You may well heard of MoeGuns.Com, I certainly have and as 51k will testify they have too …
Based in Colorado, the UnitedStates, as simply stated they are dedicated to creating the coolest products of all time. This is no idle boast, trawling through their back catalogue – they surely have an impressive catalogue of cool patches and apparel, for real steel shooters, military, law enforcement and of course fans of ‘Plastic Deth’ (Airsoft/MilSim).
By way of thank you, for our recent review of Strike Force Energy, our very good friends over at Allied RiskEquipment Consulting have sent down two of MoeGuns face wraps to try out and naturally give you an overview …
We’ve got the UK ‘Arid’ variant – made in Colorado, extremely comfortable moisture wicking fabric UPF 50+ Sun Protection One size fits all Extremely awesome Not welcome in the EU !!!
As they go onto explain, for our brothers in arms across the pond! Drink tea, curbstomp Nazi’s, and pour vinegar on everything in style!
I’ve long been a proponent of the face wrap, regardless of the weather, which here in the UK is more often inclement, and as such often have one in my pocket or day sack, always.
Great for the biting cold and frost of winter, and as moisture wicking neck gaiter during sunnier climes.
I’ll confess, patriotic as the next man, purely out of personal choice – large items adorned with our countries flag have always struck me as a little cliched. However, here the distressed patterning, subdued mottled tones of the chosen color ways selected – here make for a more subdued and sublime affair, complimenting any other camouflage worn.
It’s always the little details that please me, and here MoeGuns have delivered in style with a concealed label print replete with US flag printed just short of the seam, a nice touch f’sure.
Both ends of the wrap are double stitched, opposed to most wraps which are just cut, and prone to becoming frayed or rolling up on themselves, this with its scissor stitched seam, helps retain its shape, form and height.
Besides, if anyone gets too close to recognize the iconic bars of the ‘Union Jack‘ flag it’s either too late for them or they’re a friend …
These are also, available in ‘BetsyRoss‘ and ‘Blue Line‘ variants, as well as Australian and Canadian patterns – the latter with its oversized Maple Leaf looks really bad ass !!!
Comprised of 82% polyester, 8% spandex these are a lightweight, breathable option for those looking for a functional alternative to solid block colors which have traditionally dominated the market for years. Better yet, with a little added patriotic morale.
These are of course available from MoeGun’s web store (see link below) but, for those based in the UK or for that matter Europe, these are available exclusively from Huey’s MilitaryTactical Outdoor store.
Huey’s deserves a special mention here, along with MoeGun’s wraps these guys are truly an overwhelmingly stocked online emporium of military, outdoor and tactical gear and equipment. Often all offered at incredibly competitive pricing supported by second to none customer service – check em’ out for yourselves.
This Union Jack variant is exclusively through Allied RiskEquipment, and available from Huey’s MTO …
So, to summarize – MoeGun’s have, much to my initial chagrin, produced here a face wrap which has to my own surprise become an instant firm favorite and now sits securely in my day sack as part of Every Day Carry – in part, it’s design is actually after all quite appealing and more importantly comfortable and with plenty of stretch and give makes for an easy wear – S23
I’ve been sitting on this review, a long list of chores and interviews I’ve yet to complete. As it stood today, I’m able to cross this of the ‘to do list’ …
A few years back, I was fortunate enough to pick up what was then, a slightly more reasonably priced pair of Triumph Industries PRC 152 MBITR Radios (TRI).
Whilst I’ll defer to our more learned colleague over at the ever awesome Tactical Associates, these for me are a huge leap beyond the battered Motorola’s of old. Durable, functional and packed with features make them one of the go to high end choices for MilSim and Plastic Deth Communications.
Originally, one sat in the MBITR wing pouch on my much missed JPC, in the OEM wing mount pouch. However, shortly thereafter acquiring the CPC, not wanting to abide with the fixed MBITR pouch already on the carrier. Neither did I want the standard MBITR pouches I’d historically used on former load outs, such as Eagle IndustriesRLCS or SFLCS options.
I wanted something a little more tangible, something which I could palpably manipulate and give such a stunning functional communications platform a worthy home. Additionally, that brief had not only had to include a secure protective system of carriage, but one that screamed functionality and would allow easy access to operate …
Enter High Ground Gear Single-Hand, Drop-Down MBITR / PRC-148/152 Pouch …
High Ground Gear (HGG), quite aptly and succinctly offered this product description- This Drop-Down MBITR Pouch embodies our philosophy of “head up, eyes on the enemy”. Unlike all other drop down radio pouches, this one is designed to be opened and closed with only one hand so you can keep one hand on your weapon at all times. Not only that, but itgives you unlimited access to radio screen, buttons, and battery. As always, we provide an opening in the bottom so you can change batteries on the fly without having to disconnect from cables and head-sets. Also, by routing cables through the cableretention points, you will prevent your radio from getting hung up on cables every time you want to view the screen. Basically, this is the smoothest handheld radio pouch ever made. Stop communicating, start shooting – HGG
•Single-Hand Secured – keep one hand on your gun
Quite simply put, as per this pouches design brief allows you to have your blaster up in the fight, and access your radio without taking your eyes of the target.
This is achieved by simply releasing the Nexus Fastex ITW buckle, and pulling the padded/quilted pouches torso away from the rigid backing, which naturally attaches to Plate Carriers and Day Sacks via the MOLLE points on the rear.
Once open you can access the radio without removal, changing and manipulating its functions with ease and without having to disassemble your comm’s to do so.
To put back in position of carriage, gently pulling the two draw strings attached to the buckle pulls the pouch, ergo the radio close to the body, simply fasten the buckle and your good to go.
•Zippered Battery Access – cables/antennas stay on while you change out
Superb functionality here allows you to access your battery, switching it out in seconds without removing the radio, or removing the pouch.
Better, it saves the need to remove and disconnect comm’s cables, PTT’s and antennae when switching out batteries as it can now simply stay in place.
•Smart Cable Retention – cables never impede drop-down access
Bothinternally and externally, the pouch is outfitted with four hook and loop retention points.
Allowing for easy management of excess cabling, even stowage of the antenna and as you can see here, a chem light and pen !!!
•Total Port Access – side ports large enough for Silynx connectors
Two ports are cut either side, either for attachment of PTT connectors that utilize the side port pin attachment or just to press the radios PTT manually.
•Weight: 0.34 LBs
Despite dropping in features, reinforced stitching, zippers and buckles it’s a paltry 0.34 LBs, which with the minor impedement of additional weight of carrying comm’s, is a warmly welcomed small mercy.
It’s impressive nonetheless when considering it’s plethora of features.
Made from the ever durable 500DCordura HGG haveproducedpossiblyas it stands, one of the definitive radio pouches on the market. It’s quilted outer, offering a modicum of protection and with its stiffened backing attachment point, you have confidence that your comm’s are not going to be needless knocked or damaged when brushing through door ways, or exiting and entering vehicles.
It’s little touches that really finish it off, such as the admin loops for policing excess cable, and even the MOLLE has laced loops for easy and speedy attachment to your chosen form of carriage.
To conclude, this is a superb option to truly consider when looking not only for carriage solutions, but comm’s management too. Intuitive, adaptive and easy to install – it’s earned and won its place in my gear locker with ease – S23
Recently, good friend Richard over at Allied RiskEquipment Consulting reached out to us and got in touch.
Over an hour long phone call later, we’d covered the state of gear innovation within the industry, markets perhaps over looked by the tactical gear trade, jackets and soft shells, and how many is too many …
Suffice to say, he’s an articulate soul, very knowledgeable and I was humbled by his enthusiasm for our own little DIY project, this very blog.
I’m hopefully positive, we’ll undoubtedly collaborate in the future, and whilst I’m sworn to secrecy he has some very exciting projects coming up in the not so distant future.
In the meantime, as he sent down some samples to try out – we’ll take a look at Strike Force Energy Supplements.
What The Hell Are These
Rather than regurgitate company type and print, thus really do nothing other than running a photostat of what’s already in online – I thought I’d have a stab at really just giving you my honest impression and opinion.
Perhaps, possibly the best reflection in part, of the conversation I had with Rich from Allied Risk …
So, what the hell are these things.
Essentially, an energy gel in a small foil sachet, which when added to 1/2 (16.9 oz) liter of water provides a consumable effervescent beverage to give you a boost to push beyond that wall or fight fatigue.
Made from nothing other than water, with a little Caffeine, B6, B12 and Niacin each 160g serving contains no sugars or calories …
How Best to Use
In the first instance it’s simply added to water, where it dissolves leaving no crystals or syrupy residue, almost instantaneously. It gives the water a fizzy effervescence, I can only propagate that assists with when consumed it’s digestion and subsequent energy release.
The standard packs I have whilst sweet, have a sour citrus/apple flavor which is by no means unpalatable and when added to the correct amount of water is not overpowering in taste.
No need to shake or stir, and the only item left for disposal is the small sachet. So, no more cans, tubs or bottles of energy drinks – needlessly taking up space in pockets, jackets or kit bags. In fact I like that these can be stashed in and around a variety of every day apparel, kit bags, day sacks and even Plate Carriers.
Does it Work
For me yes, however – and here’s the caveat. I drink a lot of coffee (no surprise) so I put some thought to how, when and where I decided to use it …
First application was during breakfast, I decided prior to eating to prepare a solution and consume a third before, during and after breakfast. Subsequently undertaking a short mile and half run, I returned refreshed and otherwise good to go for the remainder of the morning.
Whilst hardly the ultimate test in the first instance I certainly noticed less fatigue, or overall ‘resistance’ during exercise and certainly no ill effects.
I’ve since used it, predominantly as an on off occasional flavoring to the liter of water I consume, as carried in my day sack. Working odd shifts, extended duties often sees fatigue set in at the end and particularly on long journeys home.
Here, drawing a fresh bottle of water and emptying in a sachet of Strike Force has been a welcome and refreshing alternative to my usual late night coffee – essentially, encouraging the consumption of more water can be no bad thing too …
It’s here, I’ve arrived home feeling a little more alert, cognitively aware and less groggy and fatigued.
Now, the real test came when undertaking routine heavy exercise and here I found a palpable difference, and for the better too …
Making up a solution I consumed a third before exercise, a third during and third post exercise whilst cooling down.
Here, remarkably there was a markedly noticeable improvement in performance, marginal as it was but I felt more physically inclined to participate and give extra effort to what usually when tired is observed as ‘chore’.
In conclusion, these – perhaps like a pack of gum, a confectionary bar, or even some other snack are an incredibly welcome addition to your kit bag.
Moreover, they’ve become along with my other EveryDay Carry (EDC) items a permanent inclusionary item.
I’ve put one in virtually every jacket, sleeve pocket, a handful in each day sack and one sits in every admin pouch on both plate carriers and IFAK’s …
Why, purely because – I can recall all to often waiting far from anywhere to get food or a hot coffee, and as I regularly have a bottled water or two with me everywhere I go, these, when fatigue sets in are truly invaluable – S23
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to AirsoftInternational each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
Anniversary Mk III S23 Patch
Celebrating our third anniversary of the blog, we have created our third Mk III patch – the S23 patch.
Measuring 5.6 cm by 3 cm in ‘burnt orange’ with black embroidered 23 – our S23 ‘Ranger Diamond’ celebrates the very best of the S23Familia ethos.
This is a pre order limited to only 50 pieces – delivery takes 2-3 weeks – S23
My Own Way of Life – An interview with MilSim Wests Joshua Warren
Joshua Warren, a name synonymous with MilSim West, possibly one of the most innovative and immersive MilSim event organizers Stateside right now.
If you’ve not attended one of their events yet, if your Stateside, or not been following their exploits as reported on line your really, quite frankly missing out. It’s in my opinion, as a humble observer, they’ve really taken the whole MilSim ethos, smashed it to pieces and for the better rebuilt in their own image.
Designed by players for players, bolstered by years and years of real steel experience – they’ve actively built upon their success to produce an ever evolving series of immersive and highly realistic free flowing events to form an interconnecting series steeped in immersion and realism.
Joshua is surely passionate, hard work and aggressively forth right in his vision to deliver innovation and drive MilSim forward onto bigger and better things.
Whilst this has perhaps attracted its fair share of criticism and derision, unsurprisingly from competitors. His candor and general integrity has seen him stand tall, and much to their displeasure call it as he see it.
Whilst generally an unassuming humble soul, he’s not been afraid to make the hard decision, be brave and push MSW ever forward he neither unnecessarily rests on his laurels or his past achievements. Unsurprising, as this is second nature to this former 75th Ranger – as they say ‘Sua Sponte‘ …
Read on as we’ve been graciously afforded the opportunity to talk with Joshua, about MSW, gear and blasters, and the future ….
S23: Hey bro, welcome aboard and a huge thank you for taking time out to sit down with us for an interview. Now, I’m aware you have had a rather illustrious former career, serving amongst the United States premier light infantry, specialist operations unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment. I can only imagine, it’s a truly life defining experience, one which continues to pursue endeavors today with drive, ambition and excellence. Tell us a little of your time in the 75th, and perhaps how that’s shaped for the better how you pursue your current endeavors and projects ? JW: Well I wouldn’t call it illustrious. I had a pretty standard junior enlisted guy career in C company 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment. The battalion was and still is based at Fort Lewis, WA although it’s now called Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I enlisted in the Army in January of 2001 with an 11X option-40 contract . After finishing Infantry one unit station training and Airborne school I was in RangerIndoctrination Program (RIP) class 12-01. The selection program is now called RASP (Ranger Assesment and Selection Program) and has been expanded from 3 weeks (when I attended) to eight weeks. The third day of my RIP class was 9/11. That class started with over 400 students and graduated 42. To be honest it was refreshing to be in such a challenging selection/training program. I found basic training and Airborne school to be easy, not challenging and truly designed around the lowest common denominator.
After RIP I was assigned to 3rd Platoon C company 2/75 where I was known as a loudmouth dirtbag private. I got smoked (physical exercise punishments) regularly by all the ‘tabs” (platoon members who had graduated Ranger School) and NCOs probably in hopes I would quit. What I learned is the best time to talk shit is when you are already being punished, it’s not like they can punish you more at that moment. After 10 months in 2/75 as the lowest form of life on earth (a private) and a combat deployment to Afghanistan in the winter/spring of 2002 I was sent to the U.S. Army Ranger school class 05-03. I returned to C co as honor grad of RS class 05-03 and dodged being the RTO for 3 platoon by moving to the weapons platoon as an E-4 team leader. I did two more deployments to Afghanistan and two to Iraq as a 84mm Carl Gustav team leader , call-sign CG42 (charlie company, gun, 4plt, 2nd gun team). I was honorably discharged in 2005 after 4 years of active service. I spent another 4 years in the reserves after that mostly talking shit about what a badass I was in Ranger Regiment.
Although it was an incredible experience I find it important not to let it define my whole life. The further I get from the experience the more I realize it was who I am and choose to be daily that made me a Ranger and still makes me successful today. I certainly still know, believe in and follow the Ranger Creed today but I think my current career as an event promoter has been more rewarding and life defining in many ways. That said I wouldn’t be here without those experiences or what I learned about leadership there.
I will always remember my friends who gave up their lives for our Regiment and our creed.
In particular the deaths of NathanStahl and Kris Domeij affected me on a deep personal level. Nathan was the gunner in my team during my last deployment to Iraq and he was killed in an ambush in Ramadi during the period of darkness between 21-22 September 2004. I had trained him since he arrived at the unit and was assigned to my team. I considered him a close personal friend who often spent time at my house despite being my subordinate. Kris was a team leader with the FIST team in C Co on the deployment when Nathan was killed. He was a great Ranger buddy to me both during the ambush and after when I was packing up Nathan’s personal stuff and gear. Later when I left active duty he threw me a surprise birthday party with all the guys from my old section and platoon. It made a big impact because that first year out of the military is always the most difficult. Seeing that my friends in Regiment hadn’t forgotten about me was a real boost to my mood. Kris was killed in action October 22 2011 in Afghanistan. He had 14 deployments when he died which is what most Rangers would call a truly illustrious career as a warrior.
Something about my background most people may not be aware of is that both of my parents have worked in live performance production for over 40 years. They ran a playhouse and worked for different theaters throughout my entire childhood. When they ran their own part of my “chores” included performing, doing technical work or helping market the business. I have been in more than two dozen professional productions before I was 18. A lot of the marketing, management and interpersonal leadership skills I use now as a promoter/producer I learned from them.
Particularly my mother who doesn’t need social media because she remembers hundreds of peoples life stories, birthdays, addresses and phone numbers.
S23: I’ve also observed, you’ve a long standing fascination with history and by default Militaria. I’ve seen you present and WWII reenactment events, and of course sporting a wide variety of Russian gear at events as OpFor. Has this interest been with you from an early age or something you picked at a later stage ?
JW: I started reenacting the American Revolutionary War when I was 7 years old. Lot’s of kids do this because their parents do it but mine didn’t. They drove me to reenactments like soccer practices and hung out on the sidelines with juice boxes which I refused to drink from until the reenactment was over. Fun fact warm water from a wood canteen is not as good as juice and when you’re a child it doesn’t occur to you to replace it with booze. (laughs)
I reenacted the revolutionary war until I joined the Army after high school so you could say that was my main hobby as a child.
After I got out of the Army I got back in to reenacting. Several of the founders of MSW and myself where on an Airsoft team that also did reenacting for years before we started the company. I have even dabbled in some other eras specifically American Civil War. I still enjoy trolling reenactment groups on social media for the ‘lulz’. When I go back to the hobby eventually I think I wan’t to reenact a period before the invention of gunpowder.
S23: So, back to the beginning how did you get started with PlasticDeth (Airsoft) ?
JW: After I got out of the Army in 2006 I was working as a recruiter and I discovered Airsoft while setting up a recruiting event at a local arena.
I eventually joined a team called Battlesim and that’s where I met Brian the co-owner of MilSim West.
S23: … leading on from that, as one of the founding members and CEO of MilSim West, how did that get all started. Did you have a perception that something was lacking within the AmericanMilSim community, a gap in the market if you will ? JW: In 2012 I was working for an arena in Tacoma, WA. I started MilSim West under a different name with my friends BrianClarkson, Marshall Smith, BradBall, Micah Hegland and NathanMarques. It was meant to be a subsidiary business to the arena promoting outdoor games in the summer when business at the arena was slow. The arena owner tried to take creative control of the project after our first event was successful so we just formed an LLC agreed upon the name MilSimWest which was Marshall’s suggestion and Nathan Marques designed the logo.
The 40 hour format to our events is something I always thought was lacking in the larger war gaming hobby be it electronic or otherwise. There’s a lot of casual war games to be played but ultimately the founding group enjoyed a slower paced game that required a higher level of commitment and rewarded team based play.
MSW wasn’t the first brand to come up with the concept of a hard core game, I would say MSW has developed one of the better and more comprehensive rule books and organizations for running hard core games though.
S23: I’ve been a huge fan, closely following MSW’s progression from event to event, they’ve just got bigger, better, stronger with each one. The utilization of vehicles, special effects, extended patrols onto target, night phases, and and overarching organic storyline as the mission unfolds with a solid command structure has made for even me as a spectator online a truly immersive series. Is this suspension of disbelief important to you, and perhaps a vital aspect of the MilSim West ethos ? JW: Of course. MilSim West events are a carefully constructed fantasy designed to entertain and challenge. All the roleplay and pretend culture for pretend nations that goes on just builds on that.
Ultimately it’s the 40 hours format of the games that helps make it seem the most real in my opinion. Imagine how easy it is to feel connected to the game when you don’t leave the field for a hotel or a campground after the sun goes down.
When you wake up two days in a row with your eyepro on still playing Airsoft its hard to know whats real which is sort of the point I think for most people. Ultimately this is a hobby of escapism.
The issue of supply in the form of all Airsoft ammunition, medical bottles (for reviving dead players) and drinking water creates a real need for a chain of command outside of the actual shooting of pellets at others.
The need for supply creates a more cohesive “unit” structure. The scene around MSW events tends to attract large coalition style teams that can fill out an entire 40 person platoon in one impression or uniform.
S23: What’s expected of the attending players, have they perhaps struggled with the rigors of field craft and sustaining themselves over an extended period in game, is prior preparation briefed out to give them an expectation or have they overall endured with out issue ? JW: Our tactical standard operating procedure (TACSOP) is in excess of 60 pages.
Most of that information is not just rules but safety information, packing lists, descriptions of roles and responsibilities in the combat unit and other information for those who dont have a military background.
We start publishing warning orders at 30 days prior to an event and planning products hit are released on a regular schedule up until the event.
Players are emailed waivers as well as mock military orders with instructions on how and when to arrive on the friday of the event. I would say that preparedness crucial to enjoying a MSW event. If it rains and all you brought was a jacket, life sucks.
S23: Whilst it’s awkward to simulate this over here in the UK, I was impressed to see the use of blank firing weaponry. We’ve had similar events offering similar immersion, almost RealSim, with high end production for casualties, pyro and explosive effects – aside from additional elements such as communications, detailed event briefings – this has been a well received element. Whilst enjoyed by those in attendance, and from onlookers who understood what’s being sought to achieve, it has raised to negative reactions from the uninitiated – what’s your perspective ? JW: It’s a normal concern. Watching videos of people playing a game that looks much like real life can be unsettling to many, especially so when they see and hear gunfire.
War is a real shitty thing. If you think about the hobby of reenacting, or wargaming or MilSim or whatever the brand name is you’re using for your war/violence roleplay game is from an outsiders perspective – I don’t think it’s hard to see where that reaction comes from.
Overwhelmingly throughout history the people who suffer the most from war are the civilians who live in the places it happens.
War play could be seen as an insult to many and probably is most popular in places not experiencing civil war, war, famine and mass homelessness. That said it’s entertainment and so it really shouldn’t matter if people find it offensive.
I find all kinds of entertainment other people enjoy offensive so luckily that’s not the bar to legality. I imagine it’s much easier to shoot firearms in the USA than it is in the UK but I know there are reenactment events in the UK so it’s possible of course.
Realistically our blank fire safety check is far beyond any safety check I have ever seen in my many years of reenacting. WWII reenacting is basicallyhistorical Airsoft with blanks and even less people calling their own hits . In all my years of doing it I never once remember anyone checking my weapons for safety or seeing any one else checked. I remember reenacting the revolutionary war in the 90s running around with a large bore musket and a 3 foot bayonet at 12.
Just because reenacting as a worldwide hobby generally plays it super loose on safety doesn’t mean I wan’t to run a business that way. MSW does a 100% equipment check prior to allowing participants in so we can ensure no contraband or live ammunition makes it in to the event.For those with concerns here is verbatim the pre event safety check we require of every single participant using blanks
The pre event inspection is performed by a designated MSW Cadre member at each factions in processing site. The designated blank fire safety cadre will validate the players in process checklist for the blank fire station when they have completed the following steps:
1) Submit to a magazine and ammo check with magazines empty and all ammunition in its original packaging as purchased or in clear plastic bags if the original packaging was discarded.
2) State the four rules of firearms safety from memory as follows: All guns are always loaded. Never let the muzzle cross anything you are not willing to shoot. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire. Be sure of your target and beyond.
3) Field strip the rifle, reassemble it and perform a functions check.
4) Demonstrate understanding of the 20 foot, 180 degree safety zone extending from the muzzle, while performing a test fire. The Cadre will present the blank user with three scenarios involving targets at various ranges and the cadre member standing in various positions around the shooter.
Shooters must only engage target outside of the 20 foot distance and never engage with cadre standing in their safety fan. Weapons firing blanks must pass this station with two shots per target and no malfunctions.
In the event of malfunctions it is at the cadres discretion to allow the shooter time to adjust the weapon and try again or simply not allow a malfunctioning weapon in to the event.
S23: Now, you’ve just completed the latest installment of RostovRising, what’s your assessment of that event, and what’s planned for the future ? JW: I consider Rostov Rising a great victory for Spain. DanMcKinlay who commanded the Russian Forces at that event may feel differently.
Personally I enjoyed rolling out my new Airsoft alter ego for that game as leader of a Spanish Army Task Force fighting in southern Russia in a “conquered land for military service arrangement” with NATO.
The basic tactical scenario for that event was a Spanish led company sized task force vs a company minus of Cossack militiamen led and supported by Russian regular forces.
The NATO force was tasked with crossing a river and clearing the entire AO of Russian forces no later than the 11:00 Hrs cease fire time on Sunday of the event.
Luckily for MSW both sides came away from the event claiming victory so we will likely return to that venue again.
S23: You recently collaborated with Tactical Tailor to produce a superb radio pouch with Baofeng users in mind – and I know this was more personably inspired, the MSWClaymoreBag, a refreshing new take, a twist on a classic. (In fact I’ve just seen additional items include the MSW/TT Chest Desk Pouch, Emergency Panel and Go Pro Battery Counterweight Pouch added to your store)
What was the inspiration to not only produce these to incredibly reasonable priced items, and how did the collaboration come about ? JW: Thanks that’s actually a question for my partner BrianClarkson.
We had been receiving sponsorship in the form of gear for our Cadre from Tactical Tailor when he came up with the field gear product line of soft goods. Our first product was actually our MilSim West Tourniquet, which is a low cost mock tourniquet for wargaming.
We issue them to all participants at our events. Participants wearing real equivalent weight armor and helmets can use two of them. When you are hit any team member can apply your tourniquet. After that a platoon or company medic must give you a 16oz water bottle which you have to drink before you can remove your MSWTQ and return to the ‘plastic fray’.
S23: Now, this blew my mind, you’ve recently had a new addition to the team, none other than Halo22 from MARSOC’sDagger 22 – yes readers, SSGT Michael Golembesky has joined MSW’s ranks. You may well read his two books Level Zero Heroes and Dagger 22.
Joshua, how’d this opportunity come about, from what I’ve read he’ll be working with you guys for the foreseeable future ? JW: Ski has been working with us for a while. His first event was ‘The Battle of the Caucasus’ in Wyoming and he has been a regular part of the Cadre since then.
Brian Clarkson reached out to him and recruited him as MSW Cadre.
He brings a lot of energy to what we do and I love working with him on events. He designed the latest MSW website and does a lot of other creative work behind the scenes . Dan McKinlay may disagree once again but Ski is undefeated as a NATO faction commander in MSW events.
S23: So, having been there, done that in the ‘real steel’ world – what’s in your kit bag, your go to cool guy gear or essentials that make time in the field a little easier on the soul ? JW: Loads of snack and comfort items. The older I get the harder it is to sleep on the ground without a sleeping pad and pillow.
When it comes to the rest of my kit I try to keep it as simple and functional as possible with the minimum required amount of fashion to fit in with the other kids at the pool.
S23: Likewise, whilst I know your often busy and preoccupied with planning, preparation and the running of events. But, on the odd occasion you have time, you still get behind the trigger to bring a little extra muscle. Talk us through your blaster set up ? JW: I play a fair bit both at MSW events and other promotions and local events. I have attended a few AmericanMilsim events and had a really good time. I go to local event’s hosted by the ChicagoAirsoft Association and MirTactical near where I live in Chicago.
I’m a lackluster member of a local chapter of a national team I started in Seattle with Nathan Marques.
My blaster set up is a stock E&L AK105 with a fancy Tac Light Brian told me to buy and a G&G 3 power optic. I don’t know what it’s called I just know the sound it makes when it spits plastic (laughs). S23: Before we conclude the interview with our trademark question – what next for MSW ? JW: Continued expansion of our events throughout the UnitedStates.
We will be bringing our popular insurgency series of events we started on the WestCoast to the East Coast.
S23: … Really appreciate you taking the time out to talk, obligatory last question I always like to ask (kind of a trademark), I’m a fan of 30 Rounds per mag, what’s your thoughts on this – could you see this perhaps bringing something new and fresh to game play if embraced by the masses ?
JW: It’s Airsoft, if you can dream it you can make it real! I think that would be cool for arena type play but at mixed ranges the limitations of air powered muskets makes that less fun.
I think a 3/1 BB to bullet ratio is ideal for mixed range MilSim style games – Josh
Huge thanks to Joshua, taking time out to pen this highly personable, insightful and humorous interview – I’m sure you’ll be a big solid and head over and check out MilSim West and be sure to check out all the incredible event photography which has kindly been used here with permission from MSW – cheers S23
Welcome to the first official ViperTeam post. Here, the first Ai500 of 2017, ‘The Gathering‘ looms large upon us. This is my seventh outing leading the Viper Task Force out against the ‘Green Team‘ AKA ‘Mongoose‘. This has seen hundreds of Airsoft Players, from all over the United Kingdom and from across the globe wage a campaign of attrition across innumerable sites and locations, showcasing some of the finest large scale game play our community has to offer.
This time out, at our largest event yet, will see over 400 players from both teams wage Plastic Deth within the confines of an eerily disused ‘theme park’.
Led by Airsoft International magazine, and accompanied by sponsors Enola Gaye, AirsoftWorld, Viper, Action SportsGames, Abbey International, Intelligent Armor it promises to be a truly explosive Airsoft event in this years gaming calendar.
Task Force Viper
The team at present, will see the entire Task Force, led by myself and longstanding second in command Ben Dickie, as well as sub commanders leading the six call signs, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo and Foxtrot into the front lines of the action.
Wether you are attending as a small group of friends, individually, or as team you’ll be allotted prior to gameplay to one of the above six call signs. We will not be splitting up any teams, respecting the very fact you collectively wish to remain together throughout. Smaller groups and individuals will be allotted to callsigns to bring them up to full strength.
This allows, the overall command to equally share various tasking, missions and objectives equally out to you all via your sub commanders.
This worked exceptionally well at the last event. Keeping everyone abreast of objectives as they unfolded, and amazingly everyone in the action.
This also allows us to manage each callsign, and respectively withdraw them from the action, allowing them to rearm and reload as well as collecting ‘wounded and dead players’ and thus preparing them, at full strength to go back into the action. This ultimately puts you in the position to get maximum time out in the Area of Operations (AO) – and, experience to the fullest extent, the scenario and combat as it unfolds.
Essentially, all I require from each and everyone one of you is to bring your ‘A Game’ as well as an abundance of positive enthusiasm, honorable play and honest hit taking. Approaching each tasking and objective with cheery enthusiasm will only further our position to achieve victory.
It may at times seem like you’ve been given a less than glamorous tasking or objective, however as was often proved, as we often moved callsigns around the AO they often clashed with the opposition and found each and every objective and strategic position hotly contested. So, have faith and bear in mind throughout whilst it may appear that your purpose appears to be either a little vague or the overall objective seems distant and obscure it often serves the greater overall picture unfolding elsewhere.
What I can absolutely promise is you will all be in the thick of the action, fighting in and throughout a varied urban and CQB environment.
We will be again running the Command Net on PMR Channel Five, sun channel one. In simple terms, for those with Pre Programmed radios, that’s Channel Five. Here, for those that require to pre program their comm’s here are the frequencies and a few tips to optimize clear comm’s.
We invite all of you to use, and utilize the command channel, but, whilst this caused zero issues on our last deployment I ask only that you do so responsibly.
In simple terms, at the request of command to standby and clear the channel please do so. This is often to allow us to either brief out via the command channel new missions, objectives and intelligence on enemy positions, and additionally to direct each callsign into position and into action.
You can use the command net to offer new intelligence, requests for support and reinforcements and of course, inform command you’ve completed and objective or mission as well as requesting new updated missions and objectives.
For inter team comm’s please use channels six and above.
You’ll more than likely find, that each sub commander either has already a nominated a Radio Control Operator (RCO) or if you are up to the task with reliable communications equipment, please present your self to your sub commander on a voluntary basis.
This is a vital task, often seeing you deliver up to date intel to your sub commanders, often under fire in the thick of the action …
Getting Squared Away – Gears, Camouflage, Kit and Equipment
Here’s the fun part of the event, something which to a lesser or greater degree we all enjoy and enthuse over.
Whilst, we’ve covered how best to prepare for a event, AO’s and climates elsewhere on this blog, and in exclusive content for Airsoft International, here we will look at gears and load outs within the frame work of this event and the rules as they apply to our Task Force.
Traditionally, we have the option of a myriad of patterns that best fall under the simple description of ‘arid or desert’ color ways. This includes, Multicam, and Pattern (MTP), Desert MARPAT, DCU Tri-Color, No.5 Pattern (Desert DPM), Tan, Coyote Brown (CB), Flat DarkEarth (FDE) even UCP (Universal Camo Pattern) etc …
You get the idea, or rather the theme. This is quite simply is to assist with the distinct definition that we are not on the GreenTeam. Who will naturally be running the darker North European patterns and solid greens and blacks.
It further serves the purpose, that we do not have to ruin the suspension of disbelief, by using brightly colored tape or armbands to define which force we are operating under. In lieu of armbands, and this will be covered more succinctly and in detail upon the full release of the event rules, we will be operating a patch based medic rule, which if you don’t have them from previous attendance, will be issued prior to the commencing of combat operations.
You can mix and match colors from the colors and camouflages we’ve been allocated, but you cannot use any of the patterns allotted to the Green Team.
Plate Carriers & LBE
Now, you’ll naturally need something to carry your magazines, pyro, communication systems, hydration and all other ancillary equipment you may feel you require whilst out on operations undertaking your objectives and takings.
These can be any color.
Naturally, if your Chest Rig, Plate Carrier or Load Bearing Equipment (LBE) matches the above colors, you are already at a distinct advantage.
However, if your equipment is of any other color or pattern, do not despair, you can use it as long as your upper and lower clothing meets the required Camouflage and Colors as outlined above.
A question often asked, is with reference to jackets for foul or inclement weather, unlikely as it is to either rain or be particularly cold, this is the British Isles and at best weather is, as you well know, unpredictable. Both teams have used a variety of jackets, in neutral colors, or in camouflage patterns which reflect which side they fight for.
I’d avoid using a Camouflage jacket which uses the oppositions colors as your likely to be mistaken either by them or your own team mates. A hit is a hit, and blue on blue will require you to take the appropriate action under the medic rules, or return to your ‘medical facility’ before being returned to the front lines.
I’ve included here, several options of Chest Rigs, Plate Carriers and combined LBE – which dependent on either the AO, tempo of operations and duration spent in the field as well as required equipment, dictates which I’ll use.
High Speed, Low Drag
A Chest Rig is an ideal solution to carry at least a minimum of Primary and Secondary magazines for your blasters. Ideal for short Direct Action (DA), HostageRescue Team (HRT) and Reconnaissance style missions. You’ve got enough munitions, including grenades, smoke and flash bangs to complete your objective, either eliminate or defend yourself against any OpFor encountered and break contact back to the safety of friendly lines. This will invariably allow you to carry communication systems, hydration and any other mission essential equipment.
Plate Carriers, whilst, perhaps within the remit of Airsoft are quite possibly redundant, as we really don’t need ballistic and fragmentation projection, but they do offer a broader load bearing capability due to their expanded real estate of MOLLE. Using a well set up Plate Carrier, can allow you to carry more ammunition, hydration, complex communication systems as well as more grenades, smokes and flash bangs. It’s need to be duly reflected, that we all enjoy looking the part, and why not. That’s half the fun and adds to the sheer escapism and suspension of disbelief.
But, bear in mind, more kit carried equates to weight and this over time, if not conditioned to it, or overloaded will in some instances cause fatigue, in the best case spoil your enjoyment of the event at worse cause exhaustion, dehydration and leave you tired and aching. That aside, some say, that if your not tired and aching after a full days Plastic Deth then you’ve been doing it all wrong …
LBE combined with lighter options, as seen here with a slick LV-MBAV meets a happy middle ground. Where form meets function, and can be further combined with a belt load. Perhaps and ideal compromise, maintaining an aesthetic appearance whilst keeping a high speed, low drag functionality could possibly be a good direction to consider.
Here, this simple premise allows you to undertake quick and fast missions, and if ammunition and supplies hold another one or hold a position until reinforcements arrive before having to withdraw and rearm …
Ball caps, Beanies and Boonies are all favored soft head borne apparel. If you choose to prefer the above options, or not as the case may be, the choice is yours. I often have all of the above, or a selection of at my disposal. Wether it be for prepping kit, briefing out callsigns, or light patrol of the front lines to see how the battle progresses these are all options, particularly when the weather draws in and it gets a little darker and colder.
However, and this is personal choice, when I’m in the thick of the action, particularly in CQB or Urban environments, my chosen PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) is invariably some form of helmet, ballistic or not, most high end replicas will afford protecting you not only the bumps, knocks and scrapes all too generously collected mid firefight but allow the carriage and application of other equipment. This can be anything from communication headsets and ear protection, lights, strobes and even NVG’s.
Boots are an expansive subject in their own right. One that can and has not only filled the venerable pages on here, but across the global web, magazines and no end of experts will tell you what you should expect, need and demand from your foot wear.
I’m happy to solicit questions on advice on particular boots, and what you can expect from certain brands and models.
However, I’ll say this much in advance. I’d advise wearing a boot you’ve already pre worn and are comfortable in, confident it won’t injure your feet or ankles. There is nothing worse than sore or blistered feet, or a twisted or sprained ankle to put you out of the fight. A little baby powder and wet wipes to clean your feet is no bad thing, as are several pairs of clean good quality socks.
Recommended kit is a pair of gloves, the choice is yours, but it’ll save you from scrapes and scratches and your tear through the AO assailing obstacles and rough terrain. Invariably at one point or another it’ll offer some respite from the inevitable painful shot to hand – it’s a good idea to look after those trigger fingers.
I’ve amassed a varied collection, from the near indestructible Mechanix, the Classic Sage Green ‘Flight Gloves’ to PIG’s FDT shooters gloves, MountainHardwear for cold weather and the up armored Oakley SIAssaultGloves.
Whilst ultimately we recommend full seal goggles or safety glasses with either a full face, or lower face mesh mask, one things for sure they must meet the correct ballistic safety specifications of ANSI Z87.1 – this by definition is a rating specific to high impact velocity projectiles traveling at speed, therefore creating mass. Eye Protection, giving a snug full seal offers in general terms a level of confidence with regards to protecting your eye sight with the risk we are subjecting ourselves too.
I use, personally as it offers a good fit and seal to the form and shape around my eyes, either OakleyGascan’s or Monster Dog’s. Other brands such as Smith, Bolle, Revision are, if safety relevant all trusted brands.
Without these, we’d be really out of the game. As long as they are reliably and consistently functioning, with in the agreed site/event limits measured in Feet Per Second (FPS) with a 0.20g BB you are good to go. Naturally, I’d ensure you bring at least one weapons platform that you confidently and reliably trust to perform. Good trigger respond, charged spare batteries, or plentiful gas to operate is a must, with a reliable Hop giving you a consistent shot to shot accuracy will ensure you can throw down in a firefight with the best of them.
Other things to consider, but by no means essential, include a weapon mounted torch, useful for the gloom and murk of unlit interiors, and of course low light as the day draws to a close. A sling, ensures weapon retention and allows for easy transition to your secondary platform without it clattering to the floor.
Vert or Angle Fore-grips allow for a steadier manipulation of your platform, and not only assist with a shooting form making for easier sight acquisition but a steady platform keeping shot to shot on target.
If your running NVG’s, a DBAL or PEQ with an IR capability allows you discreetly paint unwitting targets, and if accurately zeroed put out an accurate shot from under shadowy cloak of darkness.
Scopes, Red Dots and Holo Sights are all great additions to assist either shooting at range, quickly bringing your blaster onto target or transitioning from target to target.
But, remember – they need to be zeroed to accurately reflect your guns range and shot to shot consistency.
A secondary can take many forms, dependent on your role within in a team or style of play. Invariably this is commonly a pistol, with a minimum of one or two magazines. Great for drawing when there’s insufficient time to reload and the threat is still present.
Aside from being cleaned, lubricated and serviceable – checking your secondary’s Hop is consistent and gives you shot to shot consistency at any given moment, will give you the confidence to take the fight head on to the OpFor.
Other options, may comprise of Shotguns, popular amongst breachers and point men, first through the door, or as an extra little punch in CQB conditions particularly when running an SMG such as an MP7 …
In certain instances, an SMG serves as a great secondary, such as players running support weapons or DMR’s which are inoperable inside building and confined spaces.
One is none, two is one …
Support Weapons & DMR’s
A recent conversation threw out the question, can Airsoft, specifically blasters, truly mimic their Real Steel Counterparts.
Whilst range, accuracy and rates of fire may not be indirectly comparable, I’d wager with the spectrum of their optimal range and accuracy – yes they can.
Support Weapons, such as M249’s, Mk48’s and the like can be to great effect, a superb addition to any teams arsenal, put down voluminous rates of fire, and spread to an area effect. Scoring multiple OpFor ‘casualties’ at best. Even in worst case scenario, thwarting an enemies movement, progress or their ability to even return fire. Well positioned support weaponry can, really alter the flow and outcome of any firefight.
Likewise, an effective and accurate DMR or Sniper platform offers that ability to reach out a little farther. Pushing back the OpFor, making certain routes and areas contested for dominancy a no go, all down to an accurate and skilled marksman.
Conversely, these can be defeated by drawing us into the tight confines of an urban area, or within the CQB chaos of interiors, it’s all about using the right tool for the right job, employing a strategy best suited to your chosen weapons platform.
So, aside from personal admin gear, sufficient water and food (although catering and local amenities are available) sleeping systems, repair kits, batteries, batteries and more batteries this essentially should serve as introduction to the new or initiated on their first big event, and for the experienced veteran a simple reminder and food for thought.
So, herein is a brief overview of preparing, planning and getting on the same page, to put us within good reach of a strong victory. Teamwork, patience, enthusiasm and a cheery can do attitude go a long way to ensuring not only your teammates have a good event, but your opposition too, and most of all, more importantly you. I’m looking forward to catching up with you all, old and new faces alike. I’ll be on hand throughout, not only steering us in a positive direction, but to answer your question, trouble shoot any problems or worries. Who’s with me – S23
Planet Caravan – Airsoft International Exclusive Content
Each and every month we produce exclusive content for the venerable pages of Airsoft International. Often commentary based, a social conjecture on the scene, or overview on its myriad of genres, to reviews, load outs and more …
Just short of our third anniversary we penned this piece originally printed in Vol 12 Issue 11, a return to our skirmishing roots – and as such, to give you the chance to see what we produce each month for Airsoft International I’ve reprinted it in long form. Territory – Elite Action Games Site Visit
Every Sunday thousands of players, in the UK descend upon their local Airsoft sites. Regardless of weather, rain or shine – they turn out to once again wage ‘War’ and make much ‘Plastic Deth’ …
It’s with this very enthusiastic approach to our beloved past time that I and very good friend Jon A descended upon what not only was my home site for many years, but also significant in that this was where my very first skirmish took place.
Often overlooked, the genre of Airsoft commonly known as Skirmishing is for many not only as good as it gets, but perhaps a commonality amongst most most if not all players. Undoubtedly I’d wager, most MilSim gods, SpeedSoft fanatics, and even RealSim re-enactors where born on your venerable skirmish field.
It’s this ethos that drove us to get out of the office, not only to re live the glory days of our origins, but to see what thousands of you, our readers religiously follow week in week out.
Furthermore, we thought it only fair, whilst revisiting old haunts we’d also review one of the UK’s best and most established Airsoft sites, the Airsoft International award winning Elite Action Games in Surrey.
Biased or not, many years before officially coming onboard I penned the very review that accompanied their site award way back in 2009.
Regardless, I’m keen to find out not only how the site has evolved, and more relevantly, why after all these years the buzz for Skirmishing has not waned, but grown exponentially.
A little history, not long formed before I actually started playing ‘Plastic Deth’ EAG Dorking (or Delta Kilo as I later affectionally coined it after its popular Nam based games). Was the sister site to both EAG Worthing, and the now sadly lamented CQB mayhem that was EAG Epsom, popularly known as ‘The Tunnels’.
Return to Strength
Anyhow, virtually almost exclusively for two and a half years, I cut my teeth and virtually every other weekend saw me descend upon EAG Dorking, ever refining my load out and more importantly my skill set.
Woodland based sites are not always to everyone’s taste, preferring either CQB based arenas or more urban style sites. However, here’s where EAG excels, it utilizes its extensive undulating terrain, eerie forestry and existing fauna and foliage not only to its advantage. They’ve considerably added to its vast size with buildings, fire bases and entrenched positions to best facilitate not only game play, but to create a tactically complex AO for you as player to operate within.
This allows for any given scenario run over the course of their walk on days, any number of options and solutions to approach your opposing force.
Yes, it’s skirmishing, but they’ve cleverly disguised it and embellished not only the site, but the game play to provide a far more immersive atmosphere be it the casual passing player, young gun or veteran MilSim aficionado.
So, it’s this premise that only furthers what is aside from a truly natural beauty spot, but lends an atmosphere of suspense and terror that would easily lead you to believe your fighting across the Mekong Delta, in the height of summer an Ecuadorian jungle or in winter, Cold War Northern Europe.
This is all bolstered by friendly, amenable and professional staff, who as enthusiasts of the hobby themselves work long and hard to deliver a top day to all present.
So, back here after few years absence whilst crossing the country playing at a whole slew of sites, and event. It appeared whilst much had changed and been improved upon it was reassuringly familiar. I must confess, I’ve missed the relaxed atmosphere and pre game amble as people gear up over a hot drink.
Safety briefing was succinctly informative, detailing the rules and site regulations without sending everyone to sleep, but more importantly reiterated EAG’s long standing commitment to safety, fair play and honest hit taking. This ultimately set the tone for the day, that we are all here to have fun.
Martin, head marshall admirably picked up the slack whilst John recuperates from recent surgery – was keen to iterate and explain to us that the sites key ambition, as it always has, is to ensure varied and different styles of objective gameplay. This, is because whilst the site attracts a large number of new and old players who descend upon the site, they are keen to offer something that entices more veteran players from other genres of the past time.
First game of the day was, whilst a simple premise, was an attack based scenario. Here, including my accompanying photographer and two other long standing players – simply put, we took on the remaining sixty players who took up defensive positions with the labyrinthine FOB.
As we assaulted from two flanking positions, fallen players joined our side and increased our attacking force until only a few remained.
Here, the newly built FOB, built upon the remains of the old ‘Paintball’ fort really shone. Once inside its newly increased size is broken down into maze of corridors and doorways with elevated fortifications and watchtowers.
It’s really cool to transition for woodland assault to interior CQB and this scenario allowed for a great start to the day.
Despite the weather being absolutely diabolical, much of the earlier snowfall still being present. The site despite being swamped in huge knee deep pools of rain and slick mud over sixty players had braced the cold and wet to break the post New Year blues.
To be fair, all credit to the site the mud and rain only added to its character, and fighting through the slimy muddy undulating undergrowth for me just made it all the more immersive.
So, everyone freshly warmed up from the first bout, we broke into a very simple domination game fighting over munitions in the middle of the Cable Reel field. This was essentially a good excuse to get into a good old firefight. I’d lost none of my enthusiasm as I and my buddy soon managed to find a well concealed fighting position overlooking the munitions we’d been tasked to retrieve. Despite scoring an incredible number of hits against the OPFOR, they clearly had determination on their side, despite heavy casualties they retrieved far more ammo than we did.
The Sands of Time
Before we departed, an old favorite of mine, was wheeled out. An old military crate, armed with a switch to reverse the lights between red and green was situated in the dead ground between the Cable Reel field and the old Fire Base.
Simply, teams had to fight across these two positions, switch the crate to their designated color, the device recording the time spent on either red or green, the longest accumulated time being the winner.
Whilst this may sound a rudimentary and basic affair it’s designed to, and works very well at encouraging both teams to utilize the expansive natural terrain and constructed cover and defensive positions to flank and block each other, all the whilst under a withering hail of fire.
All credit to the players who braved the obnoxious weather and biting cold, we all became so immersed in the firefights we nearly forgot about the box altogether. So intent on moving and firing between cover and flanking positions, people where having just too much fun.
It’s this which perhaps one of EAG’s strongest assets in its armory. It’s commitment and longstanding experience amongst it organizers and experienced marshals to ensure attending players have fun.
FOB Delta Kilo
Whilst the remainder of the site set off to explore the remainder of the site and play out several scenarios before lunch, I and Jon set about taking a really good look at the new FOB. A formidable four walked structure, it poses as an intimidating presence in what is an already expansive and varied site. With its watchtowers elevated fighting positions not just along its walls but across the FOB as well, it gives defenders a 360 degree defensive view.
Once inside, here transitioning to a pistol is the way forward, it’s breaks down in a confusingly good warren of passage and walkways. This allows for some superb, frenetic CQB action. The walkways too, add to the 3D combat as they allow defenders elevation with which to pour down fire on would be invaders.
So, a welcome return to the skirmish field. Possibly in today’s generation of players who pursue ultra realism within MilSim, or the thrills and spills of frenetic paced Speed Soft, the skirmish genre has possibly become overlooked, forgotten maybe even neglected. It’s was a very welcome reminder what I’d been missing. Good old fashioned action, getting gears and kit dirty and muddy whilst slinging plastic in long and hard fought gun fights was an exhilarating and refreshing change of pace.
Hey, at the worst I got a great days exercise and much needed opportunity to refresh my skill set.
Better yet I got spend my day in the company of some truly superb Airsofters, who’s hit taking, honesty and integrity towards gameplay is truly commendable. All bolstered by enthusiastic marshall’s who only seek to further drive the days games to ensure they long continue to reach heady heights of excitement and action. A Snipers View
Longstanding friend, and today my photographer Jon A wheeled out his formidable PTW in the guise of a Mk 12 Mod 0.
Jon’s been a longstanding player for over a decade, and like me, has branched out into the more immersive world of MilSim. Today he too was keen to explore his skirmish roots, and get back to basics.
(Here he us through hit taking, being behind the long gun and how the site best lends its self to taking long shots)
As Andy S23 said, I’ve been playing for over ten years, in such time I’ve drifted over to the more immersive MilSim structured events.
After a brief hiatus, I returned to the scene – complete with tuned and superbly accurate PTW in the guise of a Mk 12 Mod 0 SPR.
Returning to not only a site I frequented but to return to the skirmish scene was an intriguing proposition.
That said, the terrain, foliage and heavy tree line really allowed meto move around, get some good line of sight on the opposition putting down either accurate sustained fire, or even suppressing the opposition to allow team mates to move up.
As much as he’ll hate me for saying it, I prefer to run a far lighter load out, allowing to carrying enough magazines to stay in the fight without getting snagged on branches and bushes.
This, ultimately assists with just getting down on the ground, prone, comfortable and behind my blaster to take the shot I’ve spent ages getting into position with out compromising concealment.
Despite the poor weather, like S23 a good soft shell, with a warm under layer proved more than adequate to keep me warm and dry. Boots were coupled with Seal Skin socks, I just wish I’d brought my gaiters.
Hit taking was fantastic, and reassuringly gives confidence to just relax and enjoy skirmishing – a friendly well run site, varied terrain, all made for a fun day out. Jon A
So, as the weather was so inclement, a segue on from my previous article on cold and wet weather gear, here’s a quick run down on the gears and kit I assembled for the day at EAG in the pouring rain.
As I knew beforehand that it’d be bitterly cold, sitting only just above minus temperatures I ran my LightweightThermalPCS smock, this not only kept me warm but over laid with my Patagonia Lvl 5 Soft Shell, dry too.
As previously discussed a few issues back, it doesn’t have to be bank balance breaking, but some good quality apparel that’s well maintained can make all the difference between sitting on the sofa watching television or really getting out and into the mix with the best of em’ – regardless of just how bad the weather gets.
However, I’d decided that as today was going to involve a lot of running around, even in the cold this may cause core temperatures to rise. So, to mitigate that I ran ToySoldiers MBAV, with only training plates to reduce weight, and naturally give some modicum of reference to visually sporting, aesthetically at least my usual load out. This was ably coupled with Haley Strategics D3 Chest Rig, which gave me an ample supply of four magazines upfront, two secondary magazines and the ability to carry flash bangs and munitions to reload. This coupled with Crye’s MRB belt which supported my dump pouch, admin reload for my pistol also carried an additional four magazines if I really got pinned down in any heavy firefights. Initially feeling somewhat lost and bewildered without all the usual trappings of gear carried, but this proved to be a very successful happy medium. I satiated the inner gear fiend whilst keeping low drag and high speed with the best em’ …
I gave the new Patrol Incident GearFDT gloves a good run out, whilst soon soaking wet and slick with mud the held up well and dried exceptionally fast. I’m keen to keep punishing these, purely just to see what they’re really made of and can they withstand the rigors of aggressive gaming.
Likewise, the AKU Pilgrim GTX boots, often submerged whilst crashing through puddles and slick mud kept my feet dry and gave a reassuring sure footed grip throughout.
This, really worked out well – it was a lightweight low drag load out, even with the obligatory helmet (better safe than sorry, as I’ve a predisposition to bashing my head). It also gave me the option, had the rain subsided to either ditch the soft shell, or if I’d started to overheat remove the lightweight thermal pullover.
All this aside, Jet Boil and Aeropress was on hand to make up a fresh cup of coffee.
However, as it stood Mother Nature did her best to freeze and drench us all off site. Nonetheless, despite such poor weather I remained, otherwise dry, comfortable and in the fight. A testament to modularity and layering the right technical clothing can ensure fun can be had skirmishing despite what the weather sends your way – S23
Youcancatch with all the up to date news, game dates and information for Elite ActionGames here:
Celebrating our third anniversary of the blog, we have created our third Mk III patch – the S23 patch.
Measuring 5.6 cm by 3 cm in ‘burnt orange’ with black embroidered 23 – our S23 ‘Ranger Diamond’ celebrates the very best of the S23 Familia ethos.
This is a pre order limited to only 50 pieces – delivery takes 2-3 weeks – S23
Clerks – an interview with V01 from Task Force Copperhead
‘I’m not even supposed to be here today!’ – Dante Hicks
Subtlety aside, we were meant to be on a break, but when you’ve got to go to work …
We’ve had V01 and V02 on here, talking respectively about their Plastic Deth history and some of their kit.
In some form or another these guys, have been around the block, in some cases for nearly over a decade, both on the field and within the industry.
Keen exponents of Plastic Deth, wether it be a regular skirmish or a larger more immersive MilSim, they like you have no end of enthusiasm for the hobby.
So, it’s been awhile, and as such, with a few recent developments we’d stop by and see what TaskForceCopperhead have been up to.
S23: Welcome aboard, good to have you back again. You’ve been busy with a slew of events and a plethora of new kit recently showcased online – but, before we talk through that, tell us a little about Copperhead and it’s formation ?
V01: Copperhead started really without much thought or fanfare. Having come out of retirement and returned to my Wannabe ways, I had started playing together with V-02 on a fairly regular basis. One day he said ‘let’s start a team’ and that was that. Since then we’ve grown to five in number and are very much about fun and gear.
We’re all geardos at heart but we want the team to work well together and improve on their game as well.
S23: I spotted your recently acquired Dragon Red ‘hydro-dipped’ MulticamOps Core ‘Ballistic Cut‘ replica. I’m a fan of Dragon Red’s Premium variants, owning an Airframe and formerly a ‘Ballistic Cut‘ too. Why the upgrade and how’ve you chosen to set it up ?
V01: The Ops Core was actually an additional acquisition rather than an upgrade or replacement. It was driven by a combination of practicality and as well as detail for the loadout.
In getting the bits together for my NODs I hastily bought an FMAMaritime as they weren’t compatible with the ANVIS mount on my AirFrame.
It served it’s purpose for a while but then when recent pictures of D-Boys surfaced wearing the Ops Core High Cut helmets I pulled the trigger on the Dragon Red.
Since all the ‘picture perfect’ accoutrements are either unobtainable or way out of budget, it’s a very practical set up with a geardo flavour to do what I need for fighting in the dark.
S23: I found with how I prefer to configure my Act in Black Lunox monocular NVG both the Ballistic and Maritime cut helmets give a preferable and unparalleled eye relief over the Airframe – how’ve you got with your current configuration ?
V01: I’ve not had the opportunity to try the Lunox on my AirFrame due to the aforementioned ANVIS hardware, but in typical fashion I’ve spent more than double what I needed to before arriving at my current setup. I would guess that the steep angle on the front of the AirFrame and the lack of height adjustment on the Rhino are leading to your eye relief problems. In most aspects all the Wilcox hardware is a joy to use, solid and easy to operate.
However, I’m lucky that I can get the eye relief as it won’t come any further back when I have it set and many people using these components can’t get it far enough back.
S23: Now, you too have opted for the Lunox, I’ve extolled its virtues and performance no end, but I’m interested to hear how you and the team are getting with your sets ?
V01: We’re all as happy as we can be with monoculars. It’s cliche I know but after running our Mk I eyeballs at several events with the rest of CTF226, they have been a game-changer. Being able to navigate and engage targets in the dark without giving advertising your position for miles is a great tactical advantage.
Especially for players in the UK, they are a relatively easy and risk-free way to acquire night vision that is compatible with commonly used military mounts.
It’s much more difficult to get quality hardware for the civilian dovetail mounts.
S23: What other accessories and equipment are you utilizing to work alongside and enhance its employment ?
V01: We’re all now running the ubiquitous Wilcox L4 G24 on Wilcox or Ops Core shrouds and either Wilcox PVS-14 Arms or Norotos Dual Dovetail Adapters, these greatly enhance the experience over older Rhino mounts and standard issue j-arms.
They give more axis of adjustment and the improved tolerances and rigidity means the unit stays where you want it.
I think many people fail to realise the device itself is only part of a system. Apart from the mounts and shrouds there’s also aiming and illumination to think about if you want to do anything more than taking a stroll in the dark.
To that end I’m currently using a G&PDBAL on my rifle for aiming and target ID, a Princeton Tec Switch on the helmet for map reading and other admin tasks and the S&S V-Lite for friendly marking.
S23: You’ve always had a great observation and understanding when setting up your load outs, undoubtedly research and patience is key. Visually the end result is invariably an aesthetically pleasing one, but what rules and lessons have you picked up along the way that really drive functionality ?
V01: I guess my number one rule is ‘suck it and see’. I could sit for hours planning how to set up my gear, deliberate with a teammate, or even get dressed up in my living room but I never know if something really works until it’s been tried in-game under stress.
The second, very closely related is ‘iterate and improve’, through use, you will find the little niggles and big problems. Go home, think about it then think of the next iteration to try next time. Lastly is that the word ‘best’ should always be followed by ‘for who’ and ‘for what’ and that you will never get there.
S23: Now, when ever we get a chance to meet up, or hang out we’ve usually no end of cool gear we’ve acquired or seen to discuss. What’s on new or on the horizon for you ?
V01: I recently sold off my CPC as I’ve pretty much using the JPC 2.0 exclusively for the past year or so, it’s going to be replaced with an AVS for which I’ve already got most of the parts sitting in their packets. I’m hoping it’s going to replicate the load carrying capability of the CPC whilst shedding some bulk. Over the horizon and beyond, I’m looking to pick up genuine Helstar 6 and then work on procuring a set of dual tube NODs.
S23: I’ve spotted a slew of great photos from you, and other Copperhead teammates at PariahAirsoft’s multi-decked boat moored just off the Thames. What’s that like to play out as a team ?
V01: It’s certainly unique! Although the setup is a little skirmishy with a fair amount of sackcloth and felt stretched between pillars, I think it’s a great venue for honing CQB skills under pressure.
Despite it’s small size there’s enough complexity to let the games flow at a fast pace. You also never forget where you are with the views and the list at low tide.
S23: Rather than finish up with the obligatory trade mark question, we’ll close out with a little advice. What’s the best way to start out a good practical load out, form or function what should new entrants really be focusing on ?
V01: Given my brief education in design and engineering, I’m a strong believer that form follows function. Even with my own CAG inspired loadout I strive for practicality and efficiency within its confines. There is a bewildering array of pouches, platforms and clothing out there now and it’s only increasing. The advice I give to anyone starting out is to play the game before splashing your cash. I went to my first game of airsoft in a set of faded surplus BDUs, a TM M16 and spare HiCap in my pocket. Form is probably the first thing you will have to go on, seeing what other players are using on the internet and at events. As you start buying your own kit and using it, keep an open mind and then run through the rules I mentioned above. Eventually, you will find what works for you.
Huge thanks to V01 turning in what I’m sure you’ll agree is a stellar interview, check out more on Copperheads exploits at the links below – S23