China’s People’s Liberation Army Is Augmenting Its Small Arms

QSZ11-006The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is augmenting some of its small arms. It recently added the Type 11 (QSZ11) pistol chambered in 5.8x21mm. The Type 11 is a compact frame semiautomatic pistol with an 8+1 capacity. The Type 11 is intended for officer, security details and aviators.  The choice of a 5.8×21 round is consistent with the Type 95 (QBZ-95) also chambered in the 5.8 x 21 cartridge.


The PLA has also introduced a suppressed Type 06 (QSW06)  pistol patterned after the QSZ92.

The Type 06 (QSW06) is a full sized frame with a 20 round magazine and a detachable suppressor. The QSW06 replaces the aging Type 67 silenced pistol and will be issued to special forces personnel.

The Chinese are also upgrading their under-barrel grenade launchers with the QLG10A 35mm launcher  for mounting on the Type 95B-1 carbine. The new QLG10A launcher is based on the existing QLG10 but is designed to fit the current version of the Type 95 rifle. The launcher is 230mm long and can fire 10 grenades per minute.

The PLA has also added a new anti-materiel rifle the Type 10 (QBU10) 12.7mm. The rifle weighs 13.3 kg and has a maximum effective range of 1000 meters against human targets and 1500 meters against materiel

Posted in Sniper Systems and Tools, Weapon systems | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Global Identification Summit Kicks Off In Tampa

20140915_174638Biometrics is playing an increasingly significant role in the operational fabric of asymmetric warfare. As a Special Operations Force and Intelligence tool it is vitally important to ensure accurate identification and conduct kinetic operations with granular accuracy. So, I will be introducing relevant technology, in nontechnical parlance, to provide readers a high level overview of where we are and where we’re heading with a focus on identification and not access control.

The City of Tampa and the Tampa Convention Center are hosts for this annual event scheduled to run from September 16 – 18. This year’s event kicked off with a reception at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Opening remarks were delivered by Tovah LaDier, IBIA Managing Director, Carroll & LaDier, PLLC under who’s guidance IBIA continues to flourish. This year’s reception was a huge success with greater attendance and representation than prior years. 

20140915_175428The International Biometrics & Identification Association (IBIA) has added new members from around the world and is the premier industry association at the heart of an industry that by conservative estimates will be worth $20 billion by 2019.

Qualcomm Technologies, a principal sponsor of tonight’s reception was represented by William Maheu, Senior Director for Qualcomm Technologies, who spoke on biometric current and future application.

Bill Maheu graduated from the University of San Diego in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Additionally, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police. He was a member of the San Diego Police Department for 28 years. During his tenure with the department Bill had many assignments including Commanding Officer of Field Operations/Special Resources, Executive Lieutenant of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, Special Projects/Long Range Planning Lieutenant and Narcotics Sergeant. He also directed several major projects including the 2003 Super Bowl, the 1996 Republican National
Convention, the 1996 Presidential Debate, the development of the Psychiatric Emergency Response Team and the development of the Homeless Outreach Team. Bill rose to the rank of
Executive Assistant Chief of Police during which time his responsibilities included the
department’s day-to-day operations, its 400 million dollar budget, the Professional Standards
Section, Intelligence Section, Interoperable Communications and Information Technologies.
He retired from the department in January 2008 to join Qualcomm’s Government Technologies
team. In his new position Bill is on the senior management team and is responsible for Strategic



Posted in Biometrics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Crimson Trace Says: “Buy a Rail Master or Rail Master Pro and Get a Free Blackhawk! Holster…”

BLACKHAWK! Holster Free with Rail Master Purchase SEPT2014

For a limited time, anyone purchasing a Crimson Trace Rail Master® or Rail Master Pro® will receive a FREE BLACKHAWK! Laser Holster.

This special BLACKHAWK! Laser Holster, online-only, offer ends November 1, 2014 or while supplies last. Make the required Rail Master purchase in the Crimson Trace online store and the FREE holster will be automatically added to the order. That’s a $24.99 value. Learn more at

Posted in Accessories, Laser Based Technologies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Heckler & Koch GmbH (HK) Downgraded by Moody’s ???

Moody’s – This is the same organization that downgraded U.S. debt. Although it may be true that if Oberndorf am Neckar,Gmbh is hit by a nuclear strike, H&K may be out of business (surprisingly, given the Ukraine situation, a consideration that Moody’s didn’t include). Net of it’s short term liabilities, the company’s brand and goodwill is sufficiently strong to survive what is more than likely a temporary cash flow squeeze. “If export licenses are declined or delayed”, “if markets shrink” those are all forward looking statements made by Moody’s analysts in the interest of conservatism and don’t reflect reality to a large extent.

Heckler & Koch GmbH (HK) is a privately held corporation and it has a number of options for recapitalization, should the need arise, that include an IPO and retiring some of their debt, or restructuring of their debt to name just a few. Net of current liabilities H&K has so much value that it’s ludicrous to think they are going out of business. Please folks, you need to take what Moody says with a grain of salt.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

First Spear Fight Strap. Home Run!

There’s no more effective weapon for shipboard and close quarters operations than the SMG or PDW. Weight, maneuverability, volume of fire and portability are unsurpassed period! For example, weapon systems like the Kriss Vector or FNH P90 are capable of up to 1200 rounds per minute in a package with an overall length of 20 inches or so. The P90, for example, firing SS190 ammunition, at 900 rpm, is capable of penetrating NIJ III body armor at its maximum effective range of 200 yds; when you consider its 50 round magazine capacity, you have an impressive capability.

First Spear LLC has introduced a bandoleer magazine portage system, sold as the Fight Strap, that is eminently qualified for grab and go defensive situations, as well as close quarters. It means that you can be jocked up and hot within a couple of minutes – NOT 20! First Strap is worn a la man purse with a waist strap and I couldn’t think of a better way to accessorize your favorite slick for that ultimate fashion statement.

First Spear offers the First Strap for P90, MP5, UMP, M4 5.56, 7.62 and AK-47. They are available in all of the tactical colors including Multicam. If you buy one of these, First Spear will also pickup the cost of shipping on your entire order.

M.S.R.P. $78.26 and they can be ordered directly from First Spear LLC

Posted in Gear, Load Bearing, Packs | Tagged , | Leave a comment

G-Code Gives Us a Sneak Peek At Some Rather Interesting Kit

Posted in Holsters, Load Bearing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Admiral William H. McRaven U.S.N. (Ret)

McRaven retirement

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tacprogear Introduces The BLACK Bonz GRID-HERCULES™ Plate Carrier

The Black Bonz GRID-HERCULES™ Plate Carrier is designed to protect against flame, water, chemical and abrasion threats.

The TPG BLACK Bonz GRID-HERCULES™ Plate Carrier is designed to hold any of TPG’s new NIJ certified hard armor plates for front and back rifle protection in the full range of military SAPI-shaped sizes as well as most 10″x12″ plate variations. The outer shell is water, chemical, flame, abrasion and impact resistant to help protect the operator. A drag handle is also incorporated into the design in case of an emergency extraction. TPG’s newest offering comes with fully adjustable bungee side straps allowing this plate carrier to fit most individuals. It is compatible with MOLLE equipment and an array of auxiliary components.

The Bonz plate carrier is constructed using GRID-HERCULES™ engineered material provided by Absecon Mills, Inc. It is a highly-specialized, unique polymer coating that is applied to an advanced textile fabric specifically designed to enhance physical properties, such as impact, abrasion, heat and flame resistance, as well as tear and tensile strength and waterproof performance.

TPG BLACK’s Bonz GRID-HERCULES™ Plate Carrier is currently available in Black, Tan, Coyote Brown and Ranger Green. It will soon be available in MultiCam®, MultiCam® Black and the Kryptek® line of camouflage patterns. TPG manufactures the Bonz Plate Carrier in their new facility in Miami, Florida as part of the BLACK line.

Posted in Ballistic Protection, Load Bearing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy 20th Birthday To Crimson Trace Inc.

Crimson Trace Production Manager Scott Vandercoevering oversees manufacturing SEPT2014

This year Crimson Trace is celebrating 20 years of building laser sighting systems along with providing first-class customer service to firearms owners across America. Here are some of the reason you should consider Crimson Trace for your next laser sighting system.

· Crimson Trace products give customers a peace of mind in performance because all products are precision manufactured. “We do a 100% fit, function, and cosmetic inspection on every single product that leaves our building,” reports Scott Vandercoevering, Crimson Trace Production Manager  “We also run a sample of our products back through range testing to ensure on-going product robustness and quality.”

· With more models (160-plus) than any other laser sighting system manufacturer in the industry, the many models offered by Crimson Trace increase the options—and odds—that buyers will find a model for their firearm and that is a good fit. Crimson Trace lasers are offered in several platforms ranging from the Master Series® to the Laserguard®.

· Crimson Trace offers numerous compact laser sight and light units that add little to the outline –or weight—of a concealed carry gun. The Rail Master (CMR-201) for example, weighs less than an ounce with the battery installed. Rail Masters are available with red or green lasers.

· Another definite Crimson Trace provided advantage is free batteries for life on many models. Customers can call the customer care center and register their products and enter the program. See for full details.

· Another Crimson Trace advantage for firearms owners considering buying a laser sighting system is the large network of stocking dealers. Buyers can go to those stores, meet trained sales staff, and examine products–or in some cases use the special blue gun displays to try-before-they-buy for fit in hand and to see the product in action.

· Laser sight system customers can also shop the company’s online store——for fast results without standing in lines or driving to town.

· Crimson Trace products undergo a legendary rigorous testing program in the company’s test range where thousands of rounds are fired during beta testing. The test facility sees use nearly every day the company is open for business. Crimson Trace products are tested tough.

Made in the U.S.A.

Posted in Laser Based Technologies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Help Us To Never Forget September 11, 2001

I remember September 11, 2001 as though it were yesterday. I was at home getting ready to head out to San Francisco International to board my flight. As I had morning coffee, I watched news coverage of the event and the subsequent grounding of all flights. It was a sad day for me and for America. But, it was a rallying point that woke us up to the harsh reality that evil is alive and well. And, to the existence of those who prefer to maliciously injure than to resolve grievances through dialogue. Sadly, it’s true at home as well as abroad.

Today, take a moment with your family, especially your children, to remember 9/11 and all those who lost their lives on that tragic day, and those who fought and still fight to pursue justice.

For those who think geography, or station in life, immunizes you from the consequences of your acts, rest assured that if you instill fear you will come to know it. It’s not a question of IF it’s simply a matter of WHEN.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Brownells Has A Great Deal For You!

The Gerber LMF II Survival Knife is probably on of the best survival tools you can have; especially aviators. This knife will punch through the skin on light aircraft with no trouble at all. It is tough, sharp and functional. While reading through e-mails this morning, I noticed that Brownell’s had a special running on these knives, so I want to get the word out, and Brownells also includes the strap cutter.

Bottom Line: For the price of $79.99 you get the knife, sharpener, drop-leg Kydex sheath and strap cutter.

Posted in Alerts, Knives and Tools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Extrema Ratio Introduces A New Bush Knife The Mato Grosso

Extrema Ratio of Prato, Italy has introduced a new bush knife that the company named Mato Grosso, which in Portuguese means dense or thick bush. Interestingly enough I could have used one this morning.

  • Weight: 370 g –  13.05 oz
  • Blade Length: 280 mm – 11.02 in.
  • Overall Legth: 450 mm – 17.72 mm
  • Blade Thickness: 4 mm – 0.16 in.
  • Blade Material: BÖHLER STEEL N690 (54HRC)
  • Handel Material: FORPRENE
  • Blade Serrations: NONE
  • Grinding: FULL FLAT
  • Blade Finish: BURNISHING MIL-C-13924

The Mato Grosso exhibits the characteristics of the Central and South American machete with a slight recurve often found in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Given its weight and length, this knife is ideal for dealing with foliage not underbrush which would require a longer blade with a little less weight.

Like all of Extrema’s knives,  it is a professional grade tool.

Posted in Knives and Tools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Marine Combat Instructors Will Be Issued A New Ribbon

The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has approved a new ribbon for Marines who complete a 3-year assignment as instructors at the School of Infantry West or East. The USMC will introduce it in its next MARADMIN. Several Marines will receive the new ribbon as it “may be awarded retroactively to all Marines with qualifying service beginning on or after Oct. 9, 2002,” a Marine release stated.

You can read the full story on Kit Up!

It is our understanding, here at TwoBirds Flying Publications, that the Commandant will be doing away with written citations. Instead a letter with a picture will accompany its new ribbon.

Congratulations to all of those outstanding Marine Instructors!  And, of course we are kidding about the picture.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MG Industries Introduces the Hydra Vipera AK-47 Model Pistol

MG Industries, introduced the Hydra Vipera AK-47 pistol model featuring all of the quick-change, multi-caliber capabilities of the original Hydra rifle. The popular 7.62×39 caliber Vipera configuration allows the operator to use standard AK-47 magazines.

“Vipera refers to the genus of venomous and deadly snakes,” Mack Gwinn, President of MG Industries explained. “We thought the name fitting of this new Hydra model. It has all the modular benefits and capabilities of the full-size platform but on a close-quarter, compact platform.”

The Vipera AK-47 is completely modular and interchangeable with components of the Hydra Modular Rifle System and upcoming caliber additions to the Vipera line. The 7.62×39 Hydra Vipera comes standard with the MGI Enhanced AK Firing System and barrel with a low profile gas block. The Enhanced AK Firing System includes a firing pin and bolt that more closely mimics a true AK-47 firing system with greater reliability and all on a pistol platform. Standard AK-47 magazines eject from the mag well with only one hand, atypical of traditional AK-47 style rifles.

The MARCK-15 Hydra Vipera is the first and only truly modular pistol that can convert into multiple calibers in just minutes. Designed by an industry innovator and Veteran, the MARCK-15 Hydra Vipera is the obvious choice for individuals wanting more caliber choices on one platform. The MGI Hydra Vipera AK-47 pistol has a suggested retail price of $1289.00

For more information, visit or your local retailer. Retailers, contact MGI at to find out more about carrying the most modular pistol system in the world.

MGI Hydra Vipera AK-47 Pistol Specifications:

  • Caliber:                                            7.62×39
  • Overall Length:                                 24 inches
  • Overall Height:                                 7 inches
  • Overall Width:                                  2.5 inches
  • Barrel Length:                                   7.5 Inches
  • Weight:                                            5.5lbs
  • Magazine Type/Cap:                        Standard AK-47 magazine
Posted in Weapon systems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NSSF Working To Help Educators and Law Enforcement With Firearm Safety


NSSF Offers Firearm Safety Resources to Educators Nationwide, Encourages Dialogue with Law Enforcement on Firearm Safety

NEWTOWN, Conn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is reminding educators and school administrators of the resources available to talk with students and parents about firearm safety and proper storage.

NSSF’s website contains many different types of resources to assist educators in talking with students about safety, including handouts, a child’s safety pledge and two free videos, one featuring McGruff the Crime Dog on gun safety and another titled “It’s Your Call: Playing It Safe Around Guns.” Educators can visit to access these materials or request videos. 

“We know some school administrators and educators are reluctant to provide firearm safety education in their schools and classrooms, but we believe such education is appropriate for students in nearly all grade levels,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “Lately, we’ve been pleased to read about school districts that have taken the positive step of providing firearm safety resources to teachers, students and parents. As the leading voice on firearm safety and responsibility, NSSF stands ready to support firearm safety education efforts in schools.”

Added Sanetti, “Let’s get beyond whatever fears and personal feelings we may have and focus upon providing genuine safety education that can help save lives–something we all want.”

NSSF is providing this reminder to educators as part of its ongoing Project ChildSafe program, which has provided more than 36 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to communities through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide. A key component of Project ChildSafe is education.

“We also encourage schools to work with our law enforcement partners as they think through how to discuss firearm safety with their students,” Sanetti said. “Law enforcement agencies have a long history of working with schools to discuss important issues of safety. There’s every reason to make firearm safety part of that conversation.”

NSSF is leading the charge to establish “Own It? Respect It. Secure it.” as the mantra for firearm safety throughout the country and build on the successful Project ChildSafe initiative. Launched in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe), Project Childsafe is a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. 

Project Child Safe

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Liberty Ammunition Introduces the .357 Magnum Into Its Civil Defense Line

Liberty’s high-performance ammunition delivers approximately twice the velocity, three times the terminal effects with 16% less recoil, and considerably reduces the weight of loaded weapons.

In testing at Liberty’s production facility, the Civil Defense .357 Magnum achieved velocities greater than 2,100 fps. This velocity is nearly double that of standard .357 Magnum ammo. The Civil Defense line of lead-free ammunition features nickel-plated, solid copper projectiles and nickel-plated brass cases. Every round exceeds match-grade quality in performance.

Liberty’s deep cavity hollow-point projectile fragments in soft tissue providing three times the terminal effects of traditional, lead-based, ammo in comparable calibers. Due to the patented proprietary design of the Civil Defense projectile and the lead-free component, Civil Defense ammo is approximately 1/3 to 1/2 the weight, depending on caliber, of traditional ammunition; thus, significantly reducing the carry weight of all weapon systems.

Civil Defense Ammunition Specifications:

  • Caliber:                .357 Magnum
  • Description:       Copper, Monolithic, Hollow-Point, Fragmenting, Lead-Free, Personal   Defense Round
  • Weight:                                 50 gr.
  • Velocity:                             >2,100 fps
  • Kinetic Energy:                   >490 FPE
  • Accuracy:                           <2″ @ 50 yds
  • Terminal Effect:                 >3.5″ W x 12″ D
  • Rounds:                              20 per box
  • MSRP (20 rd box):               $34.99
Posted in Ammunition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Blue Force Gear And The Tactical Christmas Stocking.

We’re just a hair over three months from the 2014 Holiday Season and it’s time to start thinking about picking up some Vickers Combat Slings, or other great tactical nylon, from the folks at Blue Force Gear. Last year, BFG included one of their tactical Christmas stockings with your purchase – a very nice touch. So, after the Holidays what do you do with them. This is what I did with mine…


I removed the foot portion of the sock and installed two grommets on the heavy collar. I then took it down to my friendly shoe repair guy and had him stich the bottom shut.

The idea was to have a general purpose “buttstock pocket” that can be integrated with my pack to carry a weapon on the outside of the pack. The grommets allow me to use 550 paracord to create a mechanism for adjusting the overall length depending on the weapon systems.


This is what the finished product looks like. Not bad at all! Of course, I haven’t fielded the system yet to give it a thorough shakedown,  but I have worn it around the house and it appears to work well. The pack and weapon are stable and the weight pretty well distributed.

Id like to see Blue Force Gear come up with a more formal version so help me put a bug in their ear and let’s see if we can make it happen.

Posted in Load Bearing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Looking For A .45 ACP Suppressor? This May Just Be Your Lucky Day.

Dakota Silencer and AAC have a great deal for you. The AAC Ti-Rant is marked down from $850 to $599. In addition to that, AAC is providing a manufacturer’s rebate of $200 to be used on additional AAC purchases for example pistons for your suppressor. Offer is good until supply lasts.

If it’s legal in you state to own a suppressor this may be the time to stop thinking about it and pull the trigger. Plan for a 6 to 9 month wait from the time you purchase the suppressor until ATF returns the approved Form 4.

For all of the details contact Dakota Suppressors.

Posted in magazines | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SIG Arms Has Announced Limited Availability Of The SG553


The SG 553 Pistol is built by SAN Swiss Arms AG, which is a small arms manufacturer spinoff from the old SIG Arms AG around 2000. The SG 553 is built around the SG 550 series gas piston action, which is the issue rifle for the Swiss military.

Prospective buyers should work through your local FFL as these pistols have to be ordered directly from SIG Arms.

SG 553 Rotary Diopter Features:

  • Semi-auto, 5.56x45mm NATO
  • 2-Position gas valve
  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Rotary Diopter rear sight
  • Hooded front sight
  • 30-round translucent polymer magazine
  • $3,792.00 MSRP

SG 553 M1913 Rail Features:

  • Semi-auto, 5.56x45mm NATO
  • 2-Position gas valve
  • Ambidextrous controls
  • M1913 rail
  • 30-round translucent polymer magazine
  • $3,792.00 MSRP
Posted in Weapon systems | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

London Bridge Trading Inc. Tent Sale


A quick heads-up to shipmates in the VA Beach / Dam Neck area. London Bridge Trading Inc. is having a tent sale on 20 September 2014 starting at  08:00, so this my be an excellent opportunity to pick up a few knick·knack. LBT’s nylon gear is excellent…

And, don’t forget to swing by the Brass Bell for lunch and refreshments and make a day of it.

Posted in Alerts, Gear, Load Bearing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Surefire Has Just Introduced Two New Rechargeable Handhelds PIR Peacekeeper and Peacekeeper Tactical


P1R Peacekeeper Rechargeable Ultra-High Dual-Output LED

  • 600.0 lumensMax Output
  • 15.0 lumensLow Output
  • 1.37 inchesBezel Dia.
  • 5.5 inchesLength

P1R Peacekeeper Tactical Rechargeable Ultra-High Single-Output LED

  • 600.0 lumensMax Output
  • 1.37 inchesBezel Dia.
  • 5.37 inchesLength

Both of these lights have an M.S.R.P. of $250 and they are available now.

Posted in Tactical Lighting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Small Diameter Bomb or SDB

There’s a lot of work underway to improve both the accuracy and lethality of military munitions; one of those is the small diameter bomb. The small diameter bomb can be carried by a variety of attack and/or ground support aircraft. It has a blast radius of 26 feet. To put that in perspective for our readers, the M67 fragmentation grenade has an injury radius of ~ 45 feet (15 meters) and a kill radius of ~15 feet (5 meters). The small diameter bomb is a 250 pound ordnance. Precisely the capability that was need in a situation like Benghazi.

Take a look at this GBU-39/B SDB I and GBU-53/B SDB II capabilities demonstration.

Posted in Ammunition | Tagged , | Leave a comment

MARSOC Aligns Past with Future—Marine Raider Heritage Returns

This is a great story written by Gunny Josh Higgins. It’s published here unredacted and in its entirety.

During World War II, four Marine Raider battalions and two
Raider regiments were formed and saw action in the Pacific Theater
between 1942 and 1944. Formed to conduct amphibious raids and
guerrilla operations behind enemy lines, the Raider battalions were the
United States’ first special operations units.
The Raiders went on to participate in campaigns across the Pacific
Ocean and earned more than 700 decorations, including seven Medals
of Honor, before disbandment approximately two years later.
Though the unit’s existence was short-lived, they left a lasting
impression. The Marine Raider battalions were the inspiration for what
would become modern-day special operations.
But when U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command
was established in 2003, the unit did not officially carry-on the
On August 6, Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F.
Amos made official the title in a proclamation, which calls for “the
official continuation of our Corps’ special operations heritage from the
Raiders of World War II to our modern-day Marines.”
“United States Marines take great pride in our special operations
and irregular warfare heritage … From this point forward, the
Marines of MARSOC will be officially aligned with the Marine Raiders
of World War II and are charged with maintaining the high standards
and traditions that accompany such distinction,” as stated in the proclamation
read during the unit’s change-of-command ceremony held
at Stone Bay aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
While MARSOC is adopting the name Marine Raiders, the
command’s official title will remain MARSOC. However, major subordinate
elements of the unit will reflag with the Raider name.

By Gunnery Sergeant Josh Higgins

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

USSOCOM Change OF Command

In a ceremony held at the Tampa Convention Center on 28 August 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven turned over the helm to U.S. Army General Joseph L. Votel. General Votel is the 10th USSOCOM Commanding Officer and will have responsibility for Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Forces. Admiral McRaven will retire from active duty at age 58 after a 37 year career.

Admiral McRaven grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received his commission after graduating from the University of Texas in 1977. He completed BUDS/SEAL in 1978. McRaven served in Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Admiral McRaven helped to establish and was the first graduate of the the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict curriculum at the Naval Post Graduate School.

General Votel, is currently commander of JSOC at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The General hails from St, Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from West Point in 1980. Votel has broad SOF experience including commanding the 75th Ranger Regiment and deputy commanding general for the 82nd Airborne Division. General Votel is a veteran of Operation Just Cause, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.

We’d like to thank Admiral McRaven for his service and wish him fair winds and following seas. We also extend our congratulations to General Votel on assuming command of the greatest fighting force in human history. We wish him well in these challenging times, along with our desire for his continue success.

We do have one small favor to ask of General Votel and that is to please keep lutefisk off USSOCOM’s menus.

Congratulations once again to Admiral McRaven and General Votel.

Posted in Alerts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

LaserLyte V4 Compact Laser Now Available in Tan

When LaserLyte first introduced the V4 FSL-4T Compact Laser it was only available in black. LaserLyte is now offering the V4 Laser in Desert Tan.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this tiny laser aiming module you really need to do that for several reasons. First, it’s ideal for a conceal carry pistol. Second, it can be easily activated with either the support hand or with your index finger as you come out of your holster. Lastly, it is an inexpensive solution to a basic problem of how to index your target in close quarters or close proximity. Check it out!

LaserLyte® V4 Laser FSL-4T Specifications:

  • Compatible Firearms:  Handguns with at least one-inch Picatinny rail
  • Power Output:  650NM, 5MW, Class IIIA
  • Programmable:  Dual mode, constant on and pulse mode.
  • Body Housing:  55% Glass Filled Nylon for durability
  • Interior Material:  6061 aluminum core for reliability
  • Batteries:  4 x 392
  • Battery Life:  Actual usage 5 hours constant on, 10 hours pulse mode
  • Body Color:  Tan
  • Weight:  .75 ounces/0.021 kg
  • Length:  1.11 inches/2.8 cm
  • Width:  1.08 inches/ 2.74 cm
  • Height:  .76 inches/1.93 cm    
  • MSRP:  $109.95
Posted in Accessories, Laser Based Technologies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Norma Has A New Sales Director For The U.S. Market

2302Norma Precision, wholly owned by RUAG Ammotec, has appointed Mr. Gilbert N. Russell as U.S. sales and marketing director. Gilbert will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities related to Norma branded products in the (US) market as well as selected tasks within Ammotec USA. He joins Norma on August 17th and reports to Norma HQ in Sweden.

He has a solid experience of the US hunting and sport-shooting market, having earlier worked successfully as National Sales Manager for Aimpoint Inc. and latest Blaser USA.

Norma long time US representative, Mr. Ron Petty, will prior to retiring, supervise the on-boarding of Gilbert. The exact date for Ron´s retirement is yet to be determined.

“I wish to thank Ron for the tremendous effort he has put in in developing Norma business in the US and the corresponding all-time high market-share that we are enjoying. Gilbert will focus on further broadening our distribution and further develop our strong relationships to the trade and other stakeholders,” says Norma Managing Director, Paul-Erik Toivo.

We congratulate Gilbert in his new post and wish for his continued success.

Posted in Ammunition | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Magpul Armorer’s Wrench and BEV Block

Magpul ®  Armorer's Wrench – AR15/M4268_1409_large

Magpul Industries is adding two AR tools to their product portfolio that will make your build somewhat easier. The  Magpul® Armorer’s Wrench – AR15/M4 and BEV™ Block – AR15/M4 both of which will be available in the October to November time frame.

The Magpul® Armorer’s Wrench is all steel and made in the U.S.A and features a couple of very  cool tweaks. Aft of the barrel nut wrench, you find the receiver extension and castle nut wrench; upon examination of the castle nut wrench you’ll see a set of extended teeth that are designed to standoff an ASP sling mount so you can get at your receiver extension castle nut. Magpul has also included the torque specifications molded into the wrench body so it’s right there for you to reference as needed. M.S.R.P. $79.95

The BEV™ Block (Barrel Extension Vise) is an all-in-one, Made in U.S.A., compact vise block tool for AR assembly operations of barrel nuts, flash hiders, that mounts in a vise and provides support for both billet and forged upper receivers. On side engages barrel extension with solid steel lugs and full length support shank to prevent flexing.

The BEV can also be turned over and used as a mag well vise block to support the lower receiver during maintenance, etc. M.S.R.P. $49.95

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The CIPHER Helmet Prototype May Be Cause For Concern

A prototype helmet with jaw protection and visor is undergoing testing.

Researchers with the Naval Research Laboratory have concluded that the Conformal Integrated Protective Headgear System, or CIPHER helmet system showed blast waves could bounce off the added components producing unexpected pressures.

Tests were conducted in all configurations: helmet only, helmet and visor, helmet and jaw protection, and the full-face coverage of visor and jaw protector.

NRL’s findings  showed that adding face protection didn’t necessarily mean lessening blast-wave impact. For example, according to the report:


■ In a front-facing blast, pressures on the forehead were higher with the jaw protector, or mandible, in place and with the mandible-visor combination than they were with the helmet alone.

■ Wearing just the jaw protection for a front-facing blast doubled the strength of the secondary shockwave pressure on the forehead from 2 atmospheres (one atmosphere is a little less than 15 pounds per square inch) to 4 atmospheres.

■ In a rear-facing blast, pressures on the forehead were more than twice as high for the mandible-visor combination than for the helmet alone.

Test protocols centered around the helmet’s suspension geometry; expressed in less technical language, what is between the wearer’s head and the outer shell.

David Mott, an NRL aerospace engineer explains;

“You need that standoff for that blunt-impact and ballistic-impact protection … that’s the way the helmets work.  We had seen that blast waves can infiltrate that gap.”

Future tests

The prototype, which was designed under the Helmet Electronics and Display System-Upgradable Protection, or HEaDS-UP, program by Army researchers in Natick, Massachusetts, is far from finished with testing. Mott offered a series of steps that could improve future findings:

■ Blast reaction. “We’re moving toward including the material response of the head and the helmet” to the explosion, he said. The latest tests were conducted using “stationary, stiff bodies.”

■ Torso tracker. “Although we had a very detailed model for the head and helmet for these calculations, we had a pretty simple torso and shoulders,” he said. A more realistic mannequin would yield better data, especially when measuring ricochets off the body.

■ More gear. That torso will need a tactical vest, at least — Mott said knowing what soldiers likely will wear in theater will help fully track the blast waves. “We don’t have all the relevant geometry in the calculations yet,” he said.


Mott and colleagues Ted Young and Doug Schwer are optimistic they can find “combinations of geometry, either for the accessories themselves or for the suspension, that may reduce those pressure loads that we’re seeing,”

Source: Army Times, “Research raises concerns for new Army helmet design”

Posted in Ballistic Protection | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

High Speed Gear (HSGI) Announces A New and Improved TACO Pouch.



High Speed Gear (HSGI)  announced its launch of an improvement TACO® line of pouches.  All TACO® pouches that utilize an injected molded bracket will have the following improvements implemented.

  • Each bracket is now 1/8th inch longer creating higher feed ramps for easier indexing and reinsertion of magazines.
  • Increased the size of and beveled the eye hole for easier tension adjustment. 
  • Adjusted the proportion of all edges and corners


“The bracket is one of the most crucial and unique parts of our TACO® pouches.  It keeps the pouch open when empty and allows the user to index magazines for easy reinsertion.  By improving the bracket, it will allow for improved performance. Implementation was made across the board and the polymer material utilized retains the same strength as previous versions.”

Posted in Load Bearing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Baghdadi Sit Yourself Down In Your Car

I have had the privilege of visiting a number of gentlemen’s clubs around the country, and around the globe. In spite of tremendous cultural diversity, they all had one common element; artists performed to the great Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady.”

I’ve taken the liberty to modify the lyrics to a small degree …


Baghdadi baby!
That’s what I feel now
Let’s call this song exactly what it is
Step n’ move your hips
With a feelin’ from side to side
Sit yourself down in your car
And take a ride
And while you’re movin’

Baghdadi baby
Let’s call this song exactly what it is
(What it is -what it is – what it is)
It’s a funky and low down feelin’
(What it is)
In my hips from left to right
(What it is)
What it is
Is I might be doin’
(What it is)
This funky dance all night
(Let me hear ya gotta feelin’ in the air)
(Gotta a feelin’ an ain’t got a care)
(What fun to take this ride
Baghdadi will only slide)
Baghdadi…….. Baghdadi baby
Baghdadi…….. Baghdadi baby
Step and move your hips
With a feelin’ from side to side
Sit yourself down in your car
And take a ride
While you’re movin’ Baghdadi


Let’s call this song exactly what it is
(What it is -what it is – what it is)
It’s a funky and low down feelin’
(What it is)
In my hips from left to right
(What it is)
What it is – is I might be doin’
(What it is)
This funky dance all night
(Wave your hands up in the air
Got the feelin’ an ain’t got a care)
(What fun to take this ride)
(Baghdadi will only slide)
Baghdadi baby
Baghdadi … woo!
(Bagh…dadi!… Bagh … dadi!)
(What it is)
It’s a funky and low down feelin’
(What it is)
In my hips from left and right
(What it is)
What it is
Is I might be doin’
This funky dance all night
(Wave your hands up in the air)
(Got a feelin’ an ain’t got a care)
(What fun to take this ride)
(Baghdadi will only slide)
Steady it baby!
Bagh….Baghdadi baby
(What it is)
Baby baby
(What it is)
(What it is)



Posted in Fun Stuff | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Remington Group and Pelican Products Team Up…

The Remington Outdoor Company (ROC), which includes Remington, AAC, Bushmaster and DPMS brands, among others, today announced a strategic partnership with Pelican Products, Inc.

This strategic alliance includes the creation of custom gun and accessory cases for each ROC brand, as well as Remington/Pelican branded outdoor gear including coolers, flashlights, and luggage.

The ROC – Pelican line of products will become available in Q4 of this year and will feature a selection of Pelican’s signature hard cases to enable gun owners to safely and securely transport their firearms and accessory pieces. Each case will be customized to carry a specific model firearm and accessory.

Speaking of its new alliance, George Kollitides, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ROC. says:

“Our Pelican partnership extends our lifestyle reach by equipping our consumers with the greatest accessory products on the market,”

“Remington is a symbol of a larger culture that extends beyond firearms and ammunition to the entire outdoor lifestyle; it is an integral piece of our American heritage, and we’re proud to be partnering with a global powerhouse like Pelican.”

Lyndon Faulkner, President and CEO, Pelican Products. says:

“When you bring Pelican Products and the Remington Outdoor Company together the consumer wins with the best of both worlds – legendarily tough protection for advanced weaponry and accessories,”

. “Pelican has been the preferred brand and relied upon for more than four decades by professionals operating in extreme environments. We look forward to providing our professional-grade equipment protection to Remington customers.”

Our weegie boards went to work on this back in 2012 and it only makes sense! We are delighted to see it happen and view this strategic partnership  as a plus for Remington and Pelican customers.

Damn, maybe I can use my electric knife for carving turkey and not foam any more…


Posted in Accessories, Alerts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Arsenal, Inc. Is Making Its SAM7K Pistol Available With The SIG-Sauer SB15 Pistol Stabilizing Brace

Arsenal, Inc. is introducing a new configuration to their line of Bulgarian-made SAM7K 7.62×39 caliber pistols, now with Sig Sauer’s SB15 pistol stabilizing brace.
The first variation of the SAM7K pistol was introduced in 2013. The SAM7K pistol is manufactured with Arsenal’s exclusive forged then milled receiver, original Bulgarian hammer forged chrome lined barrel, flip-adjustable peep rear sight, and ambidextrous safety lever.
The Sig-Sauer SB15 pistol stabilizing brace used on the SAM7K-03 is a veteran-designed aid that is made to improve the single-handed shooting performance of a pistol. By using the operator’s forearm, it provides a stable support to reduce felt recoil and minimize accuracy-robbing spin and shift. The stabilizing brace sits on the receiver extension, and the flexible cuff with two adjustable nylon straps allows the brace to be custom fit to any user. The receiver extension has a water proof storage compartment with a sealing threaded cap. It is accessible when the brace is removed or pushed all the way forward.
The SAM7K-03 is available from K-VAR at an MSRP of $1199. To order or for additional details visit K-VAR.

Posted in Weapon systems | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Silencerco’s Harvester and Harvester Big Bore Tech Video

Silencerco has just released a technical video on their Harvester and Harvester Big Bore Suppressors. Complete with sexy uptown background music.

Posted in Suppressors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Reader Question: Ranging With A Duplex Reticle

This is a question that comes up in a variety of different ways and I’ve run across it at the range as well. The reader was not sure if he could range a target using a duplex reticle.  The duplex reticle was not designed as a ranging reticle. To range across a wide set of situations you need a reticle graduated in fixed divisions across the horizontal and vertical stadia. There are a number of proprietary systems available to the tactical shooter but the grand daddy of them all is the U.S. Army Mil-Dot reticle (shown below)

However, you can also get a fairly decent range estimation using a duplex reticle.

The duplex reticle assumes an 18” target and a variable power scope for example 3.5 x 12.

To range with a duplex reticle, identify an 18” target then adjust your magnification on the scope to bracket the 18” target between opposing heavy posts as show below.

Duplex Ranging

In this sight picture I used the target width of 18 inches and bracketed the target between the horizontal posts. Once you’ve done that look at your magnification setting and multiply by 100 to get an estimate of your range. With some practice, you can perform this very quickly and achieve an accuracy of + or – 20 yards. You can also interpolate for 36 inch targets or 9 inch targets.

Corrected: 27 Aug 2014

We try to be helpful but at times we don’t succeed and this is one of those times. Ranging with the duplex reticle is based on a 16″ target not 18″. You also need to do a little legwork the next time you go to the range. Here’s what that means.

When you look at your magnification adjustment ring, some manufacturers, Leupold for example, will etch magnification on one side of the ring and yards on the opposite side of the ring. If that is the case, bracket the 16″ target using either the vertical or horizontal stadia, then read the range markings for your range estimate.

If you do not have range markings on your magnification adjustment ring, take a 16″ wide target and run it out in 100 or 50 yd ( send your buddy down range but make sure your weapon is safe) increments then note at what power setting you bracket the 16″ target, and write down the range. This will allow you to correlate magnification setting to range. You can then memorize that data or make up a crib sheet.


Posted in Reader Questions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Crimson Trace Laserguard LG-489G For The S&W M&P Shield Is Now Shipping

Crimson Trace's LG-489G Laserguard with green diodeCrimson Trace® announced the Laserguard® (LG-489G) green laser sight designed specifically for Smith &Wesson’s M&P SHIELD™ pistols is now shipping. This newest Laserguard® features a green diode and is designed to securely fit onto the trigger guards of the polymer-framed M&P SHIELD™ pistols.

Crimson Trace’s LG-489G features a proprietary Instinctive Activation switch for instant on/off and is powered by a 1/3N battery. The unit is backed by Crimson Trace’s “free batteries for life” program. The LG-489G laser sight can be easily installed without special gunsmithing skills or tools. The design permits easy windage and elevation adjustments with a provided tool. A free included instruction booklet provides more operation details for buyers and owners.

Posted in Accessories, Laser Based Technologies | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

LaserLyteTGL Kit for the Hi-Point Pistols



LaserLyte® introduced the newest of the TGL series for the Hi-Point pistols, featuring the LaserLyte Master Module system. The versatile Master Module fits the gun’s frame seamlessly; matching the gun’s dust cover and trigger guard with perfect fit. The LaserLyte®TGL UTA-HAB Kit fits the Hi-Point .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

 Each TGL package comes with two housings per model and will fit two guns for the price of just one laser. Simply use a Philips head screw driver to remove the single screw to swap out laser housings. A laser swap can easily be made in under a minute. Initial installation onto the gun will take less than five minutes and the laser does not require removal in order to change out batteries.  There is one set of housings that fit the. 380 and 9mm, the second set of housings fit the .40 and .45 models.

For more information, visit

LaserLyte® UTA-HAB Specifications:

  • Compatible Firearms:  HI-POINT 380 ACP, 9MM, .40 S&W and .45 ACP
  • Power Output:  650NM, 5MW, Class IIIA
  • Programmable:  Dual mode constant on and pulse, auto-off in 6 minutes
  • Batteries:  3 x 392
  • Battery Life:  Actual usage 5 hours constant on, 10 hours pulse mode
  • Weight:  .75 ounces/0.0213 kg
  • Material:  55% Glass Filled Nylon and Aircraft Grade 6061 aluminum
  • Length:  1.52 inches/3.86 cm
  • Width:  .76 inches/ 1.93 cm
  • Height:  1.70 inches/4.32 cm  
  • MSRP:  $104.95
Posted in Accessories, Laser Based Technologies | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christensen Arms® Launches New Website



Christensen Arms®, manufacturers of superior hunting, tactical and sport shooting firearms utilizing the latest in carbon fiber technologies, is proud to announce the launch of a complete redesign of the Christensen Arms website, The refresh offers customers a brighter, modern wide-screen view with large product category images on the homepage.

Products are separated into Bolt Rifles, MSR, 1911 Handguns and the new Component division. Under each product category, a customer can quickly locate a model series for more in-depth information. Both the Bolt Rifles and MSR categories include links to the custom shops that allows the customer to personally select the specific components for their firearms. Whether it’s a build from the ground up or custom finishes or colors or components, the Christensen Arms Custom Shop is where every firearm produced is a unique reflection of its owner.

The Christensen Arms online store offers a wide selection of Christensen Arms carbon handguards, carbon and steel barrels, gun cases, slings and logo wear.

Christensen Arms not only offers custom firearms, they also offer upgrades and services to guns other than Christensen Arms firearms, including installation of carbon-fiber barrels, stocks, muzzle brakes, action/bolt work, Rem 700 conversions and much more.

The website also provides customers with support features, such as warranty registration, downloadable owner’s manuals, FAQ’s and how to return your firearms for servicing.

Under the About Us Section, customers will not only find the story behind Christensen Arms and their legacy, but for those still undecided customers there are plenty of testimonials, articles and press materials to convince them that owning a Christensen Arms firearm will provide a lifetime of enjoyment and become tomorrow’s family heirloom.

To keep up with Christensen Arms, customers can opt-in to a newsletter that will offer new product information, hunting and shooting sports news and tips, customer stories and videos and promotions.

For more on Christensen Arms, visit their website or join the conversation on Facebook.

Posted in Alerts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SKD Armorgeddon Sale



A few readers have asked about body armor and where they can get a good price. I normally don’t recommend retailers; however, as an individual,  I have used SKD in the past and found product and service to be exceptional in every respect.

It looks like they are having a nice sale on some of their ballistic protection products. These are some pretty good prices so you’ll want to check that out.

Click on the picture to go to SKD’s WEB site.

Posted in Ballistic Protection | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Times Says: “Army quits tests after competing rifle outperforms M4A1 carbine”

The M4 complaints are based on two factors. First is lethality. When the Army moved from the M16 to the M4 they reduced barrel length from 18 inches to 14.5 inches. The decrease in barrel length reduced projectile muzzle velocity, which when combined with a 62 grain steel core projectile, affectionately known as green tip,  of the M855 round resulted in poorer terminal effects. Hence the lethality issue.

Second, the operating system used in the M4 carbine is a direct gas impingement system, which means that after the bullet escapes the barrel, a small amount of gas is allowed to return back to the receiver to unlock the bolt pushing back the bolt carrier group and cycling the action – ejecting the spent case, loading a fresh round in the chamber and locking the bolt for the next shot. The gas that is diverted back to the receiver is hot, under high pressure and contains minute particles of powder residue. Hence the alleged reliability problems.

To deal with the lethality question, the U.S. Army commissioned an enhanced version of M855 designated M855A1. The new round combined the use of improved propellants with bullet composition and geometry to improve terminal ballistics. Nothing in M855A1 should be cause to redesign a weapon. If it fires M855 reliably it fires M855A1 reliably.

Weapon reliability issues have two drivers.

First, the services do not have a systematic means of performing maintenance of the weapon system. You and I can look at the odometer on our vehicles and asses that we need an oil change or a tune-up. As an NCO in CA NG, when one of my guys had a weapon problem you took it to the armory. It is a reactive process as opposed to proactive. Fabrique National (FN) developed a shot counter that can be installed on the weapon. Like a gun odometer, it keeps track of shots fired thus  making the maintenance process systematic and proactive. In my opinion, it should be used DoD wide, but regrettably it is not. Someone should ask why not?

Finally, soldiers don’t like spending down time cleaning weapons and magazines and that is a behavioral issue that needs to be handled at the squad level. All weapon systems operating in harsh combat conditions require so level of maintenance including the venerable AK-47.

The M4 family of weapons are effective, reliable, highly configurable and lethal, given field performance reports on the Enhanced M855 ammunition (M855A1).

In closing, although there are several  advanced weapon systems available to the DoD that are truly exceptional (e.g. FN SCAR, Beretta ARX, HK416 and HK417, Steyr AUG which are a few of my personal favorites) the question has to be asked are they sufficiently exceptional to replace a 500,000 + unit inventory along with the supporting parts, training and logistics. Is there a business case? I haven’t seen that made, so any effort to replace the M4 seems whimsical. This is our 2¢ worth on the topic.

Source: Washington Times Article.

Posted in Weapon systems | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gear Review: S4 Gear ZOOM SVS Digiscoping Mount For Your Smartphone.


I had a complete blast working on this project for you guys. Testing some of the available software was informative; putting it through some of it paces to understand capabilities and limitations was an education. There is a lot of junk out there, but you’ll also find some diamonds in the rough.

Read my review

Posted in Fun Stuff, Optics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment