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Blast From The Past – 215 Gear Visor

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

Although we first mentioned the 215 Gear Visors ever a decade ago, they’re still available. Summer is still a few months off but it’s never too soon to get ready.

Offered in multiple colors and patterns.


High Speed Gear Products Receive NTOA Recommendations

Monday, February 17th, 2020

SWANSBORO, N.C., Feb. 18, 2020 – High Speed Gear®, maker of Battle-Proven Tactical Gear™, recently received nine product recommendations in the National Tactical Officers Association’s “Member Tested and Recommended” program.

Select law enforcement officers thoroughly tested the Kydex® Tourniquet TACO® (4.74), Kydex Handcuff TACO (4.45), Operator Belt (4.55), Bleeder/Blowout Pouch (4.51), Double Decker® TACO – Covered (4.03), Mag-Net Dump Pouch V2 (4.46), Gas Mask Pouch V2 (4.41), Duty Flash Bang TACO (4.25), and the Ambidextrous Multipurpose Pouch (4.46) and rated them in the MTR’s two highest tiers. Each product was evaluated by four officers and graded on a variety of categories, including design, performance, quality, durability and versatility, with each group of officers’ scores averaged into the ratings listed above.

The MTR program ranks products as “standard” (rating from 3.00 to 3.99), “silver” (from 4.00 to 4.49) and “gold” (from 4.50 to 5.00). NTOA members can view the full reviews and scores in the Member Tested and Recommended database.

“I use this belt by running the Velcro® belt through my belt loops and then attaching the Operator Belt on top of it,” said an officer who rated the Operator Belt an overall 4.94. “It rides snugly and is very comfortable. The COBRA D-ring buckle is very sturdy and is overkill (in a good way). For those who like a low-profile belt, this is really good and is the best such belt I have tried. I intend to use it for general day-to-day investigative work and will keep my padded belt for tactical situations.

“The Bleeder/Blowout Pouch is another item that I have added to my kit,” stated one officer, who gave the Bleeder a perfect 5.00 rating. “I use the blowout pouch in conjunction with an IFAK and the Kydex Tourniquet Pouch. I really like being able to have my shears secured and easily accessible and having a place designed to hold them. You can mount this on a belt system or on your MOLLE gear, making it a must have in my opinion for anyone needing to carry medical supplies. I can always find a use for this pouch no matter what the task is.”

Every HSGI® product submitted to the MTR for review not only passed for recommendation but also ranked highly. Additionally, Comp-Tac®, a division of HSGI, also received product recommendations from the MTR program, which will be announced shortly.

“We are incredibly honored to have so many products rated so highly by our law enforcement officers,” said Allison Mitchum, HSGI director of sales and marketing. “We strive to create the best gear possible for our customers and are privileged to serve so many who serve.”

ADS Hurlburt Field Warfighter Expo

Monday, February 17th, 2020

The ADS will be held on March 3, 2020 from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM at the The Soundside Club located at 107 Thursday Drive, Hurlburt Field, FL 32544. They’ll have over 60 vendors on hand with the latest in equipping solutions.

To register, visit events.adsinc.com.

Hurlburt Field Warfighter Expo is not open to the general public.

Qualified attendees include active duty military, federal, state and local government agencies, law enforcement, and first responders. Military and government attendees must present official government-issued identification.


Sunday, February 16th, 2020

Buoyancy is key to a lot of things when diving. It helps make the dive easier in a lot of ways. When using a closed-circuit rig (CCR) it keeps you from rocketing to the surface, it prevents you from dropping to the bottom when you stop to fix your gear or “Dräger” talk/ yelling at your dive buddy.  


The two keys to buoyancy: balance and breathing 

The two significant factors in achieving neutral buoyancy.

• 1st Wear the right amount of weight for the dive. This will differ depending on the thickness of your wetsuit/ dry suit and gear you are wearing, also water type fresh or salt.

• 2nd Breathing slowly and evenly, so you do not have too much air in your breathing bag. If diving a CCR

Steps to help maintain buoyancy

Pre-dive preparation

Buoyancy control begins, with the pre-dive preparation. As you pick what to wear for a dive. Double-check to make sure nothing has changed that could affect buoyancy. A new wetsuit is more buoyant than an older one and will need more weight. A new suit has more inherent buoyancy at first because diving, especially deep diving simply bursts its bubbles. Make sure you look at any new gear compared to the old version. Gear is always being updated with new buckles or martial so when you switch from old to new make sure you know what the buoyancy is with the new stuff. Check the weights on a scale; often there is variation between claimed and actual weight. If diving open circuit, remember cylinders are negatively buoyant when full and less negative when empty.

Do a buoyancy check

Here is the best way to do a proper buoyancy check. With your lungs half-full, you should float at eye level with no air in your BC. If you are diving open circuit, remember the average cylinder loses about 5 pounds as it empties. So, you might have to add about 5 pounds to your weight if you have done your buoyancy check with a full tank. 

Keep a log

Keeping a log of what gear, you have worn, what the temperature was and the type of water (salt/fresh /brackish). What equipment you used, how much lead you carried, your body weighs and whether you seemed too heavy or light. Knowing the weight of the gear that you used on the dive will help. Make sure you understand that if you are going to remove something during the dive you need to account for that on the return trip home. If you plan ahead by recording in training what you used it will help when you have to do it the next time.  

Saltwater VS Freshwater

If most of your diving is done in the ocean, then ballast calculations should be done in the ocean. Jumping in the pool to check your ballast will get you close, but it won’t be 100% correct. If you switch back and forth, you’ll need to adjust your ballast. Be prepared to add weight if needed sometimes it’s nice to have a weight belt with extra pouches just in case or maybe just an empty pouch on a gear belt will help. But still try and keep the weight evenly distributed. 

Buoyancy, Trim, Position, and Breathing

The secret to buoyancy control, begins with fine-tuning your weighting. How much lead you put into your pouches or have on your weight belt. If you are carrying just the right amount of weight, you will only have to put a little air in your BC. That means less drag and more efficient finning. Less BC inflation also means less buoyancy shift with depth, so you’ll have to make fewer adjustments. There are many tricks, but buoyancy control is the fundamental skill. Precise control of your buoyancy is what enables you to hover motionless and fin through the water, at any depth. You should not have to use your hands at all or stirring up mud or silt from the bottom by always moving your feet. In addition to using the right amount of weight, make sure you are correctly balanced to optimize your position under water.


Keeping a more horizontal position makes you more hydrodynamic. Distribute the weight as uniformly as possible from side to side; you should never notice that you put on more weight on one side while diving. You must also consider the weight of your dive gear and any other additional gear you might be wearing. I.E gun belt or special gear. Make sure it is balanced on your body and it doesn’t shift when you are diving. The lower you wear your dive rig can cause a tendency to push the diver forward (upside down) in the water, so the placement of weight towards the back can help reverse this position, especially on the surface. Make sure any dive weight you put on can be easily removed in an emergency.

The factors that affect your buoyancy besides ballast weight are BC inflation, your trim, exposure suit, depth and breathing control. Your ballast weight and your trim are the only two factors that, once you’ve selected them, stay put. Ballast is the amount of weight it takes to keep you neutral in the water. Trim is about the position of your body weight relative to the position of your weight. Sometime when diving a rebreather you can tape lead washers on it to help with your trip.  

There is one more thing to understand that will help with your buoyancy. It is controlling your breathing. Make sure you maintain proper breathing. Take relaxed breaths this will allow you to maintain control over your buoyancy.

To determine the amount of weight you need, you can take your body weight, the diving suit you are going to use, the weight of your equipment and the environment you are diving in salt or fresh water. If you use about 10 percent of your body weight, that is a good starting point for a full 5 mm or more and for a 3 mm suit, use 5 percent of your body weight.  

Dry suits and thick neoprene suits require more ballast to counteract the increased buoyancy of those suits in comparison with the thinnest. Body composition (the muscular density, for example) will also influence the necessary weight. Remember fat floats, muscle sinks.

Remember to calculate for everything you are going to do and wear on your dive. If you are doing a long dive and plan to leave or remove something half way thru your dive. Say doing a ship attack, and you are taking limpets off. Plan for the whole dive. To check your buoyancy get into water deep enough to stay in an upright position, without treading and releasing all air from the vest. Inhale, in a normally, the surface of the water must be at the level of your eyes. When you exhale, you should sink until water covers your head and inhale again, you should emerge once again until the level of the eyes. Adjust your weight in small increments about 1 pound at a time. You can use a weight with snap link on it or just a weight with some 550 cord on it. Make sure you don’t just put all the weight you are adding to one side. Try and use this time to even yourself out and set your trim also. I have also seen people tap lead washers to the front of their Dräger to help even them out.


Once you get your ballast weight and trim dialed in, you will be ahead of about 75% of all divers toward perfect buoyancy control. Now you can fine-tune your BC inflation to compensate for the very predictable changes due to breathing down your tank and changing depth. 

Lastly, there are advanced classes that you can take that focus on advanced skills like this. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will help make diving a lot better and make you more efficient at it.

How To Connect Single and Dual Downlead Cables to Your Ops-Core AMP Communication Headset

Sunday, February 16th, 2020


FN America Awarded US Army Contract for M4A1 Carbines

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

The Department of Defense has announced:

FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, was awarded a $119,216,309 firm-fixed-price contract for M4/M4A1 carbine. Bids were solicited via the internet with six received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Jan. 30, 2025. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-20-D-0006).

SAFRAN Optics1 Launches New Website

Friday, February 14th, 2020

SAFRAN Optics1 has launched an updated website with loads of new features.

*New career page with featured roles and information about their missions, culture, benefits and geographical locations

*Streamlined product categorization so users can find a solution by means of capability or application as well as an easy way to determine if they know exactly what they are looking for.

*Customer satisfaction survey (in service & support)

*News & Event promotion

Check it out at www.optics1.com

FirstSpear Friday Focus – OEM Partner Series HuntRedi

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Today we have another edition of the FirstSpear OEM Partner series taking a closer look at an all new company FirstSpear manufacturers private label equipment for.

Today we are getting the first look at HuntRedi and the debut of their Flush Redi Series – Deviate Upland Vest. Available for pre-order very soon, subscribe to mailing list on link below.  

Why/How did HuntRedi begin?

During an annual South Dakota road trip to chase pheasants, we found ourselves frustrated with the lack of high-quality upland hunting gear providing extreme durability and high strength-to-weight ratio while also offering a level of configurability that would meet our personal preferences. The upland market simply seemed stuck in the past and after lengthy discussion with many “what if we could…” statements, the foundation for Hunt Redi was hatched and we were off to the races.

Why was the Hunt Redi Upland Series created?

As we discussed the various features we wanted in upland gear, it became apparent both of us had a lot of personal preferences that would not be easy to achieve without a high level of configurability. After noteworthy market research, we realized it was a common complaint with one reviewer loving gear with Velcro closure, another reviewer was frustrated because they didn’t like Velcro and preferred buckles, etc. So, we set out to find a platform that would provide an extremely solid foundation yet also meet our high configurability requirement.?

There are options for private label manufacturing all around the world, how did you find us and why did you ultimately choose FirstSpear OEM manufacturing?

Our first requirement was Made in the USA so that ruled out any offshore options. Upland bird hunting is an endeavor that exposes gear to extreme conditions and harsh cover throughout all regions of the United States, not to mention across the globe. As a result, we were really focused on extreme durability that would hold up to aspen thickets in the Northwoods, plantations in the South, hardwoods throughout the Midwest, Texas / Oklahoma brush, deserts of the Southwest, and chukar hills of the northwest. Upland hunting is also a sport of constant pursuit unlike many other types of hunting so weight reduction for long days in the field was critical. When you combine our functional and strategic requirements, FirstSpear seemed like a perfect fit.

We made contact with the OEM group after being referred by someone that previously worked with FirstSpear. The “small business” personalities we were met with from the start combined with the innovative technologies being leveraged to make gear for battlefields all over the world were a tremendous fit for what were trying to accomplish at Hunt Redi. We’ve not looked back and are extremely excited to bring the tip of the spear to the hunting industry!

Why was Made in the USA important to the brand?

It was simply never a question for both of us, we were unwavering in our commitment in US made products from the start. Putting aside that we simply wanted to support US companies / workers for a moment, we’ve both had long term careers in the tech industry and we believe success boils down to building long term partnerships, focusing on quality, and providing products we are proud to use. We believe focusing on USA made gear provides us with the best opportunity to achieve our personal goals.

Any new products on the horizon between HuntRedi and FirstSpear?

100%…a good college buddy of ours used to always say, “the man with the most tools wins”…we’re just getting started. In fact, we’ve got a few items already in the works with the FirstSpear team and more on the short list. We’ll see you all in the field.

Deviate Upland Vest Specs:

Weight: 1lb 10.3 ounces + 10.8 ounces (regular belt) / 11.6 ounces (large belt)

NOTE: additional accessories will adjust weight based on selections


Regular Belt

34” L x 4.5” H x ¾” D

Large Belt

37” L x 4.5” H x ¾” D

Color: Blaze Orange / Coyote

Hunter Orange Exposure: 225.5 square inches

Closure: Side Release Buckle

FirstSpear® 6/12™ Laser Fused Modular Platform Technology attachment system

FirstSpear® 6/12™ Laser Fused Pocket Technology

FirstSpear® 6/9™ Modular Pocket Technology

Backward compatible with standard MOLLE/PALS

Up to 50% reduction in weight & significantly less bulk

Hill People Gear inspired yoke harness

Material: 500 denier Cordura

Designed, Sourced, and Handcrafted in the USA by FirstSpear®