Grenade Magazine Issue 2 | Page 40

Whatever happened to the Mil-X?

What ever happened to the Mil-X? 3rd Light the parent company of Enola Gaye entered the market of professional products designed for military & security force training in 2014. They introduced the Mil-X high output smoke grenade, with a fly off lever and pin that allowed people to train with a grenade for a fraction of the price and with a grenade that worked the same as a frontline product.

You may not have heard about it as the sales have been restricted to professional users such as the police and military of which most have gone overseas. Since the introduction of the Mil-X we (3rd Light) have learnt much about smoke grenades for military markets and have taken this further into our developments for version 2 of the Mil-X which is yet unnamed, so we will just call it 'Project X' for now as it sounds good.

One of the most important things we have learnt from dealing with militaries around the world is that nothing is standard. There was us thinking that one frontline product would be the same as the other, a load of smoke as quick and as dense as possible, but that is not the case, every country seems to want it a bit different - kinda their way.

We probably have the biggest production of smoke grenades into the Mil-Sim market already, so to actually move into the military market is a natural progression for us. Of course we are a very small fish in the military market, in fact we are plankton compared to the military giants. But those giants have become a little unsettled by our presence in this market recently. Our products are for training only, not frontline, so the big guys can relax and continue over charging the governments for the foreseeable future.

So without contradicting ourselves too much we're peeking over the fence into the military market. We take their products, redesign and refine the grenades for training. Ultimately we're building products that people can train on a regular basis.

We have tested many different compositions from around the world at our facility and we are constantly looking at what the military do and why, usually most frontline smokes have a chemical composition that you don't really want anywhere near your lungs.

As a commercial manufacturer of smoke we have by far a much higher duty of care, in fact it's the first thing we consider when designing a smoke grenade. We're around air-filled smoke more than most people so we care about this sort of stuff, if you are ever in the position where you have to choose between smoke grenade brands, remember we've done quite a lot of homework on the subject.

We have a new version of the Mil-X due out in late 2016/early 2017 that has taken everything we've learnt about the first version and refined it. We have a completely redesign ignition (patent pending), new cooler venting and of course a composition that won't strip the skin from your lungs, but that bit is standard in all of our smoke products anyway.

So who cares about a product that you can't buy commercially? The version you see here is being downgraded from 'professional only' use to commercial use later this year when the new version is introduced. The new version will also be available for commercial use but with several design differences, those details are yet to be released.

We can assure you that 'Project X' is worthy successor to the Mil-X and will have several versions available. Placed next to some of the world's frontline smoke grenades it is an affordable training grenade that many will consider to be better than the real thing. If the billion dollar corporations were uneasy before with our first attempt, this is not going to good news either.