ITW MILITARY PRODUCTS
ITW showed a lot of cool new goodies at shotshow. For starters they are offering a new color they call sand 25. Although made to match the main color of Desert MARPAT, it matches the tan on ACU/UCP quite well too. A lightweight carabiner design is also in the making called a Tactical Link. They can take up to 300 pounds and got rid of that damn hook in the opening. For those tired of scraping up their snaps, ITW now makes a snap solution with a cover made from their same great materials as most of their other products. This way they can be scrapped to hell and back and not start to show brass. The cannon clip was new to me which is a small slide-able pull tab. The glove hook and snap dragon have been around, but are still great parts. My fave has to be the dual release buckle which is like a normal SRB, however it can be cord pull released as well for an easy aggressive motor skill. They even make a pull bar to go with the system they are calling a tactical toggle. I forsee this badboy working for a lot of great applications.
Lowy tossed me one of their latest harware pieces they call the Super Reducer. It is Black Steel at .090" thick and has slots for 2", 1.75", and 1" webbing. The original intent is a 3-Slot Reducer for weapons slings. The small slot is a bit bigger than 1" so even 1.25" web could work. The middle slot is 1.75" so it will work for 1.5" webbing and more importantly, all the mil-spec 1.75" webs like Type 8, 7, and 13 which really can spiff up a sling to mil-spec components. And the last slot is 2" for the 17337, mil-spec seat belt Type 24 or some other 2" webbing. It really gives lots of versatility for the slings that go from one size of webbing to another. If a large enough order is desired, custom colors can be done.
ITW MILITARY PRODUCTS
They have their spiffy site up in full force now. New products are displayed along with new flyers of their classic products. Check out the new Fastmag version and the breachers will highly appreciate the QCCs. As a spinoff product of the warrior wipes, field shield is a new wipe that offers sunscreen and insect repellant in one dose.
<Mash Hook PDF>
<Field Shield PDF>
<Warrior Wipes PDF>
<Web Dominator PDF>
Preview QCC pics:
BLACKHAWK Speed Clips (Gen VI)
These aren't super new as when they were created, but probably still new to most people. They are made of a carbon-fiber polymer material that gives a strong plastic feel. For the most part they are rigid, but are flexible enough to work well in their purpose and durability is good being fairly scratch resistant. One would need to bend or cut them with a pair of pliers to see substantial damage.
As the name implies, they are pretty speedy to install on pouches and really speedy to remove. The shape design lends itself to easy operation and there is even a lanyard hole in one end for funzies. They likely work great on Blackhawk pouches made to use them, but I had hopes to try them out on other modular pouches. Unfortunatley, this where I learned there were some downsides. First of all I ordered the wrong size. I wanted to try these out on my pouches setup for Malice clips so thought since there are 3 or 5 PALS rows on the back, I guess I should get those sizes in Speed Clips. Turns out you need to calculate size by taking the number of PALS rows you need and adding 2. This intel is not mentioned anywhere Speed Clips are sold. Maybe I'm just a chump, but I would have liked to know. I have no idea what to do with the size 3 Speed Clips I now have which are only good for gear with 1 PALS channel. The additional 2 channels are needed since the Speed Clips grip to the PALS rows above and below the pouch PALS weave. The grip will just pop out if the pouch PALS is ontop of a mounting PALS where a Speed Clip end is. This leads to another problem. Since 2 additional PALS rows are needed, this can take away from mounting space above and below the pouch. Only on certain pouches will the placement of the PALS webbing make this a non-issue.
I noticed Speed Clips are advertized to be a replacement for traditional MOLLE pouch straps, but I wasn't so impressed when I tried them out. The placement is good, so the Speed Clips don't take up PALS rows above and below the pouches, but you do lose the anchor points of where the strap started and where it would snap. Thus the pouches might be secure, but are more floppy with less of a PALS weave.
Although the Speed Clips aren't as great as I thought they would be, they still are a clever PALS connection method giving users more options. If speed and ease of use is priority, definitely check these out. The large selection of colors and sizes is certainly a plus. To see it in action, Blackhawk has a video available: <SPEEDCLIP DEMO>
Recommended place of purchase: <www.lapolicegear.com>
ITW NEXUS MILITARY
Have some old and new media here from our buddies at ITW Nexus. ITW is mostly known for their great plastic hardware parts which include Ghillie Tex IR reduction and come in Coyote, Foliage, and Black. They make solid classics such as side release buckles (SRBs) and triglides, but also make repair versions of them which can be slipped onto webbing, yet still are secure. One of their more unique products is the GRIMLOCK which is a releasable PALS D-ring. Originally made for Marines to attach hydration gear, the GRIMLOCS are great for adding a D-ring to any 1" strap or PALS. Since the GRIMLOCs are made to breakaway, they are much safer for any situation where a snag can mean life and death such as airborne operations. A little more recent product is the Web Dominator. These are made to fit 1" webbing and easily hold your extra webbing slack with shock cord. Great for when you need the adjustability of all of your webbing, but need it put away and secured easily. I hope these are available in other sizes someday. One of the newest items is the MASH HOOK which looks like a great weapon sling attachment point. Basically a replacement for "HK" style snap hooks, the MASH HOOK is easier to attach an detatch and has no moving parts to fail. To use, one just simply applies pressure to the middle area to open up the rings and release to close. So far 1" and 1-1/4" versions are available. ITW was also showing some other cool MIL specific products at shotshow that sadly I can't tell you about yet. A new product that I can talk about, however, are their new warrior wipes. A much more manly way to keep sanitized than baby wipes. Be sure and check out the video for demonstations of many of these products. <ITW NEXUS DEMO>
TACTICAL TAILOR MALICE CLIPS
Although old news, I thought I'd add some reference for Malice clips. Malice clips were created by Tactical Tailor as a substitute of the classic snap connection system of MOLLE gear on PALS webbing. Since made out of some pretty tough stuff, Malice clips are extremely resistant to the elements. Furthermore the connection system is virtually impossible to disconnect on accident. Since a tool is needed to effectively disconnect, some may find this to be a hassle, but I don't mind much since I don't re-arrange my kit everyday or anything. Malice clips come in Long and Short sizes. Long being 3 PALS channels tall and short being 2 channels. The short Malice clips also have a 2nd pivot point and connection point to be able to sized to replace an ALICE clip. From what I can tell there have been 2 versions of Malice clips I'll simply call first and current gen. Improvements appear to be a depressed ramp in the disconnect tab area to make use easier. Holes have also been added, but I can't see much savings on weight there so it is likely to save on production material or to allow placement of screws. Malice clips are used exclusively by many great gear manufactures and the DIY crowd will find them overall easy to obtain from several tactical gear sellers. One little thing to consider is the height restriction for tall gear such as hydration carriers. To get around this, 2 sets of Malice clips are used.
* MALICE Clips are now available in Black, Foliage, and Tan
Lowy USA kindly hooked me up with a large sample kit. They offer a large selection of webbing, zippers, hook and loop, plastic hardware, elastics, para-gear, a very impressive metal hardware lineup, and more. I didn't get everything of course, but have good examples of many items for making mil-gear. Be sure and check out their site for their full selection. Some of the plastic hardware such as sliders seem to be the same as GSI uses. Most are labeled "WOO JIN Duraflex Designed by National Molding" I found the side release buckles fit a little loose so they can make more noise than I'd like, but seem solid otherwise. The cordlocks are beefier than I'm used to seeing and I find them easier to use. <www.lowyusa.com>
Thanks to Gerald Schwartz INC accommodating me with a sample pack, I have a good batch of raw mil materials to show some of the great products they carry. If you like what you see check out: <www.geraldschwartzinc.com>
Hope to include here: Display of common hardware items such as side release buckles, cord locks, sliders, buckles, rings, and more. Intend on showing color differences between vendors and aiding in which hardware matches certain fabrics.