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CORTAC Announces Rampart International As Exclusive Canadian Distributor

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – CORTAC is excited to announce that they have reached an agreement with Rampart International for the exclusive distribution of CTAV Retrofit Kit™ and CTAV Shirt Carrier System (SCS)™ in Canada. Rampart has all CORTAC products in stock and available for immediate sale to all military and law enforcement customers as well as supporting select retailers across Canada.

CORTAC has experienced limited success in selling into the Canadian market, but does have key provincial customers that Rampart will continue to support. “Rampart is committed to supporting the end-users of operational equipment and has earned their trust. We are very proud to have the CORTAC brand being represented by Rampart and we are confident that Mike Klein and his team will generate immediate CTAV sales,” said Jeremy Harrell, President of CORTAC.

Mike Klein, President of Rampart International adds, “We are very excited about our new relationship with CORTAC. The CTAV™ integrates seamlessly into our existing offering of the world’s finest operational equipment and provides a cost-effective solution to improving the comfort of those wearing body armor. Rampart is looking forward to working closely with CORTAC and being in a position to conveniently offer all CORTAC products to Canadian end users.”

Security Devices International Appoints Ross Botha As 40mm Specialist, Training & Development For SDI

Monday, August 11th, 2014


August 8, 2014 - Happy Thimble Consulting, LLC (HTC) announced this week that Security Devices International, Inc. (SDI) has appointed HTC’s Ross Botha as 40mm Specialist, Training & Development for SDI.

SDI is well known for their range of high-tech 40mm less-lethal munitions. SDI manufactures an impressive range of 40mm less-lethal munitions. The excellent SDI expanding, gel tipped, Blunt Impact Projectile (BIP) is used by several agencies throughout the world that demand cutting edge technology, effectiveness and safety. In addition to their impact munitions, SDI is also the only manufacturer in the world that currently manufactures a malodorant payload round that contains a highly noxious medium that delivers a terrible odor to enhance suspect compliance.

HTC’s Ross Botha has been involved in the defense industry for well over 20 years with much of this time as Director of Training for a large defense related training provider in Southern Africa. After relocating to the United States, Ross continued to consult and served as law enforcement/military sales associate for a well-known U.S. ammunition manufacturer. Recently, Ross acted as Director of Training and National Sales Manager for a less-lethal munitions company before being appointed by Security Devices International, Inc.

“My goal is to continue building SDI’s reputation as cutting-edge manufacturer, reliable top-tier supplier and innovator of products that keep Americans and our friends globally safe in a progressively hostile world,” says Ross.

“SDI delivers where safety, innovation and technology are in demand by customers that require specialized designs. They have a highly capable and experienced team in place. All ready to serve. HTC is proud to be part of it.”

OR Summer Market – Cats and Dogs Living Together

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014


Day One cover of the Outdoor Retailer Daily – “Hook and bullet is coming to OR”.

Military Apparel Veteran Joins the 37.5 Technology Team – Dave Bywater To Head Up West Coast And Government Accounts For Cocona Natural Technologies

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

This is awesome news to me. I only have I known Dave for years I’ve been a huge fan of the Cocona fabric technology for almost as many. This is a great team up and I’m looking forward to see what Dave has in store for us in his new position.

Dave Bywater, who built the Military, Special Forces, and Wildland Fire business at Massif Mountain Gear, is now heading up all Military, Wildland Fire, and West Coast accounts for Cocona Natural Technologies, maker of patented 37.5™ Technology.

“It is an honor to be reunited with Dave, he is one of the finest men I know”, noted CEO Jeff Bowman who previously worked with Bywater at Massif. “Dave will help take our customer service to the next level.”

A lifelong user of high-performance gear, Bywater grew up climbing in Utah and spent 16 years as a Grand Teton National Park Employee. As part of the elite Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers, he routinely performed helicopter short-haul rescues as well as high-angle rock, ice, and snow rescues. Bywater received the Department of Interior Valor Award for an extreme rescue on Mt. McKinley. He has also been a Wildland Fire Fighter on engine and ground crews.

Bywater has more than 10 years of experience in the high-performance garment and textile industry and was most recently Vice President of Government Sales at Massif. Instrumental in developing and securing the company’s most successful programs such as the Army Combat Shirt and the Flame Resistant Environmental Ensemble, Bywater was also responsible for getting Massif’s flame-resistant garments approved for use in every branch of the US military.

“I’ve spent my career both using high-performance gear and getting the best equipment possible into the hands of people with the world’s most dangerous jobs,” said Bywater. “I’m excited to work with 37.5 technology, which, among other benefits, can help mitigate heat stress so you can focus on the job at hand—whether that’s training for an event, performing on a team, or protecting the country. The technology has an incredibly broad range of applications and the opportunities are limitless.”

Bywater will be at the 37.5 Technology booth at OR in August 6th through 9th. For inquiries, please email

S.O. Tech Dealer Catalog Now Available

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Click to view .pdf

S.O. Tech’s dealer catalog has just been released. It’s full of the latest and greatest S.O. Tech gear, including newly upgraded belts, packs, and bags.

You can view the catalog by clicking the above image, or download it here:

WPRC Announces Newest Members

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

We are pleased to share this announcement from the Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition regarding new membership. We see several great companies joining this organization and it’s been quite educational to join them each year in Washington as they engage Congress on equipping issues.

Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition Welcomes Three New Additions to the Board of Directors and Six New Industry Members

MARBLEHEAD, MA (July 31, 2014) – The Warrior Protection and Readiness Coalition (WPRC) is pleased to announce three new members of its Board of Directors and the latest additions to its membership, including several leading companies in the warfighter equipment and clothing industry.

The three new industry representatives who have joined the WPRC Board of Directors include; Don Vavala of W.L. Gore and Associates, Frank Montie of Brookwood Companies, and Nate Smith of Oakley/Eye Safety Systems (ESS). The WPRC Board of Directors represents a cross section of the personal protective equipment industry, providing organizational governance and setting the strategic direction of the WPRC. These new Board members join current WPRC Board Chairman Luke Hillier and WPRC Secretary David Bohannon as leaders of this not for profit industry

The new company members of the WPRC include: Lion Vallen, Outdoor Research, Burlington/International Textile Group (ITG), New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., Patagonia, Inc., and CamelBak Products LLC. The added voices of these leading companies will be critical to advancing the WPRC mission to support the equipment and advanced clothing needs of the Armed Services and Department of Homeland Security.

Lion Vallen – Lion Vallen is a global leader in supply chain and lifecycle management of protective clothing, equipment and uniforms. LVI has a deep commitment to delivering superior services that support customers’ personal safety, readiness and professional identity needs.

Outdoor Research – Outdoor Research is a designer, developer, and manufacturer of apparel, glove systems, and accessories designed for the military and outdoor markets. Products for the U.S. military are manufactured at their own facility located in downtown Seattle. A full range of products is commercially available at

Burlington/ITG – Burlington leverages its advanced R&D with a diverse range of high performance manufacturing capabilities and a complete range of fiber/fabric blends that deliver state of the art military and commercial solutions worldwide. Their fabric portfolio encompasses applications for extreme weather apparel; camouflage combat and utility materials, tenting, shelter fabrics, shipboard covers and ballistic materials. Information on their military product offerings may be found at

New Balance – Headquartered in Boston, MA, New Balance is focused on building global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is currently one of the few major shoe companies that continue to manufacture athletic footwear in the United States. In 2013, 1 out of every 4 pairs of shoes New Balance sold in the U.S. was made or assembled in the U.S.

Patagonia – Based in Ventura, California, Patagonia, Inc. is a leading designer and retailer of core outdoor, alpine, fly fishing, snow, surf and sport related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories. Patagonia is a world leader in apparel design, the development of protective garments and an industry pioneer in environmentalism. For more information on Patagonia and their commercially available products, please visit

CamelBak – CamelBak is the leading manufacturer of hands free hydration systems. Special Forces, soldiers and law enforcement around the world use their Military & Tactical products. These offerings include water bottles, hydration packs, backpacks, and protective gear designed for a variety of climates and terrain. A full listing of these military and tactical products as well as commercially available gear is available at

“The new Board members of the WPRC bring a wealth of industry experience and strategic thinking to our ongoing efforts to ensure our men and women in uniform have sustained access to the best American made equipment and clothing,” said David Costello, Executive Director of the WPRC. “We are grateful for their dedication to the WPRC as well as for the participation of our six newest Coalition members in our efforts to support those who serve our country”

The WPRC supports the readiness of the Armed Services by providing a unified industry voice to the U.S. Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security and other stakeholders. We work at the intersection of the Organizational Clothing/Individual Equipment industry, the federal legislative policy process, and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Our membership includes companies throughout the equipment and clothing industry and with companies at every point in the industrial supply chain who represent the best in American manufacturing.

DoD Improved Soldier Survivability and Mobility Solutions Meeting

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The Department of Defense’s Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO) will conduct a Solutions Meeting in the Tampa, Florida area during October 2014. The Solutions Meeting provides selected innovative companies with an opportunity to make short technical presentations to government representatives about their technologies and products. There is a potential that companies may be selected for pilot projects or experimentation if their technology appears to match the needs described below.

The RRTO is supporting the Department of Defense in looking for technologies to protect and improve the Department’s warfighting capabilities. The operational goal is to significantly improve both the survivability and mobility of tomorrow’s warfighters.

The DoD Improved Solider Survivability and Mobility effort is looking for innovative technologies and capabilities in the following areas:

Innovative/Advanced Materials
- Ballistic armor and blast protection
- Chemical/biological/radiological protection
- Lightweight, conformal, shapeable
- Metals, ceramics, composites
- Multi-spectral signature management
- Performance enhancing textiles and fabrics, as well as electronic textiles
Imaging, Sensing & Displays
- Extremely low latency wearable digital optical systems
- Innovative personal display technologies with enhanced capabilities such as wide field of view, high definition, retinal projection, contact lenses, etc.
- Non-GPS assisted Mapping
- Beyond line of sight high capacity comms
- High bandwidth short range peer-to-peer comms
- Innovative antennas such as tunable antennas, body conformal, etc.
- Custom antenna manufacturing and design
- Remote tele-medicine and real-time physiological monitoring
Data Processing & Controls
- Rugged processors and sensors
- Advanced/lightweight cabling
- Intuitive controls/interfaces such as voice, gesture, neural, etc.
- Virtual controls – Novel software and application development tools
- Distributed computing
- Data compression
Data Analytics
- Modeling and simulation tools to assess impacts of load carriage and exoskeletons on musculoskeletal health and performance
- Bio-mechanical/kinematic motion capture and measurement
- Data set development, management and analytics
Power & Energy
- High performance/high torque and low power/small size actuators
- Power generation technologies, such as efficient/small internal combustion engines, hybrid systems, etc.
- Prime and rechargeable high density batteries
- Innovative energy storage solutions such as SOFC and PEM fuel cells, ultra capacitors, solid-state or lithium-air batteries, etc.

Aside from the weapons manufacturers, that’s pretty much every company that reads SSD. Companies interested in participating in the Solutions Meeting should submit an application to RRTO Innovation via e-mail by 6 August, 2014. For full instructions visit

Breaking – SilencerCo Announces Salvo 12 Shotgun Suppressor

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Long the stuff of movie legend, the shotgun suppressor has been a mythical beast. Sure, they’ve been demonstrated over the years to varying success but they’ve a lot of weight and length to the barrel of the shotgun making them less than ideal.


Just minutes ago, at SilencerCo’s 1st Annual F#!*ING Catalina Wine Mixer, CEO Josh Waldron formally announced the latest addition to their product line; the Salvo 12, a shotgun suppressor.


To be sure, this is great news for the tactical market, but this will mean a lot for the hunters out there as well. This is a great crossover product that I think will help to bring suppressors mainstream in the hunting market. It’s important to get the hunters on board when trying to pass suppressor legislation.


Knox Williams, President if the American Suppressor Association was present at the launch and said, “SilencerCo’s introduction of a commercially viable shotgun suppressor will introduce a new segment of the shooting public to the advantages of firearms suppressors. Forward thinking like this will help ASA and the industry transition suppressors from NFA items to the mainstream.”


Yes, it’s a 12 ga design. Considering the popularity of the 12 ga it was the right move. SilencerCo is open to developing suppressors for additional shotguns but wanted to get this out.


The Salvo 12 is scalable and can be configured by adding sections to customize the level of suppression you’re looking for. It integrates a Removable choke system to attach to your shotgun and uses a system of Rods, baffles and caps to lower the 12 ga report to that of a .22. In a video, we could actually hear the clay pigeon breaking upon impact.


Here are the performance specs provided by SilencerCo.

Performance Specs

Coming Fall 2014.

U.S. Patriot Tactical Announces New Website

Monday, July 21st, 2014


U.S. Patriot Tactical has just announced a new website, with easier, intuitive search, more brands and products, and overall faster loading. To celebrate, they’re giving away a free dog tag set with free shipping to all visitors.

Some Thoughts on the SIG SAUER Staff Adjustments

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I recently heard about layoffs of the work force at SIG SAUER‘s facility at the former Pease AFB in New Hampshire. The numbers were very high and I was a bit concerned. I contacted SIG to see if it was true and they sent me the statement you see below. You’ll notice that they refer to the action as a “Staff Adjustment”. While many will write this off to bureaucratese, I’ve taken some time since receiving the statement last night to consider it, as well as what I know about the manufacturing business.

To start with, while SIG did not discuss the numbers with me, I am certain that the high percentages reported and then deleted by another website are untrue. I was there a few weeks ago and the loss of that many positions at once doesn’t add up. Additionally, the deletion of the story from the website that initiated the story tells me that they were way off. In fact, it was that deletion that got me looking into the issue in the first place.


By no means am I trivializing the issue. To be sure, these are jobs we are talking about and their loss, if even temporary, affects those workers and their families. But, as a manufacturer you don’t want to pay people for work that you don’t need. In the case of SIG (and other gun makers) you don’t want to pay people to build guns you aren’t selling. Anyone who works in manufacturing will tell you that they’ve seen a layoff or three. It’s part of doing business. To do otherwise puts the entire enterprise at risk.

The genesis of these manufacturing positions was panic buying. To meet the increased firearms demand after the Obama Administration’s call for firearms restrictions in response to the Newtown shooting in December, 2012, SIG hired additional workers. They also moved down the road into a new facility. But, those demands have changed and along with them, SIG is adapting.

SIG SAUER® Announces Work Force Adjustments

NEWINGTON, N.H. (July 10, 2014) — SIG SAUER® has instituted a series of work force adjustments to adapt to ever-changing market conditions and manufacturing efficiencies.

The firearms market has begun to cool from the record highs experienced over the past couple of years. Additional resources, including new employees, were brought on to help meet this spike in demand. Now that sales have began to return to normal, an adjustment in staff numbers is needed to maintain an efficient and cost-effective workflow.

Additionally, enhanced productivity and efficiency at the company’s new Newington, New Hampshire, manufacturing facility has made certain positions redundant or no longer needed. In order to maintain quality and control costs, an adjustment in staffing levels is required.

These difficult, but necessary, measures will allow SIG SAUER to continue to deliver innovative, high-quality firearms to its customers. As SIG SAUER continues to grow into new business categories, including ammunition and accessory products, these market-driven decisions will play a significant role.

Become a fan of SIG SAUER on Facebook at


Just walk into your local gun store and you can see that the demand for firearms has slowed down since the Newtown shootings. Once bare shelves are now bristling with a wide variety of offerings. I’d say that sales are still up over 2012 levels, but they aren’t anywhere near what they were last year, in 2013. That’s across the board, not just with SIG. SIG SAUER is a privately held company and not a conglomeration of share holders. Also, they aren’t fixated on the next quarter’s earnings. I doubt anyone walked in one morning and said, “Ok, let them go.” Rather, they took a look along view (forward and backwards) at the market and where it was going. The last thing you want to do is lay people off, lower capacity and then have missed the cues for another surge in demand. It’s hard to make money if you don’t have anything to sell. It’s why SIG hired on extra workers, to meet demand, and conversely, when that demand has slowed, they’ve adjusted their staff to meet that new reality.


I don’t believe that the SIG layoffs are due to low quality or poor products but rather an overall drop in demand for firearms after a record breaking year. I visited SIG in June and President Ron Cohen told an assembled group of gun bloggers that SIG was going to move production of additional handgun models to the US from Europe, next year. Between that and the introduction of the MPX and MCX along with new suppressor designs, I’d say that some of those folks who were laid off will end up returning to work. To me, that’s promising. Many walked in the door knowing that their jobs were temporary. Hopefully, at least some of them will see additional employment with SIG in the future.