PMCI - July 2016

Issue 11 of PMCI brings an exciting mix of news, articles, gear tests and reviews. In this issue you'll find the very latest updates on medical and covert surveillance training courses to add to your CV. There's a very special report on our recent visit to Accuracy International, and the Chalkster looks at how you can make your own rifle the best it can be. Also added this time is the first in a series of articles on "Skills and Drills" from our newest contributor Andy, whilst Bill and Trampas dig into "good gear to go". Project GECKO join us again with a superb primer to Intelligence Gathering, and with book and media reviews you need to make sure you check out the very latest issue of PMCI.

Issue 11 of PMCI brings an exciting mix of news, articles, gear tests and reviews.

In this issue you'll find the very latest updates on medical and covert surveillance training courses to add to your CV. There's a very special report on our recent visit to Accuracy International, and the Chalkster looks at how you can make your own rifle the best it can be. Also added this time is the first in a series of articles on "Skills and Drills" from our newest contributor Andy, whilst Bill and Trampas dig into "good gear to go".

Project GECKO join us again with a superb primer to Intelligence Gathering, and with book and media reviews you need to make sure you check out the very latest issue of PMCI.


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DEC 2015



as it gets with TacMed Solutions UK!

8 BOOK REVIEW: “What went wrong in Afphanistan ”.


Training & Operations in the USA

15 TRAINING: EDITORS COMMENT: Nearly two years in Editor Bill has his say.

16 GEAR ON TEST: The PMCI Team make their recommendations on the

latest gear to hit the market.

22 TACTICAL INNOVATION: Helikon-Tex are really pushing the boundaries

ever forward in relation to tactical gear and clothing; we get together with

them to check out their very latest kit!

28 MEET THE MANUFACTURER: We check out Pentagon, “Tactical Sportswear”

for the end user!

32 SPECIALIST! Trampas introduces a specialist holster maker in the form

of Survivor Creek.

37 TECH AND TOOLS: Need to keep medical supplies cooled in the harshest

conditions? Look no further than YETI!

40 SPECIAL REPORT: Nige gets inside Accuracy International and finds out

what makes them so successful.

44 ARMOURY ANSWERS: Chalkster, gives some tips on how to get on target

each and every time!

48 SKILLS AND DRILLS: Another new contributor joins PMCI this time to talk

about holster solutions.


Getting to grips with Intelligence Gathering with Gecko Professional Services.

57 MEDIA REVIEW: This time our two tame contractors discuss how they

prepare their primary waepon when they get “in-country”

58 INDUSTRY VACANCIES: Looking for work? Just check here.

Editor (UK): Bill Thomas

Editor (International): Dan Eastes

Graphic Design: Baz Thakur

Publisher: Nigel Streeter

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Thank you for downloading this Edition of PMCI, the FREE digital publication dedicated to PMC

Operatives. PMCI is written by individuals with first hand knowledge and experience of the subject

they write about - people like Col. Gerry Schumacher (USSF Ret.), author Simon Chambers

and ex-TL Dan E, all of whom have an intimate understanding of what the role entails and the day

to day challenges faced by PMCs.

PMCI will provide a platform to review and discuss the things to matter to all of us, such personal equipment,

training, employment and lifestylestyle management - and these are also our core fundamentals. We hope

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PHOTO CREDITS: Cover: TacMed. Authors where applicable, Shutterstock.com, Istockphoto.com

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At PMCI we are always interested in looking at unique training courses and programmes that will

let serving personnel or those leaving the military hone certain areas of their skill-set. Recently I

was lucky enough to speak to Rhys from Tac Med Solutions UK to find out what they’re all about.

If you’ll pardon the pun, medical skills are very close to

our heart at PMCI and we’re always honoured to meet

like-minded people who offer training in relation to

what can be vital yet perishable skills. In our minds

correct and thorough first aid/medical training should

be high on the list of “must have skills”, but unless that

training is carried out in a simulated “stress situation”

even the best taught can lose the plot when the “SHTF”.

It’s all very well being able to deal with a casualty

situation in a quiet environment, and many will lose it a bit

even then. What happens though when the pyro blows, and

quick, well purposed action must be taken when the rounds

start going down? It takes professionalism and nerve to quickly

assess a situation in a hostile environment and deal with it

effectively, and that only comes through thorough and regular

training with expert practitioners.

At a recent event I was lucky enough to be introduced to Rhys

from Tac Med Solutions UK (TMS UK), and having seen the

level at which he and his colleagues had provided gruesomely

realistic Casualty Simulations (cas-sim) as an integral part of

the 36 hour event I was keen to find out more about how TMS

UK had come about and what type of training they offered.

Rhys very kindly agreed to answer my questions and this is

what he had to tell me.

PMCI: So Rhys, in your own words please tell me what led

you guys to set up Tac Med Solutions UK?

Having been a medic for over 18 years and having a keen

interest in the tactical side of medicine I noticed a gap in the

market for tactical medical training within the UK. There are

a few companies in the UK offering the odd tactical medical

course, but it tends to be only a small add on. We, TMS UK,

want to push the boundaries to prepare guys and girls for highthreat

theatres of operations, changing environments and push

the stress levels through hyper-realistic simulation and training.

PMCI: When and where did you start running your courses?

We started the company whilst working on a diplomatic

contract in Iraq, We had a demand for the training, operators

wanted to up-skill themselves with life-saving training and

skills that could help support themselves, team members and

clients. We had some great training areas, an abundance of

equipment left over from the Americans and plenty of time on

our hands to offer training. We are currently running courses

from an excellent training venue in Chesterfield, where we can

really push the training to its limits.

PMCI: Who do you see as your target customer for your


Obviously the majority of our customers are from those wanting


to break into the security industry and current operators. However

we offer training to Police, Fire, Ambulance, Press or any agency

that could be operating in a hostile environment. It’s important

to remember a tactical environment could be a terrorist incident

in your local supermarket or even your nearest airport with mass

casualties, it doesn’t have to be a battleground such as Helmand


PMCI: Do you train just military and police personnel or

civilians too?

Absolutely, if required we can bring students skill set from basic

first aider in the office to emergency medical technician.

PMCI: What exactly do you specialise in?

TMS UK specialise in tactical medical consultation and training with

extensive knowledge working in hostile and remote locations.

PMCI: I know that you work with excellent training facilities;

can you tell me more about those and what you do there?

Well currently we rent a disused mill in Chesterfield as and when

we require it. The site is approximately 10 acres with a massive

building to get lost in, outside area with barricades, obstacles,

vehicles and a class/training room. The building has multiple

levels, can be darkened in certain rooms. The plus side is we

pretty much have free reign so we can use plenty of pyro, smoke

and cas-sim blood! (Editors note: I’ve seen the guys in action and

there is a LOT of cas-sim blood involved!)

PMCI: Do you offer training in specialised equipment?

Yes, we have some awesome bleed simulators to train wound

packing and tourniquets. We have also had some very realistic

injuries built to our own specifications to push the simulation and

training to the max.

PMCI: Do you have all the equipment available as part of your


Yes we provide all the consumables, and equipment required. All

the students require to bring is a pair of boots and some clothes

you don’t mind getting covered in blood, and a will to learn. If

you want to bring your own tac gear you are more than welcome.

PMCI: Do you offer your own services in your market area?

Absolutely, I spent the last 8 years working within the industry as

a CP/Medic. I think it’s important to keep-up personal skills and

also to keep current with tactics and team skills. This all helps

to make the scenarios and course content more relevant to our


PMCI: Without going into specifics who do you, and your

successful trainees, work with?





We have had guys working within Embassies, oil and gas

companies in the Middle East, CP/ RST in UK and Europe and a

few guys within government agencies.

PMCI: Where do you see TacMed Solutions evolving in the


We would love to have our own state of the art training venue

within the UK. Have the ability to simulate training in multiple

environments etc. However the venues we are currently using

are excellent and fit our needs perfectly until we can expand…

PMCI: If someone reading this article likes the sound of

what you offer, what should be their next step?

You are more than welcome to drop us an email using

support@tacmedsolutions.co.uk, check out the website www.

tacmedsolutions.co.uk, or chat with us via Facebook /Twitter.



BOOK REVIEW What went wrong in Afghanistan?



Since 20 December 2001, the date which marked the

authorization of the International Security Assistance

Force (ISAF) to assist the Afghan Government , hundreds of

thousands of coalition soldiers from around 50 different states

have physically been and served in Afghanistan.

Roughly 20 rotation periods have been experienced; billions of

US dollars have been spent; and almost 3,500 coalition soldiers

and 7,400 Afghani security personnel have fallen for Afghanistan.

In this badly-managed success story, the true determiner of

both tactical outcomes on the ground and strategic results

was always the tribal and rural parts of Muslim-populated

Afghanistan. Although there has emerged a vast literature on

counterinsurgency theories and tactics, we still lack reliable

information about the motivations and aspirations of the

residents of Tribalized Rural Muslim Environments (TRMEs) that

make up most of Afghanistan.

The aim of this book is to describe some on-the-ground problems

of counterinsurgency (COIN) efforts in TRMEs, specifically in rural

Afghanistan, and then to propose how these efforts might be

improved. Along the way, it will be necessary to challenge many

current assumptions about the conduct of counterinsurgency

in Afghanistan. Most generally, the book will show how

counterinsurgency succeeds or fails at the local level (at the

level of tactical decisions by small-unit leaders) and that these

decisions cannot be successful without understanding the culture

and perspective of those who live in TRMEs.

Engaging issues of culture, the author is a Muslim who spent his

childhood in a TRME, a remote village in Turkey, and he offers his

observations on the basis of 15 years’ worth of field experience

as a Turkish Special Forces officer serving in rural Iraq, Turkey,

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan. Cultures in these areas

are not the same, but there are sufficient similarities to suggest

some overall characteristics of TRMEs and some general problems

of COIN efforts in these environments. In summary, this book

not only challenges some of the fundamentals of traditional

counterinsurgency wisdom and emphasizes the importance of

the tactical level, a rarely-studied field from the COIN perspective,

but also blends the first hand field experiences of the author with

deep analyses. In this sense, it is not solely an autobiography,

but something much more.

Metin Gurcan is a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse. Now

resigned from the military, he is an Istanbul-based independent

security analyst. Gurcan obtained his PhD in May 2016, with

a dissertation on changes in the Turkish military over the last

decade. He has been published extensively in Turkish and foreign

academic journals

Author: Metin Gurcan

Publisher: Helion and Company

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1911096001

ISBN-13: 978-1911096009

Paperback: 132 pages




HELIKON-TEX , 210x297 AIRSOFT ACTION April_2015 iss. 49 - Jun





Regular readers of PMCI will know that we have a very close relationship with the guys at Covert

Surveillance Training & Operations (CROPS) so we were very excited when they told us that they

were to carry out their first course in the USA with the Recon Surveillance Group, forming a very

“special relationship” indeed. PMCI got together with both parties and this is what we found out!

PMCI: RECON Surveillance Group, introduce yourselves and

tell us all about you?

RSG: We are the first US based company to hold the OFQUAL

I.Q Level 4 in Covert Rural Surveillance Operations, but to

best understand who we are, you must understand how we

DEFINE Ourselves:

RECON: To perform a preliminary Survey to Gain Information

and Insight

SURVEILLANCE: ART of discreetly watching someone or

something to obtain evidence.

GROUP: A number of specialized people who are working

together with a UNIFIED goal.

RECON was formed by a group of experienced surveillance

operators who recognized that there was a need for a

company that SPECIALIZED in SURVEILLANCE first and foremost.

RECON was started by a small group of experienced operators

with a goal to provide clients with consistently reliable results.

Instead of being a one stop shop for any investigative services,

we focused on being surveillance experts. We recognized that

to provide consistent results, we had to stay up to date on the

best training and technology. Obtaining a higher level training

was written into the first line of the business plan from the

beginning. Our recent accreditation from CROPS will be just

the 1st of many more training opportunities.

The key to RECON’s success has been driven by our TEAM. We

have proven over time that the most successful results derive

from an experienced TEAM approach when conducting Recon

and in implementing Organic and Technical Surveillance.

PMCI: What type of surveillance work do you conduct and


RSG: RECON currently performs commercial surveillance

for attorneys, insurance companies, private companies and

critical infrastructure in the US New England Region. Our

focus is on high profile and challenging surveillance. We

are also expanding into private government contracting and

conducting more technical surveillance.


Our TEAM was formed with a group of divers’ investigators

who were raised and worked in the Rural New England area.

Our team’s exposure to hunting and working in the woods

naturally built up our confidence and patience to conduct covert

surveillance in rural areas; we just progressed from hunting

animals to hunting for the evidence our clients expect. We have

now taken that experience to a new level with the training we

received from CROPS Surveillance Ltd www.crops.uk.com

PMCI: Moving on to more recent things, we see that our

friends at CROPS have been across the pond, can you tell us

more about this and how and it came about that you chose

CROPS to run your training package?

RSG: RECON recognized that the UK’s Accredited Training model

provided for a much more realistic method for determining

which companies / investigators are capable of performing

professional surveillance. The regulated Licensing of Investigators

in the US does not account for an individual investigators specific

experience in surveillance. Most licensing requirements in the

US rely on past LE Experience and a knowledge of the law. Any

professional investigator recognizes that prior LE experience

alone does not mean that an individual is capable of performing

commercial surveillance. I was a prior LE officer and I can easily

say that my success today was driven by rural upbringing

combined with my 11+ years of conducting private surveillance

in some of the most challenging terrain.

I researched the UK model of accredited training for many years

in my hopes of eventually being able to obtain some training.

In all the research I performed, CROPS was clearly the company

which would provide RECON with the best training experience.

CROPS experience was current and most in line with the

progression of advanced surveillance in todays market.

PMCI: After learning about the involvement of CROPS, we

through it only right to bring them into the feature. So

guy’s, how was it over in the states with the RECON boys?

CROPS: Awesome! It’s always great meeting others that

are professionally driven and like-minded. We had been in

communications for just over a year with RECON trying to

arrange a date to set this project in stone, and finally this was

achieved in late June.

As soon as we met the guy’s, we knew this was gonna be a great

course; we had done all the recce’s on the training areas and

set the syllabus to suit the guy’s operational requirements. Next

was to deliver the training, this can sometimes be unnerving

when dealing with groups that are already conducting live

surveillance. We always aim to raise the skill set and for our

students to achieve their end goal, which in this case was

to become the first company based in the US to be awarded

our OFQUAL approved Level 4 qualification in Covert Rural

Surveillance Operations.

RECON was told from the very start that this was not a paper

pass course like others, that they will be up early and digging





into the night, reduced sleep patterns to see how they would

reacted and if they could still function! In other words get their

client a product.

PMCI: What areas of training did you undertake?

RSG: The training was focused on enhancing our skills in Covert

Rural Surveillance and Technical Surveillance. In today’s world

of surveillance, an operator has to be capable of working in any

environment as well as being able to utilize advanced technical

equipment. The most successful surveillance typically includes

both a well-trained organic team whose efforts are enhanced

by skillfully placed technical equipment.

CROPS: That’s right, we always come across situations where

the target location or the threat level of the subject makes it

difficult or sometimes imposable to deploy an organic team,

here we must still achieve our clients aims, so the only way is

to deploy a technical, this in the form of a camera system. We

demonstrated and practiced this with RSG in the importance of

having both, organic and technical assets on the ground.

As the RECON team learned on day one, the ‘importance of

blending in to their environment’, after running the practical

stork lane where the team was spilt in half, one half observing

from an OP, while the other half moved covertly towards the

target. This real was an eye opener to the RECON guys, with

their vast experience in hunting, they were amazed at how

someone can be spotted so easily if they don’t stick to the rules

(70/30) of camouflage and concealment.

PMCI: How did you find the guys from CROPS?

RSG: The guys from CROPS went above and beyond in all

aspects off their training service. Their military background

combined with the way they deliver their training made for the

most productive training program I have even been involved

with. And to make it even better, the CROPS guys are just great

guys that any operator would trust to protect their 6.

CROPS: That’s cool to hear, it’s always great receiving good


PMCI: You mentioned a technical phase, without giving to

much away, can you tell us more about this?

RSG: The technical phase of the training integrated by CROPS

further enhanced our skills and capabilities. Just like with our

organic experience, CROPS technical training has enabled us to


confidently conduct more technical work on a daily basis and

has opened us up to being able to perform technical work to

a wider range of clients. Having the technical capability will

significantly improve our results.

CROPS: Believe us when we say, this was one of the best covert

camera placements we have seen on a course. The attention

to rectifying the ground sight, siting of the camera and subsurface

deployment of the power pack and recorder was second

to none. Even now we must say well done!! The satisfying and

must confirming part of the camera placement was, that the

land owner had continued to use the placement site continually

for three days oblivious to the equipment in place.

PMCI: So did RECON SG achieve the level 4 accreditation in

covert rural surveillance operations?

RSG: YES we did, and it was more beneficial and rewarding

than we could even anticipated. The training truly elevated our

team’s knowledge and capability and we are more confident

and eager to take on the most challenging surveillance cases.

CROPS: Well done to all the RECON team, you worked hard and

kept going…….even through that lighting storm where the OP

filled quicker with water, they you could bale it out!! Happy

Days, spot the aperture???

PMCI: So what does the future hold for RECON SG?

our relationship with CROPS and we will be seeking to grow

our Covert Surveillance Operations. RECON also has a vision to

develop and build the same level of Accredited Training in the

US that the CROPS has achieved in the UK. We will be working

with CROPS to build a more professional and accredited training

program to the US.

CROPS: All we can say at this point is. “Watch this space for

something ‘REAL BIG’ taking place in the very near future”; big

wheels are turning!

For more information about the training CROPS offer please

visit www.crops.uk.com, and for more on RSG you can check

out http://reconsg.com.


RSG: RECON is now truly ready to take on any surveillance

mission our clients require. We plan to continue to develop





two years in Editor Bill has his say

As PMCI approaches its second anniversary I thought it was time to pen some words from the

Editorial side of things; as Paul is away “on task” this time it’s given me the perfect opportunity

to do so.

In September 2014 I got a call from Nige, the publisher

of PMCI, asking if I might help out as Dan, the original

Editor was out in Afghanistan and had gone “off comms”.

The deadline for the October issue was fast approaching

and the issue was only half complete! I eagerly accepted

the challenge and the seed of a new co-operation was


Many of you who interact with us via the internet have

expressed an interest as to how PMCI came about in the

first place, and I have to tell you that it was the brainchild initially

of Dan and Nige. That said I don’t believe that many people

actually understand the physical process of bringing a magazine

together regularly, and such is the mark of the man that when

Dan and I met when he returned from the Afghan trip he admitted

to me that he was struggling with the demands of still being “on

the job” and creating PMCI at the same time.

We agreed that I would take on the technical side of preparing

things whilst he would feed in news stories and information

about people he was dealing with. This has proved to be a great

partnership for us both so far, and I can only thank he and Nige

for the opportunity. We all agree wholeheartedly on the ethos

and direction of the magazine, and it’s my job to ensure that

everything comes together in a timely manner for each issue,

especially in such troubled time globally.

Since that moment I’ve drawn together a great team of

contributors; my great friend and “Bearded Brother” Trampas

looks after business in the USA courtesy of his Swanson Media

Group presence, now ably assisted by Craig. Paul Hutchinson

from ARG has always been on hand to keep us fully up to date

with developments in the industry. The Chalkster has joined us

recently and brings to the table a superb knowledge of everything

firearms related, and from this issue onwards Andy has will be

joining us for regular “Skills and Drills” articles. Sadly Robbie and

Rich are leaving us as they too suffer from stringent operational

tempos and commitments like Dan, but to not include them in

this group would be remiss as they’ve helped make PMCI what

it has become.

I would like to publicly thank each and every contributor for what

they have helped create, and all that advertise with us for their

support thus far. I’d also like to thank all of the great individuals,

groups and companies that have worked with us thus far to create

some truly interesting and unique content.

Of course the success of PMCI is ultimately down to you, our

readers, to each and every one of you that tune in to each new

issue; Issue 1 of PMCI has now been read over 57,000 times, and

every subsequent issue is heading in the same direction!

From that tiny seed something mighty is growing, and I sincerely

hope that you’ll stay with us to see this happen as there’s much

more to come; for instance in the next Issue I’ve just arranged

to work with the guys in the UK to really get to grips with the

Shot Indicating Resetting Trigger (SIRT) Training Pistol so expect

something pretty special on that (if you really can’t wait then

you can check them out by visiting www.nextleveltraining.com)!

Wherever you may be people, train hard, stay vigilant and keep









A few years ago I came across some great gear from

US brand Hazard 4; the name is inspired by a standard

threat-classification index: ‘1’ low, ‘2 & 3’ moderate, and

‘4’ deadly, and their gear is designed to be the last line

of defence for its owner when things turn bad . Their

parent company, Civilian Lab, has great experience in

manufacturing top quality outdoor adventure, extreme

sport, and travel gear in innovative configurations and

forms, and as with many manufacturers these days the

tactical community has lapped up their output.

Our mates at Military1st in the UK recently provided

a Hazard4 pack for our evaluation. The Switchback Sling

Pack is the largest of their sling-style packs and features

lots of storage capacity and a generous size, yet is still

nimble enough to be swiftly rotated from the back to

the chest. The pack can be rapidly taken on or off when

needed which allows for quick access to frequently used

gear while carrying heavier loads on the back the rest of

the time. Slim shaped for fast manoeuvring, the pack can

be instantly taken off the back and stored in vehicles and

lockers. A wide, generously padded shoulder strap comes

with breathable air mesh, large lockable quick release

buckle, multiple MOLLE straps and 1” sternum strap; the

shoulder strap is optimised for right hand users but works


It also has a 3D thermo moulded back panel allows

for easy air-circulation and comfortable wear even when

bag is fully loaded. Behind the padded back is a separate

hydration bladder compartment/laptop pocket, lined

with extra soft material, with two-way zip closure, and a

loop and Velcro secured passage for a hydration tube. The

back compartment can be used for storing bladders with

up to 3 litres capacity. The Switchback includes one large

padded main compartment with two-way zip closure, soft

loop like fuzz material for attaching dividers, patches or

holsters, two zipped mesh pockets, two sleeve pockets,

nylon loops, a small top-zipper to pass though long objects

like antennas, barrels or cables and vent grille for easy

ventilation and drying. Numerous compression straps

allow the bag to be adapted to the size of carried kit and

prevent it from shifting inside the bag, which may cause

unnecessary noise, discomfort and disturbance to the


If you fancy something a little more conventional

though, then Hazard 4 have a wide range of styles and

sizes to choose from, and models like the Second Front

Rotatable; being the backpack version of the versatile

Switchback sling pack, this unique and professional day

pack offers generous size, and again is versatile enough

to be rotated from the back to the chest, or rapidly taken

on or off when needed. Once again the pack allows for

quick access to frequently used gear while carrying heavier

loads on the back the rest of the time.

Now I am going to put in a word of warning here that

Hazard 4 gear is not the cheapest in the world, but it works

very well indeed, is massively innovative, and makes

use of the best design and components married up with

superb construction methods so you really are getting

your money’s worth!

For more information on the Switchback Sling Pack and

a host of other gear in Hazard4s extensive range please

visit www.military1st.co.uk



Whilst many people use social media to pointlessly vent

their spleen at the world I do believe that we live in a time

when the dissemination of information via the internet

is faster than ever before, and that those individuals who

use it creatively can really reach a global audience of

potential consumers.

So it was that I discovered ONE TIGRIS; about six months

ago I saw a post placed on Facebook from the then little

known company here asking for product testers amongst

the UK tactical and bushcraft communities so immediately

I responded and started digging into the background of

who they were and where they had come from.

ONE TIGRIS was founded back in May of 2014 and

very shortly after in August of the same year they found

premises in a culture/industry park in Shenzhen, China.

During the latter part of 2014 marketing to the USA

commenced. With their first original product launch, a

cracking little EDC pouch, in November 2014 things really

began moving for them, and early in 2015 they began

similar campaigns in Canada, Japan, and Germany. Swiftly

building up a loyal customer base around the world, and

along the way gaining a heap of testimonials from happy

users, 2016 saw them turn their attention fully to the UK.

I was lucky to be chosen as one of their very first testers

in the UK, and after this had been formalised and I’d spoken

more to the ever enthusiastic Han from ONE TIGRIS the first

product duly arrived in the post.

What I received was a small yet vital piece of equipment

that every tactical shooter needs, a dump pouch; these

are the perfect solution for retaining spent magazines and

absolutely essential when trying for fast reloads. Other

than this they are also spot-on for carrying shotgun rounds,

as an “evidence bag”, or for carrying NVGs.

The pouch itself is very, very well made using extremely

durable 500D Nylon which has been treated with a water

resistant coating; the stitching both inside and out is first

rate, with no loose yearn ends evident. The main pouch

itself features two MOLLE strips on the rear so that it can

be easily fitted to a plate carrier, vest or chest rig, as well

as being worn on different widths of tactical belts or a


In addition to the main compartment which is controlled

by an elasticated bungee and a stiffener, there is a “Buddy

Pocket” on the front with Velcro closure and ring where

you could store keys, valuables, a radio or mobile phone,

or even an extra magazine at a push! On one side there

is a mesh pouch, while MOLLE webbing on the other side

is there for attaching additional pouches or accessories

should you wish to.

The overall dimensions of the pouch are 8”/20.32cm x

6”/15.24cm x 3”/7.62cm (H/W/D) which means you can

get five STANAG mags in at a push, although this reduces to

four when you’re talking about P-MAGS and the like. It’s a

sound, well-designed, and well-manufactured product

In the words of ONE TIGRIS themselves “Perfection is

hard to achieve but we strive our best to attain it. That’s

why One Tigris is a great companion for your next


During One Tigris’ short history we have been lucky

that many people have felt our intention. Usually we get

together, read the messages, reviews, and blog posts from

great buyers from all over the world and rejoice in what

One Tigris items bring to them.”

The online approach has certainly been a novel one,

but an effective one; having now spoken more with ONE

TIGRIS I find their passion for both the outdoors and for

great kit is unassailable. I for one look forward to seeing

more gear from them coming available soon

in the UK!

At the time of going to press with this review

you can access the comprehensive range of

ONE TIGRIS tactical and outdoor products by

visiting www.onetigris.com where all prices

are currently in US$.







Recently, the PMCI Magazine crew has been working under

a secret squirrel directive to help test and evaluate a new

lower receiver being produced by Black Creek Precision

(BCP) called the Visual Rapid Round Count or VRRC.

Already known for their precise machining on 1911 and

AR platform firearms, BCP has taken the next step in AR

functionality through the use of the VRRC receiver concept.

What makes this lower different than the hundreds of

generic mil-spec, hog face and skull designs is in the fact

it is made for real warriors who understand the importance

of every round sent down range and being accountable

for them.

The VRRC’s design is mainly unique in its “dog bone” cut

outs on either side of the magazine well with graduated

lines marking 10 & 5 rounds. Combined with clear or smoke

magazines such as Lancer products, the shooter can see

exactly how many rounds are left once the round count

reaches under 10. Traditionally with a solid magazine well,

using a clear or smoke magazine, the shooter would not be

able to see the finial ten rounds as the magazine follower

pushed them into the solid wall constructed well. If the

shooter is running the lower in a Designated Marksman

set up, he or she may only be using 10 round magazines

to begin with and having to operate blindly if not using

the VRRC lower.

The sample receiver I received for T&E was part of a very

well built 5.56 battle rifle Cerakoted in coyote brown along

with a staple of Lancer 30 round clear magazines. As the

round count reached the critical count of 10 or less, the

graduations on the side of the receiver accurately matched

up time and time again with the actual amount of rounds

remaining in the magazines. Throughout our testing, I

found the entire rifle on pace with those twice their cost.

I knew BCP was well known for their rifle builds, but this

was the first time I was able to see it for a fact first hand.

One factor I was most impressed with was the upper/

lower fit. Through the use of an integrated tension screw,

there was absolutely no “slop” or gap between the two

receiver halves.

Aside from the “dog bone” cut out, two other features

help separate this receiver above a standard mil-spec

version. Coming from a builders stand point, the addition

of a threaded rear detent and a screw-in bolt catch pin

instead of a roll pin are huge time and stress savers! As

anyone who enjoys building their own AR15 platform rifles

from stripped parts can tell you, trying to line up your rear

detent spring with a stock plate while screwing in the

buffer tube is a headache. On top of this annoyance, when

it comes time to assemble the bolt catch, the traditional roll

pin assembly can lead to scratching your rifle’s finish and

sometimes damaging it altogether. Major points earned

by the VRRC’s overall design in my book!

Although the rifle we tested was a preproduction

model on loan, it certainly had

me excited to see the finished product due

out sometime this Spring. For the builders

looking to add the VRRC design to their

own custom build, the stripped lowers are

set to be available at www.VRRClower.com

and www.blackcreekprecision.com very

soon. If you’re serious about shooting and

conscious about round count, the VRRC is

definitely the lower you’ll want for your

next project.



The Ionosphere by Snugpak is an extremely compact and

lightweight two pole, one person tent. The Ionosphere has

an extremely low profile and is great for those looking for

a stealthy sleeping solution sturdier than a basha, tarp, or

bivi bag but not as bulky and heavy as a traditional tent.

The Ionosphere flysheet is a lightweight 210t Polyester

RipStop pu with a 5000mm waterproof polyurethane

coating, whilst the inner is constructed of 190t Nylon and

50D Polyester No-See-Um-Mesh; all seams are tape sealed.

Both poles are high-quality DAC Featherlite NSL anodized

models with easy and quick to use pressfit connectors,

made from TH72M aluminium, and there’s also some

great alloy stakes included. Both inner and outer feature a


single, angled door with two way zips. There’s also a small

Repair Kit included should you need to make repairs can

be made on the move

The weight of the basic tent (Fly, Inner Tent & Poles) is

a measly 1.2kg/2.64lbs with the total weight (Fly, Inner

Tent, Poles, Stakes, Repair Kit & Carry Case) coming in at

1.52kg/3.35lbs. The Ionosphere takes up little space in

your pack but offers a luxurious 240cm x 111cm x 96cm

sleeping space once erected.

The black inner is pitched first, and can be used on its

own in dry, hot weather environments where you still

need protection from biting bugs and nasties, and it’s

simply a case of pushing the two individually marked

poles through corresponding, colour coded pole sleeves

and then pegging it out with the alloy stakes. If the fly is

needed it has velcro attachment points which are affixed

to the poles, and then this too is pegged out as well. Once

you’ve practiced a few times you can get the whole thing

up in a matter of minutes.

Once up this is exceptionally sturdy, and although I

haven’t yet used it in very high winds, given the low

profile and amount of pegging/guy points I guessing that

it would stay put once properly set. The angled inner and

outer doors make ingress and egress straightforward, and

there’s even enough space to drag in your pack with you.

The minus side of the low profile though is that you’re not

going to sit up straight once you’re in, but there’s certainly

enough length for me to lay out flat, and I’m 6’3!

This is a very impressive small compact tent by anyones

standard, and the design allows a free flow of air, negating

condensation build up; for this reason only I’d have to say

this is a three rather than four season design, but the fly

certainly shrugs off even the heaviest of rainstorms as I

found out in the Brecon Beacons on a recent trip!

The Snugpak offers excellent value for money given the

standard of materials and construction, and is very highly

recommended for those looking for a lightweight overnight

shelter, and as always the Ionosphere shows

Snugpaks adherence to finding the best and

neatest solutions that they possibly can!

For more information on the Ionosphere

and all the other great kit offered by Snugpak

please pay them a visit at www.snugpak.com




Those of you who read our clothing reviews regularly will

know that we’re big fans of the brand UF PRO; these guys

are at the cutting edge of tactical clothing design and

use the very best materials and components available to

create beautifully achieved and highly focused garments


Although their recent releases have concentrated on

clothing for use in hot weather, coming from Eastern

Europe you might say that UF PRO know a thing or two

about dealing with the cold as well! Within their everexpanding

range they offer a number of jackets designed

for winter use, and the Delta ML is a really great example.

Their first Delta ML jacket was designed initially as a

pure mid-layer garment to be used as a part of a full winter

layering system, but for many it was used as a superbly

comfortable, “stand-alone” cold weather jacket. They

therefore changed the design focus slightly an based the

concept of their latest Delta ML on the original mid layer

design, but added specifically functional elements that

would also qualify it as an outer layer winter jacket for all

outdoor activities in extreme cold weather conditions.

Especially for higher work-out levels, they optimised

the thermo-physiological properties of the excellent

110g/m2 G-Loft insulation (non-woven polyester with

aluminized polypropylene); warm, light and breathable,

even in extremely wet and cold weather, G-LOFT

insulation meets the highest standards and combines the

benefits of natural down with

the ruggedness of a synthetic

fibre. Due to the “MEMORY

EFFECT” the fibres automatically

return to their original and

unique form, providing warmth,

even after repeated washing

and hard use. G-LOFT guarantees

optimal thermal insulation and

heat regulation, both indoors

and outdoors.

Not content with picking the most up to date insulation

UF PRO looked to the very design of the jacket to get the

best from it by applying a tighter, ergonomic quilting

pattern to all areas where better heat exchange is required.

They also we made the side- and armpit areas out of the

37.5 microfleece from COCONA Inc., which provides quick

re-drying properties with excellent thermal insulation.

As the Delta ML can be used on its own or as part of a

layered setup the pockets are configured for both uses.

The sleeve pockets and lower front pocket originate

from their excellent STRIKER combat shirt design so you can

happily wear the jacket as an outer layer and additional

chest pockets are there for when you use it as a mid-layer

underneath an outer shell. There are also two inner pockets

for storing away those little “bits and bobs”. The jacket

also benefits from wrist warmers, an adjustable lower

hem, and the front zip is backed with a wind resistant

flap. Both the face fabric and inner lining are made with

100% polyamide Ripstop which is solid and durable.

As with all garments from UF PRO the Delta ML is a

magnificent achievement both in terms of design and

quality, and it certainly fulfils its job.

It is light (just 0.70kg in size Large!), comfortable to wear

and extremely warm, and not only that, it looks cracking

too! The Delta ML jacket is above all a jacket which offers

reliable and comfortable thermal insulation in a wide range

of outdoor activities.

The Delta ML jacket is available in Olive and Black, and

is priced at £132.50 from www.hueys.co.uk; for more

information on the entire range of clothing and

accessories from UF PRO please visit http://





I recently had the pleasure of attending a Three Gun event

and what a day it was! New and veteran shooters were

all represented and all lined up to take their turns running

four separate courses of fire. Pistols, rifles and shotguns

were used under the ruleset of Three Gun Nation, and this

exciting day showed a great side of competition shooting

that both enthusiasts and professionals alike should and

will embrace!

One of the things I found particularly interesting was

the number of shooters using micro red-dot sights either in

addition to, or instead of “irons”, especially when it came

to handguns and shotguns. It’s a sighting system that I’ve

never really used before so I decided to do a little digging,

and that of course meant speaking to my good friends at


Vortex offer three “micros” in their comprehensive

optics range, The “VIPER” specifically for handguns, the

“RAZOR” for pistols and rifle/carbines, and the “VENOM”

for pistol/rifle/shotgun.

The “VIPER” red-dot’s super-low mounting height makes

it the perfect solution for handguns with cutout slides. The

Viper gives shooters the simplicity and speed advantage of

a dot sight, while co-witnessing with stock iron sights, and

the 6 MOA dot diameter gets you on target fast. Fully multicoated,

ultra-clear lens offers a wide, unobstructed field

of view. The left-side up/down power and illumination

controls are easy to access and manipulate. Recessed 1

MOA windage and elevation adjustments are super clean,

protected from accidental contact, and always at the ready.

It runs on an easily sourced CR 2032 battery.

The high-end “RAZOR” is a reflex sight built for top-tier

performance and incredible versatility. The highly polished

glass is clear and crisp from edge to edge. Exceptional

resolution and a wide field of view present a sight picture

that is sure to impress. The daylight bright red dot is easy

to see and paints targets regardless of lighting conditions

or background. Fast and accurate, clear, compact, durable

and dependable the Razor is a corking bit of kit ideal for

pistol and rifle/carbine with the choice of either a 3 or 6

MOA dot.

And now you can make your rifle/carbine, pistol or

shotgun even more lethal with the “VENOM” red-dot

sight. A 3 MOA dot promotes rapid target acquisition,

while providing a precise point of aim, getting shots down

range and on target fast. The durable, machined aluminium

housing ensures the unit will stand up to whatever you

throw at it. A high-quality, fully multi-coated lens offers

a clear, wide field of view. The Vortex top-load system

makes changing the CR 1632 battery simplicity itself and

alleviates the need to remove the sight when switching

the power source. The power and dot intensity controls

are conveniently located on the left side of the unit, and

flush 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustments are super

sleek and make sighting in a breeze.

As with all Vortex products the finish and quality of all

three sights is absolutely impeccable, and is use they are

all easy to set up and instinctive to use. All three sights

come supplied with a Picatinny mount, but Vortex offer

other mounts for them so that if you use any type of

magnified optic you can easily off-set the red-dot for when

things get “close-up and personal”.

Whilst many users will no doubt choose to use the

“clone” red-dots to save a few pennies, when you buy

Vortex you are buying flat-out quality and their superb

“no quibble” guarantee means that you are

investing your money for a lifetime of service

and performance. I for one am really looking

forward to having a “VENOM” on my shotgun

for longer than just a test period!

For more information on these and the other

sights in the Vortex Optics lineup, along with

stockist details please visit www.vortexoptics.






In the last issue of PMCI we took a look at the new clothing ranges launched by Helikon-Tex at IWA

2016. To complement the clothing there are also new gear items to fit their Urban, Outdoor, and

Range lines; these also offer brand new designs and new materials and as always these pieces of

gear are cleverly achieved and meticulously put together!

Helikon-Tex have always had a strong offering

when it comes to “nylon gear” and accessories,

and the focus of their new lines brings some

great new additions. They’ve obviously used

their great experience, the culmination of

ideas gained from gathering information in the

tactical market since 1983 to create items of

gear that the user actually needs. When you’ve

been around as long as they have the sheer

volume of “intel” gained both from using the gear themselves,

and listening carefully to the feedback of their end users, must

be huge.

They’ve really put this knowledge to great use in relation

to the new products, as in their tried and tested style Helikon-

Tex have released just a small number of extremely focused

designs which complement the other pieces they already have

in their extensive range. I’ll break things down line by line so

you can appreciate just how focused these new designs are.


This is what really started the Helikon-Tex evolution as the

Urban Line is their take on both the challenges and routines of

a modern world, merging tactical, sporting and EDC elements

into one. All the designs in this line are oriented to give you

sharp looks and enough space to hold all your daily stuff. Keep

in mind that everybody is trying to keep “low profile” these

days, and that’s the rule that Helikon-Tex follow with their new

Urban Line designs.


With a growing amount of electronics to keep in order, and to

carry with you daily, it seemed natural to develop pouches that

would help to keep all those cables, flash drives and powerbanks

in relative order. The Urban Admin Pouch is a MOLLE/

PALS compatible admin pouch with a removable pocket insert

that can be carried as a standalone wallet.






















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• External expandable pocket

• Internal dummycording loops, Velcro

panel and mesh pocket

• Removable insert with numerous

storage options that can be used as a

wallet or standalone organiser

• Front Velcro panel for Identification/


• YKK® zipper closures



The Bandicoot Waist pack is something we’ve been using since

Helikon-Tex released it last year, and it’s a very useful item that

really is the epitomy of EDC gear. It’s a medium sized waist pack

and offers a number of unique features in a smooth, low-profile

package. You can choose buckle placement, stow away the

bag’s belt strap, remove or replace the internal Velcro insert to

customise it for different applications. The four pocket design

is large enough to fit personal items along with basic medical

supplies or a wind jacket.

The new Possum Waist Pack is the Bandicoot’s little brother,

and is still as versatile, but more streamlined and compact.

The internal organiser is non-removable which cuts the weight

down whilst retaining all the features, which are:

• Left hand / right hand configuration

• Detachable/stowable belt strap

• PALS/MOLLE compatible side wings

• Front velcro panel for Identification/ Personalisation

• YKK® zipper closures

• Duraflex® buckles

• Internal organiser for documents/small items

• Inner mesh pocket, secure body side pocket


The guys at Helikon-Tex are shooting sports enthusiasts, and the

two new items in the Range Line reflect this very well indeed;

it’s no wonder that they wanted to create a line with great gear

for the range. No matter if you’re a three gun competitor, a long

distance precision shooter or just a guy that shoots for skill and

fun Helikon-Tex have something new for you. From gun bags

and range pants to sniper mats you can certainly see that the

Range line is one of their favourites as it combines match-grade

design with actual passion.


Helikon-Tex have created this light shooting mat with

precision shooters in mind. It rolls down into a neat

package that can be carried by handle or shoulder strap.

When unrolled it has a reinforced, non-slip knee and

elbow area, and a Velcro panel for additional ammo

pouches, ballistic tables and tools. Additional features

include loops for tent stakes and built-in storage pockets

for them, plus a detachable bipod lanyard for added

stability. The Backblast Mat features:

• Double Cordura® 500D fabric with internal closed cell foam padding

• Double padding and non-slip reinforcements for elbows and knees

• Cord loops for staking in strong winds/uneven terrain

• Velcro panel and 3 Velcro-on pouches – non-slip pad for

monopods, ammunition wallet and DOPE clear window

• Stake pouches doubling as sheaths for carrying strap and

bipod lanyard

• “Y” style bipod lanyard allowing to “load it” under tension, 3

points of attachment

• Detachable carrying strap

• Carrying handle


This is a simple, belt/MOLLE

attachable, open top-pouch for

everything that you don’t have a

pocket for, a real “super” dump

pouch. Spare ammo, spent cases,

empty magazines, or gloves, you

name it, it swallows them all. The

top of the Brass Roll is stiffened so

it stays open when you want it to,

but when you don’t need it you can

close it with a Velcro tab or fold

and roll into a small

package. The Brass

Roll features:

• Stiffened upper edge

• Long pull handle

• Folds down, fastens

with Velcro panel

• Narrow mesh bottom




The Outback Line is where you’ll find the Helikon-Tex technical

clothing and accessories concepts. You’ll find within this line both

solid classics and new “light and fast” style designs; everything is

included to fit your activity profile and specific needs. Accessories

developed for e Outback Line focus on travel, gear packing and

outdoor expeditions.


The Navtel pouch is

medium sized, padded

electronics pouch

designed to be worn

vertically on a backpack

carrying strap or MOLLE/

PALS platform, to keep

accessible smartphones,

GPS devices, notebook, and

similar items. A simples

feature set includes:

• YKK® zipper closure

• Inner velcro panel, elastic

webbing and dummy-cording loop

• Front MOLLE/PALS webbing


• YKK® zipper closures

• Padded, soft material lined main pocket, with elastic

webbing retainer

• External pocket with dummycording loop, velcro closure

• Front Velcro panel for Identification/ Personalization



This is a classic MOLLE/PALS/Belt compatible cargo pouch. Inside

it has a Velcro panel for inserts and elastic webbing to hold larger

items, plus a lanyard loop for dummy-cording. It works very

well as a backpack side pouch or a belt mounted cargo. Features


Inner velcro panel, elastic webbing and dummy-cording loop

• Front MOLLE/PALS webbing

• DUTY BELT/PALS/MOLLE compatible.


The super lightweight, packable “Pakcells” are designed to help

you organise and store your garments and gear while packing and

travelling. You can stuff them into your rucsac having all items

neatly packed and compressed. Having them in three sizes allows

you to simply match Pakcells to your rucsac capacity without

adding bulk or weight. These are very neat and useful items and

all three sizes feature:

• YKK® zipper closures

• Lighweight micro-ripstop construction

• Slim, rubberized carry handles

• Velcro tab for ID and segregation

• Compression with webbing and Duraflex® buckles

They say that good things come in small packages and the

focused new accessory items certainly hold true to this. Once

again Helikon-Tex have looked to where they have gaps in their

excellent offering and filled them accordingly.

With the new Urban, Outdoor, and Range line concept I

believe that Helikon-Tex are really onto something and I’m

100% certain that what we see from them in the future will be

commendable. Rest assured, as soon as PMCI know what’s next

in the pipeline you’ll know soon after!

The new designs are loading up onto the

Helikon-Tex website as they become available, so

for more information on the individual pieces and

to find stockist details where you are please do visit





Capacity: Capacity: 38.5 litres 38.5 (approx) litres (approx)

Material: Material: 600D Cordura 600D Cordura

Colours: Colours: V-Cam, Coyote, V-Cam, Green, Coyote, Black Green, Black

Dimensions: Dimensions: 52 x 24 x 52 32 x cm 24 x 32 cm

Internal hydration Internal hydration sleeve sleeve

Ventex system Ventex back system panel back panel

Adjustable Adjustable hip pad/harness hip pad/harness

Padded shoulder Padded shoulder straps and straps sternum and strap sternum with strap QR buckles with QR buckles

MOLLE webbing MOLLE attachments webbing attachments located on located exterior on pouches exterior pouches

including including D-Rings D-Rings

Multiple compression Multiple compression straps straps

Hydration/coms Hydration/coms outlet outlet

Side carry Side handle carry handle

2 x V-Lock 2 x V-Lock

1 x D-Lock1 x D-Lock

SRP £84.95 SRP £84.95





Capacity: Capacity: 36.5 litres 36.5 (approx) litres (approx)

Material: Material: 600D Cordura 600D Cordura

Colours: Colours: V-Cam, Coyote, V-Cam, Green, Coyote, Black Green, Black

Dimensions: Dimensions: 46 x 33 x 46 26 x cm 33 x 26 cm

Multiple compression Multiple compression straps straps

4 point, Ventex 4 point, system Ventex back system panel back panel

Padded shoulder Padded shoulder straps and straps sternum and strap sternum with strap QR buckles with QR buckles

MOLLE webbing MOLLE attachments webbing attachments located on located exterior on pouches exterior pouches

including including D-Rings D-Rings

Side carry Side handle carry handle

Internal hydration Internal hydration sleeve sleeve

Internal retaining Internal retaining

straps/bungees straps/bungees

Felt lined Felt exterior lined exterior

utility pouches utility pouches

Hydration/coms Hydration/coms outlet outlet

2 x Velcro 2 ID x Velcro panels ID panels

2 x V-Lock 2 x V-Lock

1 x D-Lock1

x D-Lock

SRP £84.95 SRP £84.95




TEL 01234 TEL 740327 01234 740327








SRP £54.95

20 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

45 x 22 x 20 cm

Internal hydration sleeve

Internal retaining straps/bungees

Felt lined exterior utility pouches

Hydration/coms outlet

Multiple compression straps

4 point, Ventex system back panel

Padded shoulder straps and

sternum strap with QR buckles

Grab carry handle

MOLLE webbing attachments

located on exterior pouches

including D-Rings

2 x Velcro ID panels, 2 x V-Lock,

1 x D-Lock






Internal hydration sleeve

Padded shoulder straps and

sternum strap with QR buckles

2 x side stow pouches

Internal Nylon utility sleeves

Mesh back

Compression straps

MOLLE webbing attachments

located on exterior pouches

including D-Rings

2 x V-Lock

1 x D-Lock

22 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

43 x 23 x 26 cm


SRP £45.00






SRP £45.00

19.5 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

42 x 23 x 34 cm

Mesh helmet hammock located on front

with compression straps for adjustment

Internal hydration sleeve

2 x External side pouches

Hydration/coms outlet

Padded shoulder straps and sternum

strap with QR buckles

Multiple compression straps

MOLLE webbing attachments located

on exterior pouches including D-Rings

Compatible with Plate Carrier

1 x Large Velcro ID panel

2 x V-Lock, 1 x D-Lock






Hydration/coms outlet

Multiple compression straps

Internal mesh pocket to

accommodate hydration bladder

Shoulder straps with QR buckles.

MOLLE webbing attachments

located on exterior pouches

including D-Rings

Compatible with Plate Carrier

1 x Large Velcro ID panels.

2 x V-Lock

1 x D-Lock

13.5 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

19 x 20 x 43 cm

SRP £26.50






Retaining straps/bungees

Exterior utility pouches.

Mesh back panel.

Shoulder straps with QR buckle.

MOLLE webbing attachments

located on exterior pouches

including D-Rings.

2 x Velcro ID panels.

2 x V-Lock

1 x D-Lock

SRP £29.95

10 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

31 x 20 x 16 cm






MOLLE webbing attachments

located on exterior front

External mag/phone pouch

Sectional internals

Fold out compartment

Removable shoulder carry strap

Compatible with Plate Carrier

1 x Large Velcro ID panel

2 x V-Lock, 1 x D-Lock

5.5 litres (approx)

600D Cordura

V-Cam, Coyote, Green, Black

20 x 15 x 18 cm

SRP £24.95





At PMCI we always have our eyes peeled for brands emerging and

this time we report back on some great gear from PENTAGON that

we’ve had on test courtesy of Military1st in the UK!

Agood part of my working life revolves around

being down at the range. On average I try to

shoot each and every month, whatever the

weather. I’m also on the range in my spare

time, both at home and abroad, as well,

working on my training regime, and that can

be in terms of “skills and drills” or in relation

to practical shooting disciplines.

I am by no means a competition shooter but

I do enjoy the challenges of a well thought out course of fire,

and like many of you out there I’m lucky to have a good bunch

of friends to shoot with on a regular basis. None of us (yet!)

have reached the point of buying in specialist practical shooting

rigs, instead relying on what we use more regularly.

At the Northern Shooting Show in the UK earlier this year I

was lucky enough to be able to hang out with a whole bunch

of friends from within the shooting industry. We’d all been

watching the “Action Air” practical pistol competition going on

over the course of the two days, and as exciting as we found

it we came to the conclusion that for many shooters laying out

on a completely separate set of gear might be a bit of an ask,

even if you were loaded, and so we came up with the idea of

“Tactical Three Gun” just for fun!

This would mean that shooters could be involved in the

competition side of things using whatever guns and gear they

already owned, keeping the costs down; in time I’m sure some

would make the full jump to “practical” which could bring some

new blood into that side of things from a wider pool. I returned

home from the show and looked at what kit I normally use

and for what clothing I use at the range. I also looked at videos

online, especially the one that has done the rounds of Keanu

Reeves three gun training at Taran Tactical. He wears simple

jeans, a t-shirt, and a ballcap. That’s it, nothing fancy there. Kitwise

he has a pistol belt, holster, and pouches for his carbine

magazines and shotgun shells. Simple, to the point.

I already run a battle belt with a very similar setup so

that was a no-brainer. I usually wear a mixture of tactical and

outdoor performance brands when I head to the range as I find

those give a nice balance between comfort, protection from

the elements, and durability. The outdoor gear is also designed

with dynamic movement in mind, so I find what’s good for

climbing and mountaineering is also good shooting attire.

As it happened, with all this spinning round in my mind I’d

just been sent some new Pentagon gear to test, as Military1st,

at the time of writing, have just installed an in-depth range

from the manufacturer, adding to their already comprehensive

line-up of top-quality brands. Pentagon have been around in

the UK for a little while now, but up until this point it’s been a

bit hit and miss where you’ll find it; not so anymore!



So who are Pentagon

and where have they

come from?

Well to start the

ball rolling their name

is actually pretty clever

in itself. Pentagon

(pentagōnos) is a noun

of ancient Greek origin

meaning “five angled”.

In the Pentagon

logo the five angles

symbolise the human

form itself with the

head and four limbs,

along with the five

senses of sight, sound,

touch, smell, and taste.

Pretty neat, right?

In terms of making

gear though Pentagon

has been active in the field of

military clothing and accessories

since 1991 when the company

started in Germany as a modest

retail shop selling new and

used military surplus goods. In

1993 the business moved and

expanded with the opening of

a new wholesale warehouse in

Northern Greece.

In the late 90’s a new

generation of customers were

showing up searching for military

and law enforcement clothing

and gear with technologically

advanced fabrics, new and

improved pocket arrangements and contemporary fitting

styles. Most of these products demanded could only be found

in recognised outdoor sports brands and in colours that were

not appropriate for the military and law enforcement sector.

That is when Pentagon decided to fill this gap, and they

started by looking for manufacturers and partners that were

producing for leading outdoor companies so as to acquire a

thorough understanding of the technology of modern fabric

construction and material functionality.


They invested in the art of pattern making so they could achieve

the perfect fit for high-intensity activities that also provided high

levels of comfort and an aesthetic which was missing from the

classic military and law enforcement products.

Finally after many years of research and development and

working closely with Military, Police, Fire fighters, Rescue and

Security teams they developed a totally new product series which

came to be known as “Tactical Sportswear”. This was their

answer to an advanced military clothing and gear concept which

incorporates quality, technology, design and aesthetic all in one

package and their motto to complement all this is “Gear Up!”


My personal range is set up in some private woodland owned by

a friend. It’s set well back from any public access and as it’s part

of their grounds it’s also fenced so nobody can wander in. The

woodland is slightly angled upwards and they’ve allowed me to

dig in a small bermed back stop to ensure that rounds are unable

fly “out of bounds” behind the targets. It gives me a maximum

overall shooting distance of 30m which is just about right in terms

of the .22LR M&P I train with.

There are no real facilities other than an old pub-type bench/

table combo as I purposely keep the range as natural as possible;

this also means that if it’s cold or raining I need to have the right

gear on. With this in mind when I first spoke to Military1st about

the Pentagon gear I had a really clear idea of what I wanted to

look at.

First up of course is what goes next to the skin, and Pentagon

offer a super, well-priced base-layer range; I’ve not tested that as

yet as it really hasn’t been cold enough to warrant it, but I will

tell you that the fit is great and the fabric feels really comfortable

against the skin. What I have worn regularly is the POLO 2.0 shirt;

this is part of Pentagons Tactical Duty Series (T.D) which has a

casual straight fit design with contemporary look and feel. The

POLO 2.0 comes with either long or short sleeves and has a

standard placket with three buttons, along with knitted no-roll

collar and cuffs. Made in 60% Cotton/40% Polyester it feels

great against the skin.

In relation to trousers pentagon have a whole range of

different designs, from the classic military/LE look to some

really advanced styles that have obviously be purposely

designed with the “tactical athlete” in mind. I chose a pair of

the HYDRA CLIMBING PANTS. These have been designed to be

strong enough for highly demanding outdoor applications yet

comfortable and stylish for casual everyday use. The trousers

feature two deep hand pockets with reinforced fillets, two

rear pockets with zippers and spacious side cargo pockets for

necessary tools or personal accessories.





The pants also come with an internal ventilation system

with mesh protection for extra breathability and comfort. With

the main body made of 100% Polyester soft-shell, strengthened

with Nylon Ripstop fabric which has two-way stretch elasticity,

the Hydra Climbing Pants are a must-have for those who are

interested in any kind of dynamic pursuit, and are the perfect

year-round range pant.

Within the range Pentagon have an absolutely huge variety

of fleece and mid-layer garments for you to choose from, but

for when the weather gets cooler I do like a nice down vest

or jacket. High quality and ultra-lightweight, the HECTOR vest

comes with warm duck down insulation and an outer layer

made of breathable, windproof and water repellent nylon

fabric. The vest features a soft fleece lined collar, full front YKK

VISLON zipper, two front hand pockets and chest pocket with

internal security loop. The vest also has an adjustable bottom

hem with elastic cords, elasticated hem on arm holes and

an internal zipped pocket for added storage. Part of clothing

layering system, the Hector Vest is low-profile and absolutely

spot-on. The new GERAKI Jacket from Pentagon is a warm

and super-light down jacket with duck down insulation, super

soft Nylon Taslon Rip-Stop patches and genuine YKK zipper

hardware. The jacket keeps warmth inside and offers superb

protection against the cold and windy weather. With multiple

YKK zipped pockets, elasticated cuffs and adjustable bottom

hem, the Geraki Jacket is ideal for the true winter months when

you really need some warmth!

Although Pentagon offer a full range of waterproof shells I find a

good soft shell works best for me. The ARTAXES is a comfortable

and multi-functional soft shell jacket with a two-way full front

zipper and high collar with a chin guard of grid fleece. A large

“cobra-style” hood is concealed within the collar and is lined

with a warm grid fleece. Its size and fit can be easily adjusted

with elastic cords with cord-locks placed at the back and each

side of the hood, and inside both chest pockets.

The jacket features eight practical pockets placed on the chest,

both sleeves and lower back, all lined with mesh or grid fleece.

The inner lining of super-fine Grid-Tech fleece offers both

excellent thermal protection and body moisture management

as it traps the heat inside while allowing moisture to escape

freely. Breathable and water-resistant Storm-Tex membrane

makes the jacket suitable for mild to cold weather conditions

and its elastic outer shell offers optimal comfort of movement.

The Artaxes jacket is perfect for range use all year round,

and I particularly like the fact that Pentagon offer many of their

jacket models in “Range Red” as well as tactical colours.

In addition to clothing Pentagon also have a great range of

accessories. For warm weather use they have a super range

of ballcaps which won’t break the bank, and for when things

get cooler they offer both wool and synthetic watch caps and

beanies. I’ve not yet had any of their glove models to test but

the THEROS summer and the KARIA tactical gloves certainly

look to be good designs.



I’ve been using the Pentagon gear for a little over two months

now and I have to report that I’m very impressed so far with

comfort and performance. The trousers and polos have been worn

a LOT already on the range, combined with the soft shell jacket

on cooler, damper days. I used both the vest and the down jacket

when I camped at the Northern show and I can attest to the fact

that they are both 100% toasty.

I’ve got several field tests planned, and sadly British

summertime is looking to be at its usual not-best. The Pentagon

gear is coming with me so I can give it a full-on outdoor test and

I’ll report back more on individual pieces over time.

If you’re looking for good outdoor gear then Pentagon most

definitely have it in their line, but if like me you want some solid,

well-priced kit for the range and possibly a little “Tactical Three

Gun” then you need look no further, just head to www.military1st.

co.uk, pick Pentagon under “BRANDS”, and you’re good to go!

My thanks again go to www.military1st.co.uk for kindly

supplying the test garments featured in this article.






Trampas Swanson takes a good look at a family

company making holsters that are every bit as

individual as you are!

As anyone in the shooting community can attest

to, the hot new trend in holster construction

over the past 15 years has become kydex

material. This seemingly amazing material has

made holster maintenance “easier than it was”

with its leather counterpart, but wiping out

the holster should still be a regular habit. An

interesting detail about a kydex holster is that

you can actually get the debris out instead of it

getting embedded in a traditional leather holster.

Maintenance is made easy by simply wiping it out or

running it under running water. If done right, a kydex holster

can prove to be much more comfortable, lightweight and easy

to access than its leather counterpart as well. With limitless

colour and pattern options available today, kydex creations

have taken the industry by storm.

A little over a year ago, I started seeing some very

impressive custom kydex holsters popping up online in my

local gun trading web community of over 6000 members called

Jacksonville Gun Trader (JGT). These holsters appeared to be

well made and fit the guns displayed in them cleanly and with

a good looking style. Very intelligent and seasoned shooters,

whose opinions I deeply respect were all commenting on a

new holster maker they have been using for custom creations

to carry their prized handguns. As I researched these holsters a


it more, I discovered these products came from a local company

here in Florida named Survivor Creek Tactical founded by John

Phillips. I decided I wanted to see these holsters in person and find

out what made his company so popular in the midst of everyone

and their mother cranking out homemade kydex holsters in their

garage these days. I contacted John and set up a time to meet at

my office later that week. As I found out, Survivor Creek Tactical

was created to allow John to explore his talent for building quality

gear while he continues to actually work full-time as a lineman

for a large utility company.

A few days later, John Phillips and I had what would end up

being the first of many meetings discussing the firearm industry,

holsters and what makes his designs a step ahead of the

competition. According to John, Survivor Creek Tactical was born in

2014 out of an nspiration from a former co-worker who managed

to support his passion for fishing and boating by making a name

for himself maintaining and repairing boats, despite still working

full-time at the utility. For John, he knew he loved shooting sports

and wanted to be more involved. His “lightbulb” went off the

first time he saw a kydex holster being made in person. He was

hooked. He was overwhelmed by the desire to learn how. He

describes a feeling that he just knew ....knew he would make

a quality product. The more information John studied with the

processes, the more convinced he became. His wife Angelique

may have thought he was a little “nuts” at first, but never once

questioned his conviction. John stated in our discussion, “She

believed me when I told her I could do it.” The more holsters

John made, the more input he got from the JGT community. The

more John listened, the more his builds would begin to reflect

the voice of the real life shooter and concealed carrier. Instead of

selling online to somebody on the other side of the country that

he would never meet or talk to, he built for the local community

first and developed designs based on those interactions


As time went on and John’s list of what he would do differently

on various designs and well as original design ideas grew, he and

his lovely wife, Angelique decided it was time to take a leap of

faith in the goal of finding his calling in life. With weeks of deep

study and self-taught methods, John found his stride in making





these holsters and shopped them around for input. As time

went on, the skills blossomed and word of mouth also known

as the internet chat groups grew and people started lining up

on a waiting list to buy one of these custom holsters. Since

then, this family owned and operated business has allowed

for Angelique to now work at Survivor Creek full time making

holsters while John remains the master craftsman for the “one

off projects” as well as assisting in the bulk orders.

To say that John is a student of the human frame combined

with the natural lines of the firearms he works with is an

understatement. I was provided several samples of John’s work

to inspect as we began to talk. Through our conversation, it

was clear John had a passion for holsters and giving his clients

the finest possible product for their money. I was moved by the

way he meticulously described how he created his holsters and

what he took into consideration when building them. So moved

in fact, I decided Survivor Creek Tactical and my company,

Swanson Media Group needed to work together as we moved

forward. In the coming months, several holsters were made and

used during the testing phase of various handguns provided

to my company for 90 and 120 day reviews for major media

outlets both in print and online.

As with many great products, the devil is in the details.

While at first glance, a Survivor Creek Tactical holster may look

like any other kydex holster, but when you put one on and

holster a pistol, you will find the fit, form and comfort second

to none. The reason is because great detail is paid to a custom

holster and how it will ride on the person it is intended for. John

studies the person’s unique body type, how high / low, in / out

and angle the pistol will ride on the end user. So just who is the

average user for a Survivor Creek Tactical holster? Well, any and

every one from firearms trainers, local Law Enforcement, DEA,

FAA, US Marshals, Doctors, Lawyers and various standard and

specialised military personnel who operate out of the various

bases in and around the Jacksonville, FL area.

With a relatively small production of around 80 – 100

holsters a month, the emphasis is on quality instead of quantity

in making the right product the first time. While custom holsters

do take a bit longer, Survivor Creek Tactical does offer pre-made

holsters at local stores and online. The standard holsters made

for mass production and store front sale are a great example of

generic ride and cant that translate very well to most people.

Ranging from open top, rotating hood and light, laser, optics

bearing holsters to name just a few, I have yet to find one of

John’s creations that didn’t fit the intended firearms like a glove.

Personally, I now own several Survivor Creek creations from

on the belt, inside the waist band holsters, knife sheaths and

magazine carriers. Incorporating some great technology like

the RTI modular platforms, I am able to switch out my holster

quickly from a belt mount to a Molle mount when training and

teaching firearms classes. With John’s unique understanding of

a shooters needs, it is easy to articulate exactly how I need

a holster to fit, operate and look for all my shooting, training

and magazine “photo op” needs. In the time I have had John’s

company provide holsters for our training and media group, I

have had nothing but compliments from our clients, students

and follow trainers about the products Survivor Creek Tactical

has produced. Looking through the long list of products this

company can provide standard or fabricate, the pricing is

very reasonable starting around $50 and fair considering the

craftsmanship you will receive. There is a wide range of colours,

camo patterns, carbon fiber textures and even custom ideas

submitted by YOU the customer that can be made into a variety

of shooting accessories as well as unique custom rigs.

To find the custom kydex product right for you,

check them out at www.survivorcreek.com and

join the thousands of shooters currently enjoying

their holsters.





When you need to keep cool in the harshest of

environments you really need something a bit

special! Trampas Swanson checks out some gear that

is exactly that in the form of YETI Coolers

YES! Yeti coolers are more expensive than the Walmart

cooler you grew up with. Let’s go ahead and allow the

elephant in the room take an early exit in this review. This

isn’t to immediately shed a dark light on a product review;

its intended to do the exact opposite by getting the wave

of couch dwelling so called “experts” out of the way, who

are constantly on social media with childish and uninformed

remarks such as “I’d never pay $500 for a cooler” and “My $50

Brand X cooler could probably do the same job”. These guys

must have amazing imaginations to be able to field test a

high end piece of outdoor equipment without having to leave

the comforts of their home. I never see these guys at Tiffany’s

when I buy my wife jewelry or at the BMW lot heckling buyers

from wanting luxury cars, oh wait, that would again force

them to get off the couch and put the computer down. For

those nay sayers, shut up, get outdoors and do something

with your life; for the rest of us, I welcome you to check out

a simple review of the Tundra 110 cooler given after it’s been

through the blazing firing range heat, used to feed aging

warriors during out open fire festivities and trekked from the

Sunshine state to the Steel City with great results.


To start with, I will say this, I am NOT rich in the least bit, at

least when it comes to money that is. I am simply a husband

and father, who wants the best product for his hard earned

dollar. Like you, I grew up with a family cooler from some top

1980’s brand like Coleman or Igloo. Over the years, ice melted

hourly in them as the water soaked the duct tape holding

these subpar coolers together for another trip. As an adult, I

choose wisely with family finances and don’t mind spending

extra for the right product rather than just jumping on the buzz

word bandwagon of what’s currently popular. This is where I

stood when I was asked to review the Tundra 110 by Yeti.

Upon its arrival, the Tundra 110 arrived in a cardboard box

large enough for my then 19 month old daughter to turn into

a temporary playhouse. It was much larger than one could

imagine just by reading the Yeti website info. Measuring

37”x17.5”x20” on the outside and 30.25”x11.25”x14.5” on

the inside, this cooler was far from those described from my

past. Due to its impressive exterior size, I had to step outside

and measure the cargo area of my canoe to make sure our

future adventures would not be over before they began. To

my relief, I was still 4 inches or more in the clear for getting

the ball rolling on field test!

Roto-molded in bright white polyethylene and proudly

made in the USA, this 110 quart cooler offered two very

easy to use rubber “T-Rex” latches (as Yeti refers to them)

to secure its lid. On each end of the cooler were heavy duty

rope handles with hard plastic grip bars to prevent the rope

from digging into your hand as you carried it. As explained

by Yeti, the Tundra 110 was designed specifically for river

rafting which is why the lid and handles ride so high on the

coolers walls in order to clear most standard name brand raft

frames and keeping the weight centered low. Located on the

bottom of the cooler are non-slip feet which keep the cooler

in place during even the wettest environments we could find.

TECH AND TOOLS: Yeti Coolers



TECH AND TOOLS: Yeti Coolers

Weighing in at around 37lbs empty, the Tundra 110 takes a

good bit of strength for just one person to move it any real

distance once it’s fully loaded.

Despite losing a good amount of room on the inside

due to the thick Permafrost insulated walls of the cooler’s

design, there was still plenty of room for the job it needed

to serve. Inspecting the inside, I discovered grooves in the

walls to allow for added dividers and a steel basket that rides

along the cooler’s top to help separate smaller items from

getting lost in the main chamber. Along the lid’s interior was

a freezer-like rubber gasket that helped the cooler close up

airtight to help seal in the cold. During my initial inspection of

the cooler, I had enough looking and was ready to start doing!

It was time to load up and get ready to see for myself how

the Tundra 110 would work out.


Here in Florida, the temperature on deck of a typical firearms

range where we teach can reach 110 degrees on the concrete

during an urban rifle course or CQB pistol class. On these days

especially, hydration and keeping cool are most important.

The Yeti Tundra 110 serves the traditional role of keeping

your drinks ice cold while its strong exterior offers many other

advantages. In certain training areas, getting supplies to the

remote venue can be a challenge in itself. Trip after trip, the

Tundra 110 has survived being bounced around in the back of

the truck, strapped to an ATV as well as drug up a few river

banks after being off loaded from a boat.

During a recent trip to “The Swamp” training grounds,

friend and fellow shooter, Jared Peltz demonstrated how

the Tundra 110 could be used as a stable platform for close

and long range shooting. The non-slip feet and wide top

surface area help level your rifle while using a bipod and

offer a comfortable seat to rest during instruction time. For

most of the day, two men 200lb+ sat on the cooler when not

engaging targets and studied their shot placement photos

without even the slightest dent in the cooler’s surface.

By the end of the session, the cooler was just as cold after

hours of being in direct sunlight as when the day started that

morning. Less than 3 ounces of water poured out from the

drain plug before moving out from our secluded location. To

put this in perspective, standard procedure is to just dump

out the cooler before leaving due to most of the ice in other

coolers previously test having been melted by over 60% by

the end of the day. On this trip, the ice was reusable for the

next day.


During my time testing the Tundra 110 cooler, I decided to

cook a 45lb hog for some of the guys who help out with our

test and evaluations regularly during one of our meetings.

Two days prior, I picked up the hog and iced it down inside

the Yeti along with spices and rub to pretreat the meat. After

approximately 55 hours later in mid-70s outside temperatures,

the hog was removed from the cooler. Not only was the meat

cold, it had actually frozen solid and needed a couple of hours

to thaw out before cooking!

The day after the pig cook out, the cooler was thoroughly

cleaned and loaded in the back of my Chevy Suburban for a

15 hour road trip from Jacksonville, FL to the “Steel City” of


Pittsburgh, PA. From the beach to the mountains and back in a

span of six days, the ice kept all of our drinks on the way there

ice cold. On the way back, not only did we have to chill sodas,

I had a special package of bear meat and even a full bear

skull en route to my local taxidermist! Upon my return home,

everything was still ice cold! To say this cooler’s ability to keep

ice from melting is impressive is a huge understatement.

While I may have needed a rest from traveling adventures,

the Yeti Tundra 110 did not! My friend and co-worker, Craig

Reinolds took an opportunity to load the cooler up into his

canoe and take an overnight trip down the St Mary’s River and

deep into the great Okefenokee Swamp. With trips like this,

your ability to survive comfortably depends on only what you

bring along. With a light load of ice, the Yeti kept lunch meats,

sodas, and supplies cool for the entire round trip to keep Craig

in luxury among the alligators, snakes and wild boar.


The construction of the Tundra 110 is designed to last a life

time by using very easy to replace hardware at key wear

points, allowing the user to maintain the cooler over the


With just a little care and maintenance, I fully expect the

Tundra 110 to look and perform just as well for my daughter

when she is old enough to strike out on her own adventures

with it. Truth being told, I will probably be so attached to my

Yeti cooler by then, I will just resolve to dish out another $500

and buy her a new Yeti Tundra of her choosing. By then, I only

hope Yeti produces a cooler in my daughter’s favorite colors

of either pink or purple versus the generic white or horrid

seafoam options they have today.

To wrap up, let’s look at the most important factors. As I

stated in the beginning, yes, the Tundra 110 is expensive.

Retailing for $500, this is not and never will be the cooler

you pick up at the 7-11 convenience store when you forget

yours at home and need ice. The Yeti 110 is big, heavy, as

tough as a $2 steak, easy to clean and most importantly,

it does its damn job! When you absolutely need ice to last

regardless whether it’s to ensure a cold beer at the end

of a day or keep vital medical supplies cooled in a hostile

environment, the Tundra 110 by Yeti will not fail you. To learn

more about Yeti coolers and other great products,

visit them at www.yeticoolers.com.

TECH AND TOOLS: Yeti Coolers





At PMCI all of try to make time to get out and meet with some fabulous people who in themselves are leaders

within the tactical industry, and recently Nige took the opportunity to make a rare visit to this record-holding

arms manufacturer, based near Portsmouth.

As the owner of Calibre Publishing and PMCI

my days are pretty full-on but every so

often something happens that really grabs

my attention and, on this occasion, it was a

phone call from an industry colleague; when I

recognised the number showing on my phone,

of course I stopped what I was doing to answer

it, and boy am I glad I did!

I won’t bore you with the details of the call

but when I was asked; “Nigel, we would like to invite you to

accompany us on a visit to Accuracy International on the 3rd

of May, would you like to come?” my metaphorical hand was

in the air in less than a nanosecond! I just hoped that they

didn’t notice the excitement in my voice as I answered in the




Believe it or not, the company that was to go on to produce the

best sniper rifle in the world started when shooting buddies,

Dave Walls and David Caig, decided to see if they could make

working replicas of two 19th century Colt pistols by using just

photographs for reference. To say that they were “good” would

be a massive understatement, so much so that a Colt revolver

expert later told them “If you built these from just pictures,

you should be in the business of making guns!” In fact,

it was only when the expert noticed a notch (used for

mounting an optional shoulder stock) was missing from the right

hand side of one of the guns, that “the Daves” had to ‘fess up and

admit that they were not original but had been manufactured by

them in their spare time, using machines where they worked.

Dave and David were not only co-workers but also extremely

proficient target shooters at the same club and both had

represented their individual countries (David Caig being Scottish)

at international level. Together they repaired and tuned the club’s

rifles and pistols and subsequently created “C&W Products” to

cope with the business (working out of Dave’s garden shed),

however, it wasn’t long until the pair turned their attention to

target rifles and set about designing their own “long”.

It was about this time that they met Malcolm Cooper, who

was later to become a World Champion and Olympic Champion

(twice!). When shown the replica pistols, Malcolm was so

impressed he commented that they obviously had the skills to

design their own rifle. “But we have already done that” was the

reply and this lead to Malcolm using a C&W rifle in the 1978 World

Championship in Seoul, where he came away with a Silver Medal.

1978 was also the year that Accuracy international was

established and by 1981 they had designed their third prototype

rifle, which already carried features that would typify future

designs, including their “signature” thumbhole stock.

Until this time, most “sniper” rifles were actually modified

(yet somewhat dated) military bolt-actions or hunting rifles that

had been customised for use in the sniping role but, based upon

their experience with target shooting rifles and taking input from

actual snipers, AI designed a rifle specifically for the role. The

first customer for the “Precision Marksman” rifle was none other

than the Special Boat Service (SBS) who, following a successful

evaluation in 1984, acquired 8 rifles the following year. This was

closely followed by the SAS, who purchased 32 of the same rifle

later that year.

Feedback from both the SBS and SAS was instrumental in

refining the rifle further and, as a result of the rifle’s colour and

its ability to deliver first round hits on target, it quickly became

known as “The Green Meanie”. It was not long after this that

Malcolm Cooper learnt that there was to be a competition to find

a replacement for the (now past its prime) L42A1 sniper rifle,

which had been in service since 1970. Malcolm’s reputation as a

target shooter was such that it resulted in an invitation from the

MoD to submit a proposal based on AI’s 7.62mm target rifle, and

the now-famous L96A1 was born.

In 1985 it was announced that the AI PM rifle had defeated

the Parker Hale Model 85, the H&K PSG-1, the SIG Sauer SSG 2000

and the Remington 700 to become the standard sniper rifle for the

British Army and, on the 11th March 1985, Accuracy International

received and contract to supply 1,212 rifles. Clearly the garden

shed would no longer be a suitable place to manufacture the

rifles, so after a false start when they sub-contracted the work,

CNC machines were acquired along with a facility in Portsmouth

and production of the L96A1 contract continued until 1992.

The reputation of the L96A1 grew rapidly and, in response

to an enquiry from Swedish armed forces, the L96 was adapted

to operate with equal reliability in cold environments and given

the designation “AW”, standing for “Arctic Warfare”. In 1991 the

modified design (AW308) resulted in an order of 1,100 rifles from

Sweden and, under the designation L118A1, has subsequently

been taken into use by over 60 military and law enforcement agencies.

Further development saw numerous configurations being

developed, including being chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum

and .300 Win.Mag (a variant of which was purchased by the

German BWB as the G22 and which was also the first AI rifle to

feature David Caig’s folding stock design).

Success followed success until 1999, when 90% of Accuracy

International was sold to an investment group, saddling the

company with an unsustainable debt load and by 2004 AI was is

serious financial difficulty. In February 2005, having failed to recapitalise

the business, the company started to sell off its assets

and by the 18th of that month, all employees had been laid off

and AI had ceased all operations… but that was not the end of

Accuracy International.





Tom Irwin, an independent contractor working for AI in the

USA, along with Dave Walls, Dave Caig and Financial Director,

Paul Bagshaw managed to put a last-minute rescue plan

together and on the 3rd of May business was restarted. Dave

Walls later commented that the bankruptcy was “a blessing

in disguise …because it gave [me] the chance to be part of

the management team once again and to assist in radically

changing the way we manufacture products.”

This new approach rapidly brought success in gaining new

business and in 2007 the MoD awarded AI a contract to supply

582 systems in .338 calibre to replace the L96A1. The new rifle,

designated L115A3, entered service with the British Army in

April and it was with this rifle that, in November 2009, CoH

Craig Harrison recorded the longest sniper kill in combat when

he killed two Taliban insurgents from a distance of 2,474 metres

(8,120 feet or 1.54 miles in old money!). There is a Guinness

World Records Certificate hanging in AI’s conference room to

attest to the fact and also something that you maybe didn’t

know… Craig also took out the insurgent’s machine gun

with a third shot!


During our visit both Tom Irwin and Dave Walls spent a large

proportion of the day with us, while we were shown around

the entire facility by Alice Bond, who had been AI’s primary

USA Dealer/Importer; and that translates to the production

of products that truly reflect the very nature of Accuracy

International. Nothing was too much trouble and all our

questions were fully answered, often with a fair amount of

humour where Dave was concerned.

I have to say that sitting in Accuracy International’s

Conference Room (known as “Sniper”), talking with champion

shooters while surrounded by medals, plaques and, of course,

a wall full of awesome rifles (including “C&W 003”, the original

3rd prototype) was an amazing thrill; but even that was

surpassed when I was allowed to get behind an AX308 fitted

with a top of the range Schmidt and Bender optic and put some

real rounds downrange!

The latest in a long and distinguished line of combat proven

sniper rifles, the AX series comprises the stand-alone AX308


(.308 Win) and the multi calibre

AXMC, a .338 Lap Mag which can

be reconfigured to .300 Win Mag

or.308 Win in minutes simply by

changing the barrel, bolt and


The base rifle has a right side

folding stock over bolt, adjustable

cheekpiece, adjustable buttpad

with spacers, pistol grip, flush

cup sling attachment points,

30MOA STANAG 4694/Mil Std

1913 action rail and 16” forend

tube and rail, double chamber

standard muzzle brake, 1 x

140mm plain accessory rail, 2 x

80mm flush cup accessory rails,

and comes as standard with one 10 round double stack CIP

magazine. Available with black or green stocksides with black

metalwork or pale brown stocksides and metalwork this is one

beast of a rifle!

The man in charge of the range (where they also test every

single rifle for accuracy and consistency before it leaves the

factory) was an ex-Royal Marine sniper and the colleagues I visited

with are proficient shooters (one of the guys having shot for the

Army Team GB!), so it was with some trepidation that I seated

myself behind the AX and pulled the butt into my shoulder for

the first shot. Unlike Bill and the majority of the PMCI contributor

team who spend a LOT of time on the range the last time I fired

a bolt-action rifle was as a Cadet down on Purfleet ranges, with

my RSM standing on my feet so that I didn’t get shoved off the

line by the recoil and offering me words of encouragement, such

as “Streeter! If you don’t hold that bl**dy rifle properly you’ll be

taking it home somewhere where the sun don’t shine!!” So, as

you can imagine, as I brought the rifle up and peered through the

scope at a target that looked scarily small 100 metres away, I was

determined not to make a hash of it.

Remembering everything I could from those early “lessons” (I

was actually one of only two “Marksmen” on the Squadron, the

other being my elder brother) I concentrated on the target and

tried to ignore everything around me. Bring the cross hairs up…

settle on the intended point of impact… control your breathing…

gently “squeeze”, don’t “snatch” the trigger… and “bang”! Don’t

de-focus… check the point of impact… reload and go again!

Well, that was the theory anyway!

I don’t know how I managed it but the first four shots were all

within the diameter of a five-pence piece however, annoyingly,

all were slightly high and to the left of centre, which is where

I was actually aiming. So for my fifth shot I decided to ignore

the grouping and prove to myself that I controlled the rifle, not

the other way round and promptly put my final round straight

through the centre of the target! Boy did that make me feel good!

I was very proud as I stood up but secretly I knew that it probably

had more to do with the quality of the rifle than the skill of the

shooter but what the heck, the target was still destined for my

office wall!


In conclusion, I have to say that I found the visit very, very

enjoyable, and not just because I got to shoot an AX 308 but also

because of the openness and willingness of everyone we met to

take an interest in what we do and why we were there.

All that remains is for me to say a huge thank you to everyone

at Accuracy International for making me one very happy bunny!

For more information on the current range offered by Accuracy

International and for full specifications on all their excellent rifles

please visit www.accuracyinternational.com






Marksman. Sniper. Sharpshooter. Rifleman. Hunter. AKA You! No matter what your mission involves, nor your

overall objectives, when it comes to applying pressure to the trigger there’s only one outcome that counts and

frankly, nothing else matters. A HIT.

During Range time we can all see ourselves as

“Hot Shots” when it comes to ever decreasing

group sizes, especially at increased ranges.

But one thing’s for sure, the methods used by

some for achieving “Accuracy Nirvana” leave

a lot to be desired.

Hi Guys. I’m Chalkster. And once again I’m

delighted to return to your pages with my

second instalment for PMCI.

This time I’d like to cover the age old subject matter of

efficient weapon ZEROING.

Being a serving Armourer allows for an intimate

understanding of what’s going on during the cycle/action of

mechanism when a weapon is fired. Without question, this

knowledge helped achieve my career highlight of Individual

Champion Shot at the 2010 INTERCORPS.OSC (UK)

Having enjoyed many a year of competitive shooting

tournaments, I’ve acquired a useful understanding of best

practice, which can not only be employed when coaching new

guys, but also of course those seniors who’ve become in their

own words “a little rusty”.

ZEROING. So what is it? How can we master this Black Art?

The majority of you have your own colourful backgrounds within

the Military Services around the World, and no doubt each of

these will have their own particular methods to attempt the

most efficient manner of bringing their firers onto target and

reducing group sizes accordingly.

Range time is an invaluable asset and to that end should

never be looked upon as a chore or for that matter unbeneficial.

That attitude should be dismissed by all who hold it.

Today, as in the past, the most accomplished shooters have

all carried with them the understanding of what’s happening

when the rounds they’ve fired go down range.

It’s not Voodoo, nor some kind of super human gift that

produces the best Shooters out there, more a combination of

Practice, Patience, Posture & Mechanical Understanding.

Let’s now focus on the mechanics behind the Aim.

Firstly, what is a Group, a description given to the fall of shot

upon a target. A group may consist of x3 rounds or more

(normally x5 rounds) which will indicate where a firers MPI

(Mean Point Of Impact) is falling, relevant to where upon the

target they are aiming.

By adjusting a weapon’s sights, either Open or Telescopic in

design, when the rounds fall where you’re aiming (at a specific

distance of engagement)you are effectively ON and as a result

that particular weapon is now zeroed to the firer. However, let’s


emember this achievement will only be relevant to the location

in which you are currently at! Once you have moved to a different

Grid, all be that another Country, with differing altitude or ground

temperature, all factors between locations must be taken into

account. Ammunition storage temperatures will also cause

significant effect to weapon ballistics and the desired fall of shot.

Always therefore re-check zero as soon as is practical on arrival in

your new AO.

So in an effort to achieve our tight groups and taking as read

the conditions in which we find ourselves, good weather, no wind

etc. The overall goal is to be satisfied with our individual results

knowing you have the confidence in where the round is going to

impact. All this is to be achieved in the least amount of time and

with as little ammunition wastage as possible.

I’m certain that most of you have been on the ranges in your

careers, rain hammering down. You’re cold and wet, and you’ve

lost your sense of humour many hours before (we’ve all been

there) andnd there’s still one guy who’s fired off magazine after

magazine in a pitiful effort to zero his weapon. Until one bright

spark decides to have a look at what’s going on, only to discover

the sighting system body is loose upon it’s frame and the firer is

continually adjusting one direction to another chasing an error.

Morale plummets.

So who’s at fault? Was it the firer? Possibly not! If young and

inexperienced they must be given that allowance. Good coaching

should’ve removed that situation from the start of practice,

ensuring weapon prep is carried out accordingly and the oversight

of a loose Sighting System avoided. Pressure being heaped upon

the firer already lacking experience and now morale, will only

make achievement of better results even harder to find.

There are many different routes of tried and tested methods

in achieving increased shooting standards. But sometimes, with

a little improvisation far greater results can be gained just by

focusing on more relevant areas that contribute to the science of


One simple program I employed when coaching my team

members in years gone by yielded some very good results, the

sort of improvements which were instant and a great pleasure to

witness the leap in morale for those firers involved.


This was my Simple 4-Point program which has proven to improve

not only the Zeroing efficiency of my recruits, but has further lead

to their increased shooting abilities.

When broken down into the individual areas of focus, there’s

absolutely nothing special about it whatsoever. It’s just the

manner by which it’s easy to remember and employ these steps

on the firing point prior to pulling the trigger. Breaking it down,

let us first assume weapon and ammo preparation has taken

place and conditions are good. Your range complex is ready to go

and you’re cleared to fire.

For the purposes of this article I’m describing the process

discussed as if we’re using a standard issue American Assault Rifle

(weapon system without bi-pod), but in theory this could apply to

most lower receiver magazine fed weapons.

Shooting will be carried out in the prone position with x30

round magazine rested.

Much comment over the years has focussed on whether a

magazine base should be held off the ground or utilised as a

point of contact with whatever ground surface you’re on.

I make absolutely no hesitation in endorsing the latter

discipline. A standard issue magazine is more than robust enough

in design to be used as a point of stability when firing from a

prone position. A firers choice to balance uncomfortably on

their elbows alone is their own personal decision, but utilising

the elbows as well as the magazine-base therefore providing

three points of contact to support the weapon platform can be

compared to the stability provided by a three-legged stool and

that of a two-legged stool.

Stability yields accuracy, Fact. Only where undesirable ground

conditions dictate, such as wet mud or water, leading to potential

ingress of debris within the magazine itself, a perceived risk of

stoppages may result, therefore ground awareness is a governing

factor. There’s no argument, so let’s move on.





So what is ‘B’? It’s the single most influential component to

accurate shooting.

It is of course BREATHING.

Erratic fall of shot is easily diagnosed at the target when

breathing has been a factor.

I’ve watched students/recruits taking their shots whilst

observing their breathing patterns. Standing beside the firer

laying in the prone position, it’s easy to see the rise & fall of

the individuals back, (especially if wearing webbing) I could

observe when releasing of the shot takes place and whether

the firer had inhaled or exhaled at that time. When firing from

a mag to ground position, the breathing issue is highlighted a

little more. Releasing a shot on the inhale pivots the weapon

system forward on the magazine pointing the muzzle down,

giving a low impact on target, whereas a shot fired on an

exhale, emptying the lungs of air, pivots the weapon system

with the muzzle pointing upwards, high impacts on target.

This will be seen as a straight up-down pattern on target,

exaggerated at increased distance.

Understand that any volume of air can be drawn during the

inhale, so a consistent measure is difficult to achieve and be

recognised by the firer. We all exhale to a comfortable point

with each and every breath we take. This doesn’t alter unless

physically forcing the exhale which is a deliberate effort and

not that of a breath taken during a resting state.

When the firer recognises the point at which a breath has

been comfortably exhaled now is the moment to initiate the

shot. Gently squeezing the trigger with the end of the finger,

pulling towards the firer in a linear rearward motion following

the line of the weapon and avoiding any sideways applied

pressure (especially highlighted when firing pistol) .

I always instructed my shooting team members to count

off in their heads a deliberate pace similar to that of a drill

movement ‘TWO. THREE’ Fire. Have the confidence to release

the shot. Don’t hang around expecting some miracle alignment

to occur!

You’ve ceased your breathing cycle temporarily, so pause

and release the shot or increased heart rate will swiftly follow

causing its own problems. Upon releasing the shot don’t

simultaneously leap into releasing the trigger, a comfortable

deliberate hold and then release. Sweet.


When comfortably exhaled, having acquired the target in your

sight window, hold the position while counting off (TWO.THREE)

then maintaining that confidence release the shot. Wherever

possible, always try and tailor your plate carrier/webbing

configurations (if being worn) not to impact negatively on

comfort/efficiency when in a prone position.


Not as important as the emphasis on breathing, but none

the less a significant factor for consistent results. I’ve seen

all manner of shapes and sizes sprawled out on various firing

points over the years and it’s always a subject matter that

makes me smile and cringe in equal measure. Too many firers

clearly get their ideas from The Movies, because there’s no

damn way they can think for one second that the positions

they get themselves into are somehow going to be beneficial

or for that matter comfortable in assisting their aims.

An octopus thrown on the firing point would look better

suited to taking a shot than some of the examples I’ve


Principals of aligning oneself with a perceived target area

can be comparable to many a sporting genre, Golf. Pool. Tennis.

Hockey. Baseball even Basketball to name but a few.

Any arena that requires the alignment of ones body

to encourage the best result’s, has to be understood to be

appreciated. The easiest possible body position for a firer to

adopt in the prone position is extremely simple and yet the

benefits of correct posture are regularly overlooked by many.

Align your body behind your weapon system to directly face

towards the target.

Use your body as an extension of that weapon to effectively

become the barrel.

A straight spine is providing the natural alignment with the

target. When I see legs and knees jutting out at varying angles

I pull a face as if my girlfriends just asked what my favourite

name for a pet parrot is??? I just fail to understand. Let’s briefly

return to breathing. If your leg is sticking out at a 90 deg angle

what affect will that have to your breathing as a result?

Especially if wearing CEFO with webbing pouches pressed

into your sides! Your back is twisted and your pelvis and guts are

directly acting against the natural operation of the ‘Diaphragm’

leading to laboured uncomfortable breathing.


Of course field conditions will always dictate what firing position

can be used but just to reiterate as previously pointed out, our

virtual range for the purposes of this article is perfect for our



Imagine yourself as an extension of the weapon system. Be as

comfortable as possible in pointing directly towards your target.

Avoid unnecessary bulk/pouches affecting your position whilst

laying in the prone. Maintain an even balance of peripheral vision

to your flanks.


This is very much a combined area of focus alongside Alignment.

As already highlighted the affect on breathing as a result of poor/

unnecessary leg position will be only too apparent. So forget the

Action Man positions and try employing the following:

Your legs both act as significant ground anchors when a prone

position is being used. Along with the rest of your body/weight

you’re turning your body mass into an effective Firing Platform.

As previously stated Stability = Accuracy. Next time you’re on

the firing point just look at the number of firers with ‘Octopus

Syndrome’ it’s contagious!

Lay flat on your belly in alignment with the target. It won’t

be comfortable if you’re not inline. Straighten your legs and

have your feet pointing directly outwards resting the inside of

your footwear directly to ground. Position your feet inline with

shoulder width or slightly wider if preferred. None of this heel in

the air bollocks! There’s absolutely no need for it, pivoting your

boot on your toe-caps? It’s just a distraction and an unnecessary

one at that. You’ve just morphed your entire body into a purpose

built platform. Solid, Stable, Comfortable, In-line with the

intended target, Low Profile (Unless you want to put a little flag

on the back of your heel) All the attributes that makes an efficient


By maintaining this neutral leg position and ignoring the natural

tendency to fidget and wriggle around, you block out the

undesired distractions that you alone can initiate without even

thinking. A little practice in this posture will soon become second


Let us know how you get on with this, I’d be very interested

to hear your results!


Use what you’ve been given, a hugely powerful muscle group on

your body. Transform yourself into the perfect stable platform,

whilst combining body alignment and breathing technique. Avoid

if possible poor distribution of additional kit (sidearm, spent

magazine leg-pouch, etc) that could bring unhelpful interference

when adopting the prone position.



Sights are the means through which we acquire our target;

without effective sights we are blind. Hundreds of open blade

sights are out there and countless types of optics/scopes.

Some have good and bad points in equal measure, but most

generally perform well.

Military standard magnification is normally x4 which provides

good depth and focus through varying engagement distances.

The areas of primary concern will not only be the condition

of the individual sighting system, but an understanding of how

the sight itself functions. A clear knowledge of grids, pointers and

graticules within the instrument will provide the end user the

vital information on how to employ the kit correctly and utilise

it’s capability to the full.

Basics must be observed upon receiving a new/alternative

sight for your weapon of choice. First off is it calibrated to the

ballistic performance of your weapon system?

No point fitting a sight which doesn’t equate to the calibre of

the weapon being fired.

Secondly, when fitted, is it secure? And if provision allows is

there unobstructed access for means of adjustments? (weapon

working parts hindering accessibility etc). Most military scopes

have a tough life. Lens components & eye pieces can become

badly scratched and damaged over time. Screws for adjustment

are prone to damage (especially by new recruits) As a result fine

pitch and delicate threads are easily rendered unserviceable.

Check for free movement of these means of adjustment prior

to hitting the ranges, it’ll save a great deal of inconvenience

when you discover a fault on the firing point.

Eye relief is the next big concern. I’ve known guys who had

their scopes set so far rearwards that by the end of the days firing

it actually looked as if they had been in a boxing ring, cuts and

bruises galore! It’s an individual’s preference of course, if that’s

the way they like it, leave them to it. But being sensible about

such things anything around an inch from eye to eye-piece is

about right.


Choose and employ the correct system for the weapon you’re

using. If necessary, ensure it is correctly calibrated for the calibre

of ammunition. Observe any component damage. Understand

how the system operates, adjustments in elevation etc. Make

sure everything works as it should and finally when it comes to

mounting the sight to a weapon, do it correctly or seek help from

someone who knows how to. Don’t cuff it.

Once again guys, these are tips and techniques I’ve learnt

through the years and still successfully employ today. It works for

most individuals but obviously not all. We must of course take

into account that everyone’s body types are all different and as

a result not all firing positions are easily achievable! Ultimately if

something else works for the individual then use it.

There are other devices available within the industry such as

Laser Bore Sighting equipment, which are generally very good

and do serve a purpose, especially after having fitted a new

sight to a weapon, but there’s not a massive advantage to such

pieces of kit that you couldn’t achieve for free by bore sighting

the weapon with a Mk.1 Eye Ball.

It’s easy to appreciate that Ammo costs between varying

calibres would to a large extent dictate the cost effectiveness

of such a luxury item in your range box. Remember, when basic

principals are followed, a great deal of wasted time, money

and effort can be saved and that can only be a good thing for


Stay safe wherever you find yourselves!







This time we’re pleased to welcome another new

contributor to the PMCI Team, Andy from Calibre

Shooting. Since leaving the British Army in 2000,

Andy has been involved with tactical and defence

training as a Private Military Contractor gaining firsthand

experience of tactical situations faced by those

on the ground and joins us now to give insights into

skills, drills, and associated gear.

As any good tradesman would tell you the

tools they use are what makes the job good,

and with all tools there are accessories that

complement them. The handgun is by far no

exception to this rule. The handgun, to those

that arm themselves for protection, defence

and sports, has many after-market accessories

to better the standard factory model. Such

accessories include advance sighting systems,

better ergonomic grips, custom trigger works and even advance

coatings to name but a few. One of the most over looked and

underestimated accessories is the holster.

The holster, in my opinion, is part of the handgun. For all

intents and purposes the holster is a means to carry the handgun

in a safe and convenient way whilst on duty or for everyday

carry. It’s essentially a pocket specially designed to carry the

handgun which affords quick and effective access when the

handgun is needed in a hurry. Holsters can be minimalistic

offering only a simple sleeve that covers the muzzle and

trigger guard, or complex enough to offer full protection and

a high security retention system. Size and colour is, in today’s

market, a matter of choice for the individual, but no matter

what holster you go for it’s important that your choice is one

that fits the handgun and is comfortable to wear throughout

the day and meets the standard required for the job.

When choosing a holster there is many considerations to take

into account; hot humid environments would play havoc with

a good old traditional leather holster but would be best suited

to one of the more modern materials such as Kydex. Normal

duty wear in temperate conditions may best suit leather rather

than a bulky synthetic holster. Holsters can be found in leather,

Kydex, Spandex, Rayon and Polyester to name but a few. The

method of construction is also a consideration for durability and

even the possibility of maintenance in the field. Such builds

can include one or more of the following methods. Rivets,

Thread, glue and Velcro can all be found to play a part in the

manufacturing proses.

Although the holster is a pocket to hold the handgun there

must be a suitable system in place to ensure that the handgun

does not fall out of or move around in the holster during use.

There are many retention systems that are built into holsters

that facilitate this.


Free retention holsters offer no retention whatsoever. Holsters

like the pocket and kidney holster offer no protection from the

handgun being taken or from falling out when being carried.

Although speed of the draw is the number one factor here we

do sacrifice security for speed.



Friction holsters tend to be gun specific. That is the holster is

designed for one specific make and model of handgun, although

there are universal fitting holsters available. The holster is molded

to the shape of the gun and holds the handgun securely by the

contours of the guns trigger guard, barrel and slide cutouts and

also by the use of retention screws and clips. This type of holster

is minimalistic and can be found in natural materials as well as



Strap holsters can be made from any suitable material and offer

a much better retention than the friction kind. The use of a strap

that wraps around the rear of the slide / hammer and is fastened

via a press stud or Velcro offers a more secure platform. The strap

usually has a stiffened brace, known as a thumb break, on the

end to help release the strap during the draw.


This type of holster offer maximum security and are often found

in situations of conflict and nigh risk environments. The hood of

the holster rides over the rear section of the slide on a semi auto

handgun and over the hammer of a revolver, preventing it from

being taken from any undesirables, whereas the button holster

secures the handgun in the holster by the trigger guard and can

only be released by the operator indexing a button that releases

the locking mechanism. These holsters are found in plastic

holsters or leather holsters built on a solid frame.

There are so many holsters on the market today that it can

be a mine field of choice. Before we purchase a holster we need

to know exactly what role it’s going to play. Although some

manufacturers claim that their holsters are universal, this only

applies to the fit of the handgun and not the use. As time goes by

you will come to realise that you will probably need more than

one holster, even if you only own one handgun. A full retention

holster may be great for duty carry but is totally useless for

concealed carry or competitions. If this is the case then you will

find that you have one gun and three holsters, one for duty, one

for CCW and one for competitions.

There are two main areas we need to address when

considering job roles; on body and off body.

Off Body refers to a holster that is not going to be worn when

the gun is in place. Such off body holsters are the use of a Fanny

Pack. This is a small bag that is secured around the waist and

gives access to a holster secured inside. These are very popular

with plain clothes operatives and CCW. Briefcases can also be used

as off body carry. The briefcase offers maximum space for a large

frame handgun and also enough space for extra magazines and

ammunition. Purses are also a popular choice for off body CCW,

these are usually carried in a larger bag or in the hand during

travel. The off body method is mainly used when the threat

levels are low or the handgun is not being used and in transit.

This method is slow on the draw and is of no use for immediate


On Body refers to the handgun being carried in the traditional

way, on person. Usually the holster and handgun are secured by a

waste belt secured to the trousers. This is a much quicker method

of carry for drawing the handgun in times of need. Once more we

need to think of what role the holster has to play in our routine

of daily carry. There are so many different holsters to choose from

that it is quite easy to purchase the wrong holster for the wrong

job. I have listed here some of the more common holsters and a

brief description of their use.





Shirt Holster is a snug fitting shirt, usually worn under a

dress shirt that has a small pocket sewn in under the arm pit.

This small pocket is suitable to house a small semi-automatic

handgun with ease and with minimal printing of the handgun

if worn with lose fitting over garments.

Shoulder Rigs are designed to home the handgun under

the arm pit area. Due to the configuration of the shoulder straps

used to secure the holster, the holster is more than adequate to

hold heavy large frame semi autos. There are two methods of

carry with the shoulder holster, horizontal and vertical carry. This

refers to the direction the muzzle points during carry. Shoulder

holsters are a cross draw holster only and are comfortable

to wear for long periods and ideal for use in vehicles where

the more traditional belt carry holster causes problems when

seated. Although shoulder holsters are considered CCW they do

tend to be bulky and have a habit of printing unless they are

used in conjunction with lose or baggy clothing.

Chest Holsters are more of a duty carry holster. Wearing

the holster on the chest frees up room on the duty belt for

other items. The use of some body armour can hinder the draw

of a handgun being carried on the belt due to the thickness

of the armour causing the handgun to catch or snag on the

armour during the draw. Securing the holster and handgun on

the chest can also reduce the weight of equipment on the belt,

especially if the hand gun is a heavy large frame semi auto. The

chest holster is only suited to overt carry and plays no part in

Concealed carry.

Belly Bands are a kind of holster that is simply a band of

elastic material that wraps around your middle. The band itself

has many sections sewn into it that uses the elastic friction

to hold the handgun in place. There are many other pockets

sewn into the band that can carry extra magazines and other

accessories such as a small torch and small personal items and

ID. This system is slow on the draw and is best suited to lose

or baggy outer garments as the contents of the band have a

tendency to print if many items are carried.

Inside Waistband (ISW) The ISW is a truly concealed carry

holster. Unlike the traditional holster that sits on the outside

of the trouser, the ISW is secured to the trouser belt but sits

between the trouser and the body. When correctly fitted

the only part of the holster that can be seen should be the

clips that secure it to the belt. ISW holsters are made of both

natural materials, such as leather and shark skin, and modern

man made fabrics such as Kydex and Nylon. Although quite

comfortable to wear the ISW holster may need to be use with

a pair of trousers one size larger than your normal fit. The

retention on the handgun whilst in the ISW holster comes from

the pressure exerted from the trouser belt. Once the handgun

is in the holster the only part of the gun you should see is the

grip, the rest of the handgun is hidden inside the trouser.

Outside Waistband (OSW) This is the more traditional

carry holster. The holster sits, usually, on the strong side and

is secured by a quality belt, via, either, loops or clips secured

to the rear or side of the holster. This method of carry is most

suited to open carry, although it can be used for CCW in some

circumstances. All materials can be used for OSW carry and

almost all retention systems are suited to this type of holster.

Cross Draw Holsters are usually OSW holsters that are

situated on the weak (opposite to the shooting hand) side. Not

many shooters favour this type of draw as the muzzle tends

to sweep a large area when being taken from the holster to

target. Mainly used for back up guns (BUG) it’s an ideal place to

carry secondary weapon.

Kidney This type of carry is suited for all OSW and ISW

holsters. The holster is carried in the 1 and 2 o’clock or 10 and


11 o’clock position on the belt. Not ideal for the larger framed

handguns however, this method of carry is ideal for a secondary

/ back up gun.

Hip This type of carry is the most noticed of all the carry

methods. The holster is situated on the hip bone on the strong

side. The position of the hip bone itself lends a stable platform

for the holster. However this is a preference of choice as it’s not

everyone’s cup of tea. Suited to the OSW holsters it affords quick

access and control to the handgun during times of need.

Pancake Holsters are so called because the lay flat along

the belt and keep the handgun tight into the body. Usually made

of leather the belt passes through two loops either side of the

holster. This allows the holster to become close to the body

and creates a good retention through friction. These holsters are

very popular with open and concealed carry in civilian use.

4 o’clock The 4 o’clock carry sits the holster just behind the

hip bone and is suited to both the ISW and OSW holsters. This is

a very comfortable position for the holster to be situated. Used

with an open jacket the handgun can be out of sight to others

around you and also in many cases out of reach from unwanted

attention. This natural fit and feel can be a very quick draw

and is one of the most popular positions to carry a handgun for

protection and defence.

Small of the Back This is not a recommended carry due

to the fact that there has been many cases of injury whilst

using this method of carry whilst on duty. Suited to OSW carry,

operators have sustained back injuries when being taken to the

ground during hand to hand fighting. If this method is to be

used I would recommend only small frame handguns in this


Pocket Holsters are holsters that have been specifically

designed to be inserted into the trouser or jacket pocket.

These holsters need to be secured into the pocket with Velcro

or by some other secure means to prevent the holster from

coming out of the pocket when you draw the handgun. With

this holster you are limited to the size of handgun that you can

carry. Sub-compact guns of 5.5/6 inch are the maximum size

recommended. This is a true CCW method and adds the extra

security that you can have your hand on the handgun ready to

draw at a moments notice without anyone knowing that you

are in stage 1 of the draw. The golden rule here is not to put

other items into the same pocket as the handgun.

Drop Leg Holster. The drop leg holster was designed

to free up space and relive weight off the belt. Located and

tethered on the outer thigh, the main anchor point is on the

belt. This is via either 1 or 2 anchor points. The drop leg holster,

if positioned correctly, will allow the handgun to be in direct

line and position with the shooting hand when at rest. This

method affords ease of access and speed to the draw. Used in

many tactical situations the drop leg holster can be used for

all handguns from the smallest revolver to the largest framed

handgun with room to add tactical lights, spare magazines and

even cuffs.

Cargo Pockets are very similar to pocket holsters only

cargo pockets tend to have various pockets or sleeves sewn

into them. Personally I’m not a great fan as they tend to be

uncomfortable and the handgun is not very secure. My duty

trousers are fitted with such cargo pockets and I only use them

to carry rifle magazines. These are very slow to access due to

buttons and Velcro fastenings.

Ankle Holsters are nothing else but CCW holsters that

are secured to the inside of your calf. The holster itself is a

small, usually leather, holster that rests on the ankle with a

supporting band that is wrapped around the upper part of the

calf muscle. This upper support aids in stability and security

during movement. This method of carry is suited to BUG and

carrying small frame handguns. If used to conceal carry your

primary weapon, then these little gems are worth their weight

in gold when it comes to travelling in vehicles. The ankle holster

is ideal when seated in vehicles affording immediate access

to the handgun with little fuss. When used to carry a primary

weapon the ankle holster needs a lot of practice to gain access

when in the standing position, however it’s not impossible.

The above list is just a fraction of what is available on the

market today. There are so many gadgets and gizmos that

come with new and exciting designs that it makes the mind

boggle. I have one simple rule in life, one that the military

taught me “keep it simple”. The fewer components a holster

has, the less that can go wrong with it, and the easier it will

be to maintain and fix in the field. Like all the things that we

depend on, especially our lives and the lives of the ones we

protect, we must make sure that the holster is the correct type

and fit for the handgun, clean at all times and in a serviceable

condition. If the holster fails to perform due to neglect then

it’s quite possible that you will fail in your attempt to draw the

weapon and neutralise the threat.

Holsters, to me, are not an accessory, but rather a part of

the handgun itself. When on duty or out with loved ones and

carrying a handgun, I don’t want to be carrying it in my hand

all the time, that would be impossible. The need for a holster

is just as important as the need for a handgun itself. But like

making the right choice for the handgun, making the right

choice for the holster is just as important. A good handgun in a

poor holster becomes a poor handgun in a poor holster and thus

poor skills and drill. If you purchase a handgun for protection

and defence then I take it you value your life. When you next

purchase a holster just stop to think about how much you value

your life; your next purchase might just answer that question

for you.

For more information on what Calibre Shooting offer

please visit www.calibreshooting.co.uk

BOOK REVIEW COLT: An American Classic





Gecko Professional Services is a branch of the German training company, Project Gecko. Formed in

April 2016, and their mission is to provide professional security services, consulting, and critical skills

training for security, intelligence, and law enforcement professionals.

Intelligence in Brief; intelligence is an important part

of modern warfare and policing in the fight against

terrorism, but exactly what it is and how it works

is often a mystery to most people. While the word

“intelligence” can mean a lot of things, in the context

of national power (the Diplomatic, Information,

Military, Economic, Financial, Intelligence, and Law

Enforcement Power of a nation or organization)

the word intelligence can be simply defined as

information of military or political value and the collection of

such information.


This intelligence is handled through a cycle which is always

ongoing. Useful intelligence must be both accurate and timely,

the process to produce this timely and accurate information

starts with deciding what information is necessary to make

decisions and ends with the processed information handed to

leaders in such a format that they can make informed decisions.

While there are several different forms of the intelligence cycle,

the most common pieces are:

1. Creating Intelligence Requirements

2. Collection

3. Processing and Exploitation

4. Analysis

5. Dissemination.

Each part of this cycle is constantly ongoing as more intelligence

is obtained and more intelligence is required to make additional



Before information can be obtained and eventually handed on

to leaders and policy makers as useful intelligence, it must be

determined what information is needed. This is often decided

based upon previous intelligence because with each new

piece of intelligence and the answers that come with it, new

questions must be asked to continue to improve strategy and

policy as new events occur.


Once it has been determined what information is needed, it

must be collected. There are a variety of methods of intelligence

collection which use different types of sources. Some of the

most common methods are HUMINT, SIGINT, and OSINT, to the

untrained eye those look like confusing acronyms but to the

intelligence professional they are simply different disciplines of

intelligence collection.

HUMINT, or human intelligence, is any information obtained

from human sources. This can mean information obtained from

interviewing a person or information obtained from someone

specifically recruited to pass along information they have

unique access to.

SIGINT, or signals intelligence, is information obtained from

communication through electronic means as well as information

that can be collected from detecting the signals of different

types of electronic equipment.

OSINT, or open source intelligence, is information obtained

from sources that aren’t meant to be secret. This can mean

reading a newspaper, studying a research paper, or watching

an interview. It is an often underrated form of intelligence

which can produce situation summaries, support information

obtained from other sources, or track ongoing events.

There are many other disciplines of intelligence as well,

each kind is unique in what kind of information it collects

and how it collects this information. Each type of intelligence

also has different uses and is processed and then analysed in

different ways.


Once information is collected, it must be turned into a format

that can be read and understood. This can mean decrypting

encrypted computer files, translating a piece of information

from a foreign language, and putting data into charts, graphs,

or figures that are easier to use. This part of the intelligence

cycle prepares the information that has been collected to be



This is the point at which information becomes real intelligence.

The amount of information collected from the various types of

intelligence can be massive and not all of it is always accurate.

It becomes the job of an analyst to prioritize the information

and put pieces together in order to determine what the facts of

a situation are. While nothing in intelligence is 100% certain,


a skilled analyst can put together information in such a way that

the probability of drawing the right conclusions is very high.

Each type of intelligence collection has some specific

analytical techniques that go along with it as well as techniques

that can be used across multiple types of sources. Once analysis

is complete, a report is made to fulfil the specific needs of leaders

and policy makers. This final report is known as the intelligence

product and once it is complete it is used inform those who need

to make decisions relevant to the intelligence.


When a policy maker, whether it is a politician or military leader,

needs information, they wait for the intelligence cycle to be

complete so they can obtain the intelligence product and make

decisions based upon the timely and accurate information it

contains. Once this intelligence is understood, new questions

will be asked by policy makers who must prepare for their next

decisions. These questions will take the form of new intelligence

requirements and once these are created, the process will begin again.

While that is how the cycle works for each individual

intelligence requirement, the entire process is always ongoing.

Intelligence is always required, collected, and analysed so that

policy makers can make decisions.


Intelligence is an important tool for all kinds of organizations

ranging from governments to international groups to private

companies. It is handled by vast and secretive organisations such

as the CIA, SIS, BND, DGSE, SVR, and MSS. Every country has some

type of intelligence service and many have multiple services, in

the United States, for example, there are 16 individual agencies

that make up its Intelligence Community as well as many more

organisations that provide support.

The actual reason to why this is necessary may not be clear to

everyone though, in his book “Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy”

former Assistant Director of the CIA Mark Lowenthal goes through

the purposes of having major intelligence services. “To avoid

strategic surprise” an intelligence service must constantly collect

information and create intelligence products to know about the

intentions and plans of their enemies, and sometimes even their

friends. At its core, the goal of an intelligence service is to not be

surprised by events that affect the country or organization they

support. “To provide long-term expertise,” over time politicians

and their staff will come and go.

Qualified experts who follow world events and the issues of

foreign countries and organizations over time will be the best

collectors and analysts of intelligence, to ensure they can do this






and do it well it is necessary to have a dedicated professional

intelligence service. “To support the policy process,” an

intelligence service must be kept as free of politics as possible

so they can provide impartial intelligence products regarding

the intelligence requirements of the policy makers they must

support. “To maintain the secrecy of information, needs,

and methods,” secrecy is a unique aspect to intelligence

work since the first three points Lowenthal makes could also

be a part of other government organizations. Keeping the

information collected by intelligence services, their intelligence

requirements, and the ways they collect intelligence a secret is

vital to ensuring these services are effective. This is because if

this information is not a secret, adversaries are able to adapt

their actions to what the intelligence service knows.

A safe and secure society requires effective intelligence

services that are professional, trustworthy, and regulated in

such a way that they are able to do their job without taking

away from the rights and freedoms associated with an open

society. Gecko Professional Services will provide future writings

on the various types of intelligence and other topics within the

realm of security and terrorism.

For more information on Gecko Professional Services, read

our other articles or contact us so we may provide a capabilities

overview of our consulting, training, and critical skills services.

PMCI would sincerely like to thank the Gecko Professional

Services team for allowing us to share this article with you.

They work to educate the public so they too can better

understand the work of those who keep them safe as well

as how they can take responsibility for their own security. For

more articles like this one, please visit projectgecko.info/gps.





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Every so often there’s a movie that comes along which

really makes you sit up and take notice when it comes to

recreating the “fog of war” Recently released on DVD in

the UK “13 Hours; The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” tells

the story of the fateful incidents leading up to the death

of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in 2012, and

what happened immediately following the attack on his

compound in Benghazi.

After the 2011 civil war in Libya and the execution of Muammar

Gaddafi, Benghazi became one of the most dangerous and violent

places in the world, forcing the USA to pull out all their assets,

all except for a CIA base called The Annex, which was protected

by a team of CIA contractors, the Global Response Staff (GRS).

From there the GRS team visited the Special Mission compound

where the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was staying and they proved

to be less than impressed by both the compound itself and the

Secret Service agents tasked with his protection; alongside the

Agents were a rag-tag detachment of local militia and police.

On the morning of September 11th 2012, Stevens noticed some

suspicious men around the compound taking pictures, prompting

him to notify his security detail; no real action was taken at this

point. That night, a large team of rebels stormed the compound

and the Libyan guards on the outside either ran away or were

mown down. The rebels fired off AKs and RPGs and invaded the

compound as Stevens was rushed into a “panic room”. The GRS

Team at The Annex were informed of the attack and wanted to

head out to help, but the CIA Chief refused to send them out

for fear that The Annex would be left defenceless. The team

disregarded their orders and headed over to the Special Mission

compound. After a vicious running firefight and unable to secure

the Ambassador the team headed back to The Annex and were

pursued by the rebel fighters, under fire the entre way…

MEDIA Review

To find out what happens to the six courageous warfighters

next, and rest assured that it is quite something, I’d urge you

to go and buy the DVD or pay to download or view online; not

since the classic “Black Hawk Down” and “Lone Survivor” has a

military-themed movie gripped me with such intensity. To say

the action is unremitting would be a massive understatement,

but it’s really the way that the GRS Team operate that makes

this stand out from other contractor movies; by and large their

combat skills are exemplary, the way they use their weapons

is spot on, and believe me when I tell you that their gear and

the way they wear it is absolutely correct. Yes, there are a few

“movie moments” and the use of certain more modern “Gucci”

M4s in 2012 is questionable, but overall this is a war movie that

totally belongs in any collection.

Director: Michael Bay

Language: English

Subtitles: English, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1

DVD Release Date: 13 Jun. 2016

Run Time: 138 minutes

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