Thomas Edison said genius is comprised of 1-percent inspiration and 99-percent perspiration. Frequently, it is potentiated by heart-stopping accidents. Alfred Nobel discovered dynamite when he upended a beaker of nitroglycerine into a barrel of diatomaceous earth. Ashley Burnsed labored long developing the perfect lightweight M-16 magazine pouch. The solution arrived when a cyclist did a header to avoid running into Burnsed’s car. Two full water bottles retained their position inside the rider’s spandex cycling outfit and provided the inspiration for the Blue Force Gear 10-Speed line of Modular Lightweight Load Bearing Equipment (MOLLE). Made in the USA of material selected for weight and resistance to environmental factors, Blue Force Gear has become the standard setter for MOLLE gear among military organizations around the World.
Blue Force Gear was still a cottage industry when Burnsed and Larry Vickers met at a Daniel’s Defense carbine class. Vickers bio includes active participation in the major military campaigns of the last quarter century. He hosts TAC TV on the Sportsman’s channel and is a highly respected combat applications instructor. He was unhappy with the slings then available for the M4 Carbine and wanted to develop and market a sling made of heat resistant material with minimal potential failure points. They brainstormed the concept the outcome being the Vickers slings, now the most popular of the Blue Force products.
We have three samples on hand. Two of them are the Model VCAS-125 OA in coyote brown and black with molded acetate hardware and adjuster. The third is the Model 200 OM in Mixed Camo with shoulder pad. The hardware is CNC machined steel (confirmed by magnet). Made of Cordura webbing, all have a contrasting color, slider-tab allowing instant adjustment for close-to-the-body carry or unencumbered active use. The slings will work with the full range of attachment hardware and it was easy to attach them to my Ruger SR 556. This is a heavyweight AR-based carbine but both basic models prove comfortable and every bit as functional as Blue Force claims. The Vickers 125 OA sells for $45 and the Vickers 3 200 OM for $75.
By Mike Cumpston
Blue Force Gear
P.O. Box 853, Pooler, GA 31322
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