Archive for March, 2011

Myths about gloves and firearms

I don’t think I will ever really get use to wearing gloves  because there are just too many situations that you can get yourself in that you’ll really wish you could just take the glove off and use your hands, the problem with that, is that there are going to be times you wish you did have gloves on.   I’ve been wearing Original Swat boots for about  7 months now and even though I can feel it at the end of the day when I take them off, and I know that wearing a pair of sneakers at work gives my feet and legs a break, working in rough terrain or broken glass ect. will make you glad you have something thick between your feet and the ground.  There are always extreme circumstances in the Law Enforcement community and knowing how to be versatile and adapt is what is important,   you may want to have a pair of warm gloves for extremely cold weather, but have something light to protect you from heat.

Even in the hot summer months it’s wise to be toting a pair of gloves in your range bag or tactical vest because there will be situations where you will have to pick up something hot or rough and if it grosses you out enough, just toss the gloves away and buy another pair later.   A well thought out tactical vest should easily fit a pair of gloves in it without taking up much room.   I have a Woolrich Elite Style 4903 tactical vest that has Vickers tactical gloves, Blackhawk elbow and knee pads in them for the what ifs as well as gun parts, batteries, and ammo.   I think all glove will take getting use to but keeping it simple and not over doing it with Soviet style winter gloves that can only fit in the trigger guard of  an AK is unnecessary.   We’ve had almost zero complaints about durability with these gloves and rarely sizing issues if you measure your hand properly before buying them.


Is the FAL a good DMR rifle?

I’ve always been a little stumped on why the FAL doesn’t show up on firing ranges as much as it should because I have had extensive experience with DSarms and they have been outstanding.   I did have a lesson learned about using loctite on screws with my FAL and after several thousand rounds later nothing came loose.    There are more accurate FALs and M1A rifles than mine, but 2 MOA means 10 inch groups at 500yds with Portugese surplus ammo and I’m not really sure why I would need to get any better than that for even hunting.   If I know my distance my FAL is still a darn good deer rifle if I could hunt with it here in New York State.   The return of the 7.62 caliber to active military service as a DMR role has given the AR10 and similar style rifles a new life.   I am looking at the LWRCI Repr although still dealing with some sticker shock.

The only draw back I feel I have with the FAL is the heavy trigger.   Maybe I could get it worked down a few pounds but with a good scope I have never missed my targets.   Unbeknownst to me, Larry Vickers is also a fan of the FAL and I recently read a nice read about his take on the FAL.   I haven’t had the need to always use Vickers gloves when shooting, but it’s actually something that I have been working more into my training when taking on a DMR role.     Loading 7.62 bullets into a magazine with gloves on is easier than doing it with smaller pistol caliber or 5.56 gloves so my desire to constantly take them off when loading magazines doesn’t kick in.   I prefer the mid length vickers gloves because they give added protection against burns on the wrist from hot barrels ect.


Complicating a firearm with buttons and switches?

The era of the over done M4 Carbine seems to be coming to an end, and I have already seen a transition towards the lighter weight Carbines.   When the M4 initially came out, it was suppose to be a lighter weight and smaller weapon to be wielded on the battle field, but many of the ones that I have seen on civilian firing ranges were about the same weight as an M1 Garand.   I have not had very good experience with using pressure switches on flashlights, not only have I seen them fail, like all other wired accessories, but they do open you up to the possibility of snagging on more things.   Something like that would get messed up in a wooded area and in close hallways ect. you can get it caught on just about anything that hangs out.

There is no real advice I can give about what to put on your firearm, all I can tell you to do is to think about the environment you are using it in and think about what “could happen” in that environment.   Streamlight flashlights have worked very well for me, I recently got some negative feedback from a fellow operator about the switches they have on the flashlights now, but I have avoided using pressure switches.   The Streamlight Scorpion I have on my M4 Carbines is located in such a position that I can reach it with my thumb and turn it on and off with ease.


.308 rifle cleaning on the move

The tactical world is loaded with tons of doodads and accessories that are very well thought out, but sometimes it takes as much time to learn how to use them as it probable took to create the device.    Experience is what we learn from and we get it an many ways.   If you have ever had to pack a backpack and go on a week or longer hike, you’ll know the importance of packing “only what you need to survive” which is a line I stole from Spaceballs the movie.   It’s funny that I have actually seen people go on camping trips with things that plug in and need electricity, and those are the people you’ll probable never see on a camping trip again.   My Boy Scout Troop usually had 2 or 3 campers a year, the new guys, do something like that and the City slicker attitudes usually mean a short stint in the Boy Scouts of America.

When it comes to carrying a firearm like a DMR or Sniper rifle, adding weight to something that is already heavy is not something you are going to want to do.   If you could remove 1 or 2 lbs of weight from a rifle, you can add on the weight of the ammo that replaces it.  I don’t know a single shooter that wouldn’t rather carry more ammo than carry more gun.  There are cleaning systems like boresnakes that are fast and easy, but for serious cleaning, you are going to like the Otis gun cleaning kits for the sniper or DMR.  This gun cleaning kit is meant for a .308 rifle, bolt action or semi-auto, it doesn’t matter.    I’m sure there are people that think they need a cleaning rod for bolt guns, maybe some guns need it, but how the heck do you carry a cleaning rod into the field?


CCW vs Cop holsters

There is a reason that Cops want locking holster, statistics show that many police get shot by their own guns, and I’m sure there are unknown statistics on the number of times Cops have had guns fall out of holsters.   I recently read a review by an LAPD Officer that sheered an entire gun and holster off of his side while the paddle and belt kept part of it in place.   Anything that can happen will happen and probable already did happen.   I remember when Youtube first got popular there were several people bashing Fobus holsters on how easy it was to rip the guns off of people by tearing the holster.   Truth is, it can happen, but it doesn’t happen that often.   When it comes to CCW, most of the time you won’t be dealing with snagging firearms unless you go to retrieve them and they get caught on a shirt or a jacket.

Level I holsters are for, in my humble opinion, all about speed.    A nice IWB holster for concealed carry should keep the trigger protected and be as comfortable and easy to retrieve as the operator desires.  When it comes to level II Serpa holsters, I think this is a smart thing to consider for anyone in an open carry situation.   Yes the bad guy may know how to release  Blackhawk holsters, but your average bad guy probable doesn’t know how to clear a malfunction or do speed loads either.   If you are that concerned about the gun being taken from you, then don’t open carry.   I believe that the Serpa holster is the best way to carry a secondary firearm also.   The Blackhawk Level III holster is best left for law enforcement and people that are in high risk situations.


Fit, feel and durability go hand in hand

I have and still own many firearms, all of them have a place in my heart and are good for something.   It’s really too  bad I didn’t know that knowing what your good at doing is what life is all about, and not everyone does very much research into finding it.   When so many of us were part of the herd and teachers all taught us the same thing, in the same way, it was all about getting an A, B, C, D or an F.   Some people are good at math, others are not, some are into History and others are not.   There is no such thing as a do it all weapon, but there is something about being versatile and knowing what you are good at doing and then doing it well.   This becomes more important in life, especially once we are out of school.   Too many people think that just getting good grades in School means you are going to get a good job, getting good grades doesn’t even mean you’re intelligent.  Try looking at the PHD crowd  running the Country, what works in a classroom doesn’t always work in the real world.



I have only been familiar with Larry Vicker’s Signature gloves for about 4yrs, but only really 2 yrs of working with them.  I was one that was use to using the gloves I used for hunting which were the fingerless gloves.   These hunting gloves looked kinda like tactical gloves, but they did not last even 2 range sessions.   Loading AR15 magazines with anything that isn’t tough enough in the thumb area is going to wreck your gloves real fast.   The mid length gloves are more to my taste because I do like the extra wrist protection from flying brass and hot barrels.  Both gloves are what I would consider to be medium weight gloves and in honesty, I’m not familiar with that many other types of gloves, I’ve never gotten a complaint about them not holding up.   These can do most of the jobs that require you to need gloves.   If you want to do it all bring a couple types of gloves, if you want to do most of it with one, try these.


What’s up with those cotton prices?

We got several warnings from some of the apparel companies we’ve been selling that prices are going to go up on all of the clothing that we are selling.  This is entirely up to the fact that cotton demand has exceeded production capabilities and there has been a shortage of cotton.   We knew something was wrong last year when one of our clothing manufacturers didn’t have any of it’s lightweight clothing available when Spring came and nothing showed up for Summer.   Now that we have a large number of deployed Military and private Contractors being deployed over seas in  hot climates, there is a large demand for lightweight tactical clothing.  Unfortunately we couldn’t name one company that makes all of the best lightweight clothing because each has it’s own good and bad points.   I’m still not happy that the Eotac Style 301 shorts stopped being made last year because I do not like the shorter inseam 302.

I have had some of the 5.11 tac lite pro shorts, but they are too tactical looking for most of my Summer adventures.   I think it was smart to make them a cotton polyester variant especially since Cotton prices have gone up, it’s probable going to be more common to see synthetic materials blend into clothing.   You sure can’t beat the 100% cotton ripstop tactical pants from Eotac though.   We get a lot of requests from guys in Iraq and Afghanistan that love the Style 203 pants because the pocket designs and the fit is superior to the similarly looking pants from 5.11 tactical pants.   I remember being at a trade show last year and some of the guys were joking about how hard it was to tell what clothing company made various pants because they all looked the same. The truth is, they don’t all feel the same.


Did the M14 replace the Garand?

That is a sure thing, and in my opinion it was a big step forward for semi-autos.  It really is too bad the gun was not fielded during the Korean War because it would have made a difference for the USGI.   As much as the Garand was a useful weapon to the American Rifleman, it was quickly out dated in the battle field and from what I have personally witnessed, is not very versatile when it comes to being used by different soldiers.   Many Vets that I have spoken to did not think the gun was fun to shoot and couldn’t hit anything at 100yds with it.   I’ve seen that type of shooting before, it’s called “fear of recoil”.

When the M14 was first issued, it pretty much did in the M1 Garand and the BAR, but modern warfare made the riflemen’s  usual combat engagements take place at well under 400yds.   Most engagements that I know of from personal stories took place at under 100yds.   The M1 Carbine still was very practical for soldiers until the M4 Carbine came out, now many enthusiasts in California and New Jersey can use the Promag magazines that are 10rds and from what many of our customers have said they worked very well for this old relic.   If it were not for the limited availability and reliability of M1 Carbine ammo, I think the gun would be more popular.


Tactics and gear for the DMR

I guess I’m an old man if I can remember a time before gun forums, but now that Twitter and Blogging has seemed to surpass the usefulness of those discussion forums, modern technology and accessories are sometimes hard to figure out until they’ve actually been fielded for some time.  I’m just starting to realize the importance of having some of the handguards, rifle stocks, and optics that I presently have on some of my AR15 rifles because now that I’m getting more time on the range, I realize that what I am using is really the best configuration for close up fighting.

I remember all of the squabbling I got on a firearm forum for wanting to put a rifle scope on a DSA FAL rifle.   Many use to think  that putting “glass” on a battle rifle was a bad idea.    Now that the M14 has been resurrected as the DMR rifle, putting glass on a battle rifle seems like the best purpose.  Trijicon ACOGs have shown up on many of the former scopeless battle rifles and that 2 MOA rifle can be very effective out to 800 meters if the shooter is up to it.   I have found that for most purposes, I really don’t need more than 3x magnification, but for longer ranges, the M14 or FAL is capable and worthy of more magnification.


Magazine pouches, fobus vs Blackhawk

I have had a lot of experience using nylon gun holsters and I really can’t say anything bad about them except for the thumb break stile holsters.   I’m not a big fan of holsters with straps on them and I presently only prefer the Blackhawk Serpa holsters for locking and firearm retention.   My Fobus holsters have always served me well and I believe I may own one holster for every medium and large frame auto in my collection.  Fobus makes a nice paddle holster, but I have had experience with the magazine holders and I am not a big fan.

I have quite a few nylon magazine holders and they are very good and keep the magazines where I want them, I do not like to use the nylon magazine holders for CCW and after a short stint at using the Fobus holsters magazine holders, I found out that there is a limit to how many paddle style holsters I can wear comfortable.   I do not recommend the fobus paddle magazine holders because you will feel it dig into you if you have to roll around.  The Blackhawk single and double stack magazines are the best because they actually have tension and mags won’t fly out easy and they aren’t covered like a nylon magazine holder is.

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