HSGI Multicam Boonie

Posted in EQUIPMENT, Headwear on February 25th, 2006 by M M

High Speed Gear, Inc. based on popular demand, has come out with their MultiCam boonie/jungle hat. Gene took a poll to see what people wanted in a boonie, and many liked the features of the USMC boonie, but not the wide, floppy brim.

It has a soft, wicking coolmax liner inside the top and brow. The brow band really adds to the comfort of the boonie. The brim is about 2-1/2″ wide, which is the prefect width, in my opinion. Wide enough to provide shade while not too wide to get in the way. The side profile is tapered slightly from the front to the back. A 3/4″ band of webbing encircles the outside of the boonie and there are two screen vents on each side. The HSGI logo is embroidered on the top. It’s a very well-fitting boonie (not too deep or shallow), and ‘droops’ nicely.

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Petzl TacTikka XP

Posted in EQUIPMENT, Illumination on February 24th, 2006 by M M

This is the military version of the popular Tikka XP that was introduced in ’05. The compact yet powerful TacTikka XP shares all the features of the civilian version. It uses a single 1 watt LED light powered by three AAA batteries.

The LED has four light levels – economic (lowest), optimum, maximum and “boost” (which almost doubles the maximum setting for momentary use). There is also a “blink” mode, where the LED flashes on and off for signalling. The light is turned on and off by depressing a rubber button (the left one). Pressing it once and leaving it turns it on at the maximum setting. Pressing it again immediately after first turning it on toggles it through the optimum, economic and flashing modes. The button on the right with the lightning symbol is the “boost” button and when pressed, the LED gives off a very bright light as long as you hold down the button (an automatic power limiter drops down to maximum after 20 seconds to prevent overheating of the LED).

On the side of the body is a small window which lights up and flashes 5 seconds after the light is turned on. This is the battery life indicator. It blinks green when the batteries are fresh, and orange when about 30% of the life remains, then red when they need to be replaced.

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SOTECH BFRPC (MACE rig)

Posted in 2nd Line, EQUIPMENT on February 19th, 2006 by M M

New from SOTECH (Special Operations Technology) is their BLoCS (Battle Load Carry System) Front/Rear/Side Plate Carrier (product code: BFRPC). Designed as a high-mobility armoured system, the BRFPC will take soft-armour inserts and front/side/rear plates.

The designer of this rig and I were joking about the need for a more memorable name for some of SOTECH’s rigs (like the “Hellcat”), and dubbed this the ‘MACE’ (Modular Armoured Carrying Equipment) rig, as a interim nickname. Even though it’s not an official SOTECH designation and they probably won’t know what you’re referring to if you call, I’ll refer to it as the MACE rig as it’s easier to remember than ‘BRFPC’.

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New SWMS gloves preview

Posted in EQUIPMENT, Protective on February 18th, 2006 by M M

SWMS announced at the 2006 SHOT show in Vegas that they have now partnered with Camelbak to produce SWMS gloves. Congratulations, Martina! Along with that announcement are some updates to the CT models and a couple of new gloves. I received these pre-production samples a couple of months ago but waited until after SHOT to preview them – they’ll be available mid-year.

Here’s a summary of the updated features for the new versions of the current models:

  • Heat grip CT – Very slight styling change on the leather on the fingers, and the addition of a 550 cord loop on the wrist for attaching it to gear. This remains one of my favourite lightweight shooting gloves.
  • Impact CT – Styling changes to the padding on the back and leather detail on the fingers. Palm remains the same. A non-slip material has been added to the thumb and index finger really makes a difference in grip – I like this feature. 550 cord loop on the wrist.
  • Hi-Tech Impact II CT – Styling changes to the padding on the back, and all the leather details on the fingers. The wrist cuff is now padded and contoured for better comfort and protection of the wrist bone. Larger non-slip area on the thumb and the addition of the 550 cord loop.

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Tango Down Advanced Combat Bipod

Posted in Access, AR, WEAPONS on February 1st, 2006 by M M

From concept drawings a couple of years ago to the production bipod, TangoDown LLC recently released their Advanced Combat Bipod for the M4 (ACB-4).

It’s not a sniper or hunting bipod that has been adapted for combat rifles, but designed from the ground up for the military as a combat-tough bipod for variants of the M16 system (including SPR or DMRs) . No springs or small parts to lose or poke at you, the ACB-4 works just as well on the shorter M4s and other weapons as well as the longer ones. The ACB-4 was developed over the course of two years with numerous iterations and refinements, testing, and user input from the military.

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