EOG Little Big Man on a Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON. Photo Credit: Blacksheepwarrior.com

EOG Little Big Man on a Team Wendy EXFIL CARBON. Photo Credit: Blacksheepwarrior.com

EOG Little Big Man Review:  Destroying the Myth of “Ounces are Pounds, and Pounds are Pain?

-By Blizzard Actual

“I know that for many of you, carrying a firearm concealed is a new and unfamiliar experience.  But it is something you should do if you value your life, the lives of your family, and the lives of innocent people.  Remember boys, a gun is supposed to feel comforting, not comfortable.”

– Lead Firearms Instructor J.H., May 2007.

The last seven years of my career in law enforcement have been notable for many things, comfort not usually being one of them.  But when you find that one pair of boots, that MOLLE vest, that backpack, you become a believer, singing its praises for life.  Or, until next week when you find something stronger, lighter, and cheaper!

Using night vision goggles is a routine part of my nights.  In an effort to save weight and bulk, I usually attach my monocular to my vest with a piece of 550 cord and stow it in a pouch when not in use.  When called upon, I simply retrieve it, hold it up to my eye and run.  I realize that this isn’t the most efficient means to use the device, but in a career where foot pursuits are common, I’ve used this tactic with great success.  After all, ounces are pounds, and pounds are pain, right?

Every now and again, by necessity, I’m called upon to wear either a bump helmet or a ballistic helmet of some description.  The helmet is heavy, the NVG mount is more weight, and if that wasn’t enough, the NVG device is now mounted out in front of me.  I’m eternally grateful for the benefit of night vision, but that cantilevered attachment method leaves my neck and shoulders tired after prolonged usage.  Pilot friends encouraged me to use small bags of lead filled shot taped to the back of my helmet.  Salty Pilots preach the blessings of 4 “D” Cell Batteries (or 3 “C” Cells and 2 “AA”s depending on the model of NVGs) arraigned in tandem and either taped or affixed with Velcro to the back of one’s helmet.  I have witnessed all of these solutions work, but not without the addition of weight AND bulk.

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“Moon’s Out, Goons out! Time to PWN some NOOBS!!” Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

Enter the EOG Little Big Man (LBM) counter weight system manufactured by ExplosiveOps Gear (EOG).  The LBM is designed to be attached to the back of your helmet and act as a counterweight to your NVGs.  Properly balanced headgear will prevent neck strain.  Neck strain may not seem like a big deal, but ask any pilot who routinely flies at night how important counterweights are!

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EOG Little Big man on an OpsCore helmet. Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

EOG is a Virginia Beach, VA based Company who designs and manufactures, “Products (that) are ever evolving designs based on the current operational requirements of the modern warrior. ExplosiveOps Gear products are made in the USA of the finest materials available and carry a full lifetime guarantee.” 

Translation: “Operators gotta’ Operate!  Sometimes gear currently in service needs adjustment and imagination.  Sometimes the gear you buy from us will break.  When it does, we stand behind our products, we support you the end user, and we believe in America.” 

I like that.

Now, on to the Little Big Man:

The LBM pouch is a tough as nails Cordua pouch that measures 3” X 2” X 1.25”.  It comes with 3, 8oz angled bars of black coated lead weights.  Yes that’s correct, a pound and a half or 24oz of solid lead!  The pouch closes with a simple yet effective hook and loop closure system.  A vigorous shake test was unable to dislodge the flap and cause the weights to fly across the room.  The back panel of the device has a Hook panel that is approximately 2” X 2.5” sewn onto the back.  This allows the LBM to be attached either vertically or horizontally to the back of your helmet.  Since the LBM contains 3 individual lead bars, the end user can configure the proper load out for their system.  ExplosiveOps Gear recommends inserting a piece of foam or cloth into the compartment if all three bars are not being utilized.  I found for my rig, two bars worked perfectly, and I jammed an extra lens-cleaning cloth in between the weights.

I like the Little Big Man, and I think Explosive Ops Gear is on the right track in developing products that are needed, rather than Tacti-cool stuff that can be marketed to certain crowds just because some Navy Seal sprinkled BUDS-dust on it.

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EOG Little Big Man components. Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

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Weight can be reduced by using a cloth or other similar material. Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

Given the weight of the LBM, I was concerned that there was simply not enough hook surface area sewn onto the back of the pouch.  As soon as I brought this little guy home, I started attaching it to everything I could find that had a soft or “pile” attachment point.  I left it attached for 24 hours to one of my bags to see if it would fall off under its own weight.  It did not.

Although I was immediately impressed with the product from the start, I still was concerned that the LBM would fall off the back of my helmet under usage in the field.  In retrospect, most of this concern was likely based in the fact that this was a loaned item, not personal gear. 

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RELEASE the Dummy Cord!! Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

As soon as I mounted the LBM to my helmet, I immediately fashioned a safety lanyard to it.  It was nothing special, but just enough that hopefully if I took a nasty spill or hit a bump on my quad, I wouldn’t lose the device.  To give the LBM the benefit of the doubt, I left the lanyard loose enough so the hook portion of the LBM was entirely responsible for supporting all 16oz of the weight.  After a three straight days of riding in rough terrain, I am pleased to say that the LBM did not become dislodged.

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The Sonoran Desert is a whole new world after the sunset. Photo Credit: Blizzard Actual

Conclusion

I like the Little Big Man, and I think Explosive Ops Gear is on the right track in developing products that are needed, rather than Tacti-cool stuff that can be marketed to certain crowds just because some Navy Seal sprinkled BUDS-dust on it.

The Little Big Man retails for approximately $32 (plus shipping).  Yes, you can make a perfectly acceptable NVG counter weight out of batteries for much less money.  But I sincerely doubt (unless you have a led smelter hiding in your garage) that you can make an adaptable NVG counter weight that can weigh as much as be as compact as the Little Big Man.

From my testing, I do not think that the Little Big Man NEEDS a dummy cord, but I still recommend one.  It’s a cheap and quick fix that will literally prevent you from getting a headache if you lose this item in the field.  At $32 bucks, I feel this is an affordable piece of gear, but not if you are losing several in a year’s time period.

This would make a great little gift for that special pilot, LEO or Service Member in your life!

explosiveopsgear.com 

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