Author: RedBeardOne

Mayflower RC – MASTER BREACHER BAG

Today we want to take a closer look at a small, rare and yet, very useful specialist pouch made by Mayflower RC. The Master Breacher Bag or MBB.

Mayflower Research and Consulting is part of Velocity Systems for a time now and serves as their specialist wing for developing and producing speciality nylon solutions for special forces worldwide. Mayflower RC is veteran owned and and is well known for finding simple, yet efficient solutions for unconventional problems that SF units are facing on a regular basis. None of their products has been developed for the pure sake of invention but instead to solve a very specific problem a certain unit faced somewhere on earth. This of course also is true for the Master Breacher Bag.

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Leatherman WAVE

Back in the future, in 1996 Leatherman released the first generation of its meanwhile legendary Wave. I’ve gotten one of them as a gift and I still use it to these days. General design of all Leatherman multi tool reaches back to the year of 1983, that year the company was founded and started its indescribable triumphant advance in that branch.
Why should you buy a multi-tool, like the leatherman Wave?
Well, the answer depends on your purpose what you want to do with.
Its one of those tools that I would recommend to own, no matter if you are an outdoorsman, hunter, soldier or working in Law Enforcement, as it embodies the essence of all Multitools. Like I mentioned before, I own this particular leatherman Wave for way over 20 years now and it never left me alone in any situation where I needed it. From the cold and freezing Alps to the burning heat of the Sahara, its roughly 10cm closed length and 241g of 420HC stainless Steel did its job, no matter what.

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THYRM DARK VAULT (COMMS)

In this review we will take a closer look at a really intresting piece of kit designed and manufactured by an US based company called THYRM. This particular piece of kit is called the Dark Vault and is basically a PALS compatible electronics case.

THYRM is well known for producing polymer based equipment solutions for a long time now, but they basically didnt offer anything that really caught my eye, until I discovered the Dark Vault. My interest in the Dark Vault started with an easy problem that may be familiar to you. Namely: „How do I protect my portable electronic devices in the field or on the range, while keeping them easily accessible?“ My first thought got out to the well known products from Juggernaut cases, but as a field electronic device I have to use the Samsung Xcover 4 smartphone which Juggernaut unfortunately doesnt support.

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CROSSFIRE DG1

Talking about assaultpacks, you might think that the market is quite oversaturated. In fact there are plenty of twelve hourish assault packs out there. So we were pretty excited to see Crossfire Australias solution on this topic. Like all other products we review, we have tested the Crossfire DG1 for quiet a long time since its release.
For me it turned out that the DG1 is a pack that comes in handy in various ooccasions. I’ve used the DG1 for heli-borne operations as well as on vehicle borne training and as a 24h minimalist survival backpack.

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HUSAR HYBRID

In this review we gonna take a look at an adaptable waistpack, made by a polish manufacturer called HUSAR LTD. Before we start with the actual review, lets talk a little bit about HUSAR LTD and its history.
About 10 years ago the tactical industry in Europe experienced a significant growth of eastern europe based manufacturers, which appeared like out of nowhere. All of them had two things in common, one being that they offered a really wide and extensive range of products ranging from pouches, over backpacks to whole platecarrier systems. The other commom ground attribute was their really heavy reliance on lasercut manufacturing.
Some years later, many of them where lost to history, while others became a staple of the European tactical gear market. HUSAR LTD was one of those who survived, which may be owed to their product quality, or even more likely to the fact that they offer a really slick portfolio of items in their catalogue.

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BLACK TRIDENT THOR HOLSTER

Today we are taking a closer look on a holster designed and manufactured by an Austrian company named „Black Trident“. This holster is what they call the „THOR“ holster and as you might be able to recognize by the very archaic name chosen for this model, it is Black Tridents first entry into a product category that I like to call „tactical passive retention based holsters“.

Before we start with the review by itself, I want to talk with you about the question of „what actually is a holster?“. Simple question you might think but asking this question is important.

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Nite Ize Run Off Waterproof Bags

Chosing the right knife for a tactical environment is often a startingpoint for many akward discussions. The reason for those discussions is simply that many people arent able to see the different applications a „tactical“ knive can have which are namely:

Fighting
Survival
Fieldcraft

Some blades are able to perform well in all three applications, while others are tailored for a certain application. A good example are a SOCP Dagger or a Karambit which are second to none fighting knives in my opinion but really suck in Fieldcraft and Survival tasks.

A Field Knive on the other hand is great in performing fieldcraft related jobs but is to big for fitting into a dedicated survival kit and therefore cant be hidden from detection, it will also most likely not be a useful tool in modern knive fighting.

So it would be the best option to carry three dedicated knives? Maybe, but this idea should be filtered by aspects like weight and the likelyhood of actually doing a certain application. So if your main job is kicking doors a MultiTool and a SOCP dagger would be a wise decision as the possibility of you chopping wood for a fire during a direct action mission isnt that big.

GearAid, formerly known as McNett, surprisingly entered the knive market with their Kotu Tanto a few years ago. The idea behind the Kotu is to create a „jack of all trades“ solution which is compact, features a combat oriented tip, will being stable enough for prying and other fieldcraft applications.

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The state of physical overreadiness

It has been a long time since we have written an article regarding physical fitness, but today I want to talk about something that got into my mind some months ago and could be observed and confirmed after my COVID-19 infection at the end of 2020. We want to talk about physical overreadiness.

As my training routine was running well and intense, I was totally depressed after being diagnosed with COVID-19 in 2020. I wasn’t able to do any kind of physical training for over one and a half month. So, to prevent from getting fat, I changed my diet to three meals a day, slightly over my daily need of calories. During my time of recovery, I noticed that I lost some weight, but it was indeed mostly water, fat and to my surprise, not much muscle. But I was in certain knowledge that my performance would drop drastically. I was teached better.

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GearAid Kotu Tanto

Chosing the right knife for a tactical environment is often a startingpoint for many akward discussions. The reason for those discussions is simply that many people arent able to see the different applications a „tactical“ knive can have which are namely:

Fighting
Survival
Fieldcraft

Some blades are able to perform well in all three applications, while others are tailored for a certain application. A good example are a SOCP Dagger or a Karambit which are second to none fighting knives in my opinion but really suck in Fieldcraft and Survival tasks.

A Field Knive on the other hand is great in performing fieldcraft related jobs but is to big for fitting into a dedicated survival kit and therefore cant be hidden from detection, it will also most likely not be a useful tool in modern knive fighting.

So it would be the best option to carry three dedicated knives? Maybe, but this idea should be filtered by aspects like weight and the likelyhood of actually doing a certain application. So if your main job is kicking doors a MultiTool and a SOCP dagger would be a wise decision as the possibility of you chopping wood for a fire during a direct action mission isnt that big.

GearAid, formerly known as McNett, surprisingly entered the knive market with their Kotu Tanto a few years ago. The idea behind the Kotu is to create a „jack of all trades“ solution which is compact, features a combat oriented tip, will being stable enough for prying and other fieldcraft applications.

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VELOCITY SYSTEMS CW BELT

Nowadays, it is a necessity for a platecarrier to feature a static or elastic cummerbund. Back in the days this wasn’t the case. Most platecarriers that you bought or got issued, when the platecarrier concept started, where held together by two Fastex buckles and a pair of straps made of 40mm or 50mm webbing. Many won’t remember, but cummerbunds entered the game much later, mostly in form of an upgrade kit that had to be purchased separately.

I have both, fond and unpleasant memories of this time. On one hand a cummerbund helps stabilizing your loadout and tightens it around the waist while also adding additional load bearing capacities. On the other hand, the old “strap-assembled” platecarriers where a simple affair and saved both, weight and fabric and kept your sides clear while offering a higher amount of breathability and quick don-doff capabilities.

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Leatherman oht

Having a Multitool or at least a swiss pocket knife at the ready has become a staple for members of the military, police and also for outdoorsman. Its no surprise that the market offers almost uncountable options when it comes to multifunctional, compact tools. As we already showed you the smallest possible option in our Review of the Gerber Dime, we decided that it is now time to show the complete opposite with the Leatherman One Hand Tool (OHT).

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Velocity systems chameleon shirt

As we mentioned multiple times, there is a clear difference between low-profile and low-vis approaches when it comes to concepts of operations. US based and veteran lead manufacturer Velocity Systems is one of the few companies who know about this and has designed their Ultra-Low-Vis hard plates as a dedicated level 4 protective solution for low-vis and low-profile operations. With the plates being only a few millimeters thick they almost add nothing to the wearers profile. Most people don’t know that the ULV plates are part of a whole ecosystem of carrier systems, of which we already showed you the ULV Assault Carrier and its smaller brother, the ULV Carrier. But there is also a dedicated shirt, being able to carry the ULV plates for Low-Vis applications. The Velocity Systems Chameleon Shirt.

This may destroy some people’s dreams; but working as part of a protective detail or during other operations that require a maximum of discretion, tactical clothing is a no-go. Wide, untucked, plaid shirts will give you away quickly and won’t fit the dress code of more official occasions and events. Suits and business shirts will give away the print of a plate quicky, so you have to cut every millimeter of fabric to reduce bulk. Due to this fact the Chameleon shirt is basically a performance t-shirt with integrated front, back and side plate pockets.

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LALO Shadow amphibian

LALO footwear caused a big buzz a few years ago. We already checked out LALOs athletic lineup and where pretty impressed with it. But manufacturing trainers is a very different animal compared to tactical boots. That being said, it took over a year to finally release a review as we wanted to do at least a few kilometers in the LALO Shadow Amphibians until finally releasing a review.

All testers got into this very skeptical, regarding our really bad experience with American designed footwear in the past. American boot designs aren’t bad in general, but coming from Europe we have the privilege to have access to some of the best footwear manufacturing companies out there, so I might be a little bit spoiled by LOWA, Meindl and HANWAG.

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REVIEW: Black Trident – 9mm DS Pistol Magpouch

Your handgun magazines are an interesting phenomenon in a tactical environment. Most likely – and hopefully, you will never need an additional handgun magazine during a deployment. But when you need it you will need it fast.

So the retention of your spare handgun magazine should be a well made decision. A decision based on a balance between rock solid retention -remember, the magazine will stay unused most of the time; and fast access.

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Private Tactical Training: A Danger for Mil/LE units

Ok, maybe this articles headline was primarily a clickbait. As the ever growing, innovative and efficient tactical training industry can only offer better capabilities of development to our armed forces and law enforcement capabilities. Only? A long time ago someone told me that statements containing superlatives should always be looked at twice. So as a person working in the private training industry myself I wanted to play a little mindgame that was like “How could private tactical training harm the effectiveness of MIL/LE units?” and the results were pretty surprising.

 

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AAR: Esa austria close protection officer (CPO) TRAINING

There are many people out there dreaming of becoming an executive protection specialist one day. So, it’s no surprise that many companies have discovered the lucrative market of CPO trainings for them. The quality of many of those offers is -kindly spoken, mixed. As to many competitors are luring with absurdly short time spans while offering loads and loads of mostly action-oriented content. Or even promise their customers to get jobs after completing a class – which is a massive no-go for any commercial training.

But there are some companies that have a reliable reputation in training CPOs in Europe and ESA Austria is one of them. From September 21 to October 02 2020 the European Security Academy Austria offered a CPO class to teach people the basic skills for the close protection business.

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REVIEW: Velocity Systems Triple 5.56 Shingle

Continuing our review series of magpouches we will this time take a look at Velocity Systems .223 shingle in its Helium Whisper Variation. Velocity Systems is known for its expertise in creating no-nonsense gear which has its focus on weight saving while maintaining maximum functionality. We got some samples from Velocity Systems to evaluate how the systems works in various uses and environments.

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REVIEW: Mayflower RC Jungle Mag Pouch (.223)

The Velocity Systems Jungle Mag Pouch .223 is a fully enclosed magazine carrier that is optimized for harsh environmental influences. It is part of Velocity Systems Jungle Kit, which was developed by Mayflower RC for a specific unit requirement. If you didn’t read the full review of the Mayflower Jungle Kit you can do so in our comprehensive review.
After using this pouch as part of the whole jungle system and also on other platforms for about three years now it was about time to write a long-term review which would primarily focus on how well the construction keeps up, but also to expose eventual design flaws. You can also consider this review as a long term test of the two unique materials used on this pouch made by Blue Force Gear – the Helium Whisper attachment system and Ultra Comp laminate.

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REVIEW: Black Trident Snus Holster

Dip, Snus, Chew or Cope -name it how you like to, but I bet that everyone who served came into content with the swedish chewing tobacco, be it loose or pouch incarnations. Granted, dipping isnt a good habbit, but it has many advantages over smoking like the missing glow of a cigarette that wont give away your position at night, the missing smell and of course the fact that it doesnt directly affect your lungs. 

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REVIEW: Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoodie

It’s getting colder outside, so it is obvious that youl need an insulated jacket. There are tons and tons of “puffy” jackets on the market. But if you are focused on quality and durability the field gets smaller. The Arc‘teryx Atom LT is one of those jackets you are going fall in love with from the first time you put it on.

I’m using my Arc’teryx Atom LT for over 2 years in many different kinds of situations and weather conditions now…

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