Soldier Systems
Safariland
Categories About Us EmailArchives Home Tactical Fanboy Soldier Sytems Home

Archive for the ‘weapons’ Category

Magpul – Now Shipping PMAG 20 And PMAG 10 LR/SR GEN M3 In Sand

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Magpul is now shipping the PMAG 20 and PMAG 10 LR/SR GEN M3 magazines in Sand. As a reminder, the new M3 magazines incorporate a new material technology and manufacturing process which improves the strength, durability, and reliability of the magazines. Additionally, these new mags are more receptive to water-based dye processes, so they more easily be altered to any number of colors.

MAG290 PMAG10 LR-SR GEN M3 Rifle Side SND

www.magpul.com/products/pmag-10-lrsr-gen-m3

MAG291 PMAG 20 LR-SR GEN M3 Side SND

www.magpul.com/products/pmag-20-lrsr-gen-m3

Sand MOE

Additionally, here’s a quick preview of the upcoming MOE SL furniture in Sand, which includes the MOE SL Stock, Grip, and Hand Guard.

www.magpul.com

My Thoughts On The XM17 Modular Handgun System RFP

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Before I even dive into this I’ve got to say that I’d really like to see the US military adopt a new pistol. However, having watched the process to replace the M9 stutter step for almost a decade, I’m a bit skeptical. First it was USSOCOM, then the Air Force took a shot at the issue, and now the Army is trying to find a new sidearm. I’ve read through the Request For Proposals but I’m not going to pick it apart. There are quite a few great concepts in there and I love the fact that they are doing full size as well as compact models out of the gate in addition to suppressors. There’s even consideration for UTM rounds and some creative thinking regarding the use of ‘Special Purpose’ aka hollow point ammunition. All awesome. But for me, the most troubling issue is this open caliber business. In my mind, it calls the entire enterprise into question.

The Army is so thorough in describing the attributes for this new pistol that this open caliber provision makes me wonder if they really want a new pistol at all. Lately, we’ve seen some solicitations, such as Individual Carbine, that have resulted in a big expenditure in dollars by industry with no adoption of new capability by the military. Interestingly, in the case of IC, the Army also included a provision for industry to introduce new ammunition (caliber as well as load) into the mix, and we know how that ended up.

Ammunition Placeholders
At the heart of issue are the XM1152 and XM1153 cartridges discussed in the RFP. They are placeholders for industry to propose ammunition. No matter that the industrial base that produces our military’s ammo is set up for 9mm Ball ammo or that we belong to a club called NATO that considers 9mm Ball its standard sidearm round.

The current 9mm Ammunition stockpile will most assuredly be an issue as the bean counters consider the transition to a new round. Take for example the USMC’s Shoulder-Launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon II program. Since they already had so many rounds of ammunition on hand, they were unable to consider a new weapon such as the M84 Carl Gustav, in use with the US Army and USSOCOM. Ironically, the SMAW II is incapable of firing from an enclosure so the Marines are at work to develop a such a round. To add insult to injury, the ‘Goose” has ammunition that can be fired from inside a building but they couldn’t consider it because they had too many SMAW rounds.

Do They Even Know What They Want?
We can’t even have a discussion about the technical merits of the Army’s decision for a new caliber, because they haven’t made one. Instead, they’ve made it a variable in the search for a new handgun. When the Army changed to the M855A1 round for the M16, it cost around $100 Million to retool the ammo plant and they weren’t changing calibers, so even a swap to a new 9mm round is cost prohibitive. Plus, I doubt we’ll get NATO on board with a switch to a new handgun caliber.

I can’t even imagine what’s going through industry’s minds. It’s a bit of a mystery what the Army actually wants considering the mixed messages they are sending. Publicly, there’s been this running theme that 9mm isn’t powerful enough, in spite of the FBI’s move back to the caliber after several years with .40. And then there’s this requirement in the RFP specifying a barrel for the M1041 9mm UTM round, but they never reference caliber for the Ball and Special Purpose ammo in the requirement. Are they telling industry to stick with 9mm? Or do they want something new, but the pistol to be agile enough to accept a special barrel and magazine (not in the solicitation) only for the marker rounds?

Big Guns Need Big Hands
There’s an ergonomics question as well. The associated real estate needed for double stack pistols in larger caliber pistols is also an issue as the military opens combat jobs to women, who tend to have smaller hands.

2-Mark-23-w-suppressor-and-LAM-AUG-19-2014

Let’s not forget how USSOCOM’s Offensive Handgun Weapon System (OHWS) turned out. The .45 H&K MK 23 ended up being a great gun, but one that nobody wanted to carry.

First The Caliber, Then The Gun
This should have been a two step process. What should have happened is that DoD should have asked industry to determine the best ammunition based on its requirements and then asked industry to develop handguns optimized for that round(s). Now, the Army will have to figure out whether the handgun is what is great about a proposal, or the ammunition. These variables make the task of choosing a pistol infinitely more difficult. NATO standardization and current military ammunition industrial base aside, what if the Army selects a handgun/ammo combination that is just dynamite but then realizes it cannot afford to actually manufacture the ammo? Don’t think that could happen? Let me tell you a little story.

Those Who Fail To Learn From History…
After playing around with it for a few years, the US Army adopted the M16 in 1965. In doing so, they made a few upgrades to the rifle but they also, as a cost saving measure, decided to unilaterally change the powder used in the M16 from the original IMR 4475 powder, to the less difficult to produce Olin powder. While cheaper for the tax payer, this option ignited poorly, leaving the weapon dirty and requiring additional field maintenance. Combine this issue with weapons arriving in Viet Nam’s tropical environment with insufficient cleaning equipment and Soldiers found themselves with jammed weapons in the middle of firefights. This frightful situation resulted in dead American service members and a general sense among Soldiers that the M16 was unreliable.

In Summary
I believe that, based on this insistence on open caliber selection, the Army will be unable to adequately determine which, if any, of the candidate handguns best fit their requirements. Or, they will choose a solution and then fix it until it breaks, as in the case of the original M16. In either event, how unfortunate for the American service member.

XM17 Modular Handgun System RFP Released

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

This is PEO Soldier’s announcement regarding the release of the XM17 Modular Handgun System solicitation last Friday. I’d like you to peruse the actual RFP here.

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Sept. 2, 2015) – The U.S. Army announced Aug. 28 that it is seeking bids for its new modular handgun system, the XM17, to replace its current sidearm, the M9 pistol.

The announcement accompanied the release of the request for proposal (RFP), which is the official solicitation that specifies the new weapon system’s contractual requirements. It also details the procedures and schedule vendors must follow to compete for the contract.

The RFP was published on the government’s Federal Business Opportunities website. Interested vendors will have 150 days to respond to the RFP. This extra time allows the vendor to submit their proposals as well as sample “systems” that have integrated the handguns, ammunition and magazine prior to testing. Its release marks the official start of the “full and open” competition that will lead to selection of the new modular handgun system.

The selection process involves a two-phased competition. The first phase will evaluate all submissions received and will complete with a down-selection to up to three vendors who will participate in the second phase, the culmination of which will be a single production contract at the end of the competition.

The Army wants a new handgun system that outperforms its current sidearm. The weapon must be modular so it can be adjusted to fit all hand sizes and configured to meet mission needs through the use of rails and enablers. In addition, it must surpass the M9’s accuracy, ergonomics, reliability, durability and maintainability. The RFP calls for vendors to submit a weapon that meets the unique needs of the military services. It does not specify any particular caliber. The RFP encourages industry to optimize the weapon, ammunition and magazine for maximum performance.

Current plans call for the Army to purchase more than 280,000 full-size handguns from a single vendor, and approximately 7,000 compact versions of the handgun. The other military services participating in the XM17 program may order an additional 212,000 systems above the Army quantity.

The Army held four industry days and issued a draft RFP prior to the announcement. These forums encouraged vendor-government communications, involved would-be competitors in the planning process and provided the Army with feedback on the proposed handgun system and strategy. Throughout the process, industry was encouraged to suggest ways in which the Army could improve the plan and process, a number of which have been considered and implemented.

The competition will result in selecting a handgun that performs best in the hands of Warfighters. More than 600 military personnel from all of the Services will play a critical part in the evaluation and provide feedback on the performance of the candidate systems after firing them in simulated combat scenarios. This assessment is an important part of the evaluation process.

Badger Ordnance – RAPTAR Mount

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

RaptarMount

Badger Ordnance’s RAPTAR Mount is designed to integrate range finding and laser aiming devices with the day optic and mounting system. It is compatible with all Badger Ordnance Scope Rings and UniMounts, and is optimized to clear the objective on most optics currently in use. Originally offered only to Military end users, it is now available for general purchase. The RAPTAR Mount is compatible with all M1913 Picatinny devices.

www.badgerordnance.com

Soldier Systems At The Range With KRISS USA

Friday, August 28th, 2015

KRISS USA recently opened a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Chesapeake, near Solider Systems HQ, which gave us the opportunity to try out a few weapons in the Vector and Sphinx line of firearms. After a visit to the facility, KRISS packed up the range guns and we all headed out to C2 Shooting Center to try them out on the steel plate range.

DSC06100

Sphinx Arms is a Swiss pistol manufacturer under the KRISS Group. They offer standard, compact, and subcompact pistols, all chambered for 9x19mm. Sphinx pistols are constructed using steel slides, and two-piece frames which consist of an upper and lower component. The upper components are manufactured from either aluminum or steel, and the lower components can be manufactured from aluminum, steel, or polymer, depending on the model of pistol.

DSC06128

The pistols feed from double stack magazines, with capacities of 17+1 for Standard, 15 + 1 for Compact, and 13 + 1 for Sub-compact models. Additional features shared throughout the various pistol models include ambidextrous decocking levers, reversible magazine catch, a visual/tactile loaded chamber indicator, front and rear slide serrations, and match grade trigger. Most models also support an interchangeable rubberized comfort grip system.

DSC06113

Here you can see a comparison between the standard iron sight, and a model equipped with a fiber optic front sight.

All of the pistols were very smooth firing, accurate, and comfortable to shoot. We favored the compact models the most, as their size made them very comfortable guns to hold, roughly equivalent in size to a Glock 19.

DSC06110

The Vector line of pistols, carbines, and SMGs utilize the KRISS Super V recoil Recoil Reduction System which redirects recoil energy downward, reducing muzzle climb up to 95% and felt recoil up to 60% when compared to traditional weapon designs. At the range, we had the chance to try out the CBR Enhanced, the SDP pistol variant, and the full-auto .45 ACP and upcoming 9mm SMGs.

DSC06229

The Vector series consists of an upper and lower frame, which can be separated by removing three assembly pins along the upper frame. This allows the user to quickly swap out lower frames, and will even allow for a quick caliber change between the .45 ACP and 9mm frames, when the later becomes available later this year.

DSC06354

This is the Vector CRB Enhanced. The CRB is the semi-automatic civilian carbine variant of the Vector, chambered for .45 ACP. It comes with an M4 stock adapter, a Magpul UBR stock, and the enhanced square barrel shroud.

The CRB in action. The recoil reductive action coupled with the pistol caliber makes for an easy to handle and accurate weapon.

DSC06232

Here is the SDP, the Vector pistol variant. It features a 5.5″ barrel and a rear QD sling point.

It can either be fired with both hands on the weapon, or with a single hand, although this is best done with a sling to support and stabilize the weapon.

DSC06399

Here’s the Vector SMG in .45 ACP. This particular model was outfitted with the M4 stock adapter, a Magpul UBR stock, a vertical foregrip, and a Defiance HPS 4GSK Cal .45ACP, a suppressor specially designed for the Vector family of weapons. The SMG variants of the Vector feature a selector switch which allows the operator to switch between semi, two-round burst, and full auto.

DSC06456

For the final gun of the day, we checked out the upcoming Vector SMG in 9mm. The one we fired was marked serial number 000001, no less, and don’t let the frame markings in the image above fool you, was indeed the 9mm variant. Like the .45 ACP model, the 9mm variant is designed to accept Glock magazines, with the 17-round Glock 17 magazine fitting flush with the chamber, although we also had a few 33-round G18 magazines as an analogue to the extended magazines used in the .45 ACP model. As expected of the lighter round, it featured a higher rate of fire than the .45 ACP model, and burned through even the extended magazines quite quickly, yet still remained quite controllable even in full auto.

After what was quite likely a couple of thousand rounds of ammunition spent, it’s quite fair to say that KRISS USA has a solid line of firearms on offer. The Sphinx pistols are solid, accurate sidearms, and the Vector line’s recoil mitigating technology makes them a joy to shoot. We offer our sincerest thanks to KRISS USA for allowing us the opportunity to try out their firearms on the range.

You can find out more on the Vector and Sphinx brands at:

www.kriss-arms.com

www.sphinxarms.com

KAK Industry – SIG MPX Buffer Tube Adapter

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

2015-08-19_12.01.03

The KAK Industry SIG MPX Buffer Tube Adapter is an aftermarket part which enables the use of an aftermarket arm brace or other pistol buffer tube accessory on the MPX pistol. The adapter is made of 60601 T6 aluminum, flat black anodized.

www.kakindustry.com/mpx/mpx-adapter

Security Devices International – BIP 40mm Round Ballistics Video

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

At the recent U.S. Tactical Supply Oregon Department of Corrections Less Than Lethal Demo, WD Forensics shot a live video of Security Devices International’s 40mm BIP round being shot into ballistic gelatin. Although not a measured test, the video does show how effective the BIP round can be on a target.

Additionally, SDI’s full range of 40mm munitions are now available through their GSA contract, # GS-07F-0259N.

For more information, visit securitydii.com

Get Your Warcomps!

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

  
Shipping to dealers now from SureFire.

Arsenal, Inc. – SLR-107FR Rifle Is Now Available

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV – Arsenal, Inc. is thrilled to announce the return of its flagship 7.62×39 caliber stamped receiver rifle.

The SLR-107FR, Arsenal, Inc.’s best-selling and most popular rifle is back in stock with a small shipment in these configurations:

SLR107-31 Black Polymer Furniture
SLR107-32 Plum Polymer Furniture
SLR107-33 Desert Sand Polymer Furniture
SLR107-34 Metal Triangle Side Folder with Black Handguard
SLR107-36 Black Buttstock with Arsenal Quad Rail Handguard

The 7.62×39 caliber SLR-107FR is a superior quality, stamped receiver, semi-automatic modern sporting rifle manufactured in Las Vegas, Nevada, utilizing only the best and authentic Arsenal factory components. It is manufactured with a Bulgarian made Arsenal mil-spec 1mm stamped receiver and cold hammer forged and hard chrome lined barrel. The authentic US made components, such as the anti-slap double stage trigger group, mil-spec polymer stock set, left-side folding solid polymer buttstock, and a one-piece muzzle brake perfectly complete this rifle for unparalleled quality and accuracy.

www.bluetimemedia.com

www.bluetimemedia.com

www.bluetimemedia.com

www.bluetimemedia.com

Features of the SLR-107FR include: stainless steel heat shield, 800 meter rear sight leaf, trapdoor for cleaning kit compartment, accessory and bayonet lugs on gas and front sight blocks, 24×1.5mm right-hand threads, removable muzzle brake, and receiver side mounted scope rails for attaching any standard scope mount, including Arsenal, Inc.’s latest SM-13 scope mount.

www.arsenalinc.com/usa

Magpul – Hunter X-22 Stock Now Shipping

Monday, August 17th, 2015

MAG548-BLK-2

The long-awaited Magpul Hunter X-22 stock for 10/22 rifles is now shipping. Made from reinforced polymer, the X-22 has an ergonomic grip, adjustable length of pull and comb height, multiple sling mounting options, a non-slip rubber butt pad, and M-LOK slots for accessories.

The Hunter X-22 fits all standard 10/22 .22 LR pattern rifles with no gunsmithing required. The reversible barrel tray ensures a proper fit with both factory pencil profile and heavy bull barrels.

Available in Black and Flat Dark Earth. Stealth Grey and Olive Drab to soon follow. Made in the U.S.A.

www.magpul.com/products/hunter-x-22-stock-ruger-10-22