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The 82nd Airborne Tests New Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) Goggles

An article from Military.com reminded about a new viewing system for individual soldiers that has been in development and testing since about 2018 or so. The new system is referred to as ‘Integrated Visual Augmentation System’ (IVAS).

Photo: DVIDS

The foundation of IVAS is a Microsoft commercial product called HoloLense which is referred to as ‘mixed reality smartglasses’. The Microsoft HoloLense program is also known under the name ‘Project Baraboo’. The Microsoft product has evolved to more of a goggle set which is the foundation for IVAS. IVAS provides the soldier two advantages…improved situational awareness through heads-up display (HUD) functionality and target reticle projection/integration into the HUD.

Photo: DVIDS- Soldier dons the Capability Set 3 (CS 3) militarized form
factor prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during
a Soldier Touchpoint 3 (STP 3) live fire test event at Fort Pickett, Va in
October 2020
Photo: US Army

The heads-up display improves situational awareness by showing things such as map data. The weapon reticle data is transmitted from a sight unit mounted on the soldiers M4A1 carbine via Bluetooth to the IVAS HUD.

Photo: DVIDS- Soldier dons the Capability Set 3 (CS 3) militarized form
factor prototype of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) during
a Soldier Touchpoint 3 (STP 3) live fire test event at Fort Pickett, Va in
October 2020

The website ‘Breaking Defense’ did an article back in April of 2020 discussing how Ft. Bragg was using some of the thermal capabilities of the goggles for COVID-19 mitigation. Base personnel were checking soldiers temperatures by just looking at them. You can read the Breaking Defense article here:


The IVAS program is consisting of four Soldier Touch Points (STP’s) so far. STP one (squad level testing) and STP two (platoon level) are completed. Touch Point 3 began on October 17th with roughly a company of soldiers with network integrated IVAS sharing data amongst users. STP 4 is supposed to occur in the spring of 2021 with fielding taking place the same year.

The Military.com article has interesting comments from soldiers involved in testing and can be read at this link:


With UAV’s fully integrated into air warfare, it was only a matter of time until technological improvements for the ground-pounder began to appear. In addition to IVAS, there are testing programs underway for robot ‘donkeys’ to carry gear and supplies for soldiers on the battlefield. I’m glad I retired in May of 2020. The battlefield is becoming increasingly lethal for personnel on all sides…technological improvement for the warfighter isn’t one-sided anymore.

Review: True North Concepts Modular Holster Adapter

Some pointless back story, feel free to skip.

Some time back I had a Springfield 1911 GI model. It was alright. I decided I was going to sell it and buy a nicer 1911. I knew I was going to get a nicer 1911, so I sold my Springfield knowing that I would replace it soon.

Took a couple of years before I actually got a replacement, a Colt M45A1. Around that time I decided I wanted to get a good holster setup for it for range use. I grew to like the idea of having a warbelt with a modular holster platform so I could swap holsters for what ever gun I was running. A holster for the Glock, a holster for a 1911, what ever other lesser guns I feel like using, etc.

Yea. Still haven’t done that yet. Still wanna do it. Also, never sell something unless you have its’ replacement in hand.

It is said that if Safariland doesn’t make a holster for it, you shouldn’t carry it. There is some truth to that.

Whoops, guess more exposition ahead, skip ahead more if you just the review.

That said, I am not a fan of Safariland. The few times I’ve tried to buy direct from them, they either didn’t have the item in stock, or told me they wouldn’t sell that to the public.

Are you Airforce or Military?

What the Safariland rep on the phone asked me. Awesome way to slight the Airforce. +1 to Safariland for that.

Why Safariland? Why won’t you sell me a damned holster?

Personally though, my favorite holster is from Tom Kelly at DarkStarGear. Check them out if you are looking for a holster.

But, I was surfing the web and I found a surplus Safariland M45A1 holster with drop leg attachment for a reasonable price, so I bought it. Somehow, I managed to not take any photos of it, so I found a picture online. It looked like this:

Picture from random ebay ad.

But the drop leg is slow to don and doff, and puts the pistol lower than I would prefer. This one had the Safariland quick detachment, so the butt of the pistol was about 4 inches away from my side. Might have been ok if I was a wild west gunslinger, but the handgun was banging against the walls of my home when I walked around.

Then I learned of the True North Concepts Modular Holster Adapter.

Actual review starts here:

I learned of the True North Concepts Modular Holster Adapter online. I saw this picture and decided that is what I wanted.

I saw this and I wanted it. The holster setup, not the guy’s ass. Just to be clear.

So I went ahead and ordered me one.

Price is $75, which I felt was really high for a piece of metal with some holes and slots in it. But after I bit, I thought about it and decided that a nicely machined piece of anodized metal that would fit a niche I wanted for years was worth it.

Packaging was nice. Sealed ziplock style bag, so even after you opened it you could reseal it.

Packaging is excellent. The parts needed for various configurations are placed in different colored bags, and clear instructions are on the packaging. This feels like the packaging of a premium product.

The Safariland dropleg holster put the gun lower than I wanted, and required using a leg strap which I didn’t want to use. This adaptor appears that it would allow for mounting the holster at a similar height if you really wanted to.

For the price, I had assumed it was machined alumnium. Nope, waterjet.

Now something being waterjet isn’t a bad thing, if done right. Waterjet cutting a part is a cheaper and faster manufacturing process. But. . . Waterjetting tends to leave tapered holes. You have to account for this. True North Concepts didn’t. The narrow end of the tapered holes wouldn’t get the bolts pass though. I had to open up the holes in order to mount the holster adapter and the belt/MOLLE loops.

Then to make it even better, the slots in the adaptor wouldn’t align with the quick detach holster mount. After much fiddling with it, I was able to find a single sweet spot where everything lined up well enough to attach it.

When it finally came together, I thought it was going to work oh so well.

But no, I found on the belt I was using, when I attempted to draw from the holster, the whole deal would just pivot up at the belt. The belt I have is fairly stiff, but I guess is still loose enough that the entire section of it can just twist when I attempt to draw the 1911.

I can’t blame the design for that, it is the belt’s fault, but that is still a disapointment.

So overall I am rather disappointed. I still haven’t accomplished what I set out to do, and the tapered holes and misalignment of the cheaply made part would lead me to not recommend this product.

Limited Edition – Micro T-2™ Vickers Tactical® Red Dot Reflex Sight

Aimpoint, in collaboration with Larry Vickers, has released a limited edition Micro T-2 red dot reflex sight. This limited edition sight is product #200714 on the Aimpoint USA website (see link at the bottom of this post). This offer is exclusive to the Aimpoint USA website. The Aimpoint.us price on a standard AR-15 ready T-2 is $910.00. The price for the Larry Vickers Limited Edition is $949.00. Not too bad of a difference.

  • 2 MOA red dot for fast target acquisition
  • 50,000 hours (over 5 years) of constant operation on one battery
  • 12 intensity settings for use in daylight and low light conditions
  • Weight 3.0 oz (sight only)
  • Submersible to 80 Feet (25 meters)
Items Included In the LAV Limited Edition T-2

INCLUDES: Special numbered sight with Vickers Tactical logo, Scalarworks 1.57’” Quick Detach LEAP Mount, Aimpoint case, Scalarworks Lenspen & T10 Driver Bit, Vickers Tactical Decal, CR2032 battery, Micro tool

You can see the product details at the link below:


The Aimpoint T-2 Specification Data Sheet is available at this link:

Ruger Weapon Case

I splurged and bought something. Picked it up today.

It came well packed in a nice box, this box was packed in a discrete unmarked box for shipping.

Inside was this Ruger weapon case. It feels lightweight, so I don’t know how well it will stand up to abuse, but I like how it feels.

The zippers have a place a lock so you can lock the bag closed(not that someone couldn’t rip/cut it open).

Opening the case, you can completely unfolded it. You can even fold it back over to have the insides facing out should you want too. One side has two large flaps and three zippered pockets. The other size has some padding, and is covered with hook and loop material. There are also several various accessory attachments that come with the case.

There are three large velcro straps so you can secure items in place. One small velcro strap, and one small loop. I think the loop could fit the end of a barrel. There is a round pocket that can fit a barrel, or flashlight, perhaps a pistol mag. There are two spacers with foam inserts you can use to support the items in the case. I think you could easily slide out the foam and might be able use them to hold double stack pistol mags or similar sized items.

There was a bunch of little items and Ruger paperwork in the case, I almost missed the sling carrying strap for the case that was at the bottom of the pocket. They also include a safety lock and chamber flag for your gun of choice.

I’m really liking this case. As I was moving around the velco attachments, I was thinking I might use the case a fair bit. My only complaint was going to be the Ruger logo on the front. I’d rather be more discrete.

But Ruger already thought of that. They made their logo on the front a velco tag you can remove or replace.

You could easily have a compact gun secured in the case, and have mags, a little ammo, perhaps a pistol or two in the zippered pouches. If you really wanted, you could stuff another gun on the other side of the flaps. But the flaps don’t provide 100% separation between the sides, so if you did the guns would rub up against each other a bit. Wouldn’t be the best choice for two expensive guns, but it would work for some cheap beaters.

I’m looking forward to using this case.

I think this sort of things helps prove that this isn’t the Ruger of Bill Ruger’s days.

Oh, and the case also came with a gun.

M249 spare barrel bag.

I was surfing the web, shopping around for something I need, and I found this for sale. In a moment of weakness, I bought it.

Initially when I carried the SAW, we used M60 spare barrel bags for our spare barrels. Later those were replaced with this bag. Why I bought one, hell if I know.

Much to my surprise, the bag I received was new in wrap. I almost felt bad ripping the plastic off it.

It was nicely folded and buckled up. I was worried for a moment that the carry strap was not included.

Opposite the buckles, you have a briefcase handle, and two additional sling loops. I prefer to use these loops over the ones at the end of the bag as I felt it kept the bag more stable. But it is always nice to have options.

Opening it up, the heavy duty carrying strap was tucked away inside. You can see the insulated lining, and a pocket for your cleaning kit. Cleaning instructions (of the barrel bag) are sewn to the bag.

Unfortunately this bag is just short enough that many short barreled AR15 will not fit it. It is just a touch too short for any of my ARs assembled, or my breacher shotgun.

But it is perfect fit for my stand alone M203.

Yea. . . that must have been the reason I bought it, to have a case for my 203.