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Backpack Belt-Fed: The TYR Tactical MICO

There are very few things in life that will equally make an eight year-old boy and an experienced Assaulter smile. One of those rarities is the TYR MICO: The Backpack that feeds a belt-fed.

Last week a group of us headed down to Arizona to check out some of the new stuff coming out of TYR Tactical. There is a lot of gorgeous gear coming down the duct work that you’ll see in the coming days.
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This piece is about something that TYR has made for quite a while under their Huron line (and has been around in one form or another for a long time), but is still somewhat rare to see and use in-person outside of some special groups.

TYR_MICO009The MICO. When you first see it, visions of Blaine in Predator churn to the surface, dip spit, sexual Tyrannosaurus and all. While the MICO isn’t meant to feed a minigun (in reality, Blaine’s pack would be empty in about 5 seconds) it can feed an M240, Mk48, Mk46, or M249 for a helluva lot longer than a standard, “nutsack”.
TYR_MICO012Initially, it looks like a backpack with a feed chute coming out of the side but there’s more going on than meets the eye. To fill, the belt is stacked in a special internal magazine and then routed through the feed chute. Where the chute connects to the magazine, there is a feed roller impregnated with rare earth magnets to prevent any kinking.

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The entire chute is covered with removable Cordura to prevent the entrance of debris or environmental fouling while still allowing access. The chute attaches to the bottom of the weapon via an adapter just like the aforementioned nutsack, and the gun is loaded normally. For stowage, the feed chute clips around the outside of the pack.
TYR_MICO005Due to the way the rounds are fed, if you pull out too many rounds during loading it’s easier to simply break the extras off the link rather than attempting to force the belt back into the chute. There is a heavy-duty hook and loop closure at the end of the chute so rounds don’t just snake and slither out of the MICO if it isn’t attached to a gun (which would no doubt be hilarious in some circumstances and horrifying in others).
TYR_MICO_002The MICO fully loaded for bear can run 575 rounds of linked 7.62N ammunition. If converted for SAW use by adding an insert into the MICO, it can hold the better part of a case of 5.56. At 47lbs loaded up, it sounds groan-worthy but it really isn’t. The weight is distributed evenly on a solid frame that’s equipped with a custom suspension system. No, you aren’t going to outrun Usain Bolt or Guerrouj while wearing one, but the robust pack straps and weight bearing belt makes for a comfortable ride.
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Since the weight is distributed across your back inside of directly hanging off the machinegun, it’s easier to use offhand or during vigorous movement. Of course, it works great when in prone position as well.
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RECOILweb Editor David Reeder, looking miserable

Of course, we had to try it out. FN showed up with a pair of Mk48’s (sometimes called a, ‘Baby 240’ but really resembles a beefed-up SAW) for use with the MICO. Lex Worthy from TYR guided us through filling the pack and off we went. No issues with the pack system feeding and no issues with the guns until after we sent literally thousands of shells in the air–and nothing a little lube couldn’t fix.
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As I mentioned early on, we have a lot of articles churning concerning what’s coming out of TYR. In the meantime, you can follow TYR Tactical on Facebook here or on Instagram here.

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Here’s a short video:


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