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Let’s Camouflage Those Weapons

DefenseTech published an article today on a subject we have been looking at for some time. This is our take on the issue.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

Amid all of the ballyhoo surrounding the Congressionally directed adoption of a area-specific camouflage pattern for Afghanistan a major weak link remains. PEO-Soldier has worked diligently to camouflage virtually piece of a Soldier’s kit save one; his rifle. Probably the most important item issued to a Soldier, the Army has yet to fully come to grips with the “Black Rifle”. And it’s not just rifles. Grenade launchers, Squad Automatic Weapons, and crew served implements of destruction all come in basic black.

So, awhile back I queried PEO-Soldier about this and they provided me with this reply:
“Soldiers in the field do in fact camouflage their weapons based upon the situation and environment. For example, snipers may tie certain cloth materials to break up the outline/profile of their weapon. Moving forward, PM Soldier Weapons in conjunction with TACOM Rock Island will be writing up a procedure guide that details how soldiers could employ temporary paints to camouflage their weapons for field environments.”

I have some additional information about the first part of the reply. The Ghillie Suit Accessory Kit recently received a face lift including the replacement of burlap with a Fire Resistant yarn. Burlap catches fire easily so this is a much needed change. Available in Light Coyote, Light Green, and Madeira (Brown), hopefully, this material will be available for wider spread use soon.


There has been some light in this tunnel and there have been some changes to this long standing policy. SOCOM, in particular has adopted Flat Dark Earth (FDE) as a color for some of its Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) carbine accessories. Additionally, the SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) comes in a battlefield friendly FDE base color. Furthermore, industry is rife with both weapons and accessories in a variety of finishes. Additionally, S.O. Tech has developed a fabric suppressor cover designed to camouflage its shape and yet still resist melting.

Unfortunately, the other services can be even worse about the issue than the Army. The Air Force for example, has published specific guidance forbidding the painting of weapons or the use of non-issue accessories. Once again, it seems as though someone doesn’t realize there is a war on.

Hopefully, the new weapon camo guide from Rock Island will hit the field soon. Also, based on the same requirements facilitating the study of enhanced personal camouflage, we hope to see a requirement for a weapon color that does not contrast with the Soldier’s other equipment or battlefield environment.

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