US Army Wants 13,000 Magpul PMag Gen M3 Magazines

The US Army is seeking 12,600 Magpul PMag Gen M3 magazines, or equivalents, from commercial vendors, according to a recently updated listing on FedBizOpps, posted in early August. This announcement was updated soon after the news that Army TACOM had authorized the requisition of Gen M3 PMags with unit funds, by unit commanders

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M17 MHS 1/10th as Reliable as M9, Beretta Claims

The legacy M9 handgun is ten times as reliable as the standard required for the M17 MHS handgun, claims manufacturer Beretta Defense in a recent press release. During acceptance testing of the most recent delivery lot of M9 handguns, the guns averaged a malfunction rate of one per 19,090 rounds – nearly ten times the mean rounds between stoppages required of the new M17 MHS. Naturally, the manufacturer was extremely proud (rightly so) of this result, saying the following in their press release:

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After Army Boondoggles, Could the Marines Take the Lead on Small Arms Development?

With the termination of the Interim Combat Service Rifle, the CSASS program on hold, and the XM25 CDTE dead and buried, many are wondering: When will the Army get its act together on small arms? Given the long history of Army program failures, though, maybe a better question would be: If the Army can’t take the lead on small arms development, who can?

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What Sets Glocks Apart – Is Your Gun REALLY Safe?

The recent controversy regarding the drop safety characteristics of SIG’s P320 handgun has some taking a closer look at their handguns. Drop safety is something that – in theory – is so mature in modern handguns that it should be a non-issue, but with so many different variations on the same theme ( that theme being “Glock”) in the market today, how do we know these guns are really as safe as they could be? With that in mind, it’s worth taking a closer look at what makes a modern striker-fired handgun drop safe, and that’s just what Tom Jones of Pistol-Training.com has given us in a recent forum post. Jones lays out what makes a Glock a “Glock”, in other words, the carefully designed safety features of the company’s handguns which make them as difficult to accidentally discharge as possible:

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The "Best" Home Defense Gun

If you’re a gun guy, odds are pretty good that non-gun people often ask your opinion on things. At least, People often make the mistake of asking my opinion, anyway. I guess they figure that just because I write about and make videos about guns, that my opinion is worth listening to. Of course you, dear reader, know that my opinion is worth every cent you paid for it. Still, I should probably indulge these poor, misguided souls. To that end, I’m going to answer some of these more common questions in a series of articles. Today, we’re going to cover the ever popular “best” home defense gun.

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Improved F90 Modular Bullpup Rifle Officially Launched by Thales

Thales Australia has launched the newest update to its F90 bullpup assault rifle, at DSEI 2017. The weapon, which is the pre-production version of the prototype F90 Export shown off at IDEX 2017, sports a host of improved features versus both the legacy AUG and the F90. Thales released a press release describing the rifle, just prior to DSEI.

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Contact! G-Code's Nifty Chest Rig System

For those “in the know” they know G-Code. G-Code has always been behind the scenes, typically keeping a low-profile but has been busy partnering with various companies creating some of the most influential products today. Some may know them for the INCOG sytem developed in conjuction with Travis Hailey. The “tactical fuzz” is often maligned, but as an EDC holster for my G43, I know of no kydex system more comfortable.

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One Loader to Rule them All - ETS C.A.M. Rifle Magazine Loader

Just when you think it can’t get any easier to load a magazine, ETS comes along and forges a new loader that purports to work across almost all double-stack semi-auto platforms. Its so good, I am convinced that Jim Hanson (owner of ETS) is perhaps the modern inventive dark load of the magazine:

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New "Super Strong" Barrel Steel Released by Aubert & Duval

French steelmaker Aubert & Duval have announced a new high purity steel alloy that could allow future firearms barrels to be stronger, be tougher, and last longer. The steel, called “ARMAD”, is a 3% chromoly steel made with a similar composition to their GKH (33CrMoV12-9) steel used for small arms barrels, such as those used on the FAMAS rifle. Where ARMAD differs is in how it is made, rather than what it is made from. Aubert & Duval has developed a very precise process that uses both electric arc furnace and laddle furnace stages, which results in very low levels of impurities – significantly less than 50 parts per million of phosphorous and less than 5 parts per million of sulfur. The high purity results in a steel with a finer and more uniform grain structure, which means it can be heat treated to higher hardnesses while retaining its strength – meaning gun barrels made out of the stuff should last longer, while being both stronger and tougher than those made of more conventional steels. A technical article describing the new steel and the process to make it has been published by Forge & Fonderie magazine, but Aubert & Duval provided an English language document to TFB for publication:

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Comparing Cobra Buckles/Nylon belts to traditional designs

The Cobra buckle has been making waves within numerous communities in our industry for several years now. Some of the reasons behind this is the new application as a gun belt. Some of the hype around the design has to do with the buckle itself, being made by a company called AustriAlpin in Austria. The company originally made these buckles to be used in mountaineering equipment and aircraft rigging where sometimes thousands of pounds of material is being sustained by these buckles before their failure points. Some models have a limit of 2,000 pounds, others 4,000 pounds, and still yet some have 11,000 pounds of pressure that need to be applied before the buckle breaks. Essentially as my friend put it to me once, “The belt will fail before the buckle will”.

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MHS GLOCK to COME TO MARKET: Glock MHS and BARRIER BLIND 9mm Ammunition Reviewed by European Security & Defence Magazine

The defense magazine European Security & Defence has published an article detailing for the first time Glock’s Modular Handgun System submission and its Federal-engineered ammunition. The article – part technical overview, part interview, details the recent history of Glock’s MHS submission, the technical characteristics of their Glock 19 MHS and 23 MHS pistols, and the current feeling among Glock executives about their second place finish in the competition. I highly recommend our readers head over the the ES&D website, where they can read the full article for free in text only or PDF form. But, since I don’t want to bury the lede any more than I have, here’s what Glock’s head of International Sales, Richard Flür, had to say on the Glock MHS’s future beyond the US Army:

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TFB Field Review: Sauer 100 Classic XT rifle and Minox ZP5 Riflescope

I recently had the pleasure of taking part in a prairie dog hunt in Elk Mountain, Wyoming. Triple Curl organized the event. The stars of the show were Sauer, who premiered their new rifle, the Sauer 100 Classic XT, and Minox. Minox had a suite of scopes available for use. Aside from Sauer and Minox, SilencerCo, HSM Ammunition, D.O.A Tactical Shooting bench and PhoneSkope also sponsored the event and brought out some awesome products. To supplement the prairie dog hunting, writers were taken out in small groups to hunt coyotes.

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Ultra-Light Sub-9lbs X-LMG Introduced by Knight's Armament

Knight’s Armament Company has announced a new very light weight belt fed light machine gun – which they have appropriately termed the Stoner X-LMG (for “Extra Light Machine Gun). The new weapon is based on the previous Knight’s LMG, itself a development of the ARES, Inc (unrelated to ARES Defense, now called FightLite Industries) Stoner 86 LMG which itself descended from the famous Stoner 63 Light Machine Gun. Like those weapons, the new Stoner X-LMG is a 5.56mm caliber weapon, but unlike those it achieves a virtually unheard of light weight of just 8.6 pounds, unloaded. The release of the X-LMG was announced via IHS Jane’s, as well as – oddly enough – Turkish gear outlet Öztekin. From IHS Jane’s:

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Desert Tech MDR Hits Shelves

The day many of you have been waiting for has come (and gone): The Desert Tech MDR has finally been released to the US consumer marlet after more than four years of development. Desert Tech announced the gun’s official release in a monthly update on their website, citing the first delivery of the rifle made on July 21st:

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World War II vs. Today: Comparing the Soldier's Load in Two Eras

With the soldier’s load growing beyond the bounds of reason, and the Army set to replace the M4 Carbine in some units with the new Interim Combat Service Rifle, questions have arisen about how the soldier’s burden has changed over time. In the comments section of several of my articles relating to these subjects, readers asked if I could compare the current soldier’s load with the soldier’s load from World War II, to see how they compare. As always, I am happy to oblige.

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Gonna Compete in ICSR? The Army Will Help You Get Ammo

Manufacturers who are gearing up for the US Army’s Interim Combat Service Rifle competition better know where to get their ammo for testing, and the Army is ready to help. The US Army is facilitating the procurement of 7.62mm M80A1 ammunition to competitors for testing purposes, according to a new amendment to the ICSR solicitation. The amendment states that contractors can procure ammunition from either Orbital ATK (who operates Lake City Army Ammunition Plant), or Olin-Winchester. The process is described in the handy dandy flowchart below:

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More on the Soldier's Load: Pounds Upon Pounds

In the comments section of my recent article Are We Gearing Up to Lose the Next War? Overmatch, Part 2: Bullets & Backbreakers, two of TFB’s readers shared documents that help us describe the problem of the modern soldier and Marine’s load. The first, from reader cwolf, is a 2007 report by the Naval Research Advisory Committee entitled Lightening the Load. It is available on Slideshare here, or for download here. The second, from ReanerF, is a GAO report on personal protective equipment (PPE, i.e. body armor) from March of this year. In this brief post, we’ll be taking a glance at these reports, which I highly recommend interested readers make time to read in full.

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DAA C-More RTS2 2011 Scope Mount

For my Tanfoglio Open race gun I use the C-More red dot, with a 90 degree mount to get is as close as possible to the slide. It makes finding the red dot much easier in my opinion.

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New Suppressors for Devil Dogs? USMC Releases RFI for Commercial Suppressors for M4, M27

Suppressor manufacturers, start your engines. The United States Marine Corps Systems Command (MARSYSCOM) has issued a new request for information (RFI) to the industry regarding future suppressors for the M4 and M4A1 Carbine and M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). The request is intended to tap potential industry partners for future suppressor production, possibly in preparation for a new contract. The RFI’s requirements are, in the usual military fashion, detailed and stringent:

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Vortex Venom Mini Red Dot Review

The Vortex Venom is a mini red dot in the style of the Burris Fastfire and Docter Optic. It is a tiny reflex sight that comes in either 6 or 3 MOA dot reticles. The one that Vortex provided to me is 3 MOA. The base mount pattern is of the Docter Optic style.  In general appearance, it’s quite similar to other mini red dot sights but it does have a few features that set it apart. One is that the battery compartment is on the top of the sight. Of course, that allows the battery to be changed without removing the sight from the mount and possibly disturbing your zero. The cover for the battery compartment has a slot that can accommodate a case rim.

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Robodogs: The Infantry's Best Friend of Tomorrow?

The Infantry’s load is at an all-time high, resulting in a high rate of injuries and medical non-deployables. Planners are desperately searching for new ways to lift the burden on soldiers and Marines, before the problem spirals out of control. The obvious and most immediate path is to lighten the troops’ load, but the holy grail of infantry technology would be something that allowed the Infantry to haul even more with less burden. Enter the “robodog”: a legged, robotic pack mule first developed as a demonstrator by Boston Dynamics.

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Blue Force Gear Releases Limited Edition AK Sling Version 6

What is old is new again seems to be coming around on a more frequent basis. With “retro” builds and their parts seeing a resurgence amongst builders, it would seem that the market is clamoring for something a bit more than the “next best thing.” If fact, this trend would seem to state that the market is looking for the “last best thing.”

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High Speed Gear Takes Duty Belts Higher Speed with Duty-Grip Padded Belt

High-Speed Gear Incorporated, commonly known as HSGI, has been a constant innovator in tactical nylon. Their TACO series of pouches is one of the most popular used by both military and civilian shooters due to its inherent versatility. As a proud owner of one of their padded Battle Belts, I can attest they make some excellent gear to satisfy both the gear-queer and operator alike.

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Carrying a Tiny Gun is Stupid.

Before we get started, I need to get something out of the way. TFB readers are the smartest, most handsomest human beings on the planet. But in any group there is a small, but extremely vocal sub group who simply cannot get their heads around ideas like relative differences. So when I say that small pistols suck, and when I tell you that I mean that in relation to carrying a larger gun they will predictably make specious comments about IWB M240B. If you actually did have to choose between carrying a tiny gun or no gun at all, carrying a tiny gun would obviously be better. But that’s rarely the choice for grownup men who don’t dress like they’re headed to the basketball court every day. If you want to wear pants, shorts, or a even a skirt (please don’t insult our intelligence by insisting on calling it a kilt) that’s your business, of course. But if your chosen attire has belt loops and if you’re not wearing your wife’s shirts, you can probably carry a larger gun than you think.

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Primary Arms 1-6x24mm ACSS Reticle

Primary Arms has built a name for themselves by selling mid-priced optics that have decent quality. Not as expensive as a Trijicon but much better quality than UTG, Primary Arms has expanded their inventory over the years and earned a reputation for quality sights. Primary Arms also developed the ACSS reticle including a version for M855A1, which is now being evaluated for use by the US Marine Corps RCO. This reticle is really the star of the show in the 1-6x24mm so it’s worth spending some time on it before moving on to the other features.

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"We Use Coca-Cola to Clean Our Guns" – Grizzled Ukraine Army Vet Talks Shop in Video

Coke’s slogan is “Taste the Feeling”, but maybe in the Ukraine it should be “the Army’s Rust Remover!” instead. “We use Coca-Cola when the gun is rusty. Coca-Cola takes rust away” says Ukrainian Ground Forces machine gunner Oleg Yuzkovich about his trusty PKM machine gun, in an interview with 5 Kanal (Channel 5 Ukraine, embedded below.

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Medieval Knight RACES Modern Soldier in Obstacle Course

OK, who would win in a race: A soldier, a firefighter, or a knight? What, you’ve never asked yourself that? Well, for those of you who did, you finally have your answer thanks to a video released by Daniel Jaquet of the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Center for Higher Studies of the Renaissance):

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Are We Gearing Up to Lose the Next War? Overmatch, Part 2: Bullets & Backbreakers

In the rush to augment the infantry’s firepower with new advanced small arms technologies, we may be on the precipice of crippling their ability to fight wars. The push to equip the infantryman with more powerful rifles and machine guns risks reducing his mobility to critical levels, and “locking out” his capacity to carry powerful supporting arms. Although more potent basic infantry weapons are undeniably desirable, current attitudes towards their purpose – exemplified by the concept of “overmatch” – may compound problems that already have reached crisis levels.

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US Army's New Magazine A FAILURE? USMC Test of Enhanced Performance Magazine Shows It Performed Worse Than Predecessor, PMAG

The US Army’s newest magazine for the M16 and M4, the Enhanced Performance Magazine (EPM), failed a recent USMC test of rifle magazines, according to a recent Marine Corps SYSCOM document released by National Review. The report shows the EPM coming in last in the tests, with a mean rounds between failures (MRBF) figure below the baseline 600 in almost every subtest. In contrast, the magazine from Vendor A – which TFB has confirmed was the Magpul PMag Gen M3, recently adopted by the United States Marine Corps – was the best performer in every subtest. You can see the results of the test in the slides embedded below:

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US Army Testing "Exosuit" to Reduce Soldier Fatigue and Injury

The US Army is currently testing a new full body orthopedic “exosuit” designed to reduce soldier fatigue and injury, according to a press release made by the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) last week.

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