Down Low

This proved controversial on IG because I think some folks misunderstood my meaning, but here it is anyway:

Arm Velcro is a bad move in public imho, you don’t need it so why potentially shout about who you are or otherwise lead people in to potential misconceptions. If you’re reading this you 99% already know because I’m very happy to say that people I see follow me are smart and know shit. Just remember when shopping if you’re not quite sold on a product, you can always remove loop and labels with minimal time and effort and turn something tactical in to something totally plain and nondescript, then just keep your Cryes for the range (or whatever). Probably wouldn’t recommend this for level 5 or 6 though, so in that area you do have to buy what you need off the shelf, maybe get some custom blanking plates if you see a deal too good to pass up.

Taking It Way Back

I signed a set of webbing out of stores yesterday for a 3 day course I’m on the week after next. I knew there was a new PALS based MTP belt in the system but I’d never seen the old PLCE in MTP before this week. Why exactly they’ve brought it back and only changed the colours I’m not sure because it uses 1000D and is seriously over-built just like the old DPM stuff, so it’s probably not even that cheap to make with all the metal ‘pull the dot’ fasteners and other heavy duty bits.

The pouches do have velcro closures inside (that can be covered and disabled) but the surface area isn’t enough for them to be relied on to my mind. The spanish fly system you get on the outside is really slow and awkward to close in the best of conditions let alone in cold gloves or when time matters, it’s basically the same setup that the canvas webbing of WW2 and earlier used. There’s not much to go wrong with it and it’ll almost never wear out, but even ALICE used better, faster buckles back in ‘nam.

It’s a pain to setup in some ways compared to PALS pouches, but it sure does take me back. I first had to rig this stuff up in basic 10 years ago. I only had a couple of pouches on my rig, but there’s no denying that the belt remains the most effective and comfortable place on the body to carry the weight of your kit. So much easier to get on and off compared to most issued body armour systems.

Skulls Everywhere

Thanks to MilSpecMonkey for letting me take a look at their new grey-to-end-all-greys on a pretty sweet Raw Hoodie, I’m hoping the colour might expand to some other gear because I’m a fan already I have to say. It’s not the first coyote/RG/grey style colour mix on an apparel piece it has to be said, but it’s nicely done and well researched. I don’t think any brands will move away from the bluer ‘Wolf’ shade now they’ve sunk money in to getting all the fabrics made; not soon anyway. But I know MSM has shown this new colour to FirstSpear and FS aren’t afraid of trying new things, so fingers crossed.

Also featuring Bravo Company USA, ITS Tactical, G-Code Holsters,Centurion Arms and Crye (duh).

Guns On The Big Screen

Alien Covenant. The reviews are kinda average but I really liked it overall, felt like a real quality piece. However this isn’t a review page for cool films that tacticool guys will enjoy.

It would be interesting to know what their prop department were going for with the weaponry selection. Covenant is set a fair while before Alien/s but would they be using 556 rifles in 90+ years? Rather doubtful. Either way, we see a lot of ARs (maybe 416s), Steyr AUGs (Thales F90s if you want to get technical) and funnily enough, Kel Tec KSGs. The KSG is kind of funny to me in that the reviews are generally bad, much like many Kel Tec guns, but because of the way it looks it ends up in loads of films. I’d say the UTAS-12 makes 10x more sense for a sci-fi shotgun when you need something that can actually fire blank rounds; alternatively the Fostech Origin-12, the Six12, DP-12, AA12. Hell if you could get one the Jackhammer would be awesome as an on-screen shotgun.

That aside, the thing I find even more sort of amusing is how the general perception of ‘futuristic’ firearms hasn’t changed in decades, if anything we seem to be going backwards.

In Starship Troopers they dressed up Mini-14s, in Aliens it was dressed up Thompsons, that Tom Cruise sci-fi movie was a really obvious ACR/Masada in a body kit (and a Magpul sling to match). In this film it’s literally just ARs and AUGs with 1913 rails, some M-LOK *looking* rails, green laser/light attachments on both side rail positions, as well as normal, unmodified ACOGs. There were a few pistols that seemed literally like bog standard modern fare, nice modern fare, but not 2104 tech.

Watching a Tested video with Adam Savage talking to the film’s Armourer; seems extremely knowledgeable in general and especially so about history… not who I’d have hired for a film set way in the future. The guns used aren’t even up to the minute in 2017 let alone the year when the events are meant to take place. He wanted to go back a step technology wise from the Pulse Rifles which makes sense and would be tricky since the pulse is actually a pre-WW2 SMG, but he went way too far back really.

The problem persists of course, if you’re a ‘gun person’ basically most films will be spoilt for you your entire life and this is the burden we bear. I still really enjoyed the latest Alien overall though.

FS – Keeping You Decent

The FirstSpear Line One belt. Urethane over a Nylon core. Supple like leather but I can attest to the fact there’s no break in like a thick leather belt, yet still has enough rigidity to carry a light load (maybe something hidden?). Totally waterproof outer surface with a smooth yet matte finish. Being synthetic of course it won’t wear out and eventually just crumble the way natural materials do.

Been wearing mine every day since SHOT this year, still looks brand new. Will be continuing to wear it every day and I’ll update in a few months or if I have any issues. Honestly it just works and FS call it “the last belt you’ll ever need” which sounds like marketing BS on the surface but I would quite genuinely agree with that statement. If you do some sort of heavy labouring job, yeah you might wear it out in many years or heavy usage. But if you don’t I’d wager you’d get minimum multiple decades of wear, more than likely your body will fail before this belt does. Definitely not cheap and there’s no arguing the fact you can get a belt that’ll last years for much less, this thing is over built, but I reckon it’s worth the investment myself.

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.

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.