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Combat Training Aids Inert Weapons (Not around anymore - for archive only)
11/4/11 - Combat Training Aids, LLC. specializes in providing inert training weapons and aids to military and law enforcement agencies. Their products are designed to reproduce the correct size, shape and weight of real firearms, munitions and explosive devices.
Combat Training Aids is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, and produces a wide variety of inert training products, ranging from handguns and rifles to explosives, munitions, rocket launchers and 3D terrain maps. Instead of casting the weapon replicas from slilicone molds, all CTA's replicas are made from solid aluminum tooling, with high compression molding, and high temperature curing. This process ensures crispness and results in a cleaner, more durable replica with each cast. The aluminum molds are designed in 3D CADD and CNC machined. Instead of making exact replicas of the weapons, some non-essential details are eliminated to reduce costs and allow CTA to focus on durability, weight, usability.
Another thing that sets CTA's rifles apart from just rubber ducks or blue guns is that they're manufactured out of urethane with steel barrels and collapsable stocks, instead of either closed or open stocks. They allow the user to configure the weapon to suit his purpose. Custom manufacturer's logos can be molded into the weapons. They can be molded in blue, OD green, red, yellow, black or desert tan.
Glock 17 - CTA offers a selection of the more popular pistol models, like the Glock, M9, 1911, P226 and PPK. As I own a G17, I picked the G17-WT, which is the weighted version. It weighs 2 lbs, which closely approximates the weight of a fully loaded Glock 17. As you can see from the photos, the G17-WT is not an exact cast of a G17 - it's a slightly simplifed replica. The external dimensions are correct; it will fit into holsters made for the G17. In the photo below, I have it in my G-code/Eagle holster. 'Combat Training Aids' in large letters is molded into the left side of the slide. My X300 was tight on the rail on the frame, but then I had it adjusted to fit tight on my rifle's rail. Just for fun, I installed an MRDS on the replica to practice acquiring the red dot when presenting the pistol from a holster. I drilled right into the urethane, and used the screws that came with the MRDS. I could use my real Glock, but with the training aid, there's absolutely NO chance of an accidental or negligent discharge happening.
M4-FLR - The rifle shown here is the M4-FLR, which is an inert M4 training rifle with aluminum rails on the receiver and handguard. This one was from an Eotech program, hence the molded logo. It has a steel barrel, which actually extends the entire length of the rifle, into the buffer tube, to add strength, weight and balance to the training aid.. The M4-FLR can be made with a solid collapsed or extended stock, or with the collapsible stock (pictured here). The buffer tube fits commercial stocks, and comes with the M4 stock shown below. I'd rather it fit mil-spec stocks, but actually had a Vltor IMOD commercial stock to put on it. The barrel is threaded and will accept any standard muzzle device. The magazine is not removable. CTA also offers other common rifles, like the full length M16-A2, AK-47/74, M14, MP5, UZI etc.
Like the G17, the M4-FLR is dimensionally correct, but has simplified details, if you look closely. This does not affect the ability to mount accessories etc. At 9.44 lbs, the M4-FLR simulates the loaded weight of an M4.
Notes - Some of CTA's inert training replicas are molded and painted in more realistic looking colours, and will pass for real weapons at a glance. Actually, so will the 'simplified' replicas, if molded in the right colour. With the steel barrels to provide more realistic weight and balance than plastic-only or rubber weapons, the replicas provide a more realistic feel for weapons handling during training. The full length barrel also ensures more strength and durability. CTA's inert training weapons can be used for physical demonstrations that would break airsoft rifles in half. People have been shot with 'empty' weapons during demonstrations. While the user is always to blame, sometimes others suffer because of it, By using inert training weapons to demonstrate certain aspects of weapons handling, safety is ensured, and the chances of a negligent discharge is eliminated. Other uses include trade shows, displays, movie props etc, where the ability to mount and display different accessories is needed.
3/2/18 - The Multitasker Twist from Multitasker Tools is an updated version of the previous Multitasker Tube and was introduced a couple of years ago. The Twist offers AR-specific essentials in a pen-shaped size and format.
Background - I first reviewed the Multitasker Tube back in 2010, and the Tube in its'expansion pack' has been with me on every trip to the range. The new Twist is an updated version of the Tube with some improvements, and retains the same compact pen format for portability and light weight. The Tube was available by itself (Tube tool only), or with an expansion kit which included a case and additional bits). The Twist is currently only available by itself with the bits, and no case. The Twist fits into the case for the Tube, of course.
Some of the main features of Multitasker Twist tool are:
I've shown the Twist alongside the older Tube for comparison here; to illlustrate the differences if you already have a Tube. The Twist bronze is a darker coyoteish colour while the Tube bronze is lighter. The Twist is the approximate length of a standard Sharpie permanent marker, and just a bit fatter. The center portion has flutes machined into the body for additional grip. The Twist comes packaged in a small box with nicely illustrated sleeve.
The front cap on the Twist is a bit shorter than that on the Tube. The 8/32" male thread, which used to be on the body of the Tube is now located at the end of the front tube. The body also has three holes that hold the included tip attachments (dental pick, 3/32" punch, and radial carbon scraper). The Tube had a bent-tip carbon scraper without much room for tip storage, so the tips were stored in the case. The scraper is used for scraping carbon from the tail of the bolt or from inside the bolt carrier. The 8/32" male thread stud is compatible with OTIS cleaning kit pull-through cleaning cables, and other cleaning accessories with the same thread.
The rear end cap of the Twist with the pocket clip has an Aimpoint Micro windage/elevation turret adjuster, instead of the pin punch that was on the Tube. The rear cap of the Twist is slightly longer than that of the Tube. The Twist/Tube reminds me of other 'tactical pens' that double as self-defense weapons/kubotans, for which the Twist can also be used. Even though it's blunt, the Aimpoint adjuster prongs on the cap is very effective for poking soft tissue, pressure points or striking bone.Unscrewing the cap reveals a magnetic 1/4" hex bit holder, and the included 4-prong A2 sight adjustment tool (which makes an even more effective striking or poking weapon). The end of the pocket clip doubles as a light-duty flat blade screwdriver.
The included plastic holder has some of the more commonly used 1/4" drive bits: 3/32" and 3/16" slotted screwdrivers, PH1 medium Phillips screwdriver, T10 and T15 (used on most LaRue scope rings) Torx tips, and five hex wrenches (3/32", 7/64", 1/8", 9/96", 3/16").
Notes and Observations - The Multitasker Tube had a permanent place inside one of the pockets of my EMDOM USA KitMat. It has now been replaced by the Twist. While they're both the same size, the Twist is able to store all its 8/32" tips while the Tube isn't. I've used the Tube on numerous occasions, typically with a screwdriver or hex bit. The least used feature is the A2 sight adjuster, as once they're set, I don't mess with them anymore. I do like the Aimpoint adjuster on the end of the cap as the small Aimpoint caps are fiddly to use for adjusting the micro.
For those who feel that the original Multitasker was a bit heavy to carry, there's no excuse to not have something like the Twist in a field kit. The Twist is currently available from dealers like Brownells and SKD.
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