Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear Pt I ‘The Phalanx Two Day Pack’

Keepin’ It Real – Spotlight and Review on Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear Pt I ‘The Phalanx Two Day Pack’

The good people over at Scott Country reached out to us and spoke to us about having a good look at some of their Cannae Pro Gear Range.

Naturally, an exciting prospect, and a venture we were only too happy to undertake – as in fact we’d been already following their product range with no end of considerable insterest.

Cannae Pro Gear has an interesting and  cool history, and whilst I’ll save their modesty and blushes as I understand it, this is born from a renowned and since much longed for and lamented industry leader in gear manufacturing, who back in the early days where one of the leading innovators in modern gear and equipment.
Subsequently reborn, under the auspices of Scott Country, Cannae Pro Gear has been subsequently unleashed upon the discerning tactical gear world. That should perhaps, despite being somewhat vague give you, the reader a baseline from which to approach this review and the pedigree from which Scott Country’s Cannae Pro Gear is originates from.

Scott Country sent several pieces they thought would interest us the most, and more importantly you the reader. So much so, I’ve decided to give each one it’s own individual review.

This review, is the first of three and we’ll endeavor to give each one a detailed inspective insight into what each product is capable of.
The first piece of Cannae Pro Gear will look at is the Phalanx Full Size Two Day Pack w/ Helmet Carry



The Phalanx Features and Details

It’s significant to note, each bag comes with a label, this is well worth keeping as it gives you the end user not only a brief but succinct over of the bags features and details but includes the code for registering your product under their life time warranty policy.
Further more the card supplied gives a brief overview – ‘detail’ of the bags capabilities and functions.

• Comfortable Yoke Strap

• MOLLE Webbing along both shoulder straps

• Sternum Buckle (which also features an emergency whistle function)

• EVA Foam Air Circulated Back

• Removable Waist Belt

• Concealed Hydration Compartment

• Eye Protection Hard Pouch

• Patch Field

• Helmet Carry

• Quick Access Open Pocket

• Bottom Compression Straps

• 9 x 6″ Zipper Mag Pouch

• MOLLE throughout
All of this is supported by Duraflex Buckles, Hard Wear and Furniture including D-Rings and Clips, as well as YKK zippers with super grip pull tabs, and as you’d expect 500D Invista Cordura throughout.

… in Cordura we trust …
It dimensions are as follows:
• Capacity: 21 Litres

• Dimensions: 19.5″ in height x 11.5″

in width and a depth of 6″ (59.5 (H) x 29.2 (W) x 15.2 (D) cm)

• Weight: 2.9 Ibs/1.3 Kgs

Phalanx Review 
Literally, straight out of the packet or proverbial box if you will, The Phalanx screams function over form. That’s by no means to describe it as ugly or unbecoming in appearance, but perhaps in deference to other ‘prettier’ packs – The Phalanx is quite clearly here to do work and has some very specific tasks in mind.
It’s that no thrills honesty, that immediately draws an element of ‘old school’ admiration and respect.
Initial inspection clearly evidenced that this in the first instance has been ‘built’ with hard use – and abuse in mind.
Don’t let it’s broadly ambiguous appearance fool you or dissuade you against more aesthetically appealing products which may well lack some of the operability of Cannae’s Phalanx.

Phalanx Full Size Two Day Pack w/ Helmet Carry

The stitching is solid and consistent throughout, with many of the external pockets and the packs main ‘bucket’ being reinforced with additional ‘Cordura‘ panels, to protect not only contents, but the actual exterior from abrasive wear and tear and ensure longevity and prevent dreaded failure ‘in the field’ …

… hydration bladder is housed in the concealed pocket behind the EVA backer and has pocket to feed the bladders drinking tube through. Look closely and you’ll the emergency whistle on the chest straps clasp …
I was personally thrilled to see all retention straps are looped and stitched at the end, and feature a double side male and female Velcro ‘tidy’. This is ideal for cinching off the straps to size and not only storing them safely out of the way from snagging on branches or doors of vehicles or cargo holds but assists with keeping them locked at their desired setting. As you’d expect some of these straps are for assisting with expanding or compressing the pack, ultimately preventing contents needless rolling around and either interfering with ‘noise discipline’ or becoming unnecessarily jumbled about.

… fully loaded with primary, secondary, clothing and even a HSP D3 CR …

My initial overview and review here, was essentially an attempt to play with the bag and see just how much I’d could fill up its interior, what applications could I use it’s interior pockets and compartments for, and could I carry most if not all  of the equipment, gear and clothing I take out for longer extended events.

The answer to that quite simply is yes, but perhaps understanding the limitations of the bags volume, which is generous – but you the end user need to understand and decide on priority of packing, more critically what you intended to to immediately use, and what can be carried and drawn from the Phalanx as required.

… spare gear and clothing for inclement weather …

I’ll explain further. The Phalanx is broadly quite capable in the first instance of carrying my blaster when both the receiver and lower are disassembled, my secondary blaster, a jacket, such as soft shel shirt or light weight PCU and even at push, a spare set of pants and shirt. Additionally spare magazines, perhaps your primary load for both your rifle and secondary as seen here. As well your helmet utilizing the the exterior ‘kangaroo’ pouch as I’ve aptly nicknamed it.

… easily secures this Ops Core Maritime when on patrol …

The helmet storage –  functionality at it finest, however – and by no means fault of the Phalanx, but in my attempt to ‘pressure test’ just how exhaustive the pack could be carrying all of my immediate gear it proved to be a tight fit. However, as I mentioned earlier, it’s about managing your, or in this case my expectations. Here in this instance, once some of the equipment  has been deployed, such blasters, there’s a little more give and depth given back to the pack. As such using the retention straps and bungee paracord fasteners the ‘kangaroo pouch’ can be adjusted to accommodate your head PPE. Simply then drawing the straps tight your helmet is now secure, of course not forgetting to tidy those straps away with the supplied Velcro closures.


I’ve also here dropped in one of my Source hydration bladders, which sits inside the quilted and micro fleeced pocket, which zippered behind the back, which unlike many other packs has ‘concealed channel for feeding out onto the left shoulder strap, a nice touch often overlooked on other packs I’ve owned, and is perhaps indicative of the packs design and innovative thought that’s been applied throughout.


Sticking with my brief of seeing just how much I could get inside the Phalanx opening the main primary cargo pocket shows Cannae have used every inch of space to offering functionality. The main pockets opening aperture forms a zippered and pocketed tray. This has allowed me to store batteries, pens and markers, Cymalume’s, torch, watch cap and face wrap.

… main cargo tray features two mesh pockets for contents visibility and two partitioned lower pockets with a singular master zippered closure …

Inside the main cargo pocket you can see, I’ve got clothing, weaponry, magazines, gloves, headwear and much more. All of the interior is padded and quilted and alongside the walls of the main cargo area are again covered with micro fleeced lining to prevent wear and tear against the interiors contents when being moved around in vehicles, storage or during use. There’s two adjustable elasticated straps, my initial thoughts were to use these to retain my rifle when stored, but alternative they too can be used to compress larger items of clothing.

… secure …

The main cargo pocket also has an additional sleeve, with Velcro retention flap, again I intend to store in the first instance, shirt and pants here, but concur it’s of comparable size for either armor plates or even a laptop.


More importantly, the pack when fully loaded is an easy wear. Holding here, just short of 30 Ilbs it’s comfortable and the EVA padded back, in conjunction with the generously padded shoulders makes easy work of heavy loads.


This channels heat away from the body, using the meshed interiors of the straps to allow air to ventilate and EVA pads keep the pack off the back as much as possible again to promote good gear management.

Cannae Pro haven’t stopped there, it’s with good examination you’ll find lots of details and additional features such the external admin pocket.


The Padded Eye Pro pocket and patch field, which with its merrowed border which decreases wear and fatigue of the Velcro. Are just some of the many additional features that really make this pack a true contender for your attention.

Or the packs external right side pocket ideal for additional magazines – the possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination.

I’m proud to welcome this to the gear locker, and keen to put it through its paces at Airsoft International’s Ai500 at the end of September.

It is The Phalanx’s shining strength, its versatility to switch between load bearing carriage option and quickly changing gears to be used as mission specific pack. Alternatively, using the compression straps it would easily be at home used as an every day carry pack be on outdoor adventures, to work or to and from training – S23

You can check out more from Scott Country and view all their products including Cannae Pro Gear at the links below:


Scott Country Web: https://www.scottcountry.co.uk/

Scott Country Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScottCountry/

Scott Country Instagram: http://instagram.com/scott_country


Cannae Pro Gear Web: https://cannaeprogear.com/

Cannae Pro Gear Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CannaeProGearUK/

Cannae Pro Gear Instagram: http://instagram.com/cannaeprogear

S23 is proud to collaborate with Project Delta Whiskey: http://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/
S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/
**Project Delta Whiskey & S23FAMILIA PTW Collaboration T-Shirt ‘Fortune Favors The Brave’ Now Availble** Available now in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL in Black or Grey: https://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/shop/pdw-s23-beer-mat-tailored-fit-tee

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Spotlight review on WarCry’s HexCam Face Wraps

Spotlight review on WarCry’s HexCam Face Wraps

Lets start at the beginning. HexCam is a veteran owned and designed revolutionary honeycomb camouflage based on naturally occurring patterns found in several animal species. It’s versatile design has already been proven to perform well in a multitude of environments against some of leading designs in the industry.
We received two patterns, in the form of War Cry Apparel’s Face Wraps, from our good friends over at Allied Risk Equipment. Selecting two patterns that we felt best suited environments and topography that we most commonly found ourselves in.

… options – Allied’s Arid vs HexCam’s Spectre and Wasteland. All three are going in the kit bag, ‘one is none’ …
Before we discuss these further, War Cry CEO Gerry Searfoss had this to say, and puts this suite of camouflage into perspective – ‘Hexcam USA is a camouflage line under WarCry Apparel. As an American disabled veteran company it was our goal to bring a quality and functional pattern to the hunting, tactical and recreational community. The Hex is nature’s strongest shape, when combined with other hexagons it forms solid shapes within the pattern. With our patented shading and color techniques we have been able to create an illusion of three dimensional depth.’


Camouflage 
It’s that very quote which for me is pivotal to this review, and whilst I’m no authoritative expert on camouflage other than what I’ve used for perhaps the best part of decade –  a multitude of patterns with a varying degrees of success.
This success or effectiveness has in part been based on utilizing the right camouflage for the right environments. 
More often than not, most modern camouflage, ideally is perhaps employed in low light, and as I’ve often found using the wrong camouflage whilst operating in the pursuit of ‘fun’ can result in hilarious consequences – I can only imagine that in the real world, the consequences are dangerous and quite possibly fatal.
However, something the really intrigued me with HexCam, and it has been attempted both successfully and unsuccessfully by individual patterns and other suites of patterns is to create the illusion or the appearance of depth, shadow and ultimately disrupting form and shape which the human eye and brain instinctively and unconsciously pick up on.
Whilst almost virtually essay worthy in itself, most modern infantry, particularly those who are employed as snipers are trained to further utilize this concept and natural instinctive behavior to not only further conceal themselves but to spot and identify targets too.

HexCam

As stated above in the reviews opening introduction, HexCam have sought to provide a suite of patterns which emulate naturally occurring shapes and patterns amongst animals, plants, fauna and environments and use a series of naturally based algorithms to generate a series of shaded hexagonal patterns – which, in layman’s terms disrupt the perception of depth as perceived by the human eye.

Spectre vs Wasteland – just two of six patterns available, giving the option to choose a pattern best suited to the environment and specific light and topographical conditions …

I’d further describe this, as I can best example, it’s not entirely dissimilar to gazing into a heavily leafed tree. It’s almost three dimensional appearance creates an illusion of depth and distance, which is arguably counters, going some way, to preventing the human eye from naturally detecting shapes and form instinctively otherwise recognized.

… camouflage to suit your AO …
More over, HexCam have identified that perhaps no one pattern truly works in anyone AO. These variants include patterns such as Wasteland, Spectre (the two I selected to review) and additionally Makalu, Attica, Adirondack and 5-Echo.
These patterns obviously have some specific applications, however I chose Spectre and Wasteland specifically for several reasons. Both tonally used a series of color ways which I felt really best reflected the UK’s foliage and forestry and really resonated with my perception of colors, shape and form as seen and observed in low light, such as dusk or very early dawn. 

Specifically as we enter a time of year when the colors and shades of the UK really start to mix and change, these seemed ideal options as we enter Autumn.


HexCam Review

… blend in …


So, as supplied from Allied Risk Equipment, the Spectre and Wasteland patterns – where chosen by us. It’s certainly a visually challenging pattern, and whilst I really, really find it aesthetically appealing. It certainly could be argued, it won’t win any fashion accolades for being ‘pretty’.


It’s that very principle, that it clearly adopts the muted tones and shapes of environments at particular times of the year, specifically the Autumn – those muted washed grey greens and pale limes, combined with the dark browns, coppers and oranges which made me snap up Spectre and Wasteland variants.

Some of the tones are certainly evocative of palettes used by famous artists and illustrators in their landscapes – who using a select palette of tones, particularly to capture visually a particular time of day, or season for that matter. I in fact wondered if art had either consciously or subconsciously influenced HexCam’s design, or perhaps their study of nature had serendipitously arrived at the same conclusion.


Choosing between either two as a favorite is no easy task, as is deciding which is more effective – as such I’d argue that it’s perhaps akin to choosing a ‘favorite child’.

… Wasteland Pattern …

That however, is inconsequentially irrelevant is that ‘Wasteland‘ is my preferred option for day light use and ‘Spectre‘ will undoubtedly be employed during the low light of dusk and dawn as well as the gloom and shadow of the night. I’ve got an event coming up where I be employing both specifically in those very conditions.

… Spectre Pattern …

As exampled, I found that Wasteland proves to be a complimentary accompanying pattern to pre existing pattern amongst my collection, serving well alongside Multicam.


And the darker tones effectively alongside the venerable but ever popular M81 ‘Woodland’ pattern.


However, I would offer in countenance, true effective pattern disruption would best achieved utilizing either BDU’s or Technical Apparel in HexCam’s patterns, possibly even using several patterns at once. I for one will be seriously looking at Spectre patterns for pants and Wasteland for Shirt color ways and again combing with either a Spectre or Wasteland face wrap. 


So, to summarize, I’m highly impressed, in fact smitten with the two patterns issued here, and will putting these in the gear bag or day sack permanently f’sure – if only as its good to have alternatives and options, and these will sit perfectly alongside my MOE.Gun’s Allied Risk Equipment’s face wrap which we reviewed earlier this year, which is perhaps better suited for either the summer or more muted tones of winter.

… both patterns compliment and work with pre existing suites of patterns with ease …

Like Allied’s wrap – these wraps are constructed from 92% polyester and 8% spandex – which makes for a lightweight and breathable wear. Better yet, they’re tapered at either end and crocodile stitched along the ‘spine’ of the wrap which helps it sit more comfortably around the face and not otherwise gathering around the neck.

… Spectre – ideal for low light, dusk, dawn or the dead of night …
I’m aware, that these subsequently may be produced in a lighter and ventilated variant, needless to say retaining the pattern and colors seen here, but most possibly done so for use in warmer or more historically humid climes.

… perfectly suited to the UK’s, North Europe and North American foliage and fauna …

That said, in part why I’ve specifically chosen to look at the camouflage and its effectiveness as a pattern – its impressive, if only for the initial fact it’s broken my traditional perceptions of what a camouflage can do or what we should expect from other current patterns in use today – I’d go as far to call it ‘intelligent’ and look forward to seeing where, who and what’s it’s employed for – S23

**GO GIVE ALLIED RISK EQUIPMENT, HEXCAM & WARCRY A LIKE USING THE LINKS BELOW**


At Allied Risk Equipment has a very limited number of wraps and ball caps in stock, and as I understand it are the only current UK stockist, you can take a look or better yet pick them up here: https://www.facebook.com/alliedriskequipment/


You can keep updated with HexCam here: https://www.facebook.com/hexcamusa/


And of course check out projects, products and equipment from WarCry Apparel: https://www.facebook.com/warcryapparelco/

**BE SURE TO STOP BY THESE GOOD GUYS TOO**

S23 is proud to collaborate with Project Delta Whiskey: http://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/
**Project Delta Whiskey & S23FAMILIA PTW Collaboration T-Shirt ‘Fortune Favors The Brave’ Now Availble** Available now in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL in Black or Grey: https://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/shop/pdw-s23-beer-mat-tailored-fit-tee
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

Five Blocks to the Subway – Spotlight on Gear Whores Anonymous ‘The Citadel’ Day Sack

Five Blocks to the Subway – Spotlight on Gear Whores Anonymous ‘The Citadel’ Day Sack

Good new deserves to be shared right, well – imagine my surprise to good friends Gear Whores Anonymous have been quietly working behind the scenes – albeit, for a few years now – on their take on the ‘day sack’.


Yup, after being designed, prototyped, and tested – drawing from their extensive years of experience, gear and kit knowledge they’ve produced a surely innovative, and exceptionally contemporary take on the venerable classic – the day sack – check it out below – whilst we’ve not got hands on with this, it’s clearly packed with features, defined by functionality whilst retaining that cool guy form.

As if GWA need any introduction, for those who haven’t heard – they’ve long been purveyors of cool, functional and practical kit. Utilizing years of real world experience testing and reviewing kit as well as offering a small few items for a good few years, alongside their extensive range of patches. It’s a natural evolution that in this instance they truly enter the pantheon of gear manufacturers not only in style but with assured confidence.

I’ll be looking forward to getting one of these to give an in depth review – S23


GWA’s ‘The Citadel’ Day Sack


Finally our long awaited Citadel pack has arrived. The Citadel has been a bag 7 years in the making with every detail painstakingly prototyped & fielded in order to ensure maximum functionality. All this over a 2 year period that has covered over 20,000 miles of road & air travel. Throughout the years we have used dozens of bags while never encountering one perfect design that incorporated everything we wanted in a bag. The Citadel combines all of our favorite & must have features into one bag. This making it our perfect EDC, travel & tactical use pack.


Key Features:

-Main Zip Compartment Velcro® Lined For Tearaway Pouches

-Main Zip Compartment Front Has 2 Zip Pockets, 1 Pleated For Expansion


-2nd Zip Rear Compartment Suited For Documents & Has Padded Laptop Slot


-Water Bottle / Dump Pocket, Expandable (Fits Up To 40oz Bottles)

-2×3 MOLLE / PALS webbing


-Ambidextrous Side Handles For Easing Donning Off / Briefcase Carry


-Padded Top Drag / Carry Handle

-Reverse Type Zippers To Prevent Snagging

-Excess Strap Elastic Keepers

-Exterior Zip Pockets Feature 3 Organizer Pockets


-Adjustable Sternum Strap

-Compression Straps Also Allows Bag To Be Half Open


-Shoulder Straps, Skin Side Features Tweave Fabric For Ultimate Comfort

-3″ x 11″ VELCRO® Field For Patches

-Closed Cell Foam Padded Back w/ Mesh

-Personal Item Carry-on Compliant (almost full-ish)

-Carryon compliant (fully packed)

Specs:

-1000 Denier INVISTA CORDURA® Nylon (Body)

-420 Denier Pack Cloth (Liner)

-VELCRO® Loop

-Tweave Durastretch (Bottle Pocket, Front Panel, Shoulder Straps)

-#8 YKK Zipper Coil & Sliders, Reverse Type

-1″ Mil-W-17337 Webbing

-1″ Mil-T-5038 Binding Tape

-Premium Closed Cell Foam (More Heat & Water Resistant)

-Milspec Acetal Hardware, Buckles, Sliders, D-Rings

-Reinforced Bartack Stitching Where Required


Dims:

-2.2lbs (Empty)

-19″ Length x 11″ Width x 7″ Depth (Overall)

-19″ Length x 11″ Width x 5.5″ Depth (Main Compartment)

-19″ Length x 11″ Width x 1.5″ Depth (Rear Laptop / Document Compartment)

-9.5″ Length x 11″ Width (Interior Front Face Zip Pocket, Top)

-9.5″ Length x 11″ Width (Interior Front Face Zip Pocket, Bottom, Expandable)

-8.5″ Length x 11″ Width (Exterior Top Zip Pocket)

-10.5″ Length x 11″ Width (Exterior Bottom Zip Pocket, Expandable)


Origin:

-Concepted / Designed / Manufactured in the USA w/ USA Materials

https://youtu.be/SFucnacE5DA

$ 315.00

BE ADVISED:

CURRENT LEAD TIME 2-4 WEEKS

Order here from GWA at Next Gen Warfighter: https://nextgenwarfighter.com/collections/catalog/products/citadel

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

S23 is proud to collaborate with Project Delta Whiskey: http://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/



s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/


S23 proudly supports Legion Airsoft Events – fined out more here: http://legionairsoftevents.com/






 

Streetside – No Nonsense’ Chris T’s spotlight on ISG’s recent ‘Real Sim’ event

Streetside – No Nonsense’ Chris T’s spotlight on ISG’s recent ‘Real Sim’ event

Welcome aboard another guest editorial, this time around from long time friend of the blog Chris T aka ‘Geardo‘ from No Nonsense Airsoft.

Chris, recently got in touch, and as he’s been frequently keeping us updated with his recent CTFO impression project, explained he’d be attending an upcoming ‘training immersion event’.
Here, the organizers have expertly assembled using actors, an immersive scenario based event, utilizing actors, effects and props and assets employed not only by the film and television industry, but moreover of late by the emergency services and military to provide realistic organic training scenarios to test their capabilities in response to either specific crime, terrorism or disaster incidents.
It’s here that the suspension of disbelief, perhaps has cross pollinated and somewhat been borrowed from the world of ‘Plastic Deth’ to offer new and different ways of not only realistically training, but safely and economically too …

Such is the prolific presence, more so than ever, that in recent years, UKSF and specialist Police assets have captured the imaginations of re enactors, MilSim and Airsoft enthusiasts.


Sadly, recent events, here at home have all too readily seen such units deployed, and naturally given considerable airtime on the news and within the pages of the press.
So, the caveat here, is this is presented to historically account this training event, and in no way intended to draw inference or make light of those who serve, protect not only the nations interests abroad and here on the streets of our country.
I think, as you read on it serves well as written piece which gives a broad overview, almost like a documentary of what the perspective from an insiders point of view, would be in such scenario …

Anyhow, without further delay over to ChrisS23

Over the course of a recent weekend, I took part in what I’m certain is the best ‘Airsoft‘ experience since I started playing almost six years ago, and the thing is, I didn’t fire a single shot. 


Only a couple months back I decided to start a Counter Terrorism Police inspired impression, based on the Metropolitan Police’ CTFO’s (Counter Terrorism Firearms Officer)
I’m sure you’ll have seen them across the media and news in their Arc’teryx Wolf Grey uniforms and unmistakable Sig MCX carbines. 
After getting almost every reference photo of the current equipment to hand, I decided I wanted to bring the gear as close as possible to the real deal. Mike of AM Tactical hooked me up with a C2Rmor Lite plate carrier and Groin Panel, plus some other bits like the roll up Dump Pouch and Radio Pouch. The real ‘C Men’ don’t bulk their rigs out, so I opted for a solitary inverted Fastmag on the cummerbund. There’s still more to do to the rig but some pouches utilised by CTSFO are currently unavailable for civilian purchase.



Tom
of E27 (E27G) has been a great help to myself in the hunt for gear. Not only finding a suitable Holster to fit my current CAG Spec Glock 22 that will also run with the Police kit, but also sourcing a pair of Danner DFA boots that have recently been pictured in use with the Metropolitan Police Force. He also gave me the use of his CTT Helmet for this particular event, which is slowly being replaced in favour of the Ops-Core.


With some help and discussion from the UK Armed Police Impressions page I got chatting to some members about an up and coming event located in the UK’s Midlands.
I’d spotted very few images from previous exercises floating around the internet, and ever since I’d been massively interested in joining in on one, I just didn’t have the necessary gear to pull it off.
Until now! 
For this particular event they were looking for participants from the Airsoft/MilSim scene to enact the role of Armed Response Police Officers and Counter Terror Officers, and by this point my kit was shaping up nicely.


Fast forward a month or two, and we’re being briefed on a developing siege situation in a school with hostages taken. Being placed on the Police team we were at the forefront of all activity in the initial confrontations with the gunmen, so I was given a number of different taskings from Close Protection of a negotiation team, hostage handovers and manning an Urban OP on the perimeter of the target building.


There was one instance when I was overlooking the building when a number of shots rang out, the rural OPs had been compromised and started taking fire. Running to get your rig and helmet on as a precaution is something I guess I’m not too used to in an average Airsoft game, and especially when those shots were from simulated blanks, it certainly lends itself to giving you a sense of urgency and added to the suspension of disbelief.


After nightfall we decided to egress from the OP as we couldn’t get any more information regarding enemy activity, and I called it a day. After a remarkably good amount of sleep I got up and was attached to Green Team, one of two ‘UKSF‘ groups that had been on rotation as a QRF since the start of the event. I was briefed on the final assault plan and then went over to the hangar with the rest of the CT teams.


There were plenty of occasions where we were put on immediate standby, such as when a media team went to interview the gunmen, or when tensions were rising in the target building. The call to go eventually came when boiling point was hit. To be honest I’m not perfectly sure what happened myself, there seemed to be a lot of screaming over the radio and we were in the vehicles before I could hear more.


I’m going to gloss over the final assault I’m some respect, unfortunately I didn’t see much due to the section of the building I was in responsible for. One thing I can say is that an IED suspended off the ceiling in the entranceway to the building tends to put a halt on proceedings.


As this was our Emergency Response, the organisers decided to run the assault again but utilising our deliberate plan, what we’d been planning for since the start of the exercise. Our half of the team came in from the same angle as last time but took it much slower and quieter than the latter, to the point where the enemy didn’t actually know we were in their building until we’d cleared the ground floor, and started using flashbangs on the second floor. In your usual skirmish you get used to the shouts of other players and the occasional use of profanity from getting hit. However going into a room with screaming hostages makes everything so much more immersive.


Going into the building was rather painstaking as you could tell that the team wanted to push as much as possible to save the hostages so to start the room clearance was quite soggy. The pace picked up and the training kicked in though and the movements became much more fluid.


As the apprehension of the raid had worn off from the first assault there were no worries when taking down rooms this time. The mantra of ‘Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast’ was ingrained into people’s minds and we moved in as a force effortlessly, making good use of Blank Firing Grenades, GR20’s and GR60’s. X-Rays were dealt with according to how much threat they displayed, and hostages were most definitely not let out of sight.


Pressing on with the assault I was hit in the leg, after some quick use of a Tourniquet I was back to it, and began to check hostages. After cuffing and patting them down, I began to move them to the RV point. All those captured were then laid down and checked for injuries, and once all were stabilised EndEx was called.


It’s extremely rewarding to get to the end of a weekend with such a successful outcome after so much effort has been put in by all participants. Between the first assault and the second assault, we managed to slash the time down from 9 minutes to 7 minutes, our skills seemed to improve tenfold on the rerun.
To finish off, it’s the most immersive event I’ve ever attended. So many assets were utilised from vehicles to crisis actors, and it lead to a prosperous ending for everyone. I’m most definitely due to attend more events like this, and people who’ve also attended them will be the same. I overheard some members of the CT team say they were moving away from MilSims as this is where it’s at. 

Many thanks goes to Gaz and ISG for running the the event, E27, Grey Fox and the other CT/Police members for making it such a brilliant weekend – Chris T

You can catch up with more from Chris over at No Nonsense Airsoft here: https://www.facebook.com/NoNonsenseAirsoftNewsAndReviews/

Full credit for photography and thanks goes to Andy at Snook Snaps: https://www.facebook.com/Snook-Snaps-373945083002109/

**GET EM’ BEFORE THEIR GONE**

S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches – get em’ here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568


S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/


s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Seasons in the Abyss – Ai500 ‘The Gathering’ S23 Gear Spotlight

Ai500 – The Gathering



So in less than five or so weeks we’ll be locked in combat, Plastic Deth – as we attend Airsoft International’s inaugural Ai500 – this year, held at a disused Theme Park, in the North of England …

‘The Gathering’
The eerie, disused site will be, for two days at least be our home, and host a new form of ‘entertainment’ – Airsoft
As I’m sure, I – like you have been preparing kit, gears and blasters, feverish in anticipation to once again, wage combat on a truly epic scale …

In fact, this year will see not just players from Great Britain descend on the site, but players from all over Europe to, 400 of you to be precise …
So, before I finish up the admin, and last minute briefings on the Viper teams page, for the seventh time no less I’ll lead 200 players, not as daunting as it sounds – I thought I’ll do a run through of gears, kit and blasters I’ll be using exclusively at the event …

… the AO …

Blasters

Nearly over ten years old, my Systema ’08 PTW will, once again be wheeled out as my primary blaster.
Opinions and controversy aside, I’ve had the good fortune to use, own a variety of AEG’s, GBBR’s, NGRS‘ and subsequently settled for the PTW


All of these have been, individually fun, reliable and during their employ, given my level of expectation on what they can or can’t do, understanding each ones limitations makes them no worse or better than this blaster.
It’s just this PTW, meets all of my expectations with regards to desired performance and optimal operability – consistency, range, accuracy, durability and above all, reliability – that however, goes out the window if your a poor shot …


Still, shooting skill and lightning fast reflexes aside, it all comes down to the very core ethos of Airsoft, honor and honesty – and, perhaps bizarrely take just as much pride in being struck out as I do scoring a hit. It means the opposition is either a sure shot, or just got the drop on you.

To make things a little easier, this PTW has a few little accessories, an Aimpoint CCO for faster target acquisition, Surefire IR M951 Torch, LA5 DBAL for illuminating targets under the auspices of NVG’s, and of course a Troy Industries sling. 

As I’ll discuss later, I’ll be carrying eleven magazines, averaging at just over 30 Rnds, this will put me well under the in game limit of 600 Rnds at any time, but I’ll admit I get a kick out of reloads.

I invariably carry a secondary, in this instance’ – WE’s Gen 4 AWS Glock 17.


With up to seven magazines of 17 Rnds, if I get pinned down or can’t reload my primary I’ve got enough to still stay in the fight, or battle my way back to friendly lines …

First Line

Whilst not strictly true to the ethos behind 1st, 2nd and 3rd Lines, this Crye MRB ‘belt’ acts as my first line.

Essentially, equipment carried upon your person, and or belt line. Whilst essentially being essential, or equipment carried at all times, this can and invariably will carry other items, perhaps not immediately of high priority.

… 1st Line …

Here, this belt carries four magazines for my primary, and my ‘first’ admin reload for my secondary. The belt also has my dump pouch, multi tool, two ‘frag’ pouches, and of course holsters and carries my ‘secondary’ …

At the very least, with my primary, I’ve got four magazines, without, at a minimum I’ve got two pistol magazines, one loaded naturally, and two ‘frags’ to use to fight back.

Second Line

Essentially, my ‘battle gear’ – here an LV-MBAV which, also houses the attached Haley Strategic D3CR.

… Heavy Metal …

The MBAV on its own houses, not only my plates and soft armor, but additional pistol magazines, flash bangs and of course my communications systems, here a TRI PRC 152 MBITR. 

… pistol magazines …


… flash bangs …


… 152 PRC MBITR …

… more ‘Beer’ …
Whilst the MBAV carries four magazines on its own, another four if the D3CR is attached, if I’m expecting heavy resistance, in a dug defensive posture I can add a further three magazines, attaching to the MBAV’s Velcro’d front attachment point an LBT kangaroo pouch. This can be either removed and stowed in my day sack, used in conjunction with the D3CR or on its own if I’m doing light patrol or reconnaissance structured tasks. Alternatively empty of magazines, it can be left flat on the plate carrier.

There’s a lot of conjecture on the reality of Plate Carriers and their practically in Airsoft. Regardless, whatever you prefer, is up to you.

Sure, real plates and soft armor really rack up the weight, can restrict mobility and induce fatigue, but for me it adds to the authenticity of a load out, the suspension of disbelief and immersion. Plus, it’s a great work out !!!


Other items, carried here include, a neck gaiter, or face wrap – be it keeping the early evening chill out, absorbing sweat or sun off your neck it’s always at hand, as is the watch cap.


Gloves, are somewhat self explanatory. Airsoft, vicariously by nature – is a high speed past time, and therefore not with out its knocks and scrapes, plus terrain is often less than hospitable – these will afford you a level of protection for unwanted cuts, grazes, dust and dirt.

Due to the fairly complex role of running, five separate call signs, as well as an additional QRF, command cell including the five sub commanders I’ll be carrying a spare comm’s set attached to my day sack.

… send it …

Where ever I’am – be it our ‘command cell’ or out in the middle of a fire fight I can direct all five teams onto their objectives and into the action.

Keeping my head protected, supporting communications systems, mitigating low light as well as supporting other ancillary equipment -here, I’ve opted to use an Aramid Fibre Ops Core. Aside from practical applications, it offers, again an element of protection from the elements and action all generated from ‘Plastic Deth‘.

In the interim when not using this PPE I use a stand alone headset with soft head wear.

Third Line


Essentially, this is my day sack, here Hill People GearsTarahumara‘ single pocket cargo pack. This houses a hydration bladder, spare munitions, soft shell, MRE’s, batteries and water bottles, torch and of course everything I need to make a hot cup of joe …

… snivel gear …
In the unlikely event of inclement weather a soft shell, is packed away too.

Uniform

… Crye or Die !!!

I’ve opted again for this event for a Multicam Set, the shirts lightweight and moisture wicking, preventing heat built up from wearing a heavy plate carrier and the pants, with their generous cargo pockets and integral knee pads prove to be invaluable as they are indispensable. 

Here, also – a good fitting, comfortable boot. This time out, due to varied terrain and topography I’ve opted for AKU’s GTX Pilgrims. Lightweight, breathable, waterproof offering a sure footed grip.

Last but not least, eye pro and ‘cool guy’ patches.

Whilst by no means exhaustive, or mandatory – hopefully this overview will give you a comprehensive idea, or at the very least put you in the mindset of what do or don’t need for the event – either way, I’m already starting to get ready in anticipation for what undoubtedly will be another exhilarating unique large scale ‘Plastic Deth‘ event – S23

**Project Delta Whiskey & S23FAMILIA PTW Collaboration T-Shirt ‘Fortune Favors The Brave’ Now Availble** Available now in S, M, L, XL, and 2XL in Black or Grey: https://projectdeltawhiskey.co.uk/shop/pdw-s23-beer-mat-tailored-fit-tee

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568

s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/

British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

British Steel – Mike B’s UK Inspired Armory

It’s one of those ‘not so’ rare moments, where I honestly have to defer, and quite frankly bow to someone else’s encyclopedic knowledge and passion for their professed subject matter.

​​
Mike B, has been an encouraging and supportive reader cheering on the blog for a few years now.


Well, despite my DIY ‘Punk Rock Hardcore’ ramblings gaining no end of notoriety, I’m always blown away at just how good you guys are – point in case, I recently reached out upon spotting his superb collection of UKSF inspired Plastic Deth weaponry laid out as a collective. I’ve suggested that this very ‘phot’ could in fact be reshot and released as a poster …


Mike has intermittently kept us informed and kept in the loop on his stunning GPMG build – there’s even page dedicated to it, and I’d highly recommend you take a look – absolutely brimming with detail, research, history and passion it’s worth several cups of coffee whilst reading f’sure …

This is the very same L7A2 that’s graced our FB page several times already …



GET THE COFFEE ON, YOU NEED TO READ THIS !!!

You can read all about Mike B’s L7A2 GPMG build right here, I’d truly urge you to do so as this is undoubtedly fascinating and insightful stuff, and documents the incredible journey from start to finish: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QbM00YlyN5j-hO4jVmtVFYpBed-y6nXuSeQspjawYBg/mobilebasic

CONTACT, WAIT OUT !!!

Wait, there’s more – Mike has kindly given us a run through of his armory. Here he’s exclusively photographed the remainder of his collection and detailed custom work, real steel parts and work still yet to do …

Take a look over these stunning portrayals of UKSF weaponry, be the holster worn distress on the L1505A2 sidearm, the range markings on the L115A3, armorers marks on the L1A1 or the detailing and remarks on L85A2 including ‘weld marks’ to be added … 


L1A1 SLR (King Arms)

Mike’s L1A1 looks incredibly authentic, paying a fitting visual tribute to the venerable British Service Rifle, the L1A1 SLR. It’s the little details, which finish this – such as the yellow taped armory inventory number, as well a fair amount of real steel parts …



Features

•Real stock

•Real foregrip

•Real carry handle

•Real top cover

•Real rear sight

•Real cocking lever (knob only for now)

•Real sling swivels and sling
Still to Complete

•Fit real release latch

•Fit real mag release catch

•Stamp right side of receiver and bolt with serial number

•Steel barrel and flasher to be made

•Steel gas block to be made (only because it is extremely weak to skirmish with)
L85A2 (ICS)

Whilst originally criticized and deluged with technical issues, here, seen in its most modern incarnation- the L85A2 is still going strong today.

Upgraded with its own proprietary Daniel Defense System Rail, LM01 and ACOG its future service is ensured for quite some time yet …

Mike references some interesting details, such as weld marks, serial numbers and corrector positioning of the selector plate. It’s passion for details like this that really bring alive a project …



Features

•Real gripod

•Real tan rail covers

•Madbull DD rail

•Element LLM01

•Replica Surefire flash hider

•Acog riser

Unknown make ACOG (but has correct markings, working reticle and correct rear mount for wing mount)

Wing mount and red dot
Still to Complete

•Laser engrave ‘IW/LSW’ on to both sides of the acog (only drawn on for now)

•Laser engrave ‘HK A2’ on to back end of receiver

•Rear body pin to be made and stamp ‘HK’ on to it.

•Steel barrel to be made

•Dirty weld added

•Black plastic bit on the left side by selector to be moved to correct position.
L115A3 (ARES AW338)

I initially mistook this as being either painted or manufactured in a ‘sand’ colorway – better yet, it’s been ‘taped up’ cleanly replicating its real steel iteration, including ‘range’ markings penned on the side …



Features

•Custom made accurate AW338 flash hider

•Real Harris bipod with quick release lever

•Guarder scope (for now)

 

Still to Complete

•Source adjustable hand stop with QD sling swivel

•Source Cosine indicator

•Night sight base to be made for scope mount

•Scope base to be altered

•Night/Thermal sight side mount to be made

•source a Schmidt & Bender PMII clone (Tac Vector Siegfried 6-25×50)

•stamp last 4 digits of serial number on bolt and bolt lever
L105A2 (Tokyo Marui P226)

Tokyo Marui, possibly one of the best producers of GBB sidearms, here has been given an upgrade with Guarders ‘frame and slide’ set. Incidentally this has naturally attracted a really natural wear and patina from being drawn and holstered …



Features

•Full Guarder P226R kit

•Guarder steel upgrade parts

•Real Sig-Lite night sights
L119A1 (G&P base)

Last but not least based of a G&P M4Mike has turned in solid representation of UKSF’s iconic CQBR – the Diemaco (Colt Canada if you prefer) L119A1.

Nothing really more to be said, but this piece is a balanced visually stunning piece, but more to come as the ‘devils in the details’ – S23



Features

•Real DIS carry handle

•Real Matech BUIS

•Real sling plate

•Real buffer tube

•Real stock

•Real stock pad

•Real KAC rail

•Real rail end plate (without the M203 cut outs)

•Real delta ring parts

•Real SA80 sling

•Real sling swivel

•Real front sight parts

•G&P Storm grip (to be changed to the Guarder one)

•G&P AN/PEQ2

•Guarder real stock to AEG adaptor

•Army Code Steel front sight

•Replica steel barrel collar

•Mabull steel 16″ barrel

•G&P steel parts I.E trigger, selector lever, mag release, forward assist, bolt release, dust cover and body pins

•Replica TA01 ACOG
Still to Complete

•Steel barrel to be turned down to accept barrel collar

•Barrel to be stamped and also engraved with Diemaco symbol

•front sight to have a small groove machined across the underside

•G&P body to have full L119 engravings done including cast marks on upper right side.

•Rear of upper rail to have a ledge milled off

•Extra rail slot to be milled on the back of the upper receiver

•hole drilled to accept receiver pin retaining spring

•Get receiver cerakoted

•Last 3 digits of serial number to be stamped on left side of the upper receiver

•Fit the G&P steel parts

•Alter and fit the Guarder storm grip

•Source genuine Surefire M600C

Huge thanks to Mike for what, I’m sure you’ll agree is a stunning tour of his ‘active’ Plastic Deth museum, I can tell you he’s already working on a new project – an  L110A2 Minimi build going on as we speak using a G&P M249 as the base – S23

** S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ Patches Back In Stock And Available Here ** Wether your rocking Multicam, M81, DCU, UCP or solid greens, tan or black you can now show your S23FAMILIA pride … S23 Mk II ‘Beer Mat’ PVC patches back in stock – S23 You can get your Mk II patch right here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322506771568
Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/
s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/
S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

Take by Force – MoeGuns Face Wrap Spotlight 

You may well heard of MoeGuns.Com, I certainly have and as 51k will testify they have too …

Based in Colorado, the United States, 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 Risk Equipment 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 ‘Betsy Ross‘ 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 Military Tactical 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 Risk Equipment, and available from Huey’s MTO

**UPDATE**


I’m pleased to announce Allied Risk Equipment are back with a new 2nd variant now in a very fetching and contemporary ‘urban grey’ better yet featuring their company logo – the best just got better. You can pick this up directly from Allied Risk’s FB store here: https://www.facebook.com/alliedriskequipment/posts/822623911248560

Or as it’s been reported Huey’s MTO will also be carrying these exclusive variants.

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

**COMPETITION**


We have an MOE face wrap and three boxes of Strike Force to give away, simply head on over to our Facebook page to enter: https://m.facebook.com/S23GolfMike75/

**GET EM’ BEFORE THERE GONE** Limited Second Run of our Mk III 3rd Anniversary Patch – Get Em’ here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/322503518954

Check out more from MoeGuns here: https://www.moeguns.com/

Check out Huey’s MTO here: http://www.hueys.co.uk/epages/es151784.mobile/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es151784

https://www.facebook.com/alliedriskequipment/

S23 is proudly sponsored by ToySoldier: http://www.toysoldier.com.hk/

s23 is proudly sponsored by Emperion: http://emperionstore.com/

Don’t forget you can read our articles exclusive to Airsoft International each and every month:http://www.ai-mag.com/