Monday, November 30, 2009


Pictured above is Dukie, the creator of the DSG, with a prototype of his new creation, the DRV. A 5-shot .68 cal single action revolver, this beauty is truly one of a kind.

Pictured above are some of the cylinders that feed the marker, and you can see how the bottom plug is removed in this picture. This is because you can either attach the bottom plug to the marker, or you can also attach a spring fed tube underneath the barrel that can hold and feed up to an additional ten paintballs.

It is 12 gram powered, and has an estimated price of $ 650.00 U.S. If you're interested in this marker (and if you can afford it you should be), take a look at the DRV thread on M. Carter Brown.

Here's a picture of the marker with a Smart Parts Freak system, the so called "joker gun" set-up:

Stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Canadian Camouflage for American Thanksgiving

Until December 15th 2009, any orders to the United States through CPGear that are over $50.00 (Canadian I believe) qualify for free shipping. That, combined with Canadian prices and a sale on all Arid Cadpat and Coyote Brown gear (20% off until december 15th) should convince anyone down south that doesn't own some desert camo to pick something up before christmas.

For those of you that aren't familiar with CADPAT-AR, here are some pictures.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RAP4 GOLF Paintball Rounds

Yes, you read that right, GOLF Paintball rounds. While they do have a breakdown of the GOLF acronym, it's quite obvious that they were named after the shape of these new rounds. With tiny dimples covering each ball, they are designed to be more aerodynamic in flight.

The composition of these paintballs is also radically different, check this out:

I don't see powder fill balls ever being used for widespread recreational or commercial play, but an interesting design and implementation nonetheless.

Edit (Nov. 25th 2009): There will soon be a GOLF round available with a more traditional paintball fill. Also, it looks like Grey Ops will be able to take a look at these new rounds in the near future, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tying a Shemagh

Not an instructional video or a new method of tying, but more of an exercise in using iMovie HD. Here you go, enjoy:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Camo Pattern A-TACS

Developed by Digital Concealment Systems, the new A-TACS (Advance Tactical Concealment System) was recently featured on Clearly a result of the abundant complaints and recent articles concerning the current Army Combat Uniform, it has been touted as a revolutionary camoflage designed for an arid environment.

Although it might not look it, it is in fact a digital pattern, and utilizes “organic pixels”. This method of pixellation is designed to eliminate right angles visible in traditional digital patterns, and to keep the pattern from forming blobs when seen at a distance.

The official unveiling for A-TACS will take place at SHOT Show 2010, but as of this month some A-TACS product will already be on the market.

Update (Nov. 18th 2009): Found a new picture that wasn't in the Tactical Life article. Shown below.

Further update (Nov. 18th 2009): Found a few new pictures, but I can't be sure of their veracity.

The End of ACU?

Ugly sofas and sodium vapour lamps aside, operators overseas have lodged innumerable complaints about the effectiveness of UCP. While it is still in use in both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Photosimulation Camouflage Detection Test conducted by the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center has shown that it is hardly the optimal camo for the job. 

To sum up the findings of the test, I'll quote one of the conclusive statements,

"2. If Army leadership desires, for any number of reasons, to maintain a single, multi-environment camouflage pattern for combat missions, then one must first consider all possible environments that a soldier can encounter during a mission set.  For instance, in present day theaters, soldiers can manuever from desert mountainous terrain to oasis to urban terrain during a single mission. 

MultiCam® provides a readily available alternative with good overall performance across all three environments.

a. It provides a significant reduction in target detectability in all three environments as compared to the UCP. MultiCam® performed better in the woodland environment than the Desert MARPAT and Desert Brush patterns, while those two patterns performed better in the desert environment than MultiCam®. 

b. Specific woodland environment missions may still need to be supplemented with a woodland pattern."

As a result of this test and other factors, one U.S. battalion will be wearing a new pattern dubbed UCP Delta this fall, while another will be wearing Multicam.

Multicam pictured above.

UCP Delta pictured above (if it looks like UCP but with brown added, that's because that is exactly what it is).

Capillary Tube Update

Now featured on Benchfly!

Milsim Store Directory

See something I haven't mentioned? Please comment!

Listed below are online milsim stores, including location and items of interest.
Last updated Jan. 19, 2010

Monday, November 16, 2009

Capillary Tubes

When performing thin layer chromatography, the most common method of spotting samples on the silica plates is using something called a capillary tube. Capillaries tubes are just thin glass tubes that draw and deposit liquids via capillary action. While this in itself is rather mundane, the method of preparing them is some of the most fun I have in my labs.

Shown below is a short video on the preparation of the tubes.

The gentleman in the video uses small tubes to produce two capillary tubes with every pull, but in my labs I prepare the tubes from glass pipettes and larger butane torches. This is what accounts for the very large size and bizzare shape of the tube I have shown in the picture at the beginning of the post. From these large tubes I can make many (about 10) usable capillary tubes for my TLCs.

Here's a video of me pulling some tubes while I was waiting for an aldol condensation reaction to finish.

David Guttenfelder

If you're in the mood for some truly meaningful and jaw dropping pictures of the war in Afghanistan, look no further than David Guttenfelder.

He's covered a multitude of wars, as seen in his profile linked above, and some of his recent pictures were featured on the Denver Post's MediaCenter. One picture that really stood out for me was a shot of an Afghan helicopter crashing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Plague Pod Mod

A lot people that run limited capacity set-ups (particularly those that run 30 round tac caps) have most likely seen Allen Paintball's 30 Round Tac-Pods. Before I got my Milsig I got about six of these, and I know that Patrick still uses them. They're cheap, and you can fit a couple of them inside a standard AR-15 mag pouch.

However when you try to pour them into your hopper this happens:

As you can see, the opening on the pods is just slightly too small so the balls won't come out without some shaking, which is obviously not what you want to have to deal with on the field. As opposed to widening the entire hole, I've got a quick fix that only requires the use of a pocket knife.

Take one of the corners of the triangular opening:

And simply scallop it out like so:

Then your balls will flow freely.

Sorry for the quality of the photos, I originally posted this mod over a year ago on the X7OG and have raised my picture standards a fair amount since then.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Milsig Mag Test

I wanted to know what the maximum feed rate for any given Milsig magazine was, so I devised an experiment to do so.

The basic idea is that I put a magazine on the floor of my bathroom and recorded how fast it took a mag to empty.

Here are the specifics:
Rounds in mag: 18
Feed position: horizontal
Frames per second recorded: 60
Time measured = (Time last ball completely left the mag) - (Time first ball began to move)
Number of mags used: 3
Trials per mag: 3


Time (seconds)
Feed rate (bps)

Average feed rate = 95.2 bps

This is obviously not the real world feed rate, but gives a good measure of how fast the balls are being shoved out of the mag.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

MAGPUL Timekiller

Bored? MAGPUL's main page has a great slideshow that displays military themed pictured with memorable quotes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

CQB Tactical Paintball Review

CQB logo

A much talked about field amongst the milsim players in Ontario, I had the pleasure of visiting CQB Tactical Paintball this year.

Field: CQB Tactical Paintball

Type of field: Indoor

First impressions: Myself and the group I was traveling with arrived in the middle of the night, and when arriving at our GPS determined location we were a bit skeptical if we were in the right place. But amongst a bevy of seemingly abandoned warehouses and miscellaneous industrial buildings, there was CQB. Through a series of short narrow corridors you can soon find the staging area for CQB, which certainly aims to impress. The staging area is comprised of a lower level with gear behind a counter, a large open area, a bathroom, and a second floor looking down upon said open area. Large fence lockers are everywhere with gear in them, and the top floor has a cage display area of various milsim/replica markers. However, the most impressive and striking feature for me was the gigantic screen showing live feeds from the field.

I thought this was an ingenious and well implemented idea.

Gear: As a group, we all rented Milsigs, but all save a couple of the markers on hand had been converted to hopper-fed. This was a bit of a disappointment as we had planned on all playing mag fed, and we were also told that the Tiberius T8s we had planned on renting were unavailable as there were no 12 grams in stock (which was not CQB's doing, but rather a supplier issue). Patrick and I had brought our own tactical vests and gear, and the rest of the group used olive drab vests that were quite nice and seemed to perform well. Everything appeared to be clean and in good working condition, and few malfunctions occurred over the course of the night. X.O. VI paint was supplied.

The field: Obviously, this is the main selling point for CQB. One of a kind in Canada, this field is truly spectacular, with almost everything you could look for in a tactical paintball environment (I'm staying away from the term CQB as a descriptor as that would just get confusing). The set-up includes multiple levels, opening doors, sliding windows, crawlspaces, ladders, stairs, multiple points of entry, fog machines, strobes, vantage points and more. One big surprise was the variable lighting. We desired to bump up the intensity of gameplay a bit, so right off the bat the staff turned down the lights in the facility for us.

Gameplay: Games ranged from short sweeps of the field to protracted nerve-wracking engagements and everywhere in between. Even with evenly balanced teams, I felt that one side's starting location had the advantage, but this issue may very well have been addressed since my visit. A few games in, three staff members joined each of our group's teams which provided an interesting dimension to the games, as they provided good insight to the layout and general tactics. If I were to return, I would bring a flashlight as the darkness was both confusing and unnerving. Opening doors and windows was great fun, and resulted in more than a few surprises. Scenarios designed by the staff were well run and thought out, and included: capture the flag, find the hidden container, attack and defend, and a domination (a la Call of Duty 4) style game.

Staff: All the staff were helpful, knowledgeable, and great to play with. Standing out amongst the group was the owner of CQB, Will. He seems truly dedicated to providing an authentic tactical experience.

Pictured above is my group and various staff members. Patrick and I are fifth and fourth from the left, respectively.

Overall: The question I ask myself is this, "Was it worth it to go from Ottawa to Toronto for just a few hours of paintball and then come all the way back on no sleep (getting in around 7am)?". Yes.  A combination of the spectacular field, cool scenarios and great gear made it a genuinely immersive experience.

Now, a small disclaimer. The pictures above (all taken from CQB's website) were taken when the field was still new. When I was there (and this was several months ago), the wall near the entrance looked like this:

Now I'm not saying this is a negative, but just don't expect everything to be pristine when you get there.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Triops Project

(Photo taken from Wikipedia Commons)

Today marks the start of my Triops collection. Don't know what Triops are? Check it out here.

I followed a combination of the instructions from the website linked above and the small informational pamphlet supplied with my little packet of Triop eggs. I'm using a 2.5 gallon tank (bought for five bucks Canadian at a local clearance sale), decorative aquarium gravel and Life brand distilled water. Found below are a few pictures of the progress.

Everything I needed to get set up:

Tank with substrate added:

With added water and detritus teabag:

And here are my eggs!

They're tiny and out of focus but I ... *cough* love them.

They should hatch in the next day or so. I'll post a new update when something exciting happens.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

G.I. Milsim FM50

Although I have reserved any vocal judgement on G.I. Milsim to this point, I have long been a tacet opponent of the .50 cal movement. Up until now I have thought that the .50 cal movement would do nothing but harm the industry and the game for milsim players. I won't discuss my rationale for feeling that way, as it has been spouted countless times on various milsim forums.

All that being said, yesterday, my opinion changed. And it wasn't because my opinions on the caliber or G.I. Milsim's motivations have been altered, it was because of G.I. Milsim's FM50 marker.

Take a look at these pictures (from G.I. Milsim's website):

What G.I. Milsim has done is create one of the more faithful non-replica AR-15 style markers on the market. I thought that G.I. Milsim was deaf to what the milsim player wants, but now I believe they have been listening.

So, keep your eyes peeled on the above pictures, I'm going to pull a Bill Nye. Consider the following:

1. First off, we're getting closer to actual caliber, but we already knew that, so that's not such a huge point
2. A T-style cocking handle. Tippmann doesn't have one. BT doesn't have one. Milsig doesn't have one. I love those companies, but I don't understand why their AR-15 style markers are still stuck with side cocking handles.
3. 20 round mags. While Milsig has great mags, they are rather bulky. From what I've heard, the FM50 mags will be close enough to real steel to fit comfortably in any actual mag pouch.
4. Check out the space between the trigger guard and the mag. Wait... there isn't one. Those milsim players who have often complained about the gap between these two components will love this.
5. It disassembles like an M4! Sure, a small bonus, but very cool nonetheless.
6. Available in black, sand, and camo? Other than BT, I can't really think of anyone that offers that range of colours.

Alright, now let's look at a few concerning aspects of this marker from a milsim perspective.

1. A picatinny underneath the ASA? Really? What would you possibly mount there?
2. It would be really disappointing if the feed port covers used in mag mode covered the picatinny rail like the ones used for the feed neck do. I think I can speak for mag-fed owners everywhere when I say, "We like our rails undefiled."

I can't wait to try out one of these puppies, and I think this marker has great milsim potential. I'm already thinking of how awesome a MAGPUL FM50 would be :D

Now a final word to the wise...

I like the FM50. I remain skeptical of the .50 caliber movement, as I think everyone should be. This is our game, and we choose how we play it.

Ottawa Event - Siberian5

5 man tournament event at Marked Paintball in Ottawa, November 28th 2009. The sign-up deadline is November 21st (that's two weeks from today!). All the details can be found here. I will be attending, as will Patrick. Hope to see you there!

How To: Tiger Stripe Empire Goggles

After having enough goggle shots (see below) whilst in the woods, I decided to camouflage my flat black Empire Helix goggles.

For this mod, you will need:

  • One Empire Helix mask - ~$30 
  • Krylon Olive Camo Fusion spray paint - $6.29 at Crappy Tire
  • Painters' tape - $4.49 at Crappy Tire
  • Exacto knife
  • Old placemat
  • Ammonia

  1. Have an idea in mind for what kind of pattern you're going for. I decided to have tiger stripes on the sides of the goggles, and teeth on the front grill of the mask. 
  2. Remove the lenses from the mask
  3. Clean the mask with a dilute ammonia solution so that the spray paint will stick better
  4. Rip the painters tape into irregular elongated diamond shapes and place them on the mask. You don't have to worry about messing up, that's why painters' tape is used, it doesn't leave any residue and comes off easily. Make sure all the edges of the tape are torn so that you get a nice natural effect. 
  5. For more exact portions of your design (such as the teeth on my mask) place the painters tape on the old table mat and use an exacto knife to cut it into the shapes you desire.                                      
  6. Go outside with a suitable means of supporting the mask for spraypainting.
  7. Follow the instructions on the spray paint and give the entire mask a coat.
  8. Let the mask sit for a week in a dry, well ventilated place.
  9. Remove the painters' tape from the mask and there you go, tiger stripe camo

Final product pictures:
(Pictures taken by Paul Leroux)