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1) We have already begun shipping out the Cobra Buckle Cache Belts.
It is very unfortunate that the Cache Belt (with Austrialpin D-Ring Cobra Buckle) has begun shipping before the standard original Cache Belt. It might even be unfair. We're sorry, it was never our intent, but it is sadly the way things have worked out.
There have been several backers who have requested to change their original Cache Belt pledge to the Cache Belt with Cobra Buckle. This is perfectly OK, but if this is something that interests you please remember that while the heavy-duty and versatile Cobra Buckle provides some added benefits, it also loses some of the capabilities of the original Cache Belt with custom cam buckle.
2) New Supplier, Same Buckle, Less Headache
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We have been working with backup manufacturers ever since it became clear our original manufacturer was over their head on this project. One manufacturer has shown to be very proficient with executing our buckle design. We were very impressed by their first sample (see above) and decided to continue forward with them through more production stages. We did request a few changes from the initial sample. Namely, that the engaging teeth be slightly modified to assure that it bites securely into the webbing and to clean up a few production blemishes.
This required them to modify the tooling which is being finished up this week and they will send us the final buckle for inspection immediately. Raw materials have already been received by the manufacturer. Upon our quality confirmation, they will go immediately into production and crank out both the carbon steel and stainless steel buckles.
While this new manufacturer has done a superb job on the making of the buckles, they did not quite nail the plating on the carbon steel buckle as well as we had hoped. The black stainless plating has been the most durable we've ever tested, however, they are unable to duplicate the same process in grey on carbon steel. We are looking at several options (powder coat, physical vapor deposition, cerakote, titanium nitride, etc.) while we wait on the final sample.
We are very sorry that this timeline has become a moving target. It has never been our goal to mislead you in any way. All of the information we have passed on was based on the good faith of information that our manufacturers provided us.