All posts in Shooting Supplies

Being prepared for the range and investing in Range Bags

Just this past weekend I had the opportunity to bring one of my kids to the range,  while somewhat prepared and organized we decided we were going to bring rifles.   With all of my experience I’ve learned to have things packed up and organized in specific bags because I’ve had plenty of past experiences of showing up at a range with the wrong ammo, wrong magazines, forgetting to bring magazines, and the worst, forgetting to bring the stapler for hanging targets.  One of my old ranges was notorious for not being maintained and I open showed up without being able to hang my targets on anything so I  had to bring a backup.   There are plenty of things you can do wrong if you are packing up multiple calibers and when it’s time to go home,  if you are disciplined in packing you are going to lose your magazines,  your stapler and your sight in tools.

Sometimes people get sticker shock when they see gun cases outside of Uncle Mike’s and Bulldog but buying there is a lack of logic when spending money on $2500 rifles and not wanting to spend $100 on a rifle case.  The same goes for people with a lot of firearms and not buying decent range bags means losing money and time.   This Elite Survival Range Bag is hands down the first thing we suggest when people don’t want cheap.  This bag comes in 3 different sizes and the medium is the most popular.  For people in competiti.on sports the Elite Survival Range Roller is a must and the newer Load Out Range Bag will get listed shortly.   Keep it organized and make your range trips more organized.


How useful are ammo cans?

They’re extremely useful!!!

These are usually gun show pickups for me and the biggest problem i’ve had with them is not buying consistent sizes.   Anyone that reloads ammo keeps things like these around because it’s a safe, economic way to store bulk ammo.   Most of these are military surplus but some are not.   These are excellent for keep your powder dry and keeping brass clean.   I’ve also used them for gun cleaning supplies and store certain types of books.   Back in the day I use to see bulk ammo buys that included ammo cans but not so much anymore.

If you aren’t sure what size you should get, go with the bigger sizes because you can always create levels and separate different items internally.  Remember to label your stuff because they are marked for 5.56, 762 or 50 caliber.   If you buy multiples of the same sizes they are easy to stack.   These also make great gives for 10 year olds and do a nice job of keeping army men in the same box. *joking*

You can always get the lighter plastic ammo cans but they tend to not hold up to as much abuse if you are going to be throwing them around a lot, but their starting weight of being made of plastic vs metal does make them lighter.  The metal ammo cans are from $22.99 to $36.99


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.


Lots of options for Hearing Protection on the range or on the job














There has been some big changes in the the way people use and wear hearing protection.  Now that suppressors becoming more and more common, the need for hearing protection with high decibel reduction is going down.   You still do have to watch your ears with certain calibers because you may not know that you are doing damage if you go with something rated low.   Every once in awhile we get people that I normally consider outside the industry, like drummers and construction workers that pick up the foam ear plugs or the Sonic Protectors that Surefire produces.   Not everyone likes to have those heavy headphones on, and anyone using eyewear (which you should) finds out real fast how uncomfortable they are together.

People often ask about the electronic Hearing Protection from Peltor but I find that better for firearms instructors or training instructors.   If I was going to get a best recommendation, I lean heavily towards the Surefire Sonic Defenders.  With the Sonic Defenders, you have color options, size options (you have to measure the inside of your ear with a ruler) and ear canal depths, Once you have your size down, you’ll never go back to foam ear plugs.   And if you really aren’t interested in that and just want the foam ear plugs, just get a jar of them (usually about 100) for usually under $30 and it’ll last you a long time, sometimes that’s a good option for people like me that are always bringing novice shooters to the range that don’t have their own gear.   Sometimes children have trouble with those so junior size hearing protection is the best way to go.


Safe Practice with Ring’s BlueGuns

Rings BlueGunsIn this industry the one thing you need are good, safe and responsible safety habits.    You can loose muscle memory if you don’t practice,  Ring’s BlueGuns are one option and if you don’t have good practice, you’re an accident waiting to happen.  I can run through the list of stories of all of the negligent discharges of firearms at Police Training Centers, Firearm Academies and Gun Ranges.  People loading guns in the parking lot, new recruits discharging firearms while drawing their weapons, discharges while re-holstering, and discharging firearms while defending themselves in defensive situations.

There are plenty of ways of keeping on top of your skills, and there are other options besides plastic firearms, Blade Tech has plastic replacement barrels, but it’s still not a bad idea to consider throwing Ring’s BlueGuns in to one of your range bags if you may be teaching a novice.   Grip, stance, sight picture, are all things you can teach with a $40 piece of plastic,  Police use them in training rooms, NRA Instructors do too.   It’s not the type of thing you normally find at a gun range or gun shop which is why Tactical Stores like exist.


Saving lives is a lot easier than you think, you just have to have the Combat Medical Gear to do it

Combat Medical SuppliesI recently heard about two accidental shootings, one during a SWAT training and one during a competition shooting event at My gun club last year.   The good thing about the SWAT training event was that there were SWAT medics on the scene and one of them told me that they needed two tourniquets to stop the bleeding after an Officer shot himself in the last when re-holstering his sidearm.  Now I keep two Tourniquets in my range bag.  The total cost of both of them a SWAT-T Tourniquet and a North American Rescue CAT Tourniquet.  There are different types of packaging for Quikclot but according to the people that use it there’s no practical difference between the Sport Quikclot and the Combat gauze.   They cost anywhere from $17 to $25 while the Combat Gauze is usually in the $30 range.

We are running a promo on some of the basic combat medical supplies and packing them ourselves to try and get our customer base, since the vast majority of them are around firearms, to spend $40-$80 on these basic life saving tools because stopping bleeding is not a hard thing to do anymore.  The vast majority of gun shot wounds are survivable due to recent technological improvements.  Last year, at my gun club during a 3 gun match, one of the people there shot himself in the foot.  Out of all of the people attending the match, only one person had an IFAK.  Those are pretty bad statistics and instead of 250rds of 45acp, maybe you should consider buying into this.


Wilson Combat Parts and Upgrades for 1911 and AR15

Wilson Combat I was never one to change much on handguns after I purchased them.  Whenever I was window shopping for something new, it was all about how it felt in My hand.  With all of the Hi visibility sights you can get on firearms these days, that is something to consider buying on your own, after the fact, but sometimes you can get lucky and a gun might be brand new with the factory putting High Definition sights on them.  All of My Sig Sauer pistols have Hogue grips on them because I find Sig Factory grips to just flat out suck, they don’t grip well and actually feel slippery.

When is it time to swat an internal part out?  Triggers are something you have to be very careful about doing because that is something that can make a reliable firearm dangerous if not done properly.   It’s not that uncommon for those in the competition world to have guns doubling because they are running lighter triggers.    I have made several modifications to my 1911 handguns and they all had Wilson Combat Parts put in them.  I have never found the 1911 to be hard to shoot but it when I was trying to increase my speed and accuracy I found that it was time to put and extended magazine release on it, Wilson Combat Trigger replacement and a drop in Wilson Combat beaver tail grip.  Even though my guns have these parts in them, it hasn’t compromised there ability to be CCW friendly.    You need to be careful how you balance competition shooting, accuracy modifications (lighter triggers) and safety.


Leatherman Tools, EMS and LEO Sales Data

Leatherman Multi-toolsI sometimes feel as though I need to take a couple training courses every year to just learn what is going on in the industry, but I often do a lot of listening and asking questions and probable spend at least an hour a day researching something on to see if the manufacturer has a Youtube Channel or if a reputable blogger or writer has something to say.  Reading specs off of paper takes time and is harder to comprehend sometimes and we’re real happy with companies like Leatherman Inc to have such a good youtube channel so we can just pick a product and watch all of the features.   If you know what you want then you’ll have to do some research into each tool because need a punch, screwdriver, or hammer all have different purposes and if you use a tool incorrectly you’ll ruin it.

Right now the Leatherman OHT is the our 2nd highest selling tool since it’s so easy to handle “One Handed Tool” and has most of what you would use a multitool for.   The Leatherman Wingman  and Leatherman Wave a bigger sellers for Police and the Leatherman Raptor is practical uniform gear for EMS and SWAT Medics, we also have FBI medics in the area using them.  I’ve been eyeballing the Leatherman MUT for a long time but just feel it comes a little short on what I would want to use it for.  For $159.85 and not having a broken shell extractor falls just short of perfection.  Always be aware that the Leatherman multi-tools can come in a Brown or Black Nylon case and some also come in leather cases.


Your driving sunglasses can be your Smith Optics Elite Ballistic Sunglasses

Smith Optics Elite SunglassesSome of the cool things about investing in a decent pair of ballistic sunglasses is that you don’t need to remember to bring your safety glasses with you.   I do own some of the non-ballistic Smith Optics sunglasses but if you pick out the correct fit with the Smith Optics Elite product line, you might get the best of both worlds.   We are a full line Smith Optics Elite dealer as well as a Smith Optics regular line and there are a lot of options you can consider.  The newer Pivlock design can also cross over to be your every day eyewear and with the interchangeable lenses and the clam shell kit they come with, you can change up the lenses depending on the driving trip you are taking.   We keep a lense spectrum display in our store so customers can see the benefits of having more than one lense color because there are dramatic visibility differences between the ignitor and polarized eyewear.

When you get into ballistic ratings, you are best to stick with major brands, there are a lot of suspect ballistic vest manufacturers with horror stories about ratings not being worth your life, but when you want to talk about eyewear, your best bet is to stick with companies that know what they are doing.  Smith Optics is a top tier eyewear company and there are big differences between fit and visibility and you are going to want to stop in our store and try them on to make sure it suits your comfort.  All of the Smith Optics Elite Sunglasses meet or exceed the Meets ANSI Z87.1 ballistic rating and if you are are a competition shooter you’ll know the importance of using safety glasses while shooting on a steel range.  If you tried out the Smith product line in the past and we’re happy, take a look at them again because the product line has dramatically grown.


Desantis Pistol Belts when image and durability matter

Desantis Pistol BeltsWe offer a very large selection of belts because there are so many different objectives people are looking for.   We often see military personnel and First Responders coming in needing different belts when events are coming up or they are being deployed.   The standards are high and we sell alot of Blackhawk Rescue belts, and Elite Survival Systems Assault Rescue belts and often the Elite Survival Cobra Belt.  Some of those are pretty heavy but if you’ve had experience repelling or trying to pull yourself or someone else out of a dangerous situation, the last thing you want to have happen is a belt failure and it does happen.   Recently I’ve heard of 2 situations where belts and gear have broken off during foot pursuits, belts can fail and shoe laces come untied and such simple things can affect your ability to defend yourself.  We get asked to carry cheap stuff from time to time but we are often referencing equipment failures when people see price differences and explain to them why they are so.

All gear and accessories have failure points, all leather holsters will eventually soften but there are ways to prolong their life.   We have our list of highly suggested gun belts and the #1 pistol belt we suggest you consider are the Desantis pistol belts, we’ve moved a ton of the Blackhawk Pistol Belts in the past but they do not last as long as the Desantis.   Not everyone who is CCWing is going to need a 1.5 inch belt, pocket carry is very common these days and should not be ruled out considering there are so many high quality .380 and even 9mm compact autos.  The high capacity full size firearms are extra security but over time many people move towards comfort and give up capacity.   If you wear leather a lot there are things you can do to prolong the life of your pistol belt with both image.   Expect us to carry more of the Desantis leather belt line in the future.

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