NOLATAC Training and Consulting has teamed up with High Speed Gear Inc. to introduce the M3T Multi-Mission Medical Taco. This is a welcome addition to the list of HSGI-built products, in our mind. Med kits are finally all the tacticool rage, and frankly it took long enough. More importantly, the increasing number of options for an individual trauma kit, from a variety of manufacturers, has made it far more likely that 1) they'll be carried in the first place and 2) that a suitable choice exists for every body type and manner of carrying gear. The M3 Taco promises to accept a wide variety of pre-built medical modules now commercially available. This would add significant (and cost efficient) versatility with one purchase.
If you are unfamiliar with the original Taco, progenitor of the M3 (knuckledraggers: progenitor), it is probably the most iconic High Speed Gear Inc. piece of equipment. Designed years ago by HSGI founder Gene Higdon, the Taco dates back originally to a request by an Army sniper, who wanted a magazine pouch suitable for the SR 25 or Accuracy International, M4, AK...he wanted something he could use for any conceivable magazine. This was a challenge Gene willingly accepted, advising the sniper, "If you're willing to be the guinea pig, I'll bring it to life...something with a open top [sic], positive retention, true universality..."
This led to a lengthy RDT&E process, the biggest problem of which was keeping the pouch "tight" so the wearer didn't lose real estate. The end result was a magazine what would carry everything from your iPhone to a Saiga 12 8-round magazine and everything in between. It was a seriously versatile piece of LBE, as demonstrated by its widespread popularity at home and abroad.
Now - how did it get the name, TACO? Simple.
"Sometimes when we do production work, we'll give it a pet peeve name or just decide something to call it until we decide what to really call it...there's no abbreviation, it isn't an acronym you know, it just looks like a Taco," Gene said. "It's all folded up and whatnot, so we gave it a simple nickname and it stuck."This brings us to the M3 Multi-Mission Taco. The M3 is designed to leverage the same versatility formerly directed at ammunition sources and tools and apply it the wearer's IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit). Made in the USA by HSGI to their standards, designedby NOLATAC Training and Consulting, the M3 will fit the extant NOLATAC ITK (Individual Trauma Kit) but will also fit most other manufacturer's medical trays and kits. It includes "med sleds" for quick, ambi deployment of the contents, and will readily accept a number of different mounting options. According to NOLATAC officials,
Having a purpose built TQ such as the recommended SOFTT Wide from Tactical Medical Solutions or others such as the CAT - Combat Application Tourniquet, immediately accessible is extremely important. Likewise, protecting that TQ from the elements such as UV rays is very important as well. To assist with that, two separate ambidextrous side pockets were designed that not only protect the TQ from sun and other environmental exposure, but they also allow for rapid deployment from multiple angles and sides dependent on how the user mounts the M3T via a pull tab that ejects the TQ half-way out allowing for positive control on the TQ in stressful situations. If the user chooses to carry their TQ elsewhere or carry only one TQ, then the unused TQ pocket can be tucked away out of sight or used to store other items such as medical shears, "chem-lights", etc.The variety of mounting systems will probably be a big draw for those of you reading this. It offers the following options and features -
Ambidextrous horizontal and vertical mounting options, including PALS and G-Code HOVERTThis is not a review. None of our evaluation team have yet had the opportunity to compare them to the kits they currently wear (a mix of Dark Angel D.A.R.K., GGG Slim and Blue Force Gear TKNs). However, after the NSSF SHOT Show 2014 we will have several of our guys trying to tear the M3 up. We'll advise you of those results, though we have yet to evaluate an HSGI-built equipment that failed to pass muster. Considering the M3's ability to accept such a wide variety of the medical modules many of you already own, it's hard to see any initial drawbacks.
Dual TQ quick deploy pockets with ambi access and positive retention pull-tabs
Internal "med sleds" that fit the NOLATAC ITK and many other IFAK insert modules
Universality with other manufacturers' medical inserts and trays
PALS, MOLLE, any G-Code mounting systems (including RTI, paddle, etc.) or 2.25" belt suitable (comes with 2 MALICE clips
Independent shock/bungee cord retention
Velcro panel for medical marker
The M3 will be available via both the NOLATAC and HSGI web stores. It will have the option of shipping with the ITK or as just the pouch. Note that in addition to the kit itself, NOLATAC advises they will be adding medical courses to their 2014 training schedule.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang-CLEAR!