Troy Industries posted a video of their new Battle Mags being put through some destructive testing. The magazines pass all the tests that are shown in the video. I am not sure that this type of testing really tells you much about the product but it interesting to watch – especially since you catch a glimpse of a Multicam Ford Expedition.
Princeton Tec’s (PT) headlamp lineup boasts two new additions. One is made for big boys and one isn’t.
The FRED is a new take on PT’s popular Fuel headlamp. There are two main differences between the FRED and its predecessor, the Fuel. The first is the replacement of one of the white 5mm LEDs with a single red 5mm LED. The second difference is that the FRED always turns on in low red mode. These two features combined ensure that the users dark adjusted vision will not be disrupted when the light is turned on and they serve to mitigate the risks of an accidental light discharge in a sensitive situation. The FRED features 4 output modes: low red, high red, low white, high white.
The new BOT headlamp is not for you. Its for your kids. It features the same great compact form as the PT Byte but, unlike the Byte, it features 2 5mm LEDs. There are four different bright colors to choose from which are sure to please even picky kids. There are 2 output modes: low and high. I would have loved to have had a real PT head lamp that fit me when I was a kid.
Rob S. from TacticalYellowVisor.net just released the latest version of “The Chart”. The Chart has been the source of a lot of controversy (mostly from people who missed the point) but I find it to be a tremendously valuable tool.
“Mil-spec” is an over-used and over-simplified term that is often tossed around by manufacturers that have never once thought of actually building to a specification, let alone a military specification. Most consumers will never educate themselves as to what mil-spec really means and why it is important. The result is that the majority of “mil-spec” carbines on the market really aren’t made to spec at all. The Chart gives an organized look at the features that actually make a carbine “mil-spec” and allows you to compare how various manufacturers stack up. There are no judgements made – just a whole lot of valuable information.
The information comes from the manufacturers themselves. Rob must have spent a ton of time gathering and organizing all of this. Many manufacturers are not represented on the chart. That is because they have either chosen not to provide information or because they just haven’t provided it yet. If there is a manufacturer you want to see on the chart, tell them to contact Rob.
The best way to access the chart is to view the conversation on M4Carbine.net. You can also view the explanation of all the features listed in The Chart on TacticalYellowVisor.net.
We all have various pieces of gear that we keep in our vehicles. That gear may be for navigation, EDC, survival, or even just convenience. If all of that gear ends up piled into your glove box or center console, then it isn’t very useful to you. Gear is most useful when it is stored in a place that is easily accessed and well organized. Some gear, like seat belt cutters or glass breakers, are completely useless unless they are immediately accessible. Keeping your vital gear accessible and organized is the exact purpose of the MOLLE Visor Panel (MVP) from Zulu Nylon Gear (ZNG).
The MVP is a 12″x6″ wrap around panel that can be adapted to fit nearly any vehicle’s sun visor. The panel adjusts to fit the sun visor via 3 large hook and loop tabs that provide several inches worth of adjustment. One side of the panel features 2 deep slot pockets and the other side has 3 rows by 8 columns of MOLLE webbing.
The MOLLE webbing side looks like any other MOLLE panel until you take a closer look. There are a couple of surprises on this panel that make it far more versatile than any other panel on the market. You will find loop material in between the MOLLE rows and the upper and lower MOLLE webbing rows are actually made from heavy duty elastic! These two additions allow the panel to accept more than just MOLLE pouches. The loop material allows you to attach hook backed pouches or patches. The elastic MOLLE rows make it easy to stow small items securely, even without a pouch! The number of items that can be attached to this panel in one way or another will boggle your mind.
The panel also features sets of elastic webbing loops in 3 locations that are useful for securing items like flashlights or chem-lights. There are 2 sets of 2 loops on each end of the MOLLE panel and a set of 3 loops on the leading edge of the slot pocket side. The set of 3 loops are long enough to secure even longer lights like the 3xAA Maglights and they position the light so that it can be accessed, even if the visor is in the up position.
Fit and Finish
The MVP is extremely well made. The stitches are straight and even. The edges are taped to prevent fraying and to give a clean look. Everything is reinforced where it should be and the materials themselves are all very durable. I expect that this will be the last visor panel you ever have to buy. It is just very clean work overall.
Mounting the MVP is extremely easy. First, give some thought to how you will orient the MVP based on which way you want the slot pockets to face and the items that you place a priority on accessing. It is easiest to attach MOLLE pouches before you mount the MVP on your visor. Wrap the MVP onto your visor with the loop tabs facing into the passenger compartment (not forward toward the engine compartment) and attach the tabs loosely. Finally, tighten each hook and loop tab individually until the MVP fits tightly on your visor. This thing doesn’t even need to come with instructions. You can look at it and figure it out.
I have used the MVP in my truck for about a month now. In that time, I have been rotating various pieces of gear and combinations of gear on and off the panel to try and learn what works best and what doesn’t work at all. I ended up taking pictures for this post in three different sessions because I was constantly thinking of other things that the MVP could hold. It is great for holding admin gear like pens and small pads but you will find yourself scheming about a million other things it can hold.
Something that I learned early on is that you don’t want to over load the panel. The visors in my truck would hold quite a bit of weight and still stay up – at least when your vehicle is sitting still. Once the vehicle is moving, an over loaded visor will begin to sag into your line of sight. You can stow a lot of stuff on your MVP, but only testing when the vehicle is actually moving will tell the whole story about how much weight you can really hold.
The MVP excels at organizing your lighting. I found that I could figure out ways to attach nearly any AA, AAA, or CR123 powered flashlight I own to the MVP. The MVP also handles chem-lights with ease. I also found that task lights like the Inova 24/7, Streamlight Sidewinder and the previously reviewed Princeton Tec MPLS Switch could be mounted in ways that made them useful for illuminating the passenger compartment. The MVP is especially useful with these types of task lights since the red LED can be used to illuminate maps or documents without causing glare on your windshield at night. A chem-light positioned in one of the sets of elastic loops could be used to illuminate the interior of the vehicle. There are just tons of ways to make the MVP work efficiently with your lights.
I found that the MVP was great for carrying small pieces of survival gear – especially vehicle specific gear like a belt cutter or glass breaker. I easily attached a SAR Global Tool Eclipse Signal System for day and night signalling. Several methods of fire making like Bic lighters and fire steels could easily slide under the elastic MOLLE webbing. A Fresnel lens could be stowed in the slot pockets. You could even stow a flat folding water bottle like those from Platypus and some water treatment tablets on board.
The slot pockets on the MVP are the perfect place to store relatively flat items like maps or other documents. You need to be mindful of the thickness of the items that you store here because items that are too thick can prevent the visor from “locking” in the up position. In my truck, I was able to get away with items that are slightly thicker like a small pre-packaged poncho, an emergency blanket, and a signal mirror. I also keep some of the previously reviewed Waterford Press guides stashed in the pockets. The pockets are a bit too deep to store something like a business card or a parking garage ticket. It would be nice if there was a smaller business card sized pouch or a small slot in the side of the panel to quickly for smaller documents. However, I was able to simply wedge a parking garage ticket under the panel itself where it was held relatively securely.
Don’t forget that you can store things under the panel as well. I used the space to discreetly store my previously reviewed Bogota Entry Tools. I also found this useful for storing larger flat items that wouldn’t fit in the slot pockets like large maps.
The MVP can be easily detached from your visor if you need to leave your vehicle. You could even transfer the whole panel to your EDC (every day carry) bag or use it to carry several items that would be cumbersome on their own in the event that you have to leave your vehicle on foot. It serves as a sort of mini-BOB (bug out bag).
If you have gear that you keep in your vehicle for convenience or emergencies, the MOLLE Visor Panel from Zulu Nylon Gear will help you keep it organized. This, like every other design that comes from ZNG, show Joel’s gift for innovating a stale design in a way that makes it more functional, more visually attractive, and more versatile. There are other visor panels on the market but none with the amount of thoughtful design, innovation, and versatility that can be found in the MOLLE Visor Panel.
Disclosure: This product was provided to me for review, free of charge, by Zulu Nylon Gear.
Tactical Night Vision Company (TMVC) offers excellent training in addition to their full line of night vision equipment. They recently announced that they are offering civilian Night Vision Operator’s Courses. This is a tremendous opportunity for those of you who own night vision equipment. There are very few courses of this kind available and even fewer (if any) are available to civilians.
The course can be conducted at a facility that is purpose built for this kind of training or it can also be delivered at your location. If you don’t own night vision equipment but are still interested in taking the course you can rent equipment from TNVC.
TNVC already offers some of the best customer service in the industry and it is courses like these that show TNVC’s commitment to the civilian night vision market. That should be commended. You can view more course details or register at the TNVC Training site.
Magpul and patch maker extraordinaire Mil-Spec Monkey have teamed up to do some good. They have created a really good looking, limited edition patch that features the Japanese kanji for strength.
As you probably know, Japan was rocked by intense earthquakes in March of this year. The recovery efforts may not be on the nightly news anymore but they are certainly still struggling. All of the proceeds from the patch will go directly to the rebuilding effort.
You can find more information and help by purchasing a patch at Magpul’s website.
Impact Weapons Components is expanding their line up of Combo Deals. These Combo Deals include multiple items that are designed to work together for one price.
You can now purchase Magpul MOE Hand Guards (in multiple colors and all three gas system lengths – carbine, mid, and rifle) with the excellent QD Micro MOUNT-N-SLOTs already installed by the pros at IWC. The installation is very easy to do at home, but if you lack the tools or inclination, the folks at IWC have your back.
Check them out on IWC’s “Combo Deals” page.
Remember to use the coupon code “triggerjerk” at checkout to receive 5% off at IWC.
If you serve in the military, police, fire department, or as an EMT then Battle Arms Development wants to recognize your service by offering you a discount on their products. They have conveyed to me that they believe that those serving in these capacities are all heroes and they hope that other manufacturers will follow their lead with discounts like this for heroes.
Eberlestock is known for their packs that integrate rifle carriers directly into the design of the pack. Now they are stepping into the world of “traditional” packs with the introduction of the 90 liter V90 Battleship and the 69 liter V69 Destroyer packs. Even though these are being called “traditional” packs, Eberlestock still couldn’t resist building in a way to carry a rifle.
These packs have essentially the same features between the two models. The only real difference is the size. These packs have some serious capacity, but Eberlestock seems to have done a great job with providing ways to organize and access all that capacity. There are various internal and external pockets that will handle everything from your lunch to your dirty socks. I especially like the idea large external mesh pockets for carrying wet gear or dirty laundry. Access can be accomplished through a typical top loading port with rain collar or through 2 zipped front loading panels.
There are tons of external straps that can serve as lash points for various gear. Some users don’t care for a lot of external straps, but I find that, if they are managed well, they really add a lot of functionality. The straps on the side of the pack can be used to carry a rifle by placing the butt of the stock into the sleeve at the base of the pack and buckling the fore end of the rifle under the strap.
You can check the new packs at Eberlestock’s website.
High end watch makers have been using anti-reflective (AR) coatings on watch crystals for years. These coatings reduce or eliminate reflections and glare on the crystal (the window that you view the watch face through) in order to make the watch more readable and more discreet. LUM-TEC is taking that technology beyond just coating the crystal. They have introduced AR treated dials for their M49-M51 models.
These new dials reflect very little light. The result is a pure, dark black dial that makes LUM-TEC’s renowned luminescent markings stand out even more. These things are like a black hole – light can’t escape!
In the above image, you can see that the 2 untreated dials are reflecting the bright studio lights. The center dial, which has been treated with the new AR coating, doesn’t reflect anything. The luminescent dial markings really stand out against the dark black, non-reflective background. This is some really cool technology!
These watch dials haven’t hit dealer shelves yet but when they do, you can expect Thomas at CGA Company to have the models sporting these dials and all your other LUM-TEC needs.