CONTENTS 4 TRAINING: LET’S GET TECHNICAL! SURVEILLANCE TRIGGERS AND CUEING WITH CROPS 8 BOOK REVIEW “SUAREZ INTERNATIONAL SA DYNAMIC VEHICLE COMBATIVES” 10 TRAINING: NORM FROM OFFHAND GEAR TRAMPAS STEPS UP WITH A GREAT BIT OF GEAR THAT WILL TRULY HELP WITH YOUR RANGE TRAINING! 15 EDITORS COMMENT: A NEW PRESIDENT BUT WILL THIS MEAN A NEW PARADIGM FOR THE CONTRACTING COMMUNITY? 16 GEAR ON TEST: THE PMCI TEAM MAKE THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE LATEST GEAR TO HIT THE MARKET. 20 TACTICAL INNOVATION: EYEPRO CHECKING OUT THE VERY LATEST IN INNOVATIVE EYEPRO FROM BLUEYE 24 MEET THE MANUFACTURER: LOWA BOOTS PMCI CHOOSE BOOTS FROM THE TRIED AND TESTED LOWA TASK FORCE RANGE 28 TECH: 0241 TACTICAL NEW DIRECTIONS FROM THE US ACCESSORIES SPECIALIST INCLUDING DEPSOC 360! 33 KNIVES AND TOOLS: KRYPTEIA NOT ONE BLADE BUT TWO THIS MONTH AS TRAMPAS GETS A HANDLE ON KRYPTEIA 36 FIREARMS: SIG PMCI TAKES A LOOK AT SOME OF THE LATEST MODELS IN THE SIG LEGION LINE-UP 40 ARMOURER: REVOLVER OR SEMI-AUTO? WE LOOK AT THE PROS AND CONS OF BOTH 44 SKILLS AND DRILLS: ANDY BRINGS US HIS THOUGHTS IN PART I OF HIS LOOK INTO THE ARCANE ART OF CONCEALED CARRY 48 SPECIAL REPORT: CHALLENGE COINS CHALLENGE COINS HAVE BECOME PART OF THE TACTICAL WORLD, BUT WHERE DO THEY COME FROM AND WHY SHOULD WE NEED THEM? 53 BOOK REVIEW: “SYRIAN CONFLAGRATION – THE CIVIL WAR 2011TO 2013” 54 INDUSTRY VACANCIES: LOOKING FOR WORK? JUST CHECK HERE.
Editor (UK): Bill Thomas Editor (International): Dan Eastes Graphic Design: Baz Thakur Publisher: Nigel Streeter PMCI Magazine is a digital-only publication, published bi-monthly and available FREE OF CHARGE via the PMCI app on the following platforms: Apple iOS, Android, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. For more information visit our publishing partner: www.PocketMags.com PMCI can also be read online at: www.issuu.com Calibre Publishing Limited Wyche Innovation Centre, Walwyn Road, Upper Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR13 6PL Tel: 01684 878 003 Web: www.pmcimagazine.com ©Calibre Publishing Limited 2014
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TECHNICAL SURVEILLANCE TRIGGERS & CUEING COURSE When it comes to training and adding new things to your CV and “tactical toolbox” we at PMCI do try and keep up with the very latest developments available in the marketplace, and we truly enjoy working with specialist trainers and training companies to ensure that we highlight the most innovative and unique of them.
ecently PMCI had the opportunity to attend a CQB Level 1 Course run by Project GECKO to find out what tools we can all add to our “tactical toolbox” to help in a “close up and personal” encounter. As you’ll know, we are always interested in hearing about specialised training courses delivered by companies who themselves, are still very much operational. One company that we always find very interesting is CROPS as they provide very intense surveillance courses in a number of tradecraft disciplines. We’ve worked with CROPS on numerous articles in the past, but what we find particularly interesting about them is that they are constantly looking to refine and distil their course offerings to ensure that they offer the most up to date, and comprehensive training possible in their fields of expertise One of their more recently advertised courses is the ‘Technical Surveillance Triggers & Cueing Course’. So with that we contacted them for more information about this, and here’s what they had to tell us: CROPS: In today’s world, conducting surveillance on targets is forever becoming more and more difficult, due to avenues of open source research these individuals are becoming aware of
the organic tactics used against them, and because of this the requirement to think more outside the box has never been so important. In a lot of operations that we currently find ourselves conducting, the target is personally, or the location that they are based out of is far too hostile to sustain an organic OP in close proximity to that of the target. So the question is, how do we now trigger, observe and control the operation once it lifts off? The answer: Technical elements concealed in and around the target plot. Once deployed they can act in three ways; firstly to indicate that movement is taking place in the immediate target location, and secondly by switching on and gathering high quality footage of all activities taking place, and finally they enable the surveillance to track the target should they leave this plot. PMCI: So tells us about the course: CROPS: This is a very specialised course designed for the modern day technical operator, who find themselves deploying covert 3G camera systems and other technical triggering devices. Once this remote technical camera system has been deployed giving a visual surveillance asset, the next phase is to deploy technical triggering devices to indicate when the target moves, this is achieved by static ground sensors and vehicle tracking tags.
The next phase is known as ‘cueing’ this is a tactical method used by an operational team to act as early warning when unwanted activity is, or has taken place in their area of interest, normally indicating that a discovery of technical elements has taken place. PMCI: What equipment ‘technical elements’ do the students use while on the course? CROPS: We are lucky to have close connections with a number of organisations, who work closely with us to develop the camera and sensor equipment. Nearly all of our equipment is in-house designed and built. PMCI: What subjects, without giving to much information away, can students expect to cover on the course? CROPS: The course is broken down into four phases, these are as follows. Phase 1: Understanding technical elements and their limitations on task • 3G / GSM / wi-fi covert camera system known as ‘OWL’ • GSM / GPRS remote area tagging system known as ‘RATS’ • GSM alarming system known as ‘TIC’ • GPRS / GSM vehicle tracking tags ‘VT’ Phase 2: Tactical deployment skills when tagging vehicles • What is a tracking device • Operating systems
• Mission requirements • Deployment tactics (urban / rural locations) Phase 3: Covert deployment tactics of technical elements • Technical recce of site location • Close target recce of targets location • Concealment methods • Best use of technical elements on the operational area Phase 4: Practical deployment / care taking / retrieval of the technical elements • Real time deployment exercise of all technical elements PMCI: So what is the duration of this course? CROPS: Currently the course has been held from 5 to 10 days in duration, this all depends on the client. Some clients are taking full advantage of their time with us, and are booking the ‘Covert camera construction and deployment course’ also. PMCI: Covert camera construction & deployment course? Tells us more about this this one! CROPS: Our covert camera construction & deployment course is aimed at individuals and groups within specialist organisations who regularly deploy technical camera systems in order to gather video evidence. In recent times the question is been asked of those deploying these systems to what training and qualification do you hold in this very specialist area of operations. Due to this we have developed the Covert Camera Construction and Deployment which is fast becoming the ‘sort after’ course by many agencies and government based departments, including law enforcement units both foreign and domestic.
PMCI: Thanks as always for speaking to us, and this certainly does sound to be something that anyone working in a surveillance role should be aware of. If someone is interested in learning more about the ‘Technical Surveillance Triggers & Cueing Course’, or indeed any of your courses what should be their next step? CROPS: Simply check out our website, www.crops.uk.com, or drop us a line via email at email@example.com we’d e delighted to speak with you.
PMCI: I remember reading an article, where the topic was about ‘why construct your own cameras’, when you can simply buy what you need, is this true? CROPS: This just shows how inaccurate some people can be, and only alerts me that they have no real experience in this field; sure you could go out and buy any old camera, but will it truly do the job. I think in most cases not! By understanding how and what is required, only makes for a better operator. Until you have been on plot and conducted your technical recce, you don’t know what you require. Even after all the years we have been deploying covert cameras, there are still times we’re required to make construct something new.
The key aims are to teach students the fundamentals of what component parts are required, how these are then integrated in the construction of a covert system, reconnaissance of the intended camera site and finally the stages to the actual placement of a covert camera system. The final stage of the covert camera construction deployment course is a real time placement exercise in order to confirm these new found technical skills. This truly is a rewarding course.
SUAREZ INTERNATIONAL SA DYNAMIC VEHICLE COMBATIVES: AN INTRODUCTION TO
BOOK REVIEW Suarez International
DEFENDING ONESELF INSIDE/OUTSIDE OF YOUR VEHICLE. In the last issue of PMCI I had the great pleasure of speaking to Gerald Bailey from Suarez International South Africa (SISA). Gerald and his colleagues are at the forefront of training both civilians and professionals in the key skills of how to deal with a potentially violent attack, both inside and outside the home or workplace, and his links to the outspoken but nevertheless highly respected firearms trainer Gabe Suarez means that his trainees are getting the very best instruction possible. Now Gerald has taken things a step further by putting some of these key ingredients on page by means of a new eBook, “Dynamic Vehicle Combatives: An Introduction to Defending Oneself Inside/Outside of your Vehicle”. This eBook is based on his hugely popular Dynamic Vehicle Combatives class that is run by SISA worldwide, and that has been developed for law abiding legal firearm owning citizens and professionals alike. The book focuses on everyday situations; this eBook is not a training manual for disaster management, but rather an introduction to the skill sets to set oneself up for success, avoiding potential conflict, and preparing oneself in the setup of your day to day vehicle routine. The topics covered are wide-ranging and include; • Setting yourself up for success • Pre-Trip techniques for success • Advanced driving • Dynamic shooting • Combatives inside and out of a vehicle. • Inside/Outside the vehicle shooting techniques. • Disarm techniques inside and outside vehicles • Alternative Weapons platform usage When I was speaking to Gerald it became very apparent to me that he is a no-nonsense, straight to the point individual, and meticulous in every aspect of what he trains, and the book is very much of the same. Each and every topic is carefully and precisely approached, and by referencing real world situations, Gerald leads the reader on a journey to sound practice. He points out tactics that in the past have proved overly complicated and prone to failure, offering solutions that WILL work even in the most pressured of situations. If you are going to be working with, and from, vehicles then this eBook is completely worthy of your attention, and may just go some way to protecting you, and those with you from harm in the future!
Author: Gerald Bailey Format: ebook Print Length: 92 pages Price: US£2.97 (Kindle Edition) Further enquires can also be directed to info@suarezinternational. co.za
CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW, BLACK
Raccoon MK2 for Airsoft Acion #70
Field uniforms were the backbone of our company for years. Now, with our Patrol Line launched, we’d like to give you a choice of best Mil/LE ﬁeld and combat type clothing, including some specialized individual camouﬂage solutions and uniform accessories. Our idea is combine and supplement the elements of the Patrol Line with other HTX lines – such as Outback Line for inclement weather conditions, Range for shooting practice etc – all lines combine the same design style and features.
Newest generation of the RACCON backpack incorporates our experiences with this model. Lightweight, yet sturdy pack of 20 Liter capacity is an optimal choice for everyday use, yet it is absolutely enough for day hikes and tactical ops, where a larger pack would be an unnecessary burden. RACCOON Mk2 is also equipped with one external pocket, similar in size to the main compartment. It contains a simple organizer for carrying additional items. For heavy loads the simple, webbing hip belt distributes weight properly. The backpack covered with webbing compatible with MOLLE/ PALS system. Shockcord allows attachment of additional equipment like jackets, sleeping mat etc.
OFF HAND GEAR SHOOTING MAT
OFF HAND GEAR SHOOTING MAT At PMCI not only do we focus on training courses themselves, but also at useful tools that aid in the physical process of your training regimen. This time Trampas steps up with a great bit of gear that will truly help with your range training!
s a former sniper unit for a Sheriff’s Office SWAT team in eastern North Carolina for over a decade, I learned two simple things the hard way whilst behind a rifle for long periods of time during training and deployment. First you MUST be comfortable and second well organised. These days, I have the pleasure of being able to teach a new generation of precision rifle shooters as well as testing new firearms, optics, ammunition and equipment to aid in doing so. A few months ago, I discovered the NORM Shooting Mat by a company named OffHand Gear. For those of you not familiar with OffHand Gear, this is a great small business that started in Mesa, Arizona back in 2012 marketing what Sandi Keller, the owner, calls “sassy apparel & functional gear for the female gun enthusiast.” This astute business woman grew tired of subpar equipment painted pink being the only thing marketed to women and sought out to not only change the women’s market but offer all shooters the best gear possible as the company grew. As the proud husband of a state leader here in Florida for the national ladies’ not-for-profit shooting organization, The Well Armed Woman, founded by Sandi’s good friend, Carrie Lightfoot, naturally this company has been on my radar for some time. (Either growth trend recognising gun writer or just smart husband, you decide!)
With the recent release of the NORM or “No Ordinary Range Mat”, OffHand Gear is set to cross over into the mainstream with not only female rifle shooters, but men as well. Over the summer I had the pleasure of testing the NORM while working on both rifle reviews and training. Most of the testing occurred at our secluded training grounds in North Florida affectionately known as “The Swamp” where the terrain can range from loose gravel to damp grassy tree lines and the occasional hard pack dirt roadways.
OFF HAND GEAR SHOOTING MAT
Upon my arrival at “The Swamp”, I began setting up my shooting position by unrolling the NORM in a grassy clearing near the tree line over a few small exposed roots that would normally dig into my hips or chest when shooting prone. As I settled into position behind the rifle, I remember feeling like I had just stretched out on a bed roll while camping. The mat was comfortable and did a great job protecting me from the underlying roots popping up through the grass. The long length of the 75” mat fit me well while I feeling like I had all the
When the shooting mat arrived at my door, I immediately liked how flat the entire mat folded to fit into the thin shipping box. While the mat’s padding felt cushiony, the thin profile initially concerned me as to how comfortable it would be while shooting off of it in the prone position. Due to the summer tropical storms that roll through Florida during the summer, it looked like I would have to wait to find out. Thankfully, the clouds parted a few days afterwards and I had a great opportunity to start field testing.
OFF HAND GEAR SHOOTING MAT
is folded back up, the handles are well placed to strap together and balance the package evenly during carry. If the mat has to be carried longer distances, the matching shoulder strap offers a very comfortable carry option as well. The entire main 30” work space of the shooting mat is covered in a soft Velcro surface for attaching handy additions offered by OffHand Gear such as a mesh bag for holding spent brass and my personal favorite, the rear shooting rest bag. Much like my old sniper’s “sand sock”, the rear shooting bag offers a pliable, lightweight bag filled with plastic beards to secure under the toe of the rifle stock. This offers for quick elevation changes by only using the movement of squeezing or releasing the bag with your hand quietly and efficiently.
• Kryptek Fabric (500 Denier Cordura utilizes durability and water resistance). • Bi-pod stop that doubles as a carry handle • Ambidextrous adjustable shoulder sling for easy carrying. • Extra-long (75”) & wide (32”) with fold out wings (added 12”). • Dense foam padding the entire length and wings. • Soft, loop fabric on upper 30” of mat for added comfort and to attach accessories. • Fan-fold design makes for easy setup and storage without curling up while using • MSRP US$229.00
room in the world to my left and right to rest my range finder, ammunition and even lap top. (Yes, lap top, more on that in a future article.) The main body of the NORM measured 32” across with the fold out wings gave an additional 12” of vertical space to each side. As a dedicated long range shooter, I enjoyed how the carry handle locates itself in the perfect to position to double as a bi-pod stop. With the bi-pod deployed into the loop, it did a great job anchoring the rifle in order to “load” the bi-pod to create enough tension between rifle and shoulder to prevent any wiggle or slipping while breaking my shots. When the mat
My experience with OffHand Gear’s NORM was a very good one. I enjoyed the tough 500 Denier Cordura construction in the very attractive Kryptek Typhon pattern. This modern age camo option has been popular over the past year in the industry. My only comment on this currently being the only color option is heat retention. Black is usually not a top choice when shooting in the hot Florida sun throughout the summer months. I am eager to see lighter colour options as the product has more time on the market. Retailing for US$229 for the mat alone and US$255.95 as a package including the mesh bag for spent brass and handy rear rifle bag, the NORM is fairly priced for such a high quality shooting mat. Along with colour options, I am eager to see how the accessory options grow in the future as well. This shooting mat offers an excellent platform to anchor a wealth of needed tools for long distance shoot such as a possible DOPE book pocket, spare ammo pocket, map pocket or cleaning kit bag just for starters. Overall, I highly recommend the NORM shooting mat to everyone. I have always respected what OffHand Gear has set out to do in regards to leveling the playing field in the shooting industry for women and proud to work with them at any level. I clearly foresee their shooting mat becoming a crossover success for all ages and gender as time moves forward. To learn more about Sandi and her awesome team, check them out at www. offhandgear.com.
EDITORS COMMENT as before and that means that contractors will inevitably find
As I write my column for this issue of PMCI it is the morning after
themselves in harms’ way. Whether you’re a doctor, a teacher, a
the US Election and we all now know that Donald Trump will
nurse, a cook or a driver you’re still going to find yourself taking
become the 45th President of America and as I watch international
contracts in the same areas geographically as the good guys
currencies oscillate like leaves on the breeze the rhetoric and
with guns and that’s where military contractors are most needed,
recriminations show no sign of abating.
At this moment in time nobody really knows the answer
So the good guys with guns, those military contractors, need
to “what happens next”, and I perhaps see a slightly skewed
to be at their very peak to protect you in the best way that they
response as the majority of my friends in the USA are either
can, as conventional forces may not be on hand just when you
military, involved in the tactical or firearms industry, or part of
need them. The good guys need to train harder, be fitter, and
the contracting world; obviously the majority of these individuals
be smarter than ever before to be there for you when things go
are pretty happy with the outcome, and all appear to be looking
south, and when I look to some of the great training groups and
forward with great positivity.
talented individuals that we at PMCI work with, both in the USA
Questions have been raised as to whether the President
and internationally, I see them doing just that, every single day.
Elect will lead the western world down a path to confrontation,
It’s a genuine privilege for me to work with some of the
effectively sending us back to the “Cold War” or worse, but the
great trainers around the world and to hear from them regularly
truth of the matter is that the USA is not just run by one individual,
how swiftly they need to change their course content given the
but ultimately by many, and at the end of the day all of those
changes in technology, equipment, and operational tempo. It’s
politicians are accountable to those that voted them into office.
a credit to each and every one of them that their doctrines and
Could it be that now the American people have spoken, and a new
regimens are rigorously updated to incorporate the very best
broom starts some sweeping that other directions may indeed
practice so that they can impart this to their students; SHOT Show
2017 is just around the corner now, so whatever happens in the
A NEW PARADIGM?
meantime I shall look forward to seeing both old friends and new
ONLY TIME WILL TELL…
in the training and contracting communities there in January and
What I do know is that the world is still a highly volatile place;
getting up to speed with the very latest developments.
conflict over land, resources, religion, and ideology will continue
Wherever you may be people, train hard, stay vigilant and keep safe.
GEAR ON TEST
0241 TACTICAL COLD WEATHER CAP FIELD TEST
In this issue of PMCI we take a close look at 0241 Tactical as a brand; whilst they are expanding into new areas their ethos has always been one of providing simple but oh, so necessary accessories so the product I’m looking at this time is the 0241 Tactical Cold Weather Cap. In outdoor scenarios, whether a hobby, sport or tactical situation, you must always be aware of your body’s condition. Neglecting core temperature will catch up to you and could put an end to your effectiveness in field operations no matter your reason for being there. The Cold Weather Cap by 0241 (0241 CWC) will help you deal with adverse effects of foul weather no matter if it is cold, rain, snow or a combination of those; you must keep your head from losing to much heat as that can lead to a bar minimum of calorie consumption or thermal loss turning into either sickness or death. It is clear in examining this product that 0241 designed it for dealing with adverse outdoor conditions. On first examination of the 0241 CWC I noted the A-TACS pattern appeared crisp and vivid. The colour and pattern matched well with other products that I already owned. The outer material felt durable and smooth; it also had a waterproof coating that added to the rugged impression I got from this material. The inner liner is a fleece that felt nice, but did not seem too plush. The inner liner seemed as though it would be comfortable to wear and would keep you warm, but not be difficult to keep clean in the field. The size was a little off but was the closest fit I could get in the cap. The loose fit I did find later to be an advantage with this cap. The only negative of my first impression was the pieced together pattern and seams. I felt as though I had a chef’s cap on or Jiffy Pop kept coming to mind, but in the end the first impressions turned 100% toward the effectiveness, use and purpose of the 0241 CWC. I usually prefer tighter fitting “toboggan” style hats with more breathability, but this 0241 CWC definitely has a place in my tool box. Putting on the 0241 CWC was a nice experience as it felt comfortable and immediately warmed my head. I used the cap in temperatures ranging from 26-‐65 degrees. This cap is without a doubt a cold weather cap as the name implies, and some caution must be taken when wearing this cap, as it is very easy for me to overheat. Overheating and breaking a sweat in cold weather can be detrimental. This is where the slightly loose fit of my cap became an advantage, giving me some room for my head to breathe. I did not test this cap in what I would call extreme cold conditions yet but I can tell it will do the job. This cap was also very comfortable for sleeping, as I like to have some of my head exposed when sleeping
in the cold as to prevent CO2 build up and condensation in my sleep system. This cap kept me toasty warm all night. Two other advantages to the shape of the cap that I find are: one there are pockets formed inside the cap that tend to build a space of warm air increasing the warmth, unlike a regular “toboggan” style where the insulation is compressed once it is on your head. The second advantage is it gives an irregular shape to your head effectively eliminating the silhouette. That shape combined with the A-TACS pattern is very effective in adding to your camouflage capability. I would have to say that the 0241 cap is a great product to invest in for cold weather gear and what you get for US$18.00 US dollars is a good deal. I will definitely look at more 0241 Tactical products.
PETZL TACTIKKA +RGB
Over the years I’ve owned many head torches and they are an invaluable tool; being able to go “hands free” whilst maintaining a stable light source means that you can go about your tasks after dark just as easily as in daylight. Whilst there are many brands available on the market I’ve personally always gone to one manufacturer, and that is Petzl. Petzl’s roots lie in the desire of its founders to serve one passion, and that is purely and simply exploration. Since its beginnings in caving, the company’s mission has remained constant; to offer practical solutions that allow people to progress. Today that pioneering spirit and passion for exploration have not changed. More than forty years after their founding, Petzl continues to invent products and provide solutions that allow both recreational and professional users to access some of the most inaccessible places, both day and night. The TACTIKKA +RGB is a compact head torch ideal for both recreational and professional users, offering a choice of white or red/green/blue lighting to preserve night vision. It’s designed for activities where stealth is a key factor. The TACTIKKA +RGB head torch offers versatile lighting; proximity or focused lighting for movement, BOOST mode for temporary access to maximum brightness (160 lumens) and three lighting modes (red, green or blue). It also features CONSTANT LIGHTING technology to ensure constant brightness over time, and a mixed beam (wide, focused or red).
Constant Lighting: brightness does not decrease gradually as the batteries are drained Several lighting modes suitable for different situations, from proximity lighting to rapid movement BOOST mode for temporary access to maximum brightness Red Light combining visual comfort and stealth, red strobe light Automatically switches to reserve mode when batteries are running low and then to red lighting when the batteries are nearly empty Compatible with Ni-MH or lithium batteries for greater burn time Push-button is easy to use, even with gloves Washable headband, designed for dynamic activities (secure and absorbent)
• Weight: 85 g • Technology: CONSTANT LIGHTING • Beam pattern: mixed • Energy: 3 AAA/LR03 batteries (included) • Battery compatibility: rechargeable Ni-MH and lithium • Certification(s): CE • Watertightness: IP X4 (weather resistant) At only 88g with the batteries fitted, and with a comfortable, broad headband, the TACTIKKA +RGB can be worn for extended periods of time; the headband also offers sufficient adjustment for it to be worn with most helmets. The torch itself can be angled downwards to bring the beam into exactly the position you need it to be, and angling downwards gives easy access to the battery compartment. The broad, well-sized function control button, which allows you to easily cycle between lighting modes, is big enough to use even with gloves on. Whilst the TACTIKKA +RGB is not the smallest head torch on the market it’s easily stowable, and durable enough to put up with some serious abuse. I’ve been using the latest version for over six months now, and even with regular use I’m still using the original batteries that came as part of the deal, so the run time is obviously exemplary. The TACTIKKA +RGB comes in camo, desert tan, and black. After using Petzl head torches for many years I have great confidence in what the brand builds, and thus far the TACTIKKA +RGB has proved that they continue to drive the technology forward. This product comes with my complete recommendation.
GEAR ON TEST
• • ��� • • • • •
GEAR ON TEST
UF PRO GENII DELTA EAGLE JACKET COLDER, DAMPER MONTHS LIE AHEAD; UF PRO RELEASE THE GENII DELTA EAGLE JACKET TO BOLSTER YOUR CLOTHING SYSTEM! As the weather turns colder and wetter you really do need to get the very best performance from your clothing system, and the UF PRO Delta Eagle Jacket is a bomber-tough, all - purpose soft shell jacket for almost all weather conditions and low temperatures. Never content with resting on their laurels the UF PRO team have revisited their original Delta Eagle and brought things fully up to date using the most advanced fabrics, material and technology currently available. The latest iteration of the Delta Eagle jacket is the perfect choice for cool and damp environments due to its special material construction. The jacket is made out of a high quality breathable ePTFE based softshell material, which is lined on the inside with an insulating microfleece. The face fabric of the jacket is highly windproof and water-repellent, which means it will protect you against wind-chill and even light drizzle; in truly horrendous wet weather conditions it can even be worn as an insulator under one of their Monsoon waterproof rain jackets. Weighing it at just 1.05 kg (size L), the Delta Eagle jacket is equipped with a new generation of the UF PRO Hood/Harness® system. The system comfortably connects your head with the hood without bringing it directly in contact with the laminate. This also means the hood follows all your neck movements and your vision is never compromised, and since the laminate isn’t directly in contact with your head, the air flow and your ability to hear aren’t limited. The hood is made out of a very light weight, waterproof 3 layer micro-grid laminate which makes it a perfect emergency hood when caught outdoors in rainy weather. And when you don’t need it, the hood can easily be stowed away into the collar. The jacket offers eight pockets in total so it is easy to store most of your “everyday carry” gear in it. All pockets are highly functional and easy accessible; the big chest pockets can be accessed from two sides, so if for instance you only have your right hand free, you can still easily access the left chest pocket! The four arm pockets are perfect for stowing away your smaller stuff, which you may need to access quickly. They are also mesh lined, so in case it gets too hot you can open them and use them for additional mechanical venting, and the larger two inner pockets can be used to store your valuable stuff like your wallet, or bulkier gear, like gloves.
Finally, for better wear comfort while carrying a backpack and in order to avoid so called “thermal bridges“ between your skin and the outside material, the Delta Eagle has integrated air/pac inserts in the shoulder area. If you’re updating your clothing system this year then the Delta Eagle GenII softshell jacket should be high on the list of your priorities; priced at €219.00 and available in Brown Grey and Black the Delta Eagle demands your attention. Don’t be dictated to by adverse weather conditions; gear up with UF PRO and be in control of your environment! For more info about UF PRO please visit www.ufpro. si; for UK enquiries please visit www.hueys.co.uk
UF PRO STRIKER STEALTH SMOCK.
GEAR ON TEST
As announced at this year’s IWA exhibition in Nuremberg, in September UF PRO released their new and innovative Striker Stealth Smock to the international market. The UF PRO Striker Stealth Smock merges features of a combat jacket and a load bearing vest in a very unique way, bringing a classic design bang up to date. Ever since the paratroopers of WWII adopted the classic smock design it has been the trademark of high-end users worldwide. However, with the increased use of chest rigs and plate carriers many have questioned whether such a design is still valid for the modern battlefield. To answer this, the Design Team at UF PRO have completely reinvented the concept with a unique twist. After being approached by a highly renowned elite German military unit in search of a jacket which would offer a full pocket functionality for their most essential gear on a 24hr mission, UF PRO came up with a design so that the jacket could carry a wide range of gear; the Stealth Smock can be loaded with as much as 12 - 15 kg, but in order to maintain user agility with a fully loaded jacket, they had to rethink the whole concept of a smock design. A substantial part of the new Stealth Smock is the breathable load bearing system, which consists out of two modules; a waist belt which not only carries the weight but also fixes it onto the hip area, and a huge area of air/pac® inserts in the upper torso and back area which carries the remaining weight. The cool thing about the Stealth Smock pocket configuration is that it is functional and modular. The integrated front MOLLE system allows you to either attach your own or the new UF PRO pouches, and with the additional chest pockets, a huge lower back pocket and arm pockets you’ll probably stow away so much gear that you might even consider leaving your backpack at home! The Striker Stealth Smock can be equipped with the UF PRO Elbow pads, and benefits from the excellent Hood/ Harness system which allows you unhindered vision, air circulation and good hearing while wearing the hood. MultiCam and PenCott GreenZone variants are created using a combination of 50% Nylon, 50% Cotton Ripstop, and 100% CORDURA fabric in the reinforced areas, whereas Flecktarn and Brown-Grey make use of 67% Polyester, 33% Cotton Ripstop, and 100% CORDURA fabrics, all of the very highest quality and durability. The unique load bearing system of the Striker Stealth Smock combined with the choice of first rate fabrics and some cutting-edge design ensures that even fully loaded the jacket does not get caught up around you whenever you make a move. It ergonomically distributes the weight over the whole torso and provides truly excellent levels of comfort and performance.
Starting from €330 the UF PRO Striker Stealth Smock shows a glimpse of the future for the most discerning end users! For more information please visit http:// ufpro.si; the Striker Stealth Smock will be available as a special order in the UK from www.hueys.co.uk
TAC GEAR - BLUEYE EYEPRO
TECH BLUEYE EYEPRO – PROTECTION FOR PROFESSIONALS
Each and every time I step onto a range I always remember two words that have been ingrained into me since I first shot with my father many, many moons ago, and those two words are simply “Eyes and Ears”.
s my father had served during WWII and then gone on to serve out his military days as an Infantry Instructor he’d learnt many lessons, and even back in the 1970’s would ensure that when he would take me shooting we would always have ear plugs and shooting glasses, albeit rudimentary models back in those days. He’d seen too many of his friends suffer damage to their eyesight, and suffered himself from impaired hearing and he was 100% insistent that I would not suffer the same. Luckily these days we have a wealth of manufactuerers to choose from when it comes to protecting those all important “Eyes and Ears”, and testing for such products is amongst the most stringent out there. I was therefore very interested when Nige, PMCI’s publisher, called me to advise that he had spotted a new brand, Blueye, at an event he was covering, and passed on the details to me to investigate further.
Blueye Eyewear was formed in December 1995 when Dean
Bennell (director and founder) came up with a new eyewear concept for jockeys in Horse Racing. Whilst working as a horse trainer in Sydney, Australia, Dean realised that the goggles jockeys were wearing had not changed in design or materials since the 1950’s (sounds a bit like my old mans shooting glasses!) Dean began designing goggles and the design process took eight months, during which time he approached his brother Marc, to see if he would be interested in becoming a partner in Blueye Eyewear. The partnership was then formed and in December 1996, twelve months after conception, Blueye entered the marketplace. Initially, Blueye concentrated on marketing its product throughout the horse racing industry, but soon realised that the goggles also had potential in other sports. An extensive sunglass range was gradually created, building on the success of the goggles technology, and along the way, Blueye picked up awards such as Australian Design of the Year and Australia’s Powerhouse Museum Award for Science and Design. Blueye Tactical Eyewear is a division of Blueye Eyewear Pty Ltd, and they have been designing, developing and manufacturing specific purpose eyewear with the emphasis
on supplying elite performance eyewear products. In 2013, and after four years of development, Blueye released their first ever specific purpose ballistic eyewear range for the international military and tactical markets. At Blueye Tactical Eyewear they strongly believe that for personnel to perform specific operational tasks they need to be wearing the correct piece of eye protection. Whether it is Water Ops, Land, Air or Special Ops tasks, Blueye Tactical has developed an elite performance eyewear product for your needs, and all Blueye Goggles and Sunglasses have gone through rigorous testing to meet or exceed US MilSpec requirements.
THE RIGHT STUFF
Specifically designed to provide superior vision for special operations this Goggle allows for the rapid removal of transitional lens tints when going from light to dark environments. • Goggle frame colour. Matt Black/Desert Tan • Lenses: colour clear 2.5mm polycarbonate ballistic certified. Visual clarity distortion free certified. Provides maximum protection against UVA, UVB & UVC. Additional nylon lens posts with photochromic Varia day/night lens • Lens coatings: GW anti fog inside & outside • Frame: flame resistant TPV, maxi seal flame resistant closed cell face foam membrane fitted for comfort. Super cell ventilation system for maximum ventilation and fog free vision • Vision: wide field of view for optimum performance • Integration: multi helmet compatible including ops-core & protec. NVG & optical sights compatible • Quick release goggle strap with silicone nonslip grip and adjustment system • Protective goggle sleeve • Storage case • RX adaptor optional • Certified ballistic high impact protection goggles which meets standards: • MIL-DTL 43511. • AS/NZS 1337.1. • EN 166. ANSI Z87.1
ONE MODEL DOES NOT FIT ALL!
As Leigh so correctly observes, one model of eyewear cannot possibly be suitable for all situations and therefore Blueye have obviously looked at different end uses and environments so that they break down there range into Land Ops, Air Ops, Water Ops and Special Ops. This is a way of approaching eyepro that personally I’ve not come across before in so meaningful a way, and it works very well; by simply looking at the description of the model on their website you can immediately see which pair of Goggles or Glasses will be suitable to meet your needs, and as I break down the models you’ll see just how well this works!
This model has been specifically designed to provide superior vision whilst on maritime operations. • Goggle frame colour: Matt black • Lenses: 2.5mm polycarbonate ballistic certified. Visual clarity distortion free certified
TAC GEAR - BLUEYE EYEPRO
As PMCI is UK based I had the great pleasure to speak to the UK Team, Blueye UK; Blueye UK are the sole distributors for Blueye eyewear in the UK, as well as overseeing the distribution of Blueye in the majority of E.U countries. Chris Adkins and Leigh Thomas are the Directors, both having served collectively in the Regular British Army for over 25 years (Infantry), and have served on a number of Operational tours from Northern Ireland and West Africa to Iraq, as well as having considerable experience instructing British and Foreign troops at all levels, from Sierra Leone to RMA Sandhurst. Having left the Army Chris and Leigh were introduced to Dean and Marc Bennell of Blueye, and saw the potential and quality of the brand, and with their military background were keen to promote Blueye to the PMC market and Civilian shooting. Leigh told me; “We knew the usual brands that were out there, we’d worn some of them on Ops ourselves and a few were obviously from contracts awarded to the cheapest tender (!) or just off-theshelf sporting brands that weren’t task specific. Yet here we had a relatively unknown Australian Company designing and manufacturing Mission specific eyewear, not one mission fits all, with Zeiss lenses and exceeding all reputable Mil Specs at a price that isn’t there to pay for the logo. There are a few other good brands out there sure, but there are plenty of cheap pretenders too, and with your eyes there can’t be enough protection, even a small injury can be a threat to your career. So as a PMC you must make sure you check thoroughly what your eyewear is designed and certified for, be that force protection, maritime Ops, MOE etc. and with that in mind, you have to consider Blueye as a priority choice, it’s a nobrainer”
TAC GEAR - BLUEYE EYEPRO
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Interchangeable lens colours: clear & smoke grey. Provides maximum protection against UVA, UVB & UVC Lens coatings: hydro liquid watershield outside & anti fog inside.Cx5 hydro liquid coating provides maximum water dispersion allowing perfect vision from water spray. Frame: flame resistant TPV, maxi seal flame resistant closed cell face foam membrane fitted for comfort. Super cell ventilation system for maximum ventilation and fog free vision Vision: wide field of view for optimum performance Integration: multi helmet compatible including ops-core & protec. NVG & optical sights compatible Quick release goggle strap with silicone nonslip grip and adjustment system Protective goggle sleeve Storage case RX adaptor optional Certified: ballistic high impact protection goggles which meets standards: MIL-DTL 43511. AS/NZS 1337.1. EN 166. ANSI Z87.1
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RX adaptor optional Certified ballistic high impact protection goggles which meets standards: MIL-DTL 43511. AS/NZS 1337.1. EN 166. ANSI Z87.1
The Jagers are super light stealth Ballistic Sunglasses for tactical ops; this is the model that I’ve had on test for a few months now, so I’ll return to them before I conclude. As well as the basic, if you can possibly call it that, model the Jagers are also available in a Low Profile design and with High definition lenses.
These Goggles have been specifically designed to provide superior vision whilst on land operations. There are specific Goggle colours for camouflage in desert, jungle and urban environments. • Goggle frame colour. Desert Tan/Native Green/Matt Black • Interchangeable lenses: colour clear & smoke grey 2.5mm polycarbonate ballistic certified. Visual clarity distortion free certified. Provides maximum protection against UVA, UVB & UVC • Lens coatings: GW anti fog inside & outside • Frame: flame resistant TPV, maxi seal flame resistant closed cell face foam membrane fitted for comfort. Super cell ventilation system for maximum ventilation and fog free vision • Vision: wide field of view for optimum performance • Integration: multi helmet compatible including ops-core & protec. NVG & optical sights compatible • Quick release goggle strap with silicone nonslip grip and adjustment system • Protective goggle sleeve • Storage case
• • • • • • • • • • • •
Exceeds U.S. military ballistic impact requirements for spectacles (MIL-PRF-31013, clause 220.127.116.11) High Impact grilamide Frame material Interchangeable lens system 2.1mm Carl Zeiss precision optics lenses 100% UVA & UVB Frame colour matt black Included lens colours: (clear and smoke) Adjustable nose pad for comfort Low profile temples for ear muff compatibility Retainer strap included Hard Carry Case with included lenses RX adaptor available Certified ANSI Z87.1-2010 ballistic impact and optical requirements, Certified EN166, Certified AS/NZS 1337.1
HIGH ALTITUDE WIDE AND SLIM
As the name would suggest these two Goggles have been specifically developed for “Air Ops”, but have also been designed to provide superior vision whilst on tactical operations. • Goggle frame colour: Matt Black • Frame: TPE material aerodynamically shaped to provide
flexibility and comfort, sealing the eye area from wind, dust, hard particles, insects and spray. Vents within the frame allow air circulation to minimise fogging. • Vision: unrestricted peripheral vision. • Interchangeable vented lenses: colour clear & smoke grey 1.8mm polycarbonate industrial safety certified. Visual clarity distortion free certified. Provides maximum protection against UVA, UVB & UVC Lens coatings: GW anti fog inside & outside Adjustable goggle strap Protective micro fibre lens cleaner & carry case Certified: ANSI Z87.1, EN166 & ASNZS 1337.1
Blueye UK also offer three more models of Sunglasses, the RELOAD. REVOLVER, and RUSH and it will depend on what you like the look of here rather than the protection as all three models offer that in spades, as they are all Certified EN166, Certified ANSI Z87.1-2010 ballistic impact and optical requirements, and Certified AS/NZS 1337.1.
As I mentioned earlier in this article the model that Leigh very kindly provided for me to “use and abuse” were the Jager. I’ve worn a wrap-round style from another manufacturer for years now, and have actually been through three pairs of those; the design and profile of the Jagers is similar, but also a bit more up to date, and certainly for me the fit is very, very good. They are also extremely light at just 30g but in no way feel flimsy. The Glasses I received came in a very nice stiffened hard-case with a zip closure, and a good deal of foam padding internally to keep everything in place. They also arrived with three lenses, clear and smoke, plus High Definition Orange (you can have them without the High Def is you so desire); the lenses are easily and swiftly interchanged by simply removing the cushioned nosepiece, popping a small retaining catch over the bridge, and simply sliding one lens out to replace with another. Also included in the package is a retaining strap and soft lens cloth. The Jagers are extremely comfortable to wear, even over extended periods of time, and I’m pleased to report that I suffered from almost zero fogging, and that’s straight out of the box! Vents within the top of the lenses allow air circulation to actively minimise any buildup of mositure. Now even with the High Definition lens the Jagers retail for UK£150 which is slightly less than the Glasses I’ve worn historically; however, the safety specifications of the Jagers also exceed that of my old ones so they are superb value for money.
Although the range of Goggles and Sunglasses offered by Blueye UK is a very tight one, I truly believe that they have some great looking designs that also offer immense amounts of protection. Whilst they are not the cheapest eyepro on the market in my opinion they sit exactly where they should pricewise, and as Leigh so succinctly pointed out earlier “with your eyes there can’t be enough protection, even a small injury can be a threat to your career”; indeed, you can’t put a price on that, can you? My sincere thanks go to Leigh and Chris for providing the test model, and please be sure to check out www.tacticalgoggles. co.uk for more information on both the models themselves and stockist details.
TAC GEAR - BLUEYE EYEPRO
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TAC GEAR - LOWA BOOTS
MANUFACTURER LOWA TASK FORCE COLLECTION BOOTS
In our opinion there is one piece of gear that you can never scrimp on, and that’s footwear. A good pair of boots provides support and protection from the elements, but you have to have confidence in the brand that you’re buying from; that’s why a number of us at PMCI choose boots from the tried and tested Lowa Task Force range.
OWA have been making boots since 1923 and are a bit of a legend in the footwear world. Over the years they have established themselves as a market leader not just for outdoor boots but especially for their military models. For 90plus years, Lowa have been acclaimed as one of the finest outdoor bootmakers in the world by climbers, mountaineers, hikers, the media and certified quality testers; from the number of Lowa boots you see on the feet of serving soldiers I believe their reputation is just as great there too. Their attention to every detail in design and European manufacturing has earned them a heady reputation for building the world’s most comfortable and durable boots since they started. Lorenz Wagner founded Lowa in the Bavarian village of Jetzendorf near Munich in the 1920’s with the production of brogue oxford shoes. The high quality of the handwork in the Norwegian welt-stitched shoes, a manufacturing process that stemmed from traditional techniques used in the Bavarian mountains required an expansion of the facility in the late 1920’s. In 1930/31 Lowa’s first manufacturing facility was built.
The groundwork was laid for further success with Alpine boots for the mountain infantry as well as lace-up ski boots. Lorenz Wagner passed away in the 1950’s and the second generation of the Wagner family took the business over despite the tough economic troubles during the 1950’s and 1960’s; since that point they have gone from strength to strength! They produce 95% of their footwear in the centre of Europe, following the strictest environmental laws in the world; in fact they are the only outdoor boot manufacturer to be granted ISO 9001 status for highest quality construction and process standards. They purchase materials from European suppliers required to follow the same strict rules when producing their goods and the end product is of the very highest quality possible. Relatively recently we’ve seen the UK MOD start to issue brown boots to be more in line with MTP clothing and uniforms, and Lowa have picked up on this by releasing some of their classic models in “MOD Brown”. Not only does this work well for the soldier but it also means that they are a great general use boot too, steering away from the black “LPCs” of years past. To illustrate why we advocate Lowa boots I’ve picked four models, two for winter and two for warmer climes.
If you were to visit any barracks or base in the UK I guarantee that you would find a high percentage of the serving guys wearing Lowa’s and one of the most sought after models is their classic Mountain Boot. I’ve been lucky enough to have a pair of the new brown Gore Tex lined versions to test over the last couple of winters, and as where I live has seen some of the wettest winters for a long time I’m really glad that I have. The Mountain Boots are designed for use in “rough terrain”, and my local mud over wet chalk is one of the most challenging ground conditions to deal with in my opinion. I’ve put a good number of miles under the soles of the Lowa’s and at no time have they felt anything other than sturdy and solid; the Vibram “Tsavo” sole unit has provided stability even on the worst days with a nice high cuff giving excellent support around the ankle.
Just released to supplement the Mountain Boots is the Ranger II GORE-TEX Thermo Boot. I have several criteria when it comes to what goes on my feet; boots must be lightweight yet supportive, they must be protective without being bulky, and ultimately they need to be waterproof, especially in the winter! Lowa refer to the Ranger as the “baby Mountain Boot”, allying it fully with their flagship model, and claim that “the new LOWA Ranger II GORE-TEX Thermo boots will be the boot that future professionals use”. Identical in most respects to the LOWA Mountain GORE-TEX in specification and style, the key differences are the shorter cuff, Vibram MVS sole and Primaloft thermal lining.
Unbelievably comfortable, no nonsense, hard wearing, easyto-maintain and with all of Lowa’s fantastic boot technology, these are a high performance, surprisingly lightweight boot for the discerning professional for the harshest environments and coldest of weather. You will also be able to interchange the thermal insole supplied with the boot, depending on you specific requirement.
TAC GEAR - LOWA BOOTS
The boots are made 2.4/2.4mm full grain leather which has moulded well to my foot and the Gore Tex Duracom inner has meant that my feet have stayed 100% dry even in snow, long grass and wet undergrowth. Open hook lacing means that you can set up the fit of the boot just as you like it, and once you’ve found your “fit” then everything stays locked down and in place; the foot is anchored solidly in place with no movement or “sloppiness” that will cause blisters. The boots are available in UK 3 – 15 including half sizes.
Overall this is one heck of a boot and I can see now why it has become the choice of the professional soldier and contractor alike. Whilst our lives may not depend on it, this is a fabulously well made boot, put together with the very best of everything. As part of Lowa’s Task Force collection this is a superb all rounder that will take all the punishment you can throw at it and come back for more of the same!
TAC GEAR - LOWA BOOTS
The Ranger II boots are have a board lasted upper with a cemented sole unit ;“lasting” is the shoe making process that sets the final shape of a shoe and holds it in place so the outsole can be permanently attached. Board lasting is a very common process used to make all types of military, hunting and hiking boots or any shoe requiring a stiffer bottom, so this is absolutely the right process and totally fit for purpose. The upper is of full grain 1.8-2mm leather with a Vibram “MVS” sole unit; this specialist unit has a tread design which supports the boot’s stability and gives an ideal roll-through/ push-off motion thanks to special stud configuration. The soft rubber also increases cushioning and comfort. Lacing is kept simple thanks to an open hook layout. Internally is where things get a bit special as well, as the boots benefit from both a Gore Tex MS Rock lining and 200g Primaloft insulation; originally developed to serve the needs of the U.S. Army, who desired a water resistant, synthetic alternative to goose down, PrimaLoft, Inc. is recognized globally as a market leader in thermal technologies so what you’re getting inside the Ranger II is state of the art stuff! Weighing in at 855g a boot in Size 9 ½ these are by no means a heavy boot although they do feel good and stable when worn. The cuff height is slightly lower than other boots in the Task Force range which means you can actually drive in them without restriction and the cuff digging into your Achilles tendon. The toe box is nice and broad (this is important, especially in a winter boot so as not to constrict your toes) whilst the heel cup is supportive without being tight. I’ve not had the opportunity to use theses boots in full winter conditions as yet, but after a couple of month’s wear they have bedded in nicely, and have proved to be very stable when worn in wet and slippery conditions, even under load. I am hoping for some snow again this year, especially so I can really put the Rangers, quite literally, through their paces!
As part of Lowa’s Task Force range I was more than aware that they are highly rated by both UK and US SF alike as a tactical lightweight desert boot. The Zephyr GTX fulfils the requirement for those operating in a lightweight role who require a Gore Tex lining. They feature a slip lasted construction with an injected Lowa “Cross” sole; more of that in a bit. The upper is a clever combination of suede leather (1.4 - 1.6 mm) and Cordura, and
The time comes when it’s right to say a sad farewell to a much used, and much loved pair of boots; I’d had my ultralightweight, Gore Tex lined boots for nigh on five years but sadly they went the way of all flesh. Even with regular and scrupulous maintenance all things degrade, especially if you wear them on a nearly daily basis.
So it was a couple of years back that I found myself coming out of the winter months, looking forward to a summer of range days and shows, without a pair of lightweight boots in the gear pile. The thought of having to break in a new pair always fills me with dread as well so I was extremely careful in my search for a new pair. One model of boot that I found myself returning to time and again was the Zephyr from Lowa; I’d been using their full leather Mountain Boot for a while and it had performed, and continues to perform, exceptionally well. Having become something of a Lowa “fanboy” I decided that the Zephyr GTX could well be the replacement I was looking for!
The Lowa Elite light Boot is Lowa’s new flagship lightweight boot, and it’s ideal for a full day on the range, long foot patrols or tabbing. With its lightweight construction along with the exceptionally high quality materials used in the build it’s the perfect blend of Lowa’s military quality and light weight that is ideal for modern tactical users. Built using full grain leather at 2.2-2.4mm thick in all areas, the open hook lacing system allows for quick on/off which is especially ideal at the end of a long, gruelling day. The Vitatex lining allows for comfort and dryness in all situations and the Vibram Aconcagua sole means that you can be assured you will keep sure-footed wherever you may find yourself; this top-notch outsole from another market leader provides excellent control on all surfaces, with special cleat orientation for perfect grip. The boots also offer great cushioning and have a microbe-resistant EVA midsole. These boots offer comfort and protection for everyday use; weighing in at just 1200g a pair, and available in UK sizes 6-13, I‘m really looking forward to putting these through their paces in the colder, wetter months of the year. What I can tell you after two straight months of use is that they mould quickly to your foot, work very well, offer great support and continue Lowa’s tradition of making great military and tactical boots perfectly. With an impeccable heritage, and by using their experience to work with the very best components and material technologies available today Lowa truly have something in their range to suit every possible theatre of operations; whatever your footwear requirement Lowa are certain to have a model in their extensive range to cater for you. If you’re in the market for a new pair of boots then you should seriously check boots from the Lowa Task Force Collection out! My thanks go to www.lowamilitaryboots.com for supplying the test and evaluation models; if you’re in the UK these are great guys to do business with, but wherever you are in the world simply type “Lowa Military” into your search and you’ll find your Country’s distributor easily.
TAC GEAR - LOWA BOOTS
a full Gore Tex VISION 3LY inner lining ensures waterproofness. They weigh in at a meagre 1120g per pair, with a very supportive mid height cuff; the foot is held firmly in place courtesy of closed hook lacing. The Zephyr also features Lowa’s innovative MONOWRAP® 2 sole unit construction with a firm 7/8 TPU stabilizer is the most stable and offers optimal traction and perfect support with its high-quality surface materials. The system features a PU heel stabiliser, a PU-Frame, an additional plastic stabiliser and the “Cross” outsole. The plastic stabiliser element features in all Lowa multi-functional footwear, improving ankle and joint stability and torsional rigidity. All in all the Zephyr GTX has everything I look for in a lightweight boot, but the performance has shocked me very pleasantly indeed. The new boots arrived about two weeks before IWA 2014 show in Germany; I try to travel with just hand luggage so boots are always worn on the plane. The show is vast and it’s more than possible to be covering quite literally miles a day, so the correct footwear choice is paramount. I’d been wearing the Zephyrs on and off in the run up to the show, and they’d given me enough confidence to take the leap of faith and take them to Germany, and in no way did they disappoint! Wearing them almost straight out of the box for four full 0630 to 2200 working days left me with no blisters or pressure points, no overly tired feet and a massive respect for the design team at Lowa! I’ve continued to wear them on an almost daily basis to date, and have now subjected them to some pretty foul conditions; in all situations they have performed admirably. The Lowa Zephyr GTX is also now available in a slightly darker coloured Coyote Tan version for use with UK MTP or multicam coloured types of uniform and clothing, but I have to say that given the sporty look of them they look pretty sharp with a pair of tan cargos or even jeans too! Lowa have recently introduced a new lightweight category within their Task Force Collection to offer even more of a range to the professional user, and they continue to increase their line of military and tactical boots which is making a lot of us users very happy indeed.
MEET THE MAKER: 0241 TACTICAL
At PMCI we are always interested in looking at unique manufacturers that create those specialist bits of kit that we all need, but that are sometimes hard to find. A few years back I started speaking to Sean from 0241 Tactical in the USA and it’s been my pleasure to watch his company go from strength to strength!
ometimes it seems to me that the only things some people are interested in is the latest bit of “tac-gucci” kit to come to market, irrelevant of whether it actually works or not. I’m therefore always delighted to meet good folk who have “been there, done that, and got many T-shirts” and turned their hard-won knowledge to creating quality gear that really serves a purpose. When I first met Sean from 0241 Tactical he was still a serving Marine, but one that had already started turning his wealth of knowledge into some righteous bits of “snivel gear”, those little items that can add up to making a huge difference to your comfort in harsh conditions and letting you perform optimally. What I also found especially interesting was that 0241 tactical have never shied away from working with cutting edge and unique camouflage patterns, and also with classic patterns like ERDL and Desert Tiger Stripe which have been proven to work effectively. As you read deeper into this interview with Sean you’ll see that this is an ongoing process. I’m always keen to get under the skin of a story, so Sean kindly agreed to answer some questions of who 0241 Tactical are, where they’ve come from, and where they are heading. This is what he had to tell me.
PMCI: Do you work with military and police personnel or just civilians? 0241: We cater to everyone that we can sell to legally and in good conscience. We’ve had orders from Police Departments worldwide and in 2013 we got our first large military purchase from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group in Virginia. We’ve been serving them regularly ever since. We also supply the US Air Force SERE School in Washington with our products on a regular basis. We’ve supplied various military units from around the world including American customers in Iraq. We’re pretty open to supplying anyone as long as we’re not shipping to countries whose principles are contrary to our own or precluded by law. PMCI: What exactly do you specialise in? 0241: We started off making small yet items (Neck Gaiters, Goggle Covers etc) but we’ve grown into Tarpaulins (Basha Shelters) and clothing. Given that it’s very difficult to mass produce uniforms in the United States we feel that we’re pushing that as much as we can with our Tactical Operator’s Pullovers (TOPs) and Tactical Over Trousers (TOTs). We’ve formed alliances with other US manufacturers such as HeadOnTactical to provide tactical gear in the same patterns our products are made in to give the customer more of what they are looking for in one place. So we’re kind of a shotgun blast of gear and equipment not specialising in one item. PMCI: I know that you work with excellent camouflage patterns and pattern developers; can you tell me more about this? 0241: We work with the makers of many patterns buying direct from the factories here in the United States. We communicate constantly with PenCott and A-TACS (and many others) working
MEET THE MAKER: 0241 TACTICAL
PMCI: So Sean, in your own words please tell me what led you to set up 0241 Tactical? 0241: My wife (a Military Veteran) and I started 0241Tactical when I was serving in the (US) Marine Corps. When I was deployed, I noticed we were always having to invent items that we were not issued to help get by in the desert. When we were dealing with sand storms everyone would pull up their t-shirt over the mouth and nose and would use a cut-up sock to cover their goggles. While this worked, it wasn’t ideal, and I always thought it wouldn’t be too much for the government to create some facial protection for us. So we started our product line off of very simple yet useful items (Neck Gaiters and Goggle Covers) to help protect personnel and their equipment from the elements while enhancing their camouflage scheme. PMCI: When and where did you start making your products? 0241: We began our store in 2011 while living in San Diego. We started making a few items and they sold quickly on eBay so we ordered more material and sold more. It’s been snowballing into more and more products and eventually we morphed into our own webstore (www.0241Tactical.com) and the business has become a fulltime occupation for us. PMCI: Who do you see as your target customer for your products? 0241: When we started off we envisioned primarily military personnel utilising our gear. However, as we expanded our camouflage patterns into non-issue military patterns we saw an opportunity for security service contractors, law enforcement, hunters, and the recreational community to use our products. We target military and law enforcement for our products but if other communities can use them, then that’s great.
MEET THE MAKER: 0241 TACTICAL
to be at the top of the list whenever a new pattern becomes available. PenCott has been great to work with because due to my geographic location (next to one of the US Printers) we’re able to work with PenCott to develop new materials not typically available and provide cool products to our customers. Our neck gaiters, balaclavas, and caps are an example of this. We saw a shortfall where a good material was needed and PenCott worked with us and the printer to develop a great material to meet that need. PMCI: More recently I see that you’ve been working closely with DEPSOC; could you tell me more about that specifically? 0241: DEPSOC Camouflage has quickly become my favorite pattern. I first saw DEPSOC at Shot Show 2013 and was at first taken back thinking what is this pattern? Real-Tree? Tiger Stripe? Both? It wasn’t; it was so much more. It’s a more complex and more effective pattern given the pattern’s three dimensional look. The more I looked at DEPSOC, the more I saw its effectiveness. As luck would have it, in 2015, I met the owner and began working with him to energize the DEPSOC brand for the tactical and military markets. DEPSOC has seen use with in the commercial hunting market but the pattern was developed for the military and that is what we’re primarily focusing on at the moment. Military snipers needed a pattern to break up the human silhouette at longer distances than typical military patterns can. DEPSOC Clothing has been available but was designed with hunters in mind. The uniforms were not Mil-Spec in construction or design so we developed a line of gear that meets the military/tactical specifications. DEPSOC is available in a variety of patterns for different environments. DEPSOC has created an All-Terrain Camouflage (ATC), Desert, and an Arctic pattern with military users in mind. DEPSOC camouflage patterns are feasible for military applications (worldwide use versus specialised to one geographic location). As I write this to you, we have both All-Terrain Camo and Old Desert Camo in production in ACU Style uniforms (as well as combat shirts) with another 0241Tactical partner. These should be ready commercially by end of December but certainly before Shot Show 2017. Additionally, 0241Tactical developed its own suit (tops and bottoms) in DEPSOC as well as boots, caps, balaclavas, and various other tactical gear. This means we can outfit a customer from head to toe in DEPSOC Camouflage right now. I’m excited
to see DEPSOC progress as it is gaining more and more traction with the US Military. DEPSOC owns its own textile printing operation which allows 0241Tactical to service military, law enforcement, and civilian personnel with individual or large orders. This beats the traditional business model of introducing a new pattern and hoping it gets picked up by enough manufacturers to make all of the different components needed for a complete kit. 0241Tactical working with DEPSOC, can provide a one-stop shop for a complete DEPSOC kit. No need to hunt around in various stores looking for gear. PMCI: You make a lot of your products to your own designs; what’s the process there? 0241: Yes, we develop our own products through trial and error until we feel the product is ready to release. Even after we’ve had a product released we may go back and modify or upgrade them based off of new manufacturing abilities or materials. It’s always a work in progress with the goal of constant improvement. PMCI: I know that you have a tie-in now with some other premium brands; who are they? 0241: First I’m tied to DEPSOC. Not contractually but ethically tied. Based off of my 20+ years of service in the military I can see this pattern has tremendous potential and I’d love to get it in the hands of the military. That’s why I push DEPSOC so much. However we feel at 0241 Tactical that there’s room for all patterns. We don’t abstain from producing any one pattern based off of our own opinions. Everyone has their favorite patterns and we want to provide all our products in those patterns. Long story short; we work with A-TACS, Multicam, PenCott, Covert, Kryptek as well as other patterns like MARPAT and Navy AOR patterns. We’re always looking for new patterns to get into as long as there is a demand for it.
PMCI: Where do you see 0241 Tactical evolving in the future? 0241: Bigger, better. We want to provide expanded camo patterns to choose from at 0241 Tactical becoming a one stop shop for all of your camouflage kit needs. We’re expanding our US based sewing contractors to provide our customers more products, more quickly, with ever increasing quality. I’m enjoying this business and when we support military and law enforcement personnel it’s rewarding to me on a very personal level. I don’t see us going anywhere but upward in the future. PMCI: If someone reading this article likes the sound of what you offer, what should be their next step? 0241: Check out our website at www.0241Tactical.com and if you don’t see what you want, email us at sales@0241Tactical. com and let us know what you’re looking for and in what pattern/material. If we can get it, and it’s feasible, we’ll work with you. If you need a large order for your unit please hit us up we can support that too. PMCI: Thanks so much for talking to us Sean. We wish you continued success with the new designs and patterns, and certainly look forward to seeing you at SHOT in January!
BY TRAMPAS SWANSON
Like most red blooded American men, I remember as a boy starting out each Saturday foregoing early morning cartoons in order to dial into my local pro wrestling affiliate, the National Wresting Alliance broadcast from the OMI Dome located in Atlanta, GA in front of a live audience. Back in the 80’s, pro wrestlers were generally far from the sculpted athletes we see on television today, but more like “dad bodied” middle age men in tighty whitey wrestling trunks.
hen I was 8 years old, one of the truest expressions of raw power and aggression came into my life in the form of two massive 280lb+ men with a very non-traditional look. Taking their tag team name from a recently released movie, the Road Warriors didn’t just walk to the ring, bow and linger like the other wrestlers did. Instead, these two monsters slowly stepped to the edge of the entrance way to the sounds of Iron Maiden’s “Iron Man” and once they locked eyes on their prey, it was an all-out sprint to the ring like a pair of brahma bulls and they literally destroyed their dumpy shaped opponents in a matter of seconds. Road Warrior Hawk, sporting a reverse Mohawk haircut along with black & red spiral face paint, was sleek and powerful weighing in at around 280lbs, shaped like a pro body builder with a strong but technical approach with a few “off
TECH AND TOOLS: KRYPTEIA KNIVES
the top rope” moves. Hawk’s partner, Road Warrior Animal with his very pronounced traditional Mohawk and spider themed face paint was shaped like a champion powerlifter, weighing close to 310lbs, preferred to press full grown men above his head and hold them their until he was bored before proceeding to slam them to the mat! While it’s true that pro wrestling then and now is full scripted, the raw power and elegance in the performance these two men exhibited was 100% real and cutting edge for their time. The impact on pro wrestling in which their careers ultimately had, would lead to how those who came afterwards would style themselves. You may ask what this has to do with a knife but seeing these two men so unlike their contemporaries and the lasting impression they left was a feeling I hadn’t had again until I saw the blades produced by a company from Iceland by the name of Krypteia Knives. Two weeks prior to the knife industry’s BLADE SHOW in Atlanta, Georgia in June of this year, I came across the Facebook site for Krypteia Knives while doing some related research for another article. What I found was a knife company located in Iceland, who regularly makes the trip to the US for BLADE SHOW. While scanning through the company’s photo album of production blades, I discovered two knives that stood out from the rest and truly gave me the “WOW” factor. As I looked these two knives over; each had their own unique qualities while still equally impressing me so much, and I felt like the kid sitting in front of the TV years ago watching the Road Warriors do their thing. I immediately contacted the company’s owner and blade maker, Evangelos Tsagkouros, about reviewing one of his creations. After speaking with Evangelos back and forth, I learned the inspiration for all of his knives is taken from Greek history and myths in what he calls the Time of Heroes. The goal of each knife is not just to be a collectors item but to give the true warriors who may use them a handheld brother in arms that will not fail them. This is the mentality I could really sink my mind into!
TECH AND TOOLS: KRYPTEIA KNIVES
pmcimagazine.com Evangelos stated he would be glad to send anything I needed to make this project happen and wished to know which blade would be reviewed. When I told him that I honestly had a hard time deciding between the Lakedaemon and the newly released Ladon, there was no further discussion, he immediately offered to send both for us to decide which would be the best choice. Once Blade Show was over, I received a package in the mail from Evangelos containing both blades, each with a kydex sheath. As I removed both blades for inspection, the “Wow” factor was definitely present! These razor sharp creations were sleek and powerful in appearance while maintaining a comfortable balance and controllability. Since both blades were so impressive in their own way, I decided to review both for this article.
First, we take a look at the Lakedaemon, named for the mythical King of Sparta and son of Zeus and Taygete. This knife has a 10 inch flowing design from end to end featuring a swooping 5.39 inches of inward curving blade perfect for close quarter combat work. Built from 01 Tool Steel, Krypteia Knives start from bar stock with the intent to make sure this blade will endure anything the user can throw at it without fail if or when a situation goes south. The spine leading down to the comfortable G10 grips offers a good bit of “beef” in the overall full tang design measuring .2 inches across. While the thickness isn’t overly wide, it provides a very supportive frame for a knife this size. The curve of the grip nestles up well into the palm of the hand combined with the isolated index finger groove aids in retaining the knife even when wet or bloody. For added control of the blade while cutting, Krypteia has machined deep serrations into the spine for very secure thumb traction. For those who prefer the use of a lanyard for knife retention, the Lakedaemon offers a generous sized lanyard hole through the bottom end of the grip. The knife’s balance puts complete control of the blade direction over the index finger in order to use its reach with quick, precise strikes on target. When handling the Lakedaemon, it is clear to the experienced end user that it was purposely designed for the skilled knife fighter. The upward curving tip is rigid enough for forward thrusts while the inward curving belly assists in trapping muscle and tendons while grappling up close. At the rear tip of the grip, the Lakedaemon also offers additional grooves for a secure thumb traction when working from the reverse grip. You can have the knife finished in flat dark earth Cerakote, Krypteia offers all their knives with this option for an extra US$15, or choose the traditional Gun Blue. Accompanying the knife was a very well made, form fitting Kydex sheath. The design of this sheath offered very good blade retention while still being able to deploy it quickly under stress. The eyelets down each side of the sheath allowed for the knife to be laced into the Molle equipped tactical gear I usually run on the range during training and out in the field. Retailing for US$285.00, the Lakedaemon is moderately priced compared to other fighting blades of its size and construction in the market.
Named for a serpent-like dragon that twined and twisted around the tree in the Garden of the Hesperides and guarded the golden apples in the tales of Heracles, the Ladon blade is a monster in its own right. Like its counterpart, the Lakedaemon, the knife is built from 01 Tool Steel to provide this beast with the strength needed for any of its intended purposes. Measuring almost a full 10 inches of overall length, the Ladon features a broad-bellied, upsweeping 4.7 inch blade. Every inch of this knife screams two things: Aggressive and Powerful! While the Lakedaemon can be used as an elegant, scalpellike precise instrument, the Echidna favors the down and dirty “in the trenches” type fighter. The Ladon is the perfect “Yin” to the Lakedaemon’s “Yang”. With a major focus on hand to hand combat and firearms marksmanship fundamentals, most end users will not have a very extensive background in knife fighting (if at all). Regardless if this is due to limited training time or funding, the Ladon lends itself to use as a brawling tool. First and foremost, the feature which set off the Ladon from the rest of Krypteia’s other knives is the presence of an aggressively serrated index finger ring at the base of the blade. In a close quarter situation, this feature could easily be used as brass knuckle-type fist enhancement during a forward strike. Moving to the opposite end of the grip, the Ladon offers a ¼ inch of exposed tang which features a lanyard hole and more serrations rounding the end point for anchoring the thumb during a reverse grip usage. With the high grade steel construction of the Ladon’s full tang design, this blade is built to deliver quite a pounding to one’s intended target with forward strikes and slashing as well as with the robust exposed striking tip of the tang.
The drop point blade design makes the Ladon a handy utility knife for general purpose use as well as fighting. The razor sharp edge cuts like a chef’s knife despite the finger ring tending to be a bit obstructive for fine culinary work. The full outward belly of the blade aids in skinning large game and cutting through tough tendons. Like the Lakedaemon, the Ladon arrived with a handy Kydex sheath ready to be lashed onto any gear needed. Retailing for US$270 with its traditional Gun Blue finish, the Ladon is priced in the upper 25% of the utility/combat blade market. Keep in mind, the Ladon is built from stronger materials than most of its class and offers one of the more aggressive designs as well. This blade would work great for the contractor or military operator looking for a rock solid knife to include as standard load out item in their kit.
Over the few months of working with the Lakedaemon and Ladon’s creator, Evangelos Tsagkouros and Krypteia Knives, I have come to learn a great deal about his company. Evangelos’ kindness and willingness to assist in any way possible at all hours of the day and night due to time differences has made this project one of the most enjoyable I can remember in my writing career. When a Greek, building high end knives in Iceland can come together with a North Carolina country boy living in Florida, USA to work on a double knife review for a UK based publication, I call that international diplomacy! Through cutting wood, leather, fishing line, raw meat and a few unfortunate fingers, I can honestly say these blades from Krypteia are legitimate tools ready for tactical / practical use around the globe. To learn more about the Lakedaemon, Ladon or any of the other great blades created by Evangelos’ company, visit them at www.krypteiaknives.com. As for my final thought on the Krypteia Knives, in the immortal words of a now deceased Road Warrior Hawk; “Whhhhhhattttttttt A RUSHHHHHH!!!!!”
TECH AND TOOLS: KRYPTEIA KNIVES
I recommend this blade for those who are a true student of knife fighting and respect the technical aspects of the Lakedaemon’s design and ease of handling. While, it wouldn’t be my first choice for camping, I would take it into any close quarter combat situation.
JOINING THE SIG SAUER LEGION: 226 / 229 In the world of the true modern warrior, there are view names in the military special ops, law enforcement and private contracting fields as highly regarded when it comes to the traditional double action combat pistol as Sig Sauer. Often heralded in the industry as being the “professional’s choice”, Trampas tells us that Sig Sauer continues to expand their catalogue of new and updated models using the direct feedback obtained by these real world users.
n late 2015, Sig Sauer launched the new “Legion” series of firearms in the spirit of those elite operators around the world and the great Roman armies that are credited for personifying the “warrior mentality”. Currently, the Legion series consists of three pistol models (226, 226 SAO and 229) offered in three calibres (9mm, .357 Sig, and .40 S&W). For those of you not familiar with the standard versions of these pistols, the 226 has over the years become the yardstick to which most combat side arms are measured. The SAO models are basically the same pistol, but with a single action only trigger much like the classic 1911 in its action. The model 229, like the SAO, is based off the 226 but roughly 1 inch shorter in the barrel and grip to give shooters a slightly more compact 226. Recently, Sig Sauer shipped both the 226 and 229 from their Legion series for testing and evaluation. Both pistols were chambered in the NATO standard 9x19 along with several boxes of their SIG target (FMJ)and carry ammunition (JHP). Aside from the SIG provided ammo, I ran over 300 rounds of 115 grain (FMJ) ammunition from Fancy Brass Company (www.fancybrassco. com) as well. This has always proven to be reliable in any pistol I have tested and would show me if any malfunctions are
226 Factory Specs • • • • • • • • • •
Calibre: 9mm, .357 Sig, or .40 S&W Action Type: DA/SA Trigger Pull: 10 lbs. DA/ 4.4 lbs. SA Overall Length: 7.7” Overall Height: 5.5” Overall Width: 1.5” Barrel Length: 4.4” Weight w/Mag: 34 oz. Mag Capacity: 15 Rounds (9mm), 12 Rounds (.357 SIG), 12 Rounds (.40 S&W) Sights: X-Ray Day/Night Sights
To find the right way to properly carry the Legion 226 and 229, I immediately started pondering long and hard on what sort of high quality rig I wanted to use for daily carry weeks before
ammunition or firearm issues. Over the next 120 days, we took a hard look at this new Legion series to see if it held up to the high standards Sig has earned. In the end, we would discover if the Legion pistols would be carrying their shields or just end up being carried off the range on them.
229 Factory Specs • • • • • • • • • •
Calibre: 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
the Sig pistols arrived for testing. With both pistols being the same dimensions other than barrel length and a slight grip length, one holster would be able to fit either gun I decided to carry each day. About two weeks before testing began I was attending a local outdoor trade show when I meet a fantastic holster maker, David Burns of Greystone Leather. Through our conversation at the show, I discovered David and I shared a lot of the same views on the industry and love of high quality gun rigs. On display in Greystone Leather’s booth, there were beautiful examples of traditional leather and exotic leather belts, holsters and magazine carriers. With products built from cow, shark, alligator and ostrich, I was absolutely mesmerized by the supple textures, high quality stitching and beautifully finished edges. When I spoke to David about my opportunity to carry the Sig Legion pistols daily, he was more than happy to offer assistance with a sturdy leather gun rig. A few weeks later, what I received to try out with the SIG was much more than I had expected, it was a work of art! Looking over the new belt, holster and spare mag carrier, I was very impressed with the thick, rich American alligator leather finished in a deep black colour which reflected the intricate grain and textures. My experience with thick leathers in the past has always been very stiff in the beginning and needing several weeks of break in time. What I discovered with the rig from Greystone Leather (www.greystoneleather.com) was the exact opposite. The belt was pliable and immediately comfortable from the first day I wore it with the matching holster and spare magazine carrier. I chose to go with an on the belt configuration or OWB due to fall arriving and I would be wearing a lot of untucked, longer style shirts and sweatshirts soon. If appearance would ever play a factor, this rig would be the one I would specially carry outside the waistband just because of how beautiful the leather was! Despite the Legion 226 being a full size gun, it carried extremely comfortably over the 120 day period for over 12 hours a day. The open top design held the gun snug to the body while still allowing a very fast draw from the 3 and 4 o’ clock positions. The pistols redesigned and re-contoured beaver tail greatly helped reduce printing from other model 226 pistols I have carried. When carrying the 229 the same way on the belt with a shirt pulled over it, I could wear it further back on the belt between the 4 and 5 o’ clock position without printing. The spare magazine carrier fitted well on the belt opposite of the holster and kept the magazine close enough to the body to not snag on clothing or arm chairs when seated, but exposed the top of the mag clearly enough to be acquired quickly without having to take my eyes off the target. The function was definitely as impressive as the appearance over the test period.
Over the past three months, the SIG Legion 226 and 229 pistols saw a lot of time on the range at the secret squirrel training facility located in North Florida referred to as The Swamp. My co-workers, fellow outdoor writer, Craig Reinolds and camera / video specialist, Eric Adam assisted in several testing sessions in which we ran standard accuracy tests, malfunction drills, combat scenarios to put the Legion series through their paces. With the 226, the extra barrel length is only barely noticeable in balance when shooting. It was not until I switched to shooting the 229 more often that I felt the more
compact size to be better balanced. Beyond 20 yards to 30 yards, I could tell my offhand shots on 6-inch steel platers were more accuracy and quick to break with the 226. When moving from Full Metal Jacket SIG target ammo to the SIG Jacketed Hollow points, the combat accuracy was the same but I could feel a slight bit of “snap” in the recoil of the personal protection rounds. The main difference between the two would be in the V-Crown hollow points loaded “hotter” to ensure good penetration with the exposed cavity rounds compared to the round nose full metal jacket rounds. The ammo from Fancy Brass Co. performed just as superbly as all their past products we have tested thus far. I have been very impressed with the affordable cost and superb performance I have seen from this small company. The rounds shot clean and accurate with no “fall off” or reduction in performance after shooting the SIG ammo.
Coming from a long background with 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. 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. I was very impressed with how tight the pistols locked up and functioned even after crossing the 1000 round and 2000 round marks over the test period. As far as nice, clean groupings on a one-way flat range, I found both pistols reached full potential only after the initial 300 – 400 rounds. From a bench rest, the 226 shot under a 2 inch group consistently at 25 yards while the 229 varied between ¼” to ½” larger groupings. One feature I did not care for in the redesign of the Legion series 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 pistols, I started 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 of experience with older models of the 226 and 229, I can tell you first hand, 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!
As fun as the Sig 226 and 229 pistols were to shoot, these two guns are only the tip of the iceberg as to things to come with the Legion series. 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 shooter 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! What will often be brought up in every review is the cost of admission to what some writers have dubbed the Legion series as the “cool kid club”. The MSRP for the Legion 226 or 229 is around US$1350 and can be found in most stores for roughly US$100 less. With most of the other versions of either model such as the Elite and Tac Ops running between US$1100 and US$1200, I don’t see where the usual voiced complaint of the Legion series pistols pricing by some reviewers originates. Given the redesign and performance of a highly reliable handgun, readers must keep in mind that most top end performing firearms command a much higher price tag.
RANGE WRAP UP
HANDGUN CHOICE REVOLVER OR SEMI-AUTO? Today’s handguns are used for a multitude of applications of fire from target sports, hunting, home and personal defence both Military and Law enforcement applications. This time Andy advises that choosing the right tool for the job is not something that we should approach carelessly, especially if we intend to use the weapon as a tool for defence and the protection of others!
My personal choice, or should I say my favourite handgun, is the revolver but due to the nature of my work I would only consider a revolver as an emergency back-up weapon and not something I would carry as my first choice in the line of duty. It’s important to know and understand how and why different handguns, and their ammunition, work and the effects that they have on the shooters ability to fire them along with results on target. As this article reflects on the handgun itself, I don’t want to go into the different calibres and ballistics of the ammunition, but rather focus on the differences between revolvers and semi-automatics. Revolvers and semi-automatic handguns manufactured today are a popular choice amongst many of us. But you should know which type of handgun is best for the right application of fire and also why. If you find yourself living or working in a high risk environment you may want to choose a semi-automatic handgun. The semi-auto can accommodate more rounds than that of the revolver and is easier to reload with speed. Likewise, for those that live or work in a place of little concern, a revolver may be all that you need to carry. So if semi-automatics
hold more rounds and are easier and faster to reload, why are revolvers still a valuable weapon to consider? Revolvers get their name from the revolving cylinder fitted inside the frame of the gun. This revolving cylinder contains the live rounds that are ready for firing. The cylinder is loaded manually and depending on the design, depend on how it’s loaded. Most single action revolvers are loaded one round at a time. Double action revolves have a cylinder that swings out and away from the frame. This type of revolver can be loaded one round at a time or with all the rounds being inserted at the same time via a speed loader. Semi-automatic handguns load, extract and eject the rounds via the guns mechanism. The shooter must make the handgun ready for firing the first shot by pulling the slide to the rear stripping the first round from the magazine and chambering it. The Revolver is basically a load, point and shoot or a fire and forget tool. There is no safety device or complex procedures to get the revolver up and running once the rounds are loaded in the cylinder, Semi-automatics on the other hand, require several procedures to get them into action and this can lead to some mistakes being made on the part of the operator.
FEEDING THE BEAST
Semi-automatics can carry up to 20 or more rounds in their removable magazine, however most revolvers only carry 6 rounds at best. Once fired, the revolver retains the spent cartridges and are kept in the cylinder until they are ejected manually by the shooter. The semi-automatic ejects the spent cartridge before the next live round in the magazine is chambered, a process that is much quicker than ejecting spent cases manually before the next set of live rounds can be introduced to the weapon. Revolvers can use almost any round so long as it’s of the correct calibre and that includes “wadcutter” rounds which will cause a malfunction in most semi-automatic handguns. Revolvers can also be loaded with certain interchangeable rounds with cases of different length but of the same calibre. Something the semi-automatic is incapable of. Stoppages and malfunctions are near impossible with a revolver; if at any time you find you have a dud round it can be cleared simply by pulling the trigger and indexing the next round in the cylinder. The worst stoppage experienced with a revolver, although very uncommon and shooter induced, is a failure to eject. This is caused when the rim of the spent round has slipped under the ejection star when the spent casings are pushed out of the cylinder with the ejection rod. This is a stoppage that needs time to clear, time you won’t have in a gun fight, and you may need the tools of a gunsmith. Semi-automatics have a tendency to suffer from stoppages and malfunctions from time to time, due to the complex procedure of the automatic firing, cocking and loading sequence. With single and double action semi-automatics
you have to pull the slide to the rear and lock it back in position to clear a malfunction. This as you can appreciate takes the gun out of the fight until the problem has been solved. Single/double action (SA/DA) and double action only (DA) semi-automatics will allow more than one firing pin strike on the primer of a round if it fails to fire. The semi-automatic uses a separate removable box magazine to hold the rounds. This magazine can be slow to fill, yet they are easy and quick to reload by replacing an empty magazine with a fully loaded one. The magazine is located in the handgun’s frame, usually in the grip. Depending on the semi-automatics model and calibre the rounds will be arranged in either single or double columns within the magazine. The semi-automatics magazine, due to its flat construction, is also more ergonomic to carry than the revolvers bulky circular speed loader. One of the downsides to this is the cost of magazines and the amount of magazines you carry. Like the handgun they fit you will need to clean and maintain them regularly, replace broken or worn parts and retain them once empty in order to refill them for the next shoot. Revolvers, being simpler in design and construction, tend to be more robust than the semi-automatic handgun. The semi-automatic handgun, with more working parts, has a tendency to be more prone to damage and wear than that of a revolver; however that is not to say that the semi-automatic is not constructed to a high standard of quality. The materials used in some modern semi-automatics are made of light-weight materials, such as alloys and advanced polymers; this makes them lighter and more comfortable to carry over longer periods of time.
Revolvers are machined from stronger metals due to the more powerful rounds that can be used in them. The weight saved using advanced materials and lightweight alloys, in revolver construction, would be minimal as most of the weight in the revolver comes from the barrel and cylinder. How you carry your handgun is a matter of choice. The bulkiness of the revolvers frame and cylinder can cause problems when in the concealed carry position causing printing of the gun under the concealing garment. Semi-automatics are slimmer in build and are easier to conceal. There are many different ways the handgun can be carried and I will cover this at a later date. Revolvers have very few exposed moving parts and rarely need to be stripped down for cleaning and maintenance. Semiautomatics have to be disassembled for cleaning, which can be difficult and there is always a risk of losing or breaking components in the field. One of the more common fails with semi-autos is turning up at the range for practice and finding that you have left your magazines at home, something that will never happen with a revolver.
MAKE YOUR DECISION COUNT!
Deciding what handgun is best for you and your intended use will not be an easy one. However it is an important one. Competition guns can be replaced if they are not up to the job, but a handgun that is used for protection and home defence must cut the grade. You may not get a second chance. Your life and the lives of those you are protecting should be a considering factor when purchasing a new weapon. Don’t go for the one that looks cool or the cheapest or even the one that comes highly recommended, try out many different handguns. What might be right for many others might not be right for you. If your weapon is department issued then
I’m afraid you’ll have to make do if it’s not to your liking or if the fits not right. If you do have a choice then make the right one as it might be your last. Train with your handgun as much as possible whether it’s dry firing or live. Shooting the handgun is a skill, a skill that needs to be mastered just like any other survival skill. A confident and well-practiced hand-gunner is one that walks away at the end of a fight.
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SKILLS AND DRILLS: CONCEALED CARRY
SKILLS AND DRILLS: CONCEALED CARRY In the July 2016 issue of PMCI firearms trainer Andy looked closely at considerations when choosing a holster, including the Fobus Universal Inside the Waistband (ISW) holster. In this issue he takes a look at the use of the ISW holster and how to overcome some simple mistakes when carrying a handgun concealed.
irst off we need to think about when and where we can carry concealed. Although there in many parts of the world there is no law that states we can’t carry our handguns concealed, it is important for us all to be responsible for our actions and not cause any alarm to the public. It is my advice that you don’t carry any gun concealed on your person in a public place unless you can prove your intentions, such as travelling to and from a range or personal protection in a hostile environment. Also never carry a gun, any gun, loaded unless you are sufficiently trained to do so and understand the legal ramifications that any use will have. With that out the way I will continue. Almost any handgun can be carried concealed, but the best ones are those with a small and slim frame. The smaller the gun better. A Walther PPKs is far much easier to conceal and carry than a Desert Eagle for instance and the handgun needs to be as light as possible if you intend to carry it for long periods of time. I’m quite a big chap and the biggest handgun I would carry is a Glock; anything else larger than this would start to cause problems such as “printing” (“Printing” is where the gun shows its shape through the garment you are wearing to conceal it). Even in a good holster, if the gun is too big for your build, then the gun will show.
Once you have found a suitable size handgun, you need to find a suitable concealment holster. The Inside Waist Band (ISW) holster is the most popular as it is cheap and, if fitted correctly, will last you for years to come. The other benefit is that if you are already accustomed to carrying strong side hip, the holster and gun are in the same position as would be if you were carrying open and this is a far better choice as muscle memory doesn’t have to be worked on. The holster also needs to be of a good quality. It is up to you, the wearer, what material the holster is to be made out of but I have found that a leather holster if far more comfortable to wear over long periods than a Kydex or ABS. The Fobus UISW holster is however in my opinion an exception to this. Now that you have decided on your handgun size and have a suitable holster, the next thing to consider is your choice of clothing. If you are caring strong side hip with an ISW holster, then there are some things to be aware of. Firstly, some people tend to wear the gun and holster next to the skin. There is nothing wrong with this choice but, be aware that the holster and gun may rub the skin and make you sore. Also, the sweat produced by the holster and gun being next to your skin can cause the gun to rust over time. My choice of carry is next to a garment tucked in between my skin and the holster, as this stops the gun rubbing the skin, and also sweat building up on the gun itself. The garment between the skin and gun should be of a colour to match the gun. This will, in
wear. This solves two problems; first the gun will not print and second the procedure that you will need to access the gun will be hindered if the garment is too close fitting.
The first procedure for drawing the gun from the holster is the â€œHackathorn Ripâ€?, named after Ken Hackathorn, the master of this draw. This draw is used when a garment needs to be lifted in order to access the gun. We must always remember to be safe when drawing a gun from the holster, so keep in mind the safety rules for safe gun handling.
SKILLS AND DRILLS: CONCEALED CARRY
effect, help camouflage the gun if it is accidentally exposed. The black grip on a gun will be easily seen if the under garment is white for instance. (For the purpose of this article I have taken the photos with a light coloured under garment for clarity). The over garment, the garment that is to conceal the gun falls into two categories. Firstly a garment that opens to the front, such as a jacket or shirt, usually is fine when it comes to size and fit. Be aware that when the garment is fastened, the gun is not printing. Wear lose-fitting jackets and shirts if possible and if not, leave the garment unfastened. This will also aid in quicker acquisition to the weapon should you need it in a hurry. Secondly, if you chose to wear a T-shirt or hooded top then the garment needs to be one size bigger than you normally
SKILLS AND DRILLS: CONCEALED CARRY
First off face the target and reach over and grab the hem of the garment with the weak hand. Leaning towards the weak side slightly â€œRipâ€? the outer garment up as high as you can to expose the handgun. Maintain a grip on the handgun and draw and present as you would in open carry. This is a fast way to draw from concealed, but only if the outer garment is not too close fitting. The second procedure is used for an open garment such as a jacket. Using the strong hand, insert the open fingers into the garment and hook the front at about chest height. Pulling the hand back will force the garment to open and expose the handgun. From here rotate the hand and take a grip of the handgun. The draw from this position is the same as for open carry. Some people recommend placing coins or some other small object in the jacket pocket to aid the opening of the garment as the hand swings back. Try to avoid this as there may come a time when you are wearing a garment without pockets or something to use as a small weight. An open carry holster can also be used with these methods, however, make sure that your garment covers the gun and holster sufficiently for it to remain concealed. Try these methods for yourself and experiment at home with different clothing combinations and find what works and what you should avoid. In the next issue of PMCI Magazine I will explain how to avoid exposing the gun during every day tasks and also how to remove your jacket when seated at a restaurant and still keep the gun concealed.
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SPECIAL REPORT: LEGACY COINS
LEGACY COIN COMPANY: KEEPING TRADITION ALIVE
Traditions are generally defined as the transmission of customs from generation to generation and nowhere are these held in higher regard than those born of militaries around the world. Many times throughout history, Trampas finds that tradition has given pride to warriors in the face of war and death and helped turn the tide for victory.
ne such tradition is that of the challenge coin. This is commonly accepted as taking its roots from ancient Rome in which a soldier would be rewarded for superior performance on the battlefield by being gifted a day’s pay and a separate specially minted coin baring his specific unit’s mark as a bonus. This coin’s meaning would typically prompt the solider to hold the coin as a memento not to be spent on women and wine. As time went on, the concept of the challenge coin would grow into a large industry around the world which symbolised respect, honour and brotherhood. One such company helping keep the time honored tradition alive and strong by providing top quality custom coins is Legacy Coin Company.
A BRIEF COIN HISTORY
The modern challenge coin is believed to date back to the front lines of World War I; the challenge coin is said to have originated from a newly formed American flying squadron in Europe consisting of volunteers from across the country all wanting to do their civic duty. Usually these groups were a mixed bunch commonly consisting of young men ranging from poor Midwestern farm boys to college students from wealthy families. In one such squadron group, a wealthy lieutenant ordered coin shaped medallions struck in solid bronze bearing their unit insignia and presented them to his unit. Each pilot carried them on their missions in a small leather pouch. Soon after, the lieutenant was shot down over enemy territory and captured by German soldiers. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his personal identification except for the small leather pouch containing his medallion. In the meantime, he was taken to a small French town near the front. During the chaos of a nightly bombing run of overhead Allied Forces airplanes, the lieutenant made his escape but was forced to leave his identification behind. This young lieutenant managed to quietly avoid German patrols by donning civilian attire and reached the front lines. Facing great adversity, he made his way across no-man’s land. Eventually, the lieutenant stumbled onto a French outpost. Unfortunately, saboteurs had regularly plagued the French in this sector. These saboteurs often masqueraded as civilians by wearing civilian clothes. Not recognising the young pilot’s American accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur and
made ready to execute him. He had no identification to prove his allegiance, but he did have his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners. As luck would have it, one of his French captors recognised the squadron insignia on the medallion. The French delayed the lieutenant’s execution long enough for them to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they gave him a bottle of wine. While no hard evidence proves or disproves this story as the beginning of the challenge coin tradition, coins would be seen regularly in the military as time went on. During the Korean War, challenge coins were minted by Colonel “Buffalo Bill” Quinn, 17th Infantry Regiment, who had them made for his men. The coin features a buffalo on one side as a nod to its creator, and the Regiment’s insignia on the other side. By the time the United States entered into Vietnam, the challenge coin quickly grew into a common item seen in battle by US Special Forces unofficial “bullet clubs”. These clubs are credited for attaching the rules of the “challenge”. If a member of the coin holding club comes into contact with another, a challenge to produce their coin can be given. If the person challenged is found without possession, said person is obligated to pay for drinks at the local bar. If the person produces their coin, the reverse is obligated in the challenger having to foot the bill.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE COIN
Today, the challenge coin is still held in high regard in both military and civilian culture. Everyone from company executives to the President of the United States of America have personalised challenge coins on hand to reward to those who they hold in right regard or deem worthy of receiving a personal token of respect and appreciation. Rarely outside of military circles are the original rules regularly enforced, but the comradery and respect hold the same meaning. For the business professional, challenge coins are often exchanged like business cards but with far greater advantage. Coins are unique and interesting, enough so to become great “ice breakers” in social situations. Whereas business cards are often glanced at and readily discarded, people tend to keep and often collect coins as a memento of their experience not unlike the Roman solider, who withheld from quickly spending his coin on leisure of the day. Typically, modern challenge coins are around 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter, and about 1/10-inch thick, but the styles and
holds to the honour and traditions instilled in him by his strong moral values and experience in Law Enforcement. Often people are in positions to want challenge coins made for their businesses but don’t know how to go about creating their own. This is where Jeremy’s company comes in to help. Working within the client’s budget, Legacy Coin Co. takes the client supplied design ideas and any artwork they may have, and design a proof to fit client standards and approval. Legacy then provides accurate pricing that has been shown to be among the most competitive in the industry. . Often ranging from $400 - $600 per 100 coins, this cost for most companies can even be written off on taxes as advertising. Combined with their production team’s high quality performance, the end results regularly beat those of equally priced products. Legacy Coin Company takes pride in what they do, and always make sure of complete customer satisfaction. After payment has been made, delivery is usually within three weeks, depending on current workload. Unlike most companies who ship the finished product in a generic bulk tube, each Legacy coin is individually packaged, and delivered to the client’s door. When my wife, Candace decided to create a challenge coin as a fund raiser for the nation’s largest all female not-for-profit firearms training organization, The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters, she chose Legacy Coin Company. This organisation is
SPECIAL REPORT: LEGACY COINS
sizes vary wildly; some even come in unusual shapes like shields, pentagons, arrowheads, and dog tags. The coins are generally made of pewter, copper, or nickel, with a variety of finishes available (some limited edition coins can be found actually plated in gold). The designs can be as simple an engraving of the organisation’s insignia and motto or have enamel highlights, multi-dimensional designs, and cut outs. A little over a year ago, I started seeing some very impressive and professional challenge coins being circulated around the Law Enforcement community honouring fallen officers such as my dear friends lost since my early retirement in 2011, Tarboro Police Officer Charles Johnson and NC Highway Patrol Trooper Gene Demuth. Both these coins were done so beautifully and tastefully that I choked up when I saw them. In researching who created these fitting memorials to my lost brothers in blue, I discovered Legacy Coin Company ( www.legacycoinco.com ). I was somewhat surprised to see the company was located in my boyhood hometown of Red Oak, North Carolina. Interestingly enough, I also learned the company was owned and operated by a former co-worker, Jeremy Guzman. Jeremy was an outstanding patrol officer for Charles Johnson’s former Police Department when I served for the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy. Having moved on to greener pastures and more success, Jeremy decided to put his efforts into creating a company that
SPECIAL REPORT: LEGACY COINS
comprised of various chapters in all 50 states headed up by State Leaders such as my wife. Currently there are over 10,000 ladies nationwide donating their time to learn safe firearm handling, NRA approved courses and achieving their goal to equip, educate and empower women worldwide. Over a period of a couple of weeks, the final design for the state of Florida coin was drawn up by Candace, approved by corporate headquarters and into production. Within a couple of weeks, the box containing the first 100 fund raiser coins arrived at our door and ready for sale. The coins were brilliantly coloured and true heirloom quality. The personal attention and quality received from Legacy Coin Company was top notch. Immediately seeing the custom coins, it prompted me to start designing a coin for my firearms training group to award future students along with their certificate. Legacy Coin Co has earned my business from now
on and highly recommended for any fund raisers, Police Departments, Private Contractors or Corporate Executives. To learn more about Legacy Coin Co, check them out on Facebook or at their website, www.LegacyCoinCo.com.
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SYRIAN CONFLAGRATION THE CIVIL WAR 2011TO 2013 Tom Cooper, from Austria, is a military-aviation journalist and historian. Following a career in the transportation business, in which, during his extensive travels in Europe and the Middle East, he established excellent contacts, he moved into writing. Concentrating primarily on modern air warfare that had previously received scant attention, Cooper has published 18 books as well as over 200 articles on related topics, providing a window into a number of previously unexamined yet fascinating conflicts.
The Syrian Civil War (the colloquial name of the ongoing conflict in Syria) experienced an entirely unexpected transformation during its first two years. It started as unrest within the Syrian population and a series of mass demonstrations within the context of wider protest movements in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, known as the Arab Spring. Contrary to events in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen, where oppressive governments were toppled by the end of that year, the government of Syria deployed the full force of its military, its intelligence apparatus, and paramilitary groups, launching an unprecedented crackdown that resulted in the arrest, detention and killing of many thousands. Despite its brutality, this effort backfired; it provoked mass desertions of the Syrian military and then an armed uprising. The emerging insurgency was generally successful through 2012, although failing to capture Damascus it did secure more than half of Aleppo and Homs, the provincial capital of Raqqa, and nearly all of north-eastern and north-western Syria under its control. Although propped-up by economic and military support from the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, the government of Syria was nearing the brink of collapse during the first half of 2013 when, prompted by Tehran, the Hezbollah a Shi a Islamic militant group (and political party) from Lebanon entered the conflict on its side. Soon after, the Hezbollah was reinforced by significant contingents of Iranian-sponsored Shi a from Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, and then by volunteers from Iran, including crack units of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Meanwhile, already split along the lines of Syria s complex demography, much of the insurgency transformed from a secular and non-sectarian movement into proxies of various foreign powers, foremost Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but also Turkey and Kuwait. Furthermore, foreign Jihadists motivated by al-Qaida joined the fray, aiming to establish an Islamist state and clandestinely cooperating with the government, they fell into the back of insurgency. Thus, an extremely complex conflict which meanwhile not only spilled over the border into Lebanon, having a major impact upon Iranian-Saudi relations, and relations between the West, Iran and a number of Arab countries came into being, the outcome of which is presently anything but predictable. “Syrian Conflagration” is the first instalment in the Middle East@War series. Drawing on extensive research, including first-hand accounts it provides a compelling overview of the first three years of the ongoing conflict in Syria. The book features around 120 photos, artworks and maps. Middle East@War offers concise, incisive text, rare images and high quality colour artwork providing fresh accounts of both well-known and more esoteric aspects of conflict in this part of the world since 1945 and is a vital tool in helping to understand developments in this troubled area.
Author: Tom Cooper Publisher: Helion and Company (15 Dec. 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1910294109 Price: £16.95
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