The Tactical Camera Assault Long Range Stock (TALCS) was intended to be one of the corner stones of THE TACTIPRIL but due to logistical difficulties we were not able to get a working model from Miso Studios Heavy Industries (MSHI) until very late in the month. When the TALCS arrived we had to get the range trip set up and chose a lovely spot in the Canadian wilderness where we could try the unit in secret. Although there was some confusion involving paperwork relating to the importation of a Tactical Assault device, we were able to bring the TALCS out for a proper daylight trial and are therefore offering our readers an exclusive look at its features and construction.
A Fully accessorized and loaded up TALCS with a Nikon D200 body and a Nikkor 80-200mm telephoto lens.
Introduction to the Tactical Assault Long Range Camera Stock (TALCS)
Born out of the need for stability, the Tactical Assault Long Range Camera Stock, or TALCs, is the latest in modular camera accessories from Miso Beno Heavy Industries (MBHI). The TALCS platform grants operators the modularity of modern shoulder fired weapons with the grace and stability of old world platforms all in a compact, easy to use package. Taking from the greatest in weapons design principles, the TALCS provides the ultimate in modular field accessories without sacrificing traditional European wood on steel styling.
Code:LxWxH (without camera, or accessories) X lbs (without camera, or accessories) [CENTER] Modular hard wood and aluminum construction 2 M1913 Rails 1 Sling stud 2 Sling swivels 1 Velcro accessory mount Nikon compatible shutter release connector
TALCS Trigger being depressed
TALCS Trigger Assembly
TALC Stock Trigger Demonstration One
The TALCS trigger uses a three-contact switch that acts as a two stage trigger of sorts. First the operator takes up the initial slack which activates the auto focus. Once focus has been achieved, the next stage of the trigger activates the shutter. There are some ergonomics issues with this setup due to the position of the large auto focus (AF) assist light and the routing of the AF assist light's pressure pad to the panning pistol grip.
One advantage of the TALCS trigger setup is that it allows left handed users to more easily and naturally fire the camera using their dominant hand and eye to control the release of the shutter.
The TALCS horizontal pistol grip with the AF assist light pressure pad
When entering dark areas in a tactical environment the integrated auto focus assist is not always enough to to allow the lens to focus. The use of the pressure pad allows the operator to activate the light when he feels the need for additional illumination. This light can also be used to supplement ambient light in photographs and as a general purpose combat illumination device.
Occasionally the operator may find himself using a tripod with a ball head. The addition of the horizontal pistol grip allows the operator smoother and more precise panning while tracking a target. This is particularly useful when tracking moving objects in low light as the the grip helps minimize vertical motion distortion, and allowing the operator to concentrate on the horizontal axis.
The underside of the TALCS assembly
Due to the nature of many tactical environments, ready access to one's gear is a matter of life and death; therefore, the designers of the TALCS incorporated two sling swivels to better allow operator to choose the sling system that best suits their needs in the environment that they operate in. In the demonstration camera the TALCS is seen using the 'single point classic' which drops the entire unit down the operator's center line and allows him to better access a side arm or other kit in an emergency. This sling system also allows for easier vehicle entry and departure while engaged in mechanized operations.
A portable music device attached to the TALCS left hand hook and loop accessory strip
- Fully functional “trigger” operates the shutter and auto focus
- Two Standard m1913 rail sections
- Optional Left Hand Panning Section (Tested)
- Optional Auto-Focus assist Light (Not Tested)
- Two Sling attachments for optional single point sling
- One Sling Stud for Harris Bipod
- One Hook and Loop Fastener Attachment Section
Like many of its predecessors, the TALCS attempts to capture the ergonomics and inherent stability of firearms to aid photographers in combating unwanted motion blur. The TALCS takes it one step further by incorporating m1913 rail segments into its design as well as a bipod adapter for an unparalleled level of stability and modularity. Our MSHI representative informed us that the TALCS was based on a rifle stock from a Vz. 24 that was used as a donor for a Kar98 that had been cut up during World War 2.
One of the first things you’ll notice is how well the entire setup points. It’s quite easy to see why they chose a rifle stock to mount the camera, but there are a fair amount of rough edges that need to be addressed. In broad daylight we were shooting at ISO100 f/8 1/320sec, which is pretty reasonable shutter speed for a stationary telephoto lens (80-200mm) in broad daylight. There was no noticeable hand motion blur when using the stock and the camera seemed to function quite well off of the trigger. A feature that was distinctly lacking from this revision of the TALCS was a tripod mount, which would have allowed for a legitimate use for the angled pistol grip. Without a means of mounting it to a tripod the side pistol grip is nothing more than a place to mount the pressure pad for the auto focus assist.
ISO 100, F/8, 1/320, 50 Yards
When moving around and photographing closer subjects the TALCS continue to perform well and the controls on the rear of the camera are surprisingly easy to access. The only issue I had when dealing with subjects was it was much more cumbersome to adjust the exposure to accommodate changing conditions. The TALCS seems to prove itself more suited towards the photographer who leaves at least one camera setting in automatic (aperture or shutter priority) and less on the photographer who prefers to leave their camera in full manual exposure.
The TALCS is very well suited for use with the isosceles stressfire style stance
When using the on body slings the system rides quite well in the low ready and in a more comfortable resting position. We gave the included leather single point sling a try back at the shop but it we found it mostly useless because it was too long and lacked any real function besides appearance. Unfortunately our location did not allow us to try transitioning to a handgun as all pistols are restricted in Canada and can only be used at a proper shooting range. Rifles seem to function well with the setup but it’s clear that the camera or the rifle would get in the way of any serious shooting.
Left: Profile of the stock in use, Right: the camera slung using the camera strap mounts.
We were not able to test the low light performance or the bipod attachment on the stock but it’s daylight performance and the ergonomics of the platform seem very promising. MSHI predicts that when using the shoulder stock a full stop can be gained in low light shooting, and with the bipod deployed from the ground position full two stops making it comparable with a standard camera monopod. If MSHI’s claims hold true, coupling the TALCS with an image stabilized lens could have cameras gaining up to four extra stops in ideal conditions.
Special Thanks to Curtis Pedersen for the photographs of Miso Beno
[Browse more of our Articles] [Visit us in the Forums]