PMCI November 2021

As we approach the end of yet another tough year the team at PMCI are as always looking forward and continue to embrace the armed lifestyle that we all hold so dear! In this issue we look to both the past, with an excellent interview with Robert Redfeather on “Apache Knifefighting” and get on the range with the venerable Uzi, and to the future as we tackle red dot handgun sights and some of the very latest training tools to hit the market. Along with our usual focus-points on “guns n’ gear” and some serious attitude, PMCI is ready to evolve further and we're fully prepped to hit the New Year ahead!

As we approach the end of yet another tough year the team at PMCI are as always looking forward and continue to embrace the armed lifestyle that we all hold so dear!
In this issue we look to both the past, with an excellent interview with Robert Redfeather on “Apache Knifefighting” and get on the range with the venerable Uzi, and to the future as we tackle red dot handgun sights and some of the very latest training tools to hit the market.
Along with our usual focus-points on “guns n’ gear” and some serious attitude, PMCI is ready to evolve further and we're fully prepped to hit the New Year ahead!


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NOV<strong>2021</strong><br />









































Copyright © Calibre Publishing <strong>2021</strong>. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval<br />

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

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

Editors reserve the right to edit submissions prior to publication.<br />

Thank you for downloading this Edition of <strong>PMCI</strong>, the FREE digital publication dedicated to PMC Operatives. <strong>PMCI</strong> is written by<br />

individuals with first-hand knowledge and experience of the subject they write about - and all of whom have an intimate<br />

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

<strong>PMCI</strong> will provide a platform to review and discuss the things to matter to all of us, such personal equipment, training, employment<br />

and lifestylestyle management - and these are also our core fundamentals. We hope you enjoy this Edition of <strong>PMCI</strong> and if you have<br />

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

Editor (UK): Bill Thomas<br />

Deputy Ed (USA): Trampas Swanson<br />

Graphic Design: Baz Thakur/<br />

Deadshot Design<br />

Publisher: Nigel Streeter<br />

Cover pic: STG<br />

www.swansontraininggroup.net<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong> magazine is a digital-only publication<br />

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T E L L T H E T I M E ,<br />

A L L T H E T I M E .<br />

Tr i t i u m i l l u m i n a t e d w a t c h e s<br />

t h a t s t ay v i s i b l e a l l n i g h t .<br />

E xc l u s i vely av a i l a b l e o n l i n e<br />




Interview by: Trampas Swanson<br />

Throughout time, mastery of the bladed weapon has been the hallmark of warrior culture. The Japanese Samurai, English Knights<br />

Templar and Nepalese Gurkhas are all excellent examples how brave fighters used the edged weapon to carve their place in history;<br />

in the United States, one of the purest forms of the knife culture lies within Native American lore, and Trampas got together with<br />

Robert Redfeather to learn more!<br />

Of the many tribes originally spread across North<br />

America, the Apache are often regarded as the<br />

most feared warriors of their nation. With famous<br />

warriors such as Geronimo, Cochise and Mangas<br />

Coloradas to their credit, white settlers impinging<br />

on the Native American lands lived in fear with<br />

tales of Apache fighting proficiency. The training,<br />

discipline, and spirit of the Apache warrior in<br />

detail remained virtually unknown for centuries.<br />

Perhaps one of the most highly regarded experts<br />

on the Apache combat is well-known author, actor, producer<br />

and Hall of Fame Grand Master martial artist, Robert Redfeather.<br />

Through books, videos, and seminars, Redfeather has diligently<br />

worked to bring the knowledge and skills of the Apache warrior<br />

to students who have traveled from around the globe to train<br />

with him. As a direct descendant of the Apache, he has spent<br />

a lifetime training, researching, and developing the following<br />

Apache fighting movements into a modernized system for<br />

civilian, law enforcement, elite military, and private military units.<br />

This issue, we have the honor of sitting down with Robert<br />

Redfeather to share with our readers information about the<br />

Apache culture and the modern knife fighting system he created.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: Robert, welcome to <strong>PMCI</strong> Magazine and thank you for<br />

taking time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us. It’s<br />

a true honor to have experts in our industry drop in each issue<br />

to connect with our readers. Let’s start off by discussing, how<br />

does the knife historically play into the Apache spiritually and<br />

the everyday culture?<br />

Redfeather: The knife is an everyday part of the Ndee culture<br />

(Ndee means “the people” in the native tongue). Not having a<br />

knife is like being a tiger with no teeth. Everyone carries one<br />

as an essential tool. From gathering food, making equipment,<br />

cutting rope to self-defense and war. The Warrior Society had<br />

a very difficult, four day knife ceremony to earn the right to<br />

become a member of the society. Some societies had markings<br />

behind their left ear to show their affiliation.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: As a martial artist, what discipline did you start with and<br />

what point did you get started in knife fight training?<br />

Redfeather: I started Kung Fu at age 5. Over the years I also<br />

studied Chinese Boxing, Judo, High School Wrestling, Boxing,<br />

Wing Chun and many others. The Los Angeles area is a wonderful<br />

place with a huge variety of arts to study! When I was 13, my<br />

grandparents decided it was time to for me to learn the family<br />

traditions of the Ndee culture and the Way of the Blade.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: What sort of knife is typically used in Apache Knife Fighting?<br />

Redfeather: A sharp one! We usually train with a Ka-Bar USMC<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />


knife because I like the design and frequently teach the Marines.<br />

Originally, we used obsidian, bone, or antler. When steel<br />

became available - that’s what we used. Many have said it<br />

before, the best knife is the one you have. We train with knives<br />

of various lengths to adapt to distance. I like the handle to have<br />

a slight curve at the back or with a pommel, so the hand doesn’t<br />

slip off the back. The grip should be textured and not round. I<br />

prefer a guard, so the hand won’t slip off the grip and onto the<br />

blade. For a fixed blade you really don’t need anything over 8-9<br />

inches. A pocket knife blade should be about 5 inches (depending<br />

on your local laws), have a textured grip and if possible, a guard<br />

of some type. Having a wave type design for fast opening is<br />

also desirable. A slight curve at the back of the handle is also<br />

desirable. Knives should not be shiny!<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: With so many knife styles being taught by instructors, how<br />

does the Apache Fighting system differ?<br />

Redfeather: We don’t stand our ground. We fight like the wind!<br />

Why stay in place? We do not fight as if we were dueling but<br />

as if we are on a battlefield. We don’t train for points but more<br />

of a freestyle method. While teaching the use of the knife we<br />

incorporate the Native Culture as well. We want our students to<br />

understand the reality of the knife. It is something to avoid!<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: What role does the fighting knife play into the military, law<br />

enforcement and private military application as well as a civilian<br />

world filled with concealed carry firearms?<br />

Redfeather: The military and law enforcement has always carried<br />

knives both for utility and CQB. Training to access the blade when<br />

out of ammo or when the firearm is grabbed is vital. A knife is no<br />

match for a firearm but a man with a knife can sometimes access<br />

their weapon quicker. There are a variety of knives out there<br />

specifically designed for easy access from a utility belt or vest.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: Are they any specific exercises you would recommend for<br />

those looking to contour their strength and dexterity for knife training?<br />

Redfeather: We have specific routines that can help develop<br />

reflexes and dexterity. Among those routines we train using a<br />

war post (also called a pell), using different patterns of cuts and<br />

stabs, and starting slow to learn both edge alignment and good<br />

body mechanics. Training in water also teaches control and adds<br />

strength.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: For those looking to get into knife training, where do you<br />

suggest they start for training?<br />

Redfeather: With us! We have seminars on a regular basis which<br />

you can sign up for in my website, www.apache-knife.com<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: Before we go, could you please let our readers know a

pmcimagazine.com<br />


little about your amazing book and how they can find a copy of,<br />

“Fight Like the Wind Apache Knife”?<br />

Redfeather: The book took me over a year to write and put<br />

together with the help of Stace Pitts, Robin Price and Morgan<br />

Ferry. It has 243 pages and includes not only training but Ndee<br />

culture and history. The colour edition is available at Amazon<br />

under the name, Apache Knife - Fight Like The Wind. The black<br />

and white edition is available at Lulu.com under the name Fight<br />

Like The Wind - Apache Knife.<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong>: I think our readers will really enjoy the knowledge<br />

and history you share about your culture just as I did when I<br />

discovered your book last year. Sir, it’s been an honor and a<br />

pleasure working on this interview. Thank you greatly for taking<br />

time from your busy schedule to share with us.<br />

Redfeather: As the founder of Apache Knife Combat it has been<br />

my pleasure to introduce you to this system.<br />

- Robert Redfeather, member of the Chiracahua Apache<br />

Nation.<br />

- 2018 Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame - Apache<br />

Knife One of the Oldest Traditional Native American Arts.<br />

- 2014 World Head of Family Sokeship Council - Grandmaster<br />

for Apache Knife - One of the Oldest Traditional Native American Arts<br />

- 2005 Represented the United States at the 8th Chungju<br />

World Martial Arts Festival in Chungju South Korea. Happy to<br />

represent the USA, the Ndee people and Apache Knife Combat.

pmcimagazine.com<br />









Hours have been shortened, round count<br />

requirements have been adjusted and<br />

even some courses taken off the schedule<br />

altogether. The hard truth is these adjustments<br />

and shortcuts have simply hurt the end users<br />

who need the repetitions and hours toward<br />

the mythological “10,000th hour” of becoming<br />

expertly proficient. Some have shrugged and<br />

simply said “it is what it is”, whilst others<br />

like our friends at Mantis, have addressed the<br />

situation head-on with more innovation to aid us.<br />

For example, one common training option for smoothing<br />

out trigger press is what is formerly known as dry fire practice,<br />

now officially rebranded by the National Rifle Association<br />

(NRA) as dry practice. This new verbiage makes sense due<br />

to the lack of actual “fire” taking place. The use of training<br />

devices such as snap caps, SIRT pistols and the Mantis X10<br />

have been extremely helpful with honing these basic skills.<br />

Through private one on one training sessions and fulllength<br />

courses, our Swanson Training Group instructor staff<br />

have regularly used these devices not only in the classroom<br />

but on the range as well to enhance success in true learning<br />

of information retainment. As mentioned in many of our<br />

<strong>PMCI</strong> Magazine articles, our instructors regularly use Shot<br />

Indicating Resetting Trigger (SIRT) training pistols from<br />

NextLevel Training. These pistols are designed to replicate<br />

various popular models of Glock, SIG and S&W semi auto<br />

handguns which feel and weigh similar to a fully loaded live<br />

fire pistol. For readers not familiar with these devices, these<br />

pistols emit a red or green laser when “fired” and reset the<br />

trigger afterwards for the next shot.<br />

With the success of the SIRT pistols, many shooters have<br />

wanted the same opportunities for training with their AR-15<br />

platform rifles. Over the past year, there has been one device<br />

on the market that is clearly head and shoulders above<br />

any other available options for laser training with the most<br />

popular rifle platform in the country. This issue of <strong>PMCI</strong>, we<br />

are going to discuss a new trigger resetting drop-in laser unit<br />

called the Mantis Blackbeard and why this may be your best<br />

option for AR-15 training.<br />


A few months ago, a sample of the Mantis Blackbeard arrived<br />

at my office for testing and evaluation (T&E). From our work<br />

with the original Mantis X and current Mantis X10 devices, I<br />

came into this review already knowing how innovative and<br />

helpful Mantis products are with any issues that may arise<br />

with our students. From the sales department to customer<br />

service, my past experiences have only been top notch with<br />

Mantis.<br />


While this may not mean as much to the average consumer, I<br />

have had the displeasure of discovering many great products<br />

in the industry that were produced by companies who made it<br />

difficult to enjoy working together. In turn, this always seems to<br />

cement my desire to continue using their products. Mantis will<br />

quickly make you a loyal customer.<br />

When I unboxed the Mantis Blackbeard, I was impressed<br />

with the carry case that housed the device. As I unzipped the<br />

case, there were two pieces that make up the laser unit well<br />

cushioned inside. The main unit is in the form of a drop-in AR-<br />

15 replacement bolt with the other part being a rechargeable<br />

battery unit shaped like a rifle magazine. As I removed them<br />

both from the case, I retrieved one of my AR-15 rifles from the<br />

gun safe.<br />

Installation consisted of only three steps. First, I cleared the<br />

rifle and then opened the receiver and removed the LIVE FIRE<br />

bolt. Next, I inserted the Blackbeard laser equipped bolt and<br />

closed the receiver back shut. Finally, I inserted the battery unit<br />

into the magazine well as I heard it attempt to electronically<br />

reset the hammer which was already in the ready position with<br />

the safety on. Switching the rifle back to LIVE FIRE mode simply<br />

requires reverse these three steps in the matter of less than a minute.<br />

To test fire the rifle using the Blackbeard device, I pointed<br />

the rifle in a designated safe direction, switched the safety to<br />

FIRE and pressed the trigger. As the green laser emitted from<br />

the barrel of the rifle, I could hear and feel the unit immediately<br />

reset the hammer / trigger in a blink of an eye. With each<br />

additional trigger press, the device “fired” the laser and made<br />

the rifle ready to fire again as fast as I could pull the trigger. With<br />

all the training benefits of using the Mantis Blackbeard we’ll<br />

discuss; the reset factor alone is enough to put this product light<br />

years ahead of other AR-15 platform laser training devices.<br />

With my initial test shots, I noticed the laser was slightly skewed<br />

from not being completed concentric with the barrel yet. Inside<br />

the case was a small Allen wrench that allowed me to make<br />

windage and elevation changes via small set screws accessible<br />

on the bolt unit through the ejection port. With just a few quick<br />

adjustments, the laser was aiming true, and I could then adjust<br />

the red dot optic on my rifle to line up together. Since the bulk<br />

of our group’s urban rifle training comes within the typical<br />

distances of home defense from across a room to across the<br />

front yard, I sighted the red dot and laser to 10 yards.<br />

Over the next few days as I prepared for an upcoming class,<br />

I used the Blackbeard device to work through my house with<br />

the rifle while shooting electronic interactive targets from Laser<br />

Ammo called the IMTTS system. These small targets were staged<br />

around the house to allow me to practice not only moving to<br />

cover, working angles and scanning for targets but making notes<br />

as I took my available shots to reevaluate what was beyond<br />

my targets as well. Simply amazing CQB / Home Defense rifle<br />

training!<br />


Since the ammunition shortage issues have hit our industry, one<br />

of the most popular courses our team offers is one we call a<br />

Defensive Firearms Simulator Workshop. This course is based<br />

around the Smokeless Range simulator computer program from<br />

Laser Ammo. By using a 9 ft screen, a short throw projector<br />

and short throw camera, our instructors create an indoor firing<br />

range using laser equipped devices such as the SIRT pistol and<br />

Mantis Blackbeard. With multiple programs, students can train<br />

with static targets, moving targets, shoot / no shoot targets and<br />

even video scenarios designed to enhance cognitive decisionmaking<br />

skills as well as basic and advanced fundamentals.<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />


Throughout the eight hours of training, the day is divided<br />

into basic and advanced skill building with the students’ choice<br />

of laser equipped devices such as SIRT pistols, Laser Ammo<br />

drop in shotgun shells with Mossberg 590 pump shotguns<br />

and the Mantis Blackbeard in our custom “in house” built AR-<br />

15. The last two hours of video scenario-based challenges<br />

with their choice of armament as the instructor can change<br />

the direction of each video based on the response of each<br />

student.<br />

Our students vary in experience from new shooters to<br />

current and former military, contractors, and law enforcement.<br />

Those who come through class the first time may first<br />

start with the SIRT pistols until they learn the training and<br />

technology used then migrate to the AR-15 platform. With<br />

over 80% of our students, they will return to the next<br />

month’s scheduled simulator class. With having run the<br />

course primarily with the SIRT pistol, this is when many will<br />

choose to run the entire course with the AR-15. This is when<br />

the Mantis Blackbeard has really shined. The focus on the<br />

returning students is no longer the tech or programs used but<br />

now the sight picture, sight alignment and trigger press.<br />

The top comment from armed professionals who have<br />

used the Mantis Blackbeard during class is always about the<br />

trigger manipulation. With other rifle laser trainers used in<br />

the past, the device was activated using the slack between<br />

the trigger and the lock back caused by the unit not allowing<br />

the hammer to actually trip and travel beyond the trigger<br />

catch. Regardless of specialized triggers used in class on<br />

several rifle triggers from 8lb mil-spec to 3lb RISE ARMAMENT<br />

and Timney drop-in units, all have allowed the shooter to use<br />

the true trigger press and have the unit reset for the next shot.<br />

With the M4/AR-15 rifle specific training programs<br />

offered on the Laser Ammo Smokeless range, I have even<br />

been able to do rifle only private training for individuals and<br />

small groups of professionals outside of our standard classes.<br />

From moving targets to varying sized targets at perceived<br />

“distances” for time and score, the Mantis Blackbeard has<br />

been instrumental in developing needed trigger control<br />

and discipline. Many first time rifle students better prepared<br />

themselves physically and mentally before getting onto a live<br />

fire range by taking our courses and using this device.<br />


When using the Mantis Blackbeard unit on the LIVE FIRE range,<br />

I believe it offers just as many advantages for our students<br />

as it does in the classroom. For first time rifle shooter, the<br />

laser unit can be used to work through any trigger press or<br />

anticipating recoil issues before or during LIVE FIRE drills. With<br />

safety ALWAYS being our first and most important concern, the<br />

Blackbeard unit offers immediate point of aim (POA) / point<br />

of impact (POI) feedback in the safest possible environment<br />

when learning how to move with the AR-15 and work in and<br />

out of firing positions.<br />


Even for experienced shooters, when movement with a rifle<br />

in introduced, safety concerns naturally heighten.<br />

Dynamic movement involves so many moving parts to<br />

training. Finger off the trigger, safety engaged, eyes down<br />

range, muzzle control, finding cover or designating direction of<br />

travel, heel/toe steps with purpose and no crossing feet.<br />

A lot of things can go wrong and do some quickly when<br />

learning with a loaded rifle.<br />

Traditionally, we used solid plastic rifle shaped inert training<br />

aids called “red guns” made by ASP to teach students how to<br />

safely move before focusing on carrying life fire rifles. By using<br />

the Mantis Blackbeard devices that cost almost to the penny the<br />

exact same price, students can safely work through movement<br />

drills using their own rifles.<br />

A huge benefit comes in students being able to take shots<br />

with immediate laser feedback while working on movement<br />

skills prior to their progression to live fire drills. This builds<br />

shooter confidence faster and helps develop higher levels of<br />

information retention.<br />


By using the Blackbeard unit, the Mantis product line continued<br />

to impress as our staff and students got more time training with<br />

it. This sample unit sent for T&E turned out to be everything<br />

I had been hoping for with rifle training. The full range of<br />

movement and reset of the trigger combined with the ability to<br />

have students develop a real feel for the actual trigger pull of<br />

their rifle set this device miles apart from any similar products<br />

currently on the market today.<br />

While I enjoyed using the easy to see green laser version<br />

of the Blackbeard, I did have to contact Mantis and switch it<br />

out for a red laser version in order to use it in classes with the<br />

Smokeless Range by Laser Ammo. As always, the company<br />

representatives understood the issue and quickly resolved it.<br />

Mantis currently offers the Blackbeard in four options: Red<br />

Laser, Green Laser, Infrared Laser and No Laser depending on<br />

your training goals and needs. I have a feeling the Infrared Laser<br />

version is in our company’s near future.<br />

As a former SWAT operator/ Sniper Unit Leader and current<br />

rifle instructor, I learned a long time ago, if you haven’t mastered<br />

your rifle’s trigger pull, you have NOTHING.<br />

The Mantis Blackbeard is the perfect way to get thousands of<br />

important repetitions. Retailing between US$219 - US$249, this<br />

device offers a relatively low cost out of pocket and<br />

very little wear on your rifle compared to how many<br />

thousands of live fire rounds it would take to match the<br />

same benefits as the Blackbeard. To learn more about<br />

this device and others from Mantis, visit www.MantisX.<br />

com discover the next level in quality rifle training.<br />






Once again I find myself sitting behind a screen in my home<br />

office after another very strange year, and in the words of the<br />

song, “Times, they are a’ changin’” and I find myself feeling that<br />

more than ever.<br />

After several years of facing up to “The Big C” (and thankfully<br />

coming out the other side!), I also find that recent events that have<br />

dominated the world have been somewhat lesser for me, as I’ve<br />

already had to spend a lot of time “down” and on my own.<br />

After major surgery and mid 2017-early 2018 disappearing<br />

during my recovery, followed pretty swiftly by a worldwide<br />

pandemic lockdown, there was one thing that kept me going at<br />

full speed, and that was the love and support given unconditionally<br />

by my family, friends, and my awesome team at <strong>PMCI</strong>.<br />

Friendship as you grow older is a strange thing in and of itself.<br />

The “friendships” of our school years, and indeed those of early<br />

adulthood, morph into something different, something deeper<br />

as our personal experience-bank grows. As older figures, parents<br />

and mentors, age and take their final journeys, you are left with<br />

those close to you increasingly being of your own peer group, and<br />

younger. Without recognising it, YOU become the older, steadfast<br />

figure in a group, and you start to support and mentor others,<br />

taking joy in seeing them grow and reach their own maturity and<br />

rejoicing in their successes.<br />

And so it is with <strong>PMCI</strong>. Regular readers may have noticed that<br />

over the past couple of years <strong>PMCI</strong> has grown, matured and thanks<br />

to you that read it, become successful itself, and those involved<br />

have grown too. When we first kicked off in August 2014 the world<br />

was a very different place, and the magazine reflected this. I was<br />

a very wet behind the ears Editor who lived and breathed “guns<br />

n’ gear” who quite literally fell into the role, and Trampas, as<br />

someone who had only recently started writing, fell into it along<br />

with me.<br />

And he has been the most steadfast of friends to me throughout<br />

this journey,rising from writing the occasional article to become<br />

an integral and vital part of what we do, and his recent role as<br />

Deputy Editor reflects this. We have truly helped one another along<br />

the way, and I take great joy in seeing both his family, and his<br />

standing in the shooting/tactical/training communities continue<br />

to thrive.<br />

Now those times are ‘a changin’ once again, and as we head<br />

towards a new year it’s time to let <strong>PMCI</strong> move forward too; <strong>PMCI</strong><br />

will be changing in 2022 to reflect that fact that we have become<br />

an integral part of the move by many to a more informed and<br />

armed lifestyle; although we will ALWAYS work with those that<br />

have honoured us by serving, and look to them for guidance, we<br />

will continue to focus on and champion the ethics, rights and<br />

positive mindset of the civilian shooter.<br />

And to do this it’s time for a change at the top! My personal role<br />

within Calibre Publishing continues to evolve, and having taken on<br />

the task of directing the business as a whole into a new era, it’s is<br />

rightfully time for Trampas to take his next, very hard-earned step<br />

too, so as of this issue I will be handing the reigns over to him to<br />

move things forward into both a new year and a new iteration of<br />

the magazine as Editor!<br />

I pass the torch with some sadness as <strong>PMCI</strong> has been a major part<br />

of my life for the last seven years, through good times and bad,<br />

and I will ALWAYS be proud of what Trampas, Baz (our designer),<br />

Nige (MD of Calibre) and I have created, and that our experienced<br />

and committed editorial team will continue to create… I have<br />

every faith that “what happens next” will be astounding, and<br />

even though my direct input will diminish, Trampas knows that<br />

just as he did for me when I was at my lowest, I will have his six<br />

for the next part of this magnificent journey!<br />

For now, I wish you all the very best for Christmas<br />

<strong>2021</strong>, and I hope that your personal journey in 2022<br />

continues to lead to health, wealth, and happiness. I<br />

look forward to one day ringin’ those steels with you<br />

all, but for now, “Wild Bill” out.<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />

Gear on Test<br />

Christmas is nearly upon us, so what are YOU looking forward to finding under your family tree (other<br />

than a lightly oiled and beautifully wrapped new AR that is!)? Bill takes a look at a couple of “Winter<br />

Warmers” this me, garments designed for shooters when the temperature on the range starts to fall,<br />

and both would make ideal gifts!<br />


JACKET<br />


It’s that time of the year again that I start to look at gear<br />

specifically for the coming winter months, and a good<br />

“Range Jacket” is one of the things that I place high on<br />

my list of must haves.<br />

What do I mean by a “Range Jacket”? Pretty much<br />

exactly what the name would suggest, a jacket that can<br />

be kept easily stowed in your Range Bag or pack to throw<br />

on for immediate warmth and comfort when you come<br />

away from some dynamic training with a head of steam up!<br />

The first new jacket I’ve been looking at closely this year<br />


lightweight and durable 100% WindPack Nylon shell with<br />

additional Climashield® Apex insulation, the Helikon<br />

Wolfhound Hoodie Jacket features hard-wearing YKK main<br />

zipper with glove-friendly zip pull, chin guard and warm<br />

stand up collar and multiple zipped pockets.<br />

The thinner elasticated VersaStretch fabric in the armpits<br />

area improves air circulation and provides the maximum<br />

comfort of wearing. In addition to that, the left hand loop<br />

panel allows you to attach unit or morale patches while<br />

the elasticated wrists and bottom hem ensure maximum<br />

body warmth. Highly recommended for security and armed<br />

forces personnel, the HELIKON WOLFHOUND HOODIE JACKET<br />

is also a fantastic choice for shooting, camping, trekking,<br />

and other outdoor activities.<br />


• Lightweight and breathable water repellent jacket<br />

• Extra warmth with Climashield® Apex filling<br />

• Designed for everyday use in urban and outdoor<br />

environments<br />

• Main zipper with glove-friendly zip pull, chin guard and<br />

a wind flap<br />

• High stand up collar with warm, adjustable hood with<br />

an elasticated edge<br />

• Spacious left chest pocket<br />

• Right chest inner pocket for extra storage<br />

• Two zipped hand pockets with fleece lining<br />

• Loop panel on the left bicep for additional patches and<br />

IDs<br />

• Thinner elasticated VersaStretch fabric in the armpits<br />

area improves air circulation and enhances comfort<br />

• Elasticated wrists and bottom hem<br />

• Genuine YKK zippers with glove-friendly zip pulls<br />

• DWR coating (Durable Water Repellent) protect against<br />

wind, light rain or snow<br />

• Shell material: 100% WindPack Nylon<br />

• Filling material: Climashield® Apex insulation (67 g/m2)<br />

The HELIKON WOLFHOUND HOODIE JACKET is a great choice<br />

for something that’s easily packable and quick to either<br />

stow or deploy! Available in MALE AND FEMALE sizes,<br />

plain colours or even my favourite PenCott camo the<br />

WOLFHOUND is the ideal thing to have in your pack for<br />

when things turn chilly! Available from good retailers,<br />

mine came courtesy of www.military1st.co.uk!<br />



One of the things with ranges is that you do spend a fair<br />

amount of time in a cold, static position; you might be<br />

attending the safety briefing first thing in the morning<br />

or breaking for lunch, but it’s a rarity to find a heated<br />

outdoor range, right? For years many of us have always<br />

had a Snugpak “Softie” jacket in the back of the car for just<br />

such times, for when you want a bit of instant warmth!<br />

Snugpak have really upped the ante though, taking<br />

things to an entirely new level, and one insulated smock<br />

we’ve had in test for a considerable time is the MML6,<br />

and it’s proved its worth on many occasions both at<br />

home and abroad. Developed by Snugpak with input<br />

from professional navigators, mountain leaders, climbing<br />

instructors, meteorological staff, and military personnel,<br />

the Military Mountain Leader Smock has been created<br />

to support the user in a diverse range of operational<br />

environments, especially when exposed to extreme cold<br />

weather.<br />

As a part of Snugpak’s “VENTURE” range the MML6 Softie<br />

Smock is the flagship garment. It’s a tri-layer smock and<br />

uses both Paratex Micro as a face fabric, and an internal<br />

Softie Premier fill, encapsulated with a Paratex Light lining.<br />

Designed to provide excellent thermal protection against<br />

the cold the MML6 is rated -5C to -10C; it also provides a<br />

high degree of wind protection.<br />

The MML Smock is lighter than normal expedition style<br />

jackets, and uses water resistant YKK zips, making it ideal<br />

when size and weight need to be kept to an absolute<br />

minimum. It is ideally worn with a variety of base layers,<br />

such as the Snugpak 2nd Skinz Coolmax base layer, to<br />

move moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and<br />

regulating core temperature in extremes of cold.<br />

The quick drying, Paratex Micro 100% nylon material<br />

has a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. Water<br />

repellency can be maintained with a cool tumble dry after<br />

washing and periodic re-treatment with suitable after care<br />

products, such as Nikwax and Grangers. The MML Softie<br />

Smock will keep you dry in a short, light shower, giving<br />

you time to find a safe place to stop and put on more<br />

effective waterproof layers. The MML Softie Smock can<br />

also be worn under waterproof membrane hard shells in<br />

severe weather, still allowing easy access to your essential<br />

equipment.<br />

The MML Softie Smock allows essential equipment<br />

to be carried centrally, with easy access when wearing<br />

a day sack, bergen, plate carriers and webbing systems<br />

and maintains its core functionality with other operational<br />

equipment, such as body armour.<br />


• Manufactured in the UK<br />

• Large map chest pocket, with internal D-rings<br />

• Large & small external pouches with hook and loop patch<br />

• APALS® soft hook & loop patches - All Purpose Adhesive<br />

Light Strips, one supplied with each jacket<br />

• Exclusive Softie® Premier insulation<br />

• Elasticated Drawcord-adjustable neck & hem -helping<br />

trap warm air and aid insulation<br />

• Soft Armour Panel (SAP) and Hard Armour Plate Carrier<br />

(PC) Compatible 1/4 length water-resistant YKK® zip<br />

• Pack away into the external chest pocket for easy<br />

compact carrying<br />

• Side pockets with Water-resistant YKK® zips<br />

• Deep hand warmer style pockets lined with brushed<br />

polyester for added comfort and warmth<br />

• Soft hook & loop patches on chest pocket flap & both<br />

arms<br />

• External D-ring for LED torches, etc<br />

• Elasticated cuffs with thumb loops<br />

• Windproof, breathable & water repellent<br />

• Rolls into chest pocket<br />

Whilst not exactly cheap at around the UK£180 mark at the<br />

moment the MML6 Softie Smock should be viewed as a<br />

long term investment, especially if you act as an Instructor<br />

or RO; whilst most shooters can easily head back inside<br />

to warm up an Instructor or RO needs to be out on the<br />

range at all times when it’s live. The MML6 easily lets you<br />

do this so in our mind is an invaluable addition to your kit<br />

locker, and mine came direct from my friends at www.<br />

snugpak.com!<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />










When it comes to tactical gear industry,<br />

there is a wide range of quality and<br />

design from companies all over the<br />

world. Unless your gear is issued to you,<br />

many professionals may be starting at<br />

square one with learning what works<br />

and what doesn’t at the rate of a<br />

potentially dangerous learning curve.<br />

Over my twenty-one years of training<br />

and working in and around this field of<br />

work, I have seen great designs that have saved real heroes.<br />

At the same time unfortunately, I have also seen designs<br />

that are more of a liability than an asset to its users.<br />

With items such as tactical vest, the price range can span<br />

from gun show bargain budgets to Capitol Hill Black expense<br />

reports. From my personal experience, I have learned two<br />

essential things about critical gear. The first is that not all<br />

top-quality gear comes with top end prices or the most wellknown<br />

names. Secondly, the best designs have come from<br />

men and women who have been quenched in the fires of<br />

battle or have at the very least come from those who have<br />

worked closely with these real-world experienced people. I<br />

know this because I’ve unfortunately lived this and fortunately<br />

survived.<br />

As a rookie SWAT operator for a small county Sheriff’s<br />

Office, we did not have a huge budget. If memory serves<br />

me correctly, one of our Deputies had a family member who<br />

owned a local embroidery shop who “created” our issued<br />

SWAT vest. This attempt at creating a plate carrier was a sad,<br />

unstructured vest designed to hold the soft IIIA armor issued<br />

to fit under my standard uniform when on patrol. The fit was<br />

more like a bag than a vest, with armor shifting at the worse<br />

possible times such as going hands-on with a suspect or<br />

kneeling to a supported position during a gun fight. Several<br />


officers even tore their carriers open dumping equipment to the<br />

ground when jumping out of take down vehicles on drug raids.<br />

Simply put, I learned that in order to trust the equipment<br />

you carry, you need to be able to trust the company that makes<br />

it. Fortunately, I discovered such a company while searching for<br />

a new plate carrier online last year. During the global COVID<br />

crisis in which seemed to shut down the year 2020, and talking<br />

to Bill about gear, I came across a company called HRT Tactical.<br />

As I skimmed through their website, the products featured some<br />

very impressive designs at affordable price points. I eagerly<br />

dove down the rabbit hole to learn more about them which<br />

resulted in an email request to test their gear.<br />

Originally founded in 2008, HRT Tactical’s mission was to<br />

provide top level training to Law Enforcement, Military and<br />

civilians, these real-world experienced instructors decided to<br />

venture into creating tactical gear from the operators point for<br />

view using only topic notch, durable materials, and components.<br />

To keep gear tough but lightweight, HRT uses 500 Denier<br />

DuPont Teflon coated Condura nylon and reinforced stitching to<br />

prevent from water logging, tearing or rot. With UTW hardware,<br />

UTX buckles and YKK brand zippers, no corners in product<br />

construction are cut when it comes to quality and reliability of<br />

an item someone’s life may one day depend upon.<br />

Between the online description of the HRT Tactical gear and<br />

the wealth of information provided from HRT’s representative,<br />

Chris Poindexter, I was ready to try their products out while<br />

teaching and training. Chris and I arranged to have the company’s<br />

flagship plate carrier called the RAC system with its standard<br />

load out accessories to be sent over for T&E along with Ace Link<br />

Level IV rifle plate armor.<br />

(Editors Note: When shopping for plate carriers, first realistically<br />

look at your actual need for gear and ask some honest questions.<br />

Do you just need to carry magazines and gear?<br />

If that’s the case, I urge you to consider a simple chest rig<br />

without armor. It’s a lighter, more mobile option without the<br />

cost and bulk of ballistic plates or soft armor. However, if you<br />

need quality functional armor as your first and foremost need<br />

and a way to comfortable carry it, continue reading because this<br />

article will be FULL of great information.)<br />

To better explore a multi-use rig such as the HRT Tactical RAC<br />

system, we will break down the components I chose to test,<br />

beginning with the base RAC plate carrier before moving on to<br />

a detailed review of each of the other parts of such a mission<br />

flexible rig.<br />


The carrier tested was listed as a “Large” which could house<br />

a 10”x12” plate in the front and rear panels. (For you larger<br />

guys, there is an XL version that fits the 11”x14” plates) The<br />

RAC carrier was accompanied by two UHMWPE (Polyethylene)<br />

and Ceramic (Silicon Carbide) Level III+ Rifle Plates from Ace Link<br />

(US$239). Each plate’s contour matched the carrier in featuring<br />

what is known in the industry as a “shooter’s cut”. This is a<br />

specific design feature which allows the wearer to normally<br />

shoulder a long gun without undue adjustment. The weight of<br />

each plate came in at 4.4 lbs, surprisingly close to what my<br />

issued soft armor weighed back in 1999 – 2000 but with much<br />

better protection than what I had. These plates tuck easily up<br />

inside the front and rear panels of the carrier with a Velcro<br />

covered flap that wraps from the bottom of the plate to hold it<br />

securely into place.<br />

To carry this load across my shoulders, the carrier featured<br />

wide, well cushioned wraps to cover the adjustable Velcro straps<br />

to adjust the rig’s ride height. Along each side of the straps were<br />

multiple elastic loops for running a hydration tube from front<br />

to a possible rear mounted Camelbak or comms cables from a<br />


mic to a radio. These thick cushioned straps are instrumental in<br />

preventing heavy loads from causing the load out weight to dig<br />

into end user’s shoulders over time.<br />

One of the RAC carrier’s shoulder straps also featured a quick<br />

release clip that could be mounted on the left or right strap in<br />

order to allow the wearer to quickly ditch the carrier in a flash.<br />

The ability to exit out of gear can be a critical feature for<br />

many operators. Several veterans have told me tales of vehicles<br />

being hit by IED’s and rolling over either on fire or into water; the<br />

inability to egress the vehicle due to being hung up inside from<br />

gear snagging cost many good men and women their lives.<br />

However, if this feature isn’t desired by the user, the buckle<br />

can be removed altogether in favor of standard solid straps.<br />

The front of the carrier featured large Velcro panels for<br />

mounting mission specific accessories as we’ll mention shortly as<br />

well as name tapes, rank, or unit / agency identification patches.<br />

Across the carrier’s face were PALS / Molle compatible loops<br />

for further securing items such as the Maximus placard with its<br />

quick clip system. All the carrier’s edges were tightly stitched and<br />

smooth to prevent chaffing or undue wear on gear as it may rub<br />

against the carrier edge.<br />

The back of the plate carrier featured a vital potential lifesaving<br />

heavy duty drag handle for quickly moving injured<br />

personal out of the danger zone. Below the drag handle, there<br />

were well placed panel sections featuring heavy duty dual YKK<br />

zipper mounts along with Velcro for multiple optional mission<br />

specific pouches offered by HRT; more on these later...<br />

Along the inside of the carrier’s front and rear panels, there<br />

were raised air flow channels stitched vertically left and right<br />

allow the body to keep cool even in warm climates. For additional<br />

air circulation, HRT Tactical offers optional pontoon spacers that<br />

Velcro inside to create an even larger air channel. If you’ve ever<br />

worn a tactical vest in any sort of climate, you know that without<br />

good air flow, you could start sweating inside the vest even during<br />

a snowstorm. Trust me, being the meat in an “operator soup” is<br />

never a good feeling!<br />

Retail: US$184.95 - US$239.95<br />


While the standard straps that shipped with the RAC plate carrier<br />

did a decent job holding it snug to the body, I know all too<br />

well from experience, the extreme value of having your sides<br />

ballistically protected. I decided to upgrade the RAC plate carrier’s<br />

factory side straps with HRT’s Quick Release Cummerbund and<br />

additional Ace Link IIIA soft body.<br />

As mentioned in the name, the potentially lifesaving quick<br />

release RAC buckles are located on both sides of the front of the<br />

cummerbund just behind the Velcro straps that attach to the<br />

front of the plate carrier. With a quick jerk of the 550 cord hooks<br />

hanging on either buckle and the front of the carrier pops open<br />

for a quick egress.<br />

Not only did this upgrade come with quick release buckles on<br />

both sides, but also a wealth of adjustment options in the back.<br />

Depending on what type of clothing you may be running under<br />

your plate carrier from polo shirt to rain gear, the rear bungee<br />

lacing system quickly adjusts to accommodate a wide range of<br />

body sizes and girth changes.<br />

The wide Velcro attachment to the front of the carrier anchors<br />

the cummerbund into a rock-solid position. An additional three<br />

rows of PALS loops for mounting gear such as radios, magazines,<br />

or multi-tools can also come in handy.<br />

Not only does the wider cummerbund sides offer more space<br />

for gear but also provides more side comfort. Unlike thinner<br />

straps, the cummerbund allows for a full range of motion and<br />

won’t ride up or cut into your body when twisting into or out of<br />

positions.<br />

The snug inner cummerbund pocket allows for soft armor<br />

such as the Ace Link IIIA soft body armor to be mounted inside.<br />

The fit was perfect only added approximately 2 lbs to the overall<br />

rig. For that small amount of weight, the benefits of having that<br />

level of side protection are truly invaluable.<br />

Retail: US$99.95 - US$109.95<br />


Perhaps my favorite part of the RAC carrier system is the optional<br />

Maximus Placard attachment. This is a 9.25”x7” placard that clips<br />

onto the carrier front or rear via the Swift Clip buckle attachment<br />

system along with the Velcro mounting surface to prevent any<br />

bouncing or “battle rattle”. For avid fans of great designs and<br />

“sexy” tactical usefulness, the Maximus is the shinning star of<br />

the rig.<br />

The Maximus placard allowed me to carry three 30 round<br />

magazines held in place by an elastic looped insert along the<br />

center of the placard close to the body and two 21 round SIG<br />

P320 magazines on either side. Polymer inserts inside the pistol<br />

pouches hold the SIG mags in the ready position for quick access.<br />

These inserts can be quickly removed to fit a small tactical<br />

light, multi tool or other needed items. Different elastic looped<br />

inserts for the rifle magazine area are available on the HRT<br />

Tactical website to substitute Uzi, MP5 and AR-10 / AK platform<br />

magazines for the standard AR-15 magazines.<br />

In addition to the magazine pouches, there are two larger<br />

main pouches with organizational dividers to keep smaller items<br />

secure while remaining at the reach of a finger. The gusseted<br />

access panels prevent the front of the pouches from flopping<br />

open and spilling its contents. Each pouch offers enough room<br />

for chem lights, keys, spare batteries, pens, note pads can with<br />

ease. Inside the left pouch of my Maximus placard, I was able to<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />


fit most contents of my standard IFAK including tourniquet,<br />

Israeli bandages, hemostatic “combat” dressing, Band-Aids,<br />

Quick-Clot, alcohol wipes, burn dressing, medical scissors,<br />

Ibuprofen, and gloves. There are Velcro attachment spaces for<br />

your favorite patches located on the front face of each pouch.<br />

This was handy for marking my pouch used for carrying IFAK<br />

contents.<br />

Retail: US$99.95 - US$104.95<br />


For those warriors looking for an additional administrative /<br />

utility / storage, the Sporran Hanger pouch fits just under<br />

the main front pouch of your choice. This two-compartment<br />

pouch measures 5”x5”x1” and offers a great secondary<br />

option for medical supplies as well as mission specific tools,<br />

flex cuffs, gloves, shooting glasses or ear protection. For<br />

me, this was the perfect spot to carry the larger items of<br />

my blow out kit such as chest seals, extra tourniquets, and<br />

extra compression gauze. Like the rest of the HRT RAC system,<br />

the Sporran Hanger does feature PALS loops and hook & loop<br />

Velcro material on the forward face for additional gear or<br />

identification.<br />

Due to the fit of the plate carrier, the Sporran falls just<br />

below the belly button and covers your belt buckle. Prior to<br />

wearing the RAC system with the Sporran attached, I was<br />

concerned that it would be obtrusive when sitting or running<br />

(Honestly, jogging because no one was shooting at me).<br />

After spending the first few weeks testing the complete<br />

load out, I had completely forgotten about those concerns<br />

until sitting down during wrap up to review my notes from<br />

Day One of testing. The Sporran simply did not cause any<br />

negative feedback during testing. As many have found, the<br />

extra storage within arm’s reach while not widening the<br />

shooter profile can be an asset for heavy load outs.<br />

Retail: US$59.95<br />


The zip-on General Purpose Back Pouch is is a 9.5”x5”x1.5”<br />

pouch that is designed to take up half the rear panel to<br />

handle storing larger items such as a Camelbak bladder,<br />

medical equipment, a gas mask, poncho, or camo netting<br />

for concealment. With HRT’s triple retention mounting via<br />

Molle straps, Velcro and zipper attachments, it completes the<br />

trifecta of what I like to call the NCOS or “Not Coming Off<br />

System”. The face of the pouch offers a large Velcro panel for<br />

mounting Agency / Unit identification.<br />

Retail: US$54.95 - US$59.95<br />


Like the General Purpose Back Pouch, the spacious Dual<br />

Removable General Purpose (GP) Pouches share a single half<br />

panel patch measuring 10”x5”x1.5”. It shares the same triple<br />

retention with Molle straps, Velcro and zipper attachment as<br />

its rear mounted mate. Additionally, the face of the pouches<br />

also offers Velcro for mounting for patches and identification<br />

placards.<br />

By combining these accessories will offer a comfortable<br />

way to carry a wide range of valuable equipment that would<br />

take up a lot of room carrying otherwise.<br />

Retail: US$64.95 - US$69.95<br />



Overall, I am very impressed with the HRT Tactical’s RAC system.<br />

This highly adaptable platform’s ability to switch quickly to meet<br />

mission load out needs turns a simple plate carrier into a tactical<br />

chameleon. Most importantly, the rig as comfortable as long term<br />

distributed unnatural weight added to the body can possibly be.<br />

I wore the complete load out for over eight hours on the range<br />

each time I taught shotgun and rifle courses as well as during<br />

advanced handgun training. The level of fatigue felt with the HRT<br />

Tactical RAC system was far less than with my traditional set ups<br />

from Tactical Tailor and AR500.<br />

As I told the HRT representative, Chris, prior to wrapping up my<br />

field testing, the RAC system felt like a rig that only a seasoned<br />

operator could design. The multipurpose flexibility of this system<br />

and comfort is very well thought out from an end user perspective<br />

and perfectly meets a wide spectrum of what our nation’s warriors<br />

would need in the ever-changing battlefield, both foreign and<br />

domestic in the world we currently live in. This rig can easily<br />

convert from door-to-door operations of SWAT to the long-range<br />

patrols of LRRP.<br />

Moving and shooting while standing, kneeling and prone<br />

were unencumbered during live fire exercises. The front panel is<br />

cut to prevent bunching at the chest when shooting a pistol in a<br />

supported two-handed position and allows you to easily shoulder<br />

precision and carbine rifles comfortably without alternating my<br />

mounting position. During a recent shotgun course I taught, the<br />

chest rig did wonderfully while running the shotgun obstacle<br />

course shooting in the pouring rain. The rig did not allow the rain<br />

to soak in and weigh it down.<br />

Even as we explore 6MM (airsoft) training to supplement<br />

ammunition cost and to increase safety in training, the RAC<br />

system has proven itself to be an asset in this venture. The more<br />

an operator can wear his gear and get used to maneuvering with<br />

the added weight and bulk, the stronger and more agile they will<br />

become. The RAC system helps decrease the learning curve with<br />

1.5” depth of most pouches that kept weight close to the body<br />

and not give the end user the feeling of becoming “top heavy”<br />

when leaning forward.<br />

The RAC system was well balanced to allow for easily climbing<br />

ladders and stairs in addition to in and out of vehicles.<br />

For the weekend warrior, this may not be a huge selling point<br />

but for operators in a dynamic environment, this could be vital.<br />

When you take in perspective that my entire HRT RAC system<br />

load weighed less than 25lbs. compared to my standard SWAT load<br />

out twenty years ago with the same if not less gear being over<br />

35lbs., I have been very impressed with the new rig. I continue to<br />

be equally pleased with each HRT product I have used thus far.<br />

For those wondering about color options, HRT products are<br />

offered in Black, Range Green, Coyote Brown, M81 Woodland,<br />

MultiCam, MultiCam Black, MultiCam Arid. Prices per product vary<br />

depending on the color selected. With such top quality and options<br />

available, it’s easy to see why HRT gets the <strong>PMCI</strong> Magazine stamp<br />

approval on their RAC system. We invite you to visit<br />

www.HRTtacticalgear.com to find the RAC combination<br />

that best fits your needs.<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />



By Bill Thomas<br />

At <strong>PMCI</strong> we’re constantly looking for good kit, not simply gear that’s 100% fit for purpose, but<br />

equipment that’s going to give you good service and great value for money! This time the Bill takes<br />

a look at gloves he’s been using, what he’s worn in the past and what he’s wearing now so you can<br />

really get “hands on” in any situation, especially as these days even he is using a smartfone!<br />

Gloves are tricky things to get right, aren’t they?<br />

How often have you parted with money for a<br />

pair of “tacticool” gloves that offer you entrance<br />

to the “operatorz world” and found that in reality<br />

they are sub-standard, poorly fitting, and frankly<br />

an absolute waste of your hard-earned dollarbucks?<br />

When I first started out gloves were not such a<br />

“thing”, and an old pair of British Army black leather “NI Gloves”<br />

from your local surplus store were probably your best bet! When<br />

I moved to the USA in 2006 though my eyes were opened to<br />

the possibilities of what I could use to cover my hands safely as<br />

every tactical store seemed to be offering cool models designed<br />

both for law enforcement and the military.<br />

For a while I was like a fat boy in a donut shop, and every<br />

couple of months I’d pick up another model; online forums<br />

were “de riguer” for the discerning tacticalist at the time and it<br />

seemed to me that someone was ALWAYS posting about gloves!<br />

Of course the dissemination of information about which unit<br />

or “celeb shooter” is using which glove model has accelerated<br />

with the rise of social media, and now new gloves seem to<br />

come along on an almost daily basis (or so it seems to me!). For<br />

me now though my go to gloves are First Tactical LIGHTWEIGHT<br />

PATROL Gloves, Helikon-Tex TACTICAL LIGHT Gloves, or Kinetixx<br />

X-LIGHT LIGHT OPERATIONS Gloves for general range work.<br />

But, with so many glove models out there how the hell do<br />

you decide on the right glove for you, especially when these<br />

days you need a model that will not only work for you on the<br />

range, but also allow you to interact with mobile communication<br />

devices too? What considerations should you take into account?<br />

For me there are three main areas to look at:<br />

• Grip<br />

The most important thing for me is grip. A glove is of no use<br />

to you if it hinders the ability to grip your AEG/GBB or restricts<br />

access to using technology (especially these days!). Because of<br />


for exceptional durability, contouring, and waterproofing abilities,<br />

but you also want materials that offer some breathability either<br />

through the use of specialist lined interiors which are absorbent<br />

or through breathability features built in to the glove. The matter<br />

of comfort is important since you will be wearing these gloves<br />

all day!<br />

this many users choose to go with “old skool” fingerless gloves,<br />

but not me! Of course grip is related to handling though, and<br />

before you take every shot, you have to have the feeling of contact<br />

with your trigger or it can become a distraction from getting the<br />

shot, and there are now are designs which feature special finger<br />

tips to provide superior grip perfect for using technology, handling<br />

small items, and shooting needs.<br />

• Dexterity<br />

Another thing I look for in tactical gloves is to find an option that<br />

allows not just grip, but also dexterity. Some tactical gloves are<br />

designed to protect your hands from damage by way of padded<br />

knuckles, but if the material over the knuckle is too thick, it will<br />

impede your dexterity. Likewise, if a glove is the wrong size, it<br />

can get in the way of movement. When it comes to finding the<br />

right sizing to ensure ease of movement, remember that phrase,<br />

“fits like a glove” as your guideline; the right fit of a glove should<br />

feel natural.<br />

• Comfort<br />

When it comes to fabrics and technology many gloves still use<br />

leather or “manufactured leather” exteriors or specially bonded<br />

synthetic blends. While certainly has its place in relation to overall<br />

comfort, a better option is to choose one that incorporates both in<br />

expertly designed ways. For instance, gloves should have leather<br />


As is often the case where I live in the UK when you’re heading<br />

to the range you want to stay not exactly “covert”, but certainly<br />

low key, and digging through my glove draw (yes, I have a glove<br />

draw!) I discovered that my old black lightweight gloves were<br />

well overdue for retirement, so I quickly scurried online to look<br />

for a replacement!<br />

You’ll know that we’ve been working closely with First Tactical<br />

on both sides of “The Big Pond” and it’s been our great pleasure<br />

to have seen the brand gain more traction in the “tactical world”<br />

with some great designs, and what have turned out to be<br />

absolutely top-notch, reliable and durable products. Looking at<br />

their tight but well-defined glove line there was a model that<br />

immediately grabbed my attention, the Lightweight Patrol Glove,<br />

which seemed to offer all the qualities I was looking for, and<br />

these have become one of my absolute favourites!<br />

They’re a pair of tactical gloves that allow you to act with<br />

maximum speed and precision. The Lightweight Patrol Glove<br />

combines extreme tactility with long-term durability; expert<br />

design serves well without slowing you down, and you’ll never<br />

have to worry about a slip of the grip or cumbersome fit with<br />

these awesome little gloves. Whatever the task at hand (if you’ll<br />

pardon the pun!), this glove will perform with excellence. The<br />

Lightweight Patrol Gloves benefit from First Tactical’s precision<br />

fit. Lightweight snag-proof stretch woven materials allow for a<br />

precise fit and professional appearance. The TOUCHTAC finger<br />

construction offers revolutionary fingertip engineering that gives<br />

you a better fit for even greater efficiency and performance, with<br />

a seamless wrap-around index finger design that is touchscreen<br />

friendly and more sensitive than ever before. Maintenance is also<br />

simplicity itself as the gloves have a washable goatskin palm;<br />

when dirty and grimy from extended training or field use, simply<br />

throw them in the wash, air dry, and wear again!<br />

First Tactical has done a fabulous job with these gloves;<br />

although I initially found the closure a little bulky for such “low<br />

key” gloves I did find the cutaway for my wristwatch a great idea;<br />

I usually wear quite a sizeable dive or compass-watch and the<br />

gloves accommodated this with ease, and caused no irritation by<br />

pushing back the watch strap. After many range sessions there<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />


is virtually no sign of wear; the use of goat skin mixed with the<br />

stretch woven fabric is a winner as I can just toss them in the<br />

wash with my other gear and they come out looking like new;<br />

like other users I’ve had to throw away gloves after coming out of<br />

the wash, but not so with the Lightweight Patrol Gloves, they just<br />

run and run!.<br />

When I’ve been doing some more serious, longer-day<br />

rangework, for a while I’ve been using some great models from<br />

German glove brand Kinetixx, and W+R, the company behind the<br />

Kinetixx brand, have some 90 years of expertise building gloves!<br />

The family business was established way back in 1928 by the<br />

tanner Jakob Weiblen and his brother-in-law, the glove maker<br />

Theodor Rümmelin in Neuhausen an der Erms. W+R then moved<br />

to the neighbouring town of Metzingen in 1936 where the first<br />

glove factory was built. The factory first produced leather driving<br />

and work gloves with the first synthetic-fabric gloves arriving on<br />

the scene later.<br />

Gloves by W+R are characterised by technical innovation and<br />

reliability. As a sought-after supplier to the police and armed<br />

forces, customers all over the world rely on their decades of<br />

experience and their in-house development department, with its<br />

modern laboratory, cutting, stitching and quality control sections.<br />

Kinetixx Tactical gloves have become part of personal protective<br />

equipment (PPE) for some police forces, military units or Special<br />

Forces and are therefore now part of their basic equipment.<br />

The X-LIGHT LIGHT OPERATIONS GLOVE is a pretty no-nonsense<br />

affair and is designed to provide the maximum level of comfort<br />

and breathability. The glove features a U-shaped gusset for better<br />

recoil control, reinforcement patches on the back as well as on<br />

the palm for better grip, and the adjustable rubber hook-andloop<br />

closure allows it to fit the wrist perfectly. The upper material<br />

is 100% Aramid, the palm 60% Polyamide, 38% Polyurethane,<br />

2% Other, whilst the reinforced areas are 60% Polyamide, 38%<br />

Polyurethane, 2% Other. They therefore benefit from Abrasion<br />

resistance (Level 2), Blade cut resistance (Level 1), Tear resistance<br />

(Level 2), and Puncture resistance (Level 1) which overall gives<br />

a very solid glove that is most certainly going to stand up to use<br />

on the airsoft field, and give you good levels of both comfort and<br />

protection!<br />

I’ve been using this model for a little while now, and as a<br />

pretty bog-standard “Size Large” I will say that the fit is very good<br />

indeed, with little excess fabric and certainly no “bag” in the palm<br />

area when you make a fist; this can cause issues if you’re using a<br />

slim pistol grip as the extra fabric acts as an unwelcome buffer to<br />

a solid grip!<br />

The latest addition to the “glove draw” is the Helikon-Tex<br />

ALL ROUND FIT TACTICAL LIGHT GLOVES, and these have very<br />

quickly become a firm favourite too, especially for warm-weather<br />

environments, as they fit me… well, like a glove! As a part of the<br />

ever-expanding Helikon-Tex RANGE LINE these are a lightweight<br />

and extremely durable universal tactical gloves designed for<br />

military and law enforcement professionals, but that work equally<br />

well for an enthusiastic and committed “recreational shooter” like me.<br />

Synthetic leather is used on the inner side to guarantee high<br />

durability and reliable grip while specially designed slits on the<br />

finger joints provide comfort, even during prolonged weapon<br />

manipulation. As I’ve also (finally!) moved into the modern world<br />

of mobile communications (yes, I now have a smartfone and not<br />

a “burner”!) I also appreciate the fact that the middle finger and<br />

thumb are touchscreen compatible, and a sewn-in Hypalon loop<br />

not only helps with easy on and off but also can be used to hang<br />

the gloves on equipment when my fat fingers need to send a<br />

text! An elastic extended cuff offers maximum confidence and<br />

comfort, while thin, yet durable, construction enhances the ability<br />

to use a phone or tablet, manipulate gear, or access a handgun.<br />

Overall theses three models completely match my<br />

requirements in terms of Grip, Dexterity, and Comfort, and all<br />

are touchscreen compatible should you wish to<br />

use them in conjunction with your phone or other<br />

device; in my opinion they all offer great levels of<br />

performance for a good price, and what more can<br />

a cash-strapped shooter ask for?<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />








Is a pistol optic for you? I asked myself this very same<br />

question several times over the course of the past year.<br />

I’m a bit of an old school shooter, even at basic training<br />

in Parris Island, our qualifications pushed us out to 500<br />

yards with iron sights with our issued rifles. For years<br />

when I heard “optic”, I thought long range precision<br />

shooting with a long gun.<br />

Then as I was retiring from Law Enforcement in 2018,<br />

I saw that one of the alphabet agencies was in the process of<br />

transitioning to pistol red dots for their employees. My initial gut<br />

reaction was “Why are we going to a piece of equipment that<br />

can fail” and secondly, “I’ve seen enough yearly qualifications<br />

where people fail or barely pass a qualification due to not being<br />

able to apply the fundamentals as it is”.<br />

I will admit that I was extremely skeptical with this change.<br />

I didn’t feel that agencies would put in enough training time<br />

or do so properly. I can recall when they came out with the<br />

new spring for Glocks that had a laser in it. It didn’t improve<br />

accuracy as the agency thought it would, nor was it essentially<br />

cost effective as the spring was much weaker than the standard<br />

Glock spring which led to the springs breaking and making the<br />

pistol inoperable. The agency went back to the standard Glock<br />

spring after that.<br />

Now to the present, since retiring, I became a civilian<br />

firearms instructor and during that time I have come across<br />

many new shooters and some experienced shooters that come<br />

to a class and are carrying their concealed carry firearm with a<br />

red dot. It was due to this uptick and trend that I knew in order<br />

to help students that I would have to invest in a red dot, open<br />

my mindset, and get myself trained up.<br />

Contrary to some beliefs, there are some fantastic benefits<br />

to picking up and learning how to utilize a pistol red dot. For<br />

one, we are reducing the amount of focal planes being used.<br />

Traditional iron sight, firearm fundamentals of shooting use<br />

three focal planes. A shooter has to look through their rear sight,<br />

identify the front sight, and then place the sight on target. This<br />

is done with an emphasis on focusing on the front sight and<br />

blurring the target in the distance. An issue with this is that we<br />

won’t be able to quickly recognize if a threat is still present.<br />

We are putting a lot of focus into a fine motor skill which is<br />


elatively non-existent under stress. Hence, why point shooting<br />

is taught for close range engagements, at the very least, if you<br />

point the firearm at the intended threat at close proximity, you<br />

will hit the target. In the defense of life, small tight groupings<br />

from precision shooting is not required, we need to get rounds<br />

on the threat as safely and quickly as possible.<br />

Now that we covered the proper use of iron sights, let’s jump<br />

over to the red dot side of things. The pistol red dot reduces the<br />

focal planes down to two, some will say one. I leave that debate<br />

up to each individual. We acquire the red dot through the optic<br />

and place it on the target/threat. We are able to then have a<br />

focus on the intended threat while using the red dot. I’ll talk<br />

about this more later in the article.<br />

The main drawback that is common with any tool is the risk<br />

of mechanical failure. Batteries could die, the sight could hit<br />

something and fall off, or the glass could break. Good old Murphy’s<br />

Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” With this in<br />

mind it is imperative to ensure that you don’t disregard and stop<br />

training the basic fundamentals with your iron sights. In which I<br />

also add, implement training where the iron sights have broken<br />

off or aren’t operational. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.<br />


Searching the pistol optic that is right for you can be a difficult yet<br />

fun task, some things to consider are:<br />

• What is the purpose the optic will be used for (professionalpersonal<br />

EDC, competition etc.)<br />

• How large is the sight? Can you conceal if necessary?<br />

Batteries:<br />

• Where is the compartment, does a battery change mean you<br />

have to re-zero the optic<br />

• How long does the battery last<br />

(Editors Comment: And how easy are the batteries to find, are<br />

they a common size?)<br />

These are just a couple questions that I pondered myself.<br />

After talking with several instructors and subject matter experts<br />

in the field, I decided that I would buy my first pistol optic. I chose<br />

the Leupold Deltapoint Pro NV FDE. What caught my attention<br />

besides Leupold’s excellent history were the features that stood<br />

out on such a small sight.<br />

This model supports modern night vision devices with 10<br />

brightness settings, including two that will fine tune the red dot<br />

to match sensitivity of your night vision equipment. Leupold<br />

also added a customizable brightness setting at the top end of<br />

the sight, which makes it easier for you to quickly max out the<br />

intensity of your red dot when environmental conditions are at<br />

their brightest. This allows you to move between the outdoors<br />

and indoor settings without skipping a beat. Some other features<br />

that I really liked were the fact that this versatile sight has an<br />

easy access battery compartment, meaning that you don’t have<br />

to re-zero after a battery change!<br />

Just as impressive is the battery life, which ranges from 300 to<br />

1600 hours, depending on the brightness intensity. The coin click<br />

adjustments allow for more precision as well as an incredibly<br />

wide field of view and Leupold’s famous crystal clear glass. This<br />

combined with the optic being housed in an aluminum and steel<br />

sheath to ensure that the sight will hold up in even the harshest<br />

conditions.<br />


Finish<br />

Flat Dark Earth<br />

Reticle<br />

2.5 MOA Illuminated Red Dot<br />

Battery Type<br />

CR2032<br />

Switch Type<br />

Push Button<br />



Weight<br />

2 oz<br />

Elevation Adjustment<br />

1 MOA<br />

Windage Adjustment<br />

1 MOA<br />

Eye Relief Low Mag (in)<br />

Unlimited<br />

Battery Life (hr) Low Intensity 1600<br />

Battery Life (hr) Medium Intensity 1000<br />

Battery Life (hr) High Intensity 300<br />

Number of Illum Settings 10<br />

Total Length<br />

1.8 (in)<br />

MSRP:<br />

$549.99 USD<br />


I had ordered the pistol sight while I was away working on a<br />

private security detail. After being away on assignment for a<br />

few months, I was excited to see the package on the counter<br />

when I got home. The red dot came in the traditional Leupold<br />

box and was packaged nicely. Now that the sight was in hand,<br />

my next task was to decide which pistol to put it on. After a short<br />

deliberation, I landed on my Sig Sauer P320 Scorpion AXG. The<br />

red dot was super easy to mount as it fit seamlessly on the optic<br />

ready slide of the Scorpion.<br />

I then went to a local shop called Recon Rifleworks to see<br />

my friend Will Gironda and let him do what he does best, install<br />

my suppressor height iron sights that I purchased from Night<br />

Fision. I went with their yellow dot to contrast the red dot of the<br />

Deltapoint Pro. Will had me ready to go in less than an hour even<br />

during hours when the shop was busy.<br />

Now that the set-up was complete, it was a no-brainer as<br />

to where I was heading next, onto Bullseye Guns and Indoor<br />

Shooting Range located in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida to<br />

see the manager and friend Bill Biggert. Once I arrived, I hopped<br />

on the range to get this red dot zeroed in. I made my way over<br />

to the private section of the range dubbed, “The Dungeon.” This<br />

is where myself and other instructors get to privately put in the<br />

time to work on our skill sets and courses.<br />

Still being relatively new to implementation of the pistol red<br />

dot system into my training, I was pleasantly surprised at how<br />

easy it was for me to find the red dot on the Leupold. I had tried<br />

other sights before that my colleagues had, and it was difficult<br />

to pick it up at first. The Deltapoint Pro didn’t disappoint. I was<br />

able to acquire the target quickly and effectively put rounds on<br />

paper where I wanted them. I set up my zeroing targets and<br />

benchrest position. I worked from the 3,5,7,15,20, and 25 yard<br />

lines respectively utilizing five round groups to zero in the red dot.<br />

With the zero acquired, it was time to see what the red dot<br />

hype was all about and as I mentioned earlier, will it be our<br />

friend or foe when it comes to utilizing this tool? What I found<br />

out relatively quickly is that there is a distinct difference between<br />

the traditional iron sights and the red dot system, which is that<br />

while utilizing iron sights, a person’s eyes have to perform a<br />

number of complex functions, contrasting those using a red dot<br />

in which uses one function. This is a very important mention to<br />

me, mainly due to not only my background, but our magazine<br />

subscribers as well. I say this because we work in some stressful<br />

environments and have to make rapid decisions.<br />

With the development and understanding that comes with<br />

using a single focal plane sighting system such as the red dot,<br />

one can more effectively keep their eyes on a threat during a<br />

deadly force encounter which can make a large impact on the<br />

outcome of that encounter. It will not only increase your reaction<br />

time due to quicker target acquisition, it allows you to have a<br />

higher degree of focus on the engagement as opposed to the<br />

traditional iron sights.<br />

Let’s dig a bit further into this, from our understanding of<br />

human behaviors; we note that humans have a natural tendency<br />

to focus on whatever is threatening us during a fear (fight, flight,<br />

freeze) response. It becomes very difficult for someone to take<br />

their eyes off the threat and put the focus into their pistol sights,<br />

which in relative terms are tiny objects outstretched an arm’s<br />

distance from us.<br />

With this being said, part of my evaluation of the Leupold<br />

Deltapoint Pro was to increase my relative stress level (increase<br />

my heart rate) while performing several drills going between<br />

the red dot and traditional iron sights. What I found is that the<br />

red dot allowed me to make faster follow-up shots as I didn’t<br />

have to go through the process of aligning my sights after each<br />

shot was fired. I believe this will be an “AHA!” moment for those<br />

transitioning to the red dot from a new to experienced shooter,<br />

as you will see it makes it easier for someone to be able to shoot<br />

with both eyes open. Most shooters, although they try and put<br />

in the training hours, struggle with this. This occurs due to having<br />

to hyper focus on the front sight, the red dot eliminates that and<br />

allows you to acquire the target with both eyes and helps speed<br />

up your scan for additional threats as you now are no longer<br />

fighting one eye blind.<br />



There is, however, a bit of a learning curve for those of us that<br />

are veteran pistol iron sight shooters. Due to this fact, we will<br />

have developed for the sake of red dot shooting, the bad habit<br />

of looking at the front of the pistol to find the front sight. We<br />

have to change our mindset from being front sight focused to<br />

target focused. This is countered by training and putting in the<br />

repetitions. The wide field of view of the Deltapoint Pro made<br />


this transition easier for me, I can pick up the red dot quickly and<br />

effectively engage my target.<br />

This will take time and training. Contrary to many new<br />

and experienced shooters’ beliefs, adding the red dot does not<br />

instantly make you a better shooter! The red dot only simplifies<br />

two of the seven principles of marksmanship, sight alignment<br />

and sight picture. It does not fix a poor stance, bad grip, or terrible<br />

trigger control. Where the red dot is most beneficial in my opinion<br />

for students and instructors alike, is that one can see what the<br />

dot is doing in relation to your target and your hits on target. For<br />

instance, you can see where the dot is on the target and if you<br />

or the student either anticipates, flinches, or jerks the trigger you<br />

can see where the red dot is in relation to the target, allowing for<br />

quicker corrections.<br />

Another benefit to using a red dot is utilizing it as a dry<br />

practice training tool, I’ve found that by doing this, I have actually<br />

improved in using my iron sights. During dry practice, I can see<br />

where the dot starts and ends during the prep and fire phase of<br />

my training, this has helped with establishing and maintaining<br />

proper grip, trigger press etc. In essence, the red dot can give<br />

you immediate feedback and allow you to make the proper<br />

adjustments.<br />

Despite rigorous training, the Leupold Deltapoint Pro<br />

maintained its zero throughout the past 8 months of working<br />

with it. Another feature that I really liked about this sight is the<br />

Motion Sensor Technology. This is designed to extend battery<br />

life by automatically deactivating illuminated reticles after five<br />

minutes of inactivity and then will reactivate instantly as soon<br />

as movement is detected. I had no issues with drawing from the<br />

holster and finding the red dot.<br />

Other points of mention; this sight comes with an illuminated<br />

reticle that helps you get on target faster in low-light situations. I<br />

was able to test this during some low-light training at the range.<br />

I really enjoyed how the sight worked seamlessly well with<br />

my pistol mounted light. The set up displayed no issues going<br />

from dark to flashlight and picking up the red dot. I would have<br />

to say that it is most likely due to Leupold’s Twilight Max Light<br />

Management Systems which offer a clearer, brighter image with<br />

three main benefits:<br />

• Better Light Transmission - Maximizes more ambient light in<br />

low-light environments.<br />

• Better Glare Management - Reduces more glare through<br />

additional lens coatings and minimizes image washout<br />

caused by stray light.<br />

• Better Contrast & Resolution - Creates a clearer image using<br />

premium edge-to-edge lens prescriptions and HD coatings.<br />

Finally, if you’re looking to implement a red dot into your EDC or<br />

training development, I will say that you have a friend when it<br />

comes to this tool. It’s a versatile tool as it can be used not only<br />

on duty or for your self-defense needs, but also as a training<br />

tool. When applied properly with your fundamentals, you will see<br />

improvement over time.<br />

I found that after putting in many hours on the red dot, it<br />

has increased my ability to pick up on the front sight. I now use<br />

my iron sights as a failure drill exercise, and if both fail, most<br />

encounters happen up close and this will also enhance your point<br />

shooting abilities. For those of us that are aging, the red dot is<br />

a great option as it makes it easier for those to acquire targets<br />

and their sights, which are now dependent on reading glasses for<br />

example.<br />

I have nothing but positive things to say about this red dot<br />

sight. It performed as expected and held up to some long hours<br />

of training. To date, I have put about 3000 rounds through my Sig<br />

since mounting the Leupold Deltapoint Pro NV FDE. I haven’t had<br />

to make any adjustments to it other than the initial zeroing when<br />

I mounted it. Leupold developed the Deltapoint Pro NV FDE for<br />

those that have to rely on their equipment to perform when it<br />

matters most, this company stands by its products and guarantees<br />

them for life, with that alone, it’s worth the investment.<br />

From my experience, Leupold continues to be an innovator<br />

and is consistently rated at the top in the industry due to their<br />

passion to create and be experts in their field. They<br />

truly live up to their motto of, “BE RELENTLESS”.<br />

As always, stay dangerous, keep training,<br />

hope is not an Ops Plan!<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />



By Trampas Swanson<br />

Within every great civilization, there has been a pivotal blade design for its era. Whether it’s the Roman’s<br />

Gladius to the Japanese Tanto, each was created to meet the specific needs of the day. In the United<br />

States during these current times are fortunate to live in the most culturally diverse country in the world<br />

and can draw on design influences accordingly, as Spartan Blades most certainly do to create some true<br />

masterpieces!<br />

ur environment is filled with influences on<br />

Oour daily lives from all around the globe. Our<br />

situational needs can range from extreme<br />

cold to extreme heat survival as well as<br />

hectic urban environments to desolate rural<br />

areas. No matter if it’s for professional,<br />

personal or recreational use, humans still<br />

have just as many needs for an edged tool<br />

every single day as any other point in our<br />

history.<br />

If you’re like me, being fully dressed and prepared for your<br />

day involves a specific list of every day carry items. These<br />

items, depending on your area of operations typically include<br />

some sort of handgun, your personal effects such as wallet<br />

(ID, credit cards, etc), keys to a vehicle or facility (business,<br />

home, etc), cell phone, tourniquet, Israeli bandage and of<br />

course, the most important tool to mankind ever since the<br />

stone age, a good, quality knife.<br />

Depending on what my day entails, my needs for the<br />

essentials may vary as with the type of knife I may need.<br />

Sadly, despite having so many different designs and sizes<br />

of knives to choose from, there really seems to be only two<br />

levels of quality available. Either blades are cheap and made<br />

from poor-performing steel, or they are high end, expensive<br />

combat-influenced creations either production or<br />

custom made from top-end materials.<br />


I grew up hunting with my father and grandfather in environments<br />

where your equipment failing could decide your sheer survival.<br />

As I grew older, I served in tactical operations and specialized task<br />

forces within law enforcement containing the same ramifications<br />

for failure.<br />

Given a lifetime of solid, real-world experience, I fully<br />

understand the importance of purchasing quality tools such as<br />

knives. For folks who know wholeheartedly what this means,<br />

the biggest task they face is finding a company that produces<br />

products can trust. For me, this company has been one that builds<br />

“knives with intent” as the Spartan Blades slogan goes.<br />

This company, one we are proud to have worked with<br />

before in <strong>PMCI</strong>, is located in my birth state of North Carolina and<br />

founded by two retired Special Forces snipers and former Private<br />

Contractors, Mark Carey and Curtis Iovito. Not only do these<br />

gentlemen set an amazing example as outstanding Americans<br />

for their service but continue their service in the form of creating<br />

exceptional fixed blade and folding knives for military, private<br />

military, law enforcement and first responders around the world.<br />

The designs come from not only “in house” creators based on<br />

firsthand experience and user feedback but Spartan Blades also<br />

collaborates with top designers in the industry such as Les George,<br />

Tu Lam and knife legend, William Harsey.<br />

Spartan Blades easily represents the upper end of quality<br />

knives in the industry with numerous awards for their designs<br />

and innovate but unfortunately, these blades are also considered<br />

expensive for the average person’s budget. As fate would have<br />

it, Spartan Blades was able to find a way to offer professionals<br />

and civilians alike great blades in a more budget friendly Spartan<br />

Blades Professional Grade series of impressive designs. By<br />

teaming up with an iconic American brand in the knife Industry,<br />

Ka-Bar Knives, Pineland Cutlery was born. In this article, we’ll<br />

look at just how this new venture came to be and the outstanding<br />

blades that make up the new Pro Grade also known as their Silver<br />

series.<br />


To quote Spartan Blades co-founder, Curtis Iovito, “Pineland<br />

Cutlery is named for the fictitious country, ‘Pineland’ that includes<br />

13 counties in North Carolina, and is the place where the Special<br />

Forces Qualification Course - otherwise known as the “Q Course”<br />

- is conducted. Given Spartan Blades’ deep roots in SF, Mark and<br />

I thought this would be a perfect name to use for the new joint<br />

venture between their company and Ka-Bar Knives of Olean, NY.”<br />

According to Iovito, it all started in 2016 during a joint knife<br />

venture between Ka-Bar and Spartan Blades to product 400<br />

EK Dagger reproductions. During this time, the two companies<br />

discovered many shared ideals in manufacturing processes and<br />

support of the armed forces. As the project progressed, a true<br />

friendship between the two companies emerged. At one point,<br />

Curtis Iovito passed a humorous remark to Ka-Bar CEO, John Stitt<br />

about the company purchasing a certain small knife manufacturer<br />

in eastern NC. For those familiar with Iovito’s impressive intellect<br />

and quick wit combined with a signature steely look in his eyes<br />

that makes you wonder if he’s serious or joking at times, one<br />

can only imagine what the climate in the room could have been<br />

with that remark. While it did not lead to Stitt stroking a Ka-<br />

Bar check to purchase Spartan Blades, it did lead to months of<br />

discussions and lawyers to give birth to a new superpower in the<br />

knife industry, Pineland Cutlery.<br />

With the formation of Pineland Cutlery with a DBA as Spartan<br />

Blades, Mark Carey continues to handle the day-to-day operations,<br />

sourcing of materials, logistics, and financial end of the company<br />

while Curtis Iovito is still involved with manufacturing, product<br />

development, and marketing. John Stitt is the CEO of both Ka-Bar<br />

Knives and Pineland Cutlery while overseeing the production of<br />

the Pineland Cutlery Silver Line of knives out of the Ka-Bar factory<br />

in Olean, NY according to their website information.<br />

With the formation of Pineland Cutlery, Spartan Blades now<br />

had the resources and manpower to offer top quality blades<br />

featuring intelligent designs and legendary quality at better<br />

pricing. Spartan Blades state the knives in the Pro (Silver) series<br />

will all feature 1095 Cro-Van steel with full tangs running through<br />

the grips and average a hardness ranging from 56 – 60 HRC. The<br />

handles will all be created from canvas micarta which from my<br />

experience offers a solid purchase on the grip regardless of the<br />

knife being wet or dry. Each knife features a well thought out<br />

locking Kydex sheath that can be mounted using multiple options<br />

and be accessed quickly and easily with either hand.<br />

The initial three knives that make up this new series are all<br />

designed from award winning designer, Curtis Iovito himself and<br />

include the Machai, Damysus, and Alala. Earlier this past summer I<br />

was fortunate to obtain a sample of each of these knives to take a<br />

close look at their design, intended application and performance<br />

in the field over the past few months. Let’s check out how each of<br />

these different blades size up!<br />

Machai – Named for daemons (spirits) of battle and combat in<br />

Greek Mythology. This is the largest and visually most impressive<br />

of the three blades. The heavy, 6.625” re-curved blade of this<br />

knife is the obvious outstanding feature of the Machia. It’s big, it’s<br />

bad and very intimidating at first glance. The smart design with<br />

an overall length of just over 10” and flat ground blade make it<br />

perfect for chopping. With our media group’s extensive work in<br />

the realm of Bushcrafting made this knife a “no-brainer” to add<br />

to my camping gear.<br />

Medium to small branches are no match for the Machia. I<br />

enjoyed at the re-curved design works well for limbing up and<br />

sharpening make-shift tent poles and stakes quickly without<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />


having the bulk of a full-sized Kukri. (The design is also great<br />

for cracking open coconuts poolside when not working in the<br />

field.)<br />

The 3/16” wide spine held up very well to batoning the<br />

blade through firewood when needed as well. Its overall size<br />

made lashing it to my pack a better method of carry than<br />

hanging on my belt to get snagged by branches and vines.<br />

The Kydex locking sheath featured straps with plenty of length<br />

to weave into the Molle loops of my pack to hold the knife<br />

securely onboard.<br />

Despite the constant the wet climate of the Florida forests<br />

and swamps, the black powder coating helped the blade resist<br />

moisture and rust very well despite not being regularly cleaned<br />

after hard use. The listed weight of .668 lbs may not sound<br />

like a lot but when you hold the Machai in your hand, you<br />

don’t think about it being just a knife, it feels like a Craftsman<br />

brand tool ready to be put to hard use. Retailing with an MSRP<br />

US$199, this is a solid combination of price and quality in a<br />

proven design that won’t let you down when your survival is on<br />

the line. (Editor’s Note: For those who are fans of the Spartan<br />

Blades / Ronin Tactics Shinto knife, consider the Machai a<br />

slightly less sexy version for almost half the cost. If you have<br />

wanted a Shinto without the price tag, this may be your best<br />

option!)<br />

Damysus – Named for the fastest of all giants in Greek<br />

mythology.<br />

Of the three blades in the Professional series, the Damysus<br />

best reflects its Ka-Bar combat knife heritage. The hefty Drop<br />

Point 5.5” Flat Ground blade with its thick .1875” spine and<br />

10.75” overall length is a perfect fit for a battle belt or “Go” bag.<br />

Like the Machai, the listed weight of .56 lbs. doesn’t seem<br />

like much on paper but when you are using the Damysus to cut<br />

deep into a slab of meat or attempt to quarter a 750 lb. elk in<br />

the field, the balance, handling, and weight will smoothly slice<br />

effortlessly.<br />

Due to the lack of tapered swedge of top of the<br />

34<br />

blade, the drop point offers a much stronger tip<br />

than most knives in this size. I have used the Damysus on several<br />

campsite settings and outdoor cooking set ups to process tinder<br />

and firewood. This blade held up much better than lesser knives<br />

tested in which the same situation cost the tip of many of them.<br />

The flat ground blade makes for a solid camp knife or multi-use<br />

utility knife.<br />

The blade profile strikes me as a heavy-duty version of one<br />

of my favorite William Harsey designs, the Difensa, a flagship<br />

knife from the Spartan Blades Elite Grade line. In my opinion,<br />

the Difensa is one of the best examples of weight, balance,<br />

durability, and fast handling in a fixed blade knife that I have<br />

ever encountered. With the Difensa retailing for $425, I consider<br />

being able to purchase a rugged, hard use version of this knife<br />

in the form of the Damysus for literally half the price with an<br />

MSRP of US$195 is one of the best values in the knife industry.<br />

Like the Machai, the PALS / Molle compatible Kydex sheath<br />

that ships with the Damysus offers the same mounting options<br />

with or without the straps for gear or belt carry. Originally, I<br />

carried this with the standard straps attaching the sheath to my<br />

outer gun belt from Ronin Tactics. After taking a few instructor<br />

courses in St. Augustine, FL, I did not like how low the knife<br />

rode on the belt, so I removed the mounting plate containing<br />

the straps and replaced it with a G-Code high ride Molle<br />

attachment. This set the knife’s grip at the same level as my<br />

pistol to establish a master grip on either with the same draw<br />

stroke and effort.<br />

Overall, the multiuse size and profile of this knife is what<br />

many have been wanting for to fit their budget. When I was<br />

a SWAT sniper with a supervisor pay grade, I could not have<br />

afforded a Difensa, but even as a slick sleeve rookie, I would<br />

have scrapped up enough extra cash from working football<br />

game details to have been able to carry a Damysus from<br />

Spartan Blades. For fans of the classic Ka-Bar combat knife,<br />

THIS IS, in many ways, the modern production fighting knife of<br />

the millennia to fit many operators’ and civilians’ post COVID<br />

apocalypse budgets.

Alala – Named for a Greek battle-cry or war cry<br />

Why end the list with the smallest of the three knives you may<br />

ask? Because this is truly a case of saving the best for last in the<br />

fact that I spend every day with this blade. As a writer, hunter,<br />

field tester, instructor, businessman, husband, and father of 2, my<br />

typical day is far from being typical. I may be dropping the kids<br />

off as school, dropping off challenge coin and custom patch orders<br />

off at the post office, hitting the swamp to test survival equipment<br />

or jumping onto the range for private lessons on any random<br />

Monday through Friday. Weekends are spent teaching classrooms<br />

full of students from new shooters to NRA and USCCA instructor<br />

workshops. I legitimately work seven days a week and so does<br />

my Alala from Spartan Blades.<br />

With a simple phone call or change in weather, my day may<br />

change 180 degrees from the game plan and send me in a totally<br />

different direction. I need reliable equipment that can blend into<br />

polite society and not stand out. The Alala does jus this while still<br />

giving me a fast handling, razor sharp blade that I can carry on<br />

my belt with my shirt untucked and pulled over it for quick access<br />

opposite of my concealed firearm if needed.<br />

Retailing with a MSRP US$159, the Alala offers a high quality,<br />

razor sharp 3.75” blade with an overall knife length of 7.88”.<br />

The thick 0.1875” spine allows for hard use throughout most any<br />

daily chores. Like its larger series mate, the Alala features a Flat<br />

Ground Drop Point blade that can pierce, slash, and cut deeply for<br />

its size. The 0.294 lb. weight of the Alala feels like I am holding an<br />

expensive 10mm wrench in my hands when using it due to the<br />

familiar contours of the grip and crosshatched checkering of each<br />

knife in the Professional (Silver) series.<br />

I primarily carry the Alala on my left side outside my<br />

waistband on my belt opposite of my concealed carry pistol on<br />

my right for several reasons The first is the ability to access easily<br />

with my nondominated hand in case I ever must fight for my<br />

carry gun. This concern is unfortunately from the experience in law<br />

enforcement of having to fight someone off trying to unholster<br />

my duty weapon while attempting to take them into custody.<br />

Proper placement of a quickly deployable knife on the opposite<br />

side has been proven to make short work of potentially lethal<br />

encounters.<br />

Secondly, I like the balance of having the knife’s weight counter<br />

that of the carry gun on the opposite hip. Often, my weak hand<br />

is used to make cuts while my strong hand holds the item being<br />

cut in place. I have used this blade from cutting tags off clothing<br />

to cleaning squirrels and white tail deer. (Yes, I do clean the blade<br />

after meat processing) Formerly, my belt carry option was a SOG<br />

Pillar until the Alala simply outperformed it in all aspects from<br />

construction, application, cutting ability and edge retention.<br />

The Kydex sheath does not offer any mounting straps, only<br />

one designed for a secondary retention should you feel the highly<br />

effective sheath lock isn’t enough. Several of my colleagues have<br />

chosen to conceal carry these blades inside the waistband using<br />

a multipurpose UltiClip which clamps down in a vise-like fashion<br />

into your clothing. I personally decided to just mount the sheath to<br />

a Blade-Tech quick release belt mount for easy on / off application.<br />

Thus far, through daily carry, pushing through thick vegetation<br />

moving through the woods hunting and out field-testing gear, the<br />

sheath and mount have held up with. I freely admit, I am not the<br />

type of person that cleans my gear regularly after every outing<br />

but the Black Powder Coat that comes on each of the blades in this<br />

series has held up very well from scratches, rust and discoloration.<br />


Over the past six years, I have gotten to know the founders of<br />

Spartan Blades both through professional opportunities as well as<br />

personal avenues with Curtis’ history working with my cousin, <strong>PMCI</strong><br />

Magazine’s own Shawn Swanson. I can honestly say, these guys<br />

are what America is all about. Mark and Curtis love their country<br />

and have sacrificed the bulk of their adult lives to its service doing<br />

things most folks will never have the courage or guts to do. To<br />

this day, these men proudly pursue living the American dream of<br />

business owners providing top quality products they themselves<br />

would count on with their lives.<br />

In my opinion, the Spartan Blades Professional (Silver) series<br />

does nothing short of delivering on what the company and its<br />

founders stand for. Not everyone can afford a US$450 Canadian<br />

Specials Forces combat knife, nor do they probably have need for<br />

one. However, this new series of professional quality blades at<br />

a more budget friendly price does offer just as many benefits to<br />

the average working man and woman. Moving into 2022, Spartan<br />

Blades has already announced three more blades<br />

to be added to the series with more collaborations<br />

coming from the icon himself, Bill Harsey! So, if<br />

you’re looking for top quality and mission ready<br />

products, make www.SpartanBladesUSA.com your<br />

next stop. Train Hard and Continue the Fight my<br />

friends.<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />



By Trampas Swanson<br />

Few firearms throughout history are more recognizable as the iconic Uzi! It’s short, stocky appearance<br />

fitted with a seemly endless stream of 9mm ammunition via 32 round magazine and a cyclic rate of<br />

600 rounds of minute made it a Hollywood action movie dream, and certainly has endeared to Trampas!<br />

First designed by Major Uziel “Uzi” Gal in the late<br />

1940s, Israel Military Industries (IMI) produced<br />

the Uzi platform from 1950 to 2005. The unique<br />

platform was originally meant to be a family of<br />

Israeli open-bolt, blowback-operated submachine<br />

guns in carbine, pistol (Uzi Mini), and micro Uzi<br />

pistol form. By incorporating a telescoping bolt<br />

design, the overall design allowed the magazine<br />

to be housed in the pistol grip for a shorter weapon<br />

profile. This made the Uzi very popular with elite military and<br />

law enforcement units around the world such as the Israeli<br />

Defense Forces, the German Bundeswehr and even the US<br />

Secret Service. Perhaps one of the most famous images of<br />

the Uzi being deployed into action is that of US Secret Service<br />

agents responding to the shooting of President Ronald Reagan.<br />

As with many original full-auto designs such as the MP5,<br />

Tech 9 or Mac 10, a semi-auto redesigned to fire from a closed<br />

bolt came about to meet civilian sales regulations.<br />

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the Uzi platform was<br />

very popular amongst civilian shooters and collectors. Movies<br />

that spotlighted the Uzi such as “Big Trouble in Little China”,<br />

“Delta Force” and “Escape from LA” drove viewers to their local<br />

gun shops. Sales totaled over 2 billion dollars in the just the<br />

United States market alone by the end of 2001!<br />

Entering the new millennium, IMI sold its small arms<br />

division (Magen) that manufactured the Uzi line of firearms<br />

in 2005 to the privately owned SK Group and rebranded<br />

the company to Israel Weapon Industries (IWI). In 2010, IWI<br />

released an updated version of the Micro Uzi named the Uzi<br />

Pro. Keeping up with the times, this new model was offered in<br />

a semi-auto pistol with an optional stabilizing brace variant to<br />

go along with the traditional military / Law Enforcement fullauto<br />

variants complete with folding stocks.<br />


As a long-time fan of the Uzi lore, I have owned an original Uzi<br />

carbine short barreled carbine rifle (SBR) since 2012. I decided<br />

last year to take my collection to the next step by obtaining a<br />

sample of the Uzi Pro. Upon unboxing the Uzi Pro, the familiar<br />

subgun heft of a brick with a handle still felt like a classic Uzi<br />

despite polymer being used in the lower section of the gun<br />


to lighten frame. Weighing 4.5 lbs, the Uzi Pro offers enough<br />

weight via the steel reinforced polymer lower and steel receiver<br />

to absorb recoil but not too bulky to make it unwieldy.<br />

As I went over the gun, I took inventory of several updates to<br />

the original Uzi Micro design. I was very impressed with what I<br />

discovered throughout. The most noticeable was the relocation<br />

of the charging handle from the top to the left side of the<br />

receiver. This was an excellent decision by the manufacturer<br />

to speed up reloads along with a relocation of the magazine<br />

release from the bottom of the grip to a traditional right side<br />

location of most pistols on the market. This keeps the gun in<br />

action more efficiently for right-handed shooters by dropping<br />

magazines with the firing hand thumb and using their support<br />

hand to charge the weapon much like an HK MP5 or FAL.<br />

Replacing the original top-mounted charging hand was a<br />

Picatinny rail for mounting optics such as an RMR or Holosun<br />

red dot. Integrated into the trigger guard was a forward<br />

mounted Picatinny rail for mounting a white light. The addition<br />

of these two rail options really brings the Uzi platform into the<br />

21st century with fast sight acquisition and target illumination.<br />

IWI’s redesign added three safety features to the Uzi Pro<br />

as well with a thumb safety, a three-position grip safety, and<br />

a firing pin block. With the super compact size of the Uzi Pro,<br />

these features are a must to prevent any accidently discharges.<br />

Unlike past Uzi models, the Uzi Pro is only offered in 9mm.<br />

Current production comes standard with a threaded barrel<br />

for use with a suppressor to round out the complete battle<br />

package.<br />

The Uzi was shipped with a cumbersome folding rubber<br />

arm brace that simply added bulk to an already heavy pistol.<br />

In my opinion, Uzi Pro wasn’t complete until the SBR tax<br />

stamp arrived from the ATF and I was able to legally add a<br />

wire stock from Title II Arms (www.titleiiarms.com). This stock<br />

is reminiscent of the original Uzi Micro design and gives the<br />

Uzi Pro a sharp, professional look. With the simple removal of<br />

the spring-loaded hinge pin, the arm brace detached, and the<br />

modest rubber coated wire stock slipped into place.<br />


Caliber:<br />

9mm Parabellum<br />

Action:<br />

Semi-auto<br />

Operating System:<br />

Blow Back<br />

Magazine Type:<br />

IWI, Steel<br />

Magazine Capacity: 20 Round, 25 Round<br />

Barrel Material: Cold hammer forged, CrMoV<br />

Barrel Length:<br />

4.5” Threaded<br />

Overall Length 9.5”<br />

Weight:<br />

3.66 lbs.<br />

Rifling:<br />

1:10 inch twist, Right hand<br />

Sights:<br />

Adjustable Target Sights<br />

MSRP:<br />

US$1,100 - US$1300<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />



While waiting for the tax stamp to arrive, fellow <strong>PMCI</strong> writer,<br />

Jim Wenzel and I along with our good friend, John Phillips aka<br />

“The King of Kydex” at Survivor Creek Tactical decided to load<br />

up few 20 and 25 round Uzi magazines and start breaking in<br />

the Uzi Pro. Our team headed down Interstate 10 to Baldwin,<br />

Florida to visit Tom Martin at the Baldwin Pistol School. There<br />

we spent the morning shooting, reminiscing about 80’s action<br />

movies and comparing the older style Uzi Carbine with the<br />

newer Uzi Pro.<br />

As we cycled through various loads from different<br />

manufacturers, I noticed the few issues we occurred being<br />

failure to feed issues coming from the 147 grain full metal<br />

jacket (FMJ) loads as opposed to the 115 and 124 grain FMJ<br />

loads. Of the five failures to feed issues, four of them were with<br />

Winchester brand ammunition. The best performance observed<br />

came with 115 grain FMJ loads from Federal Ammunition.<br />

I found the arm brace to provide a solid support for firing<br />

but bulky and unbalanced. John and Jim both commented how<br />

easy the brace made being able to get the full adjustable sights<br />

on target and maintain a solid sight picture throughout their<br />

strings of fire. Compared to the original Uzi carbine, the Uzi<br />

Pro felt slightly “snappier” but it also weighed half that of the<br />

carbine as well.<br />

Once the tax stamp arrived and the wire stock from Title II<br />

Arms was installed, I went back to the range and put over 300<br />

rounds down range while spending the morning hanging out<br />

with my buddy Tom. During that time, I shot only Federal 115<br />

grain ammo with zero issues and respectable 4” free hand shot<br />

groups at 10 and 15 yards for such a short 4.5” barrel. The wire<br />

stock proved a better check weld and fit at the shoulder. The Uzi<br />

Pro kept all shots well within the 9” circle of a standard IDPA<br />

style target. Not only did the Title II Arms stock look better than<br />

the arm brace, but it also easily outperformed it as well.<br />


After almost a year of owning<br />

the Uzi Pro, I have come to really<br />

enjoy owning it. With the design<br />

upgrades and addition of the<br />

wire stock, the gun is simply fun<br />

to shoot. The compact size, highcapacity<br />

magazines and simple<br />

design make the Uzi Pro a great<br />

weapon to throw into a backpack<br />

for long road trips or keep in the<br />

bedside table for home defense.<br />

Retailing between US$1100 -<br />

US$1300, the Uzi Pro is the latest<br />

in the historic linage of the brand.<br />

It puts fans of the Uzi platform<br />

into owning one for under the US$2000 starting price tag of<br />

any other Uzi model. For others, there is a common reaction<br />

I often get when I mention I own an Uzi. “Why on earth do<br />

you own an Uzi?”. As the NRA states in many of its training<br />

programs, firearms are owned for a wide range of reasons from<br />

home defense, competition, duty requirements, or my personal<br />

favorite, simply exercising my Second Amendment rights aka<br />

“Because I FRIGGIN’ want one!” Guns like the Uzi make up the<br />

very fabric of our 2A community for not only our past but our<br />

present and future as well.<br />

If you’re interested in exploring the fun of shooting an Uzi<br />

Pro and experiencing a bit of firearm history for<br />

yourself visit www.iwi.us.com. It’s the duty of<br />

each of us to help grow and share the knowledge<br />

of firearms with others and explore more about<br />

our industry. As for our team, we hope to see you<br />

all on the range one day!<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />



By Trampas Swanson<br />

Ask any tactical operator what the number one drawback of high rate of fire is and one of the top answers will<br />

be hearing damage. Some of my closest friends, and myself included, suffer from partial hearing loss from<br />

working with or in extreme close proximity of firearms. Sadly, many outside the professional armed community<br />

do not realize just what an important part of operator safety a quality suppressor can really be!<br />

While some agency and unit heads<br />

uneducated in suppression devices<br />

may shun the stigma of ATF paperwork<br />

or cost of suppressors, Hollywood has<br />

done its fair share as well of skewing<br />

the understanding of what suppressors<br />

truly are and what they are not. To some<br />

extent, even our own gun industry has<br />

been the culprit due to competition<br />

between suppressor manufacturers and marketing large name<br />

brands with under performing products.<br />

Regardless of the arguments, misinformation and excuses,<br />

the fact remains that quality suppressors can save from hearing<br />

damage. Not only does this benefit the end user over time but<br />

during operations as well. Quality suppressors can allow for better<br />

perception of the battlefield through sound detection. This can<br />

be footsteps, verbal communication and much more that could<br />

change the dynamic of a critical threat incident. It’s been proven<br />

time and time again over decades of operations that these tools<br />

save lives!<br />

Ever since my last years in college going into the police<br />

academy, I have been shooting suppressors in my quest to learn<br />

as much as I could from them. Having grown up hunting since the<br />


age of four, my hearing had already been affected significantly<br />

from the use of large caliber handguns and rifles in conjunction<br />

with regularly shooting shotguns. The bulk of this time on the<br />

range and in the field was carried out without hearing protection.<br />

During my law enforcement career, I was able to work with<br />

suppressors on a broad spectrum from CQB to long range<br />

application. This is when I really began to understand their full<br />

benefits and yes, even drawbacks. Over the past 25 years, I have<br />

seen several different interesting, patented designs. Some were<br />

suppressors that worked well and some that simply weren’t worth<br />

the time, money, or tax stamp.<br />

Recently, I discovered a suppressor company that has been<br />

around for over 35 years named GSL Technology. My first question<br />

was how this company had managed to never pop up on my radar<br />

considering all the great reviews I read in the beginning of my<br />

initial research for this article. Even their designs looked familiar<br />

despite the never hearing the company’s name. As it turned out,<br />

I knew more than I realized when I decided to review the GSL<br />

Technology Phoenix suppressor designed for the MP5 platform. To<br />

better understand the product being reviewed, we need to first<br />

understand the driving force behind GSL Technology.<br />


While the name, GSL Technology may be new to many in the<br />

suppressor world, the company bares the initials of its founder,<br />

Greg Latka. To say he has been a fixture in the industry for<br />

well over three decades is an understatement. Perhaps you’ve<br />

heard of a suppressor company from Boise, Idaho by the name<br />

of Gemtech? That’s right, THE Greg Latka, former president of<br />

Gemtech for twenty years. What many may not realize is that<br />

most of the suppressor designs Gemtech is known worldwide<br />

for in the professional contracting, military and law enforcement<br />

circles are the creations of none other than Mr. Latka.<br />

In 2017, the colossal firearm manufacturer, Smith and Wesson<br />

purchased Gemtech and moved its operations to Springfield,<br />

Massachusetts. What most people do not realize is GSL Technology<br />

was pretty much the main driving force behind the success of<br />

Gemtech with its innovative designs and licensed patents since<br />

1985. With moving on from the union with Gemtech, new designs<br />

and some innovative redesigns have now begun to surface directly<br />

from GSL Technology into the market.<br />

Based in Jackson, Michigan, all GSL suppressors are proudly<br />

made in the USA within the 25000 square foot facility featuring<br />

state-of-the-art CNC machines. GSL Technology is a certified ISO<br />

9001 manufacturer, perhaps the highest rating you’ll ever find<br />

in the industry. With the top equipment, training, certifications,<br />

knowledge, and superior leadership on hand, it’s clear that this<br />

is a company who completely understands what it takes to be<br />

successful in this industry.<br />


As a huge fan of the HK MP5 platform, I love using tri-lug<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />


quick detach suppressors. I have probably shot well over three<br />

dozen designs throughout my law enforcement operations and<br />

civilian instructor careers. Two of the earliest suppressors I could<br />

remember using for the platform were 9mm suppressors from<br />

Surefire and Gemtech. The Surefire design was narrow and<br />

elongated compared to the Gemtech model MK9K. While the<br />

Gemtech suppressors may have been bulkier, in my opinion, it<br />

edged out the performance of the Surefire with the training and<br />

duty ammunition we used at the time.<br />

Flash forward to three months ago when I was on the range<br />

talking with a few suppressor dealers about new products on<br />

the market. During our conversation, I was introduced to the GSL<br />

Technology brand. As I mentioned in the opening of this article,<br />

once I discovered just WHO this company was and the man<br />

behind it, I wanted to know firsthand about their products. The<br />

best way would be in offering to do an in-depth review of some<br />

of their products. I reached out to GSL directly and requested to<br />

test out their tri lug Phoenix 9mm suppressor optimized for use<br />

with the HK MP5 platform.<br />

A couple of weeks after putting my T&E request, the Phoenix<br />

suppressor arrived. As I unboxed it from the simple cardboard<br />

container, I recognized the outside design from years past. The<br />

information I had obtained about the Phoenix being revamped<br />

MK9K design with a more modern updated redesign certainly<br />

looked and felt true. It was everything I remembered about the<br />

original suppressor I had enjoyed from years past. However, after<br />

disassembly, the seven-baffle stack as well as inner and exterior<br />

chamber leading off the blast baffles seemed to take the Phoenix<br />

back to one of GSL’s original patents. Anyone familiar with the<br />

OSS suppressors and their blast diffusion designs will enjoy GSL’s<br />

similar design whose patents predate OSS by a couple of decades.<br />

With an overall 8.75” and 2” in diameter, this isn’t a small can.<br />

To compare this physically with something like an Omega K<br />

suppressor would be unfair. What would be the goal? For sleek<br />

lines and tacti-cool looks? If we’re looking at real world specs such<br />

as balance, maneuverability of host weapon and performance,<br />

then what does size really matter if these things are relatively<br />

equal with one doing its primary job of sound suppression better?<br />

GSL claims on their website page for this specific high volume,<br />

full auto rated suppressor to have a 40 dB reduction in sound. For<br />

those who are familiar with suppressors, you know that is a HUGE<br />

reduction claim compared to others on the market and by that<br />

fact alone, I could not wait to get on the range to test the Phoenix<br />

as soon as possible.<br />


Caliber:<br />

9mm PCCs, 38spc rifles, 357 rifles, and<br />

(300blk-subsonic rounds only)<br />

Sound Reduction: 40 dB<br />

Length: 8.75”<br />

Diameter: 2”<br />


Weight: 18.2 oz.<br />

Materials: Aluminum/Stainless<br />

Finish:<br />

Hard Coat Anodize<br />

Mount:<br />

Tri-lock design for HK MP5 Tri-lug barrel mount<br />

MSRP: $932<br />

***Additional mounts available for IMI Uzi, SIG MPX, CZ Scorpion,<br />

1/2x28 fixed, 1/2x36, and 5/8x24 fixed thread adaptors.<br />


To put the Phoenix through its paces, I packed up my registered<br />

short barrel rifle (SBR) HK SP5K (civilian MP5 variant) and a few<br />

hundred rounds of Federal 115 grain and SIG Sauer 147 grain<br />

full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition. The rifle and suppressor fit<br />

perfectly in a submachine gun-sized rifle case I had on hand from<br />

US Peacekeeper. After a couple of quick phone calls, I grabbed my<br />

gear and headed out to our host test range, the Baldwin Pistol School.<br />

Upon my arrival, I was met with range owner and retired<br />

law enforcement Detective, Tom Martin as well as retired law<br />

enforcement officer and fellow <strong>PMCI</strong> writer, Jim Wenzel. With over<br />

40 years of combined law enforcement and firearms training aside<br />

from many more in the civilian world with suppressors, I was<br />

confident the feedback would come from a well experienced and<br />

knowledgeable perspective.<br />

Starting with the supersonic 115 grain Federal FMJ ammunition,<br />

I wanted to see what the Phoenix could do with our standard pistol<br />

training ammunition. As I braced for the traditional first shot “POP”<br />

of most suppressors, it was more of a supersonic “CRACK” that<br />

rang out from the sonic boom of the round traveling down range<br />

rather than normally at the muzzle. Each following shot was just as<br />

manageable without hearing protection as the first, if not better. I<br />

was very pleased to say the least.<br />

The iron sights on the HK SP5K were previously zeroed using<br />

the 115 grain load to establish a baseline for testing. From 10 and<br />

15 yards, the Point of Aim (POA) versus the Point of Impact (POI) of<br />

the test rounds did not differ. This is a very important aspect when<br />

using any suppressor because you must know the zero of your<br />

weapon at all times for accuracy and liability purposes.<br />

When switching to the heavier subsonic SIG Sauer 147 grain<br />

ammunition, the group first impression was simply…WOW! It was<br />

amazingly quiet. Just as impressive was the POA / POI held true.<br />

I felt the perceived recoil and controllability during higher rates<br />

of fire were easier to manage when using the 147 grain ammo<br />

suppressed versus any other combination being unsuppressed.<br />

It should be noted that after roughly 200 rounds, we discussed<br />

the suppressor didn’t seem to get as hot as fast as other 9 mm<br />

suppressors we have all had opportunities to shoot. Whether that<br />

has to do with the larger size or the revamped internal design I am<br />

not sure, but for all three of us to mention it, there must have been<br />

something to it.<br />


One of my favorite things about using tri-lug suppressors is how<br />

quickly they can be attached and detached with ease. After<br />

extensively testing the Phoenix suppressor from GSL Technology, I<br />

wouldn’t want to shoot my HK SP5K without it now. Other than for<br />

sheer compact storage, I would not consider taking the suppressor<br />

off to shoot at this point. It performed well, balanced the rifle<br />

beautifully and shot spot on with its zero.<br />

As I mentioned earlier, the Phoenix is the largest of the nine<br />

suppressor offerings currently on the market that I know of or have<br />

tested. With its lightweight and balance, its physical dimensions<br />

never came as a factor. If anything, it proved that, with size comes<br />

performance. The GSL Phoenix outperformed all the other 9mm trilug<br />

suppressors I have shot on the market, including vastly popular<br />

offerings from Silencer Co and Dead Air Armament.<br />

I consider the GSL Phoenix one of the suppressor industry’s<br />

best kept secrets that professionals talk about only to other<br />

professionals. At least for now. With the driving force behind one of<br />

the mega stars in the suppressor industry now stepping out from<br />

the Gemtech shadows to finally market directly as themselves, it<br />

is only a matter of time before more customers discover who they<br />

are and have always been. The decades of knowledge, innovation,<br />

precision, and attention to detail without cutting corners are<br />

extremely impressive.<br />

Retailing for US$932, the Phoenix offers big performance with<br />

a mid-level price point. You can get bigger names for more and<br />

lesser suppressors for cheaper. If there is a digitally rated quieter<br />

tri-lug suppressor, I highly doubt it would be rated better by much.<br />

Regardless, I can assure you it would not be at the same price<br />

point or value for what you get with GSL Technology.<br />

Simply put, if performance is more important than looking cool<br />

using whatever over-marketed company that is currently in vogue,<br />

I would highly recommend trying the tri lug Phoenix for<br />

yourself and enjoy just how impressive this suppressor<br />

can be.<br />

Visit www.GSLTechnology.com and discover which GSL<br />

suppressor best fits your needs. Until next time, Train<br />

Hard and Continue the Fight my friends!<br />



pmcimagazine.com<br />


By Trampas Swanson<br />

One of the most disappointing items to encounter when shopping for a new defensive handgun is to find a<br />

great deal on the pistol you want, but realize, it comes with less than stellar factory iron sights, so Trampas<br />

takes time to look at, and address, this issue with Williams Gun Sight Company!<br />


For those who follow my firearm reviews, its no secret,<br />

I really like the Glock series of pistols. Unfortunately,<br />

I really hate the cheap, plastic factory sights with<br />

the ostentatious “U” shaped outlined rear sight and<br />

golf ball sized white dot front sight. I find it a very<br />

distracting to my focus when shooting as it tends to<br />

make one giant bright white blur when addressing<br />

the target quickly.<br />

Recently, I had the opportunity to purchase a Glock<br />

model 43 9mm pistol with a factory installed Crimson Trace laser<br />

unit. With the pistol originally being a writer’s sample sent for<br />

review and the price was hard to say “NO” to once I wrapped on<br />

the article. Unfortunately, despite the great price and features, it<br />

did however arrive with the factory white plastic sights. I quickly<br />

researched my options since the model 42 / 43 were still relatively<br />

new and on a different size platform than other model Glocks. My<br />

good friend told me about a business making top-notch fiber-optic<br />

sights called the Williams Gun Sight Company. After reading up on<br />

the company, I discovered Williams made reliable, defensive and<br />

target model front and rear pistol, rifle and shotgun sights made<br />

from solid aluminum and fiber optics. I immediately ordered a set<br />

of defensive sights with red and green fiber optics to fit the Glock<br />

model 42 / 43.<br />

Within a few days, the new sights arrived from Williams Gun<br />

Sight Company ready for action. Using my MGW Sight-Pro sight<br />

pusher, switching out the factory sights for the new sights was<br />

a breeze. The longest part of the process was simply setting<br />


pmcimagazine.com<br />


up the sight pusher for the right size and position. The sight<br />

pusher used may be the most recent in a history of over a half<br />

dozen sight pushers and twice the investment of all the others<br />

combined but it is certainly the last one I will ever have to buy.<br />

The interchangeable “shoes” that hold the slide safely in place<br />

from damage and heavy duty all steel construction are well worth<br />

the money!<br />

Once installed, these sights were fantastic compared to the<br />

factory offerings. The Glock 43 is a relatively small platform in<br />

relation to a lot of handguns shooters are traditionally used to.<br />

The small slide lends itself normally to small, hard to see sights.<br />

I found the newly installed Williams sights were clear and fast<br />

to acquire when shooting from defensive positions, even in low<br />

light.<br />

I needed very little ambient light to make these sights appear<br />

ready to use.<br />

Prior to using the new sights, I had a concern that the fiberoptic<br />

sights would be so bright, it would distract me from the<br />

target. Fortunately, the sights had the opposite effect. I found the<br />

sights aided my eyes in focusing on the clear green front sight<br />

easier and not get caught up in the tunnel vision of staring at the<br />

target as my main clear focus. The red rear fiber-optics contrasted<br />

starkly to the front sight. The deep “U” cut out in the rear sight<br />

along with the thin profile of the front sight allowed for a great<br />

view of the target while easily keeping “equal height, equal light”<br />

between the two sights. This was excellent in quickly developing<br />

a solid sight alignment and sight picture without confusion of<br />

which sight was which in relation to the target in a split second.<br />

Follow up shots such as quick double taps as well as longer<br />

strings of fire seemed to be seamless compared to the factory<br />

sights. The main reason why would be due to being able to<br />

acquire the Williams brand quicker after breaking each shot and<br />

cycling through the recoil. The snag-free, low profile design of the<br />

sights’ height keeps “height over bore axis” as low as possible.<br />

This resulted in point of aim / point of impact being dead on at<br />

the standard defensive training distance of around 21 feet. The<br />

sturdy all aluminum built sights gave me confidence in durability<br />

during rough use in comparison to the original Glock offering.<br />

Retailing with a MSRP of US$49.99, I think the Williams<br />

fiber optic sights are a great value for what you get. My only<br />

suggestion for the Williams Gun Sight Company would be to<br />

make the rear sights with a squared front profile for an easier one<br />

handed tactical reloads in emergency situations such as having<br />

your dominant hand injured. A completely blacked out rear sight<br />

would be nice to see as well.<br />

Many firearms trainers I know often prefer to only have the<br />

front sight stand out when speed shooting. As the pistol used for<br />

testing is often carried at night, I would like to eventually see the<br />

Williams Gun Sight Company offer a Tritium front sight insert as<br />

well. I realize that this variation to the current sights<br />

would come with a hike in price, many shooters<br />

may feel the cost would be well worth it. Overall, as<br />

a direct replacement for the white “U” outline and<br />

dot Glock sights, the Williams sights are a spot on<br />

quick fix that will place you way ahead of the game<br />

for a very low price.<br />


<strong>PMCI</strong><br />


I'd like to take the time to introduce<br />

you to our model featured left,<br />

a friend of mine named Travis<br />

Partyka, affectionally known as 'Big<br />

Red'. 2-14INF 10th MTN DIV Sniper,<br />

contractor and friend.<br />

Well remembered and sorely missed<br />

27/6/84 - 24/01/21 RIP TP.<br />

Baz, <strong>PMCI</strong> Team.<br />




Al Venter is a specialist military writer and has had 50 books<br />

published, and I’ve had the great pleasure off reading more than<br />

a few of them, but most especially the ones he has written about<br />

the “small wars” in Africa during the1970’s and 80’s. His writing<br />

style is detailed yet easy-going, and it’s a style that I personally<br />

find enjoyable, especially as the facts he illustrates are often<br />

memorable to say the least!<br />

In “Gunship Ace” he chronicles a former South African Air<br />

Force pilot who saw action throughout the region from the 1970s<br />

on, and Neall Ellis is the best-known mercenary combat aviator<br />

alive! Apart from flying Alouette helicopter gunships in Angola, he<br />

fought in the Balkan war for the Islamic forces, tried to resuscitate<br />

Mobutu’s ailing air force during his final days ruling the Congo,<br />

flew Mi-8s for Executive Outcomes, and piloted an Mi-8 fondly<br />

dubbed “Bokkie” for Colonel Tim Spicer in Sierra Leone. Finally,<br />

with a pair of aging Mi-24 Hinds, Ellis ran the Air Wing out of<br />

Aberdeen Barracks in the war against Sankoh’s vicious RUF rebels.<br />

As a “civilian contractor,” Ellis has also flown helicopter support<br />

missions in Afghanistan, where, he reckons, he had more close<br />

shaves than in his entire previous four decades.<br />

From single-handedly turning the enemy back from the gates<br />

of Freetown to helping rescue eleven British soldiers who’d been<br />

taken hostage, Ellis’s many missions earned him a price on his<br />

head, with reports of a million-dollar dead-or-alive reward. This<br />

book describes the full career of this storied aerial warrior, from<br />

the bush and jungles of Africa to the forests of the Balkans and<br />

the merciless mountains of Afghanistan. Along the way the<br />

reader encounters a multiethnic array of enemies ranging from<br />

ideological to cold-blooded to pure evil, as well as examples of<br />

incredible heroism for hire.<br />

And in fact when it comes to Al Venter himself his story is<br />

no less interesting; he started his career with Geneva’s Interavia<br />

Group, then owners of International Defence Review, to cover<br />

military developments in the Middle East and Africa. Venter<br />

has been writing on these and related issues such as guerrilla<br />

warfare, insurgency, the Middle East and conflict in general for<br />

half a century.<br />

He was involved with Jane’s Information Group for more than<br />

30 years and was a stringer for the BBC, NBC News (New York) as<br />

well as London’s Daily Express and Sunday Express. He branched<br />

into television work in the early 1980s and produced more than<br />

100 documentaries, many of which were internationally flighted.<br />

His one-hour film, Africa’s Killing Fields (on the Ugandan civil war),<br />

was shown nationwide in the United States on the PBS network.<br />

Publisher: Casemate Publishers; Illustrated edition (19<br />

Jan. 2012)<br />

Language: English<br />

Hardcover: 340 pages<br />

ISBN-10: 1612000703<br />



Helikon-Tex®<br />

SFU NEXT Pants® Mk2<br />

Improved battlefield classics<br />

• Two large hook & loop<br />

closed cargo pockets<br />

on the sides<br />

• Redesigned to fit better<br />

• Reinforcements on seat<br />

and knees<br />


Journey to Perfection


By Bill Thomas<br />

VeagForceCompany produce some fabulous “6MM TRAINING” gas AR platforms, and work closely with real-world<br />

firearm manufacturers to ensure that their recreations are 100% spot-on, so this time Bill turns his attention<br />

to their take on the BCM MCMR, an absolutely fantastic GBBR “trainer”!<br />

C’mon, anyone who knows me, or that reads <strong>PMCI</strong><br />

regularly knows that I am just a HUGE VFC fanboy<br />

when it comes to gas training carbines that mimic<br />

the real-deal down to the smallest detail! VFC are<br />

a company that I’ve got to know very well indeed,<br />

and I’ve used their high-quality, innovative<br />

creations pretty much from the day they started!<br />

I’ve got to know Ray at VFC pretty well and speak<br />

to him these days not just as a trusted contact in<br />

a truly global industry, but also as a personal friend, now of some<br />

years standing.<br />

That means that when Ray tells me, with his “work hat” on,<br />

that something amazing is coming, I trust his opinion 100%. Of<br />

course when it comes to VFC GBBRs (Gas Blow Back Rifles) I also<br />

have the experience of many years use of their models on the<br />

range, and those models have all had literally thousands of BBs<br />

through them, so I know just a little about how VFC platforms<br />

perform not only as new, but also as they age. Bottom line is that<br />

VFC is a brand that I 100% trust (although like any brand they’ve<br />

had their ups and downs), and the fact that I have a really good<br />

friend inside the company means that I get to know about things<br />

in advance and get all excited but have to say “sorry, my lips are<br />

sealed…”<br />

It’s been pretty obvious that a new model that I have been<br />

massively excited about is the MCMR (M-LOK Compatible Modular<br />

Rail) created by VFC under their new partnership and licencing<br />

agreement with Bravo Company USA, Inc (BCM), and after thorough<br />

and extensive range-testing this magnificent carbine has proved to<br />

be everything I’d been led to believe it would be, and more!<br />

I absolutely adore a GBBR knowing that it’s gone through all<br />

the checks and balances pre-production, thorough torture-testing,<br />

design and re-design, and a carefully controlled manufacturing<br />

process before I part with any cash. I also like a properly licenced<br />

replica as I know then what I’m getting is going to be as close to<br />

the “real deal” as possible, and VFC are past masters at conforming<br />

to all of the aforementioned processes.<br />

I had massively high hopes that the gas version of the MCMR<br />

would be every bit as good as the models, like my SR16, that came<br />

before! I already own a couple of VFC gassers and love them as<br />

both training tools and exact replicas of a firearm that I sadly can’t<br />

own legally here in the UK, and in fact that VFC SR16 GBBR is one of<br />

my absolute favourite “trainers” and has already given me a couple<br />

of years of sterling service and much enjoyment; in fact, if pushed,<br />

I would have to admit that until very recently this has been my<br />

favourite carbine amongst MANY that I own, including my .22LRs!<br />

But then just a few months ago came the BCM MCMR; I had<br />

thought that the SR16 would take a long time before it was knocked<br />

off pole position, but then my dear friend Ray messaged me to say<br />

that he was sending me over the gas version of the MCMR… and<br />

ALL bets were off!<br />




BCM MCMR!<br />

BCM is, at least to me, such an important brand to finally see in<br />

licenced 6MM form, and you REALLY need to understand where I’m<br />

coming from to fully appreciate what is on offer from VFC!<br />

BCM started in the garage of a USMC veteran in Wisconsin,<br />

shortly after Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. As their website<br />

proudly tells one and all, BCM was founded to support the needs<br />

of Private Security Professionals working in theatres where durable<br />

mil-spec components for their weapon systems were not readily<br />

available. BCM (Bravo Company MFG, Inc.) builds professional<br />

grade weaponry manufactured, reinforced and tested to meet the<br />

unforgiving needs of professional Soldiers, Law Enforcement and<br />

responsible citizens in some of the most high threat environments<br />

in the world, products that are;<br />

“Engineered and built as lifesaving equipment with industryleading<br />

mechanical quality control, BCM lifesaving tools serve US<br />

Military Special Operations Units, Department of Homeland Security,<br />

responsible American citizens and other government agencies at<br />

home and around the world.”<br />

Bravo Company are one of the “good guys”, and their motto<br />

is the classic “Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum” (If You Wish for Peace;<br />

Prepare for War), and everything they create is with this mindset<br />

in place. No shortcuts, no substitutions, no half measures, and<br />

they say go on to say that “BCM was founded to provide militarystandard<br />

weapons systems to the American Warrior. BCM builds<br />

them to be as unbreakable as the people who use them”. Built<br />

using the highest-quality materials and tested to meet the needs of<br />

the most demanding users, BCM equipment increases survivability<br />

in dangerous situations.<br />

Again, you may have noticed in all the reviews I carry out on<br />

replica firearm models that I regularly make use of the words ‘Fully<br />

Licenced’, and it’s something that is very important to me. There<br />

are many ‘replicas’ out there that may on first glance look like the<br />

original that they are designed to resemble, but in many cases it<br />

is just that, a ‘resemblance’ rather than a true reproduction. Whilst<br />

this may seem unimportant, in fact it’s a vital part of how the<br />

industry works as a whole, both real and replica. Development of<br />

any firearm takes years, and costs many thousands of buckeroos,<br />

and both aftermarket parts and accessories form yet another part of<br />

the process. Trademark infringement is a serious matter, and failing<br />

to work with real world firearms manufacturers could see them<br />

withdrawing their products altogether from the replica market.<br />

VFC have worked in total harmony with BCM under their<br />

“BCMAIR” program, even down to using the original design<br />

specifications of the “real deal” to provide a replica with a completely<br />

authentic look and feel. Each MCMR comes with authentic BCM<br />

markings throughout, on the unique “MOD 1 SOPMOD” stock, the<br />

ergonomic and nicely-stippled “MOD 3” pistol grip, both upper and<br />

lower receivers, on the rail itself, and even on the “MOD 0 - 5.56”<br />

compensator at the sharp end, all of which means that this is a fully<br />

tried, tested and fully licenced replica! The MCMR, as a superlative<br />

high-performance GBBR, just looks fabulous, literally now as real as<br />

it gets!<br />


So far so much the same, right? However, it’s all about what’s inside<br />

the GBBR that makes the difference and really gives it some highquality,<br />

high-performance “guts”!<br />

Overall the fit and finish of the GBB MCMR is superbly,<br />

gorgeously first rate, right down to the sharp and crisp trademarks,<br />

and I’d go so far as saying that it somehow just feels great, to me<br />

at least. Everything about this training replica is utterly righteous,<br />

and just having it in your hands makes you feel that you’re holding<br />

something pretty darn special!<br />

So what, to me, makes the VFC replica of the MCMR “real”, and the<br />

answer is simple! If you can find a 6MM replica of a specific “AR”<br />


uild quality and superb components, the MCMR also offers realistic<br />

take-down; by splitting the receivers you can remove the BCG for<br />

cleaning and maintenance, again, just like the real thing.<br />

that is 100% exactly like its real world counterpart, that feels, can be<br />

adjusted, and operates (albeit from gas and BBs in each magazine<br />

rather than bullets and propellant) like a real carbine for the same<br />

price I would love to hear about it!<br />

Overall the VFC MCMR is as close to the real deal as you’ll find in<br />

6MM form, and everything is nailed down to look and feel exactly as<br />

it would on the real thing, including the operating system. There are<br />

many steel parts apparent on the MCMR, including the Bolt Catch,<br />

Magazine Release, Selector, Dummy Forward Assist, and Dust Cover.<br />

Also in steel is the Trigger Set which has Firing Pin parts of a totally<br />

new design and a “Non-Cut Lever” steel Hammer Set. VFC tell me<br />

that:<br />

“The new firing pin parts have a deeper installation position to<br />

effectively strengthen (and add) stability, and the improved lower<br />

receiver (a redesign of the internal AR series GBBR lower receiver) is<br />

equipped with positioning holes, so it’s not easy to cause installation<br />

deviation or skew things during operation.”<br />

The steel components continue into a full-travel CNC Bolt Carrier<br />

Assembly with a stronger steel bolt cam pin to mimic the “bolt<br />

carrier group (BCG)” of the real BCM, and this has some real muscle,<br />

especially when it’s married up to the High-Speed (weight increased)<br />

Buffer Unit; VFC have even fitted a steel Buffer Stop to make sure this<br />

added dynamic doesn’t cause damage during continued use!<br />

As with VFCs previous gas ARs this replicates exactly the<br />

operation of the real carbine so your drills need to be 100% the<br />

same; for instance the VFC gas magazines (and the MCMR is fully<br />

compatible with VFCs excellent gas V-Mags) only hold 30 BBs so<br />

your reloads need to be slick and lo-drag. In addition to luxurious<br />


I took the MCMR GBBR to my usual 30m woodland range to chrono<br />

and test, and in terms of power I got a consistent 1.33 Joule/379fps<br />

on a .20g RZR BB using VORSK V8 gas , and upping to .30g RZR BBs<br />

the accuracy was amazing at that range; the MCMR benefits from<br />

VFCs “Guide Hop” technology where you can easily adjust the hop<br />

by using a hex wrench to fine tune via a mechanism in the fake gas<br />

block… gone are the days when you needed to split the receiver to<br />

adjust the hop, or to create a “fettling tool” to do it! Measuring out<br />

70m in the woods I secured one of our “training steels” and had<br />

at it prone… suffice to say that the “gong was a’ringin’” with every<br />

carefully placed .30g BB!<br />

I honestly have fallen in love with the MCMR as a training<br />

platform, as everything just seems “right” to me! I love the BCM<br />

licenced furniture from the stock through the ergonomic pistol grip,<br />

and onto the distinctive M-LOK rail; once again I added a foregrip<br />

and a holosight so it feels comfortable for me, and the overall length<br />

(stock fully extended) of 790mm and weight (with mag) of 1958g is<br />

absolutely perfect in my mind for a “trainin’ iron”!<br />

I’ve now managed to get in some serious rangetime with it (not a<br />

chore if I’m honest!) and the added sense of realism that the gas<br />

operation adds to a platform I’ve already fallen in love with just<br />

adds to the feeling that you’ve got something more akin to a real<br />

firearm in your hands rather than a 6MM version! There are many<br />

gas rifles and carbines out there now that “simulate” the real thing,<br />

and many of them are very, very expensive beasts; having now shot<br />

the MCMR on a sustained basis I can tell you that it will perform as<br />

well as the best.<br />

I have said this of other VFC GBBR models, but the MCMR is far<br />

from being your average “BB gun” and for this reason I don’t believe<br />

you’ll be seeing it regularly in the gaming sphere, but to be perfectly<br />

honest the MCMR hasn’t been designed and made for the mass<br />

market, it’s been created for “those that know”, people and players<br />

that want an 6MM carbine that not only looks fabulous, but one<br />

which operates exactly like the “real deal”! For those that don’t, like<br />

me, have access to the real thing for training purposes or want to<br />

test themselves to the limit on the range without taking out another<br />

mortgage, then this GBBR is just sublime, and I believe that both VFC<br />

and BCM must be very, VERY pleased with what they’ve created…<br />

I KNOW that I am, and once again I am excited to see what my<br />

old friends at VegaForceCompany do with the “BCMAIR”<br />

program next!<br />

My sincere thanks go to my good mate Ray at www.<br />

vegaforce.com for helping me to understand “The Way<br />

of the MCMR” just a little more than I did before, and for<br />

sending over the GBBR for evaluation.<br />



Advanced Security Protection<br />

http://www.advancedsecurityprotection.com/<br />

AKE Group<br />

http://www.akegroup.com/<br />

Ambrey Risk<br />

http://www.ambreyrisk.com<br />

Antipirates.Org<br />

http://www.antipirates.org/<br />

APPDS<br />

http://www.appds.co.uk/<br />

Aquatic Marine Ltd<br />

http://www.aquaticmarineltd.com<br />

Protect Asia Group<br />

http://www.protectasia.com/<br />

Secopex<br />

http://www.secopex.com/<br />

Aspida<br />

http://www.aspida.org/<br />

Associated Risk Maritime Risk Management<br />

http://www.associated-risks.com<br />

Bancroft Maritime Security Solutions<br />

http://www.maritimesecuritysolutions.co.uk<br />

Bechtel Corporation<br />

http://www.bechtel.com/<br />

Black Pearl<br />

http://www.blackpearlmaritimesecurity.com/<br />

Blackstone Consultancy<br />

http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com;<br />

Blue Hackle<br />

http://www.bluehackle.com/<br />

Blue Waters Partners Global<br />

http://www.preparedex.com/<br />

BP Global<br />

http://www.bp.com/<br />

Britam Defence<br />

http://www.britamdefence.com/<br />

British Maritime Solutions<br />

http://britishmaritimesolutions.com<br />

BW Offshore<br />

http://www.bwoffshore.com/<br />

Calibre International Security<br />

http://www.calibre-international.com/<br />

Chilport<br />

http://www.chilport.co.uk/<br />

Chiron Resources<br />

http://www.chironresources.com<br />

Clearwater Special Projects<br />

http://www.bodyguarding.co.uk/<br />

Control Risks<br />

http://www.control-risks.com<br />

Decatur Maritime Security<br />

http://www.decaturms.com/<br />


Drum Cussac<br />

http://www.drum-cussac.com/Index.aspx<br />

Dryad Maritime<br />

http://www.dryadmaritime.com/<br />

Edinburgh International<br />

http://www.edinburghint.com/home/<br />

Elite Maritime Protection Services<br />

http://www.elitemaritimeprotection.com<br />

EOS Risk Management<br />

https://www.eosrisk.com/<br />

Erus Maritime<br />

http://www.erusrisk.com<br />

Espada<br />

http://www.espadaservices.com<br />

Ex Military Recruitment<br />

https://www.exmil.co.uk<br />

Exploration Logistics Group<br />

http://www.frontiermedex.com/<br />

G4S Maritime<br />

http://www.g4s.uk.com<br />

Genesis Security Group<br />

http://genesissecurity.com/<br />

Global Executive Outreach<br />

http://www.geo-ops.com/<br />

Global Risk Security<br />

http://www.globalrisksecurity.<br />

co.uk/<br />

Global Solace<br />

http://www.solaceglobal.com/<br />

Global Strategies Group<br />

http://www.globalgroup.com/<br />

Grail Security<br />

http://www.grail.co.za<br />

Halliburton<br />

http://www.halliburton.com/en-USage<br />

Halogen Security<br />

http://www.halogensecurity.com/<br />

Hart Maritime<br />

http://www.hartsecurity.com<br />

Hill & Associates<br />

http://www.hillassoc.com<br />

HP TerraMarine International<br />

http://www.hpterramarine.com/<br />

Hudson Trident<br />

http://hudsonanalytix.com<br />

ICTS<br />

http://www.icts.co.uk<br />

IMSA Ltd<br />

http://www.imsaltd.com/<br />

International Executive Recruiting<br />

http://www.iernetwork.com<br />

International Maritime Security<br />

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk<br />

International Maritime Security<br />

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/<br />

International Security Network<br />

http://www.isn.eu.com<br />

ISC Gulf<br />

http://www.iscgulf.com/<br />

ISSG Sea Marshalls<br />


Janusian Risk Advisory Group<br />

http://www.riskadvisory.net/<br />

Kroll<br />

http://www.kroll.com/<br />

Longmoor Group<br />

http://www.longmoor-security.com<br />

Lotus Maritime Security<br />

http://www.lotusmaritime.com<br />

Lotus Projects<br />

http://www.lpyemen.com<br />

Maersk<br />

http://www.maersk.com/pages/default.aspx<br />

Magregor Protection Services<br />

http://macgregorprotectionservices.com<br />

MTResolution<br />

http://www.mtresolution.com/<br />

MUSC<br />

http://www.sps-global.com<br />

Naval Guards<br />

http://www.navalguards.com<br />

Neptune Security<br />

http://www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com/<br />

NNK Group<br />

https://www.nnkcorporation.com<br />

NYA International<br />

http://www.nyainternational.com<br />

Ocean Marshalls<br />

http://www.oceanmarshalls.com<br />

March Security<br />

www.marchsecurity.com<br />

Maritime Risk International<br />

http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/<br />

Marsec<br />

http://www.marsec.eu.com<br />

MAST<br />

http://www.mast-commercial.com<br />

McRoberts Maritime Security<br />

http://www.mcrobertsmaritime.com/<br />

Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre<br />

http://www.mmwc.org/<br />

Minimal Risk<br />

http://www.minimalrisk.co.uk/<br />

MSS<br />

http://www.mss-uk.com<br />

Ocean Protective Services<br />

http://oceanprotectionservices.com<br />

Oceaneering International<br />

http://www.oceaneering.com/<br />

Olchon<br />

http://www.olchon.co.uk/<br />

Olive Group<br />

http://www.olivegroup.com/<br />

Orchid Security<br />

http://www.orchid-office.com/<br />

Oxberry Risk Strategies<br />

http://www.oxberryrisk.com/maritime_services<br />

Pilgrim Group<br />

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com<br />

Pilgrim Security<br />

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com<br />


Pistris<br />

http://www.pistris.com/Index.html<br />

Protect Asia Group<br />

http://www.protectasia.com/<br />

PVI Ltd<br />

http://www.pviltd.com/<br />

Raven Special Projects Ltd<br />

http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com<br />

Red Cell Security<br />

http://www.redcellsecurity.co.uk<br />

Redfour-MSS<br />

http://www.redfour-group.com<br />

Saladin Security Group<br />

http://www.saladin-security.com/<br />

Saladin Security<br />

http://www.saladin-security.com/<br />

Salama Fikira<br />

http://www.salamafikira.com/<br />

SMS<br />

www.specialistmarineservices.com<br />

Tor International<br />

http://www.torinternational.com/<br />

Trojan Securities International<br />

http://www.trojansecurities.com/<br />

Orchid Security<br />

http://www.orchid-office.com/<br />

Blackstone Consultancy<br />

http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com/<br />

Pilgrim Group<br />

http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com/<br />

Maritime Risk International<br />

http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/<br />

International Maritime Security<br />

http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/<br />

Raven Special Projects Ltd<br />

http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com/<br />

Salamanca Risk Management<br />

http://www.salamancarm.com<br />

Sea Marshalls Ltd UK<br />

http://www.seamarshals.com<br />

SEAL<br />

http://www.sealsecurity.com/<br />

Securescot<br />

http://www.securescot.com<br />

Securewest International<br />

http://www.securewest.com/<br />

Security Networking Events<br />

http://snespecialprojects.com/<br />

Security Networking Events<br />

http://snespecialprojects.com/<br />

Securoquest<br />

http://www.securoquest.co.za<br />

Shield Risk Consulting<br />

http://www.shield.eu/services/maritime-security/<br />

Shipguard<br />

http://www.mss-uk.com<br />

SMS<br />

www.specialistmarineservices.com<br />

SPS<br />

http://www.sps-global.com<br />

Tactical Intel<br />

http://www.tacticalintel.com/<br />

Thalassic<br />

http://www.thalassic.co.uk/<br />

Tor International<br />

http://www.torinternational.com/<br />

Torcuss<br />

http://www.torcuss.co.za/<br />

Triskle TSL<br />

http://www.triskelservices.com<br />

Triton Security<br />

http://www.tritoninternationalltd.com<br />

Trojan Securities<br />

http://www.trojansecurities.com<br />

Veritas International<br />


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