PMCI - March - 2020

2020 has definitely started with all boots on the ground as the entire PMCI team made their way to SHOT Show to check out the latest and greatest at the biggest shooting show on the planet, and you can read the report in this issue! We've also got to grips with the SIG M400, the rather special Spartan Harsey Dagger, and the latest 6mm gas training "AR" from VFC, so whatever your "tool of choice", you can read about it in PMCI!

2020 has definitely started with all boots on the ground as the entire PMCI team made their way to SHOT Show to check out the latest and greatest at the biggest shooting show on the planet, and you can read the report in this issue! We've also got to grips with the SIG M400, the rather special Spartan Harsey Dagger, and the latest 6mm gas training "AR" from VFC, so whatever your "tool of choice", you can read about it in PMCI!


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Copyright © Calibre Publishing 2020. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval

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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/

Deadshot Design

Publisher: Nigel Streeter

Cover pic: SMG

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SHOT 2020







The acronym SHOT stands for Shooting, Hunting,

Outdoor Trade. This show is the one week of the

year where just about every firearm, ammunition,

and gear company in the global industry shows up

to display their wares over five days of festivities

and excitement. This event includes an exclusive

“Invitation Only” range day that is held at the

Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club on Monday to get

the week started with literally a “BANG”. Range Day

is followed by four days of static displays held inside

the immense Sands Convention Center inside of the beautiful

Venetian Resort and Casino. This year’s show featured over 2,600

separate exhibit booths taking up an area roughly equivalent to

11 football fields of space. If an individual attempted to visit every

single booth during the four days that the show floor is open, they

would only be able to stop at each booth for a total of 22 seconds

to be able to cover the entire event! This year, like every year in

the history of this publication, the PMCI team was there with boots

on the ground to cover the week’s events. We are privileged to

bring you, the readers, the highlights in this article.

SHOT 2020



6SHOT 2020



As most of the readership of PMCI

is already aware, the Swanson

Media Group proudly makes up

the North American contingent

of the PMCI staff. This year’s

team consisted of SMG Managing

Editor Trampas Swanson, Deputy

Editor Clint Steele, Photographers

Victoria Perez, and Mitch Holloway.

We had to honor to be joined

during the event by PMCI’s UKbased

Management team of

Publisher Nigel Streeter and Editor

Bill Thomas. With the band all

together, it was time to take on



Prior to the start of the SHOT Show events, members of the

Swanson Media Group had the opportunity to represent their

sister company, Swanson Training Group (STG). Instructors,

Trampas Swanson and Clint Steele were invited to present the

USCCA’s Countering the Mass Shooter Threat class on the Sunday

at a local Las Vegas training center prior to Range Day. This eighthour

course focuses on countering the false political narratives

surrounding such events as well as some simple, yet effective

methods to mitigate such tragedies. This training package

was presented to a small group of local Las Vegas security

professionals, firearms trainers, and 2nd Amendment advocates.

While this added to the week’s workload, it did manage

to set the tone perfectly for our writers to get focused on the

mission ahead!


The next morning would start just before 0700 HRS as the

members of the PMCI team loaded up and made the 30-minute

drive to the range in Boulder City for the day. Since this year’s

team was smaller than it has been in the past, we decided to

stick together to cover the 1.2-mile wide event. Before getting

started, the group took a few minutes to have a brief team

huddle to remind everyone to be safe and focus on the task at hand.

Over the next eight hours, the team got hands-on with some

of the latest and greatest weapons and ammunitions that the

firearms community had to offer for 2020. Test firing several

new models of handguns, suppressors, full-auto machine guns

and even went long-range, shooting some sniper rifles out to

about 800 meters. Take it from a one very proud Deputy Editor,

the PMCI team really impressed the vendors with their depth of

knowledge and skillsets when handling firearms. When it came

time to recharge the batteries the team managed to grab a bite

to eat from some of the best food trucks in the Las Vegas area.

Highlights from the day included getting up close and personal

with Diamondback Firearms’ latest innovation. The DBX57, this

“carbine-style” pistol is chambered in 5.7x28mm. At an overall

length of 25 inches with the brace extended and weighing in at

a minuscule 3.7 pounds, this pistol just screams truck gun or the

perfect companion while on a low-profile protection mission.

Since we are discussing the 5.7x28mm chambering, another

highlight of range day was the chance to check out Ruger’s new

offering in the same caliber. The Ruger 5.7 pistol was everything

we hoped it would be. When asked to compare the Ruger 5.7 to

the OG of the 5.7 world, the FN 5.7. Trampas made the comment

that comparing the grip surface of the Ruger to the FN was like

comparing the grips of a 1911 to that of a Glock 21. The Ruger

variant was slimmer and more accommodating versus a bulky and

boxy feel of the FN variant in the hand. Other standouts of the

day included the new Glock model 44 chambered in .22LR and

another Ruger product, the Lite Rack LCP II also in .22LR. Stay

tuned to future issues of PMCI for in-depth reviews by the PMCI

team in the coming months.


With Range day over, the real work began for the team.

Throughout the SHOT Show floor, attendees could walk through

the vendor booths looking at tremendous displays of firearms and

accessories. This provided them with an opportunity to conduct

“hands-on” inspections and discuss the products with industry

representatives. Some of the products would be available the

week of the show, others would be available at some point in the

coming weeks or months. Some you could even find currently on

the shelves of your local store. Others, it would take mountains of

paperwork and even bigger piles of cash to purchase.

One of the most impressive events of the week took place

on Wednesday when the one-day New Vendors Showcase was

opened. This event took place on the 5th floor of the convention

center and as the name implies was only open to vendors,

who had never shown at the show before. This showcase had

a different feel from the rest of the event. Most of the time at

SHOT, the vendors are a bit standoffish, now that is in no way to

insinuate that they are rude, they just tend to stay in their booths

and only engage folks who walk up and start conversations with

them. The New Vendors Showcase, on the other hand, had the

feel of a county fair or local bazaar. These vendors only had one

day to make connections that could benefit their company and its

products for the rest of the entire year. These eager vendors were

engaging as soon as you came close to their spaces.

One such new vendor that immediately struck up a

conversation with me was Elle Rueger of Soledier Socks. This

company was founded a little over two years ago, after talking

with a family friend who had just returned from a deployment

overseas. This friend explained how the socks that people sent in

care packages were true godsends. Items that not only brightened

the soldier’s days but, helped them to remain effective while

conducting operations. What came about from that conversation

was the idea for Soledier Socks. When a customer purchases a

pair of Soledier Socks, a pair of specially designed “Thomas” socks

are delivered to an active-duty soldier in the U.S. military. When I

explained to Elle that I had been an Infantry soldier myself and I

understood just what a pair of good socks can mean, she handed

me a pair of the “Thomas” socks with an invitation to give them a

try for myself. Well, I can tell you right here and now that the last

day at SHOT, when my feet were at their worst. Those “Thomas”

socks were just what the doctor ordered and helped me to finish

the week strong. If you’re interested in helping a worthy cause

and getting yourself a pair of awesome socks at the same time.

Check out www.solediersocks.com you won’t regret it.

SHOT 2020



8SHOT 2020

vAnother of the exhibitors at the New Vendor Showcase that

caught my eye were the folks at the Zeta6 booth. The folks over

at Zeta6 have reimagined the speed stripes for the J-frame sized

revolvers. Their new J-Clip and J-Strip are low-cost, polyurethane

speed loaders with the holes spaced correctly and are designed

to fit all the popular J-frame sized revolvers regardless of

manufacture. I am really looking forward to giving our test

samples a run and will be reporting back to you the readers of

PMCI in the coming months on how they are working out for us.

You can learn more about Zeta6’s products at www.zetasix.com

In wrapping up the new vendor’s area, the team discovered

what may be one of the hottest new items in the magazine

reloading industry. We were greeted by a company by the

name of American Speedloader. As we have seen in many of

our classes taught over the years and through our volunteer

work with the national not-for-profit, The Well Armed Woman

org., many shooters often have a hard time loading magazines

for their semi-auto handguns. Whether its stiff springs in a

new magazine, physical disabilities or simply a lack of applied

muscle groups, the task of loading round after round individually

into their magazines can often detract from wishing to train

regularly. The American Speedloader products offer shooters

a fast and simple way to insert their magazine inverted into

the device, slip each round down a small slide in the rear of

the loader and use their body weight and upper arm strength

to push the magazine down and magically load the magazine.

More to come on this device in future issues, but expect for this

device to be BIG for lady shooters especially.

Back out on the normal show floor, we stopped in on some

of our old friends to check up on some products we were excited

to bring to our readers. At the Spartan Blades booth, we caught

up with U.S. Army Special Forces veterans, Curtis Iovito and Mark

Carey to get a preview of one of the latest knives to come from

these former pipe-hitters. You can check out Trampas’s review

of that knife, the Spartan Hersey Dagger in this issue of PMCI.

Spartan Blades can be found online at www.spartanbladesusa.com

One of the more exciting new meetings of the week for the

PMCI team was a chance to get together with the folks over

at Helikon-Tex and Direct Action. Our international readers may

already be familiar with the name. This Polish manufacturer of

tactical gear and clothing has recently established a distribution

center for their products in the United States and are pushing

hard to capture a piece of the American market share. You can

look forward to seeing some of their incredible items grace the

pages of this magazine in future issues. You can take a look at

their huge catalog of products at www.helikon-tex.com

and http://directactiongear.com


One of the latest training ideas to hit the shores of the United

States is the use of 6mm replicas of popular firearms to bridge

the gap between dry fire practice and live-fire training. These

6mm replicas have been all the rage for training outside of the

United States for years. To see these replicas garner the floor

space they did at this year’s SHOT show means that the time

may have finally come for the American firearms community to

take these training tools more seriously. When industry heavy

hitters like SIG Sauer have their SIG Air 6mm offerings in the

same booth as their ‘real-steel’ counterparts, you know it’s

going to be a big push in the coming months. As a quick preview

of some coming events in PMCI, be on the lookout for reviews of

SIG’s surplus M17 9mm Modular Handgun System and SIG Air’s

6mm replica version of the same model. More information on

these 6mm replicas can be found on the SIG Air pages of the SIG

Sauer website at www.sigsauer.com/products/airguns/.


As we wrapped up another year at SHOT and said goodbye for

now to the amazing city that is Las Vegas, Nevada, we took

the time to relax and enjoy one last evening with our team on

Friday. Saturday would see the team head home into the arms of

our waiting families. Each team member took time to reflect on

what they had seen and to ease those aching feet after walking

miles upon miles over the course of the week. In my case, I

returned home to deal with a lingering case of the “SHOT SHOW

Flu”. Regardless, everyone looked forward to a chance to get a

full night’s sleep in their own beds.

In the coming year, everyone will continue to be witness

to our efforts over the course of the 2020 SHOT Show. The

relationships we build each year with the various vendors and

the access they provide us throughout the year to their products

to thoroughly test them prior to publishing any reviews are

always amazing. All this hard work we do for our

outstanding loyal readers. You won’t want to miss

a single issue of PMCI this year. Stay Tuned and

until next time, remember, we here at PMCI are

constantly moving “Forward, Always Forward.”



Tritium iluminatedwatches















In this issue, PMCI looks at two relatively new

products offered by this company for not only

military and law enforcement but civilians alike.

These models are the Flashlauncher and the

Tactical Compact Pistol or TCP for short. First, to

understand the devices, we must understand the

munitions in which the devices are built to launch.


The term Pepper Ball is a trademarked term for

two similar individual types of payload delivering munitions.

The first is a round .68 caliber projectile very similar in

external composition as the average paintball but inside,

contains a wide range of options from PAVA pepper powder

to simple water marking loads for training. The premise of

the Pepper Ball system is to launch munitions such as those

containing irritant powders via disposable compressed CO2

cartridges over a distance onto targets such as humans to

deter unlawful behavior or an escape an unsafe situation.

This process depends on chemesthetic shock in order to

manifest its desired effect. Chemesthesis is defined as the

chemical sensitivity of the skin and mucous membranes.

These sensations arise when chemical compounds activate

receptors associated with other senses that mediate pain,

touch, and thermal perception. These chemical-induced

reactions do not fit into the traditional sense categories

of taste and smell. Basically, when a round containing

something such as CS powder strikes a human, the shock of

impact first causes an extremely noticeable pain to the skin

without puncturing it while at the same time, opening up

the pores to become more susceptible to the irritant powder

delivered. Such pain normally causes increased heart rate

and breathing which enhances the bodies acceptance of the

powder and increasing its effects.


While this is still a non-lethal option, the impact of the round on

skin will leave a deep red or purple welp and even damage an

eye or nose if a direct facial impact occurs.

The second option is called a VXR projectile. It is looks like a

semi-round paintball with a hollowed-out space in the rear much

like a black powder maxi-ball round and finned like a modern

shotgun slug to collect more air to drive the projectile. The

VXR munitions come in the all the same payload options (and

effects) but with the ability in selected launchers to be delivered

from longer distances. As of this article being published, the

selection of various munitions options is listed below to better

understand its wide and diverse range of usages.

• LIVE – Basic Pepper Ball consisting of .5% of PAVA pepper


• LIVE X – Equals 10 times the potency of 1 regular LIVE round

for faster, more effective results

• CS – Active Payload of CS irritant powder (similar to the

military gas form of the irritant)

• CS / PAVA – Mixture of both CS and PAVA pepper power (Hell

in a ball)

• INERT – Scented Training Powder (Purple in color)

• MARKING – Paint solution to mark suspects for later

apprehension as such in riots or large raids as well as marking

doors, openings or potential threat areas.

• GLASS BREAKER – As the name implies, used for shattering

glass from a distance prior to approach on a vehicle or

structure take down. (NOT TO BE USED ON HUMANS)

• WATER FILLED – Training Use

• UV MARKING – Invisible Ink for Suspect ID

• VXR Series – All the above options but configured to be

delivered via VXR compatible launchers for not only longer

distance but also more accuracy


As the name implies, the Flashlauncher is designed to have

an unsuspecting appearance of a large sized flashlight. At first

glance, it looks like the type of light commonly used by civilians

for everyday inside the home during a power outage or just out

at night walking the dog. While there is an effectively working

flashlight producing 350 lumens of light from the device, there

is so much more to it. Inside the Flashlauncher lies the capability

accurately launch a Pepper Ball munition over 60 ft onto an

intended target.

Activation of the light is accomplished by gripping about

midway of the light, just forward of its natural balance point.

With the thumb riding along the top of the device, the

hand’s trigger finger naturally falls onto the light activation push

button switch located on the bottom. Located under the thumb

is the devices firing button located underneath a protective plate

which can be pushed forward out of the way without having

to readjust the master grip. Once the plate is cleared, a laser

aiming device is activated. With the firing button depressed,

the device launches a single round. How accurately? Let’s take a

quick look.

To best test the Flashlauncher, I took it to range on two

different occasions and introduced it to two chapters of the

national not for profit organization, The Well Armed Woman. I

assisted each lady who volunteered to try out the device with

removing the safety block pin from the device to allow the

triggers protective plate to be pushed forward into the finally

shooting position.

Loading consisted of unscrewing the puncture ram from

the face of the device and inserting the C02 cartridge before

returning the ram. A small pop of gas could be heard as the

device took its charge. Next, the projectile ram is removed with

a simple twist before loading a maximum of 5 pepper balls into

the rear and returning the ram home. Ladies took careful aim

using the laser onto the center of a human silhouette paper

target located 21 feet down range stapled to a corrugated

cardboard backer. Every round fired not only struck the target

exactly where the laser was pointed, and a clean hole was

formed as the round passed through and shattered onto the

concrete wall 28 yards down range lane.





The low-profile design, 1.75 lb weight, ambidextrous safety

and overall user friendliness of the Flashlauncher combined

with its power and accuracy really impressed every one of

the two dozen ladies who tired it. From housewives to armed

professionals, each commented how the device made them

rethink the possibility of carrying a less than lethal device as

a part of their everyday lives.


The second device tested was the Tactical Compact Pistol or

TCP for short. Constructed of bright yellow polymer (optional

black or bronze colors) and shaped like a traditional handgun

for less needed learning curve for anyone comfortable with

shooting live firearms. While this is not the subtle less than

lethal option that seamlessly blends into your everyday life,

it is a great option for purse or fanny pack carry, the armed

security guard or even vehicle carry.

The device featured a comfortable pistol grip and

undermounted rail for the additional of common weapon

mounted lights for use in dark environments. The device

shipped with an easy to use holster that fits most standard

belts and holds the launcher securely in place. Additionally,

the TCP offers two supplied magazines, each with a capacity

to hold six rounds of the more streamlined VXR munitions.

Unlike the traditional Pepper Ball, the VXR rounds can be

launched up to 150 ft through the TCP onto human sized

targets with relatively good accuracy.

To test the capabilities of the TCP launcher, I met up with

former Marine and fellow firearms instructor, Jerry Moody

at The Swamp training grounds. Our test subject for the day

would be our PMCI test dummy, BOB. Our silence volunteer

would be outfitted with a beanie hat and thin tan t-shirt.

The munition used for testing would be the inert VXR finned

projectile clearly marked by its purple color.

Loading the six shot magazines was quick and easy. First,

the puncture ram is unscrewed from the magazine base plate

as the CO2 cartridge is inserted. As the ram is returned and

screwed back in, a small pop of air can be heard to confirm

the cartridge is now activated in the magazine. Next, each

VXR round is top loaded by locking the magazine follower

in the down position via tabs on either side and leaving the

magazine spring compressed. Next, a small bar blocking

the rounds from escaping the top of the magazine must be

pressed forward as each round is inserted facing forward.

Once all six were loaded, the magazine is inserted into the

bottom of the pistol’s grip and the push button safety is

disengaged to fire.

Jerry and I each took turns firing the TCP from initial

ranges of five and seven yards with very impressive results.

The payload delivery came with a solid smack onto target

and encapsulated the target’s head and neck area with the

white training powder even with centerline chest shots. After

each shooter worked through a full magazine, we would step

back five yards and take aim again. By the end of testing,

the distance from the target had grown from five yards to

approximately thirty yards with five of six rounds striking

solid hits on target for each shooter!

At all distances, the VXR rounds cleanly broke and dumped

its contents onto the target area. Up to fifteen yards, the point

of aim / point of impact was dead on. At twenty yards and

further, the VXR rounds seemed to drift about three inches to

the right and approximately five inches high. (Note there was

less than a three mile per hour ½ value wind during any part

of the testing and a relative temperature of 55 F.)


Prior to testing the Pepper Ball products, my primary

experience with non-lethal products has come from my

time in Law Enforcement with bean bag rounds, belt carried

pepper spray canisters and paintball guns converted to fire a

liquid pepper solution with less than reliable service. Through

training with the Pepper Ball products and training others

on the Flashlauncher and TCP platforms, my opinion on this

payload delivery system has greatly changed. I would have

no issues with carrying the Flashlauncher while out walking

in the evening with my family or having the TCP in my

vehicle or carry bag during my daily errands and travels as a

supplement to my every day carry Glock 19 9mm pistol.

Retailing at US$229 for the Flashlauncher and US$399

for the TCP, these devices are not cheap, but they could save

thousands of dollars by offering a non-lethal option to a

situation that normally may only leave the end user with no

other choice but to use a firearm without. Think about it like

this. Imagine you are out walking with your family around the

neighborhood and a resident’s dog confronted you snarling,

growling and nipping at your kids. If given a choice would

you rather simply dispatch the animal with a pepper ball to

sting and discombobulate it or be forced to shoot it? Nobody

wants to be known as the neighborhood “dog killer” if it

can be avoided. That piece of mind carries over to possibly

diverting an attach by the local “thugs” harassing you over

money or personal belongs before things turn lethal. It is my

professional opinion that the cost of a Pepper Ball product

is a small price to pay to avoid a much more expensive and

life altering dilemma and will give me a better piece of mind

if these options were exhausted through the use of force

continuum first before needing to shoot someone.

Other models are offered by Pepper Ball for military and

LE application only which are equipped with large CO2 tanks

to propel more rounds per charge. These models include full

rifle versions such as the FTC and TAC-SF which are designed

similar to a traditional paintball gun as well as an AR-15

based rifle for operators that are already trained on the AR


To date, over 5000 plus agencies worldwide, including

the US Army, US Marines, Border Patrol, Private Security

and even school violence reaction teams are currently using

Pepper Ball devices. To learn more about these devices, visit

them at www.pepperball.com today. Until next time, Train

Hard and Continue the Fight!





As we are now well into 2020 as I write the team and I are still

collating all the great information that came out of SHOT 2020,

and although Clint and Trampas have landed a super report again,

I am taking the opportunity here to give my own l overview!

First up, it is fabulous when the entire “PMCI Posse” gathers,

and due to my illness this hasn’t happened for way too long, but

to say that SHOT 2020 made up for this is an understatement!

No, you really can’t see everything at the show, but that is what

teamwork is all about, and teamwork is something we have in


One of the continuing trends that caught my eye very quickly

at SHOT was the move even further towards ever lighter carbines

and rifles, with many manufacturers going for skeletonised rails

and stocks. With all the big names in play, firearm models that

stood out for me where from Knights Armament, Remington

Defense, Daniel Defense, LMT, Lantac USA (oh, that SPR!), and

Black Rain Ordnance… trust me, if I could have returned home

with a“T800” I’d have been a VERY happy camper as it looked

positively outrageous in a very cool way!

Now there were a couple of specific things that I wanted to

check out, and the first of those was the Laugo Arms “ALIEN”

pistol as this seems to be causing a lot of chatter; this is marketed

(with a hefty price tag!) as their flagship pistol which has now

gone from prototype to production and even been approved for

IPSC competition use. The 9mm “ALIEN” allegedly has the lowest

bore axis available on a handgun, with the positioning of its fixed

barrel some 1.7mm below the line of the grip axis. With an overall

length of 8.5-inches, the pistol is certainly unusual to look at, but it

does feel very comfortable in the hand; will it justify its pricetag?

Only time will tell…

The other stand I wanted to spend some time on was that of

SIG and I was not to be disappointed as the latest MG338 was on

display loud and proud! SIG confirmed recently that it has delivered

the new models to U.S. Special Operations Command, along with

sound suppressors and ammunition for them, and SIG says the

.338 calibre machine gun weighs around 20 pounds, making it

lighter than even the L variant of U.S. military’s standard 7.62mm

M240 machine gun, and lighter too than the MK 48, which SOCOM

previously led the development of as a lighter-weight alternative

to the M240-series.. I was also very taken by the NGSW-R

prototype which is called the ‘Spear’ in both 6.8x51mm Hybrid

and 7.62x51mm. This is the latest evolution of the MCX platform

but with some improvements including a newly designed forend

with a full-length top rail and a standard AR-style charging handle

with an additional folding charging handle on the left side of the


Sadly after a stupendous SHOT we are all reeling a bit from the

postponement of the Enforcetac/IWA Show in Germany due to

the spread of Covid-19; will this affect our coverage of our brand

partners and their new developments? Not a bit, as I’m already in

touch with them and we’ll be showcasing more of those “things

to come” in future issues of PMCI as planned.

So for now, keep sharp, keep safe, and I hope to

see some of you in Nuremberg later in the year!





By Trampas Swanson

Perhaps my favorite light currently on the market for multiple

reasons, is the ASP XT DF Light. We all know one of the

cardinal rules of firearms safety is “Know your target and

what lies beyond it”. THAT DOES NOT CHANGE IN THE DARK!

The tactical light industry is full of great gun-mounted lights,

but in doing so, often overlooks the liability of waving the

muzzle of your firearm around in search of possible targets.

For those who understand that searching an area not

immediately under fire or posing a threat of bodily injury is

best served with a handheld light with or without a firearm,

the XT DF light is a great option.

Manufactured by Armament Systems & Procedures—

better known as ASP, the company that makes the cool

handcuffs and expandable batons—these lights offer a

plethora of advantages over your standard small SureFire or

Streamlight. The DF stands for Dual Fuel, which means you

can charge the included 18650 battery (using the supplied

adapters or any micro USB cord) in your truck, patrol vehicle,

home or office, or simply pop in two fresh CR123A disposable

batteries and go.

The extremely bright Cree XPG2 LED bulb produces 600

lumens of light in high mode, easily lighting up any close

quarters area you may need to search, with a run time of up

to 3 hrs. and 45 mins. The light also allows you to program

your choice of four secondary light settings, to dial in how

much light you need, while not overdoing it and ruining your

natural low light vision. Starting from the full 600 lumen

setting, you can “double tap” to activate the secondary mode

at 150 lumens, 60 lumens, 15 lumens, or a very distracting

high output Strobe feature. The easy-to-use, multifunction

tail cap allows you to quickly switch between momentary

and constant on, and even choose an “OFF” position to lock

out any chance of accidental illumination during a mission.

The all too familiar texture of the grip is like that of the

company’s famous collapsible batons, which I have carried

personally and professionally for going on twenty years

now. Even when completely wet, this texture offers a sure

grip on the body of the light to prevent dropping it. The

weather-resistant light is rated to over 6 feet of impact

resistance on hard surfaces. Twice already, I have had this

unit become accidently submerged during training. First by

getting knocked off a shooting table into a puddle of water

in the dark, and the second time by being left on a range all

night in the rain. Both times, just by simply shaking the light

dry before putting it away, the XT DF sustained no damage

and worked perfectly.

The handy reversible pocket clip gives additional leverage

in gripping it, as well as a great way to secure it either bezel

up or down when you need your hands free to transition to a

weapon. For carry on my gear, I prefer ASP’s optional handsfree

rotating Tactical Light Case. The overall, compact 6.25”

length, 1.4” diameter of the XT DF, combined with its easy

to operate tail cap allow it to be easily used in conjunction

with a handgun employing the “cigar style” technique, often

referred to as the “Surefire” technique as well.

The XT DF has an MSRP range of $128 (without charging

kit) to $170 (including the kit), but can easily be found for a

bit cheaper online, and can be delivered as soon as the next

day, ready for duty. After four months of nonstop usage, I

highly recommend getting not just one of these lights, but

instead, get one for each of your vehicles, your “go bag”

and emergency rally point in your home. To find out more

about the Dual Fuel XT light and other great products from

ASP, visit their website at www.asp-usa.com .




Returning to his Direct Action Mustang Pistol Belt Bill

now has it set up to his liking, and reports back on the

latest additions!

When travelling overseas to get some range time, and

we’re blessed at PMCI to have some outstanding training

partners in the USA, in Eastern Europe, and even further

afield. When I’m travelling to attend a course this means

hauling my personal kit with me.

I’ve now phased in my new system of the Direct Action

Mustang inner and outer belt with pouches as needed,

and finally I’m happy with the setup. The lo-profile

Mustang inner belt works simply as a trouser belt and

as a stabiliser for both the Mustang and Warhawk outer

belts. As it attaches to the inner Velcro loop panels of

those belts, it prevents ride-up during dynamic movement

or when drawing a pistol from a holster. With this belt

in place there’s no need to use suspenders or a drop leg

panel in order to achieve a secure pistol draw. Made out

of proprietary laminate and Velcro this is simply a flat,

feather-light accessory to keep your pants up and your

working equipment belt where you’d expect it to be. The

ultra-thin profile of the trouser belt effectively eliminates

“buckle over buckle” discomfort and can be worn all day


Made of heavy duty tubular webbing, proprietary

laminate, and lined with Velcro loop the Mustang Rescue/

Gun belt is bartack-reinforced in stress points, stiffened to

carry the weight of holsters and magazine pouches and

secures with a certified AustriAlpin Cobra buckle. There’s

an anchor point for carabiner / lanyard / tether next to

the buckle, and this is compatible with FROG buckle or

shackles. It’s Velcro-loop lined on the inside so that it

mates perfectly with the inner trouser belt, so you can

have all your range-ready kit pre-mounted and be good

to go within seconds.

Since I started working with this excellent belt I’ve set it

up with a pair of Direct Action Speed Reload pistol and rifle

magazine pouches, which are open-topped with a bungeecord

retention system and allow to super-fast access when

reloading. As they are designed to work specifically with

the Mustang belt (and other Direct Action belt models)in

addition to standard MOLLE attachment points they also

have a unique shock-cord attachment which I love, and

using this once they are on the belt they are solidly locked

in place. I also run a dump pouch, and simple first-aid kit

contained in the excellent Modular Individual Med Kit

Pouch from Helikon-Tex. The final element to my personal

rig now is a CAT (which I hope I will never have to use!)

carried in Direct Action Tourniquet pouch. The only other

things that go onto the belt are a holster, and this will be

dependent on the handgun platform I am training with at

the time (1911 style from Kydex Customs shown fitted),

and a personal safety lanyard if needed.

Simply put the Mustang two-piece system and the

associated pouches give you all the versatility and

performance you need, backed up with rock-solid fabrics

and components, and superlative craftsmanship. I’ve worn

my personal setup regularly and already given it some

serious abuse and thus far it’s been nothing but exemplary.

For more information on Direct Action please do visit

eu.directactiongear.com for Europe and us.directactiongear.

com for the USA.






As a former Law Enforcement officer, one item I have

learned to respect the most in both the professional

and civilian world of concealed carry is the need to be

comfortable with carrying a firearm even when it may

not be the most comfortable item to wear. Too many

times have I encountered others who are licensed

concealed carry holders, who aren’t armed at the

time. An abundant amount of the excuses falls under

the category of either not having the right holster to

conceal based on their outfit or their firearm being too

cumbersome to wear on their person.

The truth is, the gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it supposed

to be comforting. Unfortunately, we as humans refuse to accept

discomfort for piece of mind and many licensed concealed carry

gun owners fail to carry their firearm daily. Keep in mind, a gun

left at home can quickly end up being a vital tool missing in a

life or death emergency. The right holster and plenty of practice

wearing it can help solve this issue. One of the best ways I have

recently found to comfortably carry a firearm comes from a

company called Cheata Tactical.

During my career as a Deputy Sheriff, I often carried a back up

weapon to my duty firearm and at times even a back up to my

off duty carry gun as well. This method usually meant wearing

pants or jeans in order to carry my back up gun in an ankle

rig regardless if it was below freezing weather or 103-degree

heat outside. (Living in North Carolina at the time, we saw both

extremes yearly.) When I retired my badge and gun duties, I can’t

say I really missed the bulky holsters available on the market

during those days. Very rarely did I consider going back to the

centralized weight bearing into my ankle bone and working its

way loose every few hours.

When I was recently approached to test a new ankle rig for

a review, I must admit, I started out a bit skeptical. With an

open mind and aging knee, I agreed to fairly evaluate the Gun

Sox by Cheata Tactical just as I would any other product. What I

discovered would be a one of very few “game changers” on the

market. Hopefully, this article helps you consider another option

in your own battle in firearm carry, so let’s begin!


When the package arrived from Cheata Tactical, it contained not

one, but two models of their signature Gun Sox holster.

The first was the original full calf encompassing original Gun

Sox and the other was a mid-calf version for use with cowboy,

tactical or work boots. The original allowed for casual wear with

athletic or street shoes while the mid-calf held a firearm secure

while nesting inside the top of the boot. Having seen many

days working narcotics operations and visiting “non-permissive”

environments, in which guns are frowned upon but certainly

needed, I was no stranger to stuffing a small revolver into the

top of my cowboy boot.

Both holsters are designed to hold a small to medium sized

pistol securely. (Sorry, no full sized 1911 backup guns for any

Punisher skull wearing couch commandos reading this.) When the

Gun Sox holsters arrived, I had just started daily carrying a small

Smith and Wesson model 638 Airweight revolver chambered in

.38 Special for an upcoming review. I decided to start testing

the original Gun Sox in order to develop a baseline in which to

compare the mid-calf version later.

When I removed the Gun Sox from its package, I immediately

noticed it resembled the same construction as a diabetic sock

with a medical grade 4 way stretch compression material referred

to as Stretx. According to Cheata Tactical, this material will not

stretch out over time and offers antimicrobial and odor resistance.

The holster is machine washable and advertised as having

a unisex fit. Sizing for this holster is not based on the gun but

rather the diameter of the calf. With my manly, fur bearing 19”

calves, I required a size “Large” which seemed to fit snug but

as advertised. The original Gun Sox ran the length of my knee

down to my ankle bone with equal pressure throughout my leg.

At the base of the sleeve, there is not one but two holsters,

one on the outside of the ankle and one on the inside at the

proper position to carry a small pistol. This is perfect for one of

two applications, either to be able to switch carry legs and have

a holster in the optimal carry position or to carry a spare mag,

knife or small med kit in addition to your firearm. Either way,

this seemed to be a well thought out design. Just wearing the

holster felt great on my leg, giving needed support under my

knee down and throughout the rest of my leg.

As I holstered my S&W model 638, I pulled the lip of the top

cover built into the holster down over the grip of the gun. This

seemed to snug the gun closer to my leg and give it added

stability from flopping around in the holster when I walked.

While the support is great, this does require a bit of learning

curve to cleanly draw your firearm from the holster quickly. With

an unloaded revolver, I practiced daily for about a week before

venturing out and about carrying concealed.


After about a week of carrying my revolver in conjunction with

my Glock 19 inside the waistband, I headed out to our private

training facility known as “The Swamp” to practice some muchneeded

live fire “draw and shoot” drills. Unlike holsters carried

around the belt line, ankle holsters have a totally different system

of drawing from the holster. As a primarily right handed shooter,

I carried the pistol on the inside of my left ankle.



To start the process, I grabbed the inside of my left pants leg

with my left hand and pulled upwards to expose the holster

as I kneeled onto my right knee. With my eye on the target, I

raked the top lip back to expose the revolver’s grip with my right

hand and established a master grip before drawing upward on

the gun. As the gun came up center line of my body, I punched

out onto target and fired. After a dozen practice draws and two

Advil later, the process was smooth and comfortable to get shots

off relatively quickly.

This method of carry offers a few unique benefits aside from

just comfort. For one, changing your height to the perceived

threat can through off the accuracy of an attack will giving you

the advantage of being at a level not expected. Secondly, if you

find yourself fighting from a seated position or off your back

on the ground, it is easier to get to your ankle gun most times

than a firearm on the belt line. This is where the Gun Sox really

excels. Many ankle holsters I have worn in my career either

involved sweaty sheep wool lining or floppy rigs suspended by

a calf garter that often slips down. The Cheata Tactical’ s holster

fits like a second skin and held the revolver tightly in place even

during a light job back and forth across the range.

In transition to the mid-calf model, I wore it in conjunction

with my combat boots by the Original SWAT Boot Company. As

I slipped on the holster, I then put on my boot and nested the

bottom half of the holster down into the top of it. Instead of

carrying the revolver, I decided to use my laser equipped Glock

43 chambered in 9mm. After a bit of readjusting the position of

the gun in order to prevent the pistol’s grip from printing, the

Glock rode flat against my calf without any wiggle or wobble.

The ride height of the Glock in the mid-calf version of the Gun

Sox was noticeable but not an interference when drawing from

the kneeling position.

I spent a few days carrying my SIG P365, rotating between

both holster models. The result mirrored that of the Glock 43.

The only gun I tried that I would not carry in the Gun Sox was

my Glock 42 chambered in .380. This pistol was so comfortable

and small, I forgot I was carrying it on three different occasions

until the end of the day when I took my boots off. While this

doesn’t seem like a rational concern to be “TOO comfortable”, it

could lead to not using the gun during an emergency or simply

unknowingly carry the gun onto my kids’ school campus or into

a post office when dropping off packages.


In carrying the gun daily, I could not tell a difference between

either holster being more secure than the other, even with the

added support of the boot. I did notice the draw and reholstering

of the Glock seemed a bit faster down to the slim lines of the

semi-auto over the protruding cylinder of the revolver. The similar

design of both holsters may seem simple but surely well thought

out. With the Glock, I could carry an extra loaded magazine in the

opposite pouch, while a tourniquet fit nicely with the revolver.

Before wrapping up this review, I want to point out two

thoughts on this method of carry in general. First, it is a great

option when attire does not permit other on the body options. As

with my personal choice, the ankle holster allows for a fantastic

way to carry a second gun. I still carry either my Glock 19 or SIG

P365 on my strong side inside the waistband. Secondly, ankle

carry is a limited option in some places such as Florida where I

live. With above 80 degree temperatures eight months out of

the year, shorts are often the preferred style without looking out

of place. Cool evenings and winter time are the best chances for

maximum comfort.

Overall, I enjoyed wearing the Gun Sox during the 4-month

test period and would gladly continue using it for daily carry. I

firmly believe ankle carry method is an often over looked and

undervalued option. I feel the Cheata Tactical holsters are rugged

and user friendly enough to cause this carry method to start being

a regular part of CCW conversations again. I will certainly continue

to recommend the Gun Sox to the students in my firearms classes

from now on. To find out which Gun Sox model works best for

you, visit www.cheatatactical.com today.






At PMCI we absolutely love seeing good friends doing great things and rightly benefitting from their

efforts! A couple of years ago Bill got together with Sean from 0241 Tactical, and now revisits this veteranowned

company to see how they have gone from strength to strength!


t seems like only yesterday when I wrote the

words “Sometimes it seems to me that the only

things some people are interested in is the latest

bit of “tac-gucci” kit to come to market, irrelevant

of whether it actually works or not. I’m therefore

always delighted to meet good folk who have

“been there, done that, and got many T-shirts”

and turned their hard-won knowledge to creating

quality gear that really serves a purpose.” But as it has a

habit of doing, time moves on and you suddenly realize

that you haven’t spoken to old friends for too long; as

I was due to accompany the PMCI to SHOT this year, I

reached out again to Sean so that we could meet up

and catch up!

When I first met Sean from 0241 Tactical he was

still a serving Marine, but one that had already started

turning his wealth of knowledge into some righteous

bits of “snivel gear”, those little items that can add up

to making a huge difference to your comfort in harsh

conditions and letting you perform optimally. What I

also found especially interesting was that 0241 Tactical

have never shied away from working with cutting edge

and unique camouflage patterns, and also with classic

patterns like ERDL and Desert Tiger Stripe which have

been proven to work effectively. As you read deeper into

this update with Sean you’ll see that this is an ongoing

process. I’m always keen to get under the skin of a story,

so Sean kindly agreed to answer some more questions

about who 0241 Tactical are, where they’ve come from,

and where they are heading.

PMCI: So Sean, in your own words please remind our

readers what led you to set up 0241 Tactical?

0241: My wife (a Military Veteran) and I started

0241Tactical when I was serving in the (US) Marine Corps.

When I was deployed, I noticed we were always having


to invent items that we were not issued to help get by

in the desert. When we were dealing with sand storms

everyone would pull up their t-shirt over the mouth and

nose and would use a cut-up sock to cover their goggles.

While this worked, it wasn’t ideal, and I always thought it

wouldn’t be too much for the government to create some

facial protection for us. So we started our product line off

of very simple yet useful items (Neck Gaiters and Goggle

Covers) to help protect personnel and their equipment from

the elements while enhancing their camouflage scheme.

PMCI: When and where did you start making your


0241: We began our store in 2011 while living in San Diego.

We started making a few items and they sold quickly on

eBay so we ordered more material and sold more. It’s been

snowballing into more and more products and eventually

we morphed into our own webstore (www.0241Tactical.

com) and the business has become a fulltime occupation

for us.

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


0241: When we started off we envisioned primarily military

personnel utilising our gear. However, as we expanded our

camouflage patterns into non-issue military patterns we

saw an opportunity for security service contractors, law

enforcement, hunters, and the recreational community to

use our products. We target military and law enforcement

for our products but if other communities can use them,

then that’s great.

PMCI: Do you work with military and police personnel

or just civilians?

0241: We cater to everyone that we can sell to legally

and in good conscience. We’ve had orders from Police

Departments worldwide and in 2013 we got our first

large military purchase from the Naval Special Warfare

Development Group in Virginia. We’ve been serving them

regularly ever since. We also supply the US Air Force SERE

School in Washington with our products on a regular basis.

We’ve supplied various military units from around the

world including American customers in Iraq. We’re pretty

open to supplying anyone as long as we’re not shipping

to countries whose principles are contrary to our own or

precluded by law.





PMCI: What exactly do you specialise in?

0241: We started off making small yet items (Neck Gaiters,

Goggle Covers etc) but we’ve grown into Tarpaulins (Basha

Shelters) and clothing. Given that it’s very difficult to mass

produce uniforms in the United States we feel that we’re

pushing that as much as we can with our Tactical Operator’s

Pullovers (TOPs) and Tactical Over Trousers (TOTs). We’ve

formed alliances with other US manufacturers such as

HeadOnTactical to provide tactical gear in the same patterns

our products are made in to give the customer more of what

they are looking for in one place. So we’re kind of a shotgun

blast of gear and equipment not specialising in one item.

PMCI: I know that you work with excellent camouflage

patterns and pattern developers; can you tell me more

about this?

0241: We work with the makers of many patterns buying

direct from the factories here in the United States. We

communicate constantly with PenCott and A-TACS (and

many others) working to be at the top of the list whenever

a new pattern becomes available. PenCott has been great

to work with because due to my geographic location (next

to one of the US Printers) we’re able to work with PenCott

to develop new materials not typically available and provide

cool products to our customers. Our neck gaiters, balaclavas,

and caps are an example of this. We saw a shortfall where a

good material was needed and PenCott worked with us and

the printer to develop a great material to meet that need.

Additionally, 0241Tactical developed its own suit (tops and

bottoms) in DEPSOC as well as boots, caps, balaclavas, and

various other tactical gear.

PMCI: You make a lot of your products to your own

designs; what’s the process there?

0241: Trial and error. If we take a look at the Tactical

Operator’s Pullover (TOP) in regards to changes (which we

consider improvements), we’re probably on version 20 at this

point. The TOPs originally started off as a very rudimentary

anorak and we’ve really turned it into a shooters jacket with

features that have made it a sought after piece of gear. Our

templates are originally rough drafted with cardboard and

adjusted....and adjusted again until the final design is what

we’re looking for. Then we make a final template out of a

more robust material and that becomes our standard.

PMCI: I know that you have a tie-in now with some other

premium brands; who are they?

0241: As time has progressed it became clear that we

needed to start expanding our staff to meet the increasing

volume of 0241Tactical sales. In order to pay for the

additional staff, we took on the business philosophy that

“we make tires but we’re going to sell another company’s

cars in order to sell more of our tires”. This has turned our

webstore into a one stop shopping site selling our own,

locally produced items as well as items we retail. We began

to sell for Sk7 USA (who’ve been an amazing brand partner)

a few years ago to meet the demand for PenCott camouflage

items but that quickly morphed into selling many other

patterns. A-TACS Camouflage has been amazing to work

with and we work hand in hand with their owners. When

the new BDU Extreme clothing line came out 0241 made

the first order with Tru-Spec. We’ve really tried to branch

out and offer more unconventional tactical clothing intended

for customers who need tactical clothing but don’t want to

look like they’re deploying to Afghanistan. As far as listing

out companies we sell Tru-Spec, Sk7USA, UR-Tactical, HRT

Tactical, Viktos clothing, KWA USA, and even a few smaller

companies that make incredible gear UW Gear in Florida and

Head On Tactical in California. We’re looking to join SnugPak

and another company this year.


PMCI: Where do you see 0241 Tactical evolving in the


0241: Slow growth and hire our military veterans.

0241Tactical started while I was serving in the Marine

Corps. The United States has the Department of Veterans

Affairs that seeks to help those veterans who’ve served

with educational, job placement, and medical assistance. My

wife (an Air Force veteran) works with a local government

department to help our veterans navigate the government

bureaucracy and get the assistance their entitled to. Along

those lines, I wanted to be in a position to help other

veterans by providing jobs for them. However this isn’t a

charity case. I see their service as valuable experience that

provides amazing insight into a market they’re very familiar

with. Our first full-time sewing guru, Kyle, is a prior Army

Parachute Rigger who learned sewing machines during his

service. The military teaches attention to detail and he’s

marked by exactness and accuracy of workmanship. He’s

been an amazing addition to 0241Tactical. That being said

we want to grow 0241Tactical, with veterans like Kyle, to

become a tactical sew shop in America. We want to produce

our own brand items but offer a US based production service

for other companies looking to production here in the USA.

PMCI: When I saw you at SHOT you told me that you’d

signed up with KWA for their 6mm Training gas products;

you mentioned them earlier, so how do you see this

going forward?

0241: When I was stationed in the United Kingdom I became

friends with the guys at Free Fire Zone / Fire Support and

started hanging out at their fields near Peterborough, and

as a result got a ton of experience with Airsoft Electric Guns

(AEGs). My perspective is that airsoft is an incredibly fun

sport that motivates people to get off the couch and get

moving. The problem I saw with airsoft was that when you

can carry nearly unlimited ammo it diminished the realism

of force on force training and often turned games into a

frenzy of BBs flying everywhere!

This year at Shot Show I saw the KWA booth and saw that

KWA has really begun to market towards law enforcement

and the military with their Professional Training Rifles and

Pistols. Elements of authenticity have been reintroduced

by limiting magazine capacity, including recoil, but most

importantly the operation function of the training systems

mimic the real function of actual firearms.

This means muscle memory learned in a training

environment will translate to real world situations.

With increased government scrutiny on spending, KWA

provides significant cost savings but this is overshadowed

by the risk mitigation training with 6mm BBs offers instead

of shooting live ammunition. As 0241Tactical expands

we are looking to provide law enforcement, military, and

private citizens with the tools to enhance their own shooting

techniques. If the relationship with KWA USA bears fruit,

we’ll expand with other brands that can offer similar training


PMCI: If someone reading this article likes the sound of

what you offer, what should be their next step?

0241: Check out our website at www.0241Tactical.

com and if you don’t see what you want, email us at

sales@0241Tactical.com and let us know what you’re looking

for and in what pattern/material. If we can get it, and it’s

feasible, we’ll work with you. If you need a large order for

your unit please hit us up we can support that too.

PMCI: Thanks so much for talking to us Sean. We wish

you continued success with the new designs, patterns,

and projects and certainly look forward to seeing you

at SHOT in 2021!







For some of the PMCI team the winter months make it harder than ever to get out training, but as

the weather starts to change for the warmer it’s time to get the gear in order, and prepare for those

long summer rangetime sessions, so Bill takes a look at the gear he uses and why.

During the late spring and summer months when

the evenings are longer it’s a regular occurrence

for some of my mates and I to get together for

an evening of shooting. Luckily we have access

to some secluded private land (and we pay our

own third party insurance) where we can take

turns to set up different courses to challenge one

another. These will involve barricades, obstacles,

plates, spinners, and paper targets to make life interesting. It’s

also the ideal opportunity to test new optics and accessories

or really dial in existing ones that we’ve been working on; the

real plus of this is that all of our gear is ready to roll whenever

we need it.

It’s a great social occasion too; as much as we’re there to

shoot our best the “competition” is friendly and the banter what

you’d expect. Safety is always paramount but that doesn’t mean

we can’t have fun too! Usually after a few hours shooting, when

the shooty-bangy things are clean and locked safely away, it’s

time for a barbeque and a beer or two back at someone’s home

where the hilarity continues, often at the expense of whoever

shot the worst that night!

There are many different governing bodies and disciplines

to work with, but I would say that what we do locally is a

mix of Iron Plate Action Shooting (IPAS) and Practical Speed

Plate (PSP), although we’ve moved it up to “two gun” to include

a shotgun element in addition to .22 semi-auto rifle/carbine

(sadly as I’m resident in the UK we only get to have “full bore

and handgun fun” when we go overseas to shoot); we’ve also

now added a couple of gas 6mm training platforms to our

regular lineup. As this is more of a social meeting gear and

clothing is more “civvy” than “tacticool”. The first thing to get

out of the way when it comes to clothing, footwear, and gear is

ditch the camo! Indeed IPSC, IPAS, and indeed PSP strictly forbid

camo for competitions and I can understand why; why would

you need head to toe “MultiKryCottCam” when you’re in a place

where you actually want to be seen? That said many shooters

that I know do look very seriously at the tactical brands for

their clothing as said garments are designed with the dynamic

movement needed to excel in comfort in mind.


So, keeping things down to earth, I want as much performance

as possible. What do you really need on a range? What is it you

really need to compete if you so desire?

The answer to both these questions is surprisingly straightforward.

Firstly you’re going to need clothing that moves well, and this

can be as simple as a cheap pair of stretchy jeans and a polo

shirt. I picked up a couple of athletic moc neck shirts designed for

runners at one of the outlet stores and they are absolutely ideal!

Think outside the box; even though tactical brands make clothing

specifically for shooting most sporting brands design for equally

dynamic disciplines.

I marry up the running shirt with a pair of Traverse Pants from

5:11 Tactical. The Traverse Pant is still a bit of a favourite in the

colossal 5:11 range and is built for more athletic disciplines. It’s

a great design that provides the speed, mobility, and utility you

need to perform at peak levels. Built from a 4-way stretch blend

of durable nylon and flexible spandex, the Traverse Pant offers

enhanced air flow and quick dry characteristics that won’t slow

you down. A high rise elastic waistband, articulated knees, and a

full running gusset from hem to hem offer unmatched agility, and

heavy bartacking at major stress points enhances their strength and

durability. Low profile cargo pockets feature integrated magazine

retention bands, and secure zipped seat pockets keep accessories

secure while you’re on the move. Whether you’re on the range,

simply on a day hike or just going to the shops these pants are

comfortable and easy to live with. They’re not the cheapest thing

you can find out there, but boy they are worth every penny!

A simple fleece Jacket is worth its weight in gold when you’re

waiting for your turn to shoot, and this one for me was a nobrainer.

When things get a bit cooler I head to 5:11 once again for their

old but still excellent Tactical Full Zip Sweater. This is actually a very

technical piece of gear as it’s made from brushed polyester, but it

looks and feels almost like wool. It’s not overtly tactical although it

does have some great features like a poacher pocket on the rear,

welded reinforcements on the shoulders and elbows, and some

neat concealed carry touches; the lower zip pockets are “reach

through” for instance so that you can get to gear carried under the

sweater without undoing the main zip. These are available in Field

Green and Gun Powder Grey, so they’re low key and absolutely

ideal rangewear.

I chose boots here that I could use away from the range as

well. Not all of us want a “military” looking boot though, so when

it came to finding new range footwear for myself I looked a little

harder at the HAIX range, and the “Black Eagle” models seemed to

fit the bill entirely. I looked for something a little more athletic in

styling and the Black Eagle Mids from HAIX have proved perfect.

This is a very able boot made of a microfibre/textile

combination so it’s nice and light. They also have a 3-layer GORE-

TEX membrane laminate which is 100% waterproof and highly

breathable. The lining is abrasion-resistant with the HAIX Climate

System with Micro-Dry lining at top of the cuff which really does

help to manage internal moisture; after all, a dry foot is less likely

to suffer blisters so this is important.

There is an insole which is comfortable, cushioning, moisture

repellent, and anti-bacterial with a separate heel area for further

cushioning and foot retention. The running outsole is anti-slip, and

it offers very good grip on differing terrain. All in all I can already

tell that this is a boot that’s going to have a long and active life!


Sometimes though you want to go a little more “hardcore” and

once again that’s where my trusted UF PRO Striker pants come out.

I won’t go into detail on these as I’ve spoken about them before,

but suffice to say that they are designed and made to perform, and

the stretch panels work perfectly to give a great range of dynamic

movement. I also like the fact that they have the integrated but

removable kneepads; these are invaluable when the ground is

rocky or gritty.

Usually I’ll revert to a polo style shirt, but recently I’ve been

using a couple of the new Helikon-Tex models and… they ROCK!

Based on the same sympathetic design as their Tropical Shirt,

the Defender MK2 Pilgrim is an especially comfortable and

exceptionally functional shirt designed to endure the harshest

of changing environmental conditions. It is made of breathable

and soft fabric which resembles a cotton flannel and has the

addition of odour-controlling DuPont Sorona and UPF50 index for

an enhanced UV protection. The shirt comes with a traditional nonrolling

collar, buttoned front again with durable, subtly Helikon

branded buttons, two flapped chest pockets closed with hook and

loop, two additional hidden flat pockets closed with YKK zippers,

sunglasses loop and button cuffs.

Combining the very best of both the uniform and EDW designs





though is the MBDU Flannel Shirt, and So what can look better

than a plaid shirt? The MBDU Flannel Shirt is what! Based on

the classic Helikon-Tex MBDU shirt, and made of lightweight,

yet durable fabric it provides proper antibacterial properties

even during prolonged use, while the UPF50 index provides

UV protection. Side VersaStretch panels guarantee freedom of

movement during dynamic activities, and zippered pockets with

YKK zippers on the chest and shoulders will accommodate all your

essentials. Additionally the loop panels on the biceps allow for

easy personalization with unit patches when needed. As Helikon-

Tex say themselves “this shirt is a must have for any urban

operations”, and I have to say that I’m totally in agreement with

them on this!

Although hopefully during the summer months I won’t be

needing a fully-fledged hardshell I do want something that can

be worn over a microfleece to add an additional layer against

wind chill, and ideally I look for garments that are lightweight

and have a minimal pack size. The Windrunner windshirt, also

from Helikon-Tex, is an ideal carry item because of its minimum

weight and size when folded. At just 190g (size XL) its ultra-light,

tightly-woven Nylon fabric protects you from the wind, and if

the DWR coating is regularly maintained, also from light rain.

The Windrunner would also be an ideal garment for any kind of

outdoor training.

Mesh ventilation slats in armpits allow increased air circulation

for when you’re really working hard, and on a cooler day, worn

on top of a fleece, it keeps your all-important core warmth from

escaping and protects against wind chilling. A large front channel

pocket easily accommodates a cap, gloves or a buff , and two

small flat pockets inside the larger pocket help to organize small

items like smartphone or ID.

Additional features are sparse and minimalistic in that there is

a lightweight hood, elasticated cuffs and a drawstring hem, and

that’s it. On a garment like this though you don’t need a massive

amount of features as that just increases bulk and weight. The

Windrunner has been with me for quite a while now and I have

to admit that I absolutely love it and have worn it almost daily (in

fact O got myself a second!); it’s a superb piece of kit that gives

you just that little extra protection when things start to get cooler,

and therefore I would thoroughly commend it to you.

In relation to boots I’ve been testing a new model over the

past year or so, and the AKU Selvatica is designed specifically

for professional users. Weighing in at just 460g, the superlightweight

Selvatica Tactical Mid is incredibly breathable, as AKU’s

Air 8000 upper is a technical fabric whose level of breathability

increases over a period of 24 hours to more than 11 times that

of a conventionally made fabric, and patented back in 1991, it

ensures cooling comfort all day long. The Air 8000 is combined

with OrthoLite anti-microbial and breathable insoles to keep your

feet fresh and comfortable for extended periods. The boots also

benefit from a GORE-TEX extended comfort lining which helps to

maintain the high levels of breathability whilst maintaining 100%

protection against ingress of water.

A new welding process has also been used on the boots

to eliminate the need for stitching and makes the boot more

waterproof and less likely to snag on rocks and rough terrain.

The sole of the boots features AKU’s exclusive Elica Natural Stride

System technology. Designed to faithfully follow the anatomical

shape of the sole of the foot, it allows the sole to adapt to

normal heel and forefoot inclination, guaranteeing a more even

distribution of foot pressure and reducing impact and strain

during long treks. The treads are Vibram Selvatica Megagrip, a

high performance rubber compound that promises unparalleled

grip on wet and dry surfaces and optimal ground adaptability for

better all-around traction. Combined with dynamic support in the

upper and sole this is a faithful boot that won’t let you down.


Setting up your gear for range sessions can go one of two ways.

My personal setup is very straightforward; belt, holster, a couple

of mag pouches for the handgun and a couple for the rifle.

Depending on what type of course we’re running I might chuck

on a dump pouch too. I’ve used many different brands of belt over

the years, but at the moment I’m using the excellent Direct Action

Mustang double-belt system that you’ll see detailed in our gear

on test section.

My favoured holsters are Kydex models made by my good

mate Taig at Kydex Customs, and firearms fit perfectly, are well

retained and easy to clear; the holsters are model-specific, but

Taigs “easy on-off” fittings make changing them out a breeze.

Dependant on where I’m shooting I really like the HSGI style of

leg rig that lets me carry two spare carbine magazines, two spare

pistol magazines, and a mulitool. If however the range where

I’m shooting only allows belt mounted gear then I vary between

flap-closed Tac Reload and open-topped Speed Reload magazine

pouches, again from Direct Action. If I do run a dump pouch, my

favourite which I’ve had for years now is from 5:11; I also like

to carry a simple first-aid kit contained in the excellent Modular

Individual Med Kit Pouch from Helikon-Tex. Consistency is really

the key to building up your speed in terms of all disciplines, and I

find that keeping the belt rig the same each and every time I use

it really helps with this. I may well change out the mag pouches

or holster for different makes of firearm, but ultimately everything

stays in the same place!

I’ll conclude this month with my usual mantra of do your

research, get the information you need, and buy wisely. With the

clothing and footwear I’ve chosen I would say all of it bar the UF

PRO pants would be equally at home in town or on the range.

If, like us, you’re going to try and set up your own range please

ensure that it is on private land that is well secluded; it must

obviously also satisfy any and all legal requirements where you

live. It’s also advisable to look into your own Liability Insurance,

and to be completely on the safe side it’s certainly worth

considering letting your local LE guys know what you’re up to and

when; who knows, they may even come and join you!

However and wherever you may shoot though, practice hard,

go safe, and enjoy some long summer evenings range fun with

your friends!


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One of the biggest problems with working in the public as an armed professional is being able to

discreetly carry the necessary equipment. Whether it’s an extra set of handcuffs, spare magazines

or even a submachine gun and body armor, often the only option is to carry a backpack. While there

are many great tactical packs on the market, they all have two major drawbacks, lack of security

and the fact they all distinctly look TACTICAL.


rmed professionals may spend hours in bus

stations, on trains, subways or other public

transportation in order to keep a low profile.

When carrying valuable cargo such as laptops,

weapons, large sums of cash or sensitive

information, most packs are very hard to protect

against unauthorized access or theft and not be

noticed. This has always been a personal concern

when traveling with my HK MP5K and body

armor inside a day pack. Aside from these items, I would carry

loaded spare magazines, multitool, medical kit and any needed

IDs / paperwork. How do I blend in without drawing attention?

Non-tactical packs such as those from North Face or JanSport

blend into the environment perfectly but lack the durability to

endure the weight distribution and sharp edges of the payload.

On the other side of the spectrum, packs from 5.11 and First

Tactical make excellent choices in gear that are durable enough

withstand heavy abuse and payloads. Unfortunately, these

packs would often attract attention with all the Molle loops and

carbineers hanging off them. “Gun guys” would often ask about

the brand of tactical pack I was carrying, and every security

agent would home in on it as well.

Thankfully, I was introduced to a great option for carrying my

gear discreetly and securely during last year’s “Industry Only”

firearms / outdoor trade show event, SHOT SHOW held annually

in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fellow PMCI writer, Shawn Swanson aka

call sign “Lunchbox” met up with me on the show floor and

reported about a company he had just finished talking to called

Eversafe. Shawn’s first words used to describe their product

were simply, “Game Changer”. Shawn went on to say that their

product would be great for professionals and civilians alike that

want to carry valuable cargo discreetly and securely. Considering

my cousin has spent his entire adult life as either a soldier or

PMC, Shawn had my complete attention with his statements.

I was informed the Eversafe company was on the fifth floor

of the Sands Convention Center in the new vendors area. As I

departed our meeting, I ran upstairs in search of this intriguing

find. After about 20 mins of searching a vast room of vendors,

I found the booth I was looking for. As I approached their

display, I was met by Eversafe spokesman, Hugh McLean. After I

introduced myself and explained how I came to hear about their

company, I was given the thirty second elevator speech about

the Eversafe products. Immediately I could see the potential in

what I learned. Everything after this initial pitch involved task

specific questions and ended with “SHOW ME”. Hugh handed


me one of the few display packs he had on hand for the week with

the instructions to give it Hell and let him know my thoughts.

Upon my arrival home from Las Vegas, I spent time in my

office going through all the features that make this new pack so

interesting. To start with, there is absolutely nothing special about

the appearance of the unassuming black fabric pack that was sitting

on my office desk other than a simple reflective logo. This was the

number one factor that made it perfect! The Eversafe bag is shaped

like standard civilian packs and at first glance offers no visible extras

such as large pouches or accessory loops. What makes the Eversafe

bag so special is the fact that there is much more than meets the eye.

Each Eversafe bag is constructed from proprietary Kevlar

material and secured around its openings with coated cables and

combination locks. This makes the bag resistant to being slashed

by a knife, being accessed by unauthorized personnel when locked

or, simply torn from getting hooked on a doorknob. The double

tooth zipper does a great job protection against the track being

pried open by a flat head screwdriver. Both the carry handle across

the top and the shoulder straps running down the back of the bag

are coated security cable wrapped in comfortable padding. Towards

the middle of each shoulder strap is one half of a cable lock. When

wrapped around a bench, fixed rail or post, the cable lock halves

can be connected and secured to ensure the bag will not be taken

by unauthorized personnel.

The bag interior offers a spacious 12.6″ x 7.9″ x 19.7″ cargo

area to hold a wide range of equipment vital to your specific

mission. Located inside are several great features I feel are vital

to the armed professional. The first is a padded laptop sleeve that

can fit up to a 15” screen. Initially, my 15” HP laptop was a snug

fit that took a bit of effort to get in and out of the bag. Over the

next few weeks, it loosened up and quickly became second nature.

Another interesting feature is a RFID zippered pocket to protect your

credit cards, passports or other chip enhanced security sensitive

items. This alone can be an expensive item by itself to have for your

documents but comes standard in every Eversafe bag.

In the outermost interior pocket, there is a zippered access

space large enough to fit a 11”x14” ballistic insert panel. For a $100

extra, Eversafe will upgrade your bag with a Level III ballistic panel

from the factory. My sample did not come with armor included so I

inserted a 11”x14” Level III ballistic panel from AR500 Armor. After

wiggling the soft armor into the pouch, it fit perfect with zero slop or

shift. This alone in my opinion is a huge benefit to anyone wishing

to have discreet ballistic protection everywhere you go. More on

this shortly.

Over the following year, the Eversafe pack accompanied me

on many trips both personally and professionally. The bulk of

my traveling includes driving my Chevy Suburban from trips to

Pittsburgh, PA and Eastern NC to various ranges and other locations

around the state of Florida. Often, the Eversafe pack is loaded with

emergency medical supplies and either an AR-15 PDW chambered

in 5.56 or my HK MP5K. Using the coated cable lock, I simply loop

it through my driver’s seat or passenger seat post and secure the

contents via the combination lock with full confidence in its security

and mine. With three quick clicks on the dial and I have full access

to everything I may need in an emergency.

The outer Kevlar construction often showed how water resistant

the material was after being caught in several heavy rainstorms

while taking family trips to the zoo, theme parks and teaching on

the outdoor range. The expandable water bottle pocket was a great

feature to offer quick access for hydration while being simple and

unassuming in looks. When not needed, the pocket zips up to give

the side of the pack a clean, seamless profile. Located on the front

of the pack is a side zip quick access pocket for storing any nonessentials

such as a power bar or quick snack on the go.

The bottom of the Eversafe pack offers a flat surface that has

dual benefits. Appreciation for the first benefit comes mostly from

working with the bag over time in and out of airports or vehicles in

which there is no room to lay a pack down to access what’s inside.

The Eversafe pack is free standing with the help of the four nubby

feet along the bottom. It helps the bag sit high enough off the floor

not to soak up dirt or moisture from the ground as well as flop over

and spill any contents out while accessing it. Secondly, the bottom

of the pack can be mounted with an additional docking mount to

the floor of a vehicle or office. Removal from the docking station

is prevented unless there is access to the inside of the pack to the

quick release cable. Thinking outside the box, I think this is big!


As a firearms instructor, one of the most popular classes I teach is

the USCCA Countering the Mass Shooter Threat course alongside of

fellow PMCI writer, Clint Steele. After spending the past 13 months

with the Eversafe pack, I pose these questions to business and

school officials. Could this bag be used to securely store a compact,

suppressed rifle docked under a desk or classroom locker for the

certified trained professional to combat a Mass Shooter Threat?

Could the ballistic panel equipped bag be quickly undocked with

the pull of a cable inside the pack and used to cover a teacher’s

vitals as they usher children to safety or better yet, reverse the bag

to protect their chest as they confronted the threat? My professional

answer, YES!

Based on the data and lessons learned from every mass shooting

since Columbine, it is my believe that with just a bit of forwardthinking

vision, Eversafe bags could be an excellent investment in

the survival of office, church or school shootings. Combined with

proper training and the right tools, Eversafe bags could be valuable

dual-purpose assets to preventing the loss of lives daily, whether

its in an office, school, subway or open parking lot. You don’t have

to be a professional operator to benefit from using an Eversafe


Retailing for US$299 or US$399 with 11”x14” Level III ballistic

panel upgrade, these products are not cheap. These bags are

mission specific professional grade tools with a wide range of

civilian protection applications. When you compare the value of

the features the Eversafe bag offers and consider its all packaged

in a very unassuming package that most people wouldn’t take a

second look at, this product is quite the value. For those looking to

take this bag on deployment along with your issued gear, Eversafe

does offer a tactical version with Molle loops and offered

in camo. For those looking for a more professional look,

Eversafe also offers a hard-sided brief case model as

well. To find out more about Eversafe and discover new

accessories constantly available, visit them online at

www.eversafetech.com today.






AR-15 platform rifles are showing up on the secondary market at 1/3 the cost of what buyers rushed

to for them and interest has started to move to other platforms such as AK-47s and handguns. Luckily,

there are a few companies that have continued to make high quality AR-15 rifles, such as SIG, to provide

shooters with reliable, accurate and well-built products.

Over the past decade, the hottest growing

firearms platform in the industry has been

by far the AR-15. With the recent “assault

weapons ban” scare drummed up in the

waning years of the Obama administration,

production ramped up double time to keep

up with panic buying! This only resulted

in hurting the industry overall with price

gouging, poor quality rifles, and huge

drop in values after the scare was over. With the current

administration enjoying decent success within its first term,

the firearms industry has seen less panic buying despite

select liberal states still charging hard against gun rights.

This time, we take a look at the M400 from SIG Sauer

chambered in 5.56 NATO. Before you say, “Oh great,

yet ANOTHER gas-impingement M4 style AR-15,” take a

moment to read about SIG’s offering and see for yourself

how this may be an answer for skeptical rifle buyers looking

to purchase a new AR-15 in a market full of “ban scare”

junk. To start off, NO, the M400 is NOT a fancy new piston

rifle nor does it need to be. What this rifle does offer are

subtle upgrades in an accurate and reliable package from

one of the biggest names in the firearms industry.



When the SIG M400 arrived at my office, it came in a standard

“no-frills” cardboard box with manual. Accompanying the rifle

was a SIG Romeo 5 red dot optic. Considering the M400 did not

come with iron sights, the addition of the red dot optic was a

welcome sight. (See what I did there?) The M400 at a glance

looks like a standard black flat top AR with a 16” chrome lined

barrel with 1/7 twist and 6 position buttstock. Along with the

rifle were two SIG branded 30 round polymer magazines. At a

closer look at the forged 7075-T6 aluminum lower, there were 4

vertical grooves machined into the front of the magazine well for

grip enhancement for those who choke up on their rifles when


One of the I immediately liked about the rifle was the addition

of a 15” UTG Pro free float handguard. For those who may not be

familiar with these or their benefits, the UTG Pro is a very slim,

streamlined M-Lok rail which offers excellent control over the rifle

when running it with an over the top support hand grip. The rail

has tons of places to add Picatinny rail sections for addition of a

front iron sight, foregrip or weapon light / laser. Overall, the rifle

weighted just at 6.5 lbs. unloaded. Out of the box, it was clear

SIG’s goal was to offer a quality basic rifle with everything you

need and nothing you don’t.


As I mentioned, the Romeo 5 red dot optic accompanied the Sig

M400 when it arrived for testing. This is a true 1x power red dot

with a 20mm objective. The 2 MOA red dot reticle offered 10

illumination settings (8-day settings, 2-night vision compatible

settings). The glass is listed by SIG as fog and water proof (up to

1 meter) with unlimited eye relief.

The two things I like most about this optic are the MOTAC

system and mounting options. The MOTAC is a motion activated

illumination. If you have the optic switched on and continue to

not actively use it, the unit will switch itself off. At that point,

you need only to move the optic slightly and it will switch itself

back on at the setting you originally had it set to. This enables an

average battery life to regularly exceed 50,000 hours. Secondly,

I really like the fact the Romeo 5 comes standard with a low

mount and co-witness riser mount for a standard 1913 Picatinny

rail. Depending on the stock comb or iron sight heights on firearm

arms, it is always nice to have mounting height options for your


One item a lot of people don’t take into consideration is the

type of battery that an optic uses. With the Romeo 5, the unit

runs on a fairly popular CR2032 flat battery. This battery can be

found at most grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and big

box retail stores found across the country. This is a great luxury

if you are traveling for rifle class or have an op the next day and

discover a dead battery, hours after a specialty battery store may

be closed.


While I had the opportunity to work with the SIG M400, I also

had the chance to test out it’s long range performance using

SIG’s new Whiskey 3 optic with a 4-12x50 zoom. Unlike a lot

of gun company branded optics, the Whiskey 3 is a “real deal”

competitor in the optics market. The Whiskey selection of SIG’s





scope line up is designated as a hunting scope, but walks the

line between hunting and tactical in which it can have several

practical applications. The specific model sent for testing with

the M400 was the SOW34007 SFP with the Hellfire QuadPlex.

This 1” tube scope was finished in SIG Sauer’s signature

graphite grey and black muted tones.

Working with a traditional crosshair reticle located on the

scopes second focal plane within the optic, shooters will be

immediately familiar with how the scope works. With large,

easy to use turrets, windage and elevation are quick to adjust

when dialing in your shots. Located on the left side of the

scope opposite of the windage turret, there is a turret in which

controls the brightness settings of the reticles center red dot.

Between each setting is an “off” setting to making

switching the optic “on” and “off” fast without moving too far

from the preferred brightness setting. This is a huge plus for

getting on target quickly with an illuminated reticle.


The months following the SIG M400 rifle’s arrival for testing

saw several trips to the range for testing both the rifle and

wide range of optics including the Romeo 5 red dot. Despite the

rifle being relatively lightweight compared to a lot of popular

rifles on the market, I was very pleased with the soft felt recoil,

minimal muzzle rise and overall extreme controllability moving

from target to target during strings of fire. The 6 lb. trigger pull

offered a very smooth action with a crisp reset. Usually, I am

an avid fan of using aftermarket triggers such as Timney or Rise

Armament but SIG uses a trigger that is far from the rough and

heavy mil-spec 9 lb. triggers.

To aid in accuracy, SIG employed a spring tension plunger

they call an “Accu-tensioner” which places upward pressure on

the rear takedown pin. The intent for this device is to reduce

any micro-movements between the upper and lower receivers

which may affect long range accuracy. This is the only true “nonessential”

I found anywhere on the rifle. The forging between

the SIG’s upper and lower were very clean and matched up

better than most in the industry. The concept for the tension

device was in good faith, but I don’t see where it was really


One item that was upgraded much to my delight was

the bolt release / hold open button. This paddle style device

offers the same rocking motion for use as a traditional milspec

button but has a slightly wider top for easier access when

locking the rifle’s bolt to the rear. Much more impressive was

the lower portion of the device which is normally a small hump

or knob.

SIG has employed a small wide platform which proved to

be very fast to activate and release the bolt even when wearing

gloves. For shooters who have ever tried to release an AR-15

bolt under stress, they know what a pain it is to try hitting the

mil-spec release cleanly and decisively on the move. Even if I

had not found other things about the rifle that I really enjoyed,

this small detail would still be a huge plus.

Working with the included Romeo 5 red dot during the bulk

of the testing period, I was very impressed with it’s clear, crisp

field of view. The ammunition used for testing was also sent

from SIG in the form of their own branded 77 grain match grade

hollow points. At static targets ranging from 15 to 50 yards,

the M400 moved quickly from target to target scoring great

3 shot groupings. Taking a kneeling position, the rifle made


short work out of popper targets at 75 yards before moving to

the 100 yards mark in the prone position. The 2 MOA dot was

easy to see even on the 6” steel plates at 100 yards without

obscuring the entire target from view.

Moving out to 200 yards with the red dot, I was able to

quickly place all shots on target from the prone position onto

a reduced size torso AR500 steel target from our friends at

Veteran Steel Targets. With the extreme bright Florida sun, the

top brightness settings were needed to better see the dot, but

during the few over cast training days available, I could get

away with running the brightness setting all the way down to

a 3 or 4. On low light indoor ranges, the #2 setting was perfect.

To fully see what the M400 rifle was capable of, I decided to

remove the red dot and mount the Whiskey 3 long range optic.

Despite being supplied with a set of SIG branded “high”

rings, I had to use an different manufacturer’s “extra high”

set in order for the 50 mm bell to clear the AR’s flat top. (not

pictured) Once this issue was resolved, it was time to get down

to business. Starting at 50 yards, it was only a matter of less

than a half dozen shots needed to dope in the optic and start

running the rifle at extended distances. The M400 proved to

be a sub-MOA gun at the 100 yard mark giving an average

group around .9”. As a long time shooter of the AR platform,

it is amazing to me how far this category of “out of the box”

rifles has come along over the years from acceptable 3” battle

accuracy to the accomplishments today.

As I increased the distance to 150 yards, head shots were

still easy to accomplish with the stable and accurate dimensions

of the 77 grain SIG ammo. With shorter distances, a good trigger

is just an added bonus, but when distances start to stretch out,

a quality trigger’s worth grows exponentially. From the prone

position, I took each shot and held the trigger rearward until

the full recoil subsided then slowed released until the clearly

felt reset clicked back into position. I noted an impressive

lack of travel between reset and the shot break which is not

very common in a standard production trigger. Even when the

distance maxed out our available testing area at 200 yards, the

target filled the optic at full zoom and even without the reticle

illuminated, the crisp, clear black crosshairs easily allowed for

2” groups on the body and ocular area head shots. If you could

see it, this rifle hit it!


Over the months testing the SIG M400 and both the Romeo

5 red dot and Whiskey 3 long range optic, the rifle had the

opportunity to show its versatility. I was impressed overall

by the performance of all the products reviewed, especially

considering these were all from one company. SIG Sauer has

truly managed to position themselves over 2017 as a shooter’s

“one stop shop” for all their needs from everything from

firearms, optics and even the ammunition.

Retailing with an MSRP of US$1359.00, the SIG M400 is a

top performing rifle in a sea of much lesser quality rifles on the

market. Not only is the SIG M400 priced lower than others in its

class, it also comes with the Romeo 5 red dot which is priced

at a MSRP of US$219.99 if purchased alone. This optic held up

well through a wide range of environments during testing from

extremely heat to getting caught in heavy down pours on the

range. The optic continued to offer a clear and crisp field of view

and held zero very well.

If longer ranges are your preference, the Whiskey 3 4-12x50

proved to be a very capable optic that could easily be used for

common hunting and tactical distances with good performance.

Retailing with a MRSP of around US$539.99, the Whiskey 3 is

a good quality scope for a great entry level price. Considering

it comes with an illuminated reticle powered by the CR 2032

battery as well as a clear, quad lined reticle, the Whiskey 3 may

be one of the best “sleeper” values on the optics market right


Overall, I felt the rifle was extremely well built and

performed well with minimum upkeep. With just a small

application of Modern Spartan Accuracy Oil, the rifle showed no

signs of rust or heavy wear during testing despite few thorough

cleanings between hundreds of rounds being put down range.

The only three noted failure to feeds turned out to be a

failure in a worn-out magazine rather than the

initial speculation of perhaps an issue with the

rifle itself. If you are in the market for a new AR

platform rifle, I urge you to go with a trusted

name in the industry and check out the wide

range of firearms, optics and ammo offered at

www.sigsauer.com to find out which best suits

your shooting needs.






Throughout history, the dagger has managed to transcend its humble origins as a medieval belt knife to

become symbolic and sacred, especially within military circles. Often characterized by a very sharp point

and usually two sharp edges, daggers are typically designed to be used as a thrusting or stabbing tool.

During medieval times, the dagger’s ability to pierce the links of chain mail and between plates of armor

made it invaluable when larger knives and swords often failed. Trampas takes a look at a very special

version that’s comes courtesy of some very good friends to PMCI!


ver time, daggers have come to represent

freedom, liberty and the end of oppression

due to their continued use during key

moments in history. Even the tyranny of the

mighty Julius Caesar fell to the dagger at the

hands of his Senate. With its unique shape

and design, there’s no wonder why these

simple tools have become part of ritual and

ceremonial contexts around the country

from Freemasons to modern warriors of some of the world’s

most elite fighting forces.

Daggers are used as part of the insignias of elite military

units or special forces, such as the US Army Airborne Special

Operations unit or the Commando Dagger patch for those

who have completed the British All Arms Commando Course.

Some of the toughest warriors I personally know bare tattoos

of the iconic dagger somewhere on their bodies in tribute to

the sleek, stealthy tool. Much like the image, these men and

women’s minds are sharp, precise and deadly!

The lineage of the modern fighting dagger was born on

a design created by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony

Sykes in Shanghai based on concepts which the two men

initiated before World War II while serving on the Shanghai

Municipal Police in China. Its rise to fame came through its


use of British Commandos, Airborne Forces and SAS during WWII,

most notably during the landings at Normandy. As all things do

through use and data gathering, the fighting dagger evolved its

design and extended its legacy through the vision of Col. Rex

Applegate and again, William E. Fairbairn.

The deadly V-shaped grind of the Fairbairn – Sykes knife took

on a more convex “apple seed” profile within the design of the

Applegate – Fairbairn dagger. The blade itself became a bit wider

to give it more strength and durability. After Fairbairn’s passing,

Col. Applegate took their design to Bill Harsey Jr. After reworking

with the design, Harsey began producing the Fairbairn – Sykes

dagger through renowned blade manufacturer, Al Mar Knives.

Although this production line became a success, Harsey continued

to tweak the designs of the Applegate – Fairbairn dagger. What

Harsey came up with was a folding version for Gerber Legendary

Blades, which won the 1996 International Blade Show “American

Made Knife of the Year” award. While many companies have tried

to be the “next” in the storied dagger lineage, it would take men

with the real-world backgrounds and the continued vision of a

blade legend Bill Harsey Jr to accomplish this goal. Recently, that

next page began to be written with the release of a new knife

known as the Spartan Harsey Dagger.


The Spartan Harsey Dagger was born from the collaborative work

between Spartan Blades and the afore mentioned knife making

legend Bill Harsey Jr. Spartan Blades founders, Curtis Iovito and

Mark Carey are both Army Special Forces snipers and have worked

overseas as contractors on personal security details for wellknown

government agencies. The Spartan Blades headquarters is

in the sleepy town of Southern Pines, NC just a stone’s throw from

the back gates of Fort Bragg. Mark and Curtis actively keep in

contact with active duty SF soldiers, allowing them to stay current

on what is needed in terms of combat/survival knives.

This company is no stranger to daggers as the Spartan – George

V-14 Dagger produced by Spartan Blades in a collaborative effort

with knife maker, Les George was hugely popular. I personally

own one of these blades and I can attest to the fact it is very well

made, sleek, sexy and most of all DEADLY. PMCI Magazine even

featured my impressions of these well-balanced blade in a full

article written a couple of years ago.

As with any true artist or designer, the guys at Spartan Blades

always look for new improvements, variations and opportunities

for design changes in their work. Finally, they decided to team

up with their good friend and longtime collaborative partner, Bill

Harsey Jr to get his thoughts on a new idea for a modern fighting

dagger design. Bill sat down at the draft board, literally with pen

and paper to help become the next to carry the fighting dagger

design into the 21st century with Spartan Blades.

As a true fan of dagger designs and rich history, I couldn’t help

but become excited for its release, when I first got word of this

project. Given the experience and knowledge of both Mark Carey

and Curtis Iovito combined with Bill Harsey Jr, it doesn’t matter

if the project is a knife, hammer or bottle opener, you can best

bet it’s going to be the most thought out and purpose-built tool

possible. These three men all have walls full of the awards and

accolades well-earned over the years for their creations for both

civilian and military markets.






Designer: William “Bill” Harsey Jr

Overall Length: 10 3/4”

Blade Length: 6”

Blade Thickness: 3/16”

Blade Steel: CPM S35V

Blade Hardness: 58-60 HRC

Blade Style: Dagger

Coating: PVD – Tungsten DLC (Flat Black) or ZrN (Flat

Dark Earth)

Handle Material: 3D contoured Double Black CE Canvas Micarta®


Lined Nylon MOLLE sheath (Black, Coyote

Tan, or MultiCam) or Kydex with Belt Loop

(Black or Coyote Tan)

Weight: 6.72 oz


After the release of the Spartan Harsey Dagger, I researched

more about its construction and design. I was even fortunate

enough to discuss the project with Curtis Iovito and Bill Harsey

Jr directly. A few months later, a sample of the new dagger

arrived for review and I quickly went to work. The first item on

hand was to pull the Spartan George Dagger project out and do

a quick comparison as well as study how the Spartan Harsey

version has evolved from the others in its lineage. Both sharing

the incredible CPM S35V steel blades and canvas Micarta grips,

there are still a few things that separate them from each other.

Thanks to advancements in machining combined with

skillful hands on work, the dagger shares a diamond profile

with the Les George collaboration for added strength over

the “apple seed” profile of its predecessor. The Harsey design

features a slightly shorter 6” blade which is only a ¾” reduction

to the Les George design, but keeps truer to the Applegate

blade. Despite the slight length difference and much less

unsharpened area in its ricasso., it gives the new dagger a

better sense of maneuverability to ease in working angles of


Just as the Applegate blade widened the profile of the

original Fairbanks design, the Harsey design flairs out wider

from tip to cross guard. This would open a wound channel

wider for more damage while still managing to keep a sleek,

low profile. While the Les George design paid tribute to the flat


90-degree cross guard of the original Fairbanks design for the

dagger purists of the world, I was happy to see the Applegate

influence of the Spartan Harsey cross guard. Not only does

intersect the handle at 90-degrees, it then flairs outward for

added protection of the hand.

In true Spartan Blades style, the new dagger offers a full

tang design ended in a “skull crusher” style point on the

pommel. The Les George design which featured a wider grip

indexing flats on the top and bottom of the rounded scales

and a deep flat center line of the integrally designed cross

guard. The new Harsey design not only has an independent

cross guard but a thinner, more rounded grip with true indexing

grip ground into each side. For those with smaller hands as

mine, the Harsey design fits more comfortable and offers more

control of the blade. Perhaps one of my favorite additions to

the new design is the Fairbairn – Sykes style flair at the pommel

is a great nod to the past while also aiding in blade retention

preventing the hand from slipping down the grip. That sort of

attention to detail and heritage is one of the many reasons I

have come to greatly respect this team of designers and blade



Retailing for US$390, the Spartan Harsey Dagger is already

selling extremely well in the short time it has hit the market.

Despite technically being a production knife, the quality and

care of hand grinding and assembling each one creates a truly

custom level blade. Options in PVD blade coating are flat black

and flat dark earth while the sheaths are offered in lined MOLLE

equipped nylon (Black, Coyote Tan, or MultiCam) or Kydex with

belt loop mounts (Black or Coyote Tan).

The company slogan for Spartan Blades is “Knives with

Intent”. It only takes one look at the designs and materials their

blades are made from to know this is 100% true. Although their

work could be in a museum of art, the blades are made for the

battle in field they proudly serve today. If one of their blades

does end up in a museum in the future, you can best bet, it will

be a military museum as part of the tools that helped defend

the freedom of those brave enough to fight for it.

The balance, quick handling and precision of the Spartan

Harsey Dagger makes it the perfect example of the iconic knife

design to carry on its legacy well into the future

of modern warfare. To find out more about the

Spartan Harsey Dagger and other great designs,

visit them at www.SpartanBladesUSA.com

Until next issue everyone, keep your blades

sharp and your minds deadly!





In both civilian and law enforcement circles, the Smith and Wesson double action J-frame revolver

chambered in .38 Special has long been a favorite since its introduction in the 1950s. For the senior

officers in Trampas’ department, the 2” barrel (often referred to as a snub nose) 5 shot revolver was a

favorite “unofficial” carry pistol.

When I started my law enforcement

career at the turn of this century, I was

blessed to be surrounded by old war

horses in the form of Sergeants and

Lieutenants serving their last years

on the job awaiting retirement. Most

of these seasoned officers started

their careers after coming home from

serving in the military during Vietnam.

These experiences from overseas brought along a lot of lessons

learned about human nature, the cunningness of man, and

violence of gun fighting from firsthand experiences. These

hardened men had stories that were both entertaining and

exciting, with each teaching a hard lesson to those who could

understand. So, when it came to notice a common firearm kept

close for discreet protection by many of these grey warriors, I

took notes.

This small Smith and Wesson double action J-frame wheel

gun would have the duty of being backup to their department

side arm, a hideout gun stuffed in a desk drawer or brief

case for emergencies and an off-duty gun carried in a jacket

pocket or stuffed inside a boot. As my good friend and awardwinning

gun writer, Roger Eckstein once wrote, “The object of


lightweight snubbies is to afford an effective level of firepower

in a package that is reliable, simple to operate, and easy to

carry.” Not only did experienced Law Enforcement officers carry

them but many in the Military Special Operations community I

have had the honor of meeting over the years did so as well.

To the modern nay-sayers sitting in gun shops, who

complain these little revolvers can’t be shot accurately, this

is where their ignorance truly shows. I have personally seen

these gentlemen with aging eyes peer through coke bottle

glasses and burn down center mass hits one after another

before walking off with the only perfect qualification scores. Is

it easy to shoot these little wheel guns accurately? Hell NO, but

it can be done?

YES, I’ve seen it happen year after year throughout my

career. It simply takes something a lot of shooters these days

who simply want to “go fast” don’t have; heart, determination

and dedication to practice enough to achieve their goal. With

that in mind, this week’s review article honors these fine

gentlemen with a look at an updated version of their best kept

secret, the Smith and Wesson model 638 Airweight double

action revolver.


The model featured is a variation of the classic model 638

Bodyguard many detectives and security specialists have

carried for decades. What makes this model different isn’t its

“humpback” frame shared by its predecessor and other S&W

hammerless designed revolvers such as the 642 and 442

but the fact that it features a very low profile, semi-bobbed

hammer. This hammer includes a small snag-free thumb stud

with just enough grip to firmly cock the hammer into single

action mode for a lighter trigger and more precise shot.

Visually, this gun as often looked at as the ugly duckling

of the Smith and Wesson line up compared to the classic look

of the larger model 66 Combat, but for those who understand

its design, the model 638 is gorgeous! This pistol features a

lightweight allow frame with a stainless steel barrel and

cylinder and only weights 14.6 oz! From its extreme furthest

ends, the gun measures 6.3” with a 1.785” barrel. The sight

radius consisting of a fixed front ramped sight and rear notch

style sight is roughly 3.4”. Despite the gun’s small dimensions,

the 638 is fully rated for +P ammunition. With the right

ammunition, that can amount to a lot of power in a small,

lightweight package able to be carried just about anywhere on

the body comfortably all day.

To carry the model 638 daily, I chose carry using a Gun Sox

ankle holster sent over for testing by Cheata Tactical (www.

cheatatactical.com) and a Safariland model 18 inside the

waistband holster loaned to me by good friend and fellow gun

writer, Clint Steele. When wearing jeans or khakis, the Gun

Sox’s full calf coverage would give me a perfect way to keep

the gun secure are readily accessible. During this time of year, a

pair of shorts end up being the attire for the day when I am not

teaching on the range or filming. For carrying concealed during

causal hours, the Safariland holster offered a great option for

appendix carry as well as at the 3 and 4 o’clock positions.


Caliber: .38 Special

Weight: 14.6 oz.

Barrel Length: 1.785”

Overall Length: 6.3”

Overall Height: 4.5”

Rated: P+

Finish: Matte Grey

Grips: Black Rubber (Optional Pink)

Sights: Fixed

Trigger Pull: 4 lbs. (Single Action), 14 lbs. (Double Action)


To put the model 638 Airweight through the paces, I met with

fellow gun writers, Clint Steele and Jerry Moody at our local

private range known as “The Swamp”. For testing, I brought

along four different loads consisting of Winchester 110 grain

Jacketed Hollow Points (JHP), Corbon +P 110 JHP, Winchester

Bonded 130 grain JHP and 130 grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)

from American Eagle. Once the cameras and targets were set

up, each shooter took turns running each of the different loads

through the pistol. These tests would illustrate various felt

recoil and performance.

Working at common self-defense distances of 3 yards out to

15 yards, the 638 gave each shooter solid vital zone hits shooting

from the double action mode. More precise shots to the head

of the target could be taken by thumb cocking the hammer

manually in single action mode to reduce the trigger pull from

14 lbs. to a more manageable 4 lbs. All ammo performed well,

with the point of aim and point of impact matching up well

with the fixed sights. Of the four loads, the +P Corbon 110 JHP

ammo really stood out as far as felt recoil. Despite the slim but

comfortable black rubber grips, I could feel a sharp snap in my

hand as each round was fired. For regular practice, I stuck with

the American Eagle FMJ rounds and conceal carried the pistol

with the Winchester Bonded 130 grain JHP for better results on

soft targets.

Since I normally carry semi-auto pistols daily, loading was

the only aspect of testing the pistol I really needed to brush my

skills on. Despite knowing how to do it with my eyes closed

and even teaching it to others in classes, it still takes a small

learning curve to get everything flowing smoothly. The model

638 fit in my hands very well, allowing my short sausage

digits to manipulate the cylinder release and shrouded ejector

rod quickly. Most of the spent brass fell out cleanly with only

gravity pulling on it while I had the gun tilted back. Only the

Corbon casings needed an extra punch to clear their chambers.

What I noticed the most during slow fire was there seemed

to be a slight glitch when pulling the trigger. It was heavy and

smooth until the cylinder made its rotation then I would feel

a slight stop or “hitch” point before the hammer dropped. If I

manipulated the trigger pull just right, I could stop the hammer

very close to its natural single action cocked position before

continuing pressure to fire. After a morning of shooting, the 14

lbs. trigger pull really started to wear on my finger a bit as well.

Another point of interest that arose, came about when I




started shooting the pistol in single action mode. The hammer

features a small stud on the top that rides slightly above the

frame during its full range of motion. There are four small

grooves cut into the stud horizontally to provide just enough

grip surface for my thumb to pull back the hammer. I noticed

this to be relatively difficult with the stiff factory hammer

spring. Every four out of five attempts would be successful but

before carrying any pistol for self-defense, I require everything

to work every time if I may need to depend on it. One quick

call to my friend, Paul Erhardt at Apex Tactical and a J-Frame

performance spring kit as they call their Carry / Duty kit was on

the way.

Once the kit arrived, it only took 20 mins to install the

new trigger return spring, hammer spring, firing pin and firing

pin spring. As I dry fired the 638 in my work shop, I could

immediately feel a difference. In both single and double action

dry firing, the trigger and hammer seemed much smoother

and gone was that annoying “hitch” feeling. I headed over to

the range and proceeded to run an assortment of ammunition

through the gun to test function under rapid fire. Overall, I could

not have been more pleased with the gun. It ran smooth as silk

with zero function issues.

With more confidence in the pistol, I began to carry it

daily inside the waist band or on my left ankle. A bit of dry

fire mixed with “bar room speed” practice on the range really

showed off how easy the model 638 could be drawn and put

into action. Everything about the pistol’s design is meant to

be completely snag free upon quick retrieval prior to sending

lead down range. When feasible, I would even carry the S&W

in addition to my SIG P365. This combo would offer me not

only 16 total rounds of firepower but also an additional firearm

in the extreme case of mechanical failure with the other. At

no point did I feel uncomfortable with the Cheata Tactical or

Safariland holster during carry.


Overall, I really enjoyed the model 638 Air Weight revolver.

Its practical application is timeless due to its reliability and

simplistic operation as with any revolver compared to semiautos.

If the hammer drops and the cartridge fails to fire, rather

than going through a complex system of tap, rack, fire, drop

magazines, rack, load, rack and fire again, the end user simply

pulls the trigger once again and first another round. Where

the model 638 really shines unto its own is the lightweight

carry and clean lines that resist snagging on clothing during the

draw. As I found with both the Safariland holster and Gun Sox,

all day carry and quick, efficient movements to put the pistol

into action are easily accomplished without issue.

If you need to run to the store at night once you have

already gotten home, out of your work clothes and into your

favorite sweat pants, this would be good choice as well. Rather

than needing to change into jeans and belt with your daily

carry holster, you can simply drop the model 638 in a jacket

pocket and head out. Its advantage over a small semi-auto

pistol comes in the event you must shoot from concealment.

If it were a semi-auto, the first shot would fire and then the

slide would more than likely become stuck or catch inside your

pocket. The 638’s action revolves the cylinder inside its frame

and can offer continuous fire from inside the close quarters of

the newly ventilated jacket pocket.

The model 638 is offered from S&W with a few custom

options such as pink rubber grips instead of the standard black

as well as a laser grip module from their partnership with

Crimson Trace. In low light, across the room distances, the laser

grip may be your best option. In any case, just remember, this

small gun does take a lot of dedicated practice to shoot well.

Some have wrote calling it the “expert’s” gun, but I would not

go that far. I have seen many shooters devote time practicing

with the pistol and quickly become very efficient with it.

If you are a professional who carries an issued gun full time

and you’re looking for a solid back-up option, I would suggest

looking into the model 638 for yourself to see the reasons why

it has stood the test of time. For those simply looking for a solid

gun for the car, specifically lightweight carry pistol or even a

back-up to your “go-to” gun when it all goes south, you can’t

beat the reliability of a revolver. My suggestion is to make it

routine to also carry a reload option in either a

speed strip or speed loader in addition to a quality

knife. With only five rounds and slow reloads,

you may want to consider other options as you

work through your force continuum. For more

information, visit www.smith-wesson.com to find

the S&W firearm that best fits your needs.






/ SRP: £79.95




One of the most disappointing items to encounter when shopping for a new defensive handgun is to find a

great deal on the pistol you want, but realize, it comes with less than stellar factory iron sights, but that can

be remedied swiftly and easily thanks to Williams Gun Sight Company .

For those who follow my firearm reviews, its no secret,

I really like the Glock series of pistols. Unfortunately,

I really hate the cheap, plastic factory sights with

the ostentatious “U” shaped outlined rear sight and

golf ball sized white dot front sight. I find it a very

distracting to my focus when shooting as it tends to

make one giant bright white blur when addressing

the target quickly.

Recently, I had the opportunity to purchase a new

Glock model 43 9mm pistol with a factory installed Crimson Trace

laser unit. With the pistol originally being a writer’s sample sent

for review and the price was hard to say “NO” to once I wrapped

on the article. Unfortunately, despite the great price and features,

it did however arrive with the factory white plastic sights. I

quickly researched my options since the model 42 / 43 were still

relatively new and on a different size platform than other model

Glocks. My good friend and colleague, David Link told me about

a business making top notch fiber optic sights called the Williams

Gun Sight Company. After reading up on the company, I discovered

Williams made reliable, defensive and target model front and rear

pistol, rifle and shotgun sights made from solid aluminum and

fiber optics. I immediately ordered a set of defensive sights with

red and green fiber optics to fit the Glock model 42 / 43.


Within a few days, the new sights arrived from Williams Gun Sight

Company ready for action. Using my MGW Sight-Pro sight pusher,

switching out the factory sights for the new sights was a breeze.

The longest part of the process was simply setting up the sight

pusher for the right size and position. The sight pusher used may be

the most recent in a history of over a half dozen sight pushers and

twice the investment of all the others combined but it is certainly

the last one I will ever have to buy. The interchangeable “shoes”

that hold the slide safely in place from damage and heavy duty all

steel construction are well worth the money!

Once installed, these sights were fantastic compared to the

factory offerings. The Glock 43 is a relatively small platform in

relation to a lot of handguns shooters are traditionally used to. The

small slide lends itself normally to small, hard to see sights. I found

the newly installed Williams sights were clear and fast to acquire

when shooting from defensive positions, even in low light. I needed

very little ambient light to make these sights appear ready to use.

Prior to using the new sights, I had a concern that the fiber optic

sights would be so bright, it would distract me from the target.

Fortunately, the sights had the opposite effect. I found the sights

aided my eyes in focusing on the clear green front sight easier and

not get caught up in the tunnel vision of staring at the target as my

main clear focus. The red rear fiber optics contrasted starkly to the

front sight. The deep “U” cut out in the rear sight along with the thin

profile of the front sight allowed for a great view of the target while

easily keeping “equal height, equal light” between the two sights.

This was excellent in quickly developing a solid sight alignment

and sight picture without confusion of which sight was which in

relation to the target in a split second.

Follow up shots such as quick double taps as well as longer

strings of fire seemed to be seamless compared to the factory

sights. The main reason why would be due to being able to

acquire the Williams brand quicker after breaking each shot and

cycling through the recoil. The snag-free, low profile design of the

sights’ height keeps “height over bore axis” as low as possible. This

resulted in point of aim / point of impact being dead on at the

standard defensive training distance of around 21 feet. The sturdy

all aluminum built sights gave me confidence in durability during

rough use in comparison to the original Glock offering.

Retailing with a MSRP of US$49.99, I think the Williams fiber optic

sights are a great value for what you get. My only suggestion for the

Williams Gun Sight Company would be to make the rear sights with

a squared front profile for an easier one handed tactical reloads in

emergency situations such as having your dominant hand injured.

A completely blacked out rear sight would be nice to see as

well. Many firearms trainers I know often prefer to only have the

front sight stand out when speed shooting. As the pistol used for

testing is often carried at night, I would like to eventually see the

Williams Gun Sight Company offer a Tritium front sight insert as

well. I realize that this variation to the current sights would come

with a hike in price, many shooters may feel the cost would be well

worth it. Overall, as a direct replacement for the white “U” outline

and dot Glock sights, the Williams sights are a spot on quick fix that

will place you way ahead of the game for a very low price.

To check out the entire range of high-quality items offered

by Williams Gun Sight Company please do pay a visit to https://








Whilst the majority of the focus for 6mm Training is centred around handgun models at the moment there are

already training tools available licenced by companies you probably all know and love already, so this time Bill

gets into things by showcasing the training version of the Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) SR-16!

Sometimes I genuinely feel that I’ve become a

little jaded when it comes to so-called “training

guns”; once upon a time when I received an

item for testing I’d immediately strip open the

shipping box to get at the goodies inside, but

these days I sign the receipt and it generally

goes onto the pile that needs working through…

This may sound “privileged” and a little odd

to many of you out there, but it needs to be

something pretty special to really get my juices flowing! Back

during IWA 2018 I saw and handled some absolutely lovely

training tools, and whilst there were some that offered genuine

advances in performance and technology, there was no “light

bulb moment”, that moment when you pick something up and

think to yourself “I MUST have one of these!”

Until it was that I met with my friend Ray Chang from Vega

Force Company (VFC) that is! Whilst we were chatting on the

VFC stand my eyes they were a wanderin’, taking in all the

goodies that VFC have to offer. But what my eyes wandered

to on the VFC stand was their fully licenced Knight Armament

Company SR-16 Gas Blowback Carbine, and it was love at first


If you are new to the world of the “6mm Trainer” then I am

certain you will no doubt, as many do, write off “airsoft guns”

as things for kids and “wannabes”, and whilst there is certainly

some truth in this, it is also true that numerous manufacturers

in the airsoft industry have been working hand in hand with

well-reputed firearms counterparts to bring some stunning,

fully-licenced replicas to market.

I’ll throw into the pot here that from conversations I

had at SHOT this year numerous firearm manufacturers are

seeking experienced friends in the “6mm” industry with a

view to creating training platforms based on existing airsoft

technologies. I’ve seen this developing over a few years in

truth, seeing some pretty famous names (SIG and Glock for

instance) exploring this territory with real intent.


likes the KAC brand and guns very much. KAC guns are not only

beautiful but also well-made. So we started make airsoft replicas

of KAC, and we chose the KAC PDW, an interesting model to

start with. After initial manufacture we were introduced by our

American friends and we got online with KAC themselves.

KAC were very surprised that we could make the airsoft guns

so beautiful and close to their appearance and that started the

long-term cooperation with us. Talking about how we cooperate,

in general, they don’t limit what we want to do. We only need

to pick the types we want to make, and send samples to them

for review and confirmation, and then we can start making and

selling products by ourselves. I think this is because the quality of

the airsoft replica we make is very good, so they are very happy

to let us to handle airsoft replicas of their brand.”

And VFC are one such company who are right at the forefront,

with strategic alliances in place to drive forward the “training

agenda”, and they’ve already been working with LE partners

close to home in Taiwan for some time. Vega Force Company

was founded in 2004, and had gained a global reputation for not

only being 100% professional, but also for making highly realistic

airsoft replicas with custom grade performance instilled in their

internal mechanical design, giving end users a better shooting

and operating experience.

And whilst they hold licences with a number of firearms

companies to produce 6mm replicas of the very highest quality,

the one I will focus on here is that of KAC. Now we all know

Knight’s Armament Company as they seem to have been a part

of the industry for ever, and their firearms and technologies have

definitely been right at the tip of the spear when it comes to the

“War on Terror”. Going right back to 1974 founder C. Reed Knight

Jr. began with the intention of developing specialist equipment

and weapons for US Special Forces, and initially worked with

Eugene “The Daddy of the AR” Stoner, a collaboration which

resulted in KAC’s best known product line, the Rail Interface

System (RIS). More recently KAC added full blown firearms to

their extensive list of accessories, and like their accessories, these

are highly specialised platforms such as the SR-47, PDW (Personal

Defense Weapon), SR-25, M110 SASS, SR-15, and the SR-16 .

I asked Ray at VFC about the SR-16 as it comes under their

licensing arrangement with Knights Armament; I asked him if he

could you tell me a little about how that relationship started and

how VFC works with them, and he told me;

“The cooperation with KAC is down to the fact that our boss


So what, to me, makes the VFC replica of the SR-16 the right

tool for training purposes, and the answer is simple! If you can

find a full metal replica of an “AR” that is 100% exactly like its

real world counterpart, that feels, can be adjusted, and operates

(albeit from gas and BBs in each magazine rather than bullets

and propellant) like a real carbine for the same price I would love

to hear about it!

Overall the VFC is as close to the real deal as you’ll find in

6mm form! Everything is nailed down to look and feel exactly

as it would on the real thing, including the operating system! It

has a full-travel bolt with some real “oomph”, and once again

this replicates exactly the operation of the military rifle so your

drills are 100% the same; for instance the VFC “V-Mags” only

hold 30 BBs so your reloads need to be on point. In addition to

luxurious build quality and superb components, the SR-16 also

offers realistic take-down; by splitting the receivers you can





remove the BCG for cleaning and maintenance, again, just like

the real thing.


• Length - 33 inches (838 mm -stock extended), 29.75


(756 mm - stock retracted)

• Weight - 2770g (unloaded)

• Magazine Capacity - 30 BBs

• Power Source - Gas Powered via Magazine

• Blowback – Yes, Full Travel BCG

• Shooting Modes - Semi, Full Auto

• Hop-up – Adjustable for BB weight

• Magazine Compatibility - VFC M4 GBBR models

But what is beauty without performance? I’m pleased to report

that the SR-16 has both. I initially took the carbine to my usual

30m woodland range to chrono and test, and in terms of power

I got a consistent 1.35 Joule/382fps on a .20g BB using green

gas, and with .30g BBs the accuracy was stunning at that range!

I spoke more to Ray after the initial test and he seemed a little

miffed that I’d only tested at 30m as in Taiwan they’d been

hitting A4 sheets at twice that distance!

Never one to be put off by a challenge, I duly fitted the SR-

16 with a Harris-style bipod and a Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6X24

optic and headed back to the woods. Measuring out 75m I

secured one of my own home-made A4 targets and had at it

prone… suffice to say that the A4 came home with twenty 6mm

holes drilled in it.

I honestly have fallen in love with the VFC SR-16, and now

that I’ve used and trained with it this feeling has only been

reinforced; I honestly, genuinely love it to bits! There are many

gas rifles and carbines out there now that “simulate” the real

thing, and many of them are very, very expensive beasts.

Having now shot the SR-16 I can tell you that it will perform as

well as the best, and you’ll find it with most good dealers for

under US$350! Now the SR-16 is with me I’ll be returning to it

in our “on test” section over time so you can see how things


In closing, this is by no means your average “airsoft gun”

and for this reason I don’t believe you’ll be seeing it regularly

in “games”, but it hasn’t been designed and made for the mass

market. It’s been designed and made for those that truly want

a training platform that operates exactly like the real thing, but

that fires simple 6mm BBs, not live 5.56! It’s been designed for

the collector and those that want to use every tool in the box

they can access to make themselves a better, smoother, and

indeed safer shooter… basically it’s been designed for people

like me, and to that end I can only recommend it to you in the

best possible way!

My thanks go to my good freind Ray at VFC

(https://www.vegaforce.com) for being part

of this article, and also to the guys at http://

uk.redwolfairsoft.com for facilitating delivery.







In 1942 when all seemed lost for the Battle of Bataan, one young

Army Captain named Russell Volckmann refused to surrender. He

disappeared into the jungles of north Luzon where he raised a

Filipino army of more than 22,000 men. For the next three years

he led a guerrilla war against the Japanese, killing more than

50,000 enemy soldiers. At the same time he established radio

contact with MacArthur’s headquarters in Australia and directed

Allied forces to key enemy positions. When General Yamashita

finally surrendered, he made his initial overtures not to MacArthur,

but to Volckmann!

This book establishes how Volckmann’s leadership was critical

to the outcome of the war in the Philippines. His ability to

synthesize the realities and potential of guerrilla warfare led to a

campaign that rendered Yamashita’s forces incapable of repelling

the Allied invasion. Had it not been for Volckmann, the Americans

would have gone in “blind” during their counter-invasion, reducing

their efforts to a trial-and-error campaign that would undoubtedly

have cost more lives, materiel, and potentially stalled the pace

of the entire Pacific War.

This engrossing book also shows Volckmann as the progenitor

of modern counterinsurgency doctrine and the true “Father” of

Army Special Forces, a title that history has erroneously awarded

to Colonel Aaron Bank of the European Theater of Operations. In

1950, Volckmann wrote two army field manuals, “Operations

Against Guerrilla Forces and Organization and Conduct of Guerrilla

Warfare”, but today few realize he was their author. Together, they

became the US Army’s first handbooks outlining the precepts for

both special warfare and counter-guerrilla operations. Taking his

argument directly to the army chief of staff, Volckmann outlined

the concept for Army Special Forces. At a time when US military

doctrine was conventional in outlook, he marketed the ideas of

guerrilla warfare as a critical force multiplier for any future conflict,

ultimately securing the establishment of the Army’s first special

operations unit, the 10th Special Forces Group.

Volckmann himself remains a shadowy figure in modern

military history, his name absent from every major biography on

MacArthur, and in much of the Army Special Forces literature. Yet

as modest, even secretive, as Volckmann was during his career,

it is difficult to imagine a man whose heroic initiative had more

impact on World War II. This long overdue book not only chronicles

the dramatic military exploits of Russell Volckmann, but analyses

how his leadership paved the way for modern special warfare


The author Mike Guardia is an internationally recognized author

and military historian. A veteran of the US Army, he served six

years on active duty as an armour officer. He is the author of the

widely acclaimed “Hal Moore: A Soldier Once . . . And Always”,

the first-ever biography chronicling the life of Lieutenant General

Harold G. Moore. Guardia has been nominated twice for the

Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award and is

an active member in the Military Writers Society of America. He

currently lives in Texas.

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Casemate; B Format edition (October 1, 2019)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1612007155

ISBN-13: 978-1612007151


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