Friday, August 6, 2004 4:56 PM
Now, I’ll start this review by getting one thing right upfront. I’m what’s technically known, in the business, as a bit of a fat git. Now this can be advantage in certain situations- with a fresh haircut and a black suit you’ll be automatically given space in bars on the assumption that you’re one of the door staff, and if you so much as look funny at me I and several of my colleagues will happily spend the next half hour throwing you into a wall until you can see your own smile without a mirror, and when on a night out you’ve got more room to put lager and curry away- but in others, it can be a disadvantage. Such as in the area of buying army kit to go airsofting in (forcing you into the idea that all members of the british army must be 5”4, 100 lbs and looking like the guy that auditioned for the Mr Muscle adverts but got rejected cos he looked too much of a wimp).
Now some retailers- I name no names here- would use this as an excuse to extract even more money from your pocket. One shop wanted £90 off me for a smock in 190/120 (for those of you unversed in British Army sizing systems, 190 is your supposed height and 120 is the measurement of your shoulders. Or is it the other way round?) on the basis that it was the only one they had in that size and it was ex-Para issue. After I’d stopped laughing I politely declined…… and their trousers only go up to 42”as well……..which leads me to Strikeforce. When I’d more or less resigned myself to having to pay a load for US M65 stuff because of the sizing, Strikeforce turned up on a websearch. The website is well laid out, with pictures of virtually everything and good descriptions of it too. The prices were keen, and they offered combat trews in my size at a price that wouldn’t break the wallet. So I phoned the number on the website……….. (I don’t entirely trust web shopping) and spoke to the owner, Jasper.
I explained the delicate situation to him regarding sizes, and he was more than happy to oblige. Now I take a 44” in trousers, but find in combats the cut can be very unroomy, particularly if you’re going to be running (well, in my case wheezing ) around and striking action poses all day……… so I asked him for pairs a size up. Now these are not issue trousers, as he points out on the catalogue, but commercial copies of the Soldier 2000 trouser. In ‘economy’ sizes for the larger airsofters among us. Made to exactly the same pattern as the issue trousers, with slotted buttons, double thickness knees and seat and the drawstring waist. I’ve had three pairs of trousers off him and two smocks, and numerous other bits. On two occasions I’ve had to return things (one pair of trousers for being a bit un-roomy in the undercarriage department and another for being defectively stitched ) and on both occasions the kit was exchanged immediately and the right stuff sent out to me. The smocks are brand new from stores, and for £20 apiece for those and the S2000 trousers (for £40 a set) there are few places trading , web or otherwise, that can match these prices for new issue, and the rest of the stock includes a good range of web gear (PLCE and Webtex) rucksacks, body armour, sleeping bags, the usual kit. I’ve made several orders with Jasper now and I can’t recommend him highly enough. He’s a total gent, a pleasure to talk to, and stands by his goods, and as pointed out above has no problem correcting any issues you may find with his kit. Certainly for the larger ‘softers among us I’d make him the first port of call….. but also for the skinny runts too! My only gripe is that he only stocks 2 kinds of boots (my next purchase, as my Caterpillars are getting a bit knackered). But anyone needing british kit should go here first……. they wont regret doing so
written by TJN