Archive for July, 2010

Hot weather and clothing

tactical shirtsThis summer has already been  hotter than the summers that I remember in the previous decade.  Since I’ve been wearing the same clothing or similiar types of clothing for the past coupl years, I can really feel the changes in seasons.   In New Jersey we get all 4 Seasons, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.  Good luck in trying to wear the same pants or shirt through all of that!  5.11 Tactical has probable the most diverse product line, but we get an enormous number of complaints from them.   Eotac products have been on the market for bairly more than a year and we’re still hoping for more new products.   In the summer months we can really feel the need for more lightweight products.    The concealed carry clothing that works the best in really hot weather are the Style 403 and Style 404 shirts which are basically as light as a t-shirt, but designed for concealing a firearm, and they allow for easy access under cover.

Eotac has tactical shirts that I would highly recommend for those still wanting a shirt for range use.    The style 401 Eotac shirt is highly recommend by our operators due to the fact that it is short sleeve, vented properly and the shirt has a zipper that looks professional even when zipped down. For the remaining parts of July and August we are running a huge promo on these items.   Considering how hot it’s been in most of the Country and the fact that these are already a big seller for this time of year, they may be sold out before the end of month.   See our sizing guide for the proper measurements and feel free to call or email us with any questions.


Possibilities with the Mini 14

rifle scopesOne of my more accurate and flat shooting rounds I use is the military 62gr SCBT round, but I absolutely advise against ever using this for hunting.  My favorite hunting round is a 60gr HP from Sierra that has allowed me to put 3 shot groups in 3 inches out to 300yds.   I’m sure there are some readers saying BS on that one, but its true and I have pictures to prove it.   The Mini 14s best advantage is that it is much lighter weight that most AR15 style weapons and that it feels more like a traditional rifle.   The stainless steel Mini 14 also holds up very well in damp environments and I’ve seen better resistance against moisture than the standard blued Mini 14.

My all time favorite semi-auto for hauling around is an possible always will be the Ruger Mini 14.   I started out with these long before i stepped into the world of tactical accessories and long range shooting.   My favorite setup for the Mini 14 is a 3.9×40 rifle scope and in my humble opinion, this is probable the proper setup for what the gun was originally intended to be used for.   If a user pays attention to the barrel twist and the bullet weight they are using, this lightweight carbine which fires a bullet as powerful as an M16 is capable of varmint hunting and medium size game.   Many States do not allow the use of AR 15 style rifles for hunting, but you can still get the accuracy and power from the .223 round in a Carbine that doesn’t look as threatening while beating down the sticks.



So many ARs so little time..

AR 15 Upper receiversEven though the short stroke and other piston designs have come on the market, and these guns all operate much cleaner, the AR15s DI guns that are being fielded these days are far more reliable than the M16A1 that was issued in Vietnam.   Designs and improvements of metalogy has been tremendous and this can be noticed just by feeling the difference between one bolt carrier and another.   Another major point about why the AR 15 guns have caught on is that they are so ergonimically superior to most of the military style guns out there that they are easy teaching tools.   I normally start people out with learning the fundamentals with a 22lr bolt action with iron sights, but when I’m dealing with an adult that is not afraid of recoil, a .223 A2 style Carbine is an excellent staring point.

It seems that every time I pick up another issue of Swat magazine, American Handgunner, Special Weapons, Guns & Ammo ect. that there is yet another advertisement for another company making another AR 15 gun.   The AR15 is now the most mass produced rifle in America and they are as common as a can of Coca-Cola.    I don’t think I can name more than 3 calibers that the AK was made in, but i’ve already lost track of the number of calibers that I have seen the AR15 being made in.   You can get them in pistol caliber carbines and from my experience, they run very well.   I have to admit that I am glad to see that the AR 15 Upper Receivers have taken a giant step away from the direct impingement design that has been so hotly debated.   I am a big believer that with todays technology and the technology that are LEO and Military are dealing with, using a firearm that is such high maintenance, is a waste of valuable time.



How many mags for handguns?

pistol magazinesEvery time I get asked a question about which firearm or accessory someone needs I follow up with the question “For what?”   I have seen plenty of well trained concealed carry owners walk around with a 5 shot j-frame and none of them feel under gunned.   The reality is that in some nightmare situation, you’ll never be full prepared, and sometimes we just have to be practical when we are CCW every day.   For most practical purposes, I’d recommend keeping a spare magazine in your gun safe in your home, or keep one in your car if you don’t think you can comfortable carry a backup.   When most of us are out and about, the ammunition you have on you is all you’re going to be able to fight with, but keeping something near your car and easily accessible in your home is a good idea.

If you are cop or military, you probable don’t need my advice to know how much ammunition to carry.   I’ve noticed that most of the Police in my area have 2-3 pistol magazines on them, but considering that they are usually full size glocks, I think 45-60rds of pistol ammo should easily get you back to your shotgun, M4 Carbine, or back to your radio to call in the SWAT Team.   Police these days are more likely to walk into nightmare scenarios and carrying that much ammunition is called insurance.


Finding your zero

rifle scopesOne of the most common issues I have seen with new Carbine students is their lack of knowledge about where their point of impact is at close ranges.   I spoke with a student who could shoot his M4 out to 600yds with his ACOG, but did not know where  his POI was at 50yds.    Just about every 5.56 gun is going to be capable of hitting a man size target at 600yds, but the Carbine is really meant for close quarters combat.    I’ve noticed a move away from magnification on many M4s because you really undermine your speed if you are relying on pin point accuracy from 100-600yds and don’t realize that you are completely missing a moving target that is 40yds away from  you because you can’t track it.

One thing I do not recommend for an M4 is magnification over 4x.    If you go hunting with your M4 and are fortunate enough to be able to do that in  your State, then go ahead and put a 3-9×40 scope on it, but that will be a hinderance in a combat situation under 100yds.   I still believe the best CQB combat optic is the Eotech, although I’d like to see a reticle that doesn’t fail when the batteries go dea.   The Leupold CQT is a nice optic, but the FOV is not as good at the Eotech rifle scopes.    I hear a lot of BS about people complaining about how the front posts on their rifles cover targets at close range, but I recommend that people keep a front post available.   There have been so many times that I have forgotten to flip up my rear sight and just used the Eotech glass as tool for getting a sight picture and just used the front sight post for targetting.    I did a test a  few years ago where I saw virtually zero change in accuracy between just used my Eotech and front sight post and using a flip up rear sight.


Range experiences with 1911s

pistol magazinesAlthough I understand that polymer guns are here to stay and they are far more technologically advanced than their early metal counterparts, I still enjoy shooting my 1911 handguns.   The 1911s that are being made today are really several generations beyond where the guns that crossed the European continent and fought on the beaches of the Pacific.   The best improvements I have seen in the 1911 design compared to the GI guns are #1 the pistol sights, and #2 the gun magazines.  The GI 1911 magazines weakness seemed to be the followers.   The slide stops were so heavy that many of the times the tabs on the magazine would bend and the slide would close on an empty chamber.

Wilson combat and Chip McCormack magazines have the best reputations for durability.   I’d have to say that I’ve had good experiences with both magazines and really can’t say one is better than the other.   When it comes to many of the other pistol magazines,  I always go with factory magazines.   Now that the 1994 assault weapons ban has expired and many manufacturers were able to get their standard capacity magazines back on the market.   Without any real threat coming from Congress on gun control, prices have come down and it’s really a good idea to stick with the magazines that your manufacturer makes for your gun.


Belt holsters and pocket guns

gun holstersI highly suggest that when people are carrying  a firearm, even if they are not carying  a backup firearm, should at the very least have atleast one other item on them that they could consider using in a defensive application.   Some may sound funny, but if you were a bad guy, getting a set of car keys jammed in their face or having a belt buckle being used as a pair of brass knuckles or a whip is not something they would want to be hit with.   If you are carrying a pocket gun, and don’t have the ability to comfortable carry mace or another less lethal weapon, try using a belt that has a slightly heavier than normal belt buckle and remember that you can always use it as a whip if need be.

The best CCW methods are hinderance in other situations.    Something like an ankle holster would be a good backup method or white collar environement where someone in an office environement or seated postion may find it practical.    Driving in a car while dressed up and heading to a wedding may make you look like a nice juicy target for a theif who spots your wifes diamon earings and may target you for a car jacking ect.    Ankle carry can be good in these types of situations.   Pocket carry is probable the most pratical and easiest to access, but you are most likely shooting one of the smallest capacity or caliber firearms.   Ankle gun holsters are completley impractical if you are going to be doing a lot of street walking and trying to pull a firearm from your ankle in the middle of a hostile situation is something I don’t even want to think about.



rifle scopes vs binoculars

binocularsWhile many in the tactical community have been learning that magnification does not increase your effectiveness is close quarters combat, it can actually hinder you, some are finding out that using a rifle scope to monitor movement, whether it’s for hunting, military or law enforcement purposes is not really a good idea.   Field of view is very important for tracking movement because a 50mm objective on a rifle scope stands out like a sore thumb, weighs a lot and might actually be set at too high of a magnification that you will most likely miss any potential threat.    It’s really almost like watching the stars at night with only one eye open and trying to spot shooting stars.

If you are not looking to break the bank and are just a target shooter or hunter, you can get a good set of binoculars for under $100 that will give you a very wide field of view.   Check out our website for some good deals on Bushnell binoculars.    I would suggest you consider keep a pair in your shooting range bags or active shooter bag.   Bushnell has a an extra wide binocular that gives you an oustanding field of view of up to 900ft.   That’s pretty good and not something  you’re going to get from a combat optic like an ACOG or Leupold CQT.   If you are on a team, you may want to consider having a designated observer.


Binoculars, part of your every day range gear

TA168RB-1Binoculars seem to be getting over looked today now that so many people are using rifle optics instead of iron sights.    I guess I’m old enough to remember that the vast majority of friends that owned AR15 or M16 rifles had them without optics.    If you go back to many of the 1970 and 1980s TV shows, none of the military or police that  used them had optics on them.   I’m sure that there was a basis for that in reality.    Back in some of the old WWII movies,  used see guys toting around with M1 Garands and an Army General with a pair of binoculars scouting the landscape for the enemy, well now that everyone has an ACOG rifle scope, every guy with an M4 can see very well several hundred yards out, still there is a place for having binoculars.

If you are doing taget shooting and still think  you would rather have a spotting scope, well then go ahead and get a spotting scope.    I can tell you that there have been plenty of times I’ve been to long range gun clubs where frustrated plinkers couldn’t see the holes on targets 200yds away with 60X spotting scopes that cost $700 or more.   Well, the reality is on a hot summer afternoon, a mirage is going to obscure your visibility as much as a dark rainy day.    Binoculars are being made lighter and lighter and if you get in a good position,  you can still use them for seeing great distances even without using a stand.  Some of us still like to carry around lever action guns for deer season but it’s sometimes a good idea to carry a pair of binoculars for identifying potential targets beyond what your eyesight allows.


Police trade in getting fixed up

glock barrelsI think more than half the guns I have picked up for my collection were police trade ins.    CDNN investments is always one of the best places to find used handguns.   If you are a Glock, Sig or Beretta gun lover.  Check out their yearly catalog for used but hardly shot guns.    I picked up a Glock 17 a few month ago and like many of the guns that are trade ins, this gun had mostly holster wear on the outside.    One of my friends got one that was much more worn especially around the barrel.   While something like barrel wear has to be analyzed closely, it rarely is much of a concern to me.   Many of the used firearms you find in gun shops probable have less than 500rds  through them and the reason they look beat up is because of the holsters that they were used with and the fact the owner didn’t clean them very well.

I have a few rifles that were not maintained as well as others and you can see the difference in firearm wear after a few thousand rounds.   My friends Glock 17 did show signs of not being as accurate as mine so I did suggest he look into getting a new barrel.    For another $150 or so, you will get your accuracy back and from my experience, most glock barrels can just be dropped in.    Even though there is much to back that Glocks do not need as much lubrication, it’s still a good idea to maintain your firearms, mostly to reduce the amount of wear and tear.    I’ve seen huge variations in Beretta 92FS barrel wear just because I could tell the operator was not lubing their pistol correctly.   I’m also a big fan of using small amounts of grease in specific areas of handguns just because it grease doesn’t dry up or slide off as easily.

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