2012 Yearly archive

Hitting the ground as part of a helo-borne assault can be a violent, stinging, eye-watering experience. Oakley aims to take the edge off with their new M-Frame Helo kit. It’s a snap on gasket that attaches to the M-Frame 2.0 and M-Frame 3.0, turning your eyeshield into a goggle.

It clicks on at a single point over the bridge of the nose and unsnaps just as easily without having to remove the shades from your face. It doesn’t have much in the way of venting, as the gasket isn’t meant to replace a full-on goggle. But, it’s a small, lightweight way to augment the eye protection afforded by the M-Frame anytime there’s sand or debris whipping around your face. Look for the M-Frame Helo kit to land in the first quarter of 2013 for under $30.

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I don’t know what a Naga is, or why anybody would name a hoody after one. I imagine if a Naga were an animal, it’d be some kind of wooly cheetah. If it were a Roman god, it would be the deity of battlefield warmth and comfort. If it’s the name of an ancient weapon, it would be a fiery sword that slashes cold like a runny ice cream cone.

The Arc’teryx LEAF Naga Hoody is a versatile three-season-plus piece that works as a base-, mid- or non waterproof outer-layer. It began as a base layer project for Canadian SOF. It’s made from dense Polartec Power Stretch fleece and designed specifically for wear beneath body armor in very cool to frigid environments. As a base layer beneath body armor, it should keep you warm while active at temps around 15-20f degrees. It can be combined with a mid-layer and/or outer-layer if you’re not active, or temps drop further. Perfect for predawn raids in cold weather when there will be lots of waiting around at a rally point with brief, but intense actions on the objective. It also serves well as a trim-fitting, sweater for any cold weather activity.

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The Bullseye Camera system uses a camera attached to a wireless transmitter placed downrange to display every shot that hits a target on a laptop screen back at the shooter’s position. The system records and displays every shot on a target, highlighting the last shot every time, even in the dark. It looks like a great system to get instant and precise feedback on longer shots. I can see this as a valuable training tool for many shooters, especially considering the system is less expensive than many spotting scopes.

While I’m excited about this product, there are two things that may limit broad appeal. First, the specs say the rig is effective out to “500+” yards. So while it’s got advantages over a spotting scope, it doesn’t replace one for long range shooting. Second, the system is bulky and requires you to provide your own Windows laptop on the firing line. I already feel like a pack mule when I go to the range, so I’m not eager to haul a bunch more stuff out when I can get by with a simple spotting scope.

I’ll be even more excited about the $400 system if Bullseye can increase the system’s range, streamline the entire system by combining the camera and wireless router into a single, compact device; and release iOS and Android apps that allow the use of a smartphone or tablet in place of a bulky laptop on the line.

More information is available from Bullseye Camera.

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[UPDATE: Caracal just updated their recall notice USA explaining that if you don't want to wait the 12+ weeks to get your pistol fixed, they will give you a refund. Caracal will thank those that do wait with the gift of a free pistol magazine, T-shirt, cap and a 15% Caracal product discount. More info on the recall is available here.]

Caracal has issued a recall for its full sized and compact pistols which start with serial number B, C, F, L, and M.  The nature of the recall is based on issues with some of the internal drop safeties failing.  I’ve been working with the below Caracal F pistol for the past 6 months, and have found it to have the nicest trigger out of any striker fired pistol I’ve ever used.  The grip angle is good, the low bore axis gives a very low felt recoil making it a soft shooter, and the grip tapers in the back helping it to fit smaller and medium hands while still working my my larger mitts.  Part of my testing has been throwing the weapon onto concrete to see if I can get the internal safeties to fail, and I’ve never been able to do it.  HOWEVER, a formal recall from the company means someone has seen it as a problem at some point.  Whether mine has the problem or not, it falls into the “bad” serial number range, so it will be going back.  I’ll update this when I get it back to let you know how quickly the company deals with the recall, and to say if there are any felt differences when it returns home. 

Click below to see the actual recall notice from Caracal, they are paying for return shipping, so there is really no reason not to do this.












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I just bought myself an early birthday present. I don’t think SheScout will be pissed, though, because it’s for a good cause. It’s a limited edition “Spartan” forged AR lower from 2 Vets Arms Co., a disabled veteran-owned firearms manufacturer. They’ve made a standard AR lower receiver with a Corinthian helmet emblem on the left side, signifying 2VA’s commitment to donate $25 from the sale of each receiver to the Gallant Few’s Descendants of Sparta program. The DoS combats veteran suicide by offering a 24/7 hotline for veterans to call if they are contemplating suicide. The folks at 2VA want to raise $7,500 to donate to the program, and I am happy to help them reach their goal.

2VA will produce 300 lowers, serial numbered DOS-0001 through DOS-0300. At $95 for a limited edition lower, I bet they sell out quickly. 2VA is taking preorders now and will ship them in time for my birthday in December.

To learn more about the Descendants of Sparta program, go to

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Magpul just announced the new PMAG M3 will ship to dealers November 1. They’re also saying that the existing PMAG will join the Magpul MOE line at a lower price.

Figures this happens when I’m in the shop. Thankfully, we’ve already told you everything you need to know about the M3 except the price. And, now we can tell you that they will retail for $17.95/$14.95 window/non-window. The MOE PMAG will drop to $15.95/$12.95.

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Smith Optics Elite posted this video to give you a look at their new Boogie Regulator goggle. The face-hugging design came from a need for eyepro that worked in airborne operations as well as with helmet/head mounted night vision devices. It turns out that the eyeshield is gaining traction in other outdoor pursuits.

What? Fog? Yeah, I know. I’d be concerned about these fogging up, too. But, Smith uses their sliding, adjustable vent to keep humid air from getting trapped. This, in addition to some hi-tech anti-fog coatings, should keep things clear for a while. But, it’s a goggle. And every goggle will fog at some point. (Unless it has a tiny fan.)  They come in clear, gray and Ignitor for less than $40. There are accessories available to mount them directly to a helmet using Ops-Core rails or adhesive-backed pads.

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 Bravo Company MFG (BCM) released their original Gunfighter Charging Handle (GCH) a few years ago, and while my initial thoughts were that it would be a gimmick, once I had the chance to actually use it my opinion changed quickly.  The changes which matter were more than just a latch, they were internal and redirected the force of the latch into the body of the handle itself.  Less twisting was a benefit, but no snapped roll pins and broken handles was the key design element.

Moving forward to today, BCM has done a quiet redesign of the GCH in all three sizes.  The initial feature which stands out is the new back end.  The redesign extends down a bit on the underneath, as well as swoops up and around the rear of the receiver.  While this makes for a streamlined appearance, it may also help to some degree if you are using a suppressor in the prevention of gas blowback.  We spoke to Paul Buffoni, Bravo Company MFG CEO, about this, and he said its possible that it may help with gas to a small degree, but there is no diversion channel and that was not the intent of the change.  We did notice that the wider/ thicker backside provides additional space to grasp if you are pinching with the thumb and forefinger.  He commented the latch had been changed from the original based on user feedback where some people complained about pinching their fingers.  I’m using the original GCH on my duty weapon, and have never had that as a problem.  The top edges have also been angled down, which seems largely cosmetic, but the argument could be made that less straight edges are better.  

The materials and specs have stayed the same, and perhaps most important to some people, the price hasn’t changed either. While the Gunfighter 4 has been shipping for months, the smaller and larger (#3 & #5) are just recently shipping.

 Link to original review found here. 












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I’ve been a fan of Steve Ryan’s knives ever since I got my Surefire EW-04 Delta Folder (above) back in 2004. Ryan’s Surefire knife designs are an elegant mixture of form and function, mixing built-in tools with excellent ergonomics and smooth lines that attracted a following in the blade community.

Despite its popularity, the business never became a financial success. “Edged weapons has never been a profitable business for us,” said Surefire Director of Marketing Sean Clemence. “We will continue making pens,” he said, “but we are winding down the edged-weapons business and putting those resources into other projects.”

By winding down, Clemence means that all production on edged weapons will cease in the coming months as raw materials and parts are exhausted. Right now, Surefire has EW-04 Deltas, EW-12 Jekylls and even some of the semi-released Surefire Push Daggers in stock along with smaller numbers of other knives. But, all inventory will be gone by the end of March 2013. Knives that are out of stock and not coming back are the EW-05 Echo, EW-09 Edge, EW-10 Crank.

Steve Ryan is moving into Surefire’s engineering department. He will likely continue his own custom knife business on his own time, but don’t look for any remakes of your favorite Surefire blades coming out of Ryan’s garage. Surefire owns all of those designs and any re-release under a non-Surefire brand will have to be negotiated.

Surefire will continue to honor the original “No-Hassle” warranty on the knives. “We will have enough replacement parts in stock to service knives through the next four- to five years,” says Clemence. Looking further, Surefire has no policy in place to deal with warranty issues on the discontinued knives. “But,” says Clemence, “we will find a way to take care of our customers.”

Ultimately, the closing came down to profits. Surefire knives were made with expensive materials in small quantities. Despite their popularity, “when you take a look at the profit margins,” says Clemence, “the demand was never there to make it a profitable business.”

No doubt, Surefire will realign freed up resources to support their main manufacturing effort, the delivery of SOCOM suppressors to the government.



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The highly configurable Costa HSGI Taco Leg Rig is going to be back in stock at noon this Wednesday, October 17. Last time these were available they sold out in 4 hours. So, grab a can of Red Bull, fire up those browsers and stand by. 

Available in Multicam, Coyote Brown, Smoke Green and Black
TACO Pouches can accommodate
:  AR10/LR308 mags, AR mags, AK mags, Pistol mags.
Features the Costa Ludus Logo front bottom center.
TACOS are threaded together and cannot be reused in other configurations


  • 1/2“ Webbing Straps with 1” Snap Buckles, Adjustable
  • 1” ITW Buckles (IR reduction Technology)
  • 1-1/2” Non slip Strap (Leg Mount), Adjustable
  • (2) DTACOS – Double Decker
  • (1) PTACO – Pistol
  • Padded Leg Panel
  • 1000 Denier
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Dimensions: Leg Panel: 9″ x 6″ x 3”
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