I recently discovered the show Strike Back on Cinemax. I think it’s awesome. I think you should watch it. Here’s why.
1. It Accurately Depicts The Ratio Of Trigger Pullers To Support Personnel
The show follows Michael Stonebridge (former SAS) and Damien Scott (former Delta) as they fight terrorism and celibacy around the globe. With a few exceptions, they’re the only good guy shooters we see. The rest of Section 20, a secretive unit which is part of “British Intelligence,” is composed of people who wear Multicam and stare at computer screens. The ratio of shooters to support people – some of whom we come to know well and some we only see briefly – is about five or eight to one. Compare this to “The Unit,” a show where seemingly everyone was either a steely-eyed killer or their wife, and you’ll see that this show has at least a small bit of realism.
2. Some (Not All) Of The Tactics Used Make Sense
While some of the decisions made by Stonebridge and Scott make me shake my fist at the TV, other things make it pretty clear that they went through some decent training before the show. They communicate really well, for one. Whether they’re moving through a building or one of them needs to reload, they use clear and appropriate terminology for the situation. Also, they do a pretty good job of covering while the other moves. Not that they have much of a choice, because there are only two of them, after all. It also helps that the pair are always teamed up against the most poorly trained soldiers, henchmen, terrorists and militia on the planet.
Grey Cell is a new look at the news medium we really care about, or at least that most of us care about. Calling itself the “Foreign policy and conflict network”, this is much more than just a news service. We have been able to use this website since it was in its infancy, and are pretty impressed. Not only does it have the latest articles and breaking news, it also has the news feeds from the DOD, CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM, AFRICOM and more. Add in the Business Intel Unit, and you have more than just a site for MIL and spook type guys, you have a site for business and investors, as well as anyone else who wants to stay informed on global events and conflict.Read More
The Colt booth at the AUSA 2013 show was centered around two technology demonstrators from Colt Canada, titled Sniper Weapon & Observer Reconnaissance Devices (SWORD), which promise to bring power, data, and navigation connectivity to a single rifle.
There are many parts to the SWORD system, and all of them have acronyms. Although it’s described as modular, where individual parts can be used as accessories on other rifles, it’s designed around the Small Arms Rail System (SARS) – specifically the NATO concept of a powered rail. Colt takes this several steps farther with the addition of data connectivity to a “load carriage vest” through a unique single point sling. Power may also be sourced from a battery pack attached to the underside of the stock. This gives us the NPDS, or Network Power Data System.
Network connectivity includes the Android smartphone attached to the rifle as well as a tablet for the spotter. A camera attached to the riflescope allows the shooter to upload photos of potential targets in real time to other users on the network. This is accomplished via a button on the pistol grip, which may also be programmed for other uses. Data may also flow in the opposite direction as the observer or spotter may mark targets using a spotting scope equipped with similar technology. The smartphone display shows targets and other information such as friendly unit locations on a terrain map, the orientation of which is slaved to the movement of the rifle. Mini and micro UAVs may also be integrated into this system, giving battlefield commanders a clearer picture with which to make air and artillery support decisions.
An integral laser rangefinder and ballistic software/range card with target image overlays would enable the shooter to identify and kill a target without any verbal communication whatsoever with the spotter; this is one of the stated goals of the program. Colt says the system also has the ability to record detailed information about each shot, including the position of the shooter and the exact angle of the muzzle, but that the end user could dial back this capability to only record the number of shots.
Because there are as of now only two technology demonstrators, exact fielding details are uncertain, but Colt claims the system only adds eight ounces of weight to the rifle.
Personally, I feel that parts of this system have promise, but I am skeptical that it will provide a large leap forward in the capability of a sniper/spotter team. Such teams work pretty well right now, and I don’t see how eliminating communication between the sniper and spotter would make things any better, if snipers and spotters would want to, or even if it could actually be accomplished. Frankly, I think it will add to the workload of the shooter, who probably has enough on his plate.
Although gathering intelligence and making reports are part of what sniper teams do, this system may have come a little too late to see significant fielding in an environment which could prove or disprove its worth.Read More
Skydex, manufacturers of impact-absorbing mats used in MRAPs and padding for helmets, has produced a limited run of shoes called the “Battle Trainer.” They’re available now in a variety of sizes for $79.95.
Utilizing the same twin-hemisphere padding design they have licensed to Nike for that company’s Air line of shoes, Skydex’s Battle Trainer is claimed to be ideal for “boot camp style workouts.” There’s a Velcro patch on the heel for the addition of customizable patches, if the user so desires. Available only in a desert digital camouflage pattern, they are sure to turn heads at your local gym or trailhead.Read More
Garmin just released the tactix, a rugged high-sensitivity GPS navigator and ABC watch directed at the tactical market. The big separator between the tactix and the rest of Garmin’s wrist top navigators is the blacked-out display, jumpmaster information, tide tables, mineral glass face with stainless back, and though it’s not listed in the specs, Garmin told us they’re using a more sensitive GPS receiver in the tactix than the one found in fenix.
In addition to the GPS enabled functions the wrist-top navigator has altimeter, barometer and compass functions. Garmin claims it will run for 50 hours on a charge. The Garmin tactix will be on shelves in fall 2013 for $449.99 MSRP.
More details in Garmin’s Release Announcement on the jump.Read More
D3o, the UK impact protection & technology company that makes shockingly effective protective padding today entered the military market with their new TRUST (Trauma Reduction Unrivaled Shock Technology) range of protective products. Shown at AUSA, the first products to hit the market are a helmet liner system and internal knee and elbow pads that are made using the latest versions of D3O’s latest materials; the helmet features D3O Decel and the elbow/knee pads are made of a lightweight, temperature stable solution called D3O Lite.
D3O says independent lab tests show the TRUST helmet liner system provides protection which exceeds the required level of protection by 33% in the Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) tests at 10ft/sec. Each helmet pad in this 7-piece system features a unique geometry that allows the pad to fit the shape of the head and offers superior deceleration under blunt impact tests
The TRUST elbow and knee pads feature enhanced shock absorption, maximum flexibility and comfort, puncture and abrasion resistance. They are available in a range of sizes to fit ACU pockets.
Though the knee/elbow pads are the company’s first retail offering in the military market, they are not a freshman effort by any means. D3O has year of experience building OEM products for companies in the tactical and sporting goods sector and the details on the TRUST pad system show some advanced design cues. Aside from the performance of the impact absorbing foam itself, the outer shell features flat spots that make a stable platform when going prone and, say, shooting from your elbows. The material is unbelievably pliable and light for a foam that has about 10 times the impact absorbing power of a wrestling mat.Read More
Trident Concepts has just released the first of its TACOST (Task, Conditions & Standards) card sets. The 52-card deck offers a pocketable, durable and configurable way to structure a shooting session at the range. This first deck is all about pistol work, and a rifle deck is on the way. Other topics may follow … any votes for a “tomahawk and throwing stars” deck?
As the price of ammo continues to soar, products such as TACOST help shooters stay sharp while expending their ammo in effective practice sessions. The cards give shooters focused tasks and a point-based evaluation system that can help in self-diagnosis of training deficiencies. You won’t need a lot of gear to get going, but having good paper training targets and a dedicated timer will help.
Each program is broken down into four 13-session training groups – marksmanship, speed, baselines and dry fire:
Baseline groups focus on establishing performance in a predefined series of drills. These baseline drills set the tone for the rest of the groups and chart progress over time.
Marksmanship groups focus on the principal understanding of marksmanship skills. The drills vary from extreme distance, to extremely small targets and various drills in between.
Speed groups focus on pushing the boundaries of speed safely while at the same time maintaining a minimum hit ratio. The drills vary in number of rounds fired, positions and added complexities, such as manipulations.
Dry-fire groups combine both dry fire and at times live fire to increase the number of correct repetitions. The emphasis is on ensuring that movements are smooth and precise.
When heading out to the range, you pick cards from each section and build a set of practice drills to suit your range time and resources.
Personally, I think this is a great idea. I’ve learned a great deal from classes that I’ve simply lost or forgotten about after a few months because I haven’t had a great mechanism to reinforce the concepts once I’m on my own at the range.
Trident Concepts tells us the cards are normally $14.99 but are offering them at $9.99 introductory pricing for a limited time. Meanwhile, they are listed at $19.99 on TridentConcepts.com, we don’t really know what the price is at the moment. They just told us the cards are correctly priced at $19.99 on their website. The earlier price info was from an outdated info sheet.
Surefire just announced a two-cell version of their little EB1 Backup light. The new light is offered in clicky and twisty tailcap configurations. You get 500 lumens, then 5 lumens on the second press of the clicky. The “tactical” twisty tailcap version works like you’d expect: push a little for 5 lumens, and push all the way for 500 lumens; twist for constant on.
Gotta love the spread of power between 5 and 500; enough light to find something you dropped at 5 lumens, enough to confuse a charging meth addict with 500 lumens. The tan looks great and there’s a pocket clip! The new light will be available in black and tan for an MSRP of $235.
Release from Surefire on the jump:
The EB2 Backup—a higher-output, two-battery version of the EB1 Backup—is a compact, dual-output flashlight designed as a backup light for patrol officers or as a primary light for plainclothes officers. It is also ideal for outdoor, self-defense, and everyday-carry use.
The EB2 Backup features a virtually indestructible LED emitter and a precision Total Internal Reflection (TIR) lens that creates a blinding, far-reaching beam. These rugged lights are constructed of high-strength aerospace aluminum that has been Mil-Spec Type III hard anodized and O-ring sealed to protect against the elements. Powered by two 123A lithium batteries, these smoothly contoured flashlights are easy to handle and minimize potential clothing snag.
This useful dual-output light comes in two versions: a click-type tailcap switch or tactical tailcap switch. To activate the EB2 with a click-type switch, just press or click the tailcap pushbutton once for the tactical-level 500-lumen high beam that can reach deep into the night or overwhelm an aggressor’s dark-adapted vision. Return to off and press or click again within two seconds to activate the 5-lumen low beam, useful for navigating, loading gear, and other tasks that don’t require a lot of light. With the tactical tailcap version of the EB2, press for momentary-on low, press farther for momentary-on high, and twist the tailcap for constant-on activation at either level.
SureFire EB2 Backup flashlights are powerful, lightweight, compact, long running and easy to handle making them perfect for professional or personal use. These lights also come with SureFire’s high-strength steel two-way clip. This permits the securing of the light, head up or down, in a pocket or it allows it to be secured to the bill of a cap for hands free operation.
All EB2 models are available in black or tan and have an MSRP of $235.00. All are available for purchase through authorized SureFire dealer’s, calling SureFire at 800-828-8809 or going online at www.surefire.com
Features and Benefits:
- Two output levels—high for maximum light, low for extended runtime
- Two tailcap switch options: click-on/off or press-for-momentary activation/twist-for-constant-on
- TIR lens produces tight beam with reach and enough surround light for peripheral vision
- Coated, tempered window resists impact and maximizes light output
- Two-way clip permits light to be carried head up or down, or clipped to a hat brim or bill
- Weatherproof O-ring and gasket sealing
- Powered by two included 123A lithium batteries with 10-year shelf life
- Backed by SureFire’s No-Hassle Promise
Fortis MFG has recently released a new low profile gas block for the AR15 platform. These are made from 4010 steel, are parkerized, and attach with two included set screws. There are two models, with one being designed for a pinned installation, and the other dedicated to set screw installation. Both of the Fortis LPGBs are sized for the standard .750 barrels, and are priced at $55. Fortis MFG has also included the gas tube roll pin.Read More
Breach & Clear for iOS is free for a limited time thanks to gaming magazine IGN.com. Hit this link, get a code and download the game. It’s normally a few bucks.
I don’t have time to play games on my phone, but I hear this one is a good time waster.Read More