Osprey Defense…A New Level of Something

If you’ve read my Osprey Defense scuba “test” article, you probably picked up that I’m a little suspicious of the methods this company uses to market their products.

Well, they’ve put out a half dozen or so videos since then, so I thought I’d address a few of them as well. Don’t take me not addressing a particular video as a sign that it’s a good test – I just don’t have the time to wade through that much crap.

First, their “sandblast” test. They start out by having a guy cut through a thin concrete block with his big sandblaster.

The block is sloppily attached to a small wooden table with bungie cords, and almost falls off once. Our backdrop is an old shipping container upon which they later sandblast “OPS-416”. Yes, they’re maintaining the high production values witnessed in the scuba video.

But first, we see them shoot the carbine on semi and full auto while spraying lots of sand at the op-rod. During the video, we don’t really see any sand get in or near the action. I’m sure it does get a little dirty, but a much more impressive test would have been to spray sand into the ejection port.

Furthermore, most of the sand they do spray is at the handguards. I’m sorry, is this a test of handguards, or a test of the conversion? Am I supposed to be impressed that $20 handguards lasted 20 seconds vs. the 40 seconds it took to cut the block? What, exactly, is the point here? Other than showcasing a total lack of advertising ability and/or professionalism, I’m not getting it.

Another “test” they put forth is a helicopter drop test. In this video, the Osprey folks load up in an old Hughes helicopter along with their carbine in what appears to be a poorly constructed wooden box. The carbine’s barrel has been covered with what might be saran wrap and blue contractor’s tape. Once the helicopter gets to 500ft, they toss the box out.

It shatters on impact, and some guy runs out to grab the rifle. First, he rips off the barrel cover, and showcases his weapon handling skills by fumbling a magazine.

Then, he rips through a mag on full auto. Afterwards, the commentator gives us what is apparently their new slogan, “Osprey Defense: A New Level of Reliability”. Well, it’s a new level of something, alright.

What I don’t understand is why the weapon needs to be in a crate to absorb impact, and have a “barrel shroud”, for lack of a better term, in order to survive this test.

After watching their promotional videos, it seems that if you want to do any OTB operations or heliborne insertions with your OPS-416 equipped Bushmaster (against enemies with sandblasters), you’d better bring duct tape, contractors tape, saran wrap, a wooden crate painted orange, and a few spare sets of plastic handguards if you want your weapon to function properly.

Because if the guys who are selling it don’t have the confidence to use the weapon without those items, why should you?

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6 Comments

Filed under Lies, Errors, and Omissions

6 responses to “Osprey Defense…A New Level of Something

  1. Mike W

    After a sucky day of work, I love coming home and finding you poke holes in some clowns’ advertisements. I sit here with this doofy grin on my face and laugh at them and their stuff.

    thanks.

  2. Dan

    Interesting. I had not seen these videos yet.

    Osprey Defense is fairly local here, and they have published a “field test day” for 5 carefully selected AR15.com members.
    As I have mixed feeling and experiences in piston AR systems, I added my name to the list. Haven’t heard anything yet, but if I do get invited, I’ll be sure to give my my findings.

  3. Arrn

    I’ve seen all their videos and, while the tests are fairly ridiculous to even the slightest of educated AR15 shooters, I still think the product is going to stand on its own to feet (or stumble). Its fun to laugh and poke but honestly I’m just going to wait and see. Cheesy commercials are exactly that, but until they either fail in the wild I’d like to see them get the benefit of the doubt. Is the concept of their product not deserving of some applause up until the point where it melts or breaks during live fire?

  4. Marc W.

    Wow! I’m shocked by your appraisal of the Osprey demos, especially by someone with your background and experience. You may have missed what I observed in all their demos. The point was to test the gas system and not necessarily the bolt, a plugged barrel, or extractor for that matter. They were trying to demonstrate how water, impact (albeit cushioned), fine particles, and excess abuse had little effect on their product. Like you I was a little suspect of the methods used including the box drop from the helicopter. But without the barrel being protected from plugging and cushioning I don’t think even a bolt action rifle would survive. Of course the DI system would probably not be affected by these tests either. Again I think the point being made here is that their system has two exposed moving parts and take a beating. As for me I’ll do a little more research before buying one. So far this one tops my list.

    For the record I’ll love your blog and the Monty Python style humor.

    Marc W. 22 years U.S. Army Cavalry

  5. You need to write more often you do a good job

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