so).

I’ve made it very clear that my assistance is available going forward and maybe they’ll actually take me up on that and I’ll keep that ship sailing straight and true. Maybe not though. I will as always keep you updated.

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I’m a Wanderer

Think I started my game of Fallout 4 roughly a year ago now, spent all my down time in Afghan building this huge glass and concrete mansion thing out on Spectacle Island, filled it with pretty much every type of power armour possible. Started working on the DLCs before completing the main quest, then BF1 came out which took my attention for a long while, but after a few days completing Nuka-World today I’ve finally destroyed the institute. Pretty sure I’ve checked every location on the map and done nearly every quest there is going, so I’ve hung up my X-01, my Gauss Rifle and my Quad Barreled rocket launcher, currently sat on the 4th floor balcony at Lvl100 enjoying a cool can of emergency ration water.

Also decided to break open my copy of American Sniper this evening since I’m staying on camp for the weekend and I had a lot of time to kill. I won’t get in to real detail on my thoughts, because as many things as there were that stuck out in the combat sections that were maybe not *exactly* realistic, I’d say the story being told and the issues highlighted are what matters most.

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Anything’s Better Than MALICE

In all genuine seriousness (just for a second), by far the most satisfying and overall cool thing for me with this blog/page/channel is when people like my ideas enough to actually bring them on board to use themselves. That’s no small thing and when it’s related to gear someone has purchased themselves I appreciate there’s a fair bit of risk being taken that what I’ve said will actually ring true in reality. Whether that’s fellow service members or fellow airsoft geeks, it’s either kit people depend on or kit they’ve spent their hard earned money on. It all matters in some form or another. I hope I can continue to pass on some tid bits of useful knowledge based on my experiences as time goes on that may actually be of small benefit to various folks.

Like to thanks my mate Scott for sending over these shots of his TACOs rigged up using the Velcro one-wrap I mentioned in a video a little while back. If you run any MALICE compatible pouches on a belt (especially a belt with a loop lining) then you may find this a handy tip. I’ve not run with it a ton so far admittedly so i wouldn’t call this duty-ready by any stretch, but in the time I have used pouches attached this way I’ve not had any problems at all. They’ve stated glued in place and do hug the belt tightly with very little bulk on the inside.

 
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Aero Bubbles

As promised, issues I ran in to trying to alter the Krytac (and one shot of some of the markings with my macro lens just because I had it out).

I’m not saying I’m perfect or the very most skilled technician in the world, is there a chance this stuff could’ve been avoided? Yeah maybe, but when I do jobs I do them properly and both broken parts failed extremely easily, far more quickly than anything else I’ve worked on. Is the receiver issue unique to Krytac? No there’s barely any airsoft ARs out there which use decently graded aluminium, Systema receivers are the same ‘alloy’ and we all know the price difference there. Hopefully these shots do a good job of showcasing what these parts are actually made of once you get inside them (for those who’ve never seen a receiver break).

Krytac referred me to Shield Airsoft with regards getting a new lower, I’ve contacted them but no reply thus far, so “we’ll see” on that one.

I’ve pretty much decided that as cool as it is to replicate the War Sport rifle so closely, it’s pretty much impossible to get this AEG 100% correct so I might as well improve the weight distribution and handling by changing the rail out. Plain black, with M-LOK and the WS bungees threaded in as a homage to the original.

Either something like this to maintain that scooped front end look:
https://tinyurl.com/m7fsjum

Or I’ll just go with whatever is the lightest most fancy looking M-LOK freefloat tube I can get my hands on. This V Seven Weapons has been on my list for a while:
https://tinyurl.com/n8ef9jn

Battle Arms Development and Faxon Firearms also have some really cool options recently released but these really light tubes are so damn popular and manufactured in fairly small batches that it’s not easy to find them in stock. The great thing about a rear-wired AEG and modern LiPos in the buffer tube means that once I’ve re-threaded the upper to firearm spec the world’s my oyster in terms of rail selection.

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PCU Primer

This may ‘only’ be a product specific video, but if you want to gain more understanding of all this softshell/inclement weather clothing I’ve banged on about in the past, this does an amazing job. Only 6 minutes long yet this is a solid primer for better understanding more in-depth discussions and other pieces about PCU/ECWCS style (doesn’t really apply to PCS since brit kit still doesn’t include a softshell layer) foul weather layering. Also a great video for demonstrating the concept of *not* insulating yourself and fully prioritising moisture management during fast movement and heavy activity.

Hill People Gear have their stuff made by FirstSpear with some more outdoor/mountaineering twists, less military aesthetics and features. The FS Windcheater is a very popular jacket for good reason and I’d strongly consider going for the HPG version of it.