Archive for June, 2010

The running man… Carbine fighting

tactical pantsMost handguns blow holes in targets, a good .223 Carbine with a fragmenting bullet is going to tear up a BG.   I strongly suggest putting a white light on any carbine just incase you need it to identify a target.   Many of the people we see on the training courses always think that handguns are for home defense and never really thought too much about keeping a Carbine available.  You may have some problems finding a safe to lock up your rifle, but there are things you can do to keep it away from children and still have quick access.   One of the most common things we still see with new operators is dropped gear.  Guys show up with holsters for sidearms that don’t retain the firearms, and spare pistol mags end up sitting somewhere in midrange after a quick running scenario.   The first time I wore a pair of Style 201 pants, I loaded up 6-30rd AR mags and ran around the neighborhood.   I wanted to see if the lightweight material secured the mags in place.   I was blown away at how well they were secured and I didn’t feel lop sided if I ran.  The Style 201 pants are now available in Digital camo and coming later this fall they will be available in the new Direct Action A-Tacs pattern.

I’ve discussed this topic several times before, but I’ve seen more examples of gear that failed and operators that had a teachable moment.   Its no surprise that Rogue Elite sponsors a few firearms instructors and training groups.   We are supplying our Instructors with Eotac Style 202, Style 203 and Style 201 tactical pants.    Since we’re well into the warm weather season, most of our Instructors and Operators are working with the Style 201 Operator grade pants.    I have to admit that I am more inclined to attend Carbine courses over Pistol courses.    I guess you should consider the Rogue Elite Team to think a Carbine is a better thing to fight with than a handgun.   To quote Clint Smith, “A handgun is to be used so you can fight your way back to your rifle”.    If you take a serious look at the survival rate of handgun victims vs rifle uses,  there is considerable evidence to suggest that you may want to seriously consider upgrading your home defense weapon to a shotgun or a carbine.   Bad guys showing  up on PCP or pumped up on crack aren’t going to be concerned 9mm bullets unless you get a really good shot.



New Direct Action line coming from Eotac

Rogue Elite will be running promos for the new apparel line called Elite Operator Tactical or which is more commonly named, Eotac.   We have seen the tactical apparel market explode in the last few years, but we have also seen some casualties.   There have been several small concealed carry clothing companies come out with pants or vests that have already gone out of business.   The art of designing tactical or concealed carry clothing is not an easy one.   The real problem that we see in many of the products that are showing up is consistancy and quality.   5.11 tactical has held a huge chunk of the market, but as many of our customers know, the original manufacturers made a higher quality clothing line and things have deteriorated.   Some of the 5.11 clothing I own is nice,  but on more than one occasion, the sizing was inconsistant.   I have seen some of the newer casual clothing and it does look nice, but I’m still wondering if I’d have the same issues if I wore their shirts.

Woolrich has been making tactical clothing for almost 5years now, but seems to have taken a real hit since so many dealers have dropped the line.   We have been told that many of the people that were originally behind the Woolrich Elite Series clothing split off from the company and are working with Eotac.    We wondered about that when Eotac first showed up on the market because so much of their clothing mirrored 5.11 Tactical and Woolrich Elite Series clothing.    This coming Fall there will be some real cutting edge products coming from Eotac, namely the Direct Action line.   The new A-Tacs camo is really nice and we will first get a glimpse of this at the Atlantic City Expo in June.


Order clothing online vs brick and mortar

tactical pantsNothing beats a good brick and mortar store that stocks tactical clothing, but there aren’t too many of those out there.  Makes sure you do some research on clothing sizing and look at the sizing guides closely.   To avoid wasting money on shipping and return shipping charges, you may want to break out a tape measure and measure yourself.   Comparing one clothing line to another is a no, no, since not everyone follows the same standards.    The Eotac tactical pants have an elastic wasteband which will give  you some flexibility in waist sizing.   Keep in mind that when you measure yourself, you should be measuring with the gun inside your waist if you carry IWB.   We have a great many of sizing issues when people order The Wilderness belts.   These tactical belts are hands down the best configuration for carrying firearms around, but the sizing can be tricky.

Many people have asked us which type of pants are the ones they want, we get asked which shirts people should wear and we get asked which color would looks the best.   Its funny that working in the tactical clothing business isn’t much different than working in any other apparel business.   People want to look professional and with the selection of tactical pants, tactical shirts, tactical vests, and the long line of concealed carry apparel coming out, we know that matching shirts with pants ect. is something that takes a little time.   Ordering clothing over the internet for new clothing products makes things even harder.   Something like color selections can be very difficult for shoppers, but its just as complicated to dealers.   We get color swatches from manufacturers that may look correct until you upload it to a computer and realize that the computere monitors that people are using may have their colors adjusted and dark blues make look light blue depending on which computer you view it on.



Downgrade the rifle length and upgrade the caliber

AR15 UppersThere is much to debate when it comes to discussing the effectiveness of the 5.56 round.   When it was originally deployed in the M16A1, the military had issues with the reliability of the gun, but I have heard not one complaint from any Vietnam vet about the lethality of the round.   That was when the military was using a 20inch barrel with a 55gr bullet travelling well over 3000fps.  The bullet is extremely violent at that velocity.   The lethality of the round was greatly diminished when the military started using shorter length barrels and the 62gr SCBT also known as SS109 or M855.   Although it is only 6grs heavier, the bullet is so well balanced that it basically zips straight through a target and the terminal ballistics are not very good below 2800fps which is practically what an M4 shoots it at near the muzzle.

In my opinion and many others that have been to Iraq, the short way to get around the probable is to use a heavier bullet.   The MK262 is a 77gr bullet that although it does not travel as fast as the 55gr or 62gr, it is much longer and tumbles almost immediately after hitting a target.  For close quarters situations I recommend 75gr-77gr HPBT.    One other thing to consider that many in the Special Forces or Civillian area are doing is upgrading their M4 or AR15 Uppers to the 6.8 SPC.   Do some research on which kind of upper configuration  you are looking for because there are  a lot of manufacturers out there.   The CMMG Upper is a quality upper that will get you in the new realm of M4 Carbine upgrades.


Top tier rifle optics

Zeiss rifle scopesThere is a point where people have to learn to realize that there are a great many firearms manufacturers out there that are making suberb firearms.    I’ve heard people claim that a certain firearm was superior in reliability over another.   Well, that is true to some degree, but I’d have to say there are some firearms that are in the top tier category and the durability and reliablity differences may vary in extreme circumstances.   Take a Glock 17 and put it up against a Sig 226 and you’ll see what I mean.   I’m sure the Glock will reguire less lubrication, but there won’t be much difference in 98% of circumstances.

Those of us old enough to remember when people told us that putting Glass on a battle rifle was not a good idea because they were brutal to optics and most scopes wouldn’t hold up are now old news.   Rifle scope have come a long way just as firearms have.   I’ve seen optics come back from Iraq that had bullet holes in them and they were still sighted in.   The differences between Leupold rifle scopes, Zeiss rifle scopes and Trijicon rifles scopes tends to really be about preference.    They all have moderate to expensively priced optics and the glass on them is superior to anything that was out 20yrs ago.   With a good pair of scope rings, these optics will work reliable in just about any hunting or military application.   I’ve seen all of the above mention optics on M14 rifles in Iraq.


Magnification from 0-20x

Trijicon ACOGOne problem that any hunter already knew was using too much magnification meant slow target acquisition, especially at close ranges.   Field of view is even more important in combat than in hunting.   In Combat you may be looking at a bad guys face with your reticle right on him, but 6ft to his right is a guy with his sights right on you that you can’t see.  I’d have to say that I belive that 3x-4x is probable the best of both worlds.   Trijicon knew that even an optic with zero magnification like the Eotech had an edge in some situations so now they have Trijicon ECOS which has a red dot optic which sits on top of the scope.  This will eliminate the problem of magnification in close quarters situations.

As The United States has been engaged in military operations since Sept 11th, there have been major changes in gear and combat optic for the Infantryman.   Most M16 rifles had iron sights on them, but now the vast majority of rifles being used are using some kind of Trijicon ACOGs  on them.   I still see the occassional hunting scope from Leupold and Designated Marksmen are common in every team.   The Eotech is still an extremely popular close quarters combat fighting optic due to its zero magnification and easy to track gun sight, but there are drawbacks, namely the battery operation.   Magnification has helped our men and women identify targets, wires, explosives ect. from safe distances and give the ability to put fast followup shots by using bullet calibration on their Trijicon ACOGs.



Ammo price deflation

Texas Gun ShowsThis week I got an email from an ammunition manufacturer that made me smile.   He was selling Russian 7.62×39 ammo for $209 per 100rds.   I haven’t seen that price since before the Obama election.   It seems that a bad economy and high unemployment is having an impact on the consumption of ammo buying.   I didn’t get caught up in the panic buying because in my opinion, I never thought that 1000rds of any kind of rifle or pistol ammunition should cost as much of the frickin gun.   I remember the days of $79 Wolf ammo and IMHO we are going to go back to that as long as there is not another major upheaval.

I wouldn’t rule out problems coming before the November election given the types of Politicians we have running the Country, and as they slowly run the economy into the ground, there may be people that might run out and panic buy, but other than that, most of the Country knows not to push any crazy anti gun agendas given past repurcussions, Politically, for doing so.  I strongly suggest bringing cash to Texas Gun Shows in your area and look and see what kind of ammo you can pick up for a good price.   Ammo prices are on their way down and you may run across some really good deals.


Russian ammo may save you money…

AR15 Upper ReceiverRussian ammo may save you money compared to shooting domestic 556 ammo, but be careful that you clean your guns after each range session.   I saw more malfunctions at traininig ranges and gun clubs in the last 2yrs than I have ever seen before.   Since nobody wanted to put 1000rds down range that cost $500 or more + the cost of the training course which could have cost from $150-$300 depending on what you were going for.  When you are considering saving money by buying dirtier or less expensive ammo, you should consider that you may have to clean your gun more often and that you will have more malfunctions.   I’ve seen plenty of the AR15 crowd show up at competition shoots with guns that had not been cleaned recently or they were not lubricated properly.   I remember people getting in debates about DI AR15 reliability 12yrs ago and it amazes me to this day that people that go out and buy an Ar15 think that they do not need more lubrication than other semi-autos.

The people that I saw have malfunctions all claimed that they never have malfuntions and I sit back and watch their guns jam over and over.   What these people don’t understand is that bringing a gun to a rifle range that is lightly lubricated and slow firing 150-200rds over the course of 3hrs is not the same as putting 200rds downrange in a matter of minutes.   These guns can handle getting hot, and they will run reliable if you lubricate the correctly, but that lube is going to burn off pretty fast and if there wasn’t much there in the first place, there won’t be any there when you’re done unloading your 5th 30rd magazine.  There is a 5.45×39 AR15 Upper Receiver that can save you a boatload of money and you will get your moneys worth after buying about 2000rds of ammo.   The hammer spring will need to be replaced, but luckily Smith & Wesson will supply this.


Tactical lightweight pants

Woolrich Elite lightweight pantsWe’ve been selling Woolrich Elite clothing since the beginning and have seen the changes in the tactical pants market over the last 5 years.   One thing we have noticed is the tactical pants sales change like the seasons do.   Our customer base knows that certain types of clothing just can’t be worth in hot climates, but for working in other environments, lightweight material just won’t hold up to the heavy use, and won’t shrink as much.    We get a lot of people calling or emailing us about whether or not the clothing shrinks, and they answer to that is not as bad as some of the other apparel companies that have been on the market for almost 10yrs.   We still don’t understand why some of these companies haven’t cleaned up their quality control.

Woolrich Elite lightweight pants are very well made and if you haven’t known this, Woolrich has been  manufacturing clothing for over 150yrs.   You may have issues with the fit or design, but we have to tell you that the Woolrich Elite lightweight pants tactical clothing is as well made as their civillian line of clothing.   The style 44441 pants are made of a 100% cotton ripstop material that is a big selling in the Spring and Summer months.   We’ve been running a clearance on some of their lightweight pants in Style 44447 just to clear out some inventory so check out our website Clearance section for some great deals on Woolrich Elite Series Tactical clothing.


Lighweight vests for summer

Woolrich Elite VestsFor those of us living in the part of the Country where we get all 4 Seasons of weather, our concealment options usually will change atleast 2 times a year.    There are enormous numbers of ways you can conceal a weapon, but for those of us that carry full size weapons, the warmer the weather the fewer the options.   I carry a full size Beretta 92F while at work and one of my favorite ways of carrying this firearm is in a Fobus paddle holster.   For only about $20, I’ve gotten more than my moneys worth and have never broken the holster.   I’d have to say that if I was rolling around in the dirt I would defanitely prefer to have a Serpa holster.

The Woolrich Elite lightweight vest is made of a 100% cotton ripstop material that is identical the the Woorlich Elite lightweight pants and shorts.   These make carrying gear and concealment tolerable in hot weather.   These Woolrich Elite Vests are very popular with the IDPA crowd and being cut generously on the sides give great concealement, especially for those carrying full size autos.   We’ve had a few goofy complaints from customers that have stated that these vests are not good for concealing firearm if you put them in the pockets, and we would agree, these are basically made of the same type of material that your T-shirt is made out of and your gun will most likely print if you put it in the front pockets.   The concealed carry vest is meant to be a concealment garment and not a firearm retention device.   There are other concealment vests out t here that cost 3x’s as much money and can be used to hold firearms, but those are not lightweight.

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