Tactical Tailor

Archive for January, 2019

SHOT Show 19 – SureFire MGX

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Back in 2012, small arms innovator Jim Sullivan filed for a patent for the MGX, a 5.56mm box-fed Machine Gun designed as an improvement over the Ultimax, which he also designed.

Below is a drawing from the patent, depicting the MGX from various points of view. It seems to have a bit of a Stoner 63 flair to it. Considering Sullivan contributed to that weapon system as well, it comes as no surprise.

The MGX, along with its associated 60 and 100 round High Capacity Magazines, was later purchased by SureFire from ArmsWest, LLC. The MGX is designed to operate from the closed bolt during semi-automatic fire and from the open bolt on full-auto.

The weapon weighs 9 lbs and is just 17″ with the barrel removed and stock folded. Recoil is managed so well, that like the Ultimax, it can be fired continuously on full-auto with just one hand. Barrels are 11.5″, 16″ and 20″ and the gun is convertible from 5.56mm to 6.8 SPC in seconds with a barrel change. You have to consider when the gun was designed to appreciate the 6.8 SPC option. The rate of fire is 550-650 RPM with an increase of 100 rpm when used with the SureFire SOCOM556-MG Suppressor.

Here you can see the folding stock and foregrip as well as its intended use with the 100 rd HCM.

During last week’s SHOT Show, the MGX showed up in SureFire’s massive booth, celebrating their 40th Anniversary. You’ll notice something interesting. Although the receiver is marked MG 10, it goes by the name MGX. Although the controls are similar to the AR-15, and a Stoner 63 pistol grip, it features a side charging handle and a quick change barrel.

Image by Ho-Tac Tactical

Considering SureFire has kept the design under wraps for years, it was not only amazing to see it there, but to see it with a 2019 placard. Naturally, we wanted to know if that meant the MGX was finally going into production.

Unfortunately, we found out that SureFire is not getting into the Machine Gun business. Instead, they wanted to showcase a relatively unknown bit of history and hopefully raise interest in licensing the technology.

Hopefully, the MGX will find its way into production.


Mod Dos by The MUB

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

The Mod Dos which means MOD two was actually The MUB’s first design back in early 2017. After handing it out and playing with it guys told them it was too heavy so they came out with the wing design which became the Multi Use Block.

They ended up going back to that design once they saw how much an optics hub-style platform was actually necessary.

It has all the functionality of the original WING, plus they added 16 1/4-20 mounting platforms and eight total 2 slot MLOK channels, creating a larger surface area but only weighing in at 10oz.

This new design is equipped with a machined-in Arca Swiss plate, while maintaining the ability to convert to Manfrotto, Picatinny, or the ultra light Outdoorsman.

Competitive shooters are already using it as an alternative solution. Mounting it under your rifle creates a larger footprint for gaming scenarios and it’s large enough to use as a table.

Mod Dos is Made in the USA.


Soldiers Test Squad Designated Marksman Rifle At Fort Bliss

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Manufacturer of the new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, Heckler & Koch began delivering weapons last fall. This rifle is based on the HK 417 (German Army designation G28) which was selected by the US Army in 2016 as the M110A1 Compact Semi Auto Sniper System. It fires the 7.62mm NATO cartridge.


Last week, 16 Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 4-17 Infantry Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, took to the ranges on Fort Bliss, Texas to provide feedback to Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier). This information will be analyzed and used to make any changes to the SDM-R, accessories and ammunition before full fielding commences.


While the maximum effective distance of the new optic (SIG Optics TANGO6T) hasn’t been fully verified yet, Soldiers were able to positively engage targets at a distance of 800 meters. Other than the optic, both CSASS and SDM-R are the same configuration. The SDM-R also includes a Suppressor by OSS and an Image Intensifier Night Vision Sight (AN/PVS-3) and bipod. The rail is MLOK compatible.


Eventually, over 6000 SDM-Rs are expected to be fielded as part of the Directed Requirement, validated last year. This is a separate purchase than the M110A1 CSASS buy and this is an important distinction as this version is sometimes referred to as the M110A1 DMR.

Photos by US Army SSG Kimberly Jenkins and SGT Brian Micheliche, 1st Stryker Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Public Affairs.

Brigantes Presents – High Angle Solutions – Black Crows, Orb Militari Skis with Pin Binding

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

After the success of delivering the Black Crows Orb Militari with a 75mm Telemark binding we have now added an out and out ski mountaineering setup.  The latest delivery have been fitted with Dynafit TLT Speed bindings.  This combination gives the perfect set up for operating in the steepest terrain.  When used with the Black Crows Pellis skins then you have an ability to cover the most challenging of terrain.

To complete the system we would recommend the Scarpa F1.  This provides an excellent all round ski touring boot at 1230g.

Although not the traditional choice for military skiers this ultra-light and robust system provides arguably the best solution for operating in more alpine terrain.  The skis are exceptionally robust and user friendly whilst the boot enables ski, crampon and normal walking.

For these and additional military ski mountaineering items please give us a shout as we are working on a whole series of personal mobility solutions to cover all environments and terrain.

For more information get in touch by email on international@brigantes.com or for UK customers warrior@brigantes.com.  


Army Enacts New Policy on Intellectual Property

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

The following piece is courtesy of Dr. Bruce D. Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology – ASA(ALT). His Office’s mission is to provide our Soldiers a decisive advantage in any mission by maintaining quality acquisition professionals to develop, acquire, field, and sustain the world’s best equipment and services through efficient leveraging of technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs.

The Army continues to advance on a number of modernization and acquisition reform initiatives designed to develop and deliver new capabilities to warfighters more rapidly and cost-effectively than ever before.

More than ever, intellectual property (IP) is playing a critical role in our ability to modernize our weapon systems and maintain technological overmatch against our peers and near-peers.

The latest is a new policy on the management of IP signed by Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark T. Esper on Dec. 7.

According to Dr. Esper, “We must be careful to ensure that the policies and practices governing intellectual property provide us with the necessary access to effectively support our weapons systems, but do not constrain delivery of solutions to the warfighter and do not dissuade commercial innovators from partnering with us.”

IP is defined as “creations of the mind” — inventions, unique manufacturing processes, discoveries–in which owners are granted exclusive rights to control the use and dissemination. When discussing IP in the context of a weapon system or business system, we are often referring to technical data, like blueprints, drawings, technical specifications or computer software used in the system.

As a scientist, patent holder and former small business owner, I know that IP is the lifeblood of any company. It must be protected and fairly compensated, especially if we plan to attract the cutting-edge innovations of nontraditional companies that are so necessary in today’s environment. I also understand, however, that some IP is critical for the Army to be able to sustain its weapon systems over their long life cycles.

Through early planning for sustainment and appropriate investment in IP, we will give ourselves options. These options may improve readiness, reduce sustainment costs and increase availability–all critical factors in an Army facing unprecedented challenges from emerging threats, proliferation of technology and rapid innovation by our adversaries.


Developing a policy that carefully balances the goals of fostering private innovation with long-term sustainment considerations was my direction to Dr. Alexis Laselle Ross, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for strategy and acquisition reform, who spearheaded this entire effort and worked across all stakeholders to make the Army IP policy a reality.

This new, balanced approach represents a significant change in the way we manage IP. Historically, we have defaulted to one of two scenarios. We either demand more data and rights than required, which is costly and can drive away companies, especially nontraditional innovators not accustomed to working with DOD. Or, we wait until late in the acquisition process to negotiate IP rights, which may lock us into long-term, costly, sole-source arrangements with original equipment manufacturers.

The new approach is much more nuanced. It discourages a one-size-fits-all attitude and requires that we consider the unique needs of each weapon system and its components as we develop the IP strategy. Four key principles underpin the new policy:


The Army must be transparent and open with industry early and often. With a continuous dialogue, we can better articulate our technical and software data requirements, rights and intentions early, so that both parties are on the same page regarding mutually beneficial license arrangements. Most importantly, we want to ensure these early discussions are protected. The new policy requires that extra steps be taken to protect all IP-related discussions.


No two acquisition programs are alike. As such, data requirements and rights should not be treated the same. Each system will have different sustainment and modernization needs across its life cycle. Therefore, it is important that we train all of our workforce professionals, especially in program management and contracting, to assess these short- and long-term needs and develop a customized strategy aligned to those needs.


After carefully assessing the needs, we must negotiate for the appropriate–not all–IP to support them. We should seek to develop creative and flexible approaches to IP so that we don’t overpay for or stifle industry innovation. We will look to industry to help us develop such custom licenses.


As good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars, we must leverage economic principles when negotiating prices. To that end, the new policy encourages setting prices as early as possible in the process so that they are competitive.


This new policy is the first step in a cultural change within the Army. The next step is more detailed implementation guidance to the field, which we are developing for release in early 2019. We also assembled a team of experts from across the Army to identify what additional processes, guidance and training may be required to ensure that the policy is having its intended effect.

My objective is to empower and enable our workforce professionals to think differently and act appropriately to ensure that our organizations, policies, processes and tasks that consume time, money and manpower deliver real value.

In closing, I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2019!

This article is published in the January — March 2019 issue of Army AL&T magazine.

Combat Medic Training Integrates Sense of Touch

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Jan. 22, 2019 (Orlando, FL) Engineering & Computer Simulations (ECS), an innovative provider of global workforce training services and solutions, works with HaptX, a visionary haptic technology firm, to provide enhanced military medical virtual reality training.

ECS has enhanced its Tactical Combat Casualty Care Simulation (TC3Sim) medical trainer to incorporate a sense of touch in training scenarios to improve realism and training by using the HaptX Gloves Development Kit an industrial-grade product for advanced simulation in virtual reality. HaptX Gloves enable users to experience virtual simulations with realistic touch feedback and natural interaction for the first time. This unique transformational training debuted at the Interservice/ Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), and subsequently, has been enhanced with even more realism that will be showcased at the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) January 26-30, 2019.

Shane Taber, ECS vice president of operations/Orlando, explains: “Previously, VR training focused on learning through visual and auditory cues. The sense of touch has been missing, and by integrating the HaptX Gloves, Warfighters shift their perspective from the typical Virtual Reality interaction that uses a controller to click and interact, to more of a human-based physical approach of actually grasping an object or reaching out and touching a button with your finger. A medic can bandage a wound or administer CPR, perform highly tactile procedures, and immediately see and hear the effect; feel the weight, the sensation, or movement of that action. We are excited to enhance the medical teams’ performance and improve their quality of training to allow trainees to learn more quickly and effectively with the integration of touch.” 

David Fahr, ECS software engineer adds: “We received amazing reactions at I/ITSEC. Military service members, corporate leaders, and others said this unique training experience was unlike anything they had experienced before. Incorporating this feedback, we improved on the items used and overall flow of the scenarios to allow interactions to happen in an easier manner and for a more fluid experience in training scenarios. In the future, ECS plans to add a tutorial scenario to introduce users to the experience and haptic feedback.”

ECS plans to continue researching and testing these technologies to continue improving relevant, innovative, and fully-supported capabilities for the U.S. Army Research Lab. Their plan will also demonstrate the capabilities of haptic technology to fill existing gaps in skills training and further the understanding of the perception of touch as a component of virtual training.

HaptX Gloves feature 130 tactile actuators that provide realistic touch across the hand and fingertips. Built with HaptX’s patented microfluidic technology, HaptX Gloves also deliver powerful force feedback and motion tracking with sub-millimeter precision. The gloves are usually combined with a VR headset to provide a complete training experience.


SHOT Show 19 – Stealth SBR Backpack from Elite Survival Systems

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Although the new Stealth SBR Backpack is a smaller, more streamlined version of their STEALTH Backpack, it’s also, well…more stealthy. It looks more like a piece of luggage than anything else in their line. But it opens up to provide plenty of room for a SBR and accessories. The interior features Velcro as well as PALS webbing. Additionally, it will accept an armor panel.

Offered in Black or Grey, the exterior of the Stealth SBR Backpack incorporates two zippered compartments. In addition to padded shoulder strains, the pack offers a waist strap and carry handle.


SHOT Show 19 – Vestshape

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Vestshape is a body armor vest hanger and carrier, making for easy hanging of duty vests without the wear and tear and stretching of shoulder straps and improper storage. Vestshape allows for convenient hanging of duty vests outside lockers for drying as well as carrying a strapped-in vest to and from the field.

Vestshape is based in Van Nuys, California and made in the USA.