Act 235 Badges

There is a lot of debate on whether or not Security Guards should wear badges.   I’ve heard first hand accounts of people being negative about it.   It really is all about how you use your badge.  Impersonation of a Police Officer is something Security Guards are often charged with when they over step their authority.   We recently got a warning from the Pennsylvania State Police about ACT 235 Certifications not covering you when  you are not on duty as a Security Officer because sometimes guards don’t bother to get their Concealed Carry Permits for out of work carry.

An ACT 235 badge is really meant to make anyone aware that you are Certified to carry a firearm and give you a level of authority in certain positions.   I’ve been in enough crisis situations that sometimes Law Enforcement or private citizens can be put at ease when they see a badge on you.   Some Philadelphia Police suggested people wear the badge on the same side as their firearm so people see “gun” and see “badge” right next to it.   We spoke to PA State Police about the designs of some of the badges that are out there and they did tell us that Certified Agent is not something people understand or can identify with, even though the State Police issue these.   Having Certified Agent and Security Officer on the badge was something they considered “a good idea”.   We are selling these with the leather clip on holder for $100 and do plan on stocking them.

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Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers

Now that we have our FFL, we can still see the same sales data that proves that Spike’s Tactical is still the #1 AR builders brand name.    We have a long history of selling the Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers.   Now that the new wave still leans towards Pistol AR’s and SBR’s,  the pattern is still there.   We are planning on stock more of the AR15 Upper Receivers in 2018 as well as various lower receivers, most are in and around the $100 range and they have been a high volume product line.   We are also see quite a few of the 9mm lowers sell.

People are very particular about the rail sections they want, the M-Lok and SAR and SAR3 are the top movers and you can put those handguards on whatever Carbine you already own.   All of the Spike’s Tactical Complete Upper Receivers we sell all come with the complete bolt carrier group and charging handle, far more people buy complete AR15 uppers than build them, the lower receivers are what most people put together.

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Colonel Blades what it’s all about

Colonel Blades are new to us and we found out about them when Al Salvitti showed up in our store with his product a few months ago.   The major selling point to these blades is they are designed for people that shoot firearms, if you have the time to take martial arts, then go right ahead, but sometimes running a pizza shop and keeping a firearm around are all you have time for, but firearms are the last resort and are often not effective if you are too close to a threat.   I’m a big fan of people having flashlights and knives on them at all times, because you’ll get more use out of them every than a firearm, but the Colonel Blades really are designed for people that don’t need a lot of training to understand.

With the supplied G-Code Sheath that clips onto your belt, these are easier to deploy than a folding knife, faster to draw and punch forward without having to train, it’s a very natural and instinctive thing to do, punch a threat.  Colonel Blades has a few different blade preferences, or options and from what we see they are all coming with a trainer.   The only negative I have gotten from customers is that you have to properly seat the blade in the holster because if you do not, it will come loose and you will find out when you cut yourself.   It’s no different than holster and re-holstering a firearm.

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Glock Factory Mags vs Magpul Glock PMAGs?

We recently started stocking some of the Magpul Glock PMAGS and are getting feedback from our customers.   I’m not sure if Glock is happy that Magpul is making mags for them because it looks like they are a winner with our customers.  I’m not an expert on the topic but we’ve seen several changes to PMAGS, AR15, AK, and Glock PMAGS and there have been some issues.  We are now up to 5 Generations of Glock handguns and there ALWAYS going to be variables.   Production variations in magwells, magazines, springs, ect have lead to issues in every firearm manufacturer.

There is a natural trend in our industry away from steel to polymer.   It’s all a technological and it’s the future, how many firearms are still sold with wood stocks? The savings of almost $10 or more per magazine is a big selling point and something I wish we would see with Sig Sauer.   Sig Mags tend to be in and around $40 per mag while Glock Factory Magazines are usually in and around $30 a mag.   The Glock PMAGS are about $15 a mag and from what we are seeing, they are getting good reviews from customers.   It’s always good to test magazines and ammunition out in your firearm before you rely on them but there are always variables and sometimes a need for a trip to a gunsmith.

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Gunvault Gun Safes finding one that suits you best

I’ve been working with Gunvault Gun safes for well over 20yrs, there have been design changes, improvements and even corporate changes.   There are several other brands out there but they may not be best for accessing a firearm quickly.   From my personal experience, there isn’t much of a need to keep a gun in a bedroom that isn’t locked up.  My biggest concern with bedside guns is, what if you aren’t in the house?  The bedroom is the first place the bad guys go for jewelry and other valuables, not leaving a gun around is a good thing.

Recently we have had several seminars in our store about Concealed Carry, people need to know that there are some places you can’t carry a firearm and you might have to lock your gun up in your car.   You also need to know how easy it is to break a window and grab that firearm that is stuffed under your seat.   The Gunvault gun safe that is a good fit as  a car safe is the Gunvault Nanovault.   They are in the $40 price range and you can use the wire cord to wrap around a car seat and through the safe to secure it.   Illegal guns end up on the streets through Straw Purchases or theft, so don’t make it easy for the bad guys.

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AR15 Complete Upper Receivers for sale

Many people are still finding out how easy it is to “build” their own AR15 configurations.   With the political changes in Washington DC, the firearm industry is in a full reset.   Many in this industry had a free ride with the previous Administration pushing a political agenda which artificially drove up gun sales.   I’d have to say that in 2018, I expect that atleast 50% of firearms sales are going to be done online, and those sales are going to increase.   People are very particular about what they want, the sights, the handguards, the triggers, the grips, that you can just find an FFL to do the transfer and get exactly what you want instead of expecting to have a gun store already have it in stock.  Many People still buy their AR15 Complete Upper Receivers and don’t build them.   They buy the complete upper with the handguard they want, and sometimes the sights.

There are always changes being made, from MOE stocks to Keymod and M-Lok.   There recently has been a trend back to quad rails because people are finding out that you don’t have to worry about your rail design becoming discontinued.  Quad Rails will always be around.   Many of the AR15 Complete Upper Receivers we sell will come with fixed sights, Magpul Sights and sometimes Troy Battle Sights.  The ever changing optics world has moved people away from iron sights to red dots with magnifiers and now towards variable low powered optics.   We still move a lot of Spikes Tactical Complete Upper Receivers, Adams Arms Complete Upper Receivers, LWRCI Complete Upper Receivers and CMMG Complete Upper Receivers.    They each have their pros and cons, sometimes its all about price point.

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Tru-Spec Pants for colder weather, options?

Most of this industry is full of 65/35 polyester cotton ripstop.  If you didn’t know that, check the labels on your Propper, 5.11, Tru-Spec, Blackhawk and Vertx Pants.   You are starting to see other materials being introduced, primarily lycra which gives material a little bit more stretch, many practicing martial arts are finding this to suit them well.   The Tru-Spec Ascent pants and the 5.11 Stryke Pant are two of the more popular styles we see selling.   These pants are not going to keep you warm in the winter though.   I’ve done enough security gigs where I was reminding myself that on the next shift its time to switch to another material because those 1am-7am shifts can be painfully cold compared to sunny afternoon work.

I have to be honest, the Tru-Spec pants that sell the most are the lighter weight products, but if you are use to wearing the 24/7 Series Tactical Pants, there is an all cotton canvas pant with the exact same  pocket patters that is available.     There is another style they just came out with last year called the Delta, it’s a nice pant but we know that people always have their preferences with pocket patterns.  One of the major negatives of the Tru-Spec pants product line is all the variations in hand pocket angles and depths.   We’ve seen a lot of people complain that when they try to add to their Tru-Spec pants wardrobe, that there are too many variations of wallet pockets and hand pockets that it’s hard to pocket carry in some of the styles and access to hand pockets can be inhibited if you are wearing a paddle holster.  OWB Holsters can also inhibit access to the knife pockets that they design on some of their pants.  (Hint) That’s why Blackhawk and 5.11 Tactical and many others, have pockets forward of the hand pockets. It’s a good quality product line but you’re going to have to pick and choose what works for you.

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Rothco Jackets for Fall and Winter 2017

There are several product lines we have recently picked up that our customers asked us to start carrying.  While we are very cautious about what kinds of inventory we stock, there is something that we really liked about the Rothco outerwear that we really liked.   We recently found out about another regional Army Navy store closing down and to be honest, there really isn’t much opportunity to acquire military surplus clothing like there use to be. So many of these stores try to pick up modern military production clothing and the profits aren’t just there. Rothco Jackets like Rothco MA-1 Flight Jacket is only $36 and gets people through most of the fall is a light windbreaker.  Everyone has a variation of the M-65 jacket and Rothco is one of them.   They do a good job of  making vintage military jackets.

The only negative we’ve gotten so far is that Rothco could do a better job of putting better quality zippers on their jackets.  The Rothco Jackets that we sell the most of are the Soft Shell jackets, there are considerable differences in the weight and tactical or concealed carry applications so do some research into what works best for you.  The Rothco A-2 Leather Flight Jacket is an outstanding version but on the much higher price.  With all of the options you might consider, Rothco hits at a much more reasonable price point for wear and tear clothing.

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Vortex VORTEX SOLO R/T MONOCULARS why not to use Binoculars

Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars

There is often a debate on whether or not you need a spotting scope or binoculars when hitting the range.  The biggest problem with binoculars is that they are not always that stable.   If you have a spotting scope on a tri-pod its going to give you more stability which will mean clarity.   Sometimes spotting small holes on paper at 500yds is difficult, even with higher magnification.   You can always do what I do and just bring a scoped rifle with you and use that for spotting.   There are many things that come into play if you want to see things at longer ranges, mirage from heat, humidity, and sun glare can all ruin your ability to see.

The real selling point I would have for a Vortex Monocular is that they are smaller, compact and lighter weight.   You get a very good field of view of 393 feet at 1000yds for the Vortex Solo R/T Monoculars.   Being able to throw these in a molle pouch on your plate carrier or even just clip it on to your plate carrier makes it easier to keep around.  Target identification and range estimation are the main selling points, the second is that most Vortex optics are priced about $100 below what they are worth.   Sure you can use these for bird watching or boating, but this is a tactical blog and this is definitely something to consider.

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Tru-Spec Mens Tactical Boot Cut Trousers

There are tons of tactical pants to choose from, but there are not that many we can say are good for everything.  We’ve been around long enough to see companies come and go, but as much as we have have our preferences, not everyone will be happy with just one brand.   We’ve done a brutal analysis of various tactical clothing companies, from Rothco, Tru-Spec, UnderArmor, 5.11 Tactical and Vertx.   Every brand has there own targeted market, but we’ve seen many people tend to lean towards the lower profile clothing because if you can wear it more, you are going to use it more.  Sometimes just a chance of color on a style makes the difference in your perceived profile.

Tru-Spec makes a quality product and is worth looking into, but they have a few duds from time to time.  With how competitive the tactical clothing industry is, price points and quality control is where it is at.  My personal preference in the Tru-Spec product line is towards the Tru-Spec (what was the Gunny Signature Series Boot Cut Pant) and is now called the Tru-Spec Mens Tactical Boot Cut Trousers, these have deep hand pockets for pocket carry, and larger knife pockets and makes a great EDC carry pant.  I do find that if you are carrying a sidearm on the strong side you might have issues with using the designed knife pockets which is why many other companies move pockets towards the front, like the 5.11 TDU pants and the Propper Kinetic Pants do, I wish Tru-Spec would design things like these but they still have some good stuff.

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