By: Chris Tran
July 6 2014
The original Strike Industries Ricci Ankle Med System (AMS) was created by SoCal SWAT officer Michael Ricci. Fellow blacksheepwarrior.com writer Opie wrote up an excellent review of the original Ricci AMS here, so there isn’t much need for me to go into the background of IFAKs and the transition of warfighter tactics/gear and how it translates into the civilian world.
Rather, I had an opportunity to test out the Ricci AMS Ver.2. I wore the Ver.2. for two weeks both in uniform and in plainclothes, and then handed it off to a few other officers to get their impressions.
Strike Industries reported the following improvements from the original AMS to the Ver.2, which is the one I had a chance to evaluate:
Improvements include more rounded edges and padding for comfort and better fitment around the ankle. While there will no longer be a section for a MOLLE pouch, the AMS will make up for it by having more storage space in the form of elastic pouches. This will also allow the individual to adjust and customize their kit more easily to personal preferences.
I didn’t have a Ver.1 to do a full contrast/compare, but my experience with the Ver.2 left me with a favorable impression and not too many critiques at all.
First things first, in line with their advertised improvements, this is a comfortable piece of kit, especially if the user is wearing boots. I don’t carry my backup on my ankle, but I do have a last ditch “seatbelt cutter” in a custom sheath that I carry there when in full gear, so having some extra weight around my ankle was not a big adjustment. The Ricci AMS Ver.2 stayed in place, did not shift, and was not uncomfortable in the slightest.
Storage space was not an issue either. I lightly packed the AMS with a CAT tourniquet, several Bioclusive® field dressings, band-aids, and some QuickClot Combat Gauze®. I could possibly fit a pair of latex gloves in there as well, but I surmised that the bulk would be prohibitive, and push the upper-limits of a minimalist ankle kit.
After 2 weeks of wearing the Ricci AMS Ver.2, and then another week of passing it around the precinct for other officers to try out, I do not have too many substantive critiques of this product at all. If I had to consciously look for a design upgrade, I would recommend that the hook and loop fastening flap be tapered a bit: when wearing the AMS in low-top boots or sneakers, if a bit of the hook flap overlaps on either edge, it can chafe against the ankle during walking/running. Other than that, that’s it.
The functional critique that I have of the Ricci AMS Ver.2, is that when I’m on the job, I want my colleagues to know exactly where my tourniquet is, which means it needs to be visible. On my duty gear, I carry mine in a kydex sheath mounted to my dropleg holster platform: I can access it with both hands, and better yet, if I’m shot and out of the fight, my fellow officers can immediately see my tourniquet and get it into play. If my only tourniquet is hidden under my pant leg, it doesn’t do anyone any good unless I get my pant leg cut off – which would typically mean that I’m getting aid rendered to me anyways. I’d rather have my tourniquet exposed for either me or my teammates to access as quickly as possible, and wrapped around a boot is not the best place for it.
Due to this, I would recommend the Ricci AMS Ver.2 for plainclothes duty use, or for off-duty as a minimalist blowout option
The Ricci AMS Ver.2 is a quality piece of gear, and the price point makes it accessible to pretty much anyone. I have my evaluation model in my desk drawer, and I strap it on when I’m out plainclothes or in a surveillance capacity. For off-duty or personal use, I might buy another one just to keep in my get-home bag in my vehicle so I can strap it on when out on hikes or in the wilderness on my own time.
Strike Industries did it right with the Ricci AMS Ver.2, and I would recommend it to anyone.