Archive for January, 2010

Got kids? Lock your stuff up!

GunVault Gun SafesThere has been a major shift in the attitudes of a lot of gun owners.   I remember the days when gun owners would never want to have to think about locking their handgun in a safe, especially if it was their bedside pistol.    Back in the day, we all had Grandfathers that kept guns laying around, but the stats show that accidents happen and kids will find them if they are not locked up.   If you don’t have kids around this is a none issue, but if you do, you may want to do some thinking.

What happened that changed peoples attitude about locking guns up?   Well, technology has caught up with the reasoning for having quick access to a handgun.   Years ago a gun safe meant using a key or combination to open and that can be cumbersome and slow if you really had to get to your gun at 3am.    GunVault gun safes have been through a few updgrades in the last few years and the safes they are putting out now are much better than the ones they had a few years ago.   The Key pad buttions are easier to feel and like all things,  a little practice time and your hands will do what they need to without thinking.   There is also a biometric version that can read your fingerprints which elimates the possibility of a kid gaining access to your guns.  The GVB200 will open up at soon as you place your hand on the sensor.


Winter Options

Tactical ApparelYou’ve heard that word before, but this time we actually have something that is tactical, useful, warm and makes concealed carry easier in the winter months.   There are plenty of half-zip sweatshirts out there, you see them at Cabela’s or your local outdoor sporting goods store, but all of them make carrying a little more difficult in cold weather.   Wearing slightly over-sized T-Shirts make carrying easier, but after putting on more than 2 layers of clothing, carrying IWB or OWB becomes dangerously cumbersome.
The Eotac Style 501 Half-Zip sweatshirt gives an operator another tactical apparel option.  The 14 oz. 80% cotton / 20% polyester, preshrunk and washed sweatshirt looks and feels like a normal sweatshirt, but the sides of the shirt has break open flaps that make drawing your firearm easier, or just reaching for your cell phone for that matter.   Most never liked the idea of carrying a firearm outside of their body  in a jacket or vest.   I really like this item.   With a nice base layer over a T-Shirt,  then 1 of these 501 Sweatshirts, and you’re good to go for most Cold weather carry.  These come in Charcoal, Olive, Brown and Navy blue.


Upgrades and Doodads

Tactical GearIn the early 1990s there was a surplus of military style rifles coming into the Country.   There were goofy thumbhole stocks to avoid violating gun laws or cheap parts for kits.   Many of these rifles had pretty ugle stocks especially many of the rifles coming in from China or Egypt.   If you have one of those MAK90s or Maadis that works great, but looks like crap, you might want to upgrade your stock with a synthetic.   Many of these stocks are made in the US and can be considered US Parts to add to your legal alterations of your gun.

One of the best and easiest upgrades for any of your Chinese or Russian guns is a Fiberforce stock for your SKS.  The SKS is one of the better balanced guns that the Soviet Bloc states put out and the Fiberforce stock won’t offset that.  There is even a folding stock version that might help you if you want this as a truck gun or want to save some room in your safe.    For AR15 accessories, you can go nuts on AR15 upgrades, but think about what you really want on your gun before you just start buying, try handling your buddies guns before you just order pistol grips that you don’t really know much about or how they really feel.  Everyones hand is different and not all grips will work for you.  You can mess up the balance of your gun if you throw a heavy rail on it, especially if you don’t really need much tactical gear on your gun, why do it.


Upgrade from your army surplus gear holster

Gun holsters
As SWAT Teams have changed their gear, so have the holsters they use for sidearms.   Something like a leg holster for Police or LEOs were not very common since Sheriffs stopped riding horses and started to drive cars.   Now  you’ll be lucky to find a SWAT Team where leg holsters aren’t being used.  If you’ve got to tote an M4 around there really isn’t a good way avoiding snagging or arm movements if you’ve got a paddle holster or OWB holster on.   Galco Holsters,  Blackhawk and Safariland are by far some of the more popular brands with a diverse product line for concealement and tactical purposes.

Like people, gun holsters come in all shapes and sizes.    Holsters can be made out of nylon or they can be made out of kydex.   Years ago there were not as many options other than the military style holter or thumbreak holsters.    Most gun holsters were made out of leather and the balance between protecting a firearm and making it easy to draw from was pretty bad.    Most holsters were meant for LEO or Military personal, but not for concealment.    Pocket guns have been around for hundreds of years, but every since the semi-auto pocket guns came on the market, worrying about lint build up and avoiding gun printing was problematic.


Wilson Combat better than GI Magazines

Wilson Combat MagazinesThe title pretty much says it.    The 1911 has been around for a long time now, but the reality is the guns and the magazines have improved since 1911.   Sure machining and accuracy has improved for all firearms, but even to this day I still see guys with 1911 malfunctions regardless of the type of gun.   Whenever I see these malfunctions I always ask what kind of ammo they use and what magazines.    Most 1911s are even to this day still designed for ball ammo.   Check with your manufacturer on what kind of ammo  your 1911 will tolerate so you don’t make a fool out of yourself during training.    I see it happen every year when new shooters show up at a class.

Magazines matter.    In my opinion the DI AR15 variants got a life extension once Pmags came out since part of the weakness of the Ar15 system were flimsy GI Magazines.   The same goes for the 1911.   GI Mags are nice range mags, but they really were intended to be thrown away on the battlefield and not reused.   Wilson Combat Magazines helped keep the 1911 on the market for LEO and CCW owners.   The balance of the magazine followers is superior to what you’ll find at gun shows and that can increase your versatility.    Some GI 1911s will run ammo that is non-ball, just because Wilson Combat Magazines put the bullet in the chamber without as much movement as the old GI mags and will increase reliability.


A liability?

Crimson Trace Laser GripsMan in the training in the self defense school will argue about the use of lasers on firearms.    Lasers are used for as many diverse reasons as any tool.   You can use a laser to direct someone to a target, highlight a threat, targetting a threat and using the laser dot to give you an approximate point of impact.   When lasers first came out, there was evidence that operators were using them to aim and for close quarters fighting, sometimes aiming is not necessary and will slow you down in getting the first hits in.   Hits count and the first hits usually go to the winner.
Whenever you think about putting a laser on your firearm, think about the tactics and reasons for using them.   The Crimson Trace laser grips have an excellent reputation for durability and will fit for most modern handguns.    Lasers won’t slow you down if you don’t let them, they can actually help you in many ways and there are some instruction DVDs out there that will show you how.    Lasers are also a good weapon of intimidation and can give some comfort to less trained shooters.   Whether your carrying a laser for your Glock, 1911, Sig Sauer, XD or revolver, remember, it’s what’s in your head that helps you win a fight.


Tactical Pants with an edge

Tactical Pants

In the the last decade, probale since Sept 11th, the reorganization of military personal into smaller non-uniformed security and special ops has created a new industry.    The market has exploded with various new companies emerging.   We’ve also seen a few companies fizzle out, recently SigTac has shown that it is on the way out.    The Eotac Clothing has been on the market for almost a year now and the Eotac pants, both lightweight Style 201, and Style 203 are far superior in durability compared to other lightweight pant designs.  The Style 202 Eotac pants which may look like something that 5.11 has out, have very practical improvements in pocket reinforcements and size.   The side cargo pockets are bellowed which mags it easier to use for things like mag dumps.    The rear ID pocket it much easier to access compared to the simliarly designed Woolrich Elite 4429 pant.

Tactical Pants isn’t a very descriptive if you know the market.   Some people thinkg BDUs are tactical pants and guess what, they are.   Jeans with a zipper on the side pockets can be tactical depending on who you talk to.    Well, for those that need to carry gear, we don’t really care what you call them, if they work for you then you keep buying them.   The sad thing about the tactial clothing and pants market is the QC or quality control.   I’ve seen a lot of people wearing 5.11 pants to the range, but after 5.11 basically owned the tactical apparel market, from the last time I saw, there quality control has gotten shotty.  They make some good stuff, but when there manufacturing facilities are in 3 different Countries, you might get 3 different fits and sizes.



New Tactical Clothing for women

Eotac ClothingThe Style 702 womens operator grade lightweight pants will be made of the same 100% cotton ripstop material that the men’s pants are made of, the stitching and durability are the same, but the buck stops there, or should we say doe?   The pocket designs are unique to the womens pants and nothing like anything Eotac has out.   The front pockets will easily accomodate pocket holsters, the two additional wallet type pockets can hold ID or even something as large as a pistol magazine. The pant legs are slightly tapered for a better look while still allowing access to an ankle holster or being worn with boots.  These pants will be available in late Winter and will come in Black, Khaki, Navy blue and OD Green.

When some people here that there are tactical pants for women, people think the Hello Kitty pink camo pants are what they’re talking about.   If your girlfriend is wearing something like this it’s  not to offend you or put her down, but the sad reality is there are an awful lot of women out there that are wearing ments pants that were designed for men.    The new evolution of warfare involving non uniformed clothing, the tactical apparel market has been exploding.    The tactical apparel company Eotac which successful infilltrated the market with it’s (mostly applicable to men) apparel is now trying to cut into the market with Eotac clothing for women.



Hunting Elusive Game

hunting_with_kidsHunting an elusive species of animal can be highly enjoyable and add a certain thrill absent in the hunt of more common game. To make your elusive game hunt as successful as possible, there are a few pieces of equipment you will need in addition to the standard hunting gear. For spotting game, you will need a pair of quality long range binoculars, like Burris binoculars

You will also want scent dampening clothing, as species of elusive game often have keen senses of smell. Riflescopes or spotting scopes are necessary for accuracy and for quick shots on moving targets. Ensure you observe the standard rules of hunting including reflective clothing, and a hunting buddy or at least in depth notification of your location and where you will be at specific times.


The Reason for a gun case

Allen Gun CasesThere are som many variations of gun cases.   Some gun case can be loaded up with firearms and gear and practical have a nuke detonated on them and they’ll survive, but not everyone is concerened with that.   Some of us may want to keep our Mini 14 and Mini 30 magazines matched up to the appropriate rifle case and buy and assault rifle type case and then mark the bag and put the correct magazines with each so we don’t have to spend an entire evening preparing for the following days shooting range.    I’ve also learned to organize all of my firearm accessories and magazines so I don’t have one of those days where I show up at the range and find out I had the wrong magazines or no mags with me.
If this sounds like something you might want to avoid, as you collect firearms, try and atleast find a rifle case that is appropriate for your rifle or pistols.   Whether you are transporting a Remington 700 on a hunting trip or a Smith & Wesson model 19 to a trainings course, you may want to consider something as inexpensive as a gun case from Allen Gun cases.   The Endura pistol and rifle cases just zip up your gun and help prevent it from being scratched up.   Remember to look for the correct size case, and you may want to mark it so you know which gun it is meant for.   Spending $10-$25 on a gun case may save you some headaches and prevent disorganization of damage in transport.

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