Velocity Systems

Private Bloggins Puts The Raptor Buckle To The Test

CTOMS posted an interesting look at the Raptor buckle on their Private Bloggins site. Their intent was to decide whether to take a look at replacing the Austrialpin Cobra buckles used on their X-Belts and M-Harnesses with the Raptor. To do this, they pull tested two Raptor buckles to compare their measurements with the manufacturer’s. here’s one example.

CTOMS is very up front about how they obtained their samples, what they did with the buckles and the limitations of how they evaluated the buckles. I like that kind of honesty and the story is worth looking at if you want to see how buckles are pull tested and the whole “behind the scenes” on how and what they did. You’ll also find out if CTOMS decided to take a further look at these buckles.


33 Responses to “Private Bloggins Puts The Raptor Buckle To The Test”

  1. Lasse says:

    Are there any Raptor buckle products that are certified as life-saving products?

  2. matt says:

    I asked Raptor for a some samples a couple years ago for testing and they were real funy about it.

    • Shep says:

      It was my understanding they weren’t ready to be released until quite recently. If you check their website, their independent certified testing wasn’t performed until February 2013. Can’t find anything funny about that. I’m not seeing anything ‘funny’ about it. Pretty normal in design work not to give out your unfinished work for testing…

  3. Brent says:

    I think it is worth noting that on the buckle itself (1.75? Raptor) it has both ratings for looped configuration and single strand configuration (18kN and 9kN respectively). I believe the Raptor was approved by the ARMY for HALO operations, too. According to a talk I had with JBC.

    • SSD says:

      Yes, if you go and read the actual article at the link, they discuss the ratings.

    • ChrisK says:

      It does rate them both, but it broke a 2kN under the stamped rating in direct pull. Regarding the US Army approval (I’m going to assume you mean for use as a component in a parachute harness by “HALO operations”), do you have a reference or just conjecture? I’d be interested to see their test data.

      • Brent says:

        As I said, “According to a talk I had with JBC”. You can call and ask for Octavio (inventor of the Raptor) 757-306-1250. He encourages people with questions to call and ask.

        • Dave says:

          That’s just more BS out of JBC.
          Octavio didn’t invent anything. He got the product design from Taiwan (aka the Presto buckle sold by Ace Metal Products) when working at S.O.Tech (who uses Cobras btw) and ran with it. Greg is spot on – they are rip off artists and the product brings nothing to the table.

          All that aside… the issue is this: They lied and the raptor can’t be trusted.

        • JW says:

          inventor? you mean he looked at the cobra and copied about he posts actual hard scientific data instead of his number.

  4. Greg says:

    Why does anyone give *any* bother to the Raptor?

    What does this thing bring to the table compared to the (gold standard) Cobra?

    – It isn’t significantly less expensive.
    – No weight savings.
    – No reliability increase.
    – No (stated) load increase.
    – It has significant engineered downsides (exposed internals)
    – It has yet to prove it’s ability to carry the stated load rating.

    Honestly; why does anyone bother to buy these, look at these or have anything to do with them? This is nothing but a company trying to rip off the industry leader, and doing so without bringing any advantages to the table and a number of disadvantages.

    • Brent says:

      I like that they are American Made and cheaper. But that is just me.

      • Jones Tactical says:

        They are not cheaper if you look at the min quantity that you have to buy, and in one color and size might I add.

        • Mike says:

          They are still Made in USA tho…

          • steve o says:

            listen to youself mike…..
            they are unsafe and inferior….
            made in usa has no bearing whatsoever!
            hell man … we should be ashamed that they are American made
            or do we now take pride in crap quality knockoffs now?!!!
            unreal how some peoples patriotism blinds their common sense

  5. Brent says: has them all for under $20. Singles. Only has 1.75 in stock right now though.

    • Brent says:

      This was supposed to be in reply to Jones Tactical’s comment.

      • Jones Tactical says:

        I was referring to wholesale.

        • Kaoskydex says:

          They are cheaper, as you only have to order a $100 minimum order for wholesale v.s cobras 100 PIECE minimum. I use both buckles, and will continue to offer both, but for a life saving belt I would be inclined to offer the Cobra.

          • SSD says:

            That is a very good point. 99% of people wearing rigger-style belts don’t require a life support buckle. They’re wearing it for the look. I’m all for lower cost alternatives for those who just need to be able to hold their pants up.

          • Greg says:

            I’ve ordered Cobras in far fewer quantities than 100. I think the last batch we ordered was 25, and we received wholesale pricing.

            But really, in the end, we’re talking about saving what, $5?

            Is that really worth supporting a company that (by all independent tests so far) misrepresents the capabilities of a life-safety intended product? Worth supporting a company that blatantly ripped off someone else’s work without adding any additional features or benefits?

          • J to the T says:

            I have a wholesale account with AustriAlpin and can buy just one buckle if needed, been that way since day one, the only thing that has changed is the pricing structure. When I looked at the Raptors I had to sign an NDA just to get pricing and that was just last year and there was a 100 pc min in one size and one color.

            I will agree that most folks who wear rigger style belts never put them to use, but it’s more about the shady dealings of Octavio and the JBC company that I’m concerned with.

  6. Kaoskydexsolutions says:

    Now I just placed an order a few months ago from JBC and there was no minimum( I ordered 5 buckles OD various sizes), but I got an update soon after that they were going to a $100 minimum. I contacted Austrialpin about wholesale pricing 2 months ago and was told there is a 100 piece minimum order. Either things have changed or I’ve been given bad info. Either way its not a problem.

  7. 215 Gear says:

    215 Gear™ stands on it’s commitment to sourcing and utilizing the finest materials available in the marketplace. From the start of our company and one of our first products to the public was our Ultimate Riggers Belt, in 2009. We sought out and sourced the best component on the market, the AustriAlpin Cobra Buckle. From the start, the fit, form and function was impressive; with their customer service second to none in the industry. With many years together and several custom projects together, both companies continue to provide the best products in the industry. We are additionally proud to call their team close friends of ours.

  8. Jim SOTECH says:

    S.O.Tech has had a solid track record with AustiaAlpin since 1999, and we intend to continue using their Cobra buckles on our systems. Since we put the AustriaAlpin click-lock buckle on our first riggers belt in 1999, we have watched AustriaAlpin innovate new uses. As an industry innovator, SOTech respects companies that are on the cutting edge of design. We were so convinced of their qulaity that we recomended their buckles into the USASOC CASEVAC system. We appreciate AutriaAlpin’s commitment to quality and we will conitnue to use their buckles.

  9. We are accustomed to seeing a surge of negative chatter from our competitors whenever we experience an increase in sales and presence in a new market. Seemingly, the posting of negative comments is motivated by self-interest and the desire to preserve market territory. However, it is irresponsible to post biased and unsubstantiated statements about competitor products. Our most recent testing is published on our website, and speaks for itself.

    We offer the following in response to CTOMS claims and testing. Two 1.75”/45mm samples were given to Chris at CTOMS 2 years ago. Apparently, the need to quickly test the samples two years later did not allow for time to conduct a thorough and documented evaluation. It could be disputed that two buckles are not a large enough sampling and where have the buckles been in the past two years is unknown; whether they have been used or if they have been damaged. These are just a few critical factors in conducting a valid evaluation. But most critical, is that testing was not conducted to conform to the manner in which the buckles are intended to be used. The most common use for this type of side release buckle is belts, body harnesses, and slings all of which uses the Looped or indirect configuration. The buckles are marked for 9Kn/2000lbs indirect and 18Kn/4000lbs direct, all which are explained on our website above. We will be doing some more testing of the direct configurations soon which will be placed on the above website. Check back in a few weeks for our published results.

    Our “Critical Use” customers, to include the Army, State Department, Oakley, and others do their own testing. Regardless of testing conducted by our customers, testing has been conducted on every lot manufactured first.

    Finally, the design of the Raptor was based on the Presto Buckle design, in cooperation with the parent company. We firmly believe “Made in the USA” is important. In fact, it’s more important than you think, for many reasons.

    Anyone with questions about the RAPTOR that doesn’t want to hide behind a screen name can contact me directly at 757-697-0019 or [email protected].

    • ChrisK says:

      Reposted as a reply to the same comment on Private Bloggins:

      Octavio, thanks very much for replying here. I’ll reply in kind to some of your comments directed toward us.

      We were in no ‘hurry’ to test these buckles as you imply. The opportunity arose, so we conducted the tests, not formally, but out of curiosity. That is fully disclosed in the article. The only documentation that was important to us was to measure MBS. I’m not sure what you are referring to as not thoroughly documented. If it is in regards to the sampling rate, though I can’t recall what it was at the time, I assure you it was not manipulated to give false readings, and was consistent with our other testing of our own systems done that day.

      Sampling size is irrelevant because I don’t want to be the guy that buys the one in a million buckle that wouldn’t have passed quality control. If I pulled 100 buckles, a million buckles, and one broke 2kN lower than the stamped rating, I’d be concerned. Please send me your best quality buckles and I’ll repeat the tests.

      The article states that the buckles were new when tested. I’ll also reassure you that the buckles were undamaged when tested (that is what new means). I don’t appreciate your insinuation that we would manipulate the buckle or use a damaged one to give a biased test result. Our integrity and reputation stands for itself, and questioning it reveals an insecurity on your part. At no time did we have any intentions other than noting break strength of the buckles for our own interest sake. The blog post was to let our customers know why we choose the components in the products that we do, and not others. It was not an emotional or marketing motivated post, but rather simply stating facts about testing that we conducted for our own curiosity. Opinion stated in comments on the article are that of the poster and not CTOMS’.

      Your explanation and description saying that they were not tested in the way they are intended to function is actually incorrect and shows a misunderstanding of force application and testing in general. Even if intended application is in loop configuration, there is still a stamped rating for direct pull, which in ladder lock configuration, failed 2kN below the stamped rating in our test, on a new, undamaged buckle. All a direct pull does (compared to a loop config pull) is reduce the amount of force required to break the system by about half, and is a better way to test if you can isolate the weakest point of the system. Testing a manufactured harness or belt with the buckles incorporated would be conducted completely differently, including using a torso manikin and should be done product design specific.

      And I do apologize if this is getting into the minutia, but to be accurate in your descriptions, as you are presenting a critical argument on a technical subject, it is not “Kn”, it is “kN” and is not “lbs” but “lbf”. Your buckles are marked 9kN Direct and 18kN Indirect (you mixed that up in your comment above, an honest error).

      I couldn’t find anywhere in your posted test results, a ladder lock configuration pull test, so I’ll be interested in your new test result if you conduct and post them. My question for you though, is will you actually post them if the results are consistent with our test result? Probably not as that would be product suicide, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if you do the testing in direct or loop, as long as the buckle is in ladder lock mode, which is configuration of function. I can discern the difference. And quite honestly, at this point, there are other factors explained in the article that from our perspective, make any additional testing irrelevant as we’ve come to our conclusion as to the best buckle for our requirements for reasons other than strength.

      I also haven’t seen any independent data published anywhere by DoD, Oakley or others, so if you’re able to make that available, I think a lot of people would be interested in that as well. Independent data is the best kind.

    • JW says:

      Used? What does it matter? So you’re saying that a used buckle is no longer safe? LOL at that logic. You’re buckle is clearly a ripoff and a bad one. Considering you’re a nurse and not even an engineer shows that you have ZERO skills to engineer any kind of buckle.

      Oakley and Vertx are using your buckle as a “fashion” buckle. Stop advertising the 9kn and 18kn and stop embarrassing yourself.

      “WARNING: Belt not intended for climbing or rappelling” straight from Oakleys site.

    • Wade says:

      I am not sure how JBC’s post/response to such a SERIOUS safety matter could have been more inadequate, unintelligent or unprofessional. I was shocked to read it.

      Last I looked, you were calling your product a safety product. I presume you understand that means it is purposed to protect lives. Now independent data comes to light and all you have the capacity for is this sort of nonsensical reponse?! How does this have anything to do with your competitors may I ask? It’s your buckle that failed at way below the standard you gave it. Maybe next time you can blame your problems on the leprochans or the easter bunny – that would make about as much sense!

      Where is your integrity?

      Do you not realize that people’s lives could be at risk ?

  10. Bobby davro says:

    Are those cobra buckles on the test rig……….the ones that don’t break ??????

    • ChrisK says:

      Yes, but only half the force that is being applied to the Raptor is being applied to the Cobras because the Raptor is in direct pull and the Cobras are in loop.

  11. MikP says:

    I’m curious if either buckle have an independent testing standards certification )(UL, OSHA, CSA, UIAA or CEN rating etc.)- or the belts with which they are constructed? I’m pretty sure the Cobra does have a CE rating, however I could be mistaken. If both were submitted for independent testing, this could quite simply put this to bed. It would also offer the end user some data on which they can make an informed purchase to their specific requirements, which often need to conform to the mentioned organisational stamps of approval.