On Lessons Learned – March 2013

The trip to the Pot Factory was among other things a real test of my kit. Everything from guns down to the boots I was wearing – all of it was being tested to see. Most of it met what it was required to do, some was lacking and a few more bits are required to be bought before the end of the year. I’m going to split this into sections.

483732_10151449170474523_1925244608_n The only picture of me. God I have a leer.


  • Border Guard camo is a great cover layer. Its way too thin to be worn as a standard layer but over my ABU trousers it works fine. The top can be worn with just a base layer underneath but in winter works with a hoodie or ABU jacket
  • My WW2 jump boots are great – really comfy, stood up well to the scrapes and scratches of the site. Need to work on walking in them as I kept moving around loudly due to the bottom of the boot clanging around.
  • Shemagh is still comfy while even worn under the helmet. Also helps to tie the look together

Tac and Safety Gear

  • Helmet – nice stable platform for the go pro and it saved my head from a couple of close range hits. The addition of the motto on the back brought a few smiles and makes be recognisable in a crowd. Paintwork seems to hold up to a few hits. Need to glue in the interior pads to stop them falling out.


  • Gloves – They are starting to look really scraggy. I need to seal up the cut sections. I could replace them with mechanix gloves but its seems a bit much
  • Eye and face protection – My current combination is not working. To be honest, it hasn’t for a while. Both parts are fantastic in themselves (the ESS ICE glasses are some of the best I’ve ever used) but I need to modify them to work together. I’m going to look into getting a google and facemask set designed to work together and keeping my glasses as rentals/when I’m not using my helmet
  • Vest – Happy with the current arrangement of pouches on my vest, especially for the M4 mag using LR300. Might need to tighten it slightly. Rear radio pouch also need tightening up.
  • Dump pouch – some of the best money I’ve spent. Able to store everything from used mags to gas cans (especially for the Garand). Also folds up inside the vest for storage
  • Drop leg – This needs sorting. Kept moving around and being uncomfortable. Sadly I’ve got limited options due to the size of the MK23. Going to tighten the drop leg so it holds in place.
  • Radio – I forgot to lock the keypad so it turned itself on and off. However, it worked fine when I was talking to people – just now need more people on the other end.
  • MK23 – used only a little bit due to conditions. Heavy slide made a huge racket in an enclosed space giving it an edge, got a few good kills. Need a torch mount on it – the Harris technique only gets you so far.


I’m going to cover each attachment separately  as there is a fair bit for each. This was really a trial by fire for my setup and sadly a few parts were found lacking.

  • Silencer/Tracer unit – Looked cool, worked like magic. Due to the site, I was using a full load of tracer which meant every shot was a trail of green through the air before bouncing around (often off people). Only issue is that it needs taping up – its very easy for the cap on the end to twist off by accident.
  • Torch/Laser – This didn’t work. Not having a pressure switch made it hard to use, while the laser was useless as I couldn’t align it properly to my sights. The torch could also have been brighter
  • Eotech – The battery was dead. Ended up making good use of the front sight post. Need to remove batteries when in transit in the future.
  • Magnifier – The sight relief is a bit crap to use it while fighting. However, it is pretty good for long range spotting (which it wasn’t used for much in CQB) but primarily it looks cool. Mount is a little temperamental
  • Tactical latch – looked cool, had some comments on it, many of which were not just “this is dumb”

Overall the gun performed great. It was a little under-powered and the hop was in need of adjustment. But the rate of fire worked really well and all my mags worked fine. I also really loved the shape of it – it fit perfectly in my hands and shoulder. Also being able to fold the stock was very helpful.


  • Chemlights – need to buy a big bag for CQB and drop them at room edges when moving around the site to make it easier to get around without requiring a torch. The light cast by used molotovs saved my life repeatedly in the pitch black corridor
  • I need to get used to carrying a large number of mags – its tiring but being able to not have to reload after every game yet still being able to suppress people with tons of ammo is great
  • Tracers are great distractions – got a few group of enemies to back off just by bouncing tracer rounds at them.
  • Need to work on my cornering. I kept revealing too much of my body when clearing corridors.


The GoPro does not work well at all under low light conditions. I still got some footage but not much of it is useable. I have also learnt I need to disable protune mode in the dark as it stresses the sensor a little too much.


I’m going to include the things I need to buy in the next post but that’s all from this one. Keep your eyes open that last part of this set soon.