I remember a line in No Easy Day, which my friend and SOF aficionado Andy reminded me of, just last week:
“You Dream It, We Build It.”
The book’s author, Mark Owen, attributes the line to a sign above the door of SEAL Team 6’s armoury. The implication of the line is, money is no object – nor are the petty rules: tell us your needs and we will customise your weapon to suit you; not to suit a procurement programme, run by bureaucrats in suits, which may not actually source the very best parts for the 21st century war-fighter. The line really spoke to me, because it gives a solid, credible basis for what we are seeing in more and more SOF pics In The Wild.
Andy, whose awesome blaster I featured recently, continued:
“Already, SOF units are starting to adopt kit and accessories which were previously the reserve of civilian shooters.”
Troy Battle Sights:
There is a robust methodology to this trend. A while back, I blogged about an excellent 2012 Defense Review article by Jeff Gurwitch, which really is worth reading in full. A pic from the article is featured below. At the time I published the blog, I called this phenomenon Milciv – a play on words with Milsim (geddit?)
In the article, Jeff Gurwitch says:
“Even with all the various optics and accessories offered under the Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) program for the rifle, soldiers are opting to outfit their rifles with certain items. They’re seeing what the top shooting competitors are using to win competitive shooting events like 3-Gun, and what is working for the majority of shooters, and they recognize what wins in a match can also help them win on the battlefield.”
What goes for The Wild, goes for the more progressive milsim elements. These are experts who are confident in playing with the rule book. They give bold twists to their blasters, whilst still remaining true to Mil Done Right. Andy continues:
“Like a lot of individuals in the milsim world, I’m starting to loosely interpret the Holy Grail SOF-build guide book and look at options to customise my Blasters with kit which is fit for purpose – rather than sticking rigidly to Unit SOP’s.”
…and here’s Tuomo’s awesome SPC:
It’s not difficult to spot the Milciv phenomenon In The Wild. Check out a few of my Trending articles and the proof is in the pudding (or pics).
What I will end with, though, is how this intense interaction is starting to loop back on itself. Examples of this are the Remington RAHG and Geissele SMR. These are mil front ends for the 416, designed with and for SOF customers, which clone the concept of rails used more widely in the civilian world – tubes. But the RAHG and SMR are built tough – for hard use, SOF applications.
On the matter of tube rails, I recall this quote from Gearscout’s Operator Envy series a few years back – just as tubes were getting rolling for mil use:
“Ditch the cheese grater [full RIS rail] and use all that space on your…handguard to actually hold your carbine instead of a foregrip. The tubular handguard with user-mounted rail sections mean you mount small sections of rail where you want your devices and leave the rest light and clean.
Tubes are high speed, low drag and are the perfect conclusion because they epitomise the Milciv aesthetic.
To date, this is the only SMR pic in the wild out there:
More tubes (and a Firepig!)
The Troy TRX is particularly popular with Aussie operators:
Also note the MBUS on this blaster:
But, it’s not just RIS that’s being swapped out for tubes. The Block I KAC effort is being replaced in some areas by the easily dropped in DD Omega RIS. The advantage of this, over the KAC rail is that it’s free float:
Also note the T1, Vltor stock and TD grip:
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