Omega Pacific JC (no CE) (long split)

Omega Pacific
JC (no CE) (long split)

Name:Omega Pacific JC (long split)
Sub Item:(no CE)
Shape:swept spine
Gate Material:steel
Nose:notch & wire
Nose Guard:semi
Rivets:flat spun
Gate Shield:none
Weight:40.5 g
Dimensions:Length: 89.84 mm
Width: 52.18 mm
Depth (basket end): 11.62 mm
Depth (runner end): 10.94 mm
Gate Opening: 21.88 mm
Strength Ratings:Major Axis: 21 kN | Minor Axis: 9 kN | Gate Open: 7 kN
Other Markings:Laser: (OmegaPac-logo) | (ratings) JW
Batch Marking Location:spine-left
Collection Criteria:★ Personal Favorite
★ Manufacturing, Engineering, or Design
Summary:unique cold-forged split-spine construction
Description & Commentary:

The JC sports an uncommon construction - the spine has been split partially apart, with two wings bent outwards. This provides the rope bearing radius of a large round bar stock carabiner (like a Petzl Attache v1) using less weight.

This example has laser etched markings, instead of the forged batch markings of Omega Pacific JC (short split). It also has a longer split section (10mm shorter unsplit section), and wider nose guard.

It is also missing the laser CE markings found on the blue anodized long-split example, but they may have been worn off in use. The nose notch exhibits some peening from the gate wire under a heavy load.

Sometime prior to 2006 the tooling for the carabiner broke and was repaired. When the tooling broke again, OP discontinued the design. (source: my recollection, from the now defunct forum post by an Omega Pac employee). A change in the tooling or process might account for the differences between this version and the short split version.

In some places this carabiner was called the JC Lite. If the JC and JC Lite were different models, and applied to the two versions I have, it might also help explain the difference in size of the split section. Unfortunately, both versions weigh almost the same and neither would be obviously the "lite" model.

Almost all Omega Pacific carabiners from this same era were outclassed by similar designs from other manufacturers. In contrast, the JC was well loved and carried a cult following from rock climbers who found the design light, compact, low drag and easy to clip while lead climbing. The narrow width and swept spine makes it easy to grab when at the end of a twisting and moving quickdraw, the large wiregate seems to just swallow rope.

Given what can be achieved with modern hot-forging methods, we are unlikely to see the return of split-spine designs. Fanatics still collect and treasure this unique carabiner.

Acknowledgements:Part of the collection thanks to the generous donation of Joel Levinson.