Door Kickers

This is an interesting concept. Exoskel Urban Climber X2 shin guards look like they would be right at home in a “Mad Max” movie – or on infantrymen climbing through windows and scrambling over walls on a house-to-house search operation.

“Exoskel has been created to assist the user to rapidly ascend urban obstacles. After constantly failing to negotiate obstacles when rushed and weighed down, and after many cuts and damaged lower limbs, Exoskel was developed, according to the Exoskel website.

“Its primary use is to provide leverage while ascending obstacles and negotiating uneven terrain. Armed with teeth to lock on to obstacles in any environment, and lift the user, via the stirrup system, up, over, and on… Exoskel protects the shin when scrambling over sharp and dangerous terrain and stabilizes the user on uneven ground and in awkward positions.”

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It’s amazing that the Army’s camouflage is still in the news after five years. That’s how long its been since the Army first acknowledged that it had to do something about its ineffective Universal Camouflage Pattern.

Crye Precision LLC — the creator of MultiCam – finally spoke out on the Army’s attempts to adopt the pattern for service-use in the form of a chronological account of the Army’s attempts to “negotiate” with Crye over the price of MultiCam. I talked to Caleb Crye yesterday for my story that ran this morning on

What seems to be at the heart of this issue is Army uniform officials can’t seem to accept that they have to pay more for MultiCam than they did for UCP.

Really? Let’s do the math here. After at least five scientific studies — four by the Army and at least one by special operations forces — MultiCam has outperformed UCP and performed as well or better than many other patterns on the market today. Is it that much of a surprise that vendors are going to charge up to 20 percent more for uniforms and gear printed in MultiCam than they would for the same stuff in UCP?

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Russian ground forces in the Crimea. It looks like the soldier on the left missed the line for newer kit. -- The Guardian Russian ground forces in the Crimea. It looks like the soldier on the left missed the line for newer kit. — The Guardian

With Russian ground forces now in Ukraine’s Crimean territory, we are getting a closer look at Putin’s door kickers. As more news pictures surface on the web, it’s interesting to see how Russian individual kit has evolved – or failed to evolve in many cases.

Many have AK 74s with rail-mounted optics.They’ve got knee pads and hard-knuckle, combat gloves. Their goggles look like they are made for skiing instead of stopping any fragmentation — but I could be wrong. Anyone know anything about their body armor?

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20140219-Z-KE462- ran a story today about the U.S. Army fielding new, high-end, mountaineering gear to all infantry brigade combat teams.

The improved kit comes as U.S. forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan after more than a decade of deployments to the rugged, mountainous country. In the past, units have spent their own funds on commercial mountain gear.

This new gear will come in tactical colors and feature gear from proven brands such as Black Diamond, Petzl, MSR and Metolius. Units will receive the gear organized into the High Altitude Mountaineering Kit, the Assault Climber Team Kit and the Snow and Ice Kit — all of which are designed to equip platoon-size units, or up to 40 soldiers, with ropes, ice axes, crampons and other climbing gear certified by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.

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TLB-blackMission First Tactical recently announced a new line of mountable task lights made by Princeton Tec.

The TORCH Backup Light is a low profile, Picatinny mounted light with dual LED’s. It has a recessed pressure pad for easy activation and a power button for simple on/off functions.

“The illumination is low output for signature reduction during patrol, stealth structure search and approach to the target and breaching operations,” MFT officials maintain.

The TORCH Backup Light White has a 10-year storage lifespan, a 12-hour burn time with a 20-lumen bright white output.

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LAS VEGAS – R4 Evolution, a new company with roots in the Special Forces community, has developed new pistol sights designed for a clearer sight picture and faster shots.

The Optimized Duty Sight, or ODS, features multiple horizontal and vertical alignment points.

The base of the front sight is designed to fill a notch that’s cut out of the bottom of the rear sight, so if your sights aren’t aligned you see daylight. There is a white vertical line at the base of the front sight that lines up with a matching vertical line at the base of the rear sight. And the rear sight is equipped with two horizontal lines near the top that line up with the dot on the front sight.

When lined up, these features are designed to draw attention to the front sight.

pistolsights2The ODS designer, a retired Special Forces sergeant major and cofounder of R4E,  describes it as the “crooked-picture-on-the-wall concept. “You walk into the room; you see a crooked picture on the wall, what does your eye automatically want to do? It wants to fix it,” he said at SHOT Show 2014.

The designer didn’t want to be named, but he spent 23 years in the Army’s 7th and 3rd Special Forces Groups and also played a key role in the Special Forces Close Quarter Battle/Urban Operations courses and the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course, now known as Special Forces Sniper Course.

The ODS also features angle facets on the rear sight to allow the shooter greater target visibility while maintaining sight alignment.

Both front and rear sights are designed with a slight reverse slope to help them bite into belts, steering wheels or any edge for racking the slide.

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LAS VEGAS – The competitive nature of SHOT Show is always exciting to behold, but sometimes – it can get a little nasty.

Maxpedition launched a new fixed-blade knife line at the opening of SHOT Show 2014, touching off a dispute between Maxpedition owner Tim Tang and Kevin McClung, who makes Mad Dog Knives.

So it turns out Tang’s new line of inexpensive fixed-blade knives and sheaths, made with tool steel and glass reinforced handles, looks a lot like McClung’s expensive Mad Dog Knives and sheaths.

So much so that McClung wasted no time accusing Tang of copying his designs in the comments section of a Jan. 14 KitUp!, post.

DSC_0490“Tim Tang/Maxpedition has OBVIOUSLY ripped off my sheath designs, as well as many of my trademarked/copyrighted design features on the knives. The assertion that “Tang also designed a universal Kydex sheath for each blade size” is total baloney, as these are BLATANT RIPOFFS of my own sheath designs. His previous use of my name and registered trademarks in his advertising of his knife line is uncompensated and unlawful. Timmy has some explaining to do. His “Passion” is evidently making poor copies of better men’s work. That’s called PLAGIARISM.”

I spoke with Tang after the dispute emerged, and he looked a bit rattled over it.

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