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GUNS Magazine January 2011 - Page 64

• P A T C O V E R T • Not your average utility tool. ulti-tools have been undergoing a revival for the last M decade due in large part to the war in Afghanistan, which kicked off in October 2001, and ensuing crisis in LEAThERMAN MUT Iraq two years later. Never before have our troops been so well outfitted, and never before have so many carried multi-tools. Although Leatherman Tools did not invent the multi-tool (there are some interesting examples dating back to the early 1900s and even earlier), the company certainly put the genre on the map with their Pocket Survival Tool (PST) in 1983 and sold 30,000 the first year. Now Leatherman has jumped into the firearms arena in a big way with the release of their new MUT (Military Utility Tool) multi-tool. The MUT has an array of tools, several geared specifically for the M16/AR-15 family of rifles. These include a firing pin removal punch, bolt override tool, bronze carbonscraping tool and a scope removal/ adjustment wrench (with 3/8" and 1/2" head sizes) separate from the main multi-tool. To the design team’s credit, all of these tools are Not the standard Leatherman tool of old, the MUT is thoroughly modern with a load of firearms specific and generic tools. The needlenose pliers will come in handy for firearms and field use. Note the replaceable 153 CM steel wirecutting blades. All it takes is a sidelong glance to realize this isn’t the Leatherman multi-tool of old. Compared to the company’s original multi-tool, this one more resembles something out of the movie Alien. The MUT is an interesting structural composite of skeletal steel, beefy oversized pivots, and a dash of plastic for weight savings. replaceable should they break, be worn out or lost. Other features are useful for the shooter as well, including a group of exchangeable screwdriver components with single blade, Phillips, Allen, and Torx heads, and a screw tap for attaching a cleaning rod. Also included in the main tool are the usual suspects: Needle-nose pliers, knife and saw blades, wire cutters/ strippers, cord and webbing cutter, and a carabiner that also serves as a bottle cap opener. One impressive feature of the wire cutters/strippers is the blades are replaceable, made even niftier by the fact that they are made from premium 154CM knife steel. Walking The MUT At 5" in length, the multi-tool stows easily either in its ballistic nylon, velcro-flapped MOLLE pouch (no coincidence it’s sized to hold an M9 magazine) or can be carried using the heavy-duty pocket clip on its hind side. The MUT can also be clipped to anything within the limits of the carabiner’s 1/2" maw. The prototype I tested is very close to the final product. An addition on the production models will be a latch to keep the tool securely closed when not in use. A variant to this tool, the MUT EOD model, is also available. The main differences being the needle-nose pliers have a cap crimper configured into the jaws, plus fuse wirecutters and a C4 punch. Although I’ve tested many generic multi-tools, I wanted to put the MUT Leatherman’s new MUT Utility multi-tool is the company’s first venture into the firearms accessory market. The MUT comes with a MoLLe adjustable ballistic nylon sheath and a separate scope wrench that slips into a pocket in the rear. 64 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • JANUARY 2011

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