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Archive for the ‘Caveat Emptor’ Category

Caveat Emptor – Counterfeit FastMag Pistol

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Counterfeit FastMag™ Pistol have been popping up. We received this alert from ITW Military Products and wanted to share it.

ITW Military Products recently has been alerted by one of their loyal U.S. users about a new circulating KNOCKOFF of the ITW FastMag™ Pistol.

The ITW FastMag™ Pistol (released in 2011) is built from the same hi-strength, GhillieTEX™ IR reducing, anti-fragmentation polymer as the original FastMag™. The FMP reduces reloading time for the operator and can be mounted in the up or down position. The system eliminates the need for traditional top closures by using an enhanced urethane tension strap, providing a secure point of access. Also available in duty belt, the entire FastMag™ series is designed to ‘double-stack’ on all FastMag™ Gen. III & FastMag™ Heavy.

Unfortunately, fake knockoff versions of the FastMag pistol have been showing up on the radar that recently hit the States. While the two items seem almost identical, there are a few subtle details that will let you know you have a counterfeit. First and most noticeable, the name “FastMag” is NOT molded on the front of the counterfeit; however, the “FastMag” logo IS imprinted on the back attachment strap

Another noticeable feature is located on the back of the items (Image 2). While the ITW FastMag™ Pistol has “MADE IN USA” imprinted, the counterfeit has “MADE IN CHINA” imprinted. Other subtle features to the counterfeit are its slightly more matte finish and its flimsy rubber tension strap and attachment strap. ITW Military Products uses an enhanced urethane material for its tension strap and mounting system, the knockoff counterfeit is using a basic elastic rubber much like a rubber band. If the user can easily adjust the tension strap and/or easily stretch the mounting strap, you have yourself a knockoff counterfeit. One other easy way to tell if you are not using an OEM FastMag Pistol? Your magazines fall out!

Buyers Beware What You Order Online, AND be aware of WHERE you are purchasing your kit. If you buy from an authorized source, listed here: you won’t have to worry.

Caveat Emptor – Fake NVG Data Labels

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Several versions of stickers that mimic the markings on genuine AN/PVS-14/15 Night Vision Devices have hit the market. They are designed to be placed on resin models of the devices to enhance realism for MilSim players and reenactors.

However, because of the way they are being marketed by some, we encourage everyone to pay attention to several key features of any real night vision devices they purchase or are issued. It has come to our attention that there are unscrupulous vendors marketing shop built subpar versions of the NVGs using tubes of unknown quality. They may use these types of stickers to mislead buyers. Military issued systems should be ok unless someone tried to do a switcharoo or supply at the small unit level got a ‘good deal’ on additional systems. Be diligent in pre-combat inspections.

If you need actual devices, buy factory direct ITT units that come with factory ITT stickers serialized on the unit that match the enclosed pre-paid UPS labels along with RMA tags. There are numerous vendors that are trustworthy. The best advice when dealing with night vision is: ‘Cheap’ doesn’t just mean inexpensive.

Caveat Emptor – Knock-off DDR Knives

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

In another case study in unethical behavior and theft, people in China and possibly elsewhere are making cheap, substandard copies of Darrel Ralph Designs Gunhammer. They have been seen on eBay and in some shops in Afghanistan.

A knock-off of DDR's Gunhammer. Be aware they're out there.

DDR says, “We’ve been trying to get these people to stop [but] they don’t care about intellectual property theft and they won’t respond to any communication. We filled out their [eBay’s] ridiculous forms and submitted them, but it was just a waste of time.”

Though the knives look and feel cheap, unless you know what to look for you might be gulled into putting money into one of these thieves’ pockets. First of all, no DDR knife is going to be sold for $10. Second, they look and feel cheaply made (they are typically much lighter than the real thing) and third, there are some cosmetic differences (including the placement of the name and initials). They know some of them are being made in China (having traced the first fakes to one ordered by a customer in Singapore) and possibly also Pakistan.

A beautiful example of a real DDR gunhammer.

DDR went on, “Unfortunately, there is not a thing we can do about it except flip them the bird. The cost of stopping them is extreme [and even then it wouldn’t be a permanent resolution]…there is no protection at all.”

DDR’s genuine work is on his website and Facebook page. Oh, and if you’re interested, DDR now has a knife blog.


Caveat Emptor – The Gun Show

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

I went to my first gun show in a couple of years today. The reason its been a couple of years is that the last one I went to left a lot to be desired as well. The gun show is definitely a bastion of the American gun culture. Unfortunately, it seems as if it has begun to reflect The larger American culture a bit too much. Lots of cheap guns, cheap gear, worn out surplus, cheap jewelry, the obligatory jerkey stand, a couple of crowd drawing Class III guns and lots of knock off products. I think the unifying theme is “cheap.” Aside from the low quality offerings there were plenty of counterfeits available as well. I saw loads of look-alike optics and lasers that were marked as the real thing, at less-than-possible prices. Naturally, there were also products obviously manufactured for, and marked as airsoft, being sold alongside the real thing just hoping to draw a huckster in looking to save a buck. I know a lot of airsoft enthusiasts get their necks all out of joint when I talk about it but it is the elephant in the room. So long as someone builds a realistic facsimile of a desirable item, someone else is going to try and pass it off as the real thing. Diamonds, Gold, Airplane Parts or Gun Accessories, no one wants to buy a fake.

I’d love to be able to show pics of what I am talking about, but thanks the main stream media shooting undercover videos of attempts to circumvent laws not a gun show in America will let you take photos. Understood.

For the average user, many of these low cost/quality products will be just fine. A trip to the range once a year to show off that pimped out black rifle won’t test the limits of many knockoffs. But, if you are an armed professional, don’t compromise. Make sure you are purchasing quality no matter where you are shopping. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to work.

Unfortunately, it seems the gun show has become nothing more than a variant of a weekend flea market.

We’d love to hear your gun show stories. And, let’s not forget the comments you hear at a gun show. Some of them are priceless. Why don’t you share them in the comments section?

Blackhawk! Serpa Holsters Recalled (Again)

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

This isn’t the first time that Blackhawk! has recalled their SERPA holsters. Apparently, this time it’s the light bearing models made before 2011.

SERPA Safety Notice

The issue is that some SERPA Level 3 Light Bearing Duty Holsters have broken away from the jacket slot (the interface between holster and belt) due to improper assembly caused by using excessive force, improper screws or missing screws. They are offering a free replacement holster.

Visit and follow the directions.

Yes, We Know

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Man, “those” guys are fast. Already, someone has knocked off the S&S Precision Plate Frame. It’s not “inspired by”. It’s not an alternative. It’s just a blatant copy of the original, albeit with fake materials including fake ballistic plates. It’s only purpose is to play dress up.

It’s being made in China, the land of “no shame” so it will be difficult to get them to stop. On the other hand, SSD readers can spread that word that this is a ripoff and to boycott the product. If anything the perpetrators are, ironically capitalists, and won’t build something that doesn’t sell.

Thanks guys for the heads up.

Caveat Emptor – TBOC Knockoffs

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Membership in the Tactical Beard Owners Club on Facebook was meant to be for fun and camaraderie but someone has taken to using the club’s logo for personal gain. No sooner had TBOC released their patches, and SSD our story on the group, had unauthorized copies of the TBOC logo begun to show up at PX vendors in Afghanistan.

Both the t-shirt and cloth patch seen here are counterfeits and someone not associated with TBOC is profiting from their sale. Please, do the right thing and don’t support them.



Caveat Emptor – AirFrame Replica

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

There is a replica AirFrame helmet on the market now. Hopefully, it won’t be a problem for anybody who wants to use it for real world use as the manufacturer even states that it is only intended for display use. However, the fact that there are replica helmets out there is reason enough to put out an alert. Make sure the helmet and other PPE you purchased or were issued is the real deal. Generally, this isn’t a problem if you were issued the equipment new through RFI or CIF. However, if it’s a reissue take a hard look at it. There is nothing to say that someone before you didn’t turn in a cheap knockoff in order to clear. Sometimes, these copies, which are generally built for MilSim use are very well executed and can fool someone who isn’t looking for a fake.

If you are purchasing your gear from an off base outfitter or through the web, give it the once over before you put it into service.