Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

PK Design Labs – PL2 Pocket Burner

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Paul Kim is at it again. This is his new PL2, a single AAA compact light with high output. Called the Pocket Burner, it uses a Cree LED to deliver over 110 lumens for 1.2 hours on the High setting, or 12 lumens for 12.4 hours on Low.

For more info, visit

A Look At The Design Process For The Kit Bag Plus! At Armageddon Gear

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

This is the best thing I’ve seen all week. They make some really great stuff.

Winkler Knives – Legacy Axe and Recon Knife

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Winkler Knives unveiled two new products at the recent Blade Show designed with US Navy and Army Veteran Special Operator Kevin Holland. He is the guy who first came to Daniel Winkler to create a military axe so it’s great to see him lend his experience toward new designs.

This is the Legacy Axe which shares some lines from that first model that Kevin carried ino combat. One of the biggest changes is the swept back handle which doesn’t constantly catch on the leg as you walk.  You’ll also note that the top half of the handle is skeletonized and wrapped in 550 cord.  As with all Winkler Knives handle options include maple and rubber (chiseled is optional) but I’m sure you could get micarta if you asked.  

Below, you can see the Recon Knife. Offered with or without teeth, it was designed specifically by Holland as a companion for the Legacy Axe.

Perry Sasnett – Crowdfunding, Pro’s and Con’s

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Zero Point Owner and Retired Navy CWO Perry Sasnett sent us this note about his recent experience with crowdfunding.

Dear SSD Fans,

Recently, Soldier Systems had an advance post of Zero Point’s first foray into crowdfunding during the ADS Warrior West Show. My intent, as the post states, was to launch the Zero Point Down Range Tool (DRT) this last week on Kickstarter. Well, after a substantial effort and some financial investment our project was REJECTED. Of course we appealed and were more than willing to adjust our campaign to fit into what we thought was the Kickstarter guideline, but alas, it was still a No-Go.

Now Kickstarter’s guidelines state “No Weapons, replicas of weapons, and weapon accessories.” Now, the DRT is a lot of things, to include an AR maintenance tool, but to call it a weapon accessory is a bit of a stretch if you ask me. If you see the video you’ll notice that my 8 & 5 year old daughters are using it, even eating with it.

Kickstarter, as a private, multi-billion dollar company can pretty much do whatever they want within legal reason of course, but I just have this…feeling, a feeling that there may be more to our rejected project than not falling within Kickstarter’s rules, whatever those really are. And I’m not the only one.

Below is the appeal letter we sent to Kickstarter and below that is a screen shot of their final response. Also you’ll see several links to previous and/or existing KS campaigns that are either weapons or have a weapon flavor to them. Additionally, I think we’re a very responsible minded company because last year someone on my staff came across a campaign that had no business being in the very public domain.

The above, for those of you not familiar with high-end EOD procedure, is a circuit that can do a few things: teach one how to bypass monitored alarm systems as well as a potential monitored IED circuit. Well, we contacted the individual about the inappropriateness of his campaign and he understandably and graciously pulled it. Good on him! Not so good on Kickstarter’s ignorance of real threats, intended or not.

I’m still a big fan of the crowdfunding idea, wish I had thought of it first, and in all likelihood will attempt to use Kickstarter for some of our future efforts, but I do have concerns that they may not be Fox News (fair and balanced) and without definitive guideline procedures or even someone I can chat with prior to investing in a campaign there’s significant risk which is proportionate to the scope of the project itself.

There is some good news…Indiegogo, baby! Please check out our DRT campaign on Indiegogo.

If you’re down in SOFIC please drop by booth #1536 to see one in person. Always up for feedback in order to improve our kit.

In closing, for those successful with crowdfunding, Congrats! For those considering crowdfunding I recommend some level of caution, depending on the nature of your project and definitely do as much research and socializing as possible. Go into it with eyes open…it’s a time and money investment, period. The percentage of successful campaigns is not favorable either, ~30% for Kickstarter and ~10% for Indiegogo. Of course that’s assuming your project is approved to begin with.

Thanks for your time, look forward to hearing from you and Stay Safe!
Perry Sasnett (USN CWO ret.)
Zero Point’s Founder, CEO

Perry’s appeal is below:

Dear Kickstarter Team,

I recently submitted my project for your review and was just notified that it was declined for falling outside of your rules. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal your decision as I believe my project does meet your guidelines and perhaps my presentation did not fully convey the vast amount of features that my invention offers. According to the e-mail that I received in response to my submission, the message states, “All projects must fit into one of our 15 categories and abide by our rules. Weapon, replicas of weapons and weapons accessories are not permitted on Kickstarter”.

The DRT is neither a weapon, weapon replica, nor intended to be used as a weapon. The DRT is a multi-tool, that has over 50 different features that can be used in various situations such as camping, survival, or everyday fixes around the home. Like any other multi-tool it is multi-functional and can be repurposed by the end-user should they desire; the possibilities for use are endless.

Referencing the below projects, I am not certain exactly what in my project did not meet your requirements because the email I received did not go in to great detail and I wasn’t too sure after viewing these earlier projects.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated as this my first time giving Kickstarter a go. For example, was the imagery of the firearm in the video prohibited? In the first link above for the project, Femme Fatale, there are many weapons pictured as well as in the project Iowa Weapons Sci-Fi short film.

Would the kubotan feature have been considered prohibited in terms of a self-defense item? I was just curious because the Krav Maga training and also the Beer Rambit projects promote self-defense products and a multi-tool identified for use as a kubotan. Again, this is my first foray into crowdfunding so I just want to be certain that my project is in sync with your community standards.

My goal is to highlight some of the key features of the DRT which include:
• Multiple Nut Drivers
• Can Opening and Prying for Camping, Outdoor, and Indoor Use
• Wire-stripping functions for home or work
• Multiple Measuring capabilities for home, office, or school
• Micro-storage for Outdoor, Indoor, and Everyday Carry
• Unlimited optional accessory storage
• Glass Breaker

Again, this is a multi-tool designed with over 50 different tools and features so the possibilities really are endless and I would really like to share this with not only former military operators such as myself, but regular guys who enjoy the outdoors, moms and dads who need to fix their children’s bicycle and toys if needed, and emergency personnel who may need a safety tool for a rescue extraction.

I really appreciate this opportunity and the platform that Kickstarter has provided to launch my project and get it in front of people who may be interested in its features. I would like to take this opportunity to resubmit my video to better capture the diverse functions of the product and your diverse audience. Thank you for your time and consideration.

TYR Tactical – Innovate or Die Tour Stop Request Form

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

TYR Tactical has taken their mobile design studio on the road.
They are now taking requests for Innovate or Die™ Tour stops within the United States and Canada. But, their most pressing need is for locations in Austin, TX during the first week of June. Click the link below and submit your request.

Introducing the Modular Advanced Weapon Laser from BE Meyers

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Last summer, Matt Meyers invited me to the BE Meyers facility just outside of Seattle to see something they’d been working on. Turns out, it was something amazing. Just take a look for yourself.


Meet The MAWL-DA
This is the MAWL-DA and it is going to change the way we look at aiming lasers. MAWL is an acronym for Modular, Advanced, Weapon Laser, and the DA model designation is for Direct Action. Although, DA might be a bit misleading to some, as it incorporates a general purpose head for use in room clearing, out to targets several hundred meters afield. 

This Next Generation Aiming Laser incorporates a visible green pointer, an 860 IR pointer, and an array of 3 IR illuminators tied to discrete, environment specific settings. This chart shows how the MAWL’s emitters offer a great deal of flexibility to the user.

No more boxes
This isn’t another box you attach to your rifle; far from it.  The MAWL-DA design conforms to the weapon, tucking just out of the way beside the handguard. If aesthetics alone were all that we judged this device on, it would already be a winner, but it also offers performance and layout unlike anything else in the field.


The team at BE Meyers sat down and took a look at what was already being used in the field and then talked to end-users about what they wanted in a laser aiming device. Next, engineers spent a couple of days actually using those devices in a variety of scenarios under the watchful eye of a couple of subject matter experts. Only then did they put pen to paper in order to create a design. Later, they would regularly conduct additional range training to maintain a fresh point of view throughout the design process.

First and foremost, they didn’t want another box that didn’t quite fit and required the user to configure his rifle around it. The goal was something that was ergonomic, easy to use, and effectively delivered the right amount and type of light to get the job done.

Another important issue they wanted to address was the current height over bore issue that has been dictating rifle grip for over a decade, in order to get people back to shooting the way that worked for them.


The team also worked to ensure that weapon mounted magnified optics would clear the MAWL. That hands-on range time paid off as they determined the best use of space was put the laser at the 1:30 rail position like many have been doing with light placement. They also meant for MAWL to fit with a SureFire m300 mini at the 3 o’clock rail position as seen in some of these photographs.

They ended up settling on a modular, three component design, consisting of body, tailcap and head. Below, you can see this architecture. It not only hugs the weapon but makes it easy for the user to reconfigure and facilitate upgrades as users develop new requirements. It’s also a lot easier to maintain.  

Because so many devices have a complicated combination of buttons and dials, the BE Meyers team worked to make their controls intuitive with the rear “A” button seeing the most use as it turns the emitters on and off. The emitter settings are VIS, IR, and OFF. Within VIS and IR there are three modes, Short Range, Mid Range, and Long Range. These names apply mostly to IR, as they simply raise the power of the green pointer as you go up. There is a thumb switch on the body that controls these modes. Intuitively, the further away you push the switch, the longer the range of the emitter. Additionally, they applied lessons learned from their other programs for emitter selection. For example, when an emitter type is selected, the dial covers the others.

Modularity was key. The device had to be able to adapt to how the user set it up as well as with changing technology. The current body is designed around optimizing space and rail offset on the issue DD RIS II mounted to a USSOCOM Mk18. The architecture also means that other body configurations could be possible depending on market need and feedback.

BE Meyers also considered the supply chain. The MAWL-DA is compatible with any industry standard tape switch designed for lasers, many of which are already out there in supply rooms.

Finally, MAWL-DA is ambidextrous. Due to the modular design, the body can be reversed with the activation buttons right where you need them, at the top of the rail. It even knows if it is configured for right or left hand use, keeping the “A” button to the rear.


Get it while it’s hot
The first production run is already spoken for, but don’t worry, they’re making more, including a version for LE. Civilian models are also planned for the future.  

To learn more
By now, I’m sure you’ve got lots of questions. For those interested in seeing the MAWL-DA in person, visit BE Meyers during SOFIC, in their suite at the Embassy Suites across from the Convention Center.

You can also visit for additional information or contact

Sneak Peek – MagPod

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Here’s a Sneak peek of the patent pending M3 PMAG version of MagPod; even though the M3 PMAG baseplate slides on from the rear, they decided to make their version slide in from the FRONT, which allows them to keep the patented “forward biased” foot that MagPod is known for.

No firm release date yet – they are still evaluating the retaining clip options (one-piece vs two-piece) to see which holds up better to drop testing.

Quality Costs

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

I realize that the average American buys his jockey shorts in packs of six for five bucks from some big box store. But, he also knows nothing about the industry that made them for him. Those underpants are a commodity item, made as cheaply as possible for the convenience of the American consumer.  That does not translate well to products made for the military, and by extension, the tactical market.  

The things we write about in SSD aren’t commodity items for mass consumption. Whether they are made in the US or overseas, we generally write about specialized products. Those are going to cost more due to a variety of factors.  These include materials, construction (which includes the labor) and overhead (the cost of doing business)

I certainly can’t afford many of the things we place on SSD and I certainly don’t expect you too either. But crying about the price of an item is not a barometer of its value.  With value comes satisfaction.  

Regardless of whether an item is purchased or issued, please consider the old adage, “Buy once, cry once.” If it’s something you really need, you’ll figure out how to get it. Always remember, quality costs but quality works, and quality lasts.