A few of the Niton team have just been to Jacksonville, Florida to attend one of Safariland’s training events. To make sure we couldn’t spend too much time at the beach the boss made sure we had a packed schedule and lots of information and new products to bring back for everyone.
The first day involved meeting other international Safariland Group distributors, import and export licenses and taxes etc (not very exciting), but day 2 it started to get very interesting.
Safariland Holsters – We learnt about the ALS, MLS and QLS locking systems, the new 7TS series (designed to perform in extreme heat or cold), and of course how to make you get the right holster for you weapon. Safariland do not manufacture a one size fits all holster. Each model has numerous variations depending on whether you have a Glock, Smith & Wesson or Sig Sauer etc, with or without weapon light, or if you need a plain black or Camo finish.
The morning was spent with Defense Technologies learning about Less Lethal products, including tear gas, CS sprays and distraction devices, followed by a trip to range for some demonstrations.
The afternoon was divided between Mustang Survival (specialists in floatation and personal safety equipment for the Coast Guard, police, rescue teams, fighter pilots and recreational sailors) and Forensic Source (leading suppliers of crime scene documentation and evidence collection kits etc).
Back at the range in the morning for live fire body armour testing. Second Chance and ABA are both part of the Safariland Group and are constantly improving body armour. In the afternoon we were able to see a range of different armours and carriers, including ladies fit armour, stab and spike resistant plates and ballistic plates.
We were also fortunate to be able to attend a ‘SAVES Club’ presentation. Whenever an officer is saved by a piece of kit from the Safariland Group, they join the SAVES Club. The whole of the main offices and warehousing shuts down and attends a presentation. An officer(s) recount their individual experience and it is explained how a Safariland armour product is directly responsible for saving their life.
In one example we heard of an officer attending a call of an individual in possession of a firearm in a public place. Upon arrival the individual was not armed but moved forward to grab a bag from the floor, before fleeing. The officer and his partner gave chase and it ended up going off road where the suspect tripped over a tree root allowing the officer to close the gap and get contact.
At that point, a ‘contact shot’ was fired, where the gun was literally pressed against the armour and fired at point blank range. Standard testing of armour really focuses on the bullet as the problem, but contact shots also bring risk from ‘super hot gases’ following the bullet out of the barrel.
Armour testing requirements are for a central shot and never closer than an inch from the edge of the armour where it is considered to be at its weakest. This shot was within an inch of the edge.
So a contact shot at the edge of the armour and it still performed. Just an hour in A&E (or ER as they say) and the officer was home safe, later being honoured with a place in the SAVES Club® a Safariland Challenge Coin, and of course some personalised Safariland Kit.
Today started with Monadnock Batons and some refresher information for our Monadnock trainers and armourers. We were then introduced to TCI (Tactical Command Industries). This is real Hi-Tech communications so, being a fairly Low-Tech kind of guy I’m probably not the best person to try and explain it but I’ll do my best!
TCI have the best integrated communications and hearing protection headsets available.
Noise Compression not Noise Cancellation – When a noise cancelling headset is worn a loud noise will cause all noise to be cut (and the headset basically becomes a pair of earmuffs). You will no longer hear the guy next to you, who may be shouting something to try and save your life.
TCI headsets compress noise, meaning that loud noises are muffled in isolation, so the ambient noise of the surroundings is still allowed to be heard. This allows the wearer to retain situational awareness.
Multi-Radio Operation – The systems are adaptable to any radio type. On the more advanced ‘Liberator III’ two independent radios can be connected to the headset (even radios of completely different types). This is for advanced operators that may need, for example, a channel to the ground team and a channel to command.
When one radio is turned off the headset knows to push the information to both ears. When both radios are on information for each is pushed to one ear only. The ergonomic dual PTT allows comms back to either channel at the push of a button, without having to switch around.
This is just the tip of the TCI iceberg and their MAST® system is also truly world leading, but needs a post all of its own so we keep an eye out for more info at a later date.
The Safariland Group comprises of a huge range of internationally renowned brands, some of which we’ve mentioned already but also includes Hiatt, Bianchi, Break Free, KleenBore and B-Square to name but a few. As distributors for the Safariland Group in the UK, we can supply the whole range….just let us know what you need by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.