The MASH (Metal All-purpose Snap Hook) gateless snap hook from ITW Military Products (ITW Waterbury, who make the metal products) offers an alternative to the HK-style snap hooks in common use for sling systems. The one potential problem with the HK-style snap hook is that under certain circumstances, the snap hook can release accidentally. All it takes is for the sling and snap hook to be twisted on the rifle a certain way, and when it’s pulled, the gate opens and the snap hook releases. I did a short demo clip to illustrate this. Note that I am not touching the HK snap hook at all, only holding onto the sling. I could not get the MASH to release by twisting and pulling on the sling.
TAD Gear’s Force 10 “Legionnnaire” Classic Cargo pants are TAD’s “classic” rendition of their Force 10 cargo pants. Inspired by the bomber combat cargoes worn by the Foreign Legion during the 1950′s, TAD kept the overall traditional military look with some subtle modern features designed in. No offense to TAD, but the main photo on their web page for these pants don’t do it justice. These are NICE. They’re made of 100% cotton gabardine7.5 oz twill in classic OD green, and made on the West coast in the U.S.A. This material is slightly heavier than the 7.0 oz heavyweight twill used on the Crye field pants and conveys a sense of comfort, yet toughness. The OD used is a dark, slightly greyish-green colour under some lighting conditions, and a very good-looking colour.
Massif Mountain Gear Company offers a full line of fire resistant (FR) outdoor clothing and technical gear for at-risk professionals. Massif is a family-owned and operated company hailing from Ashland, Oregon (I’ve actually been to Ashland – took a side trip when I skied Mt Shasta a dozen years ago – very pretty country). A search-and-rescue professional, and before that having 15 years of experience making custom outerwear and climbing equipment, Massif’s founder Randy Benham started to design and build clothing and equipment out of necessity for his Rescue team when he found that available products were unsatisfactory. As word spread, Randy founded Massif Mountain Gear Company to keep up with the demand for his custom made equipment and clothing. Massif now distributes its products to rescue professionals, fire teams, ski patrols, law enforcement, the military and government, and private companies.
The fellows from Garwood Industries, Tracy Garwood and Randy Myer brought out their M-134G 7.62mm Minigun to join in the shoot. This was something I was VERY excited about, never having fired a minigun. Garwood Industries sells M-134G newly manufactured parts and subassemblies to upgrade and modernize existing military miniguns. All components are manufactured by their manufacturing partner, using state of the art tooling and machinery.
The 7.62mm minigun/Gatling gun as originally developed by General Electric is a six barrel, electrically driven, belt-fed machine gun firing at 3000-4000 rounds per minute. It weighs approximately 61 lbs. There’s a ton of information to be found on the M-134 minigun, so I won’t parrot it here. A good start is Monty’s Miniguns page.
Safety Systems Corp is offering a replacement tailcap for most hand-held flashlights that offers an additional feature – a strobe function. Called the Lightsaver Blitzer tailcap, it’s a direct replacement for the standard tailcap on a number of SureFire systems. It’s available to retrofit SureFire incandescent lights like the G2, Z2, G2Z, G3, 6P, 9P, C2, C3, M2, M3, M3T, M4, L5, L6, M951, M961, M971, M981 and most SureFire Classic Universal Weapon light systems. Caps are in development for other brands/models of lights. As of yet, they are not offering Blitzer caps for LED versions due to circuitary differences, and this cap will only work on incandescent bulbs.
Ever since Crye Precision came out with their Field Uniform a couple of years ago, there has been a demand for an alternative (due to either pricing or availability of the Crye products) MultiCam uniform. Some didn’t want the extra features that the Crye Field Uniform offered, and complained that the prices was too high. What they didn’t take into account is how expensive it is to have clothing made in the U.S., and in relatively small quantities when compared to a govt contract BDU manufacturer and widely used patterns. Since then, some other companies have produced MultiCam BDUs with various features (some better than others), but there’s very little difference in price between them and Crye’s.
SureFire’s Helmet light was introduced more than a year ago at the 2006 SHOT show. Very unconventional in appearance, it has been quite a popular item. SureFire has developed a MOLLE adaptor for the helmet light to further increase its utility.
The helmet light itself is made of flat-dark earth coloured glass filled nylon and neoprene. The watertight battery compartment holds one SF123A battery and is O-ring sealed. The cap has a rubber lanyard to prevent loss. At the front of the light are five 5mm LEDs. The colour of the LEDs depends on the particular model (there are four different available configurations). The are two rubber covered toggle switches at the rear of the light. When the Helmet light was first introduced, these toggle switches were exposed, and could be accidentally turned on if bumped, or when the helmet was stored inside a bag. The ‘Gen 2′ Helmet light has a hard plastic shroud which protects the two toggle switches from accidental activation. Molded on the shroud are symbols which show what the different switch positions do. The LEDs are turned on with the upper switch – the middle position is off, and flipping it up turns on the primary lights, and toggling it down turns on the secondary colour. The lower toggle switch turns on the IR IFF light on the side, which is a 3mm IR LED beacon which flashes about once a second. Pressing the round button on the side cycles through the intensity of the primary and secondary lights – low, medium and high.
On the Gen 1 Blast Belt, the removable internal 2″ web belt was just a single thickness of webbing. The Gen 2 web belt is made of two layers of webbing that sandwich a plastic stiffener, like some pistol/duty belts, to prevent rollover of the belt when pouches or holsters are attached. It has hook velcro on the loose ends to secure them to the loop velcro sewn to the outside of the front of the belt. The web belt passes through the rear PALS panel, and two belt loops on either side. This was due to the request for standard belt for attachment of standard holster that did not have a MOLLE attachment. The web belt is tightened by pulling on the loose ends through the ITW QR buckle and securing them along the sides with their velcro backing.