Helikon-Tex New Range
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- Last updated: 26/06/2017
As I write, Helikon-Tex have just announced that their gear is now going to be made thoroughly available in North America, as well as in Europe, which is a massive step for them. This fact alone though could go some way to explaining why they have put so much effort into the forward development of their Range Line, as obviously, the US market for this type of gear, in demand by both ‘real steel’ shooters and airsofters alike is absolutely huge!
Last year, Helikon-Tex introduced their new categorisations for their HTX ‘Range Line, Medical Line, Outback Line, and Urban Line’ and 2017 has seen them really add some ‘meat’ to all areas. The HTX Lines Project was a whole new concept of product development within Helikon-Tex. Everything went according to a plan, and they have obviously entered the second year of the roll-out with new energy and new ideas.
The Urban Line is the Helikon-Tex ‘take’ on both the challenges and routines of a modern world, merging tactical, sporting and EDC elements into one. I’ll mention briefly again the Patrol Line, as there are two main areas of interest this year; this is a very, very strong category for Helikon-Tex that crosses over with and complements the Range Line with some well-established, and thoroughly tried and tested designs, there’s been a fabulous addition in the form of the GUARDIAN CHEST RIG. This is a universal carry platform specifically designed to accommodate a basic ammunition load and personal equipment. It’s designed to work along with a backpack and belt kit, to optimise the configuration of your combat gear. Depending on the number and size of magazines, the height of the fixed pouch flaps can be adjusted and exchangeable magazine/ handgun inserts can be arranged accordingly.
When it comes to range gear, then in my opinion everyone should be carrying their own ‘IFAK’ and in the Medical Line there is a great new AUTOMOTIVE MED KIT, which has been designed as a main vehicular first aid kit. Its compact, flat form allows it to be fitted under car seats or be attached to car upholstery, inside door or seat pockets, while the lack of sharp edges prevents snagging. The Automotive Med Kit is ideal for shooting range training session medical support, and fits perfectly in the Helikon-Tex Range Line Rangemaster kit bag side pocket. The new MICRO MED KIT is the smallest of their medical inserts, holding bare essentials like examination gloves and plasters, plus a simple resuscitation mask. A rubber-covered handle assists in drawing it from the pouch or pocket, while a reflective paramedic cross provides easy identification amongst other kit.
The RANGE LINE though really got a major upgrade this year, with a whole range of new, innovative products. The TRAINING MINI RIG has been designed for people who spend much time at the shooting range, such as instructors, shooting aficionados, competitive shooters, and training nuts like me. The minimalistic, symmetrical layout of the TMR was inspired by one of the most famous tactical shooting instructors. The rig can accommodate a basic load of magazines, some additional ammunition in bulk, multitool, flashlight, and range cards; in fact, it will swallow all you need for an advanced, serious training session. I have a TMR inbound for full evaluation, so I’ll update this after full testing.
In relation to new clothing, the RANGE POLO SHIRT was designed by professional shooters and is dedicated for shooting range use. The fabric is nice to touch and quickdrying; the sides are covered with VersaStretch covers, protecting the areas vulnerable to wear and tear from a pistol belt and belt-mounted equipment, and the elbow area has internal pockets for Low Profile Protection Pads. Mesh lining in shoulder area enhances the functionality. Two Velcro panels on upper sleeves allow easy personalisation, and there are there are two upper sleeve pockets and sunglasses loop.
The RANGEMASTER GEAR BAG and RANGE BAG are designed for dedicated shooting range use where you need to grab a whole bunch of stuff real quick. The bag is designed to facilitate and promote compartmentalisation of the contents. Some of the pockets feature inner specialised organisers for maintenance tools and compounds; in fact, both bags work with the new Versatile Insert System.
The DOUBLE UPPER RIFLE BAG 18, as the name implies, has been put together to safely and comfortably carry a scoped AR-style rifle with extra scoped upper, or two AR-style SBRs or two AKs in basic configuration. There are three external pockets, Velcro panels (Versatile Insert System®-compatible), Velcro restrains for weapons and elastic loops for cleaning accessories. The bag has integral carrying handles and stowable carrying straps. There are also two new pistol options in the shape of the SINGLE PISTOL WALLET and the DOUBLE PISTOL WALLET.
The SERVICE CASE is for cleaning items and was designed to conform to the larger range bags. No matter, at home or on the range, this is a dedicated cleaning kit pocket with a bespoke organiser for cleaning rod, tips, cleaning rags, oil bottle, tools, spares, and all essential you-name-its. The main space has been separated into two organisers: one fixed (zippered mesh pockets and elastic loops) and one customisable. The stiffened bottom of the Service Case is covered in contrast-coloured fabric. The MINI SERVICE POCKET is a more compact pouch containing firearms essential cleaning kit, and internal organisers keep your tools, rods, brushes and oil bottles in tidy order. It also has a so called ‘dirty’ pocket sewn-in for used cleaning items.
Good bean bags are one of the basic precision shooter’s tools. When it comes to weapon zeroing, long range competition or tactical shooting, properly matched shooting bags make each of these tasks a whole lot easier. The four-bag family (Cube/Pillow/ Roller Large/Roller Small sold separately) of the ACCURACY SHOOTING BAG with synthetic filler is compatible both for use with a precision rifle or tactical carbine. Helikon-Tex have really pushed things further with their SRT-ALPHA TARGET STANDS and PXQT/RXQT- PISTOL/RIFLE EXCERCISE/ QUALIFICATION TARGETS but these deserve some serious copy space of their own, so I’ll report on these in detail when I’ve had a chance to use them in earnest on the range.
This is a meaningful update to the already extensive range of top-quality products offered by Helikon-Tex and I am really looking forward to getting ‘hands-on’ with some of the latest gear; rest assured that as I do I’ll recap on all of them over time, once I’ve had an opportunity to test and evaluate them fully. All the new designs are available online to look at in the new Helikon-Tex catalogue; if any of the gear featured in the article is of interest though, then simply head to www.military1st.co.uk who will be stocking up on the new lines just as fast as the products are released!
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