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Private Military Contractor International - April 2018

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APR 2018
CONTENTS
4 SHOT SHOW 2018: TRAMPAS AND THE PMCI-USA CREW GET BOOTS ON THE GROUND
TO CHECK OUT ALL THAT’S NEW AND FRESH AT THIS YEAR’S SHOW!
10 IWA 2018: BILL AND THE EURO TEAM HIT THE SHOW FLOOR IN GERMANY TO CHECK
IN WITH ALL THE GEAR MANUFACTURERS THAT WE KNOW AND LOVE.
Editor (UK): Bill Thomas
15 EDITORS COMMENT: “FROM LITTLE ACORNS”
Deputy Ed (USA): Trampas Swanson
16 GEAR ON TEST: THE PMCI TEAM MAKE THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE LATEST
GEAR TO HIT THE MARKET.
Graphic Design: Baz Thakur
Publisher: Nigel Streeter
21 BOOK REVIEW: “THE ESSENTIAL WEAPONS IDENTIFICATION GUIDE: SMALL ARMS,
PMCI magazine is a digital-only publication
1945 – PRESENT”
available FREE OF CHARGE via the PMCI
22 SHOOTERS: WGT CONSULTING: KELLY LOOKS INTO ONE MAN’S ODYSSEY TO CREATE
HIS VERY OWN “SHOOTERS SKILL SET” WITH WGT CONSULTING IN CANADA
26 GOOD GEAR TO GO: SIGHTMARK: BILL TAKES A LOOK AT SOME SUPER OPTICS FROM
App on a wide range of digital platforms,
including iOS, Android and Windows. For
more information, visit www.pocketmags.
com and search “PMCI”.
SIGHTMARK, AN AMERICAN BRAND THAT’S MAKING IN-ROADS TO THE UK MARKET!
30 TECH: WILEY X: PMCI TEAMS UP WITH “THE TACTICAL OPTICIAN” TO BRING YOU THE
LOWDOWN ON THE LATEST EYEPRO FROM WILEY X
PMC I c a n a l s o b e rea d o n l i n e at :
www.issuu.com, www.magzter.com
and www.readly.com
34 FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229: TRAMPAS GETS ROUNDS DOWNRANGE WITH THE
LATEST “LEGION SPECIAL” FROM SIG
38 FIREARMS: SPECIAL REPORT: WE’RE PROUD TO BE JOINED THIS MONTH BY ROGER
ECKSTINE AND JAMES PRESTON, DIRECTOR OF TRAINING FOR PRESTON TACTICAL WITH
Calibre Publishing Limited
Wyche Innovation Centre,
Walwyn Road,
Upper Colwall,
SOME GREAT UPGRADES FOR GLOCK HANDGUNS
Malvern,
42 KNIVES AND TOOLS: SCAR BLADES: HANDS ON WITH THE SHADOW XL FROM SCAR
Worcestershire,
BLADES
44 TECH: TRACKING DEVICES: LOOKING TO “GET OUT OF DODGE” OR KEEP TRACK OF
YOUR TEAMS? READ ON…
WR13 6PL
Tel: 01684 878 003
Web: www.pmcimagazine.com
48 SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES: ANDY GETS “DOWN AND DIRTY” WITH
PART II OF HIS SERIES ON FIGHTING FROM THE GROUND
50 INDUSTRY VACANCIES: LOOKING FOR WORK? JUST CHECK HERE.
Copyright © Calibre Publishing 2018. All rights are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
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Thank you for downloading this Edition of PMCI, the FREE digital publication dedicated to PMC Operatives. PMCI is written by
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2
©Calibre Publishing Limited 2018
FEATURE: SHOT
2018
pmcimagazine.com
SHOT SHOW 2018
Each year, as the winter winds blow through the Nevada desert, thousands of industry insiders
travel to the mecca of all firearms events, the SHOT SHOW. Company CEO’s, sales managers, media
relations specialists, machinists, survivalists, gun friendly Hollywood stars, competition shooters,
gun writers and even politicians fly into to the host city of Las Vegas from all around the world to
participate in the week’s events.
I
In the city known as “Sin City”, attendees can often be
spotted sporting their favorite camo, morale patches,
company logos, 5.11 khakis and polo shirts as they
converge on the show floor during the day and off to
charity events and after parties each evening until the
wee hours of the morning bring millions of dollars to
one of the richest cities in the world.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this
annual phenomenon, SHOT SHOW is a Trade IndustryONLY event, closed to the public, hosted by great
folks with the National Shooting Sports Foundation. This event
is held annually at the Sands Convention Center adjacent to
the beautiful Venetian Hotel & Casino. The attendance for this
Restricted event is open only to the hunting, shooting and
outdoor industry members as well as commercial buyers /
sellers coming from the Military, Law Enforcement and Tactical
arenas. The event is Restricted to anyone under 16 years of age
and offers very limited media coverage and attendance. To be eligible to attend this event, one must apply and their
companies or backgrounds properly vetted and approved. Once
that process is complete you are allowed to purchase a ticket. Luckily for PMCI Magazine, we had all access to the week’s
events with Swanson Media Group team members, Jared Peltz,
Clint Steele, John Phillips, Eric Adam, Shawn Swanson, myself
and special guest, custom knife maker, Wes Adkins.
4
SHOT SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
To get everyone up to speed on just how large of an event SHOT
SHOW is, let’s look at some quick facts.
• SHOT SHOW week kicks off with Industry Day at the Range in
Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club from 0830– 1730, Monday, January 22nd.
• Show floor in the Sands Convention Center opens 0830 and
closes 1730 each day from Jan 23-26.
• 630,000 net square feet of combined show floor space
• 65,000+ attendees this year
• Over 16000+ exhibitors
• Vendors and products from all 50 states and over 100 countries
are equally represented
BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR INDUSTRY DAY AT
THE RANGE
The week’s events started at 0740 HRs Monday morning as a
coach arrived out front of the hotel and escorted our team out to
Boulder City. Nestled in a stretch of beautiful desert between two
sections of the majestic snow covered Rocky Mountains, this small
town springs to life each year as the buses and teams of vendors
roll in for range day. Upon our arrival at the host sight, Boulder
Rifle & Pistol Club, we were greeted with gift bags filled with
industry swag such as bottle openers, T shirts, jackets, patches,
stickers, etc. From 0830 till 1200, this range was only open to
the few privileged members of the media that were invited to
enjoy the day. Afterwards, select FFL holders could join in the fun
until closing time at 1630. Once through the main gate, we were
officially at SHOT SHOW’s Industry Day at the Range presented by
the NSSF!
The best way to describe this first day is basically a shooter’s
dream come true! Vendors from around the world totaling over
170 manufacturers are lined up the length of the range, side
by side with their respective tents and tables displaying their
products to guests as they make their way through. The best part
is, this isn’t just a glorified open-air gun show, this is THE SHOOTING
EVENT of the year! Every vendor greets their guests as they step
up, explains the products displayed, how they function, what may
be new for this year and then offer to have everyone test shoot
each and everything possible! As soon as the first shot of the
day breaks, the event becomes a whirl wind of long range, short
range, and multiple target engagements. Over 500,000 rounds
of ammunition light up the desert onto assorted static paper,
electronic and steel targets. Booth to booth, guests travel to shoot
high powered air rifles, .22 rimfire rifles, high end competition
pistols, full auto, and suppressed; even new large caliber rifles
making their industry debut at the show!
As massive as Industry Day at the Range is, the most impressive
aspects of the whole event are the professionalism and care given
by the Range Safety Officers. This team of highly qualified RSOs
run an amazing system to keep everyone safe and happy. Helping
to coordinate all the volunteer RSOs was a local Chief Range Safety
Officer and owner of BugOut Firearms, Shaun Lord. Having met
Shaun amongst the morning rush getting to the show floor years
FEATURE: SHOT
2018
pmcimagazine.com
FEATURE: SHOT
2018
pmcimagazine.com
ago, we exchange business cards and stayed in touch. Through
both our professional growth as firearms instructors with our
perspective businesses, I have had the good fortune to become
close friends with Shaun. Despite the thousands of people who
attend Industry Day at the Range each year, Shaun and his team
always treat our crew like royalty.
SHOW DOORS OPEN
Tuesday morning was the official opening of the show floor at
the Sands Convention Center. For most attendees, this is the big
day. Their SHOT SHOW experience has begun. As the wall to wall
wave of crowds rolled through the doors of the multiple show
floor areas distributed among 5 different levels. Each of the next
four days would be spent making new contacts with vendor’s
media representatives and checking out the products we would
be interested in covering throughout the year here in the pages
of PMCI Magazine.
One of our first stops was with our friends at Torrent
Suppressors. This new company has hit the ground running with
their modestly priced, high performance suppressors for the
working men and women. As a bit of PMCI insider intel, we have
already been working with Torrent’s .30 cal suppressor in both
the .300 BLK and 6.5 Creedmoor platforms. All I can report at this
time is to look for Torrent Suppressors to be BIG this year. These
cans work and work well for their price points. As we move
forward with the next two caliber suppressors we are expecting
soon, we hope to give you the full run down this summer.
Following the crowds over to Glock’s booth found their newly
released Glock G19X as well as the G26 and G34 9mm additions
to the already very popular Gen 5 series. These pistols were
generating a lot of fanfare, while I and I alone on the team knew
we already had two of them sitting in the gun safe at home
ready for review. Since returning from the Shot Show,
our writers have spent some valuable time on the
6
As every year, a stop at the Vortex Optics booth produced
two of the most awaited scopes for 2018 with the 1-6x24 Razor
HD Gen II – E and the Crossfire red dot. No matter what end of
the price spectrum you are on, Vortex optics has a top-quality
scope for you this year. The 1-6x24 optic offers awesome glass
clarity combined with short to medium range variable power
scope in a short, compact package.
2018
A stop at Palmetto State Armory teased their upcoming
HK MP5 clone rumored to be under the $1000 mark with no
confirmation on official price or release date. Along with this
product, PSA also had their new AK pistols on display. These
pistols are chambered in 9mm and coming in two variants. The
first variant uses HK and HK clone magazines while the more
popular version uses the much cheaper Glock 17 magazines. Clint Steele was particularly excited about this due to his
love of the AK platform after seeing them in their natural
environments around the world during his time in both the US
Marine Corps and US Army. During our visit we also had the
pleasure of meeting Amelia Sapolsky. This six foot of sunshine
is not only a smart business woman who not only runs her own
media group and models for PSA’s booth, but is also a successful
contractor recruiter for SOFJobs.com which we hope to add as
a valuable partner with PMCI Magazine in the near future. A
special thank you to this young lady for being our personal
guide through this year’s line up of new PSA products.
FEATURE: SHOT
range with samples of the G26 and G19X, so look for those
reviews coming soon!
Moving on to the SIG Sauer booth, I was very excited to
see new model 365 subcompact 9mm to compete with Glocks
G43 and Smith and Wesson’s Shield. This thin, 10 round, double
stack pistol looked to be very impressive. Fortunately, at the
time of this article being published, we just received a sample
for review, so stay tuned for on that!
IWI announced new versions of their top selling Tavor rifle
now chambered in 7.62 as well as a 12 gauge configuration. These Israeli bullpup style rifles and now shotgun feature 16
inch barrels in an ultra-compact, lightweight package. The 7.62
version brings more firepower via the bigger round compared
to the traditional 5.56 version. The shotgun is where the game
changer comes in. The Tavor shotgun features 3 rotating tubular
magazines to keep the shooter up and running longer than
most conventional combat shotguns. While it’s a bit heavy, the
shotgun fan who eats their Wheaties and takes their vitamins
will be in love quickly with this new IWI offering.
pmcimagazine.com
FEATURE: SHOT
2018
pmcimagazine.com
With a range of reticles to choose from such as the VMR-2 MOA,
VMR-2 MRAD and JM-1 MOA, shooters can have plenty of options
to fit their shooting styles. The Crossfire 2 MOA red dot has been
gathering a lot of buzz for first time AR and optic owners looking
for a starter set up at an entry level price point. Add these to the
list of items to come for review here and at PMCI Magazine in
the coming months.
Finally, we come to the least high tech, simplest design that
left us wondering, “Why didn’t we think of that?” from Mag
Storage Solutions. While these aren’t new to the market, this is
the first year their display of products has really begun to catch
peoples eye. Their flagship products include plastic racks that
securely hold rifle and pistol magazines as well as ammunition
in the “dead spaces” of most gun safes such as the inside of the
door and left and right interior walls. Let’s face it, at the end of
the day, we can have all the cool guns we can afford along with
the most secure safes on the planet, but we still need a place
to conveniently store the accessories as well. These mag storage
units offer affordable solutions to crowed gun safes and junk
boxes surrounding them which is why they round out our top
products of SHOT SHOW 2018.
As a personal bucket list moment, there was a stop back at the
Torrent Suppressor booth to meet a living legend, Richard “Dick”
Marcinko, the first Commander of the US Navy’s SEAL Team 6 and
Red Cell as well as a Vietnam veteran. Now retired, Marcinko’s
accomplishments include being a bestselling author, radio talk
show host, motivational speaker and military consultant. Just
being at the show and sharing not only his experience but his
generations viewpoints added intrinsic value to the SHOT SHOW
experience for this seasoned gun writer.
8
AFTER HOURS
FINAL THOUGHTS
2018
One aspect I could take away from SHOT SHOW this year was the
chance to measure how I see the whole experience compared
to my Swanson Media Group teammates, first-time visitors, Clint
Steele and Shawn Swanson as well as returning attendees such
as Jared Peltz and John Phillips. Each person, including myself
takes away a different perspective of the various events based
on each person’s unique backgrounds and experiences.
The amazing collection of photos compiled through the
course of the show, some of which are included in this review
demonstrated just how well this diverse team saturated the
show floor.
Sadly, despite tons of articles being published about the
world’s largest firearms event each year, I can’t stress enough
that reading any feature on SHOT SHOW will never compare to
the actual experience of being there. What I CAN assure you
is, PMCI Magazine will always give you the best “behind the
scenes” view you can find anywhere. If you are in the industry,
military, LE or contracting worlds and eligible to attend, you
NEED to go! The networking, the family-like bond between
industry people and the pageantry of it all can be considered a
lifetime of experience only enjoyed once a year. As for all the
great firearms and gear discovered arriving on the market in
2018, all I can say is, stay tuned to the pages of PMCI Magazine
for new reviews and special features coming soon!
FEATURE: SHOT
Not all action happened on the show floor. A good part of the
SHOT SHOW experience relies on how your after-hours plans are
laid out. For some, once the show floor doors close each day,
there are extravagant dinners, off Broadway shows, gambling,
drinking, every other guilty pleasure that goes into helping
Las Vegas earn its “Sin City” moniker. For our team of writers,
the week runs on a tight schedule with a focus on work and
confidentiality if in case one or two assets do go astray. After all,
the ads for Las Vegas do clearly state, “What happens in Vegas,
stays in Vegas!”
Sunday night featured a great dinner at Gilley’s Saloon with
friends from around the world. The list year this year included
renown author of The Shooters Bible: Guide to Knives, Watch
Your Back and The Shooters Bible: Guide to Home Defense,
Rodger Eckstine, who has quickly become a dear, close friend. Another guest was PMCI contributor, Kelly Louise Hardwick
aka the UK’s Femme Fatale from the Airsoft world, who added
her own unique flair to our team. Rounding out the list were our
dear industry friends from Germany to add a bit more culture
and bearded comradery to the group. For many of us, this is a
chance to catch up face to face from last year and lay out a plan
of attack for the week.
Tuesday night was a celebrity filled event at the invitation
only 5.11 VIP event courtesy of company executive and
good friend, David Hein. Our team enjoyed great live music,
refreshments, exposure to industry super stars such as Kyle Lamb
of Viking Tactics and several movies and tv star sightings. We went in as a team, left as a team without any MIAs. The
night was a success!
On Wednesday night, our team attended a charity event
held across town at the workshop of the world famous, Rifle
Dynamics, hosted by RD founder and friend, Jim Fuller. An iconic
name in the American AK industry, Jim uses his celebrity status
to draw attention to worthy charities near and dear to the
hearts of himself and his friends. The gathering was an intimate
affair with a list of who’s who in the firearms industry, milling
about with those of television and YouTube fame. The evening’s
affairs are usually quiet and personal without cameras and
media, so I make it a point to attend as strictly supporting a
bearded brother rather than get the scoop on inside gossip.
pmcimagazine.com
FEATURE: IWA
SHOW REPORT
pmcimagazine.com
IWA 2018
Once again this March the small but effective PMCI crew made their way to Nuremberg in Germany
for Enforce Tac and the IWA Outdoor Classics Show and 2018 proved to be another very special
year; Bill reports back on a show where there was lots to see and even more to talk about!
O
kay, picture the scene if you will; some fairly
big lads (namely Nige, Iggy and I) all piled
into a 4x4 filled with tactical-style packs and
gear rocking up at the Dover Docks check in!
To say that both immigration and customs
gave us more than a cursory glance would
be lying… this was one hell of a road-trip,
heading as we were to Enforce Tac and the
IWA Outdoor Classics Show 2018! This has
to be my favourite event of the season;
although SHOT as reported on by Trampas and his merry
band of “shooters and looters” is still bigger there’s a certain
something about the show in Germany that always brings
a heady mix of excitement and expectation for me. Held in
early March each year “IWA” brings to Europe the very best in
firearms, optics, accessories, clothing, and gear.
Enforce Tac has always been a separate entity from the
main “IWA” and was created from the traditional Official
Agencies Day at the start of IWA Outdoor Classics and
already has a solid reputation. The growing interest in an
international and above all discreet exchange of views on
law enforcement, security and tactical equipment led to the
10
premiere of Enforce Tac as a separate restricted exhibition and
conference in the congress centre of NürnbergMesse in 2012.
These days besides firearms, ballistic accessories, optronics
and tactical equipment, the exhibitors at Enforce Tac present
operational clothing such as bullet-proof vests, stab-proof
vests, body protection, face protection, shields and helmets
to their core professional customers and users. The European
Police Trainer Conference also offers ample opportunities for
exchanging views with experts, but don’t expect to get into
this part of the show without a very specific invite!
The main “IWA” Show is slightly (just slightly!) more relaxed
in relation to visitors, and continues to grow and grow. When
I first started attending the show six years ago the “tactical”
side of things had only really just begun to make its mark,
but since then I’ve seen a sure but steady influx of companies
and each year the show just gets better and better for our
industry; “tactical” now dominates a Hall 9, and has now
expanded further; this expansion shows absolutely no sign
of stopping!
For the 2018 show the number of exhibitors was up again
with 1,558 exhibitors and almost 47,000 trade visitors from
around the world. Exhibitors from almost 60 countries and
Now as much as Trampas and the US-based crew head to SHOT
to look at all the shiny shooty and sharp things, my aim at IWA
is to concentrate on the “soft” side of the industry, namely
clothing, gear, and footwear. Having worked alongside some of
the “big names” in the performance gear market I do tend to be
quite hard on people, especially when they try to blind me with
the “science” I’ve worked with for many, many years!
I have absolutely no clue (they say it takes 100 inklings
to get a clue, and I don’t even have an inkling…) why some
manufacturers assume that they can get away with quoting
spurious performance statistics/numbers in the tactical world
when those very same “facts” have been debunked in the
outdoor performance market years ago. Because we work
with things that go “bang” very loudly I’m assuming that they
somehow feel this erodes our mental capability to “call BS”; the
last time I looked most of the guys I know in the tactical world
are also pretty solid outdoor practitioners…
Sorry, rant over, but I do hope that some of the “names”
will stop trying to beat us up with numbers and actually get
round to creating new and genuinely useful designs… which of
course leads me neatly into UF PRO who REALLY do get it, but
are humble enough to not shout about it. This is a really great
shame, because in my opinion these guys do have something to
holler about, and their design guru, Armin, totally understands
every stitch and every piece of technology they use to achieve
SHOW REPORT
HALL 9
FEATURE: IWA
trade visitors from about 130 countries gave the 45th edition
of IWA Outdoor Classics even more of an international flavour
than last year. This year, eight out of ten exhibitors and almost
two-thirds of the trade visitors travelled to Nuremberg from
locations outside Germany which shows the draw of what is
fast-becoming “EURO-SHOT”; this event is exclusively for trade
visitors; children and young people under 18 years of age are
not allowed to attend. Tickets for the IWA Outdoor Classics are
issued only to visitors from appropriate specialist suppliers,
official bodies and security companies on submission of relevant
credentials
Hitting Nuremberg late on Thursday after a 500 mile drive,
the doors to the show proper opened bright and early on the
Friday morning, and after a brief visit to the professionally run
Press Room (I discovered I’m not the only one on the PMCI team
to run on caffeine and cake!) it was time to get rolling; as much
as I like to see as much as possible when I visit IWA, experience
has taught me that you need to make a schedule and stick to it.
It’s simply just not possible to see everything, but with so many
friends in attendance there was a constant “heads up” flow of
information in relation to exciting new products.
pmcimagazine.com
FEATURE: IWA
SHOW REPORT
pmcimagazine.com
12
their outstanding clothing; new IR technologies will be part of
the company’s products going forward . UF PRO keep adding
new technologies and tweaking their designs, and their latest
iteration of the “Striker” series is simply superb.
Staying firmly in Eastern Europe Helikon-Tex are always
on my “must see” list at IWA, and in the last couple of years
they have really been making some headway, not only in
a “re-branding” in terms of their product categories, but
in the uniqueness of their designs; they’ve also shown a
massive step up in their quality control which in my mind is
placing them high in the “tactical rankings”. This year saw
them adding new colourways to existing lines, whilst at the
same time adding some neat extras throughout each of their
categories like the Summit ruc and the Pilgrim Anorak; as
always I look forward to working closely with them during
the rest of this coming year as the new products roll out.
Claw Gear are another manufacturer that I love to visit,
as once again they do tend to think “out of the box” when
it comes to putting together their gear. Their “Enforcer and
Defiant Flex” pants looks to be a bit of a winner, and the
“Blue Denim Tactical Flex Jeans” are right on the money when
it comes to “tactical trends”. They’ve also been working on
extending their range of products for the Steyr AUG which
may seem odd for what is basically a clothing company, but
when you consider they are Austrian it all makes perfect
sense!
Leo Koehler have been around for a while and are very
well respected by “those who know” for their quality; whilst
they’re not going to set the world on fire with new and
exciting designs (they already have some crackers anyway!)
they do always have a stunning stand when it comes to the
sheer number and variety of camo patterns that they use,
adding this year CONCAMO which I’ll look at in more depth at
a later date.
Once again Pentagon were pushing on with their
“Tactical Athlete” concept, and they are a brand that as an
outdoorsman I’ve come to appreciate more and more! Whilst
their designs are not quite as “overt” as some, they do make
a superb finished product, and their VORRAS tactical climbing
pants, and ROGUE tactical jeans (yes, more jeans!) certainly
took my eye. Speaking to them at length they have some
great plans for 2018/19 and I’ll be updating on these as soon
as is feasible.
Our friends at First Tactical were really rocking it up a
storm this year, and even twelve months down the line from
their first show they are really making their presence felt and
obviously bringing in new customers! Dan, the founder, must
be well pleased with how things have moved on for them,
and having their head designer, Corey, present meant that we
got to hear all the latest from them, and it looks as if there’s
going to be a major shake-up of their line later this year, so
watch this space!
No trip to a show would be complete without seeing old
campaigners 5:11, and although I’ve not been “wowed” with
any of their designs for a little while it is good to see them
firing all cylinders again. Not only had they upgraded their
clothing and footwear line, but they were also showing their
own new camo pattern, “GEO 7”. This new camo pattern
was allegedly developed in conjunction with Veil Camo and
is going to be offered in two different styles. The “GEO 7
Terrain” is more earth-based with natural tones while the
“GEO 7 Night” is darker in tones. This looks very interesting
indeed and I look forward to finding out more!
SHOW REPORT
Day 3, and the miles were taking their toll, not to mention a bit
of a late “business meeting” in the ever-popular Finnegans and
a memorable trip to Burgerista! IWA is a VAST show and one day
I’ll take a step-counter… the start of the third day though took
our steps to the stand of Direct Action. These former “special”
guys from Poland have been making some serious headway
in the “nylon gear” market and rightly so as their designs are
cutting-edge yet solid and workmanlike. I just laid hands on
their “MUSTANG” belt system which I’ll be reporting on in due
course after a few range sessions, but their new “TEMPEST”
chest rig is something that I’d like to get my mitts on!
Sticking with “Euro” gear folk I always drop in to see
Tasmanian Tiger; the company introduced a new line of navy
blue equipment for law enforcement this year along with
some new designs in the lightweight, low-profile cheat rig
market which look very slick. Their TAC Flightcase looks a very
interesting concept too!
Going “small but beautifully formed” we couldn’t help but
stop by the stand of the awesomely named “Badass Tactical”
from Italy, and once again they put a smile on our faces with a
demo of their two piece shooters belt and “tear-away” medical
pouch. They especially have some neat designs in terms of
medical packs and hope we’ll be able to bring more of their
gear into the spotlight soon.
Before I wrap up, as usual I have to make a couple of
“honourable mentions” of things that I saw that I thought to
be first rate. Out of Russia Gienna Tactics had some great new
clothing designs to show us, and I’ve already been speaking to
Sergey about some gear for test; I really liked their pant models
which showed a new and innovative design for knee protection,
and the fact that they work with some properly “old skool”
camo patterns gave me the hugest grin! Also I have to mention
Viridian Weapon technologies for some outrageously good pistol
lights, some of which feature top-end video capture options for
our LE brethren.
Okay, and I MAY have got carried away with all the magazinefed semi-auto shotguns and the MDR, but that’s just me and I
said I wouldn’t talk about firearms…
As always any report like this can only show “the tip of the
iceberg” and we spoke to so many people, and saw so much
goodness that I can only apologise to those not mentioned; I would say a huge thank you to all that took time to speak
with us. I’ll just say that IWA 2018 was a tremendous show
both for me personally and for PMCI which is now getting great
recognition in the community, and I hope to see just as many
folk from the UK tactical world in Nuremberg next year; IWA
has already been fixed for Friday 8 to Monday 11 March 2019
(Enforce Tac for 6 to 7 March 2019) so get it in your diary and the
PMCI crew look forward to seeing you in Germany next year!
FEATURE: IWA
MOVING ON!
pmcimagazine.com
tactical
CROPS Tactical specialises in ‘Small Team Tactics’ for operations within high risk environments.
Delivering our enhanced training packages to Military, Law Enforcement, Government
agencies and civilians within credible security positions, from both foreign and domestic
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Our training facility is based in the United Kingdom, close to the midlands and within 350 acres
of private countryside. It’s at this location we conduct our ‘craft’ away from the general
public. We fully understand the discreet nature of work our candidate’s undertake in their
daily operational roles.
We ‘the instructors’ come with decades of operational experience within high stress theatres,
working as small teams and individuals. We are current, and still, very much an operational
organisation. Over the past twenty years, we have operated in 42 countries.
For more information please contact us at: info@crops.uk.com
www.crops.uk.com
EDITORS
COMMENT
W
hilst PMCI cannot yet be described as “a
Ultimately as intelligent adults and friends we “agreed to
mighty oak” 2018 sees the team and I
disagree”, each appreciating the others point of view and parted
well on the way to creating a magazine
as usual on good terms.
whose branches are beginning to reach
I tell this personal story just to illustrate how one small
further and further into the training,
conversation, based on facts and logic rather than bombast and
firearms and tactical communities.
raw emotion can indeed lead to greater understanding; whilst we
In this issue you’ll find our reports
may not all agree with one another, it is good sometimes to at
from what are two of THE biggest “trade
least have “the conversation”, and I guess this is how I view PMCI.
shows” of the year, SHOT in the USA and IWA in Germany, and
I am lucky enough to be graced with well-informed and
on both sides of “The Big Pond” 2018 PMCI staffers were greeted
intelligent writers on the team, those that will look for good
warmly by everyone they saw; now some may say that “the
stories and tell them well. Yes, we do aim to be informative to
industry” is a little stand-offish but from my perspective if you
those that genuinely wish to improve their tactical skill sets and
prove that you can do the job it’s actually massively inclusive, and
knowledge, but we also aim to give a clear message that we will
frankly a very good place to be!
stand our ground and not be brow-beaten into hiding away in a
quiet, dark corner; let’s get real people, the world is still a violent
I can appreciate how those at the sharp end of things view others
and dark place, and just sometimes we need to acknowledge that
outside our world with some trepidation though, as I recently had
and decide upon our own course of action and act accordingly as
a great conversation with an old and very dear friend of mine;
we feel we should, with honour, integrity, and a questioning mind
this is a very intelligent lady that holds a Doctorate in her chosen
open to all viewpoints whether they tally with ours or not.
field, and is no stranger to working in harsh environments, but
We are “loud and proud” about what we do at PMCI, and we
she genuinely doesn’t understand firearms. She is also a mother
are happy to logically discuss that with people who genuinely
of a school-aged son who lives in Florida, and after recent tragic
“don’t get it”. All we ask is that others try to understand us as we
events she reached out to me.
try to understand them. As part of “the industry” we now have
Rather than simply lambast all firearms and firearm users she
the task of helping to tell our stories in a positive and meaningful
instead asked me if I might help her understand a little more about
way, and I am very grateful indeed for the faith that our industry
“gun culture” and after much back and forth whilst not completely
now places in us to do this.
swayed by my arguments she admitted that she at least “got it”
Wherever you may be people, switch on, train hard,
a little more.
stay vigilant and keep safe.
EDITORS COMMENT
“FROM LITTLE ACORNS”
pmcimagazine.com
MAGNUM OPUS ASSAULT 5 BOOTS
At the back end of 2016 UK-based bootmaker Magnum
announced a new series of boots featuring the very
latest advances in footwear technology, and the wait
for them to hit the market has certainly been worth it!
GEAR ON TEST
“magnum opus, noun, a work of art, music, or literature
that is regarded as the most important or best work that
an artist, composer, or writer has produced.”
Whether you’re law enforcement, military or a regular
civilian, you need your boots to give you the most
underfoot support possible. Magnum strives to constantly
deliver pioneering, fit for purpose footwear that meets
and exceeds their customers’ needs. The Magnum OPUS
is one of their newest developments, meant to perfectly
balance combat and athletic characteristics.
The Magnum Opus Assault Tactical 5 Boot is an ankle
height tactical boot designed from the ground up by
Magnum to give excellent comfort and protection with
industry leading innovations in design and function.
The upper features Kurim protective panels which are
constructed by thermo pressing PU with a substrate
material. This creates a super lightweight, breathable net
mesh offering super high abrasion resistance with limited
water retention and unrivalled support.
The Recoil midsole is made from Magnum’s exclusive
Recoil EVA which is softer to the touch and underfoot
compared to standard EVAs. It offers 69% more rebound
than standard EVAs and allows you to always get the most
shock protection even when running. Recoil offers the best
in comfort and durability creating a truly trainer like feel
with tactical boot performance. The outsole unit is made
from rubber carbon which offers great grip and durability.
The tread of the sole is multifaceted giving better toe-off
and improved natural motion.
In use the Kurim on the boot upper gives you higher
abrasion resistance and protection. This moulded PU
material increases the durability of the upper, giving
you heightened freedom of movement without having
to worry about your boots’ integrity. The lightweight net
mesh on the OPUS’ surface helps with breathability and
the fast wicking mesh inner lining will help to keep your
feet dry. The closed hook lacing system ensures a more
secure grip, whilst flexible foot forming construction allows
for a comfortable fit and support for your foot and ankles.
The OPUS’ athletic design is reflected in its low weight
(431g in UK Size 9/US 10/Euro43), making it the ideal
boot that won’t weigh you down during strenuous
physical exercise. The durable carbon rubber outsole with
multi-directional lugs provides you with enhanced grip
and traction while you run, break and climb on dry or
slippery wet terrain. And above everything else, the two
16
characteristics that make this boot truly stand out: Comfort
and Support. In between the OrthoLite Impressions
insole offering superior cushioning, the Recoil midsole
that delivers all-day support and comfort and the overall
construction, this is a bit of a corker! Trust me when I say
your feet will thank you, and with a bunch of (hopefully!)
hot weather training sessions on the horizon I’m really
looking forward to putting the OPUS boots quite literally
through their paces!
Features:
• Ankle brace for added support
• Fast wicking lining for moisture management and comfort
• Flexible foot forming construction
• Robust lacing and closed hooks for secure lacing
• Durable synthetic leather upper with breathable mesh panels
• High abrasion resistant moulded Kurim panels
• Compression moulded recoil midsole absorbs impact
and provides all day support and comfort
• Durable rubber carbon outsole provides grip and
durability
• Toe-off zone for added grip when pushing off during
gait cycle
• Forefoot flex groves enhance natural motion and toe off
• Multi-directional lugs deliver superior traction, grip and support
• Outsole wrap on the medial side of the sole for extra durability
• Heel braking zone for added downhill grip
• Decoupled heel to isolate the initial strike zone improving shock absorption
My sincere thanks go to www.patrolstore.com for
providing the test sample.
pmcimagazine.com
HELIKON-TEX UTP JEANS
As much as there is an ongoing “love affair” with
tactical pants, let’s face it, how many of us head to
the range in our favourite pair of blue jeans? If you’re
anything like then I’m sure that’s a regular occurrence,
but what if you could have your jeans with all the
features you’d find in those “Gucci” models?
Whilst the “denim” fabric looks great, it also performs
extremely well too as it has a four-way stretch capability
which actually moves with you, and is not in any way
restrictive. The fabric is solidly “heavyweight”, more like
serious workwear than “casual” attire, and it seems perfect
for the rigors of the range or extended use in an urban
environment. Designed with Law Enforcement and tactical
users in mind, the UTP Pants from Helikon are also suitable
for all outdoor pursuits and even daily wear!
For more information on the entire UTP range from
Helikon Tex please visit www.helikon-tex.com, or in the
UK go to www.military1st.co.uk
GEAR ON TEST
Durable and functional Helikon Urban Tactical Pants Denim are a ‘mid profile’ trousers so that they look less
like a uniform, which of course is perfect if you’re carrying
or loading up with equipment but want to do so in a “low
key” way.
The trousers feature a number of useful pockets placed
at the front, the rear and on both thighs. The two front
hands pockets have extra strong edges that are intended
for clips of folding knives. There are also two internal
symmetrical pockets, sewn in diagonally to the belt area
and made of material lighter than the pants themselves;
these two pockets are intended for carrying objects like
telescopic batons or an extra pistol magazine, in a discrete,
comfortable and secure way. Two large rear pockets
with hook-and-loop fasteners also have two auxiliary
small pockets placed inside. These small pockets are the
equivalent of two interior pockets at the front of the pants.
It is worth adding their depth may be adapted by sewing
them at a certain height or by unstitching pleats. These
are perfect for carrying a small flashlight or a multitool. The trousers also feature big, diagonal, symmetrical
thigh pockets, divided in two. The smaller have a hookand-loop fastener and are perfect for carrying mobile
phones, magazines for AR or pistol magazines. The larger
pockets feature YKK zipper and a single pleat that increases
their capacity.
These quality pants fit well in the waist thanks to a flat
elastic tape sewn in the rear part of the belt area, and are
zipped with a durable metal YKK zipper and fastened with
big hook-and-loop fastener. All the UTP series trousers also
feature profiled front and rear part of the leg around the
knees. The front knee part is additionally strengthened
with two layers of material. In turn these two layers
create an internal pocket which is perfect for a lightweight
knee pad if you so desire. All these characteristics ensure
freedom of movement and limit raising trouser legs while
crouching or kneeling.
Designed to fit female body shape, the Women’s Urban
Tactical Pants from Helikon feature a classic jeans ‘neck’
shape to limit them riding up or down, and elasticated
waist with YKK zip fly and velcro, and reinforced knees
with internal kneepad compartments for optional padding.
The Women’s UTP Pants also features one leg length for
individual adjustment, twelve various sizes tactical pockets
and seven wide belt loops.
pmcimagazine.com
pmcimagazine.com
GUN LEATHER: DOC BURGER
GEAR ON TEST
With the growing trend of vacuum and heat formed
Kydex holsters in the firearms market, a lot of shooters
lose sight of the advantages of a traditional leather
holster. The majority of our society has lost both the
interest and pride in properly caring for leather goods
in general. To replace this once beloved medium,
shooters now favour hard, inflexible plastic (Kydex)
with their favorite super heroes, arm chair warrior
skulls and spartan shields printed on them!
18
Some have compared the difference in the two holster
mediums as that of having a video game room with action
figures, Xboxes, beer, sound systems and comic books
versus a mahogany library full of hard back, leather bound
first editions and 21-year-old Scotch. The truth is, a quality,
hand-built leather holster does offer a certain style, class
and connection to the history of gun owners of the past
but also more tangible advantages as well.
A properly oiled firearm will over time, impart some
of its lubrication into the holster and help it self-lube the
firearm in return. Just like a pair of your favorite leather
shoes such as loafers, boots or heels, a leather holster will
continue to mate to the firearm and become better fitting
and easier to draw and reholster over time. With regular
light cleaning and the help of a light coating of Neatsfoot
oil, leather products such as holsters will last for years of
service long after Kydex cracks and fails.
Mass produced, inferior built, holsters with low quality
control are what I believe has turned off a lot of shooters
from leather holsters. This has led to safety issues in recent
history such as accidental discharges due to folded over
leather engaging triggers. The key to getting the most out
of the advantages offered by leather holsters is finding
a quality-built holster from a skilled leather worker. By
seeking out a quality holster maker, you often have the
option to custom build your ideal rig.
Recently, I had the good fortune to meet a holster
maker from the great state of Alaska by the name of Doc
Burger. In discussing his work, I learned Doc only builds
holsters during his down time from his day job. Starting
off his interest in leather from building knives first as a kid
and then again only a couple of years ago, Doc realized,
knives need sheaths, so he began to build sheaths for his
creations. Over time, he decided his leather skills were to
the point he would try his hand at a custom holster for his
beloved 1911. Having personally seen photos of Doc’s first
holster built, I can see why it would have inspired him to
further pursue this interest. Doc admits, the holster wasn’t
perfect, but he learned a lot moving forward.
Since then, Doc has gone on to build more sheaths
and holsters, expanding to revolvers, thigh rigs and soon,
“inside the waist band” holsters as well. After seeing some
of Doc’s work online and hearing the feedback from very
satisfied customers, I was eager to find out more firsthand.
Doc graciously offered to build a belt carry holster and
matching spare magazine carrier for my daily carry Glock
19 9mm for review.
Within a couple of weeks, I had a package from the
“Last Frontier” State at my doorstep. My first thought when
opening the box was that it was a bit of a surprise as to
how small the holster was. I’m not even sure exactly why
I was surprised at all, the area of the pistol the holster is
designed to cover is less than 4 inches long, so the holster
more than covers all needed areas. I seated my pistol into
the holster in one smooth motion and draw it out quickly
and cleanly. I continued to do this several times as I took
time to admire the deep rich brown stain of the Fiebings
leather dye on the 5 oz grade leather used in conjunction
with the 1mm Ritza 25 tiger thread holding it all together.
The detail around the border was exceptional. The spare
mag holder was beautifully matched to the holster and
securely held the 15 round Glock magazine in place.
Once I mounted the new rig on my favorite gun belt
from Ben King, Doc’s holster held the Glock firmly place
with no rattle or slop but blazed out of the holster on the
draw. Right out of the box, the gun felt like it had been
mated with the holster for a decade. While dry firing and
practicing magazine changes, the spare mag holder made
for a quick retrieval. I have worn the rig every day since
its arrival and have been nothing but pleased. The pistol is
perfectly angled for my draw without so much as a wiggle.
The low-cut front and rear of the holsters mouth lends
itself for snag-free presentation to the target similar to an
old west fast draw rig. The trigger is completely covered
and secure while it still allows the master grip to purchase
directly under the trigger guard ready for action. The wide
outside lip comes up to cover more of the pistol’s slide to
frame gap from debris and dirt while being flat enough
not to present any concern with material being folded over
and engaging the trigger over time.
pmcimagazine.com
GEAR ON TEST
The design is well thought out and solid as a daily carry
holster.
Doc hand sews each holster he makes to ensure the
high standards he has set for his products are always met.
As a former Law Enforcement Officer and current NRA
Firearms Instructor, this sort of top quality has long been
a top priority in choosing a holster. Unlike some larger
manufacturers, one of the things I admire about speaking
with Doc is his willingness to learn and listen to the end
user to adapt his holsters to their specific needs rather
than stick with a standard pattern without wavering.
This mentality will only help Doc’s continued growth
and success as time grows.
In the holster industry there are several levels of
company size such as your large holster makers like
Galco, who have set the standard for decades, small size
companies, “micro” and even “nano” companies in which
normally don’t get a lot of exposure due to the small
volume of project on the market. The size of the company
doesn’t mean in any way, the smaller companies won’t
have high quality products. In fact, in cases such as Doc
Burger, these holster makers build each one by hand not
because they “have to” but because they love doing it.
Each holster and magazine carrier are stitched with the
passion of someone who chooses to spend the time to
make a product anyone would feel comfortable betting
their life on. As for me, this “on the belt” rig has only
further encouraged me to review more of Doc’s products
in the future and continue documenting the day to day
wear of the rig I have on hand currently. Doc is definitely
earned a spot on my “A-team” list of holster makers. If
you have a problem looking for a top quality custom rig,
if no one else can help and you can find him, maybe you
can hire Doc Burger to create your next holster!
pmcimagazine.com
pmcimagazine.com
PIG FDT DELTA UTILITY GLOVES
GEAR ON TEST
Over the last few years, as I have increased my
participation in the world of firearms one of the
biggest difficulties I have found as a female, is finding
the right kit that fits my small stature, however, on
my first visit to the United States last year I got the
opportunity to test a pair of gloves that fit so well that
I’ve not looked back!
The PIG full dexterity tactical (FDT) Delta Utility glove is
the one! This glove in particular is a slip-on utility glove
that is a hybrid of the most popular features from the past
PIG models in a budget option that still gives the user a
high-dexterity fit.
The gloves, although a small and seemingly ordinary
pair of gloves, boast a bunch of features that set them apart
including a touchscreen compatible forefinger and thumb,
single-layer palm for tactile sensitivity, bar-tacked Paracord
pull loops meaning they’re easy to put on even with cold
hands and they even have a silicon printed grip on the
palm for extra grip making them practical and usable for
a whole host of firearms manipulations, law enforcement
use and outdoor activities.
Although it may be obvious, what I love the most about
these gloves is how they fit; the fit is exceptional and I
haven’t found anything that even remotely matches how
closely the FDT fit the contours of my tiny hands! The
fold-over finger construction and elastic wrist for quick
put on and take off sequence not only make them more
comfortable for the user but, in my opinion it also gives
the gloves a sleeker, more sophisticated aesthetic. As they
aren’t padded or extra thick around the knuckle joints,
this does not hinder dexterity when working. They’re also
quick drying after they’ve been exposed to water meaning
greater comfort for the user (as I found out after working
out in the snow for a considerable amount of time).
The PIG FDT Delta Utility Gloves are available in a
good selection of colours: black, coyote, Ranger green &
carbon grey (I have them in both the black and coyote),
and they are available in sizes ranging from a small to
an XXL, so the size range is super inclusive of both male
and female users. Although the exchange rate in the USA
makes them cheaper to buy out there, the shipping can
be a killer for those of us across the pond!
They are available in the United States from SKD
Tactical (www.skdtac.com) for US$29.95, and from Tactical
Kit (www.tactical-kit.co.uk) in the United Kingdom for
UK£30.95 – a great, well-fitting budget option for a utility
glove!
20
PMCI
BOOK REVIEW
SMALL ARMS
1945 - PRESENT
BOOK REVIEW
The Essential Weapons Identification Guide: Small Arms, 1945 –
Present offers a superbly illustrated guide to all the main types
of small arms to be employed from the end of World War II to
the present day. Divided by theatre and campaign, the book
includes sections on the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency,
the Vietnam War, the Soviet War in Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli
conflict, wars in Central America, the Falklands War, the Gulf
war, the Yugoslav Wars, Chechnya and the Caucasus, modern
peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations and the recent
conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This well thought out and meticulously researched volume
includes hand held weapons of every type, and how they were
and are used by the troops on the ground. Models include
revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, handguns, bolt action
rifles, automatic rifles, assault rifles, sniper weapon systems,
submachine guns, personal defence weapons, light and heavy
machine guns, shotguns and infantry support weapons such as
grenade launchers and RPGs.
Well known, highly influential weapons are featured in some
depth, such as the AK series of assault rifles, the Uzi submachine
gun, the FN MAG/”Gimpy”, the SLR, and the M79 grenade
launcher. Lesser known models are also featured, amongst them
the H&K MP7 personal defence weapon, the Khaybar bullpup
rifle and the Indonesian made Pindad assault rifle. The book
is as up to date as it possibly can be, with exhaustive listings,
but as we all know new weapons and weapon systems appear
on an almost daily basis!
Packed with over 250 full colour artworks and photographs
and full specifications, The Essential Weapons Identification
Guide: Small Arms, 1945 – Present is a key reference guide for
users, weapons enthusiasts and collectors interested in modern
weapons technology.
Martin J Dougherty is a freelance writer specialising in
military and defence topics. His published work to date deals
with subjects ranging from naval weapons to personal security
and self-defence.
Author: Martin J Dougherty
Publisher: Amber Books
ISBN: 978-1-908273-17-8
Price: UK£19.99
TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL
pmcimagazine.com
TRAINING WITH WGT TACTICAL
In PMCI we do tend to go “heavy” on our training articles and for good reason; if you’re already a tactical
shooter with a solid skillset, even that needs sharpening and honing at regular intervals. But what if you’re
an individual that needs to build a toolbox from the ground up with only a recreational background? Our
newest contributor and “padawan” Kelly takes up the story…
I
n PMCI we do tend to go “heavy” on our training
articles and for good reason; if you’re already
a tactical shooter with a solid skillset, even
that needs sharpening and honing at regular
intervals. But what if you’re an individual that
needs to build a toolbox from the ground
up with only a recreational background? Our
newest contributor and “padawan” Kelly takes
up the story…
Rob Murray is an airsofter turned firearms instructor
that works for a Canadian firearms consulting company
called WGT Consulting who provide firearms training
and consultancy services for civilians as well as Law
Enforcement/Military. But, how did a humble airsofter go
from slinging plastic BBs at the weekend to becoming a
firearms instructor? We sat down with Rob at SHOT Show
2018 to ask him about his incredible journey into the
world of firearms.
Rob’s story is an interesting one, as although he
comes from a family with a /Law Enforcement and EMS
background, he started this journey completely from an
airsoft background. as a young man, he had chosen to
22
go down the (what some may argue) ‘traditional’ route
of attending college and university before eventually
joining corporate life. After university, he decided to pick
up some hobbies to keep in shape and escape the grind
of 9-5 which is what lead him to joining the sport of
airsoft. As the firearms laws in Canada are stricter than
those of their close neighbours the USA, Rob, like many
Canadian citizens hadn’t really grown up around firearms
and had maybe been exposed to them once or twice
during his lifetime through his Uncle, who was a member
of Law Enforcement. Although he really enjoyed his brief
experience with firearms, he didn’t pursue it until airsoft
reignited his passion many years later. Airsoft became an
integral part of Rob’s life very quickly and to maintain an
active playing style in airsoft he had to become quite a
physical person, it was a complete 180 flip on what he
was doing in his day to day life.
‘I turned this nerdy, quiet dude into this guy that
would shoot plastic BBs at friends on the weekends and
run around like a crazy person, jumping over houses or
whatever’ - Rob
were taken to the range for live fire practice Rob was
shooting alongside them being watched and coached by
a member of WGT in between the rotations. A few days
later Rob got a phone call from WGT to let him know
how impressed they were with his shooting abilities and
movements. Everything he had been practicing during his
8 years playing airsoft had accumulated to the range day
‘This is what always punches people in the face: I didn’t
shoot a lot when I was younger’ - Rob
He had maybe 200-300 rounds worth of shooting
experience in his lifetime, comparable to a day’s shooting
on the range and he was outperforming , the “average
shooter”. Because of this in November 2016 he became
a sponsored competition shooter for WGT Consulting. He
spent the winter working closely with the team and shortly
after was offered a position with the company and what
is most important about this I feel is that they didn’t care
about his background, but only that he had the drive, skill
and the right attitude.
That’s what leads us to the ethos of WGT, and where
Rob is at now.
The man behind WGT is a veteran by the name of William
Benn, also known as Bill. Bill has recently retired from
the Canadian Armed Forces and for a large portion of his
Military career where he was deployed overseas he was
involved in a source handling unit. There are three others
in the organisation, two of which are still currently serving
and the other is a vet who works in private contracting. All
in all, a well-rounded team of professionals, with years of
experience.
The ethos, Bill’s vision for WGT Consulting, was originally
to supply his guys (the people who served alongside him
overseas) a job, and a place to be after their service is
complete. One theme that is integral to this story is that
Bill cares about his guys. It’s something you hear a lot
about the guys in the front line, they care about getting
home to their families and they care about the guys that
are fighting alongside them and protecting them from all
angles because that’s all that matters out there and Bill
is trying to do the same here. Something that Rob is very
grateful to be a part of.
‘It’s something I don’t take lightly. I don’t have a cool
guy resume, it’s hard for anybody to take people like me
seriously. These are guys that have put their trust in me
and I will never forget that. This is the opportunity of my
lifetime’ - Rob
TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL
Although he didn’t know much about the tactical world, his
interest was sparked as a kid by tactical video games such
as Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, he was fascinated with
them. As he approached airsoft he started by attending
game days wearing very basic kit. He didn’t take it too
seriously in the beginning, but then as he developed more
of a love for the sport and he started looking more and
more at how the tactical world was developing, especially
from influences such as Costa and Haley, he started driving
everything he was doing in airsoft towards building skills
that could be transferable to real firearms. The adventure
so far has been crazy for Rob, from travelling to the States
to shooting BBs at a Nuclear power plant to slinging plastic
out of a helicopter, he has experienced a lot and it has been
a fun ride so far but he has always strived to continue the
practical application of airsoft.
This leads us to how Rob first got involved with the
firearms/training community in Canada. About 18 months
ago, he started helping out with tactical training courses,
either as an observer, OPFOR or another role.
A particular course is what set Rob on the path he’s on
now; a tactical vehicle operators course, where he was
helping with the live scenarios around the vehicles while
the course was being taught by instructors with a Military
background and facilitated by WGT Consulting. He took a
gas blow back airsoft AK along with him to the course to
show the instructors that there are platforms out there
that mimic the action and of real firearms pretty closely, is
great for force on force training and also dry fire exercises
which was well received. The next day, whilst the students
pmcimagazine.com
TRAINING - WGT TACTICAL
pmcimagazine.com
For the company itself, it’s purposely vague as Bill didn’t
want to make it overtly tactical/military/law enforcement
based but they offer a range of services to all branches and
firearms training for civilians. WGT’s bread and butter at the
moment, is training civilians and taking the many years of
experience of the instructors to educate and create safe,
good shooters who achieve their personal goals. WGT like
to take people out of their own head and use data driven
metrics, they time and record students to monitor progress
and apply coaches eye to help students improve their game
and understand the science behind shooting. Consulting
always plays a huge part in what WGT do, from product
procurement for various branches of the military and law
enforcement.
The have a host of new ventures in the pipeline, from
their new base which will not only include a classroom for
theoretical training, a range for live fire and even a retail
area for various bits and bobs. A lot of the pipeline work,
couldn’t be revealed but I have a feeling that it won’t be
long before we see it come to fruition!
Where is this taking Rob in the future? Although Rob still
works in the corporate world, he is contemplating changing
careers from digital security to firearms.
For more information on WGT Consulting and the training
packages they offer please go to http://www.wgtconsulting.com
24
TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS
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SIGHTING IN
In the UK we sometimes seem to be all the way “at the back of the bus” when it comes to firearms
and airsoft accessories and although our distributors and retailers do their very best to keep us
up to date with the very latest developments it can take a while for things to reach us. Bill takes a
look at Sightmark, an optics brand that has finally reached our shores!
I
t was back at SHOT 2009 if memory serves that I first
encountered the Sightmark brand of optics, and from
that day forward I’ve been hoping that someone
would give us proper access to a superb range of
extremely well-priced optics here in the UK!
I was so impressed with what I saw those years ago
that I invested in an original Sightmark Ultra Shot
Reflex Sight straight away; the Sightmark series of
reflex sights even back then were designed to create
a lightweight, yet extremely accurate sight. Not only that but
they were very well priced too, under US$100 in the USA.
The Ultra Shot was Sightmark’s biggest and baddest sight
in the reflex line, and was incredibly lightweight for its size.
The Ultra Shot came with a built-in, integrated rail mount,
which fitted all standard bases, and was able to withstand
even heavy recoil from larger calibres; no problems with
airsoft then… this, with the ability to choose between four
different reticle patterns, made the original Ultra Shot an
unusually versatile sight. With a wider field of view than
most other reflex sights on the market, and a Limited Lifetime
Warranty, the Sightmark Ultra Shot was literally in a class by
itself!
26
But time moves on inevitably, and although there were some
half-hearted efforts to bring the brand to the UK it was never
made particularly available… until now! Luckily for us Scott
Country International have now taken over distributorship of
Sightmark in the UK
SAY IT LIKE IT IS
“Long hours, harsh weather, dangerous pursuits: it’s all in
a day’s work. You’re devoted to protecting others, so your
equipment needs to work as hard as you do. Whether you’re
in the line of duty, defending your home or serving as a
protector of peace, you can rest assured that accuracy and
quality comes standard in every Sightmark product, giving
you the ability to Make Your Mark®.”
This is what you’ll find quoted on their website and at
Sightmark the goal is to deliver confidence by creating
optics and accessories that every shooter can rely on. They
understand what it takes to prepare and they know that the
hours spent hunched over a shooting bench at the range are
meaningless unless products do their job. From riflescopes
and binoculars to night vision technology and red dots,
EYES ON!
Time and technology continue to move on unabated, and
luckily enough for us in the airsoft world, faster communication
means even faster dissemination of information. Now as regular
readers will know I’ve been following the roll-out of some
excellent Cannae Pro tactical gear courtesy of Scott Country
International, and when Paul there spoke to me about their new
brand, Sightmark, he was of course preaching to the converted.
What he sent me to try was a “combo platter” of the very latest
Wolverine FSR 1x28 red-dot sight along with a rather nifty, flip
to the side 3x magnifier, which makes an incredibly versatile
package! Designed for short-range engagements, the Sightmark
Wolverine FSR is specifically built for the AR platform. A digital
switch controls brightness of the 2 MOA red dot reticle with a
28mm objective lens that is specifically engineered for rapid
target acquisition.
The durable FSR model weighs only 349g and is built for a
lifetime of use. Fog proof and nitrogen purged, the Wolverine
family of sights is designed to provide you with the ability to take
TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS
Sightmark is committed in their pursuit of building durable,
accurate optics you can trust.
Founded to meet the changing needs of its customers,
Sightmark was introduced at SHOT Show 2007 in response to
the growing popularity of the “modern” shooting market. The
goal was to provide state-of-the-art optics and accessories to
make the modern sporting rifle, shotgun and pistol as accurate
as possible. In addition, each product was designed for the core
market, enabling shooters to purchase more high quality items
to accessorise their firearm for total performance, whatever
their discipline!
In 2011, a new 33,000 square-foot headquarters was
completed in Mansfield, Texas, combining the company’s
corporate offices and a large warehouse to handle the increase
in sensitive material and technology being produced. The new
facility provided more space for research and development,
production, and distribution of defence-related products.
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TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS
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aim in a variety of conditions and temperatures ranging from
-22 to 122 F. The Wolverine FSR also has an IP67 waterproof
rating and is submersible to three feet.
The 3x Tactical Magnifier Pro offers versatility by increasing
the magnification of both red dot and reflex sights to give greater
range. In one swift motion, the new flip mount design makes
it fast and easy for shooters to increase their magnification for
accompanying sights creating a greater engagement range in
any situation. This durable magnifier has been redesigned to
provide increased eye relief, along with an upgraded rubber
armour housing to give increased durability, providing 3.5
inches of eye relief. The Sightmark 3x Tactical Magnifier Pro is
also EOTech and Aimpoint compatible.
Overall the standard of finish and fit is superb, and the glass
itself is absolutely crystal clear on both optics. The feel of both
models is one of durability, and once rail-mounted they are
locked 100% in place. Now personally I like to run a magnifier
as close to the sighting optic as possible to avoid light ingress
and potential “flare”, and the Sightmark version allows you to
run it really close, a big plus. I also like to have my magnifier
flip to the left so that it’s protected against my body, and once
again this is easily achievable; the flip also means that you can
still run and access “irons” should you need to.
CLEAR AS!
When I need to test optics at a greater distance than my own
30m range allows then I’m lucky to have a longer range just
down the road, and I’ll head on there to use their facilities. My
friend Jon has also been testing some of the optics offered by
28
Scott Country International so I asked him if he would like to
contribute to this article, and this is what he had to tell me;
“Chatting away with our friends at Scott Country International
I was asked if I’d ever heard of Sightmark.
“Who?” Was my reply.
Paul there went on to explain that they were an optics company
based in Mansfield, Texas and how they produced high quality
optics at very reasonable prices. We were chatting about a
recent event and how well the Thermal Imaging Units they
provided had been received by the attendees; Paul said that
I should try out the Sightmark Ultra and the Pulsar Challenger
Optic combo. With that, the deal was done.
Two days later a very well presented package arrived. The
Sightmark Ultra Shot comes in a very generic looking box with
branding. So far, so samey. The charm is found when you get
through the security seals and remove the lid. Inside you’ll
find a neoprene pouch stitched to the shape of the optic and
zips firmly along the bottom. You’ll also find the quick release
mechanism, adjustment tools, cleaning cloth and instruction
manual. The Pulsar Challenger isn’t quite as exciting, a branded
box, the unit and instruction manual.
On first inspection the Ultra Shot is a weighty but not heavy,
solid well-constructed bit of kit. I have the all black version
but there is a Tactical Tan version. The two simple operational
buttons are on the left side of the optic and comprise of “Power
and Brightness”. Nice and simple. The rear of the unit has the
reticle selector which has a stiff leaver and sturdy “click” feel
when swapping. When activated the brightness levels cover for
all light conditions and are red/green switchable. The reticle is
clear and bright with excellent target marking.
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In the UK head over to http://scottcountry.co.uk/
sightmark to view the range of products or just visit http://
www.sightmark.com
TAC GEAR - SIGHTMARK OPTICS
In NV mode the reticle is clear and crisp with minimal glare
when on low and viewed through the Pulsar Challenger NV
Optic. I thought this was pretty cool; the fact that you can mount
it to a J-Arm and make it helmet compatible is just an added
bonus!
The real selling point for me though was that whilst
chatting with Scott Country, they told me about the “no quibble
warranty”. Essentially, if the lens gets damaged, they’ll replace
or repair. What more could you ask for?
The Pulsar Challenger NV is a Gen 1 optic so not the best
available on the market but it performed really well when
combined with the Sightmark Ultra Shot (mounted to my rifle)
and the pricing of the unit is excellent for those wishing to take
the plunge but not having to remortgage the wife! Once I had
figured out the focus, I was able to hit targets using the inbuilt
IR Light and using an external IR Torch, A perfect set up for
beginners to NV.
I would strongly recommend the Sightmark Ultra Shot. It’s a
solid built bit of kit with a lifetime warranty.”
So there it is in a nutshell! Scott Country International have
shown a great willingness to be involved in bringing in exciting
new products, and thanks to them we in the UK can now access
the entire range from Sightmark. In addition to some keen
prices there’s a whole new brand to explore. Sightmark have
proved globally that they are here to stay and with an upgraded
Lifetime Warranty (designed to “keep you in the field with
products that are built to perform; in the event of a defect in
materials or workmanship, Sightmark will repair or replace your
product immediately.”) choosing one of their optics is a total no
brainer!
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EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X
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WILEY X: IN FOCUS
Tactical Optician, Andy B, takes a look at some of the latest airsoft-friendly products from military-grade
eye protection specialists, Wiley X.
A
30
s “privateers”, we often imitate the current
trends in the military world, be it the latest
tactical nylon or hardware and, to a lesser
extent, eye protection. The latter is rarely held
up as an item of tactical fashion, unlike the first
two examples but we have a wealth of cutting
edge products that were conspicuous by their
absence only a decade or so ago.
As a callow youth, I cut my teeth in the training world of the
early nineties. Anyone else who recalls this time will recall very
little choice in goggle protection. The products available were
prevalently from the motocross world and had no formal impact
protection rating. We paid our money and took our choice. The
other arena in which I spent a deal of time in the same era
was the military. Of course, there was no eye protection in this
field over and above the goggles issued to armoured vehicle
crewmen. Modern military requirements since the turn of the
century have been the genesis of eye protection as we know
it, driving ever improving products that are designed in the
crucible of warfare. The beauty of these products is that they
are tailor-made to fit the requirements of users by dint of their
origins in the tactical world. Impact protection? Check. Anti-fog?
Yup. Durability? Definitely. Adaptability? Check.
Modern combat has shown us that around 10% of battlefield
injuries are penetrating eye injuries, prevalently from
fragmentation. Although this sort of trauma is rarely fatal in
itself, the immediate effect is to render an individual combatineffective and the ramifications are usually irreversible sight loss.
sweats, the dew point, humidity, temperature, wind speed, the
wearing of hats/helmets, the cleanliness of the lens, and so on.
If using an anti-fog preparation, understand its use and apply
according to the instructions.
So, having navigated the wealth of information necessary
to look at eye protection with a critical eye, where should the
prospective buyer start looking? Well, in my humble opinion,
start with a military eye wear provider, who has a wide range of
products that are certified to a minimum of ANSI Z87.1 or Z87.1+.
Wiley X fits the bill admirably.
Wiley X started in Livermore, California, thirty years ago,
manufacturing eye protection and gloves for tactical applications.
Since then they have produced and evolved products that
encompass military and law enforcement, as well as motorbiking,
cycling and leisure activities. Their products remain standard
issue for many organisations and their protective pedigree is
impeccable. Lenses are all high impact polycarbonate which they
call Selenite™. These are coated with a scratch resistant layer,
which is normally necessary as polycarbonate being ductile, is
more prone to scratch than normal spectacle lenses. Be warned
before wiping your eye protection lenses on your shirt or trousers!
The lenses also block 100% of UVA and UVB light, irrespective of
tint level. For the purposes of this article, the good folk at Military
1st have kindly supplied Wiley X products for a closer look.
WILEY X NERVE GOGGLE
I chose the Nerve goggle, as it is an excellent illustration of the
evolution from vehicle crew protection to lightweight tactical
protection. First impressions are of a minimalist approach; this
goggle is compact, under 70mm in height at the tallest point.
There is no danger of it getting in the way of helmets as it is shallow
framed, but cleverly a heavily curved lens affords a good field of
view. The strap mounts have vertical and horizontal articulation,
there is a good degree of adjustment in the retention strap (so
wearing over a helmet or face mask is easily accommodated),
and there is an integral dust gaiter on the strap. The lens shows a
Z87.1+ engraving, specifying high impact testing, and the frame
has EN166 marking too; all bases covered here. This particular pair
comes with interchangeable clear and dark lenses, a nylon carry
case and a microfibre cloth. As expected, these lenses pass my
EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X
In the training world, we thankfully don’t usually face the same
fragmentation threat, but the damage inflicted by a detritus
striking the eye can be just as serious. The primary mechanism
of damage though is blunt trauma. The eye is quite resistant
to rupture but hit it hard enough, or in the wrong place and
significant damage can be done to the delicate internal structures.
The results could blind, or cause a long term condition requiring
lifetime drug management. I don’t think that anybody would
consider these risks as acceptable.
So we have a ready-made product base which has been
produced for professional military and law enforcement use,
designed to function under conditions similar to that which we
are exposed to. But let’s look a little closer at the standards used
to certify the protection.
Most military eyewear originates in the USA, so the most
prevalent standards are the ANSI (American National Standards
Institute) Z87.1 and Z87.1+ which will be marked on the product.
Without descending into too much detail, the Z87.1 standard
encompasses impact testing of frame and lenses (a higher
impact test is used for Z87.1+), as well as non-ionising radiation
exposure and corrosive substance testing. Suffice to say that
choosing eye protection that has been tested to a known standard
is sensible but it is wise to know which standard is appropriate
for your needs. If in doubt, ask your local eye care professional;
optometrists are professionally obligated to ensure that your
protection is appropriate for its intended purpose, if they supply
it. In the European Union the comparable standard to look for is
EN166, which shows that impact testing has been carried out to
similar standards to Z87.1 testing.
Eye protection generally can be broken down into two
formats; eye shields and goggles. Goggles of course are a sealed
or partially sealed unit, offering all round protection. The inherent
disadvantage to this arrangement is fogging. The eye shield takes
the form of a visor or spectacles, without the lens edge contacting
the face. Advantages are lighter unobtrusive apparatus, allowing
air flow and better anti fog but gaps in the extreme periphery
are potentially a greater risk. At this point, it’s worth touching on
anti-fog; in my opinion there is no such product as a fog-proof
lens. Every lens fogs in the wrong conditions. There are many
variables including (but not restricted to) how much the wearer
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EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X
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“fog resistance” test easily; a deep breath and exhale into the
goggle yields no noticeable fogging. Top marks. There are ducts
on the frame brow to promote airflow, and a foam covering
to retard dust ingress. I would advise resisting the temptation
to pull off the foam for better airflow. Dusty lenses will fog up
much quicker than clean ones, so this modification is usually
counterproductive.
WILEY X SPEAR GOGGLE.
The Spear is a solid goggle designed for performance at the
expense of a little bulkier fit than the Nerve, but don’t let that
put you off; it still gives a surprisingly unobtrusive fit. This is to
a great extent due to the customisable Facial Cavity™ seal that
is proprietary to Wiley X eye protection. This takes the form of
an extra foam & rubber gasket which attaches securely to the
goggle frame. This gives a greater stand off from the face as
well as a hydrophilic foam which wicks sweat away from the
wearer’s face. Additionally, the seal is very effective at keeping
dust and fine contaminants from the inner lens surface and the
wearer’s eyes. As with the Nerve goggle, the strap articulates
easily, the adjustment range is wide enough to accommodate
headgear, and the interchangeable lenses are easy to switch
out. This particular Spear goggle comes with dark, clear and
yellow lenses (all Z87.1+ marked), and an excellent ripstop
waterproof belt pouch that contains the extra lenses and a
microfibre cloth. Despite a bulkier fit than the Nerve, both these
goggles fit comfortably under Night Vision equipment, and the
lenses resist any attempt to fog them by breathing on them.
Impressive.
WILEY X SG-1
The SG-1 is a hybrid product; half eye shield, half goggle. It
is easily switched between the two modes by removing the
arms of the frame and substituting them for a goggle strap.
This is a clever bit of lateral thinking, which gives the user two
wear modes. The individual lenses are also easily swapped; this
particular model came with clear and dark ones. Each lens unit
has closed cell foam backing for comfort where it will rest
32
against the wearer’s face, but this won’t wick moisture away;
saying that, I couldn’t fog the lenses with my breath at all.
The frame is Z87 marked, with a smaller Wiley X engraving on
each lens; important to ensure that the lenses are original and
certified. The frame has an extreme wrap around with helps
it provide good all round protection despite not being a true
goggle. Of course, there is often an element of compromise
in the execution of a hybrid system, and I found that the fit
across the wearer’s nose to be that for me. In the interests of
a lightweight execution, there is no padding around the nose
as the SG-1 is designed to be close fitting. For my somewhat
“Romanesque” nose, I found it a touch uncomfortable. For users
with a more normal nasal profile, I suspect these will fit very
nicely without gaps.
WILEY X XL-1 ADVANCED.
WILEY X VALOR.
The Valor is an example of what is, for me one of the signature
products of the Wiley X range. This is outwardly a simple spectacle
frame, sunglass-like in appearance. The lenses are engraved, the
frame has EN166 and Z87 markings, but most strikingly these
frames are light. Very light indeed. So light that I had to weigh
them. According to my trusty kitchen scales, the Valor has an all-up
weight of thirty one grammes. Thirty one! Fit-wise, these things
are “wear & forget”, thanks to the weight and a grippy rubber
shoe on the arms, plus, as they are wrapped there are few gaps
peripherally. There’s also a push on lanyard for extra security and
of course, the lenses are changeable in under a minute. The only
small surprise was that the lenses misted under my breathe-on
test unlike the previous examples which all resisted my fogging.
I wouldn’t take this as a deal-breaker at all, as an application of
a good anti-fog product would be all that is needed here. In the
nylon case you’ll find the second set of lenses, lanyard, microfibre
cloth and instructions.
WILEY X GUARD ADVANCED.
The Guard Advanced is very similar in appearance to the VX Valor,
with the exception of having larger lenses which fit deeper. In
common with the Valor is the simple lens swap mechanism,
and lack of bulk. Conformal face fit again gives a close but not
claustrophobic fit. In my opinion there is always a trade-off
between close protective fitting and airflow; I think Wiley X has
it about right here. Once more there are engraved lenses and
Z87 marked frame, and a removable lanyard, but the frame fit is
secure even without this. The depth of the lenses naturally give a
slightly greater degree of protection for my face, but for a smaller
face this may not be necessarily the case. Without a little stand
off from the cheeks, lenses are more prone to fog, so consider
this when choosing. Despite the slightly larger lens, these also
weigh in at an incredible thirty one grammes, I was surprised to
find. As with the Valor, the lenses fogged under breath testing,
so plan on using an anti-fog preparation as a matter of routine. In
all honesty I always carry one in my trouser pocket for any airsoft
outing in any case, so there’s no hardship in this.
In summary, eye protection has evolved in response to the
needs of the primary consumer; the military end user. But we in
the wider spectrum “tactical” world are well placed to benefit
from the fruits of such development. Wiley X eye protection is a
prime example of the modern standard of protection now easily
available to us. Protection is now lightweight, adaptive and more
unobtrusive than ever before. Lens systems are interchangeable,
frames are now following suit and can be modified depending on
need at the point of use. Truly innovative, cutting edge products
that are manufactured to the highest standards have been
brought to the market by Wiley X. Your eyes are irreplaceable.
They deserve the best protection that you can give them.
All these products are available on the Military 1st website:
www.military1st.co.uk Many thanks to Military1st for supplying
the Wiley X products used in this review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andy Bourne BSc, MCOptom, Prof Cert Glauc is also known as the
Tactical Optician. A former reserve forces officer, he works full
time at a large regional eye hospital. This gives him a unique
perspective on the importance of eye protection.
EYE PROTECTION | WILEY X
The XL-1 Advanced is an outwardly similar frame to the SG-1, but
the difference is that this is purely as an eyeshield frame; there’s
no customisable goggle fit. The frame boasts EN166 and Z.87+
markings, and the lenses have Wiley X + engravings. The arms
have mounting points for a retention lanyard which is supplied, as
well as a microfibre cloth and a hard nylon case. The frame inner
has a closed cell gasket to promote a close fit and comfortable
interface. Despite a similar fixed bridge to the frame across the
nasal area, the fit is significantly comfier for the wearer with a
larger nose, and I had no issues with comfort while wearing the
XL-1. Once more, an aggressively wrapped fit gives a particularly
close fit for an eye shield; it is almost goggle-like in its conformity.
It also has facility to swap lenses like the other eye protection
here, with a trademark tool-less swap easily achieved in the field.
Once again, attempting to fog the lenses by exhaling on them is
futile; Wiley X fog resistant coatings are very impressive.
FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229
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SIG LEGION 229 REVIEW
Often referred to as the “choice of professionals”, SIG Sauer has a highly regarded reputation for
manufacturing accurate and reliable firearms throughout its history. Militaries, Law Enforcement and
civilians around the world depend their lives on SIG products every day and regularly provide feedback
to the company.
T
hrough reviewing this feedback, SIG is well
known to integrate these suggestions into
building better tools for the task at hand such
as tougher all-weather finishes, larger or smaller
controls or even frame modifications to a current
series. This constant evolution was part of the
driving force behind SIG’s new line of products
called the Legion series. Currently consisting of
redesigns of the classic double action semi-auto
226 and 229 models as well as a Single Action Only (SAO)
version of the 226 as well.
At the end of 2017, Trampas reported in PMCI on the Legion
series by SIG Sauer featuring the model 226 and a brief look
at the more compact 229. This time, he’s back to follow up
with a focus on the model 229. Traditionally, the 229 has
been the slightly more concealable option for those issued the
model 226. Sporting a barrel approximately 1” shorter with a
slightly shorter frame while still allowing for the use of the
high capacity 15-round magazines of the larger pistol. Everyone
from undercover Law Enforcement, specialized military units
and law abiding concealed carry citizens have preferred the
ergonomics and clean lines of the model 229 over the past 24
years.
34
When first opening the grey plastic SIG branded box, the Legion
229 is buried under a mountain of lawyer proof paperwork,
warnings, user guides and Legion advertising. Once removing
the pistol from the box, it’s very clear this is far from a polymer
striker fired gun most are used to. Using a tradition double
action, hammer fired action the model 229 gives the shooter the
confidence in having a high-quality tool at their disposal.
Holding the SIG Legion 229, the grip felt higher in line
with the barrel via a deeper undercut in the trigger guard than
previous model 229 pistols I have handled. The web of my hand
seated tightly up to a reduced and beautifully contoured beaver
tail that fit into my hand like a glove. The more aggressive
checkering with the Legion pistol offered a much more secure
hold than previous models. The new Legion grips were a nice
departure from standard plastic or wood panels. Constructed from
G10 material, these two-piece grips offered a firm purchase on
the pistol regardless if the gun was wet or if the shooter was
wearing gloves. To top off the grips with a clean and professional
look, a Legion medallion was embedded on each side. From this
grip, I could easily reach the reduced slide release and de-cock
lever to reduce snagging when carried concealed. The entire
frame and slide were finished in SIG’s new proprietary Legion
gray PVD coating to provide the metal protection from the harsh
environments elite operators tend to regularly tread.
CARRY OPTIONS
As with most pistols I receive for review, I decided to carry the
Legion 229 for a month as my daily concealed carry firearm. To do
that, I needed to consider a couple of carry options for personal
use. When I teach on the range and the days I wear my shirts
not tucked in and over my belt, I like to carry on the belt. Other
days, I resort back to a inside the waistband carry with my shirt
tucked over it. Lucky for me, I already had to fantastic rigs ready
to go from two masters of their craft. The on the belt carry was
well taken care of by David Burns of Greystone Leather (www.
greystoneleather.com). When David learned about our upcoming
projects with SIG Sauer’s Legion series, he built a beautiful belt,
magazine carrier and holster combo to contribute. Finished in
black American Alligator, this rig looked like it belonged in a
museum while being tough enough to work a cattle ranch. Being
cut for the SIG 226, the 229 fit like a glove with only the extra 1”
of barrel coverage to spare. The holster combo was too beautiful
to have covered up in public but conceals well under a long shirt tail.
For my fast, on the go inside the waist band holster, I reached
out to my friend and trusted Kydex holster maker, John Phillips
of Survivor Creek Tactical (www.survivorcreek.com). Touted as
Jacksonville, Florida’s “King of Kydex”, John has been providing
customers and our media group top notch custom holsters for
any pistols, knife or accessory imaginable. This rig rides very low
in the waist and can even been worn in a pinch without a belt
thanks to the tight belt clip provided with the holster.
FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229
FIRST LOOK
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FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229
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Even with a shorter tailed T-shirt or tucked in polo, the holster
made the SIG 229 disappear to the untrained eyes of the
general public.
229 Factory Specs
• Caliber: 9mm, .357 Sig, or .40 S&W
• Action Type: DA/SA
• Trigger Pull: 10 lbs. DA/ 4.4 lbs. SA
• Overall Length: 7.1”
• Overall Height: 5.4”
• Overall Width: 1.5”
• Barrel Length: 3.9”
• Weight w/Mag: 29.6 oz.
• Mag Capacity: 15 Rounds (9mm), 12 Rounds (.357 SIG), 12
Rounds (.40 S&W)
• Sights: X-Ray Day/Night Sights
RANGE TIME
Over the past three months, the SIG Legion 229 saw a lot of
time on the range at the secret squirrel training facility located
in North Florida referred to as “The Swamp”. Fellow outdoor
writer, Craig Reinolds was on hand to assist in several testing
sessions in which we ran standard accuracy tests, malfunction
drills, combat scenarios to put the Legion the paces. Using the
supplied Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) target ammo and Jacketed
Hollow Point (JHP) ammo both supplied by SIG Ammunition as
well as FMJ ammo sent to us by the great folks at Fancy Brass
Co., the Legion 229 stayed hot and dirty for several long days
on the range throughout the Florida summer.
Coming from a long personal history of using lower profile
sights such as the HK VP9 factory set or the Trijicon HD sights
I run on all my Glocks, the X-ray night sights were learning
curve of about two boxes of ammo. Once I adapted to the
shot placement, I found the SIG night sights to be very fast to
acquire in a wide range of lighting conditions.
36
These sights were very durable to withstand getting raked off
my belt and boot soles during one hand magazine changes and
injured shooter drills. Over the test period, I became quite fond
of the sights overall.
As a standard for the Legion series, the 229 comes equipped
with SIG Sauer’s SRT system, otherwise known as a short reset
trigger. By decreasing the length and arch of travel, the felt
trigger pull is greatly decreased while still maintaining a pull
of around 10lbs in double action and 4lbs with the following
single action shots. This above any other redesign can increase
a shooter’s performance the most.
For testing, I decided to stick with standard personal defense
distances of 3, 7, 10 and 15 yards working on the draw from
concealment. Using both paper targets up close and moving
FINAL THOUGHTS
Over the three-month loan period, over 1200 flawless rounds
were sent through the SIG Legion 229 by current and former
military and law enforcement operators visiting “The Swamp”
training grounds. After the first 400 rounds, I felt the pistol
finally came around to being broke in and running to its full
potential. At no time, did I see any malfunctions other than
one failure to feed due to the shooter not fully inserting the
magazine during a speed reload. Overall, the Legion 229 held
up to the high standards SIG has been known for setting in the
professional industry.
Retailing for US$1349.00, the Legion 229 is priced the same
is its Legion counterparts the 226 and 226 SAO while offering a
wider range of concealability. While the actual over-the-counter
price may be around US$100 less, the cost includes more than
just the pistol, it also buys you into the “cool kid” club titled the
SIG LEGION as mentioned in our previous article. What Sig has
accomplished with this series is much bigger than good looking
and great shooting guns. Sig Sauer is selling a lifestyle.
Much like the American motorcycle icon, Harley Davidson,
the Legion series has drawn people to a multi-product universe
that can only be unlocked by purchasing the featured item.
Over the past 50 years, people have spent just as much money
on Harley related shirts, hats, helmets, jackets, etc. Speaking
as a well experienced Harley lifestyle owner, I can attest to
a period in life where my wife and I would have to purchase
anything Harley from every shop visited while traveling. Once
a customer purchases a Sig Sauer Legion series pistol, they can
either fill out a form included in the gun box or call Sig customer
service and give them the serial number. In return, they are
shipped a complimentary custom Thermo-Mold Legion series
case custom-fit for your specific gun as well a challenge coin
matched to your model pistol. On top of receiving your new
pistol case, you are given an exclusive access code for member
only Legion branded products such as hats, shirts, holsters, and
even cigar humidors!
As for the Legion 229 overall, I not only recommend this
pistol for daily concealed carry, I also feel the 229 would be a
great duty firearm as well. After the loan period expired, this
pistol was purchased by a contractor friend of mine, Reggie,
who was instrumental in his feedback for the
article. Since then, the Legion 229 has become a
daily work tool for him in the discharge of his duties
not to be mentioned in this article. Professionals
with top quality professional tools are the bottom
line and the Legion series is more than ready to
answer the call.
FIREARMS: SIG LEGION 229
out to our AR500 steel torso target from Steel Veteran Targets, I
started in close from the draw and low ready. The full-size grip
of the 229 allowed for a solid master grip and clean exit from
the holster onto the target. With the hammer in the decocked
position, my first shot would always be about an inch lower
that the following 2 shots in my 3-shot string of fire. Due to my
extensive personal experience using striker fired pistols daily,
this learning curve lasted for about half of the initial training
day but did not play a factor in following range trips afterwards
to confirm load and accuracy data.
The first series of testing yielded impressive results
using 115 grain full metal jacket target ammo from both SIG
Ammunition and Fancy Brass Co. respectively. This is a very
good thing for me considering the two types of ways I usually
purchase ammo. If I am in need of a couple of boxes of 9mm
ammo for Saturday and today happens to be Thursday, I am
comfortable in running down to my local gun shop or Walmart
and picking up what I need right now. If I have an event a
week or more in the future, I can save a good bit of money by
purchasing in bulk by the 1000-round lots from Fancy Brass Co.
and I know it’s going to be top quality stuff just like the larger
companies.
The final series tested on both paper and steel came with
only about 300 rounds of V-Crown rounds in both 124 grain
and 147 grain JHP from SIG Ammunition. Due to the limited
amount of this ammo, every round was carefully observed
by everyone on the team. The 124 grain JHP was a common
weight and charge for most 9 mm pistols while the 147 gran
JHP is specifically what SIG Sauer states they designed the
Legion series around for optimum performance.
Like the 115 grain target ammo, there was a noticeable snap
of the traditional 9mm round which is very manageable and
accurate with the 124 grain V-Crown. The Legion 229 absorbed
the recoil well and limit the amount of muzzle rise, allowing
for quick sight acquisition and follow up shots. When switching
to the heavier 147 grain V-Crown offering, the pistol seems to
have just a bit more of noticeably softer recoil and muzzle flip.
As far as combat accuracy, I could not find a distinct
advantage in accuracy. This is one avenue I will leave to the
couch commando gun writers with self-professed science
degrees to figure out, as my background is that of a shooter,
not lab tech.
I was very impressed with how tight the pistols locked up
and functioned even after crossing the 800 and 1000 round
marks over the test period. As far as nice, clean groupings
on a one-way flat range, I found the Legion 229 reached full
potential only after the initial 300 – 400 rounds. Free hand, I
could put rounds on top of each other out to around the 10yard mark and hold approximately a 2.7-inch group consistently
when I did decide to reach out for a quick 10 round group at 25
yards from a bench rest position.
One feature I did not care for in the redesign of the Legion
series as I mentioned in the previous Legion 226 review was
the reduction of the slide lock and de-cock levers.
While the de-cock lever was manageable and not terrible,
the slide lock was a different story. With most full-size framed
pistols, I start out with a disadvantage of having relatively small
hands, but combined with a slide lock lever reduced so small
you must pull rearward at the same time as depressing the
lever to send the slide forward on an empty magazine. Having
plenty experience with both older models of the 226 and 229,
I can tell you firsthand, this feature is more of a “minus” rather
than “plus”. With gloved or freezing cold hands, a fast one
handed load would be very difficult without striking the slide
off a firm surface.
pmcimagazine.com
FIREARMS: GLOCK
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CREATE THE MODERN COMBAT PISTOL
This time we’re exceptionally pleased to be joined again by
two expert guest contributors as Roger Eckstine and James
Preston, Director of Training for Preston Tactical share with
PMCI some quick Upgrades for Glock handguns by Lone
Wolf Distributing and XS Sights.
T
38
he idea of law enforcement professionals
training civilians often means limiting the scope
of methods and protocol that can be shared
with the public. But with the rise of terrorism
and active shooter/active attack events
along with the proliferation of private citizens
licensed to carry, the need to disseminate more
information regarding response, engagement,
trauma care and linking up with police is
becoming imperative.
In the aftermath of the Sutherland, Texas church shootings
requests are pouring in from private groups to formulate plans
of action. Recently, Preston Tactical of East Texas, USA hosted
individuals seeking to form a response team consisting of
churchgoers who also happened to be experienced competitive
shooters. The course of instruction offered many lessons on
decision-making and problem solving during chaotic, violent
attacks with the focus on saving as many lives as possible. One
student arrived with a Glock 17 that had been enhanced with
an over the counter complete lower receiver and night sights.
Carried in a BlackPoint Leather Wing holster the customised
G17 mirrored a rising trend in specialised units and the private
military contractor community. Preston Tactical’s offering of the
Solo Active Attack Response course turned out to be an ideal
proving ground for Lone Wolf’s Timberwolf frame and the latest
night sights from XS Sight Systems.
When it comes to the U.S. and world police handgun markets
Glock pistols are best sellers. Glocks are easily maintained,
the armourer’s course is short and given the small number of
tools and spare parts necessary for repair, field maintenance is
simple. But when it comes to which handguns are considered
for the next great sidearm for the United States military the
name Glock fades into the background. Nevertheless, when it
comes to handguns preferred by specialised units around the
Glock ergonomics, i.e. how the pistol connects with the hand is
undoubtedly the most significant characteristic in terms of the
evolution of Glock handguns.
Grip reduction is helpful to accommodate shooters with
smaller hands but also to improve grip angle and afford more
variation in how the trigger may be indexed. When it comes to
changing what arrives new-in-box practical shooting competitors
lead the way. Individuals have customized the Glock grip frame
by shaving off the finger grooves, leveling the palm swell,
reducing the overall circumference of the grip, undercutting
the trigger guard, hollowing out the area above the web of the
hand and creating an extended beavertail to increase control
and eliminate slide bite. Not to mention changing the surface
texture by sanding, adding grip tape, or even poking dimples
into the polymer using a soldering iron. All of the above have
proved effective but not after many frames were ruined in the
process or left broken from the forces of repeat fire. Some tried
and true methods have emerged however and the practice of
grip reduction has become a cottage industry for the small time
smith as well as more established gunsmithing houses that
now find themselves servicing Glock owners almost as often as
they do the 1911 enthusiast. The cost of modifying grip contour,
retexturing and adding some measure of beavertail is typically in
the US$150 range plus or minus shipping. It just so happens that
new polymer frames meeting the very specifications shooters
favor most are available from Lone Wolf Distributors for Glock 19,
Glock 17 (and related models) for a list price of US$149.95.
ENHANCEMENT
When it comes to enhancing Glocks for the competitive shooter
Lone Wolf was one of the first players in the game. So instead
of modifying a spare box-stock G17 Gen III pistol a complete
Timberwolf grip frame including all the proper mechanisms that
work below the barrel and slide was chosen for test. Featuring
Lone Wolf’s Ultimate Adjustable Trigger (adjustable for pre-travel
and overtravel) the complete receiver sells for US$249. The trigger
shoe was rendered from 6061 billet aluminum and finished in
satin stainless to match the remaining action components. A
Lone Wolf magwell upgrade (US$59) was added consisting of
FIREARMS: GLOCK
world deployment of Glock pistols is actually becoming more
prevalent.
There are several reasons why the Glock pistol is making its
mark in replacing other well-known handguns. For example,
tasked with securing the run-up to the 2004 Olympics Greek
special operations including the DYK combat swimmers chose
Glock pistols enhanced with sub-aqua firing pin cups and a
heavier spring kit.
Combat swimmers across the globe favor Glock including the
SBS or Boat Troops of the SAS. Glock’s resistance to water was
highlighted more recently during high water rescues necessitated
by the flooding rains of Hurricane Harvey that lingered over
Houston, Texas in 2017. Law Enforcement worked tirelessly in
high water to rescue citizens and arrest looters. The need for a
duty weapon that would function properly even after extended
exposure to water and muck was essential and the polymer
framed Glocks served with distinction.
Thanks to the war on terror pistols are no longer considered
mere backup to the long gun because handguns can be carried
constantly. The appeal of Glock pistols has increased due to
several factors such as the need for reliability in harsh terrain. The
war in Afghanistan, for example, has fostered a switch to Glock
for several different units including British forces. Those working
in advisory and training capacities have found that employing
the same pistols as those used by indigenous military personnel
has proven invaluable in shortening the learning curve. And
durability, specifically of the 9mm Glock pistols, has been helpful
in allowing personnel to take part in more extensive training
without interruption.
The growing popularity of Glock pistols for military service
has somewhat covertly been reflected in changes made to the
company’s civilian offerings. The Gen 4 Glock pistols feature a
pointed texture that favors the soldier who wears gloves over
the civilian who may carry concealed, inside the waistband for
instance. In what was only an option at first the short framed
“SF” models offered a smaller circumference grip with a shorter
distance from the backstrap to the trigger. The Gen 4 series are
essentially SF pistols with add-on panels that can be applied
to enlarge the grip when so desired. Indeed, the changes to
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FIREARMS: GLOCK
pmcimagazine.com
a funnel-like guide machined from anodized aluminum. The
guide mated readily with the grip, held in place by a solid pin.
Trigger shoe and magazine well are available in a number of
colors but it was decided to avoid bling for what was intended
to be a combat pistol.
The stock top end fit smoothly on to the Timberwolf frame
despite offering a tighter fit than the original receiver. Bare
in mind the subject pistol was only about 100 rounds shy of
new-in-box. Trigger pull was set at about 4.8 pounds and
the action was very smooth. The trigger shoe offered large
radiused edges that proved a welcome upgrade. But it was
the smaller circumference and vertical angle of the grip that
made the biggest difference to the shooter. The Timberwolf
frame offered a 3 slot accessory rail that was more usable
than the original underlug. Two sections of backstrap were
provided, one offering a slight palm swell and the other a flat
profile. The enhanced magazine well not only smoothed the
reloading process but offered additional purchase. Comfort and
controllability were vastly improved thanks to the Timberwolf
frame sitting lower in the hand. This was achieved primarily
by extending the back strap higher up into the beavertail. The
extension of the beavertail helped protect the web of the hand
and increase support reducing the amount of time between
shots.
The stock sights were swapped out for a set of F8 night
sights, US$142 from XS Sights of Fort Worth, Texas. The F8
configuration offers increased peripheral vision with a large
tritium dot up front and a smaller single tritium dot located
below the rear notch. The F8 sights are tall enough to look
past a suppressor that might otherwise interfere with vision. In
dim light the desired big-dot-over-small-dot sight picture was
bold and easy to find. Initially the student was concerned the
comparatively open sight picture might be too coarse for fine
accuracy. But by the end of the day the he was able to hit
small steel targets standing unsupported from the 35-yard line
with a full magazine’s worth of ammunition at rapid fire pace.
According to the shooter his breakthrough in controlling
the sights came during one of the more realistic
40
scenarios that required
engaging a hostage taker
with a headshot. The lesson
was, leave the tritium for
dim light and trust the
notch and post in daylight.
Throughout the life of
the Timberwolf/Glock 17
(standing at about 1900 rounds as of this writing) no stoppages
of any kind have been encountered. The oversized magazine
release still jettisons spent mags with rocket-like projection
without being so large it scrapes the shooter’s palm or releases
magazines by accident. And between the magazine guide,
the beavertail and the flat sided grip the Timberwolf offers
the sensation of wearing the pistol rather than holding it. The
internals still look new and wipe down easily. Slide to frame fit
is without play. Nothing has worked loose and the integrity of
the trigger safety remains sure. The trigger pull continues to
maintain about 4.75 pounds of resistance.
Choosing a Timberwolf frame or complete receiver instead
of a grip reduction process makes a lot of sense from the
standpoint of structural integrity and overall value. If you already
have a Glock tuned to your liking you can simply replace the
polymer grip and get the benefits of a custom reduction with
your desired trigger pull. If you’ve purchased an older Glock out
of service you can bring it up to date or refresh with parts from
Lone Wolf. Or, you can stow the complete lower and keep it as a
spare while transforming your handgun into what is becoming
the modern combat pistol.
James Preston is a Texas Peace Officer who holds a Master
Peace Officer certification and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal
Justice. James currently owns Preston Tactical where he
trains law enforcement, government personnel, and qualified
civilians. Go to www.PrestonTactical.com for details. Roger
Eckstine is author of The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Home
Defense, The Shooter’s Bible Guide to Knives and Watch Your
Back, How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life.
www.Skyhorsepublishing.com
KNIVES: SHADOW XL / SCAR BLADES
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SHADOW XL /SCAR BLADES
The knife industry seems to be overflowing with blades falsely marketed as “tactical” with pricing ranging
from that of a fast food meal to the cost of a new gun. Sadly, a lot of real world users are easily misled into
purchasing an over priced inferior knife through clever marketing. Over the years, Trampas has tested and
reviewed box after box of custom and production blades with only a handful of true, fighting knives earning
their way into his “tool box”.
L
ast year, I came across a company by the name of
SCAR Blades while surfing knife related pages on
Facebook (social media can actually be helpful at
times!). Images of unique and thought-provoking
blades led me to read the personal story of two
brothers, Casey and Shane Radford, growing up
in the Rocky Mountains with a dream of building
everlasting, tough, and rugged blades for real
world users, this was a good way to catch my
attention. With over 22 years of combined experience between
the two brothers making knives based on feedback from
military, LE and contractors worldwide, I decided to learn more
by reaching out to them. Inside of a day, I was conversing with
co-owner Casey Radford, emailing back and forth ideas for test
and evaluation. After a few days, it was decided the best place
to start a blade review for PMCI Magazine would be with their
Shadow XL fighting knife.
In doing a bit of research on SCAR Blades before the T&E
sample arrived, I learned their knives are typically built with a
full tang construction and are made from high grade U.S. steel,
heat treated for hardness only along the sharpened edge.
According to their website, this process creates a Rockwell
42
pointed rear bolster to give more protruding area for striking. The
lanyard hole seemed to fit slightly under the ridge of my palm
when gripping with a 550 paracord lanyard but did allow for me
to keep the blade secure in my hand when slicing and especially
stabbing through a rack of beef ribs while testing. The 1095 High
Carbon construction give the knife a good feeling weight and
made for re-sharpening the edge easy to do without having to
have a professional do it for me.
If I had to pick a point of concern with the construction of the
knife, it would only be with the screw placement on the grip. The
hole drilled for the screw closest to the blade happens to be in
the exact narrowest part of the handle’s construction. IF this was
a blade designed for chopping or a lot of torque on the handle,
I could see this as a breaking point for a very well-built knife. To
combat this concern, I will say this: if you purchase this blade
to do a lot of heavy chopping or prying open creates, you have
totally missed the specific purpose of this knife’s design. Getting
to brass tacks and being frank, this blade is meant for one thing
and one thing only, helping evil souls shuffle themselves away
from their mortal coils.
Overall, the Shadow XL performed well during the several
months of carrying it as part of my daily range equipment serving
to open boxes, trim targets, pry staples out of the wooden
barriers. In addition to range duty, the knife was used as my EDC
blade used for practicing knife fighting skills with posts, raw meat
and cardboard dummies. The edge held up very well and always
remained controllable and quick handling.
Retailing for US$199.95, the design isn’t over built or too bulky
for quick, decisive movements. For those who may think that is
pricey for a knife, consider this isn’t a bulk stamped production
blade, each one of SCAR’s knives are hand ground and will not
interchange sheaths like production retail blades. In that context,
good luck finding this quality for under US$200. The overall look
of the knife is deadly to the trained eye. But, those not as familiar
with blades it’s not as intimidating as the company’s other
designs such as the larger Big Bear or the menacing Archangel
with it’s tri-bladed design. To find the SCAR Blade knife that make
fit your need or lifestyle, check out their awesome line up at
www.ScarBlades.com.
KNIVES: SHADOW XL / SCAR BLADES
hardness of 57 to 58, while leaving the spine of the blade a
touch softer to absorb the stresses of high impact. The blades are
finished with a textured powder coat or Gun Kote and comes with
a non-slip phenolic (micarta) handle which provides the user
with a sure grip. SCAR Blades are built with the intent to survive
and serve in the field no matter how harsh the conditions.
Within a few weeks after my last discussion with Casey, a
package arrived from SCAR Blades. When I opened the box, there
was a sleek medium sized combat knife sheathed in Kydex. I was
assured this was the blade I was expecting when I saw “Shadow
XL” printed on the side of the brown canvas micarta grip. The
Kydex sheath was slotted along the sides for lashing to any gear
or Molle available and had a Blade Tec Tec-Lok belt clip securely
affixed via a single screw. The more I worked with this set up,
the more useful positions I found to carry the knife. Ultimately, I
switched the Tec-Lok out for a pair of Molle clips to mount onto
the battle belt I use for training.
When I gripped the knife to remove it from the sheath, I
noticed it seemed to melt into the contour of my hand. My first
thought was, this would disappear in much larger hands but fits
as if it was made specifically for my size. I can see this knife
serving as a concealed carry knife very easily in non-permissive
environments where operators were reduced to either no firearms
or at least very limited options such as a handgun.
As the blade was unsheathed, I noticed the flat black /
gray coating on the blade matched well with the grip color and
offered a well-protected non-glare surface. My thumb naturally
fell perfectly on the raised 3/16” spine of the blade and dug
into the serrations to give it great purchase and control over the
blade. This eliminated any concern I may have had about the
lack of a large defined guard of some more traditional styles. My
eyes immediately went to the wicked looking blade point and
the wonderfully aggressive top edge leading away from the tip
to form an offset dagger-like geometry. With a 4.5” razor sharp
edge, the top of the blade boasts almost a full 3” of secondary
razor sharpness for close in work on the backswing or stab.
With an overall length of 9.5” and a full tang design, the blade
felt well-balanced in my hand even when employing a reverse
grip technique. I wish there was a bit more length on the dull
pmcimagazine.com
TECH: TRACKING DEVICES
pmcimagazine.com
TRACKING DEVICES
Sometimes the greatest learning can come from a disaster! You’re forced by circumstances to sit up and take
notice or action. In an ideal world, it would be better to learn from others’ mistakes, but life doesn’t always
work that way! Industry veteran Rupert G tells us more…
W
hen I began working for myself I put
a memo on my phone to back up my
hard drives at the end of every week.
I did it once (felt smug) and then
the reminder just became another
annoying “buzz” in my pocket which
I came to ignore, until down the line
and “Bang” an electric surge went
through my hard drive. The cold sweat
crept down my neck as I did the maths and I realised that this
disaster wasn’t going to be measured in months but a few
years. When I took it to the computer guy he sagely nodded
and said “Well sir, you’re not alone, it happens to most people
only once”. Very helpful, thanks.
Years later (and a bit wiser) I was chatting with a client on
a pleasant sunny afternoon, cups of tea in hand. Not far off
his staff were being shouted at at a vehicle check point at the
culmination of a HEAT course. The Arab Spring was ongoing and
stories were circulating that one or two crisis responders had
been caught out when they couldn’t get their clients staff out
of Libya.
The result had been red faces and some very annoyed
clients whose staff had been left stranded.
44
My client asked me if we had an Ops Room full of serious looking
ex-soldiers (like some scene from a Jason Bourne movie) who
were just waiting to kick into action once one of his team got
into a sticky situation. I replied “No, we concentrate on the
situational awareness side of the training. But I can certainly
recommend a couple of very good companies that I like and
who have watched over me when I was overseas”.
I confess in the past I had always been a bit dubious about
how useful tracking gadgets and ops rooms were. After all,
even if you knew where your charges were last seen or heard
from, what practical use was it to you half way around the
world looking at a screen. Was travel tracking just a case of the
Emperor’s New Clothes, which we all went along with because
the alternative was to admit (to our client) that there was
precious little we can do in certain situations. If we had done,
they probably wouldn’t have been our clients for much longer.
So I decided to look into some of the gadgets responders
recommend and people buy as well as how useful they are.
It must be said that tracking devices in isolation are not
the silver bullet that some clients think or wish to believe they
are. To be of any real use to the traveller they first need to
get some professional advice as to what’s right for them. They
need to be tested and used in conjunction with other platforms
to support the traveller.
PEARL POCKET BUDDY
One of the most commonly used personal trackers is the Pearl
Pocket Buddy. Mercifully it is very easy to set up for an individual
traveller, and has an astonishing number of features for such
a small device. With current GPS wizardry inside it’s sleek
lightweight shell it can lay a bread crumb trail refreshed every
minute and is accurate down to 5 metres.
If your team are unfamiliar with their surroundings, their driver
didn’t listen to the brief or if something more sinister happens the
Ops room will know. The alert can be followed up with a phone
call or message which will enable the response team to escalate
their actions until you’re located.
Pocket Buddy has an internal motion sensor, triggered if you
fall over suddenly or stop abruptly (in an RTC or an ambush) in
which case a message will be sent to the Ops Room. A covert one
button alert so you can activate it without any tell-tale beeps. In
some cases it might be more sensible/useful to alert someone
locally rather than in London on New York, so Pocket Buddy has
4 reprogrammable phone numbers so you can choose who you
alert. Unlike a bulky phone or GPS you can secrete it about your
person if abducted or subject to a brief or long detention.
Should the worst happen and you press for help, the response
team will be immediately furnished with your name, number,
date, time and Lat/Long co-ordinates. All of which is vital
information that they can utilise to start the search. You can just
imagine how difficult it would be without this head start.
IN REACH SE
Holding it in the palm of your hand
the InReach SE feels a lot like a cross
between a classic handheld GPS and
a mobile phone, but with the addition
of a stubby antenna on the top. Like
the smaller Pocket Buddy it has a 4
day battery life but also comes with
all the cool functionality of a phone
and GPS. Users can send and receive
160-character messages and even
access Twitter (a must for Donald
Trump when he’s travelling).
It has that all important one
button alert that will immediately
send your coordinates along with the
time and date and your name to your
responder. But you’ll also be able
to take the call that will follow an
activation just in case you’ve pressed it in your pocket by mistake
and want to stand down the response.
I have heard of very expensive call outs where skimountaineers (safely back at their desks in the city) who have
had their beacons accidentally activated in their homes by
luggage being moved around and a knock on the door of their
homes in the small hours with a puzzled responder who was
none to pleased and a follow up bill. Which probably made the
eyes water.
TECH: TRACKING DEVICES
aI did some consulting for an organisation sending their staff to
work in a dodgy part of the world. I was tasked with briefing the
team before they travelled to the site, conduct some First Aid and
Security training, look at their plans and contingencies and advise
them on the next steps.
I set off from Heathrow at some ungodly hour of the morning,
three flights and a twelve-hour mountainous drive later I dropped
my grip in the foyer of the office. Only to discover that they had
grown impatient (keen to win favour with and impress the pushy
boss) and had gone ahead a week earlier and were now missing
and uncontactable.
There had been a contingency plan but it had more holes than
a sieve and was worthless. The leader had insisted they push
further on past their stated objective, he had browbeaten the
younger members who had little appetite (despite being scared)
for making an enemy of him so early in their careers with the
company.
It didn’t end well for the team or the company sadly. Sifting
through the evidence later I found the packaging and instruction
booklets of the sat phones along with half the phones in the foot
well of the car they’d used. The handsets weren’t charged and I
suspected the staff didn’t know how to use them anyway. Later
one of the staff confidently told me that they’d not taken them
because they wouldn’t have worked anyway in the cloud.
It must be partly our responsibility if we recommend or provide
these devices, that our clients know how to use them and are
clear about their capabilities and limitations. We don’t want
them thinking that they can just press the button and seconds
later will feel that hot avgas down draught of a helicopter as Seal
Team Six fast rope in to rescue them.
So, what kind of devices do people go for?
IRIDIUM GO
It can Geo fence your route so if you have approved routes
or indeed out of bounds areas, your monitoring station will be
alerted if your colleagues stray in to one of these areas.
If you’d prefer to just take your smart phone and don’t want a
daysack full of additional handsets and chargers, you could add to
its capability by turning it into a satellite phone. The Iridium Go
is a sturdy no nonsense device which is ruggedized to a military
specification and water resistant to Ingress Protection (IP65).
Simply flip open the antenna, pop it on the dashboard, balcony,
rock or roof, turn it on and wherever you are (providing it can see
the sky and you’re not at the bottom of a well) it will connect
to Iridium’s network of 66 Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites,
pmcimagazine.com
pmcimagazine.com
TECH: TRACKING DEVICES
allowing you to connect all your devices to the outside world as
if you were sitting at your desk.
IRIDIUM 9575 EXTREME
Or you could just go for a good old-fashioned satellite phone,
like the 9575 Extreme which is in fact not in the least bit old
fashioned. Weighing only 247g it is fully programmable to your
spec and can be transformed with an extra device into a Wi-Fi
hotspot as long as you’re within sight of the aforementioned
LEO satellites. The 9575 with its breadcrumb trail tracker and
emergency button, is the all singing all dancing data, sms and
voice solution for a traveller that’s not on too tight a budget.
Tracking devices such as the ones we’ve looked at are
essential tools if your teams are going to areas where they
need to stay connected, but only if your staff are trained in their
use. If the devices are looked after, if they are accompanied
by a fully supported web based travel safety system, a set of
realistic protocols and procedures which are adhered to by
the staff on the ground and of course supported by the stay
behind team. And all of this requires work, effort, planning
and money.
YOU CAN: CHARGE
CAMERAS IPHONES
& SMARTPHONES
GPS TWO-WAY
RADIOS AND MORE
This is power without boundaries.
When your batteries fade or you
find yourself way off-grid, the award
winning powermonkey extreme gives
your devices the power to keep on
going. With Powertraveller, you can
at www.powertraveller.com
Sometimes the greatest learning can come from a disaster,
just make sure you learn from someone else’s and it isn’t them
learning from yours.
Rupert and HASP Training run bespoke travel safety courses
for a variety of clients including charities, TV production
companies and one of world’s most successful advertising
agencies. HASP staff are all ex-British soldiers who have taught
throughout the world; for more information please visit www.
hasptraining.co.uk.
46
iPad, iPhone and iPod are trademarks of Apple Inc.,
registered in the U.S. and other countries
SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES
pmcimagazine.com
48
GROUND
COMBATIVES 2
In the last issue of PMCI Andy took a look at the standard Prone position that is commonly taught in most
tactical firearms schools, military and law enforcement programs. Although the prone position is a valid part
of all tactical situational training, there may come a time that you find yourself on the deck and on your back!
I
f you do find yourself on your back, training in the
standard prone position will be of little, if no help at
all. You may not have the time or even the ability
to orientate yourself into the prone position if you
have been knocked down or even injured. So what’s
the solution? Train to fight whilst on your back.
This is by no means a new method of
training. Fighting whilst on your back is known as the
Supine position. It’s taught in many establishments
around the world but mainly only as an advance method of
training. One of the main reasons to find oneself flat on your
back is in the event of being knocked down. This could be that
you have been struck by in coming rounds, stumbled or fallen,
maybe even beaten to the ground by your adversaries. In any
event finding yourself in the Supine position is no bad thing.
Not if you have trained for it that is…
Like all shooting positions, we need to think safety. Not
just for our own survival but for the safety of others around us.
In almost all other shooting positions the safest direction for
your muzzle is either directly at the intended target or directly
at “Mother Earth”. Whilst in the standard prone position you
can safely point the muzzle at the ground, however in the
Supine position your important body parts tend to get in the
way. So where is the safest direction when in the Supine
position? Well in all honesty either your holster or pointing
at the ground directly by your side. There is no safe position
when in the Supine position. We can use safety positions such
as position SUL whilst standing or kneeling, but being on
your back makes this impossible. The safest answer is to rest
the gun by your side or adopt an upright seated position and
have the muzzle of your weapon point at the ground out past
and between the legs. Caution must be maintained here as it
is all too easy to sweep the legs and groin area. Not a good
thing to do.
THREE GOOD WAYS
There are three ways in which we can do this.
• Firstly we can simply move our feet to spin round, on our
backside, to re-orientate our position. This will enable us to shoot
in a forward facing direction. This must be done with maximum
muzzle discipline in mind. Changing direction in this manner will
mean possibly sweeping unknown territory with the muzzle.
Also your legs and feet are moving, putting them at risk of being
shot. We have already established that the safest direction for
the muzzle is Mother Earth, but in this case pointing the muzzle
in that direction will cause all sorts of tactical problems. Pointing
the muzzle up, towards the sky, as you turn is a more desirable
safe direction. Remember that your finger should be well away
from the trigger when the weapon is not pointing at the target.
• Secondly we can roll to either the strong side or support side
and engage the threat from that position. In doing so, again we
need to consider muzzle direction in relation to our own body.
Using the rolling method, assuming we have been shooting to
the front, we can maintain muzzle discipline in two ways. Either
extend the leg and drop the knee, the same side as we are rolling
to, and bring the muzzle over the leg as you roll, or point the
muzzle to the sky as you roll. When you are in position you will
find that you are now in an unstable position to be shooting from.
This can be avoided by bringing a single knee up to aid stability.
• Thirdly, if shooting no more than 45 degrees to the left or
right of your front orientated position, then you can simply roll
towards the target while rolling the same side knee towards the
ground. This will put you in a stable firing position and maintain
muzzle discipline at the same time.
No matter what direction you shoot from in the supine position,
the danger always remains where your muzzle and body are
concerned. A high stress environment and an adrenaline fuelled
combat situation will always produce dangers to oneself from
your own gun. Training in this type of situation calls for total focus
to ensure that you perform to your maximum, ensuring your own
safety, and the safety of those that you are protecting when the
lead starts coming your way.
SKILLS AND DRILLS: GROUND COMBATIVES
Shooting in a seated upright position is relatively easy, but
then this is not fighting while on your back. Supine warrants you
to adopt a sit-up or crunches type position whilst shooting. This
can really give your abs a massive workout if it is something that
you are practicing many times on the range. So be sure to do
your fair share of crunches next time you visit the gym. When
laying on your back, if your handgun is still in its holster drawing
is simple. Just draw as you would in a standing position. You will
find, however, that you are slightly restricted around the elbow as
you lift the handgun from the holster. To overcome this problem,
roll slightly to the support side to enable you to control the draw.
Bring your support hand up and place it onto your strong side
shoulder, as you roll, to keep it well out of the way of the muzzle.
Once the weapon is clear of the holster and being driven towards
your intended target, the support hand can then play catch up
and form a two handed grip on the weapon. As the handgun
clears the holster you must be aware of where your feet and legs
are in relation to your muzzle. It is at this stage that you are most
likely to injure yourself.
Once the gun has been pushed towards the target it is
imperative that you know all of your body parts, legs and feet,
are out of the way. To aid stability, bringing your knees up
and feet towards your torso, will be a much more comfortable
position to shoot from. The problem here is making sure that
you do not sweep the feet or legs if you decide and need to
shoot at a secondary target in a different location . During a high
stress encounter with plenty of noise, adrenaline and confusion,
it’s easy to forget where your legs and feet are in relation to your
defensive shooting position. This is where training comes in. We
can all shoot from the Supine position when the target is to the
front. Simply sit forwards with your legs wide apart and your
knees bent, feet pointing outwardly. This position will give you
maximum clearance of any body part. The problem arises when
we need to change our shooting angle or direction.
pmcimagazine.com
50
Advanced Security Protection
Blackstone Consultancy
http://www.advancedsecurityprotection.com/
http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com;
AKE Group
Blue Hackle
http://www.akegroup.com/
http://www.bluehackle.com/
Ambrey Risk
Blue Waters Partners Global
http://www.ambreyrisk.com
http://www.preparedex.com/
Antipirates.Org
BP Global
http://www.antipirates.org/
http://www.bp.com/
APPDS
Britam Defence
http://www.appds.co.uk/
http://www.britamdefence.com/
Aquatic Marine Ltd
British Maritime Solutions
http://www.aquaticmarineltd.com
http://britishmaritimesolutions.com
Protect Asia Group
BW Offshore
http://www.protectasia.com/
http://www.bwoffshore.com/
Secopex
Calibre International Security
http://www.secopex.com/
http://www.calibre-international.com/
Aspida
Chilport
http://www.aspida.org/
http://www.chilport.co.uk/
Associated Risk Maritime Risk Management
Chiron Resources
http://www.associated-risks.com
http://www.chironresources.com
Bancroft Maritime Security Solutions
Clearwater Special Projects
http://www.maritimesecuritysolutions.co.uk
http://www.bodyguarding.co.uk/
Bechtel Corporation
Control Risks
http://www.bechtel.com/
http://www.control-risks.com
Black Pearl
Decatur Maritime Security
http://www.blackpearlmaritimesecurity.com/
http://www.decaturms.com/
Drum Cussac
HP TerraMarine International
http://www.drum-cussac.com/Index.aspx
http://www.hpterramarine.com/
Dryad Maritime
Hudson Trident
http://www.dryadmaritime.com/
http://hudsonanalytix.com
Edinburgh International
ICTS
http://www.edinburghint.com/home/
http://www.icts.co.uk
Elite Maritime Protection Services
IMSA Ltd
http://www.elitemaritimeprotection.com
http://www.imsaltd.com/
EOS Risk Management
International Executive Recruiting
https://www.eosrisk.com/
http://www.iernetwork.com
Erus Maritime
International Maritime Security
http://www.erusrisk.com
http://www.intmarsec.co.uk
Espada
International Maritime Security
http://www.espadaservices.com
http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/
Ex Military Recruitment
International Security Network
https://www.exmil.co.uk
http://www.isn.eu.com
Exploration Logistics Group
ISC Gulf
http://www.frontiermedex.com/
http://www.iscgulf.com/
G4S Maritime
ISSG Sea Marshalls
http://www.g4s.uk.com
http://www.issg-seamarshals.com/
Genesis Security Group
http://genesissecurity.com/
Global Executive Outreach
http://www.geo-ops.com/
Global Risk Security
http://www.globalrisksecurity.
co.uk/
Global Solace
http://www.solaceglobal.com/
Global Strategies Group
http://www.globalgroup.com/
Grail Security
http://www.grail.co.za
Halliburton
http://www.halliburton.com/en-USage
Halogen Security
http://www.halogensecurity.com/
Hart Maritime
http://www.hartsecurity.com
Hill & Associates
http://www.hillassoc.com
52
Janusian Risk Advisory Group
MTResolution
http://www.riskadvisory.net/
http://www.mtresolution.com/
Kroll
MUSC
http://www.kroll.com/
http://www.sps-global.com
Longmoor Group
Naval Guards
http://www.longmoor-security.com
http://www.navalguards.com
Lotus Maritime Security
Neptune Security
http://www.lotusmaritime.com
http://www.neptunemaritimesecurity.com/
Lotus Projects
NNK Group
http://www.lpyemen.com
https://www.nnkcorporation.com
Maersk
NYA International
http://www.maersk.com/pages/default.aspx
http://www.nyainternational.com
Magregor Protection Services
Ocean Marshalls
http://macgregorprotectionservices.com
http://www.oceanmarshalls.com
March Security
Ocean Protective Services
www.marchsecurity.com
http://oceanprotectionservices.com
Maritime Risk International
Oceaneering International
http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/
http://www.oceaneering.com/
Marsec
Olchon
http://www.marsec.eu.com
http://www.olchon.co.uk/
MAST
Olive Group
http://www.mast-commercial.com
http://www.olivegroup.com/
McRoberts Maritime Security
Orchid Security
http://www.mcrobertsmaritime.com/
http://www.orchid-office.com/
Merchant Maritime Warfare Centre
Oxberry Risk Strategies
http://www.mmwc.org/
http://www.oxberryrisk.com/maritime_services
Minimal Risk
Pilgrim Group
http://www.minimalrisk.co.uk/
http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com
MSS
Pilgrim Security
http://www.mss-uk.com
http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com
Pistris
SEAL
http://www.pistris.com/Index.html
http://www.sealsecurity.com/
Protect Asia Group
Securescot
http://www.protectasia.com/
http://www.securescot.com
PVI Ltd
Securewest International
http://www.pviltd.com/
http://www.securewest.com/
Raven Special Projects Ltd
Security Networking Events
http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com
http://snespecialprojects.com/
Red Cell Security
Security Networking Events
http://www.redcellsecurity.co.uk
http://snespecialprojects.com/
Redfour-MSS
Securoquest
http://www.redfour-group.com
http://www.securoquest.co.za
Saladin Security Group
Shield Risk Consulting
http://www.saladin-security.com/
http://www.shield.eu/services/maritime-security/
Saladin Security
Shipguard
http://www.saladin-security.com/
http://www.mss-uk.com
Salama Fikira
SMS
http://www.salamafikira.com/
www.specialistmarineservices.com
SMS
SPS
www.specialistmarineservices.com
http://www.sps-global.com
Tor International
Tactical Intel
http://www.torinternational.com/
http://www.tacticalintel.com/
Trojan Securities International
Thalassic
http://www.trojansecurities.com/
http://www.thalassic.co.uk/
Orchid Security
Tor International
http://www.orchid-office.com/
http://www.torinternational.com/
Blackstone Consultancy
Torcuss
http://www.blackstoneconsultancy.com/
http://www.torcuss.co.za/
Pilgrim Group
Triskle TSL
http://www.pilgrimsgroup.com/
http://www.triskelservices.com
Maritime Risk International
Triton Security
http://www.maritimeriskinternational.com/
http://www.tritoninternationalltd.com
International Maritime Security
Trojan Securities
http://www.intmarsec.co.uk/
http://www.trojansecurities.com
Raven Special Projects Ltd
Veritas International
http://www.ravenspecialprojects.com/
http://www.veritas-international.com/
Salamanca Risk Management
http://www.salamancarm.com
Sea Marshalls Ltd UK
http://www.seamarshals.com
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