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PMCI - April 2018

In this issue of PMCI we are definitely all about "Hand Across The Ocean" as Trampas and the US Team head to SHOT whilst Bill and the UK Crew hit IWA in Germany. There's also the very latest in respect of the SIG "Legion" and some serious "tech" going down with tracking devices, Wiley X, and Sightmark. Combined with the usual articles and reviews be sure to check PMCI out!

In this issue of PMCI we are definitely all about "Hand Across The Ocean" as Trampas and the US Team head to SHOT whilst Bill and the UK Crew hit IWA in Germany.
There's also the very latest in respect of the SIG "Legion" and some serious "tech" going down with tracking devices, Wiley X, and Sightmark.
Combined with the usual articles and reviews be sure to check PMCI out!

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APR 2018

CONTENTS

4 SHOT SHOW 2018: TRAMPAS AND THE PMCI-USA CREW GET BOOTS ON THE GROUND

TO CHECK OUT ALL THAT’S NEW AND FRESH AT THIS YEAR’S SHOW!

10 IWA 2018: BILL AND THE EURO TEAM HIT THE SHOW FLOOR IN GERMANY TO CHECK

IN WITH ALL THE GEAR MANUFACTURERS THAT WE KNOW AND LOVE.

15 EDITORS COMMENT: “FROM LITTLE ACORNS”

16 GEAR ON TEST: THE PMCI TEAM MAKE THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE LATEST

GEAR TO HIT THE MARKET.

21 BOOK REVIEW: “THE ESSENTIAL WEAPONS IDENTIFICATION GUIDE: SMALL ARMS,

1945 – PRESENT”

22 SHOOTERS: WGT CONSULTING: KELLY LOOKS INTO ONE MAN’S ODYSSEY TO CREATE

HIS VERY OWN “SHOOTERS SKILL SET” WITH WGT CONSULTING IN CANADA

26 GOOD GEAR TO GO: SIGHTMARK: BILL TAKES A LOOK AT SOME SUPER OPTICS FROM

SIGHTMARK, AN AMERICAN BRAND THAT’S MAKING IN-ROADS TO THE UK MARKET!

30 TECH: WILEY X: PMCI TEAMS UP WITH “THE TACTICAL OPTICIAN” TO BRING YOU THE

LOWDOWN ON THE LATEST EYEPRO FROM WILEY X

34 FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229: TRAMPAS GETS ROUNDS DOWNRANGE WITH THE

LATEST “LEGION SPECIAL” FROM SIG

38 FIREARMS: SPECIAL REPORT: WE’RE PROUD TO BE JOINED THIS MONTH BY ROGER

ECKSTINE AND JAMES PRESTON, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING FOR PRESTON TACTICAL WITH

SOME GREAT UPGRADES FOR GLOCK HANDGUNS

42 KNIVES AND TOOLS: SCAR BLADES: HANDS ON WITH THE SHADOW XL FROM SCAR

BLADES

44 TECH: TRACKING DEVICES: LOOKING TO “GET OUT OF DODGE” OR KEEP TRACK OF

YOUR TEAMS? READ ON…

48 SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES: ANDY GETS “DOWN AND DIRTY” WITH

PART II OF HIS SERIES ON FIGHTING FROM THE GROUND

50 INDUSTRY VACANCIES: LOOKING FOR WORK? JUST CHECK HERE.

Copyright © Calibre Publishing 2018. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval

system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the

express permission of the publisher in writing. The opinion of the writers do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. The

Editors reserve the right to edit submissions prior to publication.

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 - and all of whom have an intimate

understanding of what the role entails and the day to day challenges faced by those working in this industry.

Editor (UK): Bill Thomas

Deputy Ed (USA): Trampas Swanson

Graphic Design: Baz Thakur

Publisher: Nigel Streeter

PMCI magazine is a digital-only publication

available FREE OF CHARGE via the PMCI

App on a wide range of digital platforms,

including iOS, Android and Windows. For

more information, visit www.pocketmags.

com and search “PMCI”.

PMCI can also be read online at:

www.issuu.com, www.magzter.com

and www.readly.com

Calibre Publishing Limited

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Walwyn Road,

Upper Colwall,

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Tel: 01684 878 003

Web: www.pmcimagazine.com

©Calibre Publishing Limited 2018

Letter, idea or question?

Got something to say? A question for our

experts? An article or article idea? Drop us a

line and let us know. Either email the editor

(editor@pmcimagazine.com), write to us at

the Calibre Publishing address above, or talk

to us on Twitter or Facebook.

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 you enjoy this Edition of PMCI and if you have

any feedback or comments, or would like to contrubute to future issues, please let us know by email to: editor@pmcimagazine.com

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FEATURE: SHOT 2018

SHOT SHOW 2018

Each year, as the winter winds blow through the Nevada desert, thousands of industry insiders

travel to the mecca of all firearms events, the SHOT SHOW. Company CEO’s, sales managers, media

relations specialists, machinists, survivalists, gun friendly Hollywood stars, competition shooters,

gun writers and even politicians fly into to the host city of Las Vegas from all around the world to

participate in the week’s events.

I

In the city known as “Sin City”, attendees can often be

spotted sporting their favorite camo, morale patches,

company logos, 5.11 khakis and polo shirts as they

converge on the show floor during the day and off to

charity events and after parties each evening until the

wee hours of the morning bring millions of dollars to

one of the richest cities in the world.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this

annual phenomenon, SHOT SHOW is a Trade Industry-

ONLY event, closed to the public, hosted by great

folks with the National Shooting Sports Foundation. This event

is held annually at the Sands Convention Center adjacent to

the beautiful Venetian Hotel & Casino. The attendance for this

Restricted event is open only to the hunting, shooting and

outdoor industry members as well as commercial buyers /

sellers coming from the Military, Law Enforcement and Tactical

arenas. The event is Restricted to anyone under 16 years of age

and offers very limited media coverage and attendance.

To be eligible to attend this event, one must apply and their

companies or backgrounds properly vetted and approved. Once

that process is complete you are allowed to purchase a ticket.

Luckily for PMCI Magazine, we had all access to the week’s

events with Swanson Media Group team members, Jared Peltz,

Clint Steele, John Phillips, Eric Adam, Shawn Swanson, myself

and special guest, custom knife maker, Wes Adkins.

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SHOT SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

To get everyone up to speed on just how large of an event SHOT

SHOW is, let’s look at some quick facts.

• SHOT SHOW week kicks off with Industry Day at the Range in

Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club from 0830– 1730, Monday, January 22nd.

• Show floor in the Sands Convention Center opens 0830 and

closes 1730 each day from Jan 23-26.

• 630,000 net square feet of combined show floor space

• 65,000+ attendees this year

• Over 16000+ exhibitors

• Vendors and products from all 50 states and over 100 countries

are equally represented

BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR INDUSTRY DAY AT

THE RANGE

The week’s events started at 0740 HRs Monday morning as a

coach arrived out front of the hotel and escorted our team out to

Boulder City. Nestled in a stretch of beautiful desert between two

sections of the majestic snow covered Rocky Mountains, this small

town springs to life each year as the buses and teams of vendors

roll in for range day. Upon our arrival at the host sight, Boulder

Rifle & Pistol Club, we were greeted with gift bags filled with

industry swag such as bottle openers, T shirts, jackets, patches,

stickers, etc. From 0830 till 1200, this range was only open to

the few privileged members of the media that were invited to

enjoy the day. Afterwards, select FFL holders could join in the fun

until closing time at 1630. Once through the main gate, we were

officially at SHOT SHOW’s Industry Day at the Range presented by

the NSSF!

The best way to describe this first day is basically a shooter’s

dream come true! Vendors from around the world totaling over

170 manufacturers are lined up the length of the range, side

by side with their respective tents and tables displaying their

products to guests as they make their way through. The best part

is, this isn’t just a glorified open-air gun show, this is THE SHOOTING

EVENT of the year! Every vendor greets their guests as they step

up, explains the products displayed, how they function, what may

be new for this year and then offer to have everyone test shoot

each and everything possible! As soon as the first shot of the

day breaks, the event becomes a whirl wind of long range, short

range, and multiple target engagements. Over 500,000 rounds

of ammunition light up the desert onto assorted static paper,

electronic and steel targets. Booth to booth, guests travel to shoot

high powered air rifles, .22 rimfire rifles, high end competition

pistols, full auto, and suppressed; even new large caliber rifles

making their industry debut at the show!

As massive as Industry Day at the Range is, the most impressive

aspects of the whole event are the professionalism and care given

by the Range Safety Officers. This team of highly qualified RSOs

run an amazing system to keep everyone safe and happy. Helping

to coordinate all the volunteer RSOs was a local Chief Range Safety

Officer and owner of BugOut Firearms, Shaun Lord. Having met

Shaun amongst the morning rush getting to the show floor years

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6FEATURE: SHOT 2018

ago, we exchange business cards and stayed in touch. Through

both our professional growth as firearms instructors with our

perspective businesses, I have had the good fortune to become

close friends with Shaun. Despite the thousands of people who

attend Industry Day at the Range each year, Shaun and his team

always treat our crew like royalty.

SHOW DOORS OPEN

Tuesday morning was the official opening of the show floor at

the Sands Convention Center. For most attendees, this is the big

day. Their SHOT SHOW experience has begun. As the wall to wall

wave of crowds rolled through the doors of the multiple show

floor areas distributed among 5 different levels. Each of the next

four days would be spent making new contacts with vendor’s

media representatives and checking out the products we would

be interested in covering throughout the year here in the pages

of PMCI Magazine.

One of our first stops was with our friends at Torrent

Suppressors. This new company has hit the ground running with

their modestly priced, high performance suppressors for the

working men and women. As a bit of PMCI insider intel, we have

already been working with Torrent’s .30 cal suppressor in both

the .300 BLK and 6.5 Creedmoor platforms. All I can report at this

time is to look for Torrent Suppressors to be BIG this year. These

cans work and work well for their price points. As we move

forward with the next two caliber suppressors we are expecting

soon, we hope to give you the full run down this summer.

Following the crowds over to Glock’s booth found their newly

released Glock G19X as well as the G26 and G34 9mm additions

to the already very popular Gen 5 series. These pistols were

generating a lot of fanfare, while I and I alone on the team knew

we already had two of them sitting in the gun safe at home

ready for review. Since returning from the Shot Show,

our writers have spent some valuable time on the


ange with samples of the G26 and G19X, so look for those

reviews coming soon!

Moving on to the SIG Sauer booth, I was very excited to

see new model 365 subcompact 9mm to compete with Glocks

G43 and Smith and Wesson’s Shield. This thin, 10 round, double

stack pistol looked to be very impressive. Fortunately, at the

time of this article being published, we just received a sample

for review, so stay tuned for on that!

IWI announced new versions of their top selling Tavor rifle

now chambered in 7.62 as well as a 12 gauge configuration.

These Israeli bullpup style rifles and now shotgun feature 16

inch barrels in an ultra-compact, lightweight package. The 7.62

version brings more firepower via the bigger round compared

to the traditional 5.56 version. The shotgun is where the game

changer comes in. The Tavor shotgun features 3 rotating tubular

magazines to keep the shooter up and running longer than

most conventional combat shotguns. While it’s a bit heavy, the

shotgun fan who eats their Wheaties and takes their vitamins

will be in love quickly with this new IWI offering.

A stop at Palmetto State Armory teased their upcoming

HK MP5 clone rumored to be under the $1000 mark with no

confirmation on official price or release date. Along with this

product, PSA also had their new AK pistols on display. These

pistols are chambered in 9mm and coming in two variants. The

first variant uses HK and HK clone magazines while the more

popular version uses the much cheaper Glock 17 magazines.

Clint Steele was particularly excited about this due to his

love of the AK platform after seeing them in their natural

environments around the world during his time in both the US

Marine Corps and US Army. During our visit we also had the

pleasure of meeting Amelia Sapolsky. This six foot of sunshine

is not only a smart business woman who not only runs her own

media group and models for PSA’s booth, but is also a successful

contractor recruiter for SOFJobs.com which we hope to add as

a valuable partner with PMCI Magazine in the near future. A

special thank you to this young lady for being our personal

guide through this year’s line up of new PSA products.

As every year, a stop at the Vortex Optics booth produced

two of the most awaited scopes for 2018 with the 1-6x24 Razor

HD Gen II – E and the Crossfire red dot. No matter what end of

the price spectrum you are on, Vortex optics has a top-quality

scope for you this year. The 1-6x24 optic offers awesome glass

clarity combined with short to medium range variable power

scope in a short, compact package.

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8FEATURE: SHOT 2018

With a range of reticles to choose from such as the VMR-2 MOA,

VMR-2 MRAD and JM-1 MOA, shooters can have plenty of options

to fit their shooting styles. The Crossfire 2 MOA red dot has been

gathering a lot of buzz for first time AR and optic owners looking

for a starter set up at an entry level price point. Add these to the

list of items to come for review here and at PMCI Magazine in

the coming months.

Finally, we come to the least high tech, simplest design that

left us wondering, “Why didn’t we think of that?” from Mag

Storage Solutions. While these aren’t new to the market, this is

the first year their display of products has really begun to catch

peoples eye. Their flagship products include plastic racks that

securely hold rifle and pistol magazines as well as ammunition

in the “dead spaces” of most gun safes such as the inside of the

door and left and right interior walls. Let’s face it, at the end of

the day, we can have all the cool guns we can afford along with

the most secure safes on the planet, but we still need a place

to conveniently store the accessories as well. These mag storage

units offer affordable solutions to crowed gun safes and junk

boxes surrounding them which is why they round out our top

products of SHOT SHOW 2018.

As a personal bucket list moment, there was a stop back at the

Torrent Suppressor booth to meet a living legend, Richard “Dick”

Marcinko, the first Commander of the US Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and

Red Cell as well as a Vietnam veteran. Now retired, Marcinko’s

accomplishments include being a bestselling author, radio talk

show host, motivational speaker and military consultant. Just

being at the show and sharing not only his experience but his

generations viewpoints added intrinsic value to the SHOT SHOW

experience for this seasoned gun writer.


AFTER HOURS

Not all action happened on the show floor. A good part of the

SHOT SHOW experience relies on how your after-hours plans are

laid out. For some, once the show floor doors close each day,

there are extravagant dinners, off Broadway shows, gambling,

drinking, every other guilty pleasure that goes into helping

Las Vegas earn its “Sin City” moniker. For our team of writers,

the week runs on a tight schedule with a focus on work and

confidentiality if in case one or two assets do go astray. After all,

the ads for Las Vegas do clearly state, “What happens in Vegas,

stays in Vegas!”

Sunday night featured a great dinner at Gilley’s Saloon with

friends from around the world. The list year this year included

renown author of The Shooters Bible: Guide to Knives, Watch

Your Back and The Shooters Bible: Guide to Home Defense,

Rodger Eckstine, who has quickly become a dear, close friend.

Another guest was PMCI contributor, Kelly Louise Hardwick

aka the UK’s Femme Fatale from the Airsoft world, who added

her own unique flair to our team. Rounding out the list were our

dear industry friends from Germany to add a bit more culture

and bearded comradery to the group. For many of us, this is a

chance to catch up face to face from last year and lay out a plan

of attack for the week.

Tuesday night was a celebrity filled event at the invitation

only 5.11 VIP event courtesy of company executive and

good friend, David Hein. Our team enjoyed great live music,

refreshments, exposure to industry super stars such as Kyle Lamb

of Viking Tactics and several movies and tv star sightings.

We went in as a team, left as a team without any MIAs. The

night was a success!

On Wednesday night, our team attended a charity event

held across town at the workshop of the world famous, Rifle

Dynamics, hosted by RD founder and friend, Jim Fuller. An iconic

name in the American AK industry, Jim uses his celebrity status

to draw attention to worthy charities near and dear to the

hearts of himself and his friends. The gathering was an intimate

affair with a list of who’s who in the firearms industry, milling

about with those of television and YouTube fame. The evening’s

affairs are usually quiet and personal without cameras and

media, so I make it a point to attend as strictly supporting a

bearded brother rather than get the scoop on inside gossip.

FINAL THOUGHTS

One aspect I could take away from SHOT SHOW this year was the

chance to measure how I see the whole experience compared

to my Swanson Media Group teammates, first-time visitors, Clint

Steele and Shawn Swanson as well as returning attendees such

as Jared Peltz and John Phillips. Each person, including myself

takes away a different perspective of the various events based

on each person’s unique backgrounds and experiences.

The amazing collection of photos compiled through the

course of the show, some of which are included in this review

demonstrated just how well this diverse team saturated the

show floor.

Sadly, despite tons of articles being published about the

world’s largest firearms event each year, I can’t stress enough

that reading any feature on SHOT SHOW will never compare to

the actual experience of being there. What I CAN assure you

is, PMCI Magazine will always give you the best “behind the

scenes” view you can find anywhere. If you are in the industry,

military, LE or contracting worlds and eligible to attend, you

NEED to go! The networking, the family-like bond between

industry people and the pageantry of it all can be considered a

lifetime of experience only enjoyed once a year. As for all the

great firearms and gear discovered arriving on the market in

2018, all I can say is, stay tuned to the pages of PMCI Magazine

for new reviews and special features coming soon!

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FEATURE: IWA SHOW REPORT

IWA 2018

Once again this March the small but effective PMCI crew made their way to Nuremberg in Germany

for Enforce Tac and the IWA Outdoor Classics Show and 2018 proved to be another very special

year; Bill reports back on a show where there was lots to see and even more to talk about!

Okay, picture the scene if you will; some fairly

big lads (namely Nige, Iggy and I) all piled

into a 4x4 filled with tactical-style packs and

gear rocking up at the Dover Docks check in!

To say that both immigration and customs

gave us more than a cursory glance would

be lying… this was one hell of a road-trip,

heading as we were to Enforce Tac and the

IWA Outdoor Classics Show 2018! This has

to be my favourite event of the season;

although SHOT as reported on by Trampas and his merry

band of “shooters and looters” is still bigger there’s a certain

something about the show in Germany that always brings

a heady mix of excitement and expectation for me. Held in

early March each year “IWA” brings to Europe the very best in

firearms, optics, accessories, clothing, and gear.

Enforce Tac has always been a separate entity from the

main “IWA” and was created from the traditional Official

Agencies Day at the start of IWA Outdoor Classics and

already has a solid reputation. The growing interest in an

international and above all discreet exchange of views on

law enforcement, security and tactical equipment led to the

premiere of Enforce Tac as a separate restricted exhibition and

conference in the congress centre of NürnbergMesse in 2012.

These days besides firearms, ballistic accessories, optronics

and tactical equipment, the exhibitors at Enforce Tac present

operational clothing such as bullet-proof vests, stab-proof

vests, body protection, face protection, shields and helmets

to their core professional customers and users. The European

Police Trainer Conference also offers ample opportunities for

exchanging views with experts, but don’t expect to get into

this part of the show without a very specific invite!

The main “IWA” Show is slightly (just slightly!) more relaxed

in relation to visitors, and continues to grow and grow. When

I first started attending the show six years ago the “tactical”

side of things had only really just begun to make its mark,

but since then I’ve seen a sure but steady influx of companies

and each year the show just gets better and better for our

industry; “tactical” now dominates a Hall 9, and has now

expanded further; this expansion shows absolutely no sign

of stopping!

For the 2018 show the number of exhibitors was up again

with 1,558 exhibitors and almost 47,000 trade visitors from

around the world. Exhibitors from almost 60 countries and

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trade visitors from about 130 countries gave the 45th edition

of IWA Outdoor Classics even more of an international flavour

than last year. This year, eight out of ten exhibitors and almost

two-thirds of the trade visitors travelled to Nuremberg from

locations outside Germany which shows the draw of what is

fast-becoming “EURO-SHOT”; this event is exclusively for trade

visitors; children and young people under 18 years of age are

not allowed to attend. Tickets for the IWA Outdoor Classics are

issued only to visitors from appropriate specialist suppliers,

official bodies and security companies on submission of relevant

credentials

Hitting Nuremberg late on Thursday after a 500 mile drive,

the doors to the show proper opened bright and early on the

Friday morning, and after a brief visit to the professionally run

Press Room (I discovered I’m not the only one on the PMCI team

to run on caffeine and cake!) it was time to get rolling; as much

as I like to see as much as possible when I visit IWA, experience

has taught me that you need to make a schedule and stick to it.

It’s simply just not possible to see everything, but with so many

friends in attendance there was a constant “heads up” flow of

information in relation to exciting new products.

HALL 9

Now as much as Trampas and the US-based crew head to SHOT

to look at all the shiny shooty and sharp things, my aim at IWA

is to concentrate on the “soft” side of the industry, namely

clothing, gear, and footwear. Having worked alongside some of

the “big names” in the performance gear market I do tend to be

quite hard on people, especially when they try to blind me with

the “science” I’ve worked with for many, many years!

I have absolutely no clue (they say it takes 100 inklings

to get a clue, and I don’t even have an inkling…) why some

manufacturers assume that they can get away with quoting

spurious performance statistics/numbers in the tactical world

when those very same “facts” have been debunked in the

outdoor performance market years ago. Because we work

with things that go “bang” very loudly I’m assuming that they

somehow feel this erodes our mental capability to “call BS”; the

last time I looked most of the guys I know in the tactical world

are also pretty solid outdoor practitioners…

Sorry, rant over, but I do hope that some of the “names”

will stop trying to beat us up with numbers and actually get

round to creating new and genuinely useful designs… which of

course leads me neatly into UF PRO who REALLY do get it, but

are humble enough to not shout about it. This is a really great

shame, because in my opinion these guys do have something to

holler about, and their design guru, Armin, totally understands

every stitch and every piece of technology they use to achieve

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FEATURE: IWA SHOW REPORT

their outstanding clothing; new IR technologies will be part of

the company’s products going forward . UF PRO keep adding

new technologies and tweaking their designs, and their latest

iteration of the “Striker” series is simply superb.

Staying firmly in Eastern Europe Helikon-Tex are always

on my “must see” list at IWA, and in the last couple of years

they have really been making some headway, not only in

a “re-branding” in terms of their product categories, but

in the uniqueness of their designs; they’ve also shown a

massive step up in their quality control which in my mind is

placing them high in the “tactical rankings”. This year saw

them adding new colourways to existing lines, whilst at the

same time adding some neat extras throughout each of their

categories like the Summit ruc and the Pilgrim Anorak; as

always I look forward to working closely with them during

the rest of this coming year as the new products roll out.

Claw Gear are another manufacturer that I love to visit,

as once again they do tend to think “out of the box” when

it comes to putting together their gear. Their “Enforcer and

Defiant Flex” pants looks to be a bit of a winner, and the

“Blue Denim Tactical Flex Jeans” are right on the money when

it comes to “tactical trends”. They’ve also been working on

extending their range of products for the Steyr AUG which

may seem odd for what is basically a clothing company, but

when you consider they are Austrian it all makes perfect

sense!

Leo Koehler have been around for a while and are very

well respected by “those who know” for their quality; whilst

they’re not going to set the world on fire with new and

exciting designs (they already have some crackers anyway!)

they do always have a stunning stand when it comes to the

sheer number and variety of camo patterns that they use,

adding this year CONCAMO which I’ll look at in more depth at

a later date.

Once again Pentagon were pushing on with their

“Tactical Athlete” concept, and they are a brand that as an

outdoorsman I’ve come to appreciate more and more! Whilst

their designs are not quite as “overt” as some, they do make

a superb finished product, and their VORRAS tactical climbing

pants, and ROGUE tactical jeans (yes, more jeans!) certainly

took my eye. Speaking to them at length they have some

great plans for 2018/19 and I’ll be updating on these as soon

as is feasible.

Our friends at First Tactical were really rocking it up a

storm this year, and even twelve months down the line from

their first show they are really making their presence felt and

obviously bringing in new customers! Dan, the founder, must

be well pleased with how things have moved on for them,

and having their head designer, Corey, present meant that we

got to hear all the latest from them, and it looks as if there’s

going to be a major shake-up of their line later this year, so

watch this space!

No trip to a show would be complete without seeing old

campaigners 5:11, and although I’ve not been “wowed” with

any of their designs for a little while it is good to see them

firing all cylinders again. Not only had they upgraded their

clothing and footwear line, but they were also showing their

own new camo pattern, “GEO 7”. This new camo pattern

was allegedly developed in conjunction with Veil Camo and

is going to be offered in two different styles. The “GEO 7

Terrain” is more earth-based with natural tones while the

“GEO 7 Night” is darker in tones. This looks very interesting

indeed and I look forward to finding out more!

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MOVING ON!

Day 3, and the miles were taking their toll, not to mention a bit

of a late “business meeting” in the ever-popular Finnegans and

a memorable trip to Burgerista! IWA is a VAST show and one day

I’ll take a step-counter… the start of the third day though took

our steps to the stand of Direct Action. These former “special”

guys from Poland have been making some serious headway

in the “nylon gear” market and rightly so as their designs are

cutting-edge yet solid and workmanlike. I just laid hands on

their “MUSTANG” belt system which I’ll be reporting on in due

course after a few range sessions, but their new “TEMPEST”

chest rig is something that I’d like to get my mitts on!

Sticking with “Euro” gear folk I always drop in to see

Tasmanian Tiger; the company introduced a new line of navy

blue equipment for law enforcement this year along with

some new designs in the lightweight, low-profile cheat rig

market which look very slick. Their TAC Flightcase looks a very

interesting concept too!

Going “small but beautifully formed” we couldn’t help but

stop by the stand of the awesomely named “Badass Tactical”

from Italy, and once again they put a smile on our faces with a

demo of their two piece shooters belt and “tear-away” medical

pouch. They especially have some neat designs in terms of

medical packs and hope we’ll be able to bring more of their

gear into the spotlight soon.

Before I wrap up, as usual I have to make a couple of

“honourable mentions” of things that I saw that I thought to

be first rate. Out of Russia Gienna Tactics had some great new

clothing designs to show us, and I’ve already been speaking to

Sergey about some gear for test; I really liked their pant models

which showed a new and innovative design for knee protection,

and the fact that they work with some properly “old skool”

camo patterns gave me the hugest grin! Also I have to mention

Viridian Weapon technologies for some outrageously good pistol

lights, some of which feature top-end video capture options for

our LE brethren.

Okay, and I MAY have got carried away with all the magazinefed

semi-auto shotguns and the MDR, but that’s just me and I

said I wouldn’t talk about firearms…

As always any report like this can only show “the tip of the

iceberg” and we spoke to so many people, and saw so much

goodness that I can only apologise to those not mentioned;

I would say a huge thank you to all that took time to speak

with us. I’ll just say that IWA 2018 was a tremendous show

both for me personally and for PMCI which is now getting great

recognition in the community, and I hope to see just as many

folk from the UK tactical world in Nuremberg next year; IWA

has already been fixed for Friday 8 to Monday 11 March 2019

(Enforce Tac for 6 to 7 March 2019) so get it in your diary and the

PMCI crew look forward to seeing you in Germany next year!

FEATURE: IWA SHOW REPORT

pmcimagazine.com


tactical

CROPS Tactical specialises in ‘Small Team Tactics’ for operations within high risk environments.

Delivering our enhanced training packages to Military, Law Enforcement, Government

agencies and civilians within credible security positions, from both foreign and domestic

communities.

Our training facility is based in the United Kingdom, close to the midlands and within 350 acres

of private countryside. It’s at this location we conduct our ‘craft’ away from the general

public. We fully understand the discreet nature of work our candidate’s undertake in their

daily operational roles.

We ‘the instructors’ come with decades of operational experience within high stress theatres,

working as small teams and individuals. We are current, and still, very much an operational

organisation. Over the past twenty years, we have operated in 42 countries.

For more information please contact us at: info@crops.uk.com

www.crops.uk.com


EDITORS

COMMENT

“FROM LITTLE ACORNS”

Wfirearms and tactical communities.

hilst PMCI cannot yet be described as “a

mighty oak” 2018 sees the team and I

well on the way to creating a magazine

whose branches are beginning to reach

further and further into the training,

In this issue you’ll find our reports

from what are two of THE biggest “trade

shows” of the year, SHOT in the USA and IWA in Germany, and

on both sides of “The Big Pond” 2018 PMCI staffers were greeted

warmly by everyone they saw; now some may say that “the

industry” is a little stand-offish but from my perspective if you

prove that you can do the job it’s actually massively inclusive, and

frankly a very good place to be!

I can appreciate how those at the sharp end of things view others

outside our world with some trepidation though, as I recently had

a great conversation with an old and very dear friend of mine;

this is a very intelligent lady that holds a Doctorate in her chosen

field, and is no stranger to working in harsh environments, but

she genuinely doesn’t understand firearms. She is also a mother

of a school-aged son who lives in Florida, and after recent tragic

events she reached out to me.

Rather than simply lambast all firearms and firearm users she

instead asked me if I might help her understand a little more about

“gun culture” and after much back and forth whilst not completely

swayed by my arguments she admitted that she at least “got it”

a little more.

Ultimately as intelligent adults and friends we “agreed to

disagree”, each appreciating the others point of view and parted

as usual on good terms.

I tell this personal story just to illustrate how one small

conversation, based on facts and logic rather than bombast and

raw emotion can indeed lead to greater understanding; whilst we

may not all agree with one another, it is good sometimes to at

least have “the conversation”, and I guess this is how I view PMCI.

I am lucky enough to be graced with well-informed and

intelligent writers on the team, those that will look for good

stories and tell them well. Yes, we do aim to be informative to

those that genuinely wish to improve their tactical skill sets and

knowledge, but we also aim to give a clear message that we will

stand our ground and not be brow-beaten into hiding away in a

quiet, dark corner; let’s get real people, the world is still a violent

and dark place, and just sometimes we need to acknowledge that

and decide upon our own course of action and act accordingly as

we feel we should, with honour, integrity, and a questioning mind

open to all viewpoints whether they tally with ours or not.

We are “loud and proud” about what we do at PMCI, and we

are happy to logically discuss that with people who genuinely

“don’t get it”. All we ask is that others try to understand us as we

try to understand them. As part of “the industry” we now have

the task of helping to tell our stories in a positive and meaningful

way, and I am very grateful indeed for the faith that our industry

now places in us to do this.

Wherever you may be people, switch on, train hard,

stay vigilant and keep safe.

EDITORS COMMENT


pmcimagazine.com

MAGNUM OPUS ASSAULT 5 BOOTS

At the back end of 2016 UK-based bootmaker Magnum

announced a new series of boots featuring the very

latest advances in footwear technology, and the wait

for them to hit the market has certainly been worth it!

“magnum opus, noun, a work of art, music, or literature

that is regarded as the most important or best work that

an artist, composer, or writer has produced.”

GEAR ON TEST

Whether you’re law enforcement, military or a regular

civilian, you need your boots to give you the most

underfoot support possible. Magnum strives to constantly

deliver pioneering, fit for purpose footwear that meets

and exceeds their customers’ needs. The Magnum OPUS

is one of their newest developments, meant to perfectly

balance combat and athletic characteristics.

The Magnum Opus Assault Tactical 5 Boot is an ankle

height tactical boot designed from the ground up by

Magnum to give excellent comfort and protection with

industry leading innovations in design and function.

The upper features Kurim protective panels which are

constructed by thermo pressing PU with a substrate

material. This creates a super lightweight, breathable net

mesh offering super high abrasion resistance with limited

water retention and unrivalled support.

The Recoil midsole is made from Magnum’s exclusive

Recoil EVA which is softer to the touch and underfoot

compared to standard EVAs. It offers 69% more rebound

than standard EVAs and allows you to always get the most

shock protection even when running. Recoil offers the best

in comfort and durability creating a truly trainer like feel

with tactical boot performance. The outsole unit is made

from rubber carbon which offers great grip and durability.

The tread of the sole is multifaceted giving better toe-off

and improved natural motion.

In use the Kurim on the boot upper gives you higher

abrasion resistance and protection. This moulded PU

material increases the durability of the upper, giving

you heightened freedom of movement without having

to worry about your boots’ integrity. The lightweight net

mesh on the OPUS’ surface helps with breathability and

the fast wicking mesh inner lining will help to keep your

feet dry. The closed hook lacing system ensures a more

secure grip, whilst flexible foot forming construction allows

for a comfortable fit and support for your foot and ankles.

The OPUS’ athletic design is reflected in its low weight

(431g in UK Size 9/US 10/Euro43), making it the ideal

boot that won’t weigh you down during strenuous

physical exercise. The durable carbon rubber outsole with

multi-directional lugs provides you with enhanced grip

and traction while you run, break and climb on dry or

slippery wet terrain. And above everything else, the two

characteristics that make this boot truly stand out: Comfort

and Support. In between the OrthoLite Impressions

insole offering superior cushioning, the Recoil midsole

that delivers all-day support and comfort and the overall

construction, this is a bit of a corker! Trust me when I say

your feet will thank you, and with a bunch of (hopefully!)

hot weather training sessions on the horizon I’m really

looking forward to putting the OPUS boots quite literally

through their paces!

Features:

• Ankle brace for added support

• Fast wicking lining for moisture management and comfort

• Flexible foot forming construction

• Robust lacing and closed hooks for secure lacing

• Durable synthetic leather upper with breathable mesh panels

• High abrasion resistant moulded Kurim panels

• Compression moulded recoil midsole absorbs impact

and provides all day support and comfort

• Durable rubber carbon outsole provides grip and

durability

• Toe-off zone for added grip when pushing off during

gait cycle

• Forefoot flex groves enhance natural motion and toe off

• Multi-directional lugs deliver superior traction, grip and support

• Outsole wrap on the medial side of the sole for extra

durability

• Heel braking zone for added downhill grip

• Decoupled heel to isolate the initial strike zone

improving shock absorption

My sincere thanks go to www.patrolstore.com for

providing the test sample.

16

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HELIKON-TEX UTP JEANS

As much as there is an ongoing “love affair” with

tactical pants, let’s face it, how many of us head to

the range in our favourite pair of blue jeans? If you’re

anything like then I’m sure that’s a regular occurrence,

but what if you could have your jeans with all the

features you’d find in those “Gucci” models?

Durable and functional Helikon Urban Tactical Pants -

Denim are a ‘mid profile’ trousers so that they look less

like a uniform, which of course is perfect if you’re carrying

or loading up with equipment but want to do so in a “low

key” way.

The trousers feature a number of useful pockets placed

at the front, the rear and on both thighs. The two front

hands pockets have extra strong edges that are intended

for clips of folding knives. There are also two internal

symmetrical pockets, sewn in diagonally to the belt area

and made of material lighter than the pants themselves;

these two pockets are intended for carrying objects like

telescopic batons or an extra pistol magazine, in a discrete,

comfortable and secure way. Two large rear pockets

with hook-and-loop fasteners also have two auxiliary

small pockets placed inside. These small pockets are the

equivalent of two interior pockets at the front of the pants.

It is worth adding their depth may be adapted by sewing

them at a certain height or by unstitching pleats. These

are perfect for carrying a small flashlight or a multitool.

The trousers also feature big, diagonal, symmetrical

thigh pockets, divided in two. The smaller have a hookand-loop

fastener and are perfect for carrying mobile

phones, magazines for AR or pistol magazines. The larger

pockets feature YKK zipper and a single pleat that increases

their capacity.

These quality pants fit well in the waist thanks to a flat

elastic tape sewn in the rear part of the belt area, and are

zipped with a durable metal YKK zipper and fastened with

big hook-and-loop fastener. All the UTP series trousers also

feature profiled front and rear part of the leg around the

knees. The front knee part is additionally strengthened

with two layers of material. In turn these two layers

create an internal pocket which is perfect for a lightweight

knee pad if you so desire. All these characteristics ensure

freedom of movement and limit raising trouser legs while

crouching or kneeling.

Designed to fit female body shape, the Women’s Urban

Tactical Pants from Helikon feature a classic jeans ‘neck’

shape to limit them riding up or down, and elasticated

waist with YKK zip fly and velcro, and reinforced knees

with internal kneepad compartments for optional padding.

The Women’s UTP Pants also features one leg length for

individual adjustment, twelve various sizes tactical pockets

and seven wide belt loops.

Whilst the “denim” fabric looks great, it also performs

extremely well too as it has a four-way stretch capability

which actually moves with you, and is not in any way

restrictive. The fabric is solidly “heavyweight”, more like

serious workwear than “casual” attire, and it seems perfect

for the rigors of the range or extended use in an urban

environment. Designed with Law Enforcement and tactical

users in mind, the UTP Pants from Helikon are also suitable

for all outdoor pursuits and even daily wear!

For more information on the entire UTP range from

Helikon Tex please visit www.helikon-tex.com, or in the

UK go to www.military1st.co.uk

GEAR ON TEST

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pmcimagazine.com

GUN LEATHER: DOC BURGER

With the growing trend of vacuum and heat formed

Kydex holsters in the firearms market, a lot of shooters

lose sight of the advantages of a traditional leather

holster. The majority of our society has lost both the

interest and pride in properly caring for leather goods

in general. To replace this once beloved medium,

shooters now favour hard, inflexible plastic (Kydex)

with their favorite super heroes, arm chair warrior

skulls and spartan shields printed on them!

GEAR ON TEST

Some have compared the difference in the two holster

mediums as that of having a video game room with action

figures, Xboxes, beer, sound systems and comic books

versus a mahogany library full of hard back, leather bound

first editions and 21-year-old Scotch. The truth is, a quality,

hand-built leather holster does offer a certain style, class

and connection to the history of gun owners of the past

but also more tangible advantages as well.

A properly oiled firearm will over time, impart some

of its lubrication into the holster and help it self-lube the

firearm in return. Just like a pair of your favorite leather

shoes such as loafers, boots or heels, a leather holster will

continue to mate to the firearm and become better fitting

and easier to draw and reholster over time. With regular

light cleaning and the help of a light coating of Neatsfoot

oil, leather products such as holsters will last for years of

service long after Kydex cracks and fails.

Mass produced, inferior built, holsters with low quality

control are what I believe has turned off a lot of shooters

from leather holsters. This has led to safety issues in recent

history such as accidental discharges due to folded over

leather engaging triggers. The key to getting the most out

of the advantages offered by leather holsters is finding

a quality-built holster from a skilled leather worker. By

seeking out a quality holster maker, you often have the

option to custom build your ideal rig.

Recently, I had the good fortune to meet a holster

maker from the great state of Alaska by the name of Doc

Burger. In discussing his work, I learned Doc only builds

holsters during his down time from his day job. Starting

off his interest in leather from building knives first as a kid

and then again only a couple of years ago, Doc realized,

knives need sheaths, so he began to build sheaths for his

creations. Over time, he decided his leather skills were to

the point he would try his hand at a custom holster for his

beloved 1911. Having personally seen photos of Doc’s first

holster built, I can see why it would have inspired him to

further pursue this interest. Doc admits, the holster wasn’t

perfect, but he learned a lot moving forward.

Since then, Doc has gone on to build more sheaths

and holsters, expanding to revolvers, thigh rigs and soon,

“inside the waist band” holsters as well. After seeing some

of Doc’s work online and hearing the feedback from very

satisfied customers, I was eager to find out more firsthand.

Doc graciously offered to build a belt carry holster and

matching spare magazine carrier for my daily carry Glock

19 9mm for review.

Within a couple of weeks, I had a package from the

“Last Frontier” State at my doorstep. My first thought when

opening the box was that it was a bit of a surprise as to

how small the holster was. I’m not even sure exactly why

I was surprised at all, the area of the pistol the holster is

designed to cover is less than 4 inches long, so the holster

more than covers all needed areas. I seated my pistol into

the holster in one smooth motion and draw it out quickly

and cleanly. I continued to do this several times as I took

time to admire the deep rich brown stain of the Fiebings

leather dye on the 5 oz grade leather used in conjunction

with the 1mm Ritza 25 tiger thread holding it all together.

The detail around the border was exceptional. The spare

mag holder was beautifully matched to the holster and

securely held the 15 round Glock magazine in place.

Once I mounted the new rig on my favorite gun belt

from Ben King, Doc’s holster held the Glock firmly place

with no rattle or slop but blazed out of the holster on the

draw. Right out of the box, the gun felt like it had been

mated with the holster for a decade. While dry firing and

practicing magazine changes, the spare mag holder made

for a quick retrieval. I have worn the rig every day since

its arrival and have been nothing but pleased. The pistol is

perfectly angled for my draw without so much as a wiggle.

The low-cut front and rear of the holsters mouth lends

itself for snag-free presentation to the target similar to an

old west fast draw rig. The trigger is completely covered

and secure while it still allows the master grip to purchase

directly under the trigger guard ready for action. The wide

outside lip comes up to cover more of the pistol’s slide to

frame gap from debris and dirt while being flat enough

not to present any concern with material being folded over

and engaging the trigger over time.

18

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The design is well thought out and solid as a daily carry

holster.

Doc hand sews each holster he makes to ensure the

high standards he has set for his products are always met.

As a former Law Enforcement Officer and current NRA

Firearms Instructor, this sort of top quality has long been

a top priority in choosing a holster. Unlike some larger

manufacturers, one of the things I admire about speaking

with Doc is his willingness to learn and listen to the end

user to adapt his holsters to their specific needs rather

than stick with a standard pattern without wavering.

This mentality will only help Doc’s continued growth

and success as time grows.

In the holster industry there are several levels of

company size such as your large holster makers like

Galco, who have set the standard for decades, small size

companies, “micro” and even “nano” companies in which

normally don’t get a lot of exposure due to the small

volume of project on the market. The size of the company

doesn’t mean in any way, the smaller companies won’t

have high quality products. In fact, in cases such as Doc

Burger, these holster makers build each one by hand not

because they “have to” but because they love doing it.

Each holster and magazine carrier are stitched with the

passion of someone who chooses to spend the time to

make a product anyone would feel comfortable betting

their life on. As for me, this “on the belt” rig has only

further encouraged me to review more of Doc’s products

in the future and continue documenting the day to day

wear of the rig I have on hand currently. Doc is definitely

earned a spot on my “A-team” list of holster makers. If

you have a problem looking for a top quality custom rig,

if no one else can help and you can find him, maybe you

can hire Doc Burger to create your next holster!

GEAR ON TEST

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PIG FDT DELTA UTILITY GLOVES

Over the last few years, as I have increased my

participation in the world of firearms one of the

biggest difficulties I have found as a female, is finding

the right kit that fits my small stature, however, on

my first visit to the United States last year I got the

opportunity to test a pair of gloves that fit so well that

I’ve not looked back!

GEAR ON TEST

The PIG full dexterity tactical (FDT) Delta Utility glove is

the one! This glove in particular is a slip-on utility glove

that is a hybrid of the most popular features from the past

PIG models in a budget option that still gives the user a

high-dexterity fit.

The gloves, although a small and seemingly ordinary

pair of gloves, boast a bunch of features that set them apart

including a touchscreen compatible forefinger and thumb,

single-layer palm for tactile sensitivity, bar-tacked Paracord

pull loops meaning they’re easy to put on even with cold

hands and they even have a silicon printed grip on the

palm for extra grip making them practical and usable for

a whole host of firearms manipulations, law enforcement

use and outdoor activities.

Although it may be obvious, what I love the most about

these gloves is how they fit; the fit is exceptional and I

haven’t found anything that even remotely matches how

closely the FDT fit the contours of my tiny hands! The

fold-over finger construction and elastic wrist for quick

put on and take off sequence not only make them more

comfortable for the user but, in my opinion it also gives

the gloves a sleeker, more sophisticated aesthetic. As they

aren’t padded or extra thick around the knuckle joints,

this does not hinder dexterity when working. They’re also

quick drying after they’ve been exposed to water meaning

greater comfort for the user (as I found out after working

out in the snow for a considerable amount of time).

The PIG FDT Delta Utility Gloves are available in a

good selection of colours: black, coyote, Ranger green &

carbon grey (I have them in both the black and coyote),

and they are available in sizes ranging from a small to

an XXL, so the size range is super inclusive of both male

and female users. Although the exchange rate in the USA

makes them cheaper to buy out there, the shipping can

be a killer for those of us across the pond!

They are available in the United States from SKD

Tactical (www.skdtac.com) for US$29.95, and from Tactical

Kit (www.tactical-kit.co.uk) in the United Kingdom for

UK£30.95 – a great, well-fitting budget option for a utility

glove!

20


PMCI

BOOK REVIEW

SMALL ARMS

1945 - PRESENT

The Essential Weapons Identification Guide: Small Arms, 1945 –

Present offers a superbly illustrated guide to all the main types

of small arms to be employed from the end of World War II to

the present day. Divided by theatre and campaign, the book

includes sections on the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency,

the Vietnam War, the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli

conflict, wars in Central America, the Falklands War, the Gulf

war, the Yugoslav Wars, Chechnya and the Caucasus, modern

peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations and the recent

conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This well thought out and meticulously researched volume

includes hand held weapons of every type, and how they were

and are used by the troops on the ground. Models include

revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, handguns, bolt action

rifles, automatic rifles, assault rifles, sniper weapon systems,

submachine guns, personal defence weapons, light and heavy

machine guns, shotguns and infantry support weapons such as

grenade launchers and RPGs.

Well known, highly influential weapons are featured in some

depth, such as the AK series of assault rifles, the Uzi submachine

gun, the FN MAG/”Gimpy”, the SLR, and the M79 grenade

launcher. Lesser known models are also featured, amongst them

the H&K MP7 personal defence weapon, the Khaybar bullpup

rifle and the Indonesian made Pindad assault rifle. The book

is as up to date as it possibly can be, with exhaustive listings,

but as we all know new weapons and weapon systems appear

on an almost daily basis!

Packed with over 250 full colour artworks and photographs

and full specifications, The Essential Weapons Identification

Guide: Small Arms, 1945 – Present is a key reference guide for

users, weapons enthusiasts and collectors interested in modern

weapons technology.

Martin J Dougherty is a freelance writer specialising in

military and defence topics. His published work to date deals

with subjects ranging from naval weapons to personal security

and self-defence.

Author: Martin J Dougherty

Publisher: Amber Books

ISBN: 978-1-908273-17-8

Price: UK£19.99

BOOK REVIEW


pmcimagazine.com

TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL

TRAINING WITH WGT TACTICAL

In PMCI we do tend to go “heavy” on our training articles and for good reason; if you’re already a tactical

shooter with a solid skillset, even that needs sharpening and honing at regular intervals. But what if you’re

an individual that needs to build a toolbox from the ground up with only a recreational background? Our

newest contributor and “padawan” Kelly takes up the story…

I

n PMCI we do tend to go “heavy” on our training

articles and for good reason; if you’re already

a tactical shooter with a solid skillset, even

that needs sharpening and honing at regular

intervals. But what if you’re an individual that

needs to build a toolbox from the ground

up with only a recreational background? Our

newest contributor and “padawan” Kelly takes

up the story…

Rob Murray is an airsofter turned firearms instructor

that works for a Canadian firearms consulting company

called WGT Consulting who provide firearms training

and consultancy services for civilians as well as Law

Enforcement/Military. But, how did a humble airsofter go

from slinging plastic BBs at the weekend to becoming a

firearms instructor? We sat down with Rob at SHOT Show

2018 to ask him about his incredible journey into the

world of firearms.

Rob’s story is an interesting one, as although he

comes from a family with a /Law Enforcement and EMS

background, he started this journey completely from an

airsoft background. as a young man, he had chosen to

go down the (what some may argue) ‘traditional’ route

of attending college and university before eventually

joining corporate life. After university, he decided to pick

up some hobbies to keep in shape and escape the grind

of 9-5 which is what lead him to joining the sport of

airsoft. As the firearms laws in Canada are stricter than

those of their close neighbours the USA, Rob, like many

Canadian citizens hadn’t really grown up around firearms

and had maybe been exposed to them once or twice

during his lifetime through his Uncle, who was a member

of Law Enforcement. Although he really enjoyed his brief

experience with firearms, he didn’t pursue it until airsoft

reignited his passion many years later. Airsoft became an

integral part of Rob’s life very quickly and to maintain an

active playing style in airsoft he had to become quite a

physical person, it was a complete 180 flip on what he

was doing in his day to day life.

‘I turned this nerdy, quiet dude into this guy that

would shoot plastic BBs at friends on the weekends and

run around like a crazy person, jumping over houses or

whatever’ - Rob

22


Although he didn’t know much about the tactical world, his

interest was sparked as a kid by tactical video games such

as Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, he was fascinated with

them. As he approached airsoft he started by attending

game days wearing very basic kit. He didn’t take it too

seriously in the beginning, but then as he developed more

of a love for the sport and he started looking more and

more at how the tactical world was developing, especially

from influences such as Costa and Haley, he started driving

everything he was doing in airsoft towards building skills

that could be transferable to real firearms. The adventure

so far has been crazy for Rob, from travelling to the States

to shooting BBs at a Nuclear power plant to slinging plastic

out of a helicopter, he has experienced a lot and it has been

a fun ride so far but he has always strived to continue the

practical application of airsoft.

This leads us to how Rob first got involved with the

firearms/training community in Canada. About 18 months

ago, he started helping out with tactical training courses,

either as an observer, OPFOR or another role.

A particular course is what set Rob on the path he’s on

now; a tactical vehicle operators course, where he was

helping with the live scenarios around the vehicles while

the course was being taught by instructors with a Military

background and facilitated by WGT Consulting. He took a

gas blow back airsoft AK along with him to the course to

show the instructors that there are platforms out there

that mimic the action and of real firearms pretty closely, is

great for force on force training and also dry fire exercises

which was well received. The next day, whilst the students

were taken to the range for live fire practice Rob was

shooting alongside them being watched and coached by

a member of WGT in between the rotations. A few days

later Rob got a phone call from WGT to let him know

how impressed they were with his shooting abilities and

movements. Everything he had been practicing during his

8 years playing airsoft had accumulated to the range day

‘This is what always punches people in the face: I didn’t

shoot a lot when I was younger’ - Rob

He had maybe 200-300 rounds worth of shooting

experience in his lifetime, comparable to a day’s shooting

on the range and he was outperforming , the “average

shooter”. Because of this in November 2016 he became

a sponsored competition shooter for WGT Consulting. He

spent the winter working closely with the team and shortly

after was offered a position with the company and what

is most important about this I feel is that they didn’t care

about his background, but only that he had the drive, skill

and the right attitude.

That’s what leads us to the ethos of WGT, and where

Rob is at now.

The man behind WGT is a veteran by the name of William

Benn, also known as Bill. Bill has recently retired from

the Canadian Armed Forces and for a large portion of his

Military career where he was deployed overseas he was

involved in a source handling unit. There are three others

in the organisation, two of which are still currently serving

and the other is a vet who works in private contracting. All

in all, a well-rounded team of professionals, with years of

experience.

The ethos, Bill’s vision for WGT Consulting, was originally

to supply his guys (the people who served alongside him

overseas) a job, and a place to be after their service is

complete. One theme that is integral to this story is that

Bill cares about his guys. It’s something you hear a lot

about the guys in the front line, they care about getting

home to their families and they care about the guys that

are fighting alongside them and protecting them from all

angles because that’s all that matters out there and Bill

is trying to do the same here. Something that Rob is very

grateful to be a part of.

‘It’s something I don’t take lightly. I don’t have a cool

guy resume, it’s hard for anybody to take people like me

seriously. These are guys that have put their trust in me

and I will never forget that. This is the opportunity of my

lifetime’ - Rob

TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL

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TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL

For the company itself, it’s purposely vague as Bill didn’t

want to make it overtly tactical/military/law enforcement

based but they offer a range of services to all branches and

firearms training for civilians. WGT’s bread and butter at the

moment, is training civilians and taking the many years of

experience of the instructors to educate and create safe,

good shooters who achieve their personal goals. WGT like

to take people out of their own head and use data driven

metrics, they time and record students to monitor progress

and apply coaches eye to help students improve their game

and understand the science behind shooting. Consulting

always plays a huge part in what WGT do, from product

procurement for various branches of the military and law

enforcement.

The have a host of new ventures in the pipeline, from

their new base which will not only include a classroom for

theoretical training, a range for live fire and even a retail

area for various bits and bobs. A lot of the pipeline work,

couldn’t be revealed but I have a feeling that it won’t be

long before we see it come to fruition!

Where is this taking Rob in the future? Although Rob still

works in the corporate world, he is contemplating changing

careers from digital security to firearms.

For more information on WGT Consulting and the training

packages they offer please go to http://www.wgtconsulting.com

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TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS

SIGHTING IN

In the UK we sometimes seem to be all the way “at the back of the bus” when it comes to firearms

and airsoft accessories and although our distributors and retailers do their very best to keep us

up to date with the very latest developments it can take a while for things to reach us. Bill takes a

look at Sightmark, an optics brand that has finally reached our shores!

It was back at SHOT 2009 if memory serves that I first

encountered the Sightmark brand of optics, and from

that day forward I’ve been hoping that someone

would give us proper access to a superb range of

extremely well-priced optics here in the UK!

I was so impressed with what I saw those years ago

that I invested in an original Sightmark Ultra Shot

Reflex Sight straight away; the Sightmark series of

reflex sights even back then were designed to create

a lightweight, yet extremely accurate sight. Not only that but

they were very well priced too, under US$100 in the USA.

The Ultra Shot was Sightmark’s biggest and baddest sight

in the reflex line, and was incredibly lightweight for its size.

The Ultra Shot came with a built-in, integrated rail mount,

which fitted all standard bases, and was able to withstand

even heavy recoil from larger calibres; no problems with

airsoft then… this, with the ability to choose between four

different reticle patterns, made the original Ultra Shot an

unusually versatile sight. With a wider field of view than

most other reflex sights on the market, and a Limited Lifetime

Warranty, the Sightmark Ultra Shot was literally in a class by

itself!

But time moves on inevitably, and although there were some

half-hearted efforts to bring the brand to the UK it was never

made particularly available… until now! Luckily for us Scott

Country International have now taken over distributorship of

Sightmark in the UK

SAY IT LIKE IT IS

“Long hours, harsh weather, dangerous pursuits: it’s all in

a day’s work. You’re devoted to protecting others, so your

equipment needs to work as hard as you do. Whether you’re

in the line of duty, defending your home or serving as a

protector of peace, you can rest assured that accuracy and

quality comes standard in every Sightmark product, giving

you the ability to Make Your Mark®.”

This is what you’ll find quoted on their website and at

Sightmark the goal is to deliver confidence by creating

optics and accessories that every shooter can rely on. They

understand what it takes to prepare and they know that the

hours spent hunched over a shooting bench at the range are

meaningless unless products do their job. From riflescopes

and binoculars to night vision technology and red dots,

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Sightmark is committed in their pursuit of building durable,

accurate optics you can trust.

Founded to meet the changing needs of its customers,

Sightmark was introduced at SHOT Show 2007 in response to

the growing popularity of the “modern” shooting market. The

goal was to provide state-of-the-art optics and accessories to

make the modern sporting rifle, shotgun and pistol as accurate

as possible. In addition, each product was designed for the core

market, enabling shooters to purchase more high quality items

to accessorise their firearm for total performance, whatever

their discipline!

In 2011, a new 33,000 square-foot headquarters was

completed in Mansfield, Texas, combining the company’s

corporate offices and a large warehouse to handle the increase

in sensitive material and technology being produced. The new

facility provided more space for research and development,

production, and distribution of defence-related products.

EYES ON!

Time and technology continue to move on unabated, and

luckily enough for us in the airsoft world, faster communication

means even faster dissemination of information. Now as regular

readers will know I’ve been following the roll-out of some

excellent Cannae Pro tactical gear courtesy of Scott Country

International, and when Paul there spoke to me about their new

brand, Sightmark, he was of course preaching to the converted.

What he sent me to try was a “combo platter” of the very latest

Wolverine FSR 1x28 red-dot sight along with a rather nifty, flip

to the side 3x magnifier, which makes an incredibly versatile

package! Designed for short-range engagements, the Sightmark

Wolverine FSR is specifically built for the AR platform. A digital

switch controls brightness of the 2 MOA red dot reticle with a

28mm objective lens that is specifically engineered for rapid

target acquisition.

The durable FSR model weighs only 349g and is built for a

lifetime of use. Fog proof and nitrogen purged, the Wolverine

family of sights is designed to provide you with the ability to take

TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS

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aim in a variety of conditions and temperatures ranging from

-22 to 122 F. The Wolverine FSR also has an IP67 waterproof

rating and is submersible to three feet.

The 3x Tactical Magnifier Pro offers versatility by increasing

the magnification of both red dot and reflex sights to give greater

range. In one swift motion, the new flip mount design makes

it fast and easy for shooters to increase their magnification for

accompanying sights creating a greater engagement range in

any situation. This durable magnifier has been redesigned to

provide increased eye relief, along with an upgraded rubber

armour housing to give increased durability, providing 3.5

inches of eye relief. The Sightmark 3x Tactical Magnifier Pro is

also EOTech and Aimpoint compatible.

Overall the standard of finish and fit is superb, and the glass

itself is absolutely crystal clear on both optics. The feel of both

models is one of durability, and once rail-mounted they are

locked 100% in place. Now personally I like to run a magnifier

as close to the sighting optic as possible to avoid light ingress

and potential “flare”, and the Sightmark version allows you to

run it really close, a big plus. I also like to have my magnifier

flip to the left so that it’s protected against my body, and once

again this is easily achievable; the flip also means that you can

still run and access “irons” should you need to.

CLEAR AS!

When I need to test optics at a greater distance than my own

30m range allows then I’m lucky to have a longer range just

down the road, and I’ll head on there to use their facilities. My

friend Jon has also been testing some of the optics offered by

Scott Country International so I asked him if he would like to

contribute to this article, and this is what he had to tell me;

“Chatting away with our friends at Scott Country International

I was asked if I’d ever heard of Sightmark.

“Who?” Was my reply.

Paul there went on to explain that they were an optics company

based in Mansfield, Texas and how they produced high quality

optics at very reasonable prices. We were chatting about a

recent event and how well the Thermal Imaging Units they

provided had been received by the attendees; Paul said that

I should try out the Sightmark Ultra and the Pulsar Challenger

Optic combo. With that, the deal was done.

Two days later a very well presented package arrived. The

Sightmark Ultra Shot comes in a very generic looking box with

branding. So far, so samey. The charm is found when you get

through the security seals and remove the lid. Inside you’ll

find a neoprene pouch stitched to the shape of the optic and

zips firmly along the bottom. You’ll also find the quick release

mechanism, adjustment tools, cleaning cloth and instruction

manual. The Pulsar Challenger isn’t quite as exciting, a branded

box, the unit and instruction manual.

On first inspection the Ultra Shot is a weighty but not heavy,

solid well-constructed bit of kit. I have the all black version

but there is a Tactical Tan version. The two simple operational

buttons are on the left side of the optic and comprise of “Power

and Brightness”. Nice and simple. The rear of the unit has the

reticle selector which has a stiff leaver and sturdy “click” feel

when swapping. When activated the brightness levels cover for

all light conditions and are red/green switchable. The reticle is

clear and bright with excellent target marking.

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In NV mode the reticle is clear and crisp with minimal glare

when on low and viewed through the Pulsar Challenger NV

Optic. I thought this was pretty cool; the fact that you can mount

it to a J-Arm and make it helmet compatible is just an added

bonus!

The real selling point for me though was that whilst

chatting with Scott Country, they told me about the “no quibble

warranty”. Essentially, if the lens gets damaged, they’ll replace

or repair. What more could you ask for?

The Pulsar Challenger NV is a Gen 1 optic so not the best

available on the market but it performed really well when

combined with the Sightmark Ultra Shot (mounted to my rifle)

and the pricing of the unit is excellent for those wishing to take

the plunge but not having to remortgage the wife! Once I had

figured out the focus, I was able to hit targets using the inbuilt

IR Light and using an external IR Torch, A perfect set up for

beginners to NV.

I would strongly recommend the Sightmark Ultra Shot. It’s a

solid built bit of kit with a lifetime warranty.”

So there it is in a nutshell! Scott Country International have

shown a great willingness to be involved in bringing in exciting

new products, and thanks to them we in the UK can now access

the entire range from Sightmark. In addition to some keen

prices there’s a whole new brand to explore. Sightmark have

proved globally that they are here to stay and with an upgraded

Lifetime Warranty (designed to “keep you in the field with

products that are built to perform; in the event of a defect in

materials or workmanship, Sightmark will repair or replace your

product immediately.”) choosing one of their optics is a total no

brainer!

In the UK head over to http://scottcountry.co.uk/

sightmark to view the range of products or just visit http://

www.sightmark.com

TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS

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EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X

WILEY X: IN FOCUS

Tactical Optician, Andy B, takes a look at some of the latest airsoft-friendly products from military-grade

eye protection specialists, Wiley X.

As “privateers”, we often imitate the current

trends in the military world, be it the latest

tactical nylon or hardware and, to a lesser

extent, eye protection. The latter is rarely held

up as an item of tactical fashion, unlike the first

two examples but we have a wealth of cutting

edge products that were conspicuous by their

absence only a decade or so ago.

As a callow youth, I cut my teeth in the training world of the

early nineties. Anyone else who recalls this time will recall very

little choice in goggle protection. The products available were

prevalently from the motocross world and had no formal impact

protection rating. We paid our money and took our choice. The

other arena in which I spent a deal of time in the same era

was the military. Of course, there was no eye protection in this

field over and above the goggles issued to armoured vehicle

crewmen. Modern military requirements since the turn of the

century have been the genesis of eye protection as we know

it, driving ever improving products that are designed in the

crucible of warfare. The beauty of these products is that they

are tailor-made to fit the requirements of users by dint of their

origins in the tactical world. Impact protection? Check. Anti-fog?

Yup. Durability? Definitely. Adaptability? Check.

Modern combat has shown us that around 10% of battlefield

injuries are penetrating eye injuries, prevalently from

fragmentation. Although this sort of trauma is rarely fatal in

itself, the immediate effect is to render an individual combatineffective

and the ramifications are usually irreversible sight loss.

30


In the training world, we thankfully don’t usually face the same

fragmentation threat, but the damage inflicted by a detritus

striking the eye can be just as serious. The primary mechanism

of damage though is blunt trauma. The eye is quite resistant

to rupture but hit it hard enough, or in the wrong place and

significant damage can be done to the delicate internal structures.

The results could blind, or cause a long term condition requiring

lifetime drug management. I don’t think that anybody would

consider these risks as acceptable.

So we have a ready-made product base which has been

produced for professional military and law enforcement use,

designed to function under conditions similar to that which we

are exposed to. But let’s look a little closer at the standards used

to certify the protection.

Most military eyewear originates in the USA, so the most

prevalent standards are the ANSI (American National Standards

Institute) Z87.1 and Z87.1+ which will be marked on the product.

Without descending into too much detail, the Z87.1 standard

encompasses impact testing of frame and lenses (a higher

impact test is used for Z87.1+), as well as non-ionising radiation

exposure and corrosive substance testing. Suffice to say that

choosing eye protection that has been tested to a known standard

is sensible but it is wise to know which standard is appropriate

for your needs. If in doubt, ask your local eye care professional;

optometrists are professionally obligated to ensure that your

protection is appropriate for its intended purpose, if they supply

it. In the European Union the comparable standard to look for is

EN166, which shows that impact testing has been carried out to

similar standards to Z87.1 testing.

Eye protection generally can be broken down into two

formats; eye shields and goggles. Goggles of course are a sealed

or partially sealed unit, offering all round protection. The inherent

disadvantage to this arrangement is fogging. The eye shield takes

the form of a visor or spectacles, without the lens edge contacting

the face. Advantages are lighter unobtrusive apparatus, allowing

air flow and better anti fog but gaps in the extreme periphery

are potentially a greater risk. At this point, it’s worth touching on

anti-fog; in my opinion there is no such product as a fog-proof

lens. Every lens fogs in the wrong conditions. There are many

variables including (but not restricted to) how much the wearer

sweats, the dew point, humidity, temperature, wind speed, the

wearing of hats/helmets, the cleanliness of the lens, and so on.

If using an anti-fog preparation, understand its use and apply

according to the instructions.

So, having navigated the wealth of information necessary

to look at eye protection with a critical eye, where should the

prospective buyer start looking? Well, in my humble opinion,

start with a military eye wear provider, who has a wide range of

products that are certified to a minimum of ANSI Z87.1 or Z87.1+.

Wiley X fits the bill admirably.

Wiley X started in Livermore, California, thirty years ago,

manufacturing eye protection and gloves for tactical applications.

Since then they have produced and evolved products that

encompass military and law enforcement, as well as motorbiking,

cycling and leisure activities. Their products remain standard

issue for many organisations and their protective pedigree is

impeccable. Lenses are all high impact polycarbonate which they

call Selenite. These are coated with a scratch resistant layer,

which is normally necessary as polycarbonate being ductile, is

more prone to scratch than normal spectacle lenses. Be warned

before wiping your eye protection lenses on your shirt or trousers!

The lenses also block 100% of UVA and UVB light, irrespective of

tint level. For the purposes of this article, the good folk at Military

1st have kindly supplied Wiley X products for a closer look.

WILEY X NERVE GOGGLE

I chose the Nerve goggle, as it is an excellent illustration of the

evolution from vehicle crew protection to lightweight tactical

protection. First impressions are of a minimalist approach; this

goggle is compact, under 70mm in height at the tallest point.

There is no danger of it getting in the way of helmets as it is shallow

framed, but cleverly a heavily curved lens affords a good field of

view. The strap mounts have vertical and horizontal articulation,

there is a good degree of adjustment in the retention strap (so

wearing over a helmet or face mask is easily accommodated),

and there is an integral dust gaiter on the strap. The lens shows a

Z87.1+ engraving, specifying high impact testing, and the frame

has EN166 marking too; all bases covered here. This particular pair

comes with interchangeable clear and dark lenses, a nylon carry

case and a microfibre cloth. As expected, these lenses pass my

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“fog resistance” test easily; a deep breath and exhale into the

goggle yields no noticeable fogging. Top marks. There are ducts

on the frame brow to promote airflow, and a foam covering

to retard dust ingress. I would advise resisting the temptation

to pull off the foam for better airflow. Dusty lenses will fog up

much quicker than clean ones, so this modification is usually

counterproductive.

WILEY X SPEAR GOGGLE.

The Spear is a solid goggle designed for performance at the

expense of a little bulkier fit than the Nerve, but don’t let that

put you off; it still gives a surprisingly unobtrusive fit. This is to

a great extent due to the customisable Facial Cavity seal that

is proprietary to Wiley X eye protection. This takes the form of

an extra foam & rubber gasket which attaches securely to the

goggle frame. This gives a greater stand off from the face as

well as a hydrophilic foam which wicks sweat away from the

wearer’s face. Additionally, the seal is very effective at keeping

dust and fine contaminants from the inner lens surface and the

wearer’s eyes. As with the Nerve goggle, the strap articulates

easily, the adjustment range is wide enough to accommodate

headgear, and the interchangeable lenses are easy to switch

out. This particular Spear goggle comes with dark, clear and

yellow lenses (all Z87.1+ marked), and an excellent ripstop

waterproof belt pouch that contains the extra lenses and a

microfibre cloth. Despite a bulkier fit than the Nerve, both these

goggles fit comfortably under Night Vision equipment, and the

lenses resist any attempt to fog them by breathing on them.

Impressive.

against the wearer’s face, but this won’t wick moisture away;

saying that, I couldn’t fog the lenses with my breath at all.

The frame is Z87 marked, with a smaller Wiley X engraving on

each lens; important to ensure that the lenses are original and

certified. The frame has an extreme wrap around with helps

it provide good all round protection despite not being a true

goggle. Of course, there is often an element of compromise

in the execution of a hybrid system, and I found that the fit

across the wearer’s nose to be that for me. In the interests of

a lightweight execution, there is no padding around the nose

as the SG-1 is designed to be close fitting. For my somewhat

“Romanesque” nose, I found it a touch uncomfortable. For users

with a more normal nasal profile, I suspect these will fit very

nicely without gaps.

WILEY X SG-1

The SG-1 is a hybrid product; half eye shield, half goggle. It

is easily switched between the two modes by removing the

arms of the frame and substituting them for a goggle strap.

This is a clever bit of lateral thinking, which gives the user two

wear modes. The individual lenses are also easily swapped; this

particular model came with clear and dark ones. Each lens unit

has closed cell foam backing for comfort where it will rest

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WILEY X XL-1 ADVANCED.

The XL-1 Advanced is an outwardly similar frame to the SG-1, but

the difference is that this is purely as an eyeshield frame; there’s

no customisable goggle fit. The frame boasts EN166 and Z.87+

markings, and the lenses have Wiley X + engravings. The arms

have mounting points for a retention lanyard which is supplied, as

well as a microfibre cloth and a hard nylon case. The frame inner

has a closed cell gasket to promote a close fit and comfortable

interface. Despite a similar fixed bridge to the frame across the

nasal area, the fit is significantly comfier for the wearer with a

larger nose, and I had no issues with comfort while wearing the

XL-1. Once more, an aggressively wrapped fit gives a particularly

close fit for an eye shield; it is almost goggle-like in its conformity.

It also has facility to swap lenses like the other eye protection

here, with a trademark tool-less swap easily achieved in the field.

Once again, attempting to fog the lenses by exhaling on them is

futile; Wiley X fog resistant coatings are very impressive.

WILEY X VALOR.

The Valor is an example of what is, for me one of the signature

products of the Wiley X range. This is outwardly a simple spectacle

frame, sunglass-like in appearance. The lenses are engraved, the

frame has EN166 and Z87 markings, but most strikingly these

frames are light. Very light indeed. So light that I had to weigh

them. According to my trusty kitchen scales, the Valor has an all-up

weight of thirty one grammes. Thirty one! Fit-wise, these things

are “wear & forget”, thanks to the weight and a grippy rubber

shoe on the arms, plus, as they are wrapped there are few gaps

peripherally. There’s also a push on lanyard for extra security and

of course, the lenses are changeable in under a minute. The only

small surprise was that the lenses misted under my breathe-on

test unlike the previous examples which all resisted my fogging.

I wouldn’t take this as a deal-breaker at all, as an application of

a good anti-fog product would be all that is needed here. In the

nylon case you’ll find the second set of lenses, lanyard, microfibre

cloth and instructions.

WILEY X GUARD ADVANCED.

The Guard Advanced is very similar in appearance to the VX Valor,

with the exception of having larger lenses which fit deeper. In

common with the Valor is the simple lens swap mechanism,

and lack of bulk. Conformal face fit again gives a close but not

claustrophobic fit. In my opinion there is always a trade-off

between close protective fitting and airflow; I think Wiley X has

it about right here. Once more there are engraved lenses and

Z87 marked frame, and a removable lanyard, but the frame fit is

secure even without this. The depth of the lenses naturally give a

slightly greater degree of protection for my face, but for a smaller

face this may not be necessarily the case. Without a little stand

off from the cheeks, lenses are more prone to fog, so consider

this when choosing. Despite the slightly larger lens, these also

weigh in at an incredible thirty one grammes, I was surprised to

find. As with the Valor, the lenses fogged under breath testing,

so plan on using an anti-fog preparation as a matter of routine. In

all honesty I always carry one in my trouser pocket for any airsoft

outing in any case, so there’s no hardship in this.

In summary, eye protection has evolved in response to the

needs of the primary consumer; the military end user. But we in

the wider spectrum “tactical” world are well placed to benefit

from the fruits of such development. Wiley X eye protection is a

prime example of the modern standard of protection now easily

available to us. Protection is now lightweight, adaptive and more

unobtrusive than ever before. Lens systems are interchangeable,

frames are now following suit and can be modified depending on

need at the point of use. Truly innovative, cutting edge products

that are manufactured to the highest standards have been

brought to the market by Wiley X. Your eyes are irreplaceable.

They deserve the best protection that you can give them.

All these products are available on the Military 1st website:

www.military1st.co.uk Many thanks to Military1st for supplying

the Wiley X products used in this review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andy Bourne BSc, MCOptom, Prof Cert Glauc is also known as the

Tactical Optician. A former reserve forces officer, he works full

time at a large regional eye hospital. This gives him a unique

perspective on the importance of eye protection.

EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X


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FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229

SIG LEGION 229 REVIEW

Often referred to as the “choice of professionals”, SIG Sauer has a highly regarded reputation for

manufacturing accurate and reliable firearms throughout its history. Militaries, Law Enforcement and

civilians around the world depend their lives on SIG products every day and regularly provide feedback

to the company.

Through reviewing this feedback, SIG is well

known to integrate these suggestions into

building better tools for the task at hand such

as tougher all-weather finishes, larger or smaller

controls or even frame modifications to a current

series. This constant evolution was part of the

driving force behind SIG’s new line of products

called the Legion series. Currently consisting of

redesigns of the classic double action semi-auto

226 and 229 models as well as a Single Action Only (SAO)

version of the 226 as well.

At the end of 2017, Trampas reported in PMCI on the Legion

series by SIG Sauer featuring the model 226 and a brief look

at the more compact 229. This time, he’s back to follow up

with a focus on the model 229. Traditionally, the 229 has

been the slightly more concealable option for those issued the

model 226. Sporting a barrel approximately 1” shorter with a

slightly shorter frame while still allowing for the use of the

high capacity 15-round magazines of the larger pistol. Everyone

from undercover Law Enforcement, specialized military units

and law abiding concealed carry citizens have preferred the

ergonomics and clean lines of the model 229 over the past 24

years.

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FIRST LOOK

When first opening the grey plastic SIG branded box, the Legion

229 is buried under a mountain of lawyer proof paperwork,

warnings, user guides and Legion advertising. Once removing

the pistol from the box, it’s very clear this is far from a polymer

striker fired gun most are used to. Using a tradition double

action, hammer fired action the model 229 gives the shooter the

confidence in having a high-quality tool at their disposal.

Holding the SIG Legion 229, the grip felt higher in line

with the barrel via a deeper undercut in the trigger guard than

previous model 229 pistols I have handled. The web of my hand

seated tightly up to a reduced and beautifully contoured beaver

tail that fit into my hand like a glove. The more aggressive

checkering with the Legion pistol offered a much more secure

hold than previous models. The new Legion grips were a nice

departure from standard plastic or wood panels. Constructed from

G10 material, these two-piece grips offered a firm purchase on

the pistol regardless if the gun was wet or if the shooter was

wearing gloves. To top off the grips with a clean and professional

look, a Legion medallion was embedded on each side. From this

grip, I could easily reach the reduced slide release and de-cock

lever to reduce snagging when carried concealed. The entire

frame and slide were finished in SIG’s new proprietary Legion

gray PVD coating to provide the metal protection from the harsh

environments elite operators tend to regularly tread.

CARRY OPTIONS

As with most pistols I receive for review, I decided to carry the

Legion 229 for a month as my daily concealed carry firearm. To do

that, I needed to consider a couple of carry options for personal

use. When I teach on the range and the days I wear my shirts

not tucked in and over my belt, I like to carry on the belt. Other

days, I resort back to a inside the waistband carry with my shirt

tucked over it. Lucky for me, I already had to fantastic rigs ready

to go from two masters of their craft. The on the belt carry was

well taken care of by David Burns of Greystone Leather (www.

greystoneleather.com). When David learned about our upcoming

projects with SIG Sauer’s Legion series, he built a beautiful belt,

magazine carrier and holster combo to contribute. Finished in

black American Alligator, this rig looked like it belonged in a

museum while being tough enough to work a cattle ranch. Being

cut for the SIG 226, the 229 fit like a glove with only the extra 1”

of barrel coverage to spare. The holster combo was too beautiful

to have covered up in public but conceals well under a long shirt tail.

For my fast, on the go inside the waist band holster, I reached

out to my friend and trusted Kydex holster maker, John Phillips

of Survivor Creek Tactical (www.survivorcreek.com). Touted as

Jacksonville, Florida’s “King of Kydex”, John has been providing

customers and our media group top notch custom holsters for

any pistols, knife or accessory imaginable. This rig rides very low

in the waist and can even been worn in a pinch without a belt

thanks to the tight belt clip provided with the holster.

FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229

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FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229

Even with a shorter tailed T-shirt or tucked in polo, the holster

made the SIG 229 disappear to the untrained eyes of the

general public.

229 Factory Specs

• Caliber: 9mm, .357 Sig, or .40 S&W

• Action Type: DA/SA

• Trigger Pull: 10 lbs. DA/ 4.4 lbs. SA

• Overall Length: 7.1”

• Overall Height: 5.4”

• Overall Width: 1.5”

• Barrel Length: 3.9”

• Weight w/Mag: 29.6 oz.

• Mag Capacity: 15 Rounds (9mm), 12 Rounds (.357 SIG), 12

Rounds (.40 S&W)

• Sights: X-Ray Day/Night Sights

RANGE TIME

Over the past three months, the SIG Legion 229 saw a lot of

time on the range at the secret squirrel training facility located

in North Florida referred to as “The Swamp”. Fellow outdoor

writer, Craig Reinolds was on hand to assist in several testing

sessions in which we ran standard accuracy tests, malfunction

drills, combat scenarios to put the Legion the paces. Using the

supplied Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) target ammo and Jacketed

Hollow Point (JHP) ammo both supplied by SIG Ammunition as

well as FMJ ammo sent to us by the great folks at Fancy Brass

Co., the Legion 229 stayed hot and dirty for several long days

on the range throughout the Florida summer.

Coming from a long personal history of using lower profile

sights such as the HK VP9 factory set or the Trijicon HD sights

I run on all my Glocks, the X-ray night sights were learning

curve of about two boxes of ammo. Once I adapted to the

shot placement, I found the SIG night sights to be very fast to

acquire in a wide range of lighting conditions.

These sights were very durable to withstand getting raked off

my belt and boot soles during one hand magazine changes and

injured shooter drills. Over the test period, I became quite fond

of the sights overall.

As a standard for the Legion series, the 229 comes equipped

with SIG Sauer’s SRT system, otherwise known as a short reset

trigger. By decreasing the length and arch of travel, the felt

trigger pull is greatly decreased while still maintaining a pull

of around 10lbs in double action and 4lbs with the following

single action shots. This above any other redesign can increase

a shooter’s performance the most.

For testing, I decided to stick with standard personal defense

distances of 3, 7, 10 and 15 yards working on the draw from

concealment. Using both paper targets up close and moving

36


out to our AR500 steel torso target from Steel Veteran Targets, I

started in close from the draw and low ready. The full-size grip

of the 229 allowed for a solid master grip and clean exit from

the holster onto the target. With the hammer in the decocked

position, my first shot would always be about an inch lower

that the following 2 shots in my 3-shot string of fire. Due to my

extensive personal experience using striker fired pistols daily,

this learning curve lasted for about half of the initial training

day but did not play a factor in following range trips afterwards

to confirm load and accuracy data.

The first series of testing yielded impressive results

using 115 grain full metal jacket target ammo from both SIG

Ammunition and Fancy Brass Co. respectively. This is a very

good thing for me considering the two types of ways I usually

purchase ammo. If I am in need of a couple of boxes of 9mm

ammo for Saturday and today happens to be Thursday, I am

comfortable in running down to my local gun shop or Walmart

and picking up what I need right now. If I have an event a

week or more in the future, I can save a good bit of money by

purchasing in bulk by the 1000-round lots from Fancy Brass Co.

and I know it’s going to be top quality stuff just like the larger

companies.

The final series tested on both paper and steel came with

only about 300 rounds of V-Crown rounds in both 124 grain

and 147 grain JHP from SIG Ammunition. Due to the limited

amount of this ammo, every round was carefully observed

by everyone on the team. The 124 grain JHP was a common

weight and charge for most 9 mm pistols while the 147 gran

JHP is specifically what SIG Sauer states they designed the

Legion series around for optimum performance.

Like the 115 grain target ammo, there was a noticeable snap

of the traditional 9mm round which is very manageable and

accurate with the 124 grain V-Crown. The Legion 229 absorbed

the recoil well and limit the amount of muzzle rise, allowing

for quick sight acquisition and follow up shots. When switching

to the heavier 147 grain V-Crown offering, the pistol seems to

have just a bit more of noticeably softer recoil and muzzle flip.

As far as combat accuracy, I could not find a distinct

advantage in accuracy. This is one avenue I will leave to the

couch commando gun writers with self-professed science

degrees to figure out, as my background is that of a shooter,

not lab tech.

I was very impressed with how tight the pistols locked up

and functioned even after crossing the 800 and 1000 round

marks over the test period. As far as nice, clean groupings

on a one-way flat range, I found the Legion 229 reached full

potential only after the initial 300 – 400 rounds. Free hand, I

could put rounds on top of each other out to around the 10-

yard mark and hold approximately a 2.7-inch group consistently

when I did decide to reach out for a quick 10 round group at 25

yards from a bench rest position.

One feature I did not care for in the redesign of the Legion

series as I mentioned in the previous Legion 226 review was

the reduction of the slide lock and de-cock levers.

While the de-cock lever was manageable and not terrible,

the slide lock was a different story. With most full-size framed

pistols, I start out with a disadvantage of having relatively small

hands, but combined with a slide lock lever reduced so small

you must pull rearward at the same time as depressing the

lever to send the slide forward on an empty magazine. Having

plenty experience with both older models of the 226 and 229,

I can tell you firsthand, this feature is more of a “minus” rather

than “plus”. With gloved or freezing cold hands, a fast one

handed load would be very difficult without striking the slide

off a firm surface.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Over the three-month loan period, over 1200 flawless rounds

were sent through the SIG Legion 229 by current and former

military and law enforcement operators visiting “The Swamp”

training grounds. After the first 400 rounds, I felt the pistol

finally came around to being broke in and running to its full

potential. At no time, did I see any malfunctions other than

one failure to feed due to the shooter not fully inserting the

magazine during a speed reload. Overall, the Legion 229 held

up to the high standards SIG has been known for setting in the

professional industry.

Retailing for US$1349.00, the Legion 229 is priced the same

is its Legion counterparts the 226 and 226 SAO while offering a

wider range of concealability. While the actual over-the-counter

price may be around US$100 less, the cost includes more than

just the pistol, it also buys you into the “cool kid” club titled the

SIG LEGION as mentioned in our previous article. What Sig has

accomplished with this series is much bigger than good looking

and great shooting guns. Sig Sauer is selling a lifestyle.

Much like the American motorcycle icon, Harley Davidson,

the Legion series has drawn people to a multi-product universe

that can only be unlocked by purchasing the featured item.

Over the past 50 years, people have spent just as much money

on Harley related shirts, hats, helmets, jackets, etc. Speaking

as a well experienced Harley lifestyle owner, I can attest to

a period in life where my wife and I would have to purchase

anything Harley from every shop visited while traveling. Once

a customer purchases a Sig Sauer Legion series pistol, they can

either fill out a form included in the gun box or call Sig customer

service and give them the serial number. In return, they are

shipped a complimentary custom Thermo-Mold Legion series

case custom-fit for your specific gun as well a challenge coin

matched to your model pistol. On top of receiving your new

pistol case, you are given an exclusive access code for member

only Legion branded products such as hats, shirts, holsters, and

even cigar humidors!

As for the Legion 229 overall, I not only recommend this

pistol for daily concealed carry, I also feel the 229 would be a

great duty firearm as well. After the loan period expired, this

pistol was purchased by a contractor friend of mine, Reggie,

who was instrumental in his feedback for the

article. Since then, the Legion 229 has become a

daily work tool for him in the discharge of his duties

not to be mentioned in this article. Professionals

with top quality professional tools are the bottom

line and the Legion series is more than ready to

answer the call.

FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229

pmcimagazine.com


pmcimagazine.com

FIREARMS: GLOCK

CREATE THE MODERN COMBAT PISTOL

This time we’re exceptionally pleased to be joined again by

two expert guest contributors as Roger Eckstine and James

Preston, Director of Training for Preston Tactical share with

PMCI some quick Upgrades for Glock handguns by Lone

Wolf Distributing and XS Sights.

The idea of law enforcement professionals

training civilians often means limiting the scope

of methods and protocol that can be shared

with the public. But with the rise of terrorism

and active shooter/active attack events

along with the proliferation of private citizens

licensed to carry, the need to disseminate more

information regarding response, engagement,

trauma care and linking up with police is

becoming imperative.

In the aftermath of the Sutherland, Texas church shootings

requests are pouring in from private groups to formulate plans

of action. Recently, Preston Tactical of East Texas, USA hosted

individuals seeking to form a response team consisting of

churchgoers who also happened to be experienced competitive

shooters. The course of instruction offered many lessons on

decision-making and problem solving during chaotic, violent

attacks with the focus on saving as many lives as possible. One

student arrived with a Glock 17 that had been enhanced with

an over the counter complete lower receiver and night sights.

Carried in a BlackPoint Leather Wing holster the customised

G17 mirrored a rising trend in specialised units and the private

military contractor community. Preston Tactical’s offering of the

Solo Active Attack Response course turned out to be an ideal

proving ground for Lone Wolf’s Timberwolf frame and the latest

night sights from XS Sight Systems.

When it comes to the U.S. and world police handgun markets

Glock pistols are best sellers. Glocks are easily maintained,

the armourer’s course is short and given the small number of

tools and spare parts necessary for repair, field maintenance is

simple. But when it comes to which handguns are considered

for the next great sidearm for the United States military the

name Glock fades into the background. Nevertheless, when it

comes to handguns preferred by specialised units around the

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world deployment of Glock pistols is actually becoming more

prevalent.

There are several reasons why the Glock pistol is making its

mark in replacing other well-known handguns. For example,

tasked with securing the run-up to the 2004 Olympics Greek

special operations including the DYK combat swimmers chose

Glock pistols enhanced with sub-aqua firing pin cups and a

heavier spring kit.

Combat swimmers across the globe favor Glock including the

SBS or Boat Troops of the SAS. Glock’s resistance to water was

highlighted more recently during high water rescues necessitated

by the flooding rains of Hurricane Harvey that lingered over

Houston, Texas in 2017. Law Enforcement worked tirelessly in

high water to rescue citizens and arrest looters. The need for a

duty weapon that would function properly even after extended

exposure to water and muck was essential and the polymer

framed Glocks served with distinction.

Thanks to the war on terror pistols are no longer considered

mere backup to the long gun because handguns can be carried

constantly. The appeal of Glock pistols has increased due to

several factors such as the need for reliability in harsh terrain. The

war in Afghanistan, for example, has fostered a switch to Glock

for several different units including British forces. Those working

in advisory and training capacities have found that employing

the same pistols as those used by indigenous military personnel

has proven invaluable in shortening the learning curve. And

durability, specifically of the 9mm Glock pistols, has been helpful

in allowing personnel to take part in more extensive training

without interruption.

The growing popularity of Glock pistols for military service

has somewhat covertly been reflected in changes made to the

company’s civilian offerings. The Gen 4 Glock pistols feature a

pointed texture that favors the soldier who wears gloves over

the civilian who may carry concealed, inside the waistband for

instance. In what was only an option at first the short framed

“SF” models offered a smaller circumference grip with a shorter

distance from the backstrap to the trigger. The Gen 4 series are

essentially SF pistols with add-on panels that can be applied

to enlarge the grip when so desired. Indeed, the changes to

Glock ergonomics, i.e. how the pistol connects with the hand is

undoubtedly the most significant characteristic in terms of the

evolution of Glock handguns.

Grip reduction is helpful to accommodate shooters with

smaller hands but also to improve grip angle and afford more

variation in how the trigger may be indexed. When it comes to

changing what arrives new-in-box practical shooting competitors

lead the way. Individuals have customized the Glock grip frame

by shaving off the finger grooves, leveling the palm swell,

reducing the overall circumference of the grip, undercutting

the trigger guard, hollowing out the area above the web of the

hand and creating an extended beavertail to increase control

and eliminate slide bite. Not to mention changing the surface

texture by sanding, adding grip tape, or even poking dimples

into the polymer using a soldering iron. All of the above have

proved effective but not after many frames were ruined in the

process or left broken from the forces of repeat fire. Some tried

and true methods have emerged however and the practice of

grip reduction has become a cottage industry for the small time

smith as well as more established gunsmithing houses that

now find themselves servicing Glock owners almost as often as

they do the 1911 enthusiast. The cost of modifying grip contour,

retexturing and adding some measure of beavertail is typically in

the US$150 range plus or minus shipping. It just so happens that

new polymer frames meeting the very specifications shooters

favor most are available from Lone Wolf Distributors for Glock 19,

Glock 17 (and related models) for a list price of US$149.95.

ENHANCEMENT

When it comes to enhancing Glocks for the competitive shooter

Lone Wolf was one of the first players in the game. So instead

of modifying a spare box-stock G17 Gen III pistol a complete

Timberwolf grip frame including all the proper mechanisms that

work below the barrel and slide was chosen for test. Featuring

Lone Wolf’s Ultimate Adjustable Trigger (adjustable for pre-travel

and overtravel) the complete receiver sells for US$249. The trigger

shoe was rendered from 6061 billet aluminum and finished in

satin stainless to match the remaining action components. A

Lone Wolf magwell upgrade (US$59) was added consisting of

FIREARMS: GLOCK

pmcimagazine.com


pmcimagazine.com

FIREARMS: GLOCK

a funnel-like guide machined from anodized aluminum. The

guide mated readily with the grip, held in place by a solid pin.

Trigger shoe and magazine well are available in a number of

colors but it was decided to avoid bling for what was intended

to be a combat pistol.

The stock top end fit smoothly on to the Timberwolf frame

despite offering a tighter fit than the original receiver. Bare

in mind the subject pistol was only about 100 rounds shy of

new-in-box. Trigger pull was set at about 4.8 pounds and

the action was very smooth. The trigger shoe offered large

radiused edges that proved a welcome upgrade. But it was

the smaller circumference and vertical angle of the grip that

made the biggest difference to the shooter. The Timberwolf

frame offered a 3 slot accessory rail that was more usable

than the original underlug. Two sections of backstrap were

provided, one offering a slight palm swell and the other a flat

profile. The enhanced magazine well not only smoothed the

reloading process but offered additional purchase. Comfort and

controllability were vastly improved thanks to the Timberwolf

frame sitting lower in the hand. This was achieved primarily

by extending the back strap higher up into the beavertail. The

extension of the beavertail helped protect the web of the hand

and increase support reducing the amount of time between

shots.

The stock sights were swapped out for a set of F8 night

sights, US$142 from XS Sights of Fort Worth, Texas. The F8

configuration offers increased peripheral vision with a large

tritium dot up front and a smaller single tritium dot located

below the rear notch. The F8 sights are tall enough to look

past a suppressor that might otherwise interfere with vision. In

dim light the desired big-dot-over-small-dot sight picture was

bold and easy to find. Initially the student was concerned the

comparatively open sight picture might be too coarse for fine

accuracy. But by the end of the day the he was able to hit

small steel targets standing unsupported from the 35-yard line

with a full magazine’s worth of ammunition at rapid fire pace.

According to the shooter his breakthrough in controlling

the sights came during one of the more realistic

scenarios that required

engaging a hostage taker

with a headshot. The lesson

was, leave the tritium for

dim light and trust the

notch and post in daylight.

Throughout the life of

the Timberwolf/Glock 17

(standing at about 1900 rounds as of this writing) no stoppages

of any kind have been encountered. The oversized magazine

release still jettisons spent mags with rocket-like projection

without being so large it scrapes the shooter’s palm or releases

magazines by accident. And between the magazine guide,

the beavertail and the flat sided grip the Timberwolf offers

the sensation of wearing the pistol rather than holding it. The

internals still look new and wipe down easily. Slide to frame fit

is without play. Nothing has worked loose and the integrity of

the trigger safety remains sure. The trigger pull continues to

maintain about 4.75 pounds of resistance.

Choosing a Timberwolf frame or complete receiver instead

of a grip reduction process makes a lot of sense from the

standpoint of structural integrity and overall value. If you already

have a Glock tuned to your liking you can simply replace the

polymer grip and get the benefits of a custom reduction with

your desired trigger pull. If you’ve purchased an older Glock out

of service you can bring it up to date or refresh with parts from

Lone Wolf. Or, you can stow the complete lower and keep it as a

spare while transforming your handgun into what is becoming

the modern combat pistol.

James Preston is a Texas Peace Officer who holds a Master

Peace Officer certification and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal

Justice. James currently owns Preston Tactical where he

trains law enforcement, government personnel, and qualified

civilians. Go to www.PrestonTactical.com for details. Roger

Eckstine is author of The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Home

Defense, The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Knives and Watch Your

Back, How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life.

www.Skyhorsepublishing.com

40


pmcimagazine.com

KNIVES: SHADOW XL / SCAR BLADES

SHADOW XL /SCAR BLADES

The knife industry seems to be overflowing with blades falsely marketed as “tactical” with pricing ranging

from that of a fast food meal to the cost of a new gun. Sadly, a lot of real world users are easily misled into

purchasing an over priced inferior knife through clever marketing. Over the years, Trampas has tested and

reviewed box after box of custom and production blades with only a handful of true, fighting knives earning

their way into his “tool box”.

Last year, I came across a company by the name of

SCAR Blades while surfing knife related pages on

Facebook (social media can actually be helpful at

times!). Images of unique and thought-provoking

blades led me to read the personal story of two

brothers, Casey and Shane Radford, growing up

in the Rocky Mountains with a dream of building

everlasting, tough, and rugged blades for real

world users, this was a good way to catch my

attention. With over 22 years of combined experience between

the two brothers making knives based on feedback from

military, LE and contractors worldwide, I decided to learn more

by reaching out to them. Inside of a day, I was conversing with

co-owner Casey Radford, emailing back and forth ideas for test

and evaluation. After a few days, it was decided the best place

to start a blade review for PMCI Magazine would be with their

Shadow XL fighting knife.

In doing a bit of research on SCAR Blades before the T&E

sample arrived, I learned their knives are typically built with a

full tang construction and are made from high grade U.S. steel,

heat treated for hardness only along the sharpened edge.

According to their website, this process creates a Rockwell

42


hardness of 57 to 58, while leaving the spine of the blade a

touch softer to absorb the stresses of high impact. The blades are

finished with a textured powder coat or Gun Kote and comes with

a non-slip phenolic (micarta) handle which provides the user

with a sure grip. SCAR Blades are built with the intent to survive

and serve in the field no matter how harsh the conditions.

Within a few weeks after my last discussion with Casey, a

package arrived from SCAR Blades. When I opened the box, there

was a sleek medium sized combat knife sheathed in Kydex. I was

assured this was the blade I was expecting when I saw “Shadow

XL” printed on the side of the brown canvas micarta grip. The

Kydex sheath was slotted along the sides for lashing to any gear

or Molle available and had a Blade Tec Tec-Lok belt clip securely

affixed via a single screw. The more I worked with this set up,

the more useful positions I found to carry the knife. Ultimately, I

switched the Tec-Lok out for a pair of Molle clips to mount onto

the battle belt I use for training.

When I gripped the knife to remove it from the sheath, I

noticed it seemed to melt into the contour of my hand. My first

thought was, this would disappear in much larger hands but fits

as if it was made specifically for my size. I can see this knife

serving as a concealed carry knife very easily in non-permissive

environments where operators were reduced to either no firearms

or at least very limited options such as a handgun.

As the blade was unsheathed, I noticed the flat black /

gray coating on the blade matched well with the grip color and

offered a well-protected non-glare surface. My thumb naturally

fell perfectly on the raised 3/16” spine of the blade and dug

into the serrations to give it great purchase and control over the

blade. This eliminated any concern I may have had about the

lack of a large defined guard of some more traditional styles. My

eyes immediately went to the wicked looking blade point and

the wonderfully aggressive top edge leading away from the tip

to form an offset dagger-like geometry. With a 4.5” razor sharp

edge, the top of the blade boasts almost a full 3” of secondary

razor sharpness for close in work on the backswing or stab.

With an overall length of 9.5” and a full tang design, the blade

felt well-balanced in my hand even when employing a reverse

grip technique. I wish there was a bit more length on the dull

pointed rear bolster to give more protruding area for striking. The

lanyard hole seemed to fit slightly under the ridge of my palm

when gripping with a 550 paracord lanyard but did allow for me

to keep the blade secure in my hand when slicing and especially

stabbing through a rack of beef ribs while testing. The 1095 High

Carbon construction give the knife a good feeling weight and

made for re-sharpening the edge easy to do without having to

have a professional do it for me.

If I had to pick a point of concern with the construction of the

knife, it would only be with the screw placement on the grip. The

hole drilled for the screw closest to the blade happens to be in

the exact narrowest part of the handle’s construction. IF this was

a blade designed for chopping or a lot of torque on the handle,

I could see this as a breaking point for a very well-built knife. To

combat this concern, I will say this: if you purchase this blade

to do a lot of heavy chopping or prying open creates, you have

totally missed the specific purpose of this knife’s design. Getting

to brass tacks and being frank, this blade is meant for one thing

and one thing only, helping evil souls shuffle themselves away

from their mortal coils.

Overall, the Shadow XL performed well during the several

months of carrying it as part of my daily range equipment serving

to open boxes, trim targets, pry staples out of the wooden

barriers. In addition to range duty, the knife was used as my EDC

blade used for practicing knife fighting skills with posts, raw meat

and cardboard dummies. The edge held up very well and always

remained controllable and quick handling.

Retailing for US$199.95, the design isn’t over built or too bulky

for quick, decisive movements. For those who may think that is

pricey for a knife, consider this isn’t a bulk stamped production

blade, each one of SCAR’s knives are hand ground and will not

interchange sheaths like production retail blades. In that context,

good luck finding this quality for under US$200. The overall look

of the knife is deadly to the trained eye. But, those not as familiar

with blades it’s not as intimidating as the company’s other

designs such as the larger Big Bear or the menacing Archangel

with it’s tri-bladed design. To find the SCAR Blade knife that make

fit your need or lifestyle, check out their awesome line up at

www.ScarBlades.com.

KNIVES: SHADOW XL / SCAR BLADES

pmcimagazine.com


pmcimagazine.com

TECH: TRACKING DEVICES

TRACKING DEVICES

Sometimes the greatest learning can come from a disaster! You’re forced by circumstances to sit up and take

notice or action. In an ideal world, it would be better to learn from others’ mistakes, but life doesn’t always

work that way! Industry veteran Rupert G tells us more…

W

hen I began working for myself I put

a memo on my phone to back up my

hard drives at the end of every week.

I did it once (felt smug) and then

the reminder just became another

annoying “buzz” in my pocket which

I came to ignore, until down the line

and “Bang” an electric surge went

through my hard drive. The cold sweat

crept down my neck as I did the maths and I realised that this

disaster wasn’t going to be measured in months but a few

years. When I took it to the computer guy he sagely nodded

and said “Well sir, you’re not alone, it happens to most people

only once”. Very helpful, thanks.

Years later (and a bit wiser) I was chatting with a client on

a pleasant sunny afternoon, cups of tea in hand. Not far off

his staff were being shouted at at a vehicle check point at the

culmination of a HEAT course. The Arab Spring was ongoing and

stories were circulating that one or two crisis responders had

been caught out when they couldn’t get their clients staff out

of Libya.

The result had been red faces and some very annoyed

clients whose staff had been left stranded.

My client asked me if we had an Ops Room full of serious looking

ex-soldiers (like some scene from a Jason Bourne movie) who

were just waiting to kick into action once one of his team got

into a sticky situation. I replied “No, we concentrate on the

situational awareness side of the training. But I can certainly

recommend a couple of very good companies that I like and

who have watched over me when I was overseas”.

I confess in the past I had always been a bit dubious about

how useful tracking gadgets and ops rooms were. After all,

even if you knew where your charges were last seen or heard

from, what practical use was it to you half way around the

world looking at a screen. Was travel tracking just a case of the

Emperor’s New Clothes, which we all went along with because

the alternative was to admit (to our client) that there was

precious little we can do in certain situations. If we had done,

they probably wouldn’t have been our clients for much longer.

So I decided to look into some of the gadgets responders

recommend and people buy as well as how useful they are.

It must be said that tracking devices in isolation are not

the silver bullet that some clients think or wish to believe they

are. To be of any real use to the traveller they first need to

get some professional advice as to what’s right for them. They

need to be tested and used in conjunction with other platforms

to support the traveller.

44


aI did some consulting for an organisation sending their staff to

work in a dodgy part of the world. I was tasked with briefing the

team before they travelled to the site, conduct some First Aid and

Security training, look at their plans and contingencies and advise

them on the next steps.

I set off from Heathrow at some ungodly hour of the morning,

three flights and a twelve-hour mountainous drive later I dropped

my grip in the foyer of the office. Only to discover that they had

grown impatient (keen to win favour with and impress the pushy

boss) and had gone ahead a week earlier and were now missing

and uncontactable.

There had been a contingency plan but it had more holes than

a sieve and was worthless. The leader had insisted they push

further on past their stated objective, he had browbeaten the

younger members who had little appetite (despite being scared)

for making an enemy of him so early in their careers with the

company.

It didn’t end well for the team or the company sadly. Sifting

through the evidence later I found the packaging and instruction

booklets of the sat phones along with half the phones in the foot

well of the car they’d used. The handsets weren’t charged and I

suspected the staff didn’t know how to use them anyway. Later

one of the staff confidently told me that they’d not taken them

because they wouldn’t have worked anyway in the cloud.

It must be partly our responsibility if we recommend or provide

these devices, that our clients know how to use them and are

clear about their capabilities and limitations. We don’t want

them thinking that they can just press the button and seconds

later will feel that hot avgas down draught of a helicopter as Seal

Team Six fast rope in to rescue them.

So, what kind of devices do people go for?

PEARL POCKET BUDDY

One of the most commonly used personal trackers is the Pearl

Pocket Buddy. Mercifully it is very easy to set up for an individual

traveller, and has an astonishing number of features for such

a small device. With current GPS wizardry inside it’s sleek

lightweight shell it can lay a bread crumb trail refreshed every

minute and is accurate down to 5 metres.

It can Geo fence your route so if you have approved routes

or indeed out of bounds areas, your monitoring station will be

alerted if your colleagues stray in to one of these areas.

If your team are unfamiliar with their surroundings, their driver

didn’t listen to the brief or if something more sinister happens the

Ops room will know. The alert can be followed up with a phone

call or message which will enable the response team to escalate

their actions until you’re located.

Pocket Buddy has an internal motion sensor, triggered if you

fall over suddenly or stop abruptly (in an RTC or an ambush) in

which case a message will be sent to the Ops Room. A covert one

button alert so you can activate it without any tell-tale beeps. In

some cases it might be more sensible/useful to alert someone

locally rather than in London on New York, so Pocket Buddy has

4 reprogrammable phone numbers so you can choose who you

alert. Unlike a bulky phone or GPS you can secrete it about your

person if abducted or subject to a brief or long detention.

Should the worst happen and you press for help, the response

team will be immediately furnished with your name, number,

date, time and Lat/Long co-ordinates. All of which is vital

information that they can utilise to start the search. You can just

imagine how difficult it would be without this head start.

IN REACH SE

Holding it in the palm of your hand

the InReach SE feels a lot like a cross

between a classic handheld GPS and

a mobile phone, but with the addition

of a stubby antenna on the top. Like

the smaller Pocket Buddy it has a 4

day battery life but also comes with

all the cool functionality of a phone

and GPS. Users can send and receive

160-character messages and even

access Twitter (a must for Donald

Trump when he’s travelling).

It has that all important one

button alert that will immediately

send your coordinates along with the

time and date and your name to your

responder. But you’ll also be able

to take the call that will follow an

activation just in case you’ve pressed it in your pocket by mistake

and want to stand down the response.

I have heard of very expensive call outs where skimountaineers

(safely back at their desks in the city) who have

had their beacons accidentally activated in their homes by

luggage being moved around and a knock on the door of their

homes in the small hours with a puzzled responder who was

none to pleased and a follow up bill. Which probably made the

eyes water.

IRIDIUM GO

If you’d prefer to just take your smart phone and don’t want a

daysack full of additional handsets and chargers, you could add to

its capability by turning it into a satellite phone. The Iridium Go

is a sturdy no nonsense device which is ruggedized to a military

specification and water resistant to Ingress Protection (IP65).

Simply flip open the antenna, pop it on the dashboard, balcony,

rock or roof, turn it on and wherever you are (providing it can see

the sky and you’re not at the bottom of a well) it will connect

to Iridium’s network of 66 Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites,

TECH: TRACKING DEVICES

pmcimagazine.com


pmcimagazine.com

allowing you to connect all your devices to the outside world as

if you were sitting at your desk.

TECH: TRACKING DEVICES

IRIDIUM 9575 EXTREME

Or you could just go for a good old-fashioned satellite phone,

like the 9575 Extreme which is in fact not in the least bit old

fashioned. Weighing only 247g it is fully programmable to your

spec and can be transformed with an extra device into a Wi-Fi

hotspot as long as you’re within sight of the aforementioned

LEO satellites. The 9575 with its breadcrumb trail tracker and

emergency button, is the all singing all dancing data, sms and

voice solution for a traveller that’s not on too tight a budget.

Tracking devices such as the ones we’ve looked at are

essential tools if your teams are going to areas where they

need to stay connected, but only if your staff are trained in their

use. If the devices are looked after, if they are accompanied

by a fully supported web based travel safety system, a set of

realistic protocols and procedures which are adhered to by

the staff on the ground and of course supported by the stay

behind team. And all of this requires work, effort, planning

and money.

YOU CAN: CHARGE

CAMERAS IPHONES

& SMARTPHONES

GPS TWO-WAY

RADIOS AND MORE

This is power without boundaries.

When your batteries fade or you

find yourself way off-grid, the award

winning powermonkey extreme gives

your devices the power to keep on

going. With Powertraveller, you can

at www.powertraveller.com

Sometimes the greatest learning can come from a disaster,

just make sure you learn from someone else’s and it isn’t them

learning from yours.

Rupert and HASP Training run bespoke travel safety courses

for a variety of clients including charities, TV production

companies and one of world’s most successful advertising

agencies. HASP staff are all ex-British soldiers who have taught

throughout the world; for more information please visit www.

hasptraining.co.uk.

46

iPad,

iPhone and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc.,

registered in the U.S. and other countries


pmcimagazine.com

SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES

GROUND COMBATIVES 2

In the last issue of PMCI Andy took a look at the standard Prone position that is commonly taught in most

tactical firearms schools, military and law enforcement programs. Although the prone position is a valid part

of all tactical situational training, there may come a time that you find yourself on the deck and on your back!

If you do find yourself on your back, training in the

standard prone position will be of little, if no help at

all. You may not have the time or even the ability

to orientate yourself into the prone position if you

have been knocked down or even injured. So what’s

the solution? Train to fight whilst on your back.

This is by no means a new method of

training. Fighting whilst on your back is known as the

Supine position. It’s taught in many establishments

around the world but mainly only as an advance method of

training. One of the main reasons to find oneself flat on your

back is in the event of being knocked down. This could be that

you have been struck by in coming rounds, stumbled or fallen,

maybe even beaten to the ground by your adversaries. In any

event finding yourself in the Supine position is no bad thing.

Not if you have trained for it that is…

Like all shooting positions, we need to think safety. Not

just for our own survival but for the safety of others around us.

In almost all other shooting positions the safest direction for

your muzzle is either directly at the intended target or directly

at “Mother Earth”. Whilst in the standard prone position you

can safely point the muzzle at the ground, however in the

Supine position your important body parts tend to get in the

way. So where is the safest direction when in the Supine

position? Well in all honesty either your holster or pointing

at the ground directly by your side. There is no safe position

when in the Supine position. We can use safety positions such

as position SUL whilst standing or kneeling, but being on

your back makes this impossible. The safest answer is to rest

the gun by your side or adopt an upright seated position and

have the muzzle of your weapon point at the ground out past

and between the legs. Caution must be maintained here as it

is all too easy to sweep the legs and groin area. Not a good

thing to do.

48


Shooting in a seated upright position is relatively easy, but

then this is not fighting while on your back. Supine warrants you

to adopt a sit-up or crunches type position whilst shooting. This

can really give your abs a massive workout if it is something that

you are practicing many times on the range. So be sure to do

your fair share of crunches next time you visit the gym. When

laying on your back, if your handgun is still in its holster drawing

is simple. Just draw as you would in a standing position. You will

find, however, that you are slightly restricted around the elbow as

you lift the handgun from the holster. To overcome this problem,

roll slightly to the support side to enable you to control the draw.

Bring your support hand up and place it onto your strong side

shoulder, as you roll, to keep it well out of the way of the muzzle.

Once the weapon is clear of the holster and being driven towards

your intended target, the support hand can then play catch up

and form a two handed grip on the weapon. As the handgun

clears the holster you must be aware of where your feet and legs

are in relation to your muzzle. It is at this stage that you are most

likely to injure yourself.

Once the gun has been pushed towards the target it is

imperative that you know all of your body parts, legs and feet,

are out of the way. To aid stability, bringing your knees up

and feet towards your torso, will be a much more comfortable

position to shoot from. The problem here is making sure that

you do not sweep the feet or legs if you decide and need to

shoot at a secondary target in a different location . During a high

stress encounter with plenty of noise, adrenaline and confusion,

it’s easy to forget where your legs and feet are in relation to your

defensive shooting position. This is where training comes in. We

can all shoot from the Supine position when the target is to the

front. Simply sit forwards with your legs wide apart and your

knees bent, feet pointing outwardly. This position will give you

maximum clearance of any body part. The problem arises when

we need to change our shooting angle or direction.

THREE GOOD WAYS

There are three ways in which we can do this.

• Firstly we can simply move our feet to spin round, on our

backside, to re-orientate our position. This will enable us to shoot

in a forward facing direction. This must be done with maximum

muzzle discipline in mind. Changing direction in this manner will

mean possibly sweeping unknown territory with the muzzle.

Also your legs and feet are moving, putting them at risk of being

shot. We have already established that the safest direction for

the muzzle is Mother Earth, but in this case pointing the muzzle

in that direction will cause all sorts of tactical problems. Pointing

the muzzle up, towards the sky, as you turn is a more desirable

safe direction. Remember that your finger should be well away

from the trigger when the weapon is not pointing at the target.

• Secondly we can roll to either the strong side or support side

and engage the threat from that position. In doing so, again we

need to consider muzzle direction in relation to our own body.

Using the rolling method, assuming we have been shooting to

the front, we can maintain muzzle discipline in two ways. Either

extend the leg and drop the knee, the same side as we are rolling

to, and bring the muzzle over the leg as you roll, or point the

muzzle to the sky as you roll. When you are in position you will

find that you are now in an unstable position to be shooting from.

This can be avoided by bringing a single knee up to aid stability.

• Thirdly, if shooting no more than 45 degrees to the left or

right of your front orientated position, then you can simply roll

towards the target while rolling the same side knee towards the

ground. This will put you in a stable firing position and maintain

muzzle discipline at the same time.

No matter what direction you shoot from in the supine position,

the danger always remains where your muzzle and body are

concerned. A high stress environment and an adrenaline fuelled

combat situation will always produce dangers to oneself from

your own gun. Training in this type of situation calls for total focus

to ensure that you perform to your maximum, ensuring your own

safety, and the safety of those that you are protecting when the

lead starts coming your way.

SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES

pmcimagazine.com


Advanced Security Protection

http://www.advancedsecurityprotection.com/

AKE Group

http://www.akegroup.com/

Ambrey Risk

http://www.ambreyrisk.com

Antipirates.Org

http://www.antipirates.org/

APPDS

http://www.appds.co.uk/

Aquatic Marine Ltd

http://www.aquaticmarineltd.com

Protect Asia Group

http://www.protectasia.com/

Secopex

http://www.secopex.com/

Aspida

http://www.aspida.org/

Associated Risk Maritime Risk Management

http://www.associated-risks.com

Bancroft Maritime Security Solutions

http://www.maritimesecuritysolutions.co.uk

Bechtel Corporation

http://www.bechtel.com/

Black Pearl

http://www.blackpearlmaritimesecurity.com/

Blackstone Consultancy

http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com;

Blue Hackle

http://www.bluehackle.com/

Blue Waters Partners Global

http://www.preparedex.com/

BP Global

http://www.bp.com/

Britam Defence

http://www.britamdefence.com/

British Maritime Solutions

http://britishmaritimesolutions.com

BW Offshore

http://www.bwoffshore.com/

Calibre International Security

http://www.calibre-international.com/

Chilport

http://www.chilport.co.uk/

Chiron Resources

http://www.chironresources.com

Clearwater Special Projects

http://www.bodyguarding.co.uk/

Control Risks

http://www.control-risks.com

Decatur Maritime Security

http://www.decaturms.com/

50


Drum Cussac

http://www.drum-cussac.com/Index.aspx

Dryad Maritime

http://www.dryadmaritime.com/

Edinburgh International

http://www.edinburghint.com/home/

Elite Maritime Protection Services

http://www.elitemaritimeprotection.com

EOS Risk Management

https://www.eosrisk.com/

Erus Maritime

http://www.erusrisk.com

Espada

http://www.espadaservices.com

Ex Military Recruitment

https://www.exmil.co.uk

Exploration Logistics Group

http://www.frontiermedex.com/

G4S Maritime

http://www.g4s.uk.com

Genesis Security Group

http://genesissecurity.com/

Global Executive Outreach

http://www.geo-ops.com/

Global Risk Security

http://www.globalrisksecurity.

co.uk/

Global Solace

http://www.solaceglobal.com/

Global Strategies Group

http://www.globalgroup.com/

Grail Security

http://www.grail.co.za

Halliburton

http://www.halliburton.com/en-USage

Halogen Security

http://www.halogensecurity.com/

Hart Maritime

http://www.hartsecurity.com

Hill & Associates

http://www.hillassoc.com

HP TerraMarine International

http://www.hpterramarine.com/

Hudson Trident

http://hudsonanalytix.com

ICTS

http://www.icts.co.uk

IMSA Ltd

http://www.imsaltd.com/

International Executive Recruiting

http://www.iernetwork.com

International Maritime Security

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk

International Maritime Security

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/

International Security Network

http://www.isn.eu.com

ISC Gulf

http://www.iscgulf.com/

ISSG Sea Marshalls

http://www.issg-seamarshals.com/


Janusian Risk Advisory Group

http://www.riskadvisory.net/

Kroll

http://www.kroll.com/

Longmoor Group

http://www.longmoor-security.com

Lotus Maritime Security

http://www.lotusmaritime.com

Lotus Projects

http://www.lpyemen.com

Maersk

http://www.maersk.com/pages/default.aspx

Magregor Protection Services

http://macgregorprotectionservices.com

MTResolution

http://www.mtresolution.com/

MUSC

http://www.sps-global.com

Naval Guards

http://www.navalguards.com

Neptune Security

http://www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com/

NNK Group

https://www.nnkcorporation.com

NYA International

http://www.nyainternational.com

Ocean Marshalls

http://www.oceanmarshalls.com

March Security

www.marchsecurity.com

Maritime Risk International

http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/

Marsec

http://www.marsec.eu.com

MAST

http://www.mast-commercial.com

McRoberts Maritime Security

http://www.mcrobertsmaritime.com/

Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre

http://www.mmwc.org/

Minimal Risk

http://www.minimalrisk.co.uk/

MSS

http://www.mss-uk.com

Ocean Protective Services

http://oceanprotectionservices.com

Oceaneering International

http://www.oceaneering.com/

Olchon

http://www.olchon.co.uk/

Olive Group

http://www.olivegroup.com/

Orchid Security

http://www.orchid-office.com/

Oxberry Risk Strategies

http://www.oxberryrisk.com/maritime_services

Pilgrim Group

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com

Pilgrim Security

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com

52


Pistris

http://www.pistris.com/Index.html

Protect Asia Group

http://www.protectasia.com/

PVI Ltd

http://www.pviltd.com/

Raven Special Projects Ltd

http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com

Red Cell Security

http://www.redcellsecurity.co.uk

Redfour-MSS

http://www.redfour-group.com

Saladin Security Group

http://www.saladin-security.com/

Saladin Security

http://www.saladin-security.com/

Salama Fikira

http://www.salamafikira.com/

SMS

www.specialistmarineservices.com

Tor International

http://www.torinternational.com/

Trojan Securities International

http://www.trojansecurities.com/

Orchid Security

http://www.orchid-office.com/

Blackstone Consultancy

http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com/

Pilgrim Group

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com/

Maritime Risk International

http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/

International Maritime Security

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/

Raven Special Projects Ltd

http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com/

Salamanca Risk Management

http://www.salamancarm.com

Sea Marshalls Ltd UK

http://www.seamarshals.com

SEAL

http://www.sealsecurity.com/

Securescot

http://www.securescot.com

Securewest International

http://www.securewest.com/

Security Networking Events

http://snespecialprojects.com/

Security Networking Events

http://snespecialprojects.com/

Securoquest

http://www.securoquest.co.za

Shield Risk Consulting

http://www.shield.eu/services/maritime-security/

Shipguard

http://www.mss-uk.com

SMS

www.specialistmarineservices.com

SPS

http://www.sps-global.com

Tactical Intel

http://www.tacticalintel.com/

Thalassic

http://www.thalassic.co.uk/

Tor International

http://www.torinternational.com/

Torcuss

http://www.torcuss.co.za/

Triskle TSL

http://www.triskelservices.com

Triton Security

http://www.tritoninternationalltd.com

Trojan Securities

http://www.trojansecurities.com

Veritas International

http://www.veritas-international.com/


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