Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Thoughts on ACU camouflage

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by cyborg, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. cyborg

    cyborg Oregon City Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    46
    So I find myself with many items such as fatigues, helmet cover,vests, armor and miscellaneous that are ACU pattern. It is my impression that ACU may well be the worst camo pattern ever... especially for the Northwest with all of our greenery etc. I understand it is supposed to be good for breaking up your image when viewed through night vision devices but I am doubtful that NVD camo will be of much use.

    I am curious what other peoples experiences with it have been. Is it as bad as I am thinking for the northwest or not? Has anyone thought of altering it?

    Thoughts........
     
  2. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,948
    Likes Received:
    1,788
    I am no expert but out of what I have used and seen, Tiger Stripes were about the best cammo for the PNW. I had a set back when I pain balled and people always told me that if I step into the shadows, i was gone and they flat out could not see where I was.
     
  3. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    I've always been a fan of the original US Army Camo pattern.
    camo-wood.jpg

    Nevertheless, recently I've become a believer of the MutiCam for the area I'm in.
    multicam-BDU-shirt1.gif

    As stated eloquently by titsonritz, ACU is absolute crap and is only good for breaking up your pattern when marching on a paved road.

    My suggestion is to make your own camo. What I mean is you can always add to any pattern- or make your own ghillie suite. As long as there are no overly bright colors, you can break up just about anything with the right color of burlap draped over or sewn into your items. It takes patience and a bit of practice but it's worth it!
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    One of the things that was brought to the fore during later analysis of the ACU camo pattern is that for a camo pattern to work, it has to be seen. The ACU pattern has a tendency to "grey out" over distance, which means it just looks like a blob of color, that doesn't match the ambient colors of the background. This is why it stands out like a chemlight in just about every natural environment.

    While I like some of the newer camo patterns, multicam being the leader among them, because of the small nature of the pattern, it too can suffer from a problem similar to the "greying out" in that it looks from a distance more like a solid color vs a discernible pattern. Unlike ACU, multicam when all the colors are taken together is a hue and shade that matches the environment. For the PNW I think multicam is a decent enough pattern, but I think it's better suited to the dry and mountain forests of washington, it simply isn't dark enough for the areas west of the cascades.

    The woodland patterns work really well in the lowland forests of western washington. The main reason: they have enough black in them.

    For desert climes, honestly the best I've found is solid khaki, it's the perfect color for the mojave, and prairies of the eastern parts of the state (except maybe during spring), the only place it doesn't blend in too well are the redrock deserts in arizona and utah, at that point multi-cam would again be the winner. Especially in the scablands of the columbia drainage.
     
  5. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    6,279
    Likes Received:
    6,918
    Green BDU works in west WA like tan works in desert
    You can paint ACU LBE with enamel paint
     
  6. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,004
    Likes Received:
    1,503
    ACU is a perfect example of political backscratching. A lot of the commercial hunting patterns are really nice, I personally like this, it is one of the finalists for the Army's new UCP (Universal Camo Pattern)

    tumblr_mlsdegADAN1rkasm5o1_1280.jpg

    tumblr_mlsdegADAN1rkasm5o1_1280.jpg
     
  7. Decker

    Decker My house Active Member

    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    110
    Always been a fan of Marpat.
     
  8. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    677
    My favorites are Marpat, German flektarn, and olive drab. I also like multicam for Central and Eastern Oregon, but find it to be a bit light for my area.
     
  9. ocarolan

    ocarolan Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    426
    First, movement is the primary target indicator. If I'm moving, I'll be seen - even in a 70lb ghillie suit.

    Next, I find at distances greater than 50 yards, all earth tones tend to be effective, including solid khaki or solid olive drab.

    At closer distances, other target indicators will likely supersede clothes. My face. The head-and-shoulders outline. Any rifle I'm carrying. My hands. Notice how the demo photos at multicampattern.com often hide those features.

    So... suppose I was lying still, hiding from someone at <50 yds, decked out in facepaint, boonie hat, hand paint, and my rifle festooned with leaves. Then yes, multicam might trump the ACU. Of course, ghillie suit, native foliage, or netting would be even better.

    People overrate the importance of disruptive camo. A simple solid olive drab is just as effective in most scenarios where it would actually matter. And raises fewer eyebrows when you need to blend in.
     
  10. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    I think you're definitely right, however the limitation is that the "pattern" needs to be the same color and hue as the dominant color and hue in your environment. I bought a bunch of BDU pants in "sheriff brown" a few years ago to wear for work pants (because they won't fade like black, and don't show grease and dirt like khaki), a few times when I've been up off 90 out in the woods with my buddy's they will lose track of me, even at relatively short distances. The olive drab colors work well in fields, and they also match really well in the underbrush (moss) in the rainforests out on the olympic peninsula.

    As timac pointed out, the actual pattern of the clothes is dominated more by political and branch considerations than it actually is hiding soldiers. The ACU was the follow up to the army being jealous of the USMC developing it's own uniform, and then patenting it (precluding them from using it), so then came ACU, and ABU, and now NWU (aka PLE).
     
  11. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    266
    I still like A-TACS
     
  12. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    Likes Received:
    3,199
    Khakis and dirt.
     
  13. CamoDeafie

    CamoDeafie Albany Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    669
    ACU works.....when the primary colors of the environment is a stucco and gray paved area.. IE; urban.

    "NVD camo" has been around for far longer than the recent Digital Camo...look at this for an effective pattern that worked against the first gen NVDs;
    Night Camo in the middle; it is simply two tone green; with a grid pattern and small spots; using a dark green on top of a shade of green; not quite Olive; but not quite Foliage Green;
    P6020100.jpg
    for the scrub brush of Central Oregon; I find that this pattern works far better than Multicam; German Desert Flecktarn. it is essentially khaki base, brown and green spots.
    P8050477_zps16b1aa37.jpg
    for the sandy areas and areas with less scrub; 3 color desert works....
    while 6 color desert could work in rocky desert areas;
    for the Pacific NW Woodlands; my standby has always been the good ol M81 Woodland Camo; although the earlier, brighter greens VN era Camo could work; if you find it in larger sizes.... USMC Marpat does work as well as Woodland; being that it uses the same color palette; or very close to it that is.
    Commercial Tigerstripe works effectively in the thick underbrushes; but Smokey Branch works great in the dark mature wooded areas; hunting camo is singularly effective only in the specific environment they are designed for; but they DO work pretty closely

    EDIT: I might be interested in ACU MOLLE Sustainment Pouches; 4 of em; just for my light blue and gray commuter bicycle as pannier bags... if you have em? they'll work good with the color scheme, and since the bicycle has silver and gray parts; I don't need to worry about actually concealing it....the ACU pattern will work as a visual design cue..not actual camouflaging the bike :)
     
  14. modbus

    modbus Beaverton, OR New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    6
    Most of the outdoor airsofters around here use MARPAT or M81 Woodlands. I use ATACS-FG, which works great. Any of these blend in very well in the forested areas of the PNW.



    ACU makes you stand out very easily. Most will trade out their ACU patterned gear for the above, or Multicam. Multicam seems to work decently as well, and would be a much better all-arounder than ACU.
     
  15. cyborg

    cyborg Oregon City Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Likes Received:
    46
    OK so most respondants agree with my assessment that ACU is kind of crappy. Got it...
    I didnt set out to buy this it is just that certain deals came my way and before I knew it I had a full set of ACU gear. Rather than trash it and buy all new Multicam or such what are my alrternatives? So what about modifying it?

    I was thinking, what if I were to paint over it with some larger tigerstripes of brown and greens? Leave much of the digital pattern exposed but add larger elements to it to break up the tendency to blob up into grey?
     
  16. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,047
    Likes Received:
    1,741
    The problem with paint is that it chips and it fades after a wash. I still recommend sewing on strips of burlap...
     
  17. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    411
    has anyone owned this stuff yet? some type of material that mimics the terrain behind a person. made by a company called hyperstealth technologies.
    article-2245935-1672606E000005DC-262_634x475.jpg
    article-2245935-16725F29000005DC-897_634x475.jpg

    article-2245935-1672606E000005DC-262_634x475.jpg

    article-2245935-16725F29000005DC-897_634x475.jpg
     
    JohnnyD likes this.
  18. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    1,859
    only problem is these effects are created by cameras and projectors, it stands to reason that it would work eventually for vehicles, but it's simply beyond the realm of practicality for a uniform at the moment. I'm sure eventually there will be more efficient fiber-optic based systems that may be able to mimic this behavior, but at the moment it's simply beyond the level of practicality.

    Interestingly, "hyperstealth biotechnology" now offers a print-on-demand camo pattern in 30/70 cotton poly twill.

    http://www.hyperstealth.com/deceptex/70-30-LW-fabric-order.html
     
  19. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    770
    Likes Received:
    411

    the info i found, says there are no cameras or batteries, or modified photos, says, they bend light... heres a clip of the article..

    'Two separate command groups within the U.S. Military and two separate Canadian Military groups as well as Federal Emergency Response Team (Counter Terrorism) have seen the actual material so they could verify that I was not manipulating video or photo results,' Mr Cramer said.
    Top secret: The material is said to work by bending light waves around its wearer to render them invisible, but its maker will not divulge details
    'These groups now know that it works and does so without cameras, batteries, lights or mirrors...It is lightweight and quite inexpensive. Both the U.S. and Canadian military have confirmed that it also works against military IR scopes and Thermal Optics.'
    In a statement published on his company's website, Mr Cramer explained he cannot disclose any details about how his remarkable fabric bends light around its wearer.

    and of course, i dont always believe everything i see on the internet..;)
     
  20. ocarolan

    ocarolan Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    426

    All waves (including light) are subject to diffraction or refraction, which stems from bending around obstacles. Of course, the wavelength of light is only 500 nanometers. Unless Mr. Cramer is ~300nm tall, bending a light wave around him seems difficult.

    Using a fabric with diffractive effects could be helpful though.