Basic Load

Mad Duo Brad 511 4-Banger 5

by Breach-Bang-Brad

Months back, I finally got my hands on a 4-Banger Bag from 5.11. I had been looking forward to checking the bag out for some time. I gave it a few spins in my hands, along with the normal poking and prodding that comes with new gear, then quickly starting loading it with essentials for a “get home” type situation. The 4-Banger stays in my wife’s van because that’s our primary family vehicle. I want her to have a solid and dependable bag capable of storing what she’d need if my family was to get stranded without me.

Mad Duo Brad 511 4-Banger 4

Mad Duo Brad 511 4-Banger 3

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SWeETThe Army is developing more advanced simulations and testing environments to build new weapons and modify existing ones.

Technology for simulating natural environments has advanced rapidly in the field, and Army officials said it’s about time the service take advantage of the benefits. Leaders say more advanced simulations can help the Army develop weapons faster and cheaper.

“People are surprised how realistic our simulated environments look,” said Keith Koehler, a mechanical engineer at the Weapons Technology Branch. “We had a few friends, who were deployed soldiers, walk into the scenarios and you could tell to a degree that they lost themselves in the environment.” [click to continue…]


Raven Concealment Systems and Ares Gear have fashioned a low-profile system for carrying extra shotgun shells.

The Moduloader five-shell plate is a two-part system, consisting of the Raven Concealment ModuLoader platform — which mounts quickly and securely to your belt — and the Ares Gear tear-away load shot shell panel.

Together they allow the shooter to rapidly replenish five-shot panels on your belt and on the side of your shotgun, using hook and loop fasteners, according to officials from Raven Concealment and Ares Gear.

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Small-arms innovation programs may not be a high priority these days, but the U.S. Army continues to invest in its dream of a family of ultra-light infantry weapons.

The service awarded a $5.7 million contract last month to Textron Systems to develop a 7.62mm version of the Light Weight Small Arms Technology MG as well as a carbine variant.

The Army has had a strong interest in LSAT for the last decade. The system is far lighter than traditional machine guns, mainly because of its use of cased-telescoped ammunition.

LSAT’s cased-telescoped 5.56mm ammunition relies on a plastic case rather than a brass one to hold the propellant and the projectile, like a conventional shotgun shell. It weighs about 37 percent less than standard belted 5.56mm.

The 5.56mm LSAT weapon itself weighs about half as much as the 17-pound M249 squad automatic weapon.

“The LSAT Light Machine Gun recently took part in the Army’s Dismounted Non-Networked Experiment at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving positive user feedback,” according to a press release from Textron Systems.

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NatickThe Army’s research arm wants to figure out ways for soldiers to avoid fatigue and recover faster on their next ruck march.

The Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is testing soldiers conducting prolonged marches carrying 88 pounds to measure how their bodies respond to prolonged load carriage.

Natick is utlizing a motion-capture system in its biomechanics lab with integrated force plate treadmills to capture both biomechanics and “physiologic measures” simultaneously. Put more simply, the Army wants to see how soldiers are able to endure long marches and then complete missions to include firing an M-4 at a moving target. [click to continue…]



The U.S. Army recently started converting the first of a half million M4 carbines into M4A1s.

Army weapons officials are performing 3,000 M4/M4A1 conversions for the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

The service decided to replace the M4 with the M4A1 version, wrapping up a five-year effort to search for a better individual weapon for soldiers. Last June, the Army formally concluding its Individual Carbine competition without selecting a winner to replace the M4 Carbine. None of the carbines evaluated during the testing phase of the competition met the minimum scoring requirement needed to continue to the third and final phase of the evaluation, weapons officials said.

The Army never released any of the test data that showed how test guns from Heckler & Koch, FNH-USA, Remington Defense, Adcor Defense Inc. and Colt Defense LLC performed in the competition.

The decision to convert the service’s 500,000 M4s into M4A1s by 2020 will give soldiers features such as a heavier barrel, an ambidextrous selector switch and a full-auto trigger. The Army’s decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger will give shooters a more consistent trigger pull and lead to better accuracy, weapons officials maintain.

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Soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., are testing out a new digital gadget – a smart phone device that allows leaders to view video feed from unmanned aerial and ground vehicles.

The Maneuver Battle Lab is running the May 5-16 experiment to test prototypes of the Small Unit Leader Situationas Awareness Tool or SULSTAT.

Infantry squads for some time have carried and controlled their own robots for inspecting caves and buildings and unmanned aerial systems to recon what’s over the next hill.

But the squad or platoon leader often has to stick close to the soldier with the remote control to see any real-time video sent back from the drones.

The SULSTAT could change that. “Whatever the air feed … or ground feed is, that is basically forwarded out to the small unit leader, so he can take look at what his operator is seeing to make him have a better situational awareness,” said Dave Stone, an engineer with the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab’s Ground Combat Element.

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