Archive for August, 2011

Do zippers fail?

There was a  lot of discussion in the past about how to secure accessories ect. in shirts and pants and some people really wanted zippers on their tactical shirts.   Most of the 5.11 tactical shirts that we have used in the past were velcro, but velcro is loud and if you are in a situation where you have to be covert, velcro is really loud.   The first version of the Woolrich Elite tactical shirts we saw which were basically an improvement over much of 5.11 tacticals tactical clothing was, was received very well.   There were some pocket variations that people didn’t like that 5.11 still had a edge over, but zippers on shirts was better received.

The Woolrich Elite 4910 was the discreet carry pant and there were suppose to be hidden zippers on the side, but they were not hidden very well and I honestly would not recommend stowing a firearm in a pocket that is zippered shut.   I have yet to have a zipper fail, but some people that have used boots did not like zippers.  The Original Swat boots have tactical boots that can be zip up or lace up.   I think the majority of our customer base prefer zip up and only one person that I have met really complained about boot zippers failing on them.  It kind of reminds me of all of the people that I knew that had card doors that were bent because they always slammed them shut on an angle.  I think those are the ones with zipper issues.


Changing gear and changing gear

I recently got a letter from Magpul Industries about some of the new products and colors that are available for their gun accessories.   There are many M4 manufacturers out there that are making gun accessories that easily attach to a firearm, but I have already found out personally that they are not something you will want to take into combat.   If people stop and think about it, most of these products are pretty easy to pick out because they are cheap.   Mostly things like fore grips and flashlight mounts.

The age old, “you get what you paid for” is the reality of firearms especially combat worthy.   I’ve read lots of posts on gun forums about guns being “hobby” firearms from gun instructors because people trick them out and think they will hold up.   Magpul pmags are the number one selling AR15 magazine because they are tough and reliable.  Recently we started carrying more of the stocks, stock accessories and magazine accessories.  Be very careful that you don’t compromise your tactical vests or magazine holders when you chang out your floor plates because some tactical vests will not work with the changes.


Labor Day sale at Rogue Elite

We will be bringing in more tactical clothing this fall from 5.11 tactical and Blackhawk as well as Tru-Spec.  We have heard lots of good things about the Tru-Spec 24/7 pants and considering that they are Gunny approved, we’ll have to say they are Rogue Elite approved.   As the American economy slows down, we’re waiting to see what happens with the clothing manufacturing business.   Cotton prices are still way up and some of the t-shirts we have brought in are almost $2 more over last years pricing.

Some of the tactical apparel that we sell got really expensive while others have slowly worked their way up to the inflation that we have expected.   We’re still running a great deal on $30 tactical pants from Eotac that has sadly gotten run down to the minimum.   We pretty much just have OD Green tactical pants in lightweight and standard weight and if we don’t heard something big this fall, this is the end of something great.


Ballistic eyewear and spitballs

I recently got off the phone with a local Law Enforcement Officer that mentioned that he was shopping for new eyewear.  It’s funny how often I hear the same thing from Law Enforcement because it’s not something that occurs on a firing line at all.   If you are a Law Enforcement officer you are dealing with the lowest elements of society and having one of those lower elements of society spit on you is repulsive.  Having on eyewear that keeps scum from getting into your eyes.

There are varying degrees of bullet proof vests you can wear, but the higher the protection the more weight and bulk you will be carrying around.   Ballistic eyewear or tactical eyewear may not stop a bullet, but when bullets fly you can still have debris from concrete, wood or metal fly up into your face.   A splinter of metal is enough to cause blindness and a $70 pair of ballistic lenses can stop a 650fps debris particle.  Worth it?  You bet.


Preferences in tactical eyewear for work

I think it’s pretty obvious to people that go shooting with firearms that having eyewear or safety glass is important.  Those 22 caliber semi-autos are known for kicking out debris and all it takes is a little bad luck and your in the hospital with an injury.   The military found out in WWI that helmets could save lives and now our military has realized that ballistic eyewear, sunglasses or goggles can prevent injury.  There are a lot of things we know we can do to protect the human body, but being practical is what it’s all about.

The more gear you throw on you the more you are going to be weighed down, and one thing I have found out quickly is that many optics in tactical eyewear have blind spots for your visibility that I would not take them into combat with me.   The Smith Optics Elite Aegis Eye shield is probable your best range eyewear and fighting eyewear because it gives you the most visibility and the most coverage next to goggles.  Goggles will still give you limited visibility and the extra weight is not something you will want to have to carry around.


Gun holsters and gun sights

One thing that I have heard more and more lately during defensive training courses that I have sat in, is a warning about changing sights  on  your guns and making changes to the holsters you already own.   The infamous spinning handgun is something that is going to occur on your favorite CCW gun if you haven’t paid any attention to the friction you have on your holster.   Even if the gun can clear the holster, a slight angle alteration and the front sight will catch on the holster and flip forward as you try and pull it out.

I’m definitely not against replacing your gun sights, I’m actually all for it, XS gun sights are great defensive gun sights and putting Crimson Trace Laser Grips on your pocket gun or your new Ruger LCP is something that is working quite well for others and sometimes it really good to just be observant to others when it comes to guns and gear.  A small cut or notch on your gun holster might be necessary if you change your gun sights.


Dots, Chevrons, Crosshairs and horse shoes

Rifle scopes  and gun optics have gotten easier to use in some regards, but the diversity of the reticles from various manufacturers is something that is starting to give me a headache.   Things were much simpler when it was about a thin crosshair a duplex, European reticle with a pole, illuminated reticle, dot or Eotech gun sight.   Its far more complicated now, but somebody finally realized that not all rifles are designed for the same thing.   When ACOGS started getting a lot of notice and showing up on a firing range I was in awe, but then I realized that the eye relief on them was a limiting factor in close range fighting and you really might want to keep those iron sights on the gun just incase.

I really don’t like deviating from thin crosshairs on a rifle scope because I’ve already seen one too many time that many reticles can obscure your target and what is the point of not being able to see an enemies head pop out behind a tree at 200yds  because your red dot is blocking the entire target.   If you get a CQB optic you may be limiting your rifle scopes ability to see further out and now you’ve got a problem with medium to longer range targets.   The TA01NSN will always be my favorite Trijicon ACOG just because you can quickly transition from glass to iron sights with very little movement.  Mechanical devices like the Eotech magnifier are nice but that is one more thing that can break or come loose on your gun when a simpler approach might be a better option.


The overwelmed tactical clothing market?

I’m really not so sure about that if you are talking about the quality of the products.   I use to hear good things about Vertx pants but recently heard an awful lot of flak about the pants being too tight.   Sizing variations between brands is a given and although customers are constantly asking us “if I wear a 38/32 in 5.11 pants what size am I in Woolrich Elite?” and we always tell them we can’t tell you that, and it’s the truth.   One of the problems that all of the smaller clothing companies have had in getting their foot in the door and competing with 5.11 has been all about production.   If you’re department needs clothing in a certain color and you have to wait 6 months to get it, you aren’t going to wait.

One thing our customers have asked us to do is to stock the clothing that they love, that’s a really hard thing to do since so many people are really  happy with their 5.11 tactical pants or their Woolrich Elite pants.   One thing that has hit many manufacturers is the pricing.   Many people have a hard time spending $50 or more for a pair of pants and will gladly wear 5.11 pants if they can get them for $30 or less.   Sometimes its about price margins and not how good you look in them.    When you’re sitting in an office it’s hard to think you need to worry about movement and jumping over fences with them.


10rd magazines for 1911s?

This is something I’ve only delved into once and it wasn’t a great experience.   Back in the early 1990’s we had all of that assault weapons ban BS and and aftermarket gun magazines were everywhere.   Some of us that owned certain firearms ended up with unreliable firearms that should have been durable.   $90 Glock magazines were not uncommon and $14.99 for a jamming Mini 14 30rd magazine from USA magazines, which I believe is been long out of existence.   Many people fell back on revolvers and there was a big upsurge back into the 1911 because it was one of those guns that was originally designed for fewer than 10rds which was what the Assault Weapons Ban limited you to.

So some of us messed around with aftermarket 10rd magazines and all of the ones I tried failed pretty quick.   We tried to make the 1911 into it’s highest capacity that we legally could, but the balance pretty much got messed up.   Gun magazines, even a few rounds bigger than standard capacity can make the gun imbalanced or make it harder holster.   There are a lot of reasons to use 10rd magazines like Wilson Combat magazines or Chip McCormick which have a good reputation in competition shooting, but they will protrude considerable.   This may cause snagging on shirts ect if you are considering using one for CCW.   If you’ve ever practiced with you’re gun, which you should have, firing 8rds and reloading is probable a better CCW than thinking a 10rd magazine is going to give you more protection.


Blackhawk vs Fobus holsters

At first I thought it was an absurd comparison, but we’ve had a lot of people walk into our shop and ask us which one was better.   I’ve always viewed Fobus holsters as competition or training type holsters but not really a duty holster.   I won’t say they are fragile, but there is something about them that just makes me thing they are kind of an introductory holster.   For about $20 you can get a paddle holster for just about any medium or large frame semi-auto and that is probable the number one reason people get them.   Most CCW holders don’t carry large size frame autos so Fobus gun holsters don’t really get used  for ccw as often.

I personally don’t think locking systems are a good idea for CCW, but for duty work, military work and open carry, they are probable the best holster you can have.    Blackhawk holsters are a great open carry holster because with open carry you have no obstruction to getting to your holster so finding the release button should be a non issue.  If you are carrying with a vest or under a shirt or sweatshirt clearing the firearm from a garment can be tricky enough, but trying to find a release button and the possibility of snags already in play, you are increasing your chances of not retrieving the firearm.

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