I first saw these back in shotshow 2007 and am recently pretty jazzed to get my hands on a set. If you ever wanted to mount something on your helmet, usually one has to do some drilling, creative gluing, or add on some velcro. With the ARC system the user has a solid platform that allows attachments to be easily put on and off, yet also can be locked down for security. In a pack you get 2 main rails, 4 longer screws with backs, 2 Picatinny rail inserts, and 2 create-a-mount inserts. The main rails are made of some heavy duty polymers so are tough, yet lightweight.
They have a nice organic no-snag design to their shape making them HALO / HAHO capable. On that note I'll go ahead and assume one will need the inserts taken out to safely do such actions, too bad that would be the best time for a helmet camera :) The rails also have 2 hole slots in the back area so one can mount them to S-M helmets or L-XL helmets. Installation would have been easy, but the thread-lock on the long screws made tightening extremely difficult. There just isn't a great way to hold the screw mounts while one tightens the screws so they just slip around. After scraping some of the thread-lock off with a knife, I was able to get a decent fit. OPS-CORE acknowledges this issue and made a pdf showing a method using 2 flathead screwdrivers to help screw installation. <Tips PDF>The rails make a straight parallel line with the side of the helmet. This makes usability easy, but I wish the rails curved with the helmet. With a curve, one could adjust if the mounted object is facing slightly left or right by where placed on the rail. As is, mounted objects will face only straight forward no matter where placed on the rail. The Picatinny insert is metal and uses the central grooves of the main rail to lock into. A lever allows adjustability, but a screw also is integrated to lock the insert down when desired. The other inserts are lighter duty being made of plastics and use the upper and lower notches of the main rail to lock into place. The create-a-mount insert has 3 holes to assist in screwing items onto it. Variants are also available such as the camera mount which also have an o-clamp style piece attached to the insert. This one is specifically made for helmet cameras like the VIO POV.1, but can also work with small flashlights. The cool thing about this mount is that one can keep the screws a little loose and be able to adjust up and down direction on the fly. Sadly there still is no left and right directional control. Although with the ARC system I can't get a good gun-cam view, I can get a good helmet camera view to generally see what I see. Other inserts available include one similar to the camera one, but works with the surefire x200-x300 lights and a double camera mount is available. Technically one could mount the x200-x300 surefires to the Picatinny inserts, but the mounts made specifically for them allow for up and down angle directional control. My first request for a new available mount would be for one to hold a larger flashlight around surefire G2 size. Since the camera mount was made for a camera, there are very few flashlights small enough to fit. Offhand one will not be able to use standard helmet covers with the ARC system, but specialty helmet covers are available for when both when required. If you are on the hunt for a modular helmet attachment platform with more security than velcro - like options, I highly recommend checking out the ARC system.
<ACH-ARC ORDER FORM PDF>
Bonus VAS Shroud info from OPS-CORE:
Although I do not have one to review, I thought my readers would appreciate knowing about it. The following text is from OPS-CORE:
VAS Shroud is a low-profile Shroud for mounting Night Vision Devices to ACH, MICH, PASGT, and Lightweight Marine Helmets. It was developed to replace the original helmet “hook and strap” mounting system issued for use with the majority of PVS 7/14 systems currently fielded. And while the hook and strap mount system does offer the benefit of being quickly removable, it has drawbacks with respect to weight, stability and snag hazards.
With the advent of other “permanent” NVD mount products from various manufacturers, many of the stability and snag issues have been improved. Unfortunately, these systems require users to replace their current solution with completely new mount arm and shroud components that cost hundreds of dollars more, and yet offer essentially the same level of attachment functionality. Worse yet, these new NVD mount designs actually increase the amount of weight in the shroud, which must be carried around on the helmet at all times (like during the day) when the NVD is not even attached.
The Ops-Core VAS Shroud offers a simple upgrade solution to give anyone using the Standard US Army Mount Arm #A3256368 the increased performance of other high-end mount systems at a fraction of the cost. Not only does it resolve all of the deficiencies in the original hook and strap design, but it is also the lightest, lowest profile and least obtrusive “permanent” mounting solution currently available.
We are now in full production for all black, tan and green versions and have less than 30 day lead times.
<VAS ORDER FORM PDF>