Late 1980s – early 1990s Ranger(ish) reconnaissance photoshoot

A while back I did a photoshoot with the theme of old school reconnaissance. Here are some of the images that came out that day. For more, please head out to my Facebook page. Link below. In addition, please check out my Instagram and Youtube sites as well and like and subscribe!

Facebook
Instagram – hkins_blackberet
Youtube

Click on the images to view the full sized version.

Advertisements

The Lawmaker – Berget BAVS launcher

I have made yet another video for the YouTube channel. This time I am talking a bit more about the LAW launcher that I use at Berget games. It is an inert LAW which has been fitted with the Berget Anti-Vehicle System, or BAVS. It is custom made by Berget Events and it functions really close if not completely like its real world counterpart. It is one of those things that can bring something a little extra to games. On the video I am talking more about how it works. I love the system and as a milsim player it is an excellent addition to my equipment.

M653 and M727 carbines

Earlier this week I uploaded a new video to my Youtube channel. On the video I am talking about my two AEGs that I have, the M653 and the M727. It is not an in depth video about the two different carbines but rather an overview of them. I do point out the most obvious differences between these rifles on the video.

The M653 was an “as is” purchase from a local airsoft retailer here in Finland. I have done some small upgrades to the replica along the way, most notably the hop up. It’s a G&P and from what I have learned from them, the hop up is something that needs to be changed right off the bat to get better results. The replica will shoot, but shot consistency when taking range and accuracy into account will be a lot better when you change the hop up. On the M653 I have a Prowin rotary hopup and a Madbull hop up bucking. These work really well and the replica shoots better than it did out of the box. Some small internal tuning has also been done to it, but nothing ground breaking. Just enough to make it run smooth and be reliable.

The M727 on the other hand is not an “as is” purchase. The receiver is G&P as well as some of the other parts on the replica, but I also used random parts that I had around when building it. There were some G&P made M727 carbines for sale at an airsoft retailer online, but they were all out of stock at the time when I was looking at them. Nevertheless, making something yourself will make you have a deeper bond to it, right? It took me a while to source all the parts for the replica but when I finally finished it, I was using it in almost every game I went to. It has been my main replica for a long time now. There is just something cool about this specific carbine that pleases me aesthetically.

Here is a link to the video on my Youtube channel. I have another video on the pipeline as well and it should be released in the next few days. Stay tuned, like and subscribe!

New video – ALICE setup

Yesterday I uploaded a new video to the Youtube channel. I’m talking a little about the current ALICE setup that I run and the modifications that I have done to it. A lot of the modifications, if not all, are taken from images, videos and books that I have read about old school gear that the US Military used back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Check the video out, leave a comment and subscribe!

Berget 13 kit

Decided to do something different this time around. Last post was  way too long ago and the blog needed an update. I have another idea for a photoshoot but I want everything to get a bit greener before I go ahead with that. Instead, I am doing a post about my kit which I will use at Berget 13 this year. Our airsoft team does the trip to Berget every year and we have had some very interesting roles there so far. We’ve been reconnaissance troops for NAF 3rd Rangers, bodyguards for a ruthless war lord Rico and this year, we will return to reconnaissance, enlisted with the Cerberus faction.

My kit is built around the kit that you have seen in the past posts, with some small modifications. I have acquired a few more LBV’s (now ranging from LBV-88 to LBV-E, along with some ALICE Load Bearing Harness’) and I have built one of them for Berget. Been spending most of my effort on that particular LBV and I love it. Always being a fan of that particular piece of kit, the choice was a no brainier when deciding for a base vest for Berget.

In the pics you might notice that my rucksack is missing. This was intentional, as it is basically the same (Medium ALICE) that you have seen in the past pictures. It will definitely be on my back if we do some longer recon missions that require longer stays in the boonies. On other occasions, my LBV is more than capable of sustaining me for longer missions as well. The buttpack holds two MRE’s, some spare clothing and other essential items (batteries, snivel gear etc…) plus my poncho and poncho liner rolled and attached to the bottom. I am not planning on using a Camelbak, since I have a straw system for my canteens that I will be using. Noise from the canteens? So far I have not had this problem in such an extent that it has proven to be a problem. I have about two liters of water on me plus I can add a third 1Qt canteen to the buttpack or go larger with a 2Qt canteen. An ideal solution would be to source a 5qt water bladder and store it in the buttpack or rucksack. I do not own one, though. Not yet, anyway.

My weapon is the G&P M653 with a G&P M203 Long Type grenade launcher. According to my research, this is the correct “old school” launcher for the gun, as used by, for example, by Army Delta’s during the first Gulf War. Not as heavy as I anticipated, and it certainly adds that cool factor for the gun. Though the grenades used in airsoft as not as effective as their real life counterparts, this launcher will be useful during Berget with their BAVS grenades. Taking out enemy vehicles will be fun! My sidearm is my Co2 powered KWC M1911, which has proven to be reliable as hell. My KJW M9 and WE P226 are both still in action as well, but the newly installed wood grips on the 1911 make it my current sidearm choice.

In addition to all this gear, I will have a two piece ghillie with me. Going with just the boonie with ghillie material added to it (with some AO natural vegetation) is also and option as it breaks the form, but using them both is always better. They go over my rucksack and cover it well and the bottom half is open from the front so reaching my magazines is not a problem, and neither is going prone. They are not present in these pictures since they were drying up after the weathering process I gave to them earlier.

Now that summer is coming along, I will do (I will try at least!) better with posting new content for the blog.

img-20150426-wa0030 img-20150426-wa0025 img-20150426-wa0022 img-20150426-wa0019 img-20150426-wa0007 img-20150426-wa0006 img-20150426-wa0003 img-20150426-wa0000

1980’s – 1990’s US Army

Keeping it old-school again with this new setup. Winter is coming and the weather is getting colder, so I need to get some warmer stuff. Here are a couple of images that I took during the weekend while testing the stuff in a non-airsoft environment. Hence the lack of eye protection. I have a PASGT helmet in the mail to replace the MICH2000. The LBV is the same as I had on the previous post and the BDU has been switched for a “winter version” without ripstop. Gloves are nomex pilot gloves and my sidearm has been changed to an M9, thanks to someone special for getting it for my for my birthday. Boots are all-leather Finnish Army M05 boots. Have not found USGI ICW (Intermediate Cold/Wet) boots in my sizes since I have a wide foot. These boots are a compromise which in my opinion works well. Main armament is M16A2.

wp_20141004_003

wp_20141004_063 wp_20141004_058(11) wp_20141004_058(2) wp_20141004_057(1) wp_20141004_054(11) wp_20141004_052 wp_20141004_041 wp_20141004_039

Gear list for “1990ish Recon, Colombia, Clear and Present Danger”

I’ve had a few requests asking for a gear list of the previous post on the blog, the 1990ish recon kit. Took a while for which I apologize, but here it is. I’ve added a few bits to it after the pics were taken and they will also be listed here. I am still missing some stuff for it, as it is still a work in progress. I do not have a clear reference picture for it. I’ve been looking at a lot of images from that timeline and I have combined what I see fits my style of gaming and what I see as practical. Some may disagree with some of the choices that I have made, but hey, that’s cool! I took some liberties here and there, deal with it.

First, images!

img_20140902_173617 img_20140902_173611 img_20140902_173602 img_20140902_173551

Alright, lets begin. My BDU is a regular US Army issue summer weight (rip-stop) BDU, complete with a patrol cap and a boonie. Under my boonie I had an OD bandanna. The BDU needs some usage for it to fade, but that is a work in progress. Boots are Jungle boots. They are actually German issue, which means they are not correct. I have not yet found a good alternative for them and these have been walked on so they fit my feet and are comfortable. No noticeable differences to the US Army ones, except the fabric used here is cordura and the soles are different as well. Gloves are regular US Aviator gloves. Absolutely love them!

Rucksack is a Medium ALICE rucksack with the frame removed. It carries all the essentials I need for a weekend game or a longer game. I use a poncho liner on the inside as cushion for my back since I do not have a frame for it. If you need to know the contents, there’s a green towel, shaving kit, medkit, gas for my sidearm, spare BB’s, cooking kit, more water, food for three days (I use either MRE’s or the British equivalent), some spare socks, t-shirt etc etc. I customize the contents depending on the game I am going to.

On one of my canteens I have a “straw kit” which is a good alternative for a Camelback, if you do not want to use one. It’s basically a cork that replaces the original.  You can make one of these yourself I am sure, but I bought mine from ebay. As you may notice, I do not have a cover for the 2qt canteen in the picture. I usually keep that in my rucksack. Still need to get a 5qt bladder…

Moving on to the LBV… The model is LBV-88. At some point I hope to replace it with an Adventure Specialist LBV, as seen on the Delta’s during Panama, for example. As you can see, I have modded the right side mag pouches with black elastic bands to hold two chemlights. I also have some of the elastic band on my left side, for routing comm wires. On the back straps I have two bicycle tire inner tubes. I use this to route the straw kit and other stuff that needs to be kept in order. Saves the trouble of taping and it is loose enough to allow free movement.

On the belt (which is an LC-1 pistol belt), working from left to right, I have two US issue M16 ammo pouches. The first one is used for 3 magazines (I have 9 mags on me, which may seem like a lot but I love to have some ammo with me) and the other one is used for my radio. I have a Puxing 888 radio which fits perfectly inside the pouch. I have a small hole for the antenna cut on the top flap and some elastic band on the inside (taken from my modified night camo parka) to keep it in place. This leaves room for items such as candy, pencils, notebook etc. Very handy. Both pouches have the grenade pouches removed from either side.

Moving on, I have two 1qt canteen covers on the belt. There’s room in the middle for a buttpack, which I have yet to buy. On the other cover I have sewn a first aid pouch, for extra carry capacity. Never know when you might need it.

Next up is my Bianchi holster for my M1911. Can’t go wrong with a Bianchi in my oppinion. I have two, OD and Black.

My primary weapon is a M653 with a regular US Army carry strap. I have removed the metal parts and replaced them with Paracord so it makes less noise. My sidearm is, as stated before, Colt M1911, Co2 powered. I also have a P226 that I can use if needed. The sling that I have for my M653 is just a regular US army carry sling. I modified it so that I removed the metal fasteners from either end and replaced them with Paracord. Makes it silent and gives me more room to adjust the sling how I want it. I currently run the sling a bit different than it is on the picture, but all in all it is the same still.

What is missing? Well, I would really like to purchase a buttpack for this setup. That or I will place the 2qt canteen on the belt once I get a cover for it. I would also love to have some Heavy Duty gloves and a few carabiners for the loadout to make it look ‘cool’. A STROBE light is a must as well, a working one if possible. I also need a mag pouch for my extra sidearm magazine, which I was planning on sewing on one of the M16 pouches I have on the belt. Ranger beads is also a must, plus a compass. These just from the top of my head; surely there are more that need to be bought that I will notice later on. Anyways, I hope this satisfies your curiosity about the kit, at least a bit!