Archive for September, 2015

Raven Concealment Systems Appoints Matt Edwards As Military Applications Specialist

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Matt Edwards Press Release pic

North Ridgeville, Ohio — Friday, 25 September 2015

Raven Concealment Systems officially announced today the appointment of Mr. Matt Edwards to the position of Military Applications Specialist.

Matt joins RCS from Surefire, where he worked as a Military Tactical Applications Specialist on and off from 2010-2015. Prior to joining the tactical industry, Matt retired from a 20+ year career in the United States Army, during which he served in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and as a Ranger Instructor at 6th Ranger Training Battalion in Eglin, Florida. Matt’s career culminated as a Rifle Company First Sergeant.

Matt will support Raven’s sales and design departments; leveraging his extensive military experience to assist military end-users in selecting the best products for their needs from the RCS line, as well as helping to drive new product development via capabilities assessments and direct feed-back from military clients.

“I’m happy to have been invited to be part of the Raven team,” said Edwards. “I’ve used and trusted their gear for years, and this position will allow me to help shape new evolutions of RCS products to make them more beneficial for our military clients.”

“I like working with Matt almost as much as I like sweet tea and cigarettes” said John Chapman, CEO of Raven Concealment Systems. “Having Matt’s special combination of experience, personal integrity and dedication to the individual combatant strengthens our already robust sales and design teams.”


RCS is putting together a bunch of rockstars! Congrats to Matt, he’s a great guy!

High Angle Solutions – DMM Pivot Belay Device

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


The new DMM Pivot is a modern belay device that caters for modern belaying techniques with modern ropes. Meticulously researched and developed to provide optimum performance both belaying from the harness, and direct from the anchor. The Pivot provides smooth paying out, a secure and confident catch, and controlled lowering. The head turner is the innovative pivot – this patent pending solution shifts the lever arrangement to allow easily initiated and controlled lowering when used in guide/direct mode. Even with a weighty second, the belayer can lower one, both, or either second with total control using the specially shaped biner cavity. Once the top is reached, the Pivot will be a trustworthy abseil partner for the return to the base. Perfect for alpine, winter, and multi-pitch trad.


The grey surface finish shown is the new DMM Tactical color which has been chosen for its ability to blend into a far wider variety of environments. Additionally, the carabiner shown in the above image is the Flat Dark Earth color finished in DMM’s Cerakote option, which will be covered in more detail in a future feature.


High Angle Solutions is a new weekly feature by DMM and CTOMS.

American Knife & Tool Institute Presents “Common Sense Award” To Senators Mike Enzi And Ron Wyden

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

“Common Sense Award” Recognizes the Senators’ Bipartisan Leadership on a Federal Initiative to Better Protect Citizens from Complex and Burdensome Government Regulations

Cody, WY – The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) today presented Senators Mike Enzi, R-WY, and Ron Wyden, D-OR, with the “Common Sense Award.” The award is designed to honor Members of Congress who have worked across party lines to further common sense legislation.

In its first ever presentation, AKTI honored Senators Enzi and Wyden for their tireless work on the Knife Owners’ Protection Act (KOPA), a bill that will ensure federal protection for lawful knife owners from the current patchwork of state and local knife laws.

“Knives are an essential tool for hunters and various occupations and the right to carry them with you when you’re on the road is something that should be protected,” Enzi said. “With thousands of knife laws across the country, our legislation provides a common sense solution that respects the rights of states while providing the protection that knife owners need to ensure they can travel without fear of prosecution.”

“No one benefits from the confusion and legal limbo surrounding how lawful knife owners can transport their knives,” Wyden said. “This common-sense bill provides clear rules that respect state laws, ensure public safety and protect the rights of knife owners.”

Under current U.S. code, lawful gun owners are allowed to transport firearms legally in both the state of origin and the state of destination, provided they are properly stored and in accordance with all federal restrictions. However, no such protection exists for knife owners wishing to transport knives to and from states in which they are legal, but through jurisdictions with varying requirements. KOPA would allow legal interstate travel for knives, provided the knives are transported to and from states where the law allows possession of said knives, and they are transported in closed containers. The bill, S. 1315, which has passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and is co-sponsored by Senators Mike Lee, R-UT, Joe Manchin, D-WV, John Thune, R-SD, and Martin Heinrich, D-NM.

“Since our inception, AKTI has looked to partner with legislators operating above partisan politics and interested in bringing sound, practical solutions for people who depend on knives in their daily lives,” said CJ Buck, AKTI President and Co-Founder. “It has been an honor to work Senators Enzi and Wyden on common sense legislation that brings clarity to people who travel with knives as part of their daily professional and recreational activities.”

For nearly 20 years, AKTI has served as the go-to resource for knife owners looking to ensure that they comply with all local, state, and federal laws related to knives. One of the biggest complaints and points of confusion AKTI hears about from lawful knife owners involves the interstate transport of knives. While citizens are making every effort to comply with patchwork state and local laws, it has become clear that there is the need for a federal protection for sportsmen, hunters, and other law-abiding knife owners that does not interfere with state and local restrictions on knife use.


UF PRO – Striker BDU In MultiCam And PenCott BadLands

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

MultiCam vs Badlands

UF PRO recently put together a series of action shots of the Striker BDU and other gear in the MultiCam and PenCott BadLands camouflage patterns. The images aren’t for the purpose of a comparison test, rather a chance to show off the Striker BDU in the patterns.


MultiCam vs Badlands 2

PenCott BadLands

MultiCam vs Badlands 1


USSOCOM Issues Safety of Use Message for EOTech Enhanced Combat Optical Sights – Plus More Goings On

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Over the past few weeks, three separate issues have come to our attention regarding EOTech’s line of Holographic Weapon Sights (HWS). While we initially thought they weren’t related as they came up one by one, we realized they were all connected once we had looked into all three. Consequently, we believe they should be presented together, along with the source documentation.

Safety Of Use Message Issued
Although it’s the last one we uncovered, we’ll begin with the most glaring piece of information. On 14 September, the SOF Weapons Program Management Office at NSWC Crane released a Safety of Use Message regarding issues with EOTech’s Enhanced Combat Optical Sights (ECOS), which is how they refer to HWS. This certainly caught our attention as the PMO is responsible for USSOCOM weapons. That message ultimately serves as the linchpin, tying together the other two issues we’ll soon address.

This critical bit of information would have been a stand-alone article, but it added credence to the others and offered coherence to some otherwise inexplicable issues. It also allowed us to concentrate on the facts presented in the various documentation. We will introduce the other issues after you get a chance to read the SOUM, which was obtained by Soldier Systems Daily. The Message has no date-time-group but was transmitted via official email traffic to SOF units on 14 September, 2015 and there are no markings limiting distribution.

Screenshot (64)

Click to view .pdf

While there is a great deal of information in the SOUM, two glaring issues stick out. The first is the reliability of the HWS in extreme temperatures, referred to as “Thermal Drift”. The PMO has noted a +/- 4 MOA shift at -40 Deg F and 122 Deg F. Second, is the concern over the claim by EOTech that their HWS are parallax free which was the subject of a previous Safety of Use Message from the same office issued 16 March, 2015. In this case they noted between 4 and 6 MOA parallax error depending on temperature conditions. Despite the PMO working with EOTech to rectify the issues, they still have not been resolved.

EOTech Updates User Manuals
EOTech seems to have officially backed off their previous claims regarding operational temperature ranges as well as parallax free attributes. Upon investigation, we noted that EOTech had changed the public specs for their HWS. Specifically, they published new manuals in June, 2015 which are available from the individual product listing pages on their website. Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of an issue by itself, but taken in conjunction with the other two pieces of information and what was removed from the manuals, it becomes so.

For example, they no longer claim that the Optics are “Parallax free”. They’ve also eliminated the temperature range from the manuals which is a pretty important factor for military operations. In the updated manuals, EOTech didn’t alert users to issues at extreme temperatures. Instead, they deleted references to operational temperature range altogether. Interestingly, both of these issues are addressed in the PMO’s Safety of Use Message we referenced earlier.

Although not addressed in this SOUM by the PMO, we also noticed in the latest versions (June 2015) of the user manuals that each click of sight adjustment is now “Approx. 0.5 MOA” rather than the more reassuring “0.5 MOA” cited in older manuals.

Here are some examples of old and new user manuals:

EXPS3 User Manual January 2011

EXPS3 User Manual June 2015

L3 Communications SEC Filing
The last issue we’ll address is actually the first one that came to our attention. In L3 Communications’ most recent 10-Q SEC Quarterly filing of early August for Q2, they mention issues with the HWS. This is a document prepared by EOTech’s parent company L3 Communications, advising their investors of any issues, good or bad, which might affect their investment. While companies obviously put on a public face, SEC filings have weight because they are legal submissions to the government. They must be accurate, regardless of the news.

L3 mentions recognizing “an aggregate liability of $26 million in anticipation of a settlement related to a product specification matter regarding a holographic weapon sight product in the Warrior Systems sector of the Electronic Systems segment.” As we are unaware of any pending civil suits regarding the HWS, the question remains as to whom EOTech might owe such a large sum of money. We must point out that the government has acknowledged issues with the HWS in at least two SOUM from the SOF Weapons PMO. We’d also like to mention that the Quarterly filing talks of possible consequences if the company is implicated in wrongdoing regarding government contracts.

The SEC filing goes on to state that while, “The Company does not currently anticipate that any of these investigations will have a material adverse effect, individually or in the aggregate, on its consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows. However, under U.S. Government regulations, an indictment of the Company by a federal grand jury, or an administrative finding against the Company as to its present responsibility to be a U.S. Government contractor or subcontractor, could result in the Company being suspended for a period of time from eligibility for awards of new government contracts or task orders or in a loss of export privileges. A conviction, or an administrative finding against the Company that satisfies the requisite level of seriousness, could result in debarment from contracting with the federal government for a specified term.” They also recognize that, “Foreign government contracts generally include comparable provisions relating to terminations for convenience or default, as well as other procurement clauses relevant to the foreign government.” This can be pretty serious stuff.

The SEC Quarterly filing can be found here.

Putting It All Together
As you can see, the three pieces of information certainly seem related when presented together. In the same quarter, EOTech changed their HWS user manuals and acknowledged in an SEC filing, “aggregate liability of $26 million in anticipation of a settlement related to a product specification matter regarding a holographic weapon sight product…” In the next quarter, USSOCOM issues a Safety Of Use Message that addresses the very information removed from the HWS user manuals.

Data Was Right There In The Open
The documentation was readily available prior to its publication here, to anyone who knew where to look. While EOTech has made no public statements so far, regarding the issues with the performance of their family of HWS, they certainly haven’t hidden them either. To the contrary, we wouldn’t have discovered the issues so easily if they’d tried to hide them. They’ve published new versions of their user manuals and made them available to the public, as well as making an SEC filing which is public record and acknowledges there is an issue afoot. While it would be nice to see EOTech publicly acknowledge the issue, it would be interesting to find out how long they’ve known about it. Regardless, the only thing that remains up in the air, is whether L3 Communications will be required to pay that $26 million, to whom they would pay it, and if there will be any additional stipulations.

Let’s Hope They Fix It
In closing, we suggest that both commercial and military users of EOTech HWS read the SOUM, since EOTech has still not specifically addressed its customers regarding the issues. We hope that they do soon and offer a solution to rectify these issues.

Elder Heart Sandhills / Mission 22 – Crescent Custom Rifles Charity Auction

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Elder Heart Sandhills and Mission 22 have partnered with Crescent Custom Rifles for a charity auction. The funds from this auction will go towards raising awareness for the 22 Veteran suicides that occur each day. One entry is $5, and will enter you for a chance to win a Crescent Custom rifle built to your specifications.

For more information and to enter the raffle visit rallyup.com/ehs-raffle.

Extreme Outfitters – TAS T1 + Self Inflating Mat Sale

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

TAS T1 + Self Inflating Mat Sale


Magpul – Magpul Core Cover Now Shipping

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

MAG729-Magpul Core Cover-BLK

Magpul is now shipping the Core Cover baseball cap. Made of a high-performance polyester fabric, it features a custom flex moisture-wicking headband , eyelet venting, and no top button for use with earpro.

The Core Cover comes in Black, Gray, and Coyote.


MAG577-PMAG25 M118-SND

Additionally, the Sand color variant for the 25 M118 LR/SR GEN M3 Window PMAG is shipping.